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Marohn Debates O'Toole

Charles Marohn, known as a reformed traffic engineer that launched Strong Towns, recently debated Randall O'Toole, known as the anti-planner. Recommended for understanding the conflicts that arise on the right side of the political spectrum.
September 17, 2015, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Charles Marohn provides a post-mortem on the debate he participated in with Randall O'Toole at a Plan Lafayette event after a weekend spent pondering the proceedings. Here's Marohn's diplomatic summary of his opinions about O'Toole's platforms:

"If we’re to believe O’Toole, we should privatize the local streets, utilities and other common goods and let property owners figure it out. You could probably convince me that would be a good idea on some level – particularly on the many dead end cul-de-sacs that are little more than publicly-maintained driveways – but good luck running as a local council candidate on that platform."

The question of political viability was especially relevant due to the event's focus on the ongoing effort to develop a comprehensive plan for the city Lafayette, Louisiana. Marohn noticed O'Toole's inflammatory rhetoric, which seemed to focus only on debunking the need for a comprehensive plan:

"We’re not in Portland. We’re not in San Francisco. This was Lafayette, Louisiana, a fairly conservative place in a rather conservative part of the country. These people should be working together, not living in fear that a (rather weak and broadly unimaginative) comprehensive plan will give their local leaders – people who are literally their neighbors – the power to torch their house. He knows better, and I thought his repeatedly resorting to the flaming rhetoric was a huge disservice to not just the conversation but the people of Lafayette who were listening."

The article also includes the audio of the debate, embedded in the YouTube video found below.

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Published on Monday, September 14, 2015 in Strong Towns
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