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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    To put things rather crudely, if the congestion of motor traffic is the problem, then there are two ways to solve that. The first is to increase the capacity of the road system to handle the traffic generated by drivers who want to arrive. The second is to reduce the attraction of the city so that no more drivers will be attracted than the road system will carry without congestion. As has been remarked in similar discussions long before this, either solution involves wrecking-ball therapy.
    wow. if this is the extent of your creative thinking in proposing solutions to the problems of congestion of motor traffic we'll have a hard time understanding one another.

    No mention of public transportation.

    No mention of alternative means of transportation- incl. bikes, pedestrians.

    You've only suggested more ways to cater to the automobile.

    If your first suggestion is successful it is only a matter of time before the capacity of the "improved road" will be reached and it's back to square one.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Your justification for bike lanes is that they form a safe zone for cyclists. Safe from what, buzzman?

    You also argue that even where bike lanes are present, the cyclist needs to operate in the vehicular cycling manner. The cyclist who took the video that you referenced showed no signs of being intimidated by his own actions, by whether or not he was in the bike lane. So much as appeared merely showed that he moved outside the bike lane whenever he saw fit to do so.

    So you don't need bike lanes. Similarly, any person who operates in the vehicular manner doesn't need bike lanes. Who are the persons who you think need bike lanes? If there aren't such persons, why do you advocate bike lanes?

    I should never have used a hot button word like "safe" in describing the bike lane. Let's not waste electrons on that one.

    I am the cyclist in the video.

    I use the bike lane when it is appropriate and when it isn't I don't . It doesn't mean I don't need them- they serve a purpose. They sometimes provide a space in which to travel and send a signal, although often ignored, to motorists to provide a space for bicycles. I think bike lanes are working to do that in NYC and I, again, am not alone in drawing that conclusion. I know what it was like to ride in NY before they existed and it's much better with them than without but still far from perfect.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    wow. if this is the extent of your creative thinking in proposing solutions to the problems of congestion of motor traffic we'll have a hard time understanding one another.

    No mention of public transportation.

    No mention of alternative means of transportation- incl. bikes, pedestrians.

    You've only suggested more ways to cater to the automobile.

    If your first suggestion is successful it is only a matter of time before the capacity of the "improved road" will be reached and it's back to square one.
    +1000

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    wow. if this is the extent of your creative thinking in proposing solutions to the problems of congestion of motor traffic we'll have a hard time understanding one another.

    No mention of public transportation.

    No mention of alternative means of transportation- incl. bikes, pedestrians.

    You've only suggested more ways to cater to the automobile.

    If your first suggestion is successful it is only a matter of time before the capacity of the "improved road" will be reached and it's back to square one.
    I do not have a hard time understanding you. You have very little knowledge of urban transportation. The reason that you have a hard time understanding me is that you are largely ignorant of the subject, and, furthermore, are subject to your anti-motoring ideology.

    How many of the motorists who take the time and trouble to drive into Boston do you think would walk into Boston instead?

    Cyclists have better opportunity, but you are opposed to making it more efficient, and, therefore, more likely for that mode to be used.

    Mass transit. New York is American city the most heavily dependent on mass transit, by far. Boston may be the next, or almost the next. They are so because they grew up as streetcar cities. In both cities the rail mass transit has grown as far, indeed farther, than is economic, though it may be possible to attract significant traffic with express bus service. However, mass transit works well only when servicing the city center, and from not great distances away. As modern cities grow, both the area to be served increases, but also the number of centers to be served, with the result that in the modern city mass transit fails to work well because it cannot. I suspect that, even in Boston, not much congestion relief can be expected from more mass transit.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I should never have used a hot button word like "safe" in describing the bike lane. Let's not waste electrons on that one.

    I am the cyclist in the video.

    I use the bike lane when it is appropriate and when it isn't I don't . It doesn't mean I don't need them- they serve a purpose. They sometimes provide a space in which to travel and send a signal, although often ignored, to motorists to provide a space for bicycles. I think bike lanes are working to do that in NYC and I, again, am not alone in drawing that conclusion. I know what it was like to ride in NY before they existed and it's much better with them than without but still far from perfect.
    Oh, I see. Bike lanes have a political purpose in the anti-motoring agenda.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Oh, I see. Bike lanes have a political purpose in the anti-motoring agenda.
    I don't see where I said that but you seem inclined to reframe the discussion into hyperbole when it suits you. You may see me as anti-motoring. I don't think I particularly am- I own a car and occasionally use it, albeit with a discipline that others might find restrictive of their lifestyle.

    I'm off for the holidays and wish the best to all. Thank you for an enlightening and inspiring exchange. So inspiring, in fact, that I have asked my wife to include a membership in LAB as a stocking stuffer- and my intention is to vote against any LAB reform candidates who follow the narrow minded agenda I see expressed by some of it's supporters here in BF. So thanks- it's been a while since I've been a member.

    Happy Holidays!!!!

  7. #57
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    Happy Holidays Buzzman (love your avatar BTW.)
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    I do not have a hard time understanding you. You have very little knowledge of urban transportation. The reason that you have a hard time understanding me is that you are largely ignorant of the subject, and, furthermore, are subject to your anti-motoring ideology.

    How many of the motorists who take the time and trouble to drive into Boston do you think would walk into Boston instead?

    Cyclists have better opportunity, but you are opposed to making it more efficient, and, therefore, more likely for that mode to be used.

    Mass transit. New York is American city the most heavily dependent on mass transit, by far. Boston may be the next, or almost the next. They are so because they grew up as streetcar cities. In both cities the rail mass transit has grown as far, indeed farther, than is economic, though it may be possible to attract significant traffic with express bus service. However, mass transit works well only when servicing the city center, and from not great distances away. As modern cities grow, both the area to be served increases, but also the number of centers to be served, with the result that in the modern city mass transit fails to work well because it cannot. I suspect that, even in Boston, not much congestion relief can be expected from more mass transit.
    May I ask where and when exactly did you pull up this new degree in urban planning or urban transportation? When was the last time you attended school? What degrees do you hold besides a bachelor’s in English? There does come a time if one doesn’t keep up with things their experience turns into old school rubbish.

    That’s your best argument “you are largely ignorant of the subject, and, furthermore, are subject to your anti-motoring ideology.”???

    You are just full of insults and non-logic. We can’t mention anything around you without being accused of being anti-motoring. This is a bike forum for crying out loud and you’re da^^n straight we support something else besides car only travel. It is just fact that cars alone are not the best mode of transportation in a dense urban environment. Dense development is best served by dense forms of transportation. You seem to be limited to only being able to relate to things as suburbanite. Some of us do live in a city and enjoy it as much if not more then suburbanites in their isolated communities with not much to do without a long drive. Mass transit may or may not be applicable where you live but there are a lot of places where it is applicable and viable and not to mention at least, if not more economically viable then supporting the single occupancy vehicle.

    I have never ever heard such an inane argument that boils down to since mass transit is not as viable in the suburbs it should not be considered in the urban environment as well. And all viable transportation enhancements in an urban setting are limited to increasing capacity of the roads or reducing the places to drive to or from the city. Talk about believing in the induced traffic superstition so belief that non-congested highways cause economic development that in turn causes more traffic is a false superstition but reducing economic development causes non-congested highways. Absolutely brilliant logic. I would love to see you present that argument before some Regional Transit Board. “You can reduce congestion by reducing economic development.”
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    May I ask where and when exactly did you pull up this new degree in urban planning or urban transportation? When was the last time you attended school? What degrees do you hold besides a bachelor’s in English? There does come a time if one doesn’t keep up with things their experience turns into old school rubbish.

    That’s your best argument “you are largely ignorant of the subject, and, furthermore, are subject to your anti-motoring ideology.”???

    You are just full of insults and non-logic. We can’t mention anything around you without being accused of being anti-motoring. This is a bike forum for crying out loud and you’re da^^n straight we support something else besides car only travel. It is just fact that cars alone are not the best mode of transportation in a dense urban environment. Dense development is best served by dense forms of transportation. You seem to be limited to only being able to relate to things as suburbanite. Some of us do live in a city and enjoy it as much if not more then suburbanites in their isolated communities with not much to do without a long drive. Mass transit may or may not be applicable where you live but there are a lot of places where it is applicable and viable and not to mention at least, if not more economically viable then supporting the single occupancy vehicle.

    I have never ever heard such an inane argument that boils down to since mass transit is not as viable in the suburbs it should not be considered in the urban environment as well. And all viable transportation enhancements in an urban setting are limited to increasing capacity of the roads or reducing the places to drive to or from the city. Talk about believing in the induced traffic superstition so belief that non-congested highways cause economic development that in turn causes more traffic is a false superstition but reducing economic development causes non-congested highways. Absolutely brilliant logic. I would love to see you present that argument before some Regional Transit Board. “You can reduce congestion by reducing economic development.”
    Despite what Human Car writes, my best argument is not that he is ignorant of transportation. That's not an argument for my position, merely a statement of fact as to why Human Car doesn't understand my position. If he had significant knowledge of transportation, he could make his arguments in terms that would be understood by members of the profession.

    And Human Car attacks me, on his assumption that I do not know the subject that I discuss, on the basis that I have an AB in English Literature. I also have an MS, and I am a registered professional engineer in California. Furthermore, I have studied urban transportation for more than sixty years, and I keep up with a considerable portion of the current literature on the subject.

    As as example of being ill-informed about transportation, consider Human Car's prime statement in the above: "[T]hat non-congested highways cause economic development that in turn causes more traffic is a false superstition but reducing economic development causes non-congested highways."

    Highways operating below capacity do not "cause economic development". Economic development occurs in those locations and in those times where and when there is an economic need and the means of satisfying that need. Shall we postulate that there is a need for more pure silicon crystal? Various organizations with money to invest believe so, at any rate. Highways have practically no causative effect concerning the market for pure silicon crystal. Is that not obvious? Highways are simply one of many factors that determine where that production will occur.

    Neither will "reducing economic development cause non-congested highways". Quite clearly, the existing level of economic activity produces the highway congestion that is present. Reducing the level of economic development will merely decrease the rate at which congestion increases.

    Human Car's own words demonstrate that he doesn't know the subject of transportation. No more should need to be written, but I doubt that such evidence is persuasive in this forum.

  10. #60
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    Hmm, So you are saying that building the Bay Bridge did not cause any economic development of Maryland’s eastern shore. I’m not sure how many from the eastern shore would agree with that.

    If you are saying that roads with low capacity alone will not cause economic development such as roads found in Maryland’s western panhandle I can agree with that. As there has to be some sort of generator on one end that spurs economic development. That generator can be a business like you described or it can be a desirable demographic that brings in business. The whole thing cycles, businesses attract people and people attract businesses. How long and how far out this cycles depends on available viable transportation and economic generators.

    Currently Maryland is going through the planning stages for BRAC and where the experts are saying the economic development related to this is not going to be confined to the area near the bases but spread along roadways operating below capacity. Or basically it is the current transportation network that is going to guide growth and where our transportation network has bottlenecks that will slow or curtail BRAC related growth past those bottlenecks. In Baltimore’s case commuter rail has played and will play a significant role in enabling us to compete for some of that economic growth.

    So basically under capacity roads are having a strong influence where development is going to take place and mass transit is playing a significant role in urban development as well.

    My next point is who is better qualified as a doctor, someone who has 60 years of experience or someone who has 5 years of experience? If they both graduated from an accredited school then generally there should be no difference unless there has been some new developments in the last 60 years in which case the older doctor might be suspect to not keeping up with the current trends. Likewise the era of over accommodating single occupancy motorized vehicles is no longer the ideal. Building our way out of congestion to accommodate single occupancy vehicles is becoming an ever increasing economic impossibility.
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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    ... the era of over accommodating single occupancy motorized vehicles is no longer the ideal. Building our way out of congestion to accommodate single occupancy vehicles is becoming an ever increasing economic impossibility.
    +1

    I spent a portion of my holiday with one of my nephews, who is about to enter graduate school as an urban planner. We spoke at length about many of the issues brought up in these forums. His interest in urban planning preceded his choice of it as a grad program major and he has already got several courses under his belt and an undergraduate degree in environmental science. He is, what I would call, representative of a new generation of urban planners who embrace a more all encompassing view of the issues around how we live, work and play in cities. His awareness of how resources are utilized, preserved, squandered or capitalized upon is far more sensitive than the kind of thinking that predominated 19th and 20th century American development.

    Human Car's observations about accommodation of single occupancy vehicles is right on and only the tip of the iceberg of a rationale that also applies to architecture, structural engineering, water usage, power supply and distribution, landscaping of public space and an interconnected web that renders arguments about lane positioning and vehicular cycling techniques into a petty discourse woefully ignorant of a much larger picture into which cycling advocacy must play a role.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Hmm, So you are saying that building the Bay Bridge did not cause any economic development of Maryland’s eastern shore. I’m not sure how many from the eastern shore would agree with that.

    If you are saying that roads with low capacity alone will not cause economic development such as roads found in Maryland’s western panhandle I can agree with that. As there has to be some sort of generator on one end that spurs economic development. That generator can be a business like you described or it can be a desirable demographic that brings in business. The whole thing cycles, businesses attract people and people attract businesses. How long and how far out this cycles depends on available viable transportation and economic generators.

    Currently Maryland is going through the planning stages for BRAC and where the experts are saying the economic development related to this is not going to be confined to the area near the bases but spread along roadways operating below capacity. Or basically it is the current transportation network that is going to guide growth and where our transportation network has bottlenecks that will slow or curtail BRAC related growth past those bottlenecks. In Baltimore’s case commuter rail has played and will play a significant role in enabling us to compete for some of that economic growth.

    So basically under capacity roads are having a strong influence where development is going to take place and mass transit is playing a significant role in urban development as well.

    My next point is who is better qualified as a doctor, someone who has 60 years of experience or someone who has 5 years of experience? If they both graduated from an accredited school then generally there should be no difference unless there has been some new developments in the last 60 years in which case the older doctor might be suspect to not keeping up with the current trends. Likewise the era of over accommodating single occupancy motorized vehicles is no longer the ideal. Building our way out of congestion to accommodate single occupancy vehicles is becoming an ever increasing economic impossibility.
    So, you agree that empty roads do not cause economic development, but are merely one factor in determining where a productive economic development becomes located. In other words, roads don't create traffic, they simply allow traffic whose need already exists.

    You state, if I understand your words correctly, that extended commuter rail will also be a significant factor in determining the location of growth. While that has been the expectation of many lines, it has not generally proved out in practice, with many economic failures that have had to be saved by the application of money derived from taxing the rest of the population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    +1

    I spent a portion of my holiday with one of my nephews, who is about to enter graduate school as an urban planner. We spoke at length about many of the issues brought up in these forums. His interest in urban planning preceded his choice of it as a grad program major and he has already got several courses under his belt and an undergraduate degree in environmental science. He is, what I would call, representative of a new generation of urban planners who embrace a more all encompassing view of the issues around how we live, work and play in cities. His awareness of how resources are utilized, preserved, squandered or capitalized upon is far more sensitive than the kind of thinking that predominated 19th and 20th century American development.

    Human Car's observations about accommodation of single occupancy vehicles is right on and only the tip of the iceberg of a rationale that also applies to architecture, structural engineering, water usage, power supply and distribution, landscaping of public space and an interconnected web that renders arguments about lane positioning and vehicular cycling techniques into a petty discourse woefully ignorant of a much larger picture into which cycling advocacy must play a role.
    One view of the urban planning profession is that, for decades, it has opposed motoring development, and has therefore been operating in a mode of trying to force people to do what they don't want to do. There is the other view, also, that part of the planning profession has been devoted to producing facilities that are suitable for motoring. It is pretty obvious that the latter part of the profession has succeeded while the former part of the profession has failed. After all, the complaints of many of the most vocal in this discussion prove that they believe in the above statements.

    What will occur in the future is unknown. Some may have faith that the anti-motoring movement will prevail, but, on the basis of history and recognition of how and why the events of history occurred, I consider that, for quite a long time to come, most of our cities will be based on individual mobility. As far as cyclists are concerned, I consider that vehicular cycling will be the mode of choice as long as our individual planning horizons extend.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    +1

    I spent a portion of my holiday with one of my nephews, who is about to enter graduate school as an urban planner. We spoke at length about many of the issues brought up in these forums. His interest in urban planning preceded his choice of it as a grad program major and he has already got several courses under his belt and an undergraduate degree in environmental science. He is, what I would call, representative of a new generation of urban planners who embrace a more all encompassing view of the issues around how we live, work and play in cities. His awareness of how resources are utilized, preserved, squandered or capitalized upon is far more sensitive than the kind of thinking that predominated 19th and 20th century American development.

    Human Car's observations about accommodation of single occupancy vehicles is right on and only the tip of the iceberg of a rationale that also applies to architecture, structural engineering, water usage, power supply and distribution, landscaping of public space and an interconnected web that renders arguments about lane positioning and vehicular cycling techniques into a petty discourse woefully ignorant of a much larger picture into which cycling advocacy must play a role.
    +10

    Agreed the importance of the designed space besides the road is as important if not more important then the designed space of the roadway, for not only accommodating cyclists but also for better quality cities and suburban living.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    One view of the urban planning profession is that, for decades, it has opposed motoring development, and has therefore been operating in a mode of trying to force people to do what they don't want to do. There is the other view, also, that part of the planning profession has been devoted to producing facilities that are suitable for motoring. It is pretty obvious that the latter part of the profession has succeeded while the former part of the profession has failed. After all, the complaints of many of the most vocal in this discussion prove that they believe in the above statements.

    What will occur in the future is unknown. Some may have faith that the anti-motoring movement will prevail, but, on the basis of history and recognition of how and why the events of history occurred, I consider that, for quite a long time to come, most of our cities will be based on individual mobility. As far as cyclists are concerned, I consider that vehicular cycling will be the mode of choice as long as our individual planning horizons extend.
    The argument is not no motoring vs. only motoring, it is all about providing choices. To spend 10% of the transportation budget for mass transit that only accommodates 10% of the mode share may sound like it may not be worthwhile doing as there is no clear advantage to mass transit. But we have conveniently left out significant other direct costs associated with motoring such as parking. Some don’t mind $150 a month parking others prefer the $64 a month MTA pass. It’s not about forcing anyone to make a choice but every mode of transportation has areas where it is more economically viable and areas where it is less economically viable.

    The City’s unwillingness to tear down the Legg Mason building to increase road capacity has nothing to do with “forcing” people to use mass transit or being anti-motoring, it is simple economics. Accommodating motoring works till it doesn’t work well and mass transit works till it doesn’t work well. Where each of these modes of travel fails is approximately where the other mode works best. It is your views that force people into one and only one travel mode, it is the so called anti-motoring crowd that is giving people choices about traveling.
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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    One view of the urban planning profession is that, for decades, it has opposed motoring development...
    This is where our perspectives may have their point of departure. I am talking about making cities livable for people and you keep referring to "motoring". Automobiles are inanimate objects. Urban planning should not be in service to the automobile. Granted there are still some cities in the US where the automobile is undoubtedly the most efficient, economical, independent means of transport and there are many cities where the automobile is far less effective and mass transit, bicycles and even walking are superior for many every day trips. If we work on accommodating people first and not advocating for any one particular means of transport except the one that makes best use of resources and helps contribute to a healthy, livable urban environment then there might be some agreement. You are the only one who keeps labeling others as "anti-motorist". Just because I happen to think that automobiles should be used responsibly and that there are times when they're use should be considered a privilege as opposed to a right does not mean I am "anti-motoring."

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    and has therefore been operating in a mode of trying to force people to do what they don't want to do.
    my guess is that most people in this country and pretty much every where in the world would prefer not to have to pay taxes, or pay tolls on the highway, or wait in line at the grocery store... reducing congestion in our cities by restricting automobile use in congested areas is not necessarily the horror you make it out to be if it serves the greater good.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    There is the other view, also, that part of the planning profession has been devoted to producing facilities that are suitable for motoring. It is pretty obvious that the latter part of the profession has succeeded while the former part of the profession has failed.
    The seemingly unlimited resources of cheap gas, oil, electricity, water and land space that existed through the middle of the 20th century shaped much of the urban planning in America up until the 1970's and beyond. Scant attention was given to air and water quality by urban planners and accommodating an industry and mode of transport that skyrocketed to popularity meant alternatives to conventional thinking were given little room to develop.

    The changes in resource availability in the last 3 decades as caused a shift in thinking that is rapidly gaining momentum. Categorizing it as "failing" seems premature at best.



    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    What will occur in the future is unknown. Some may have faith that the anti-motoring movement will prevail, but, on the basis of history and recognition of how and why the events of history occurred, I consider that, for quite a long time to come, most of our cities will be based on individual mobility.
    Unless there is a disaster which results in a sudden and unexpected drop in the human population it is inevitable that our cities will grow denser and more congested, our resources will continue to deplete, more human beings will have to live with less. Individual mobility could include means of transport other than the automobile. In fact, I don't see what's so particularly mobile about sitting in traffic in a metal box for a couple of hours a day. A bike provides far more freedom under many circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    As far as cyclists are concerned, I consider that vehicular cycling will be the mode of choice as long as our individual planning horizons extend.
    Ah, what a happy future I see... lines of cars with an occasional (very occasional) cyclist riding vehicularly along. Stopping in the lane with the motors running all around. What a vision!

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Unless there is a disaster which results in a sudden and unexpected drop in the human population it is inevitable that our cities will grow denser and more congested, our resources will continue to deplete, more human beings will have to live with less. Individual mobility could include means of transport other than the automobile. In fact, I don't see what's so particularly mobile about sitting in traffic in a metal box for a couple of hours a day. A bike provides far more freedom under many circumstances.


    Ah, what a happy future I see... lines of cars with an occasional (very occasional) cyclist riding vehicularly along. Stopping in the lane with the motors running all around. What a vision!
    I suspect that this will not be the case... the current use of the auto and petroleum based fuel cannot continue in the same unsustainable manner in which it grew in the past. As you point out, cities will become denser, the cost of gas is rising, and there is a green movement afoot... I suspect that in the future, the situation of today will give way to a situation of smaller vehicles such as "Smart Cars;" alternative fuel vehicles will arise, such as biofueled hybrids and electric cars.

    The general size of vehicles will become smaller as it is more efficient to propel less mass. Perhaps larger trucks and farm like vehicles will be mandated to park at the edge of dense cities or in special car parks near the city center. The inner city will probably be filled with scooters, Smart Cars, a few Segway devices and bicycles. People will tend to scale down due to population density and the costs of ownership of large gas powered vehicles... This is exemplified in other cities around the world.

    This probably won't happen large scale in the US for a couple of generations... maybe 50 years or more, and along the way, autonomous drive vehicles will also become common place, and perhaps a "public car" concept will arise... where a robot car can be used for a price to take you across town on those rare occasions when public transit was not wholly convenient. Just use the public car and leave it at your destination... use a different one to return.

    The system now in place is not sustainable and will fall under it's own weight... eventually.

    This is not a matter of if, but when.

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