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Old 12-28-07, 09:05 AM   #1
The Human Car
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U.S. Department of Transportation Seeks Technology Solutions to Reduce Congestion

Since some here seem to think motoring has something to do with cycling I thought the following press release may be of interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highlight
“The solution to today's traffic problems does not have to be just about building new roads and infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. "By harnessing existing technology and adapting it for transportation needs, we can dramatically improve safety and reduce congestion for the traveling public.”
http://www.dot.gov/affairs/rita0107.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Elliott, MSNBC contributor
If I may, I have a solution: It’s called a train. They use them in Europe, and they seem to work pretty well. What’s that, Americans wouldn’t stand for it? Well, then how do they like standing in traffic? Because they’re going to be doing a lot more of that if they can’t break their unhealthy car habits. How to get around it: Try mass transit.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22399440/
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Old 12-28-07, 09:58 AM   #2
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The US DOT's "new" technology for reducing congestion is to travel around the congestion and create more congestion???!!!

I'm glad Chris Elliott made the train comment; alas, very few people like to take the train in the US.

Here's a good example:
Approx. costs to travel for business from NYC to Wash DC:
Car - 3.5 hrs, $30
Amtrak Acela Express Train - 3 hrs $360
Plane - 2.5 hrs (includes airport delays) - about $250

I know there is a less costly train, but it simply takes way too long to get down the corridor. And then, you can't even take bicycles on board the faster Acela Express Train in the Northeast.

2008 will bring even more road congestion, and if the DOT employs "technology" to move this congestion, cycling fatalities will increase as cyclists will now have to share the road with drivers that were directed onto their rural routes.
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Old 12-28-07, 10:03 AM   #3
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While not suitable for the DC to NYC corridor in the times you mentioned... I don't suppose bicycles as a solution for inner city congestion was thought of by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters... especially in light of her past comment regarding bike paths.
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Old 12-28-07, 10:20 AM   #4
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Drive less...

Problem solved.
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Old 12-28-07, 11:05 AM   #5
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Drive less...

Problem solved.
Oh how anti motorist of you.

Next you'll suggest something "childish," like... riding a bike.
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Old 12-28-07, 12:15 PM   #6
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Oh how anti motorist of you.

Next you'll suggest something "childish," like... riding a bike.
I could even go all "tree-hugging radical" and suggest folks actually walk.

And for the record, I'm not anti-motorist, I'm anti-wasting resources instead of getting off your over-upholstered fundament.
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Old 12-28-07, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrock View Post
I could even go all "tree-hugging radical" and suggest folks actually walk.

And for the record, I'm not anti-motorist, I'm anti-wasting resources instead of getting off your over-upholstered fundament.


Be forewarned however... some here seem to relate pro cycling with an "anti motoring" attitude.
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Old 12-28-07, 12:52 PM   #8
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I don't hate cars... I just don't have any love for the asshats in some of them.
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Old 12-28-07, 03:42 PM   #9
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I don't know what "technology" they are talking about, but if they created free, high-speed Internet access for everyone then perhaps more people could work from home. That would be a technological answer. It should be free access because otherwise we individuals are actually subsidizing our businesses by paying for the high-speed access. It should be free because it would benefit society as a whole.
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Old 12-28-07, 05:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
I don't know what "technology" they are talking about, but if they created free, high-speed Internet access for everyone then perhaps more people could work from home. That would be a technological answer. It should be free access because otherwise we individuals are actually subsidizing our businesses by paying for the high-speed access. It should be free because it would benefit society as a whole.
If you don't like how much the Internet costs now, you most certainly won't like how much it costs when it is "free".
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Old 12-28-07, 05:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
I don't know what "technology" they are talking about, but if they created free, high-speed Internet access for everyone then perhaps more people could work from home. That would be a technological answer. It should be free access because otherwise we individuals are actually subsidizing our businesses by paying for the high-speed access. It should be free because it would benefit society as a whole.
IRS rate is 50.5 cents a mile next year for driving reimbursement which I'm sure is high depending on the frugality of the driver. Readily available broadband to any location that can actually get broadband is pretty cheap compared to commuting costs unless you live really close to work.
So that wouldnt' really save anyone any money. If anyone could actually telecommute for their job I wouldn't think the cost of the connection is the issue. Computer setup, home office, distractions, over bearing boss, poor company policies, fear of not being noticed and a multitude of other reasons but in my decade of experience in HR at a pretty big telecommunications company I have never heard broadband costs to be a realistic issue.
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Old 12-29-07, 12:22 AM   #12
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HUH what the heck is that>
http://www.fbodaily.com/archive/2007...O-01471978.htm
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HMMMMM money ^^^^


Give money to people on bicycles. Instead of throwing it into the furnace.
Only 9 percent of the households don't own a car. HOLDS OUT HAND>

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Old 12-29-07, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesurf View Post

Here's a good example:
Approx. costs to travel for business from NYC to Wash DC:
Car - 3.5 hrs, $30
Amtrak Acela Express Train - 3 hrs $360
Plane - 2.5 hrs (includes airport delays) - about $250

I know there is a less costly train, but it simply takes way too long to get down the corridor. And then, you can't even take bicycles on board the faster Acela Express Train in the Northeast.

2008 will bring even more road congestion, and if the DOT employs "technology" to move this congestion, cycling fatalities will increase as cyclists will now have to share the road with drivers that were directed onto their rural routes.
I use the Acela frequently from Boston to NYC- about $200. If I want to go real cheap I can take the Greyhound bus- $25 or the the "Chinatown" buses- $20.

But your car costs are way off. Unless Oprah gave you a brand new car with an unlimited service warranty and agreed to pay all insurance costs and you always manage to park on the street and don't consider moving it from one side of the street to another as cutting into hours you could be doing other things- ie working, riding your bike, reading a book, hanging with friends then your estimates may be a bit askew.

The true cost of driving an automobile ranges from AAA's conservative estimate of 52.2 cents per mile to estimates that factor in societal and environmental costs which raise the cost to $1.19 per mile.

Even at the more conservative 52.2/mile my NYC 440 mile round trip driving commute would have an actual cost of: $229.68.

Granted some of the costs I am already incurring by owning the car whether I use it or not and so the $228. would represent the cost savings I would receive by not owning a car at all and using public transportation for the trip. But many NY'ers do not own cars and that represents a substantial number of people who use the train who actually save that full amount. But even those of us who share a car or own one for ourselves the costs are much higher than your $30 estimate for such a commute.

Another reason that public transit is preferred by some of us (esp. in the Northeast Corridor, where rail transit has some popularity) is that we can get 3.5 hours of work done on the train. Factor in the money "earned" in that time and you have substantially reduced the cost. The Acela trains, in particular, are filled with commuters having meetings, working on their computers, talking on cell phones and doing things one cannot do (or shouldn't do) while driving- which is wasted time.
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Old 01-07-08, 08:20 AM   #14
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It's actually quite easy to solve the congestion problem, but most local governments don't have the stomach to follow through on it.

Want the answer? Impound and auction off any car that's being driven by a driver with a suspended license and/or no insurance. I've seen estimates as high as 20% of the cars on the road are being driven by people with suspended licenses.

Most traffic "experts" estimate that just a 20% reduction in cars on the road will change gridlocked bumper to bumper traffic into 60mph autobahns.

Of course there's the argument that this will disproportionally affect the poor. No, it will only affect the poor that decided to break the law and drive without a license. Being poor isn't an excuse to flaunt the law. Hell, I would even back a plan to give them a bus pass free of charge if they are below a certain income level.

If you do that, I could see a rising demand for better bus/train service. Seems like a win/win situation to me.
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Old 01-07-08, 10:04 AM   #15
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This is part of the self-supporting cycle of the automobile. We seriously need to make an impression on judges and society as a whole that you can get around just fine by bikes and mass transit. Without some sort of general awareness that there are functional alternate transportation available there is way too much tolerance for heinous crimes committed by people driving but what do you expect the judge to do deprive them of mobility? It's almost as if depriving a person the right to drive is a more sever sentence then 10 years in jail.
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