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Designing a City for Humans not for automobiles

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Designing a City for Humans not for automobiles

Old 10-15-08, 12:48 PM
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Designing a City for Humans not for automobiles

https://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/10/13/p....ap/index.html

"It's time we design cities for the human, not for the automobile," said Roberts, president of Connect Ithaca, a group of planning and building professionals, activists and students committed to making this upstate New York college town the first podcar community in the United States.


Unlike mass transit, podcars carry two to 10 passengers, giving travelers the freedom and privacy of their own car while reducing the use of fossil fuels, reducing traffic congestion and freeing up space now monopolized by parking.

At stations located every block or every half-mile, depending on the need, a rider enters a destination on a computerized pad, and a car would take the person nonstop to the location. Stations would have slanted pull-in bays so that some cars could stop for passengers, while others could continue unimpeded on the main course.

"It works almost like an elevator, but horizontally," said Roberts, adding podcar travel would be safer than automobile travel.
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Old 10-15-08, 02:16 PM
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These things combine the high cost and inflexibility of fixed guideway vehicles with the low occupancy of cars. I think these are a waste.
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Old 10-15-08, 02:49 PM
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I think we should revisit neighborhoods of the past. Ones that emphisize walking or cycling as the main form of transportation. Good sidewalks, garages in the alley and lots of amenities and parks close by. Here is a link to where I live. Recently nominated by American Planning Assoc. as a great neighborhood.

Boise's North End.
https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/...8/northend.htm

The rest
https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/index.htm
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Old 10-16-08, 03:38 AM
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I like the idea.

One problem of mass transit systems is that they have to run regardless of the level of occupancy. These would seem to run only when needed and not suffer from too few passengers.

Whilst cycling and walking are great (perhaps the best) transport, the idea is to convert car drivers to other ways of getting around and i think this is an attempt to offer the best of personal transport and mass transit from a car drivers perspective.
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Old 10-16-08, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Bike_UK View Post
One problem of mass transit systems is that they have to run regardless of the level of occupancy. These would seem to run only when needed and not suffer from too few passengers.
Hadn't thought of it that way, but this is appealing. But I can envision myself riding or walking to the terminal and not finding any available pods to travel in, ever. It seems as though, if this became popular, there were need to be a massive amount of pods.
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Old 10-16-08, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bikinpolitico View Post
These things combine the high cost and inflexibility of fixed guideway vehicles with the low occupancy of cars. I think these are a waste.
yeah i'd have to agree.

i could see these at disney land & resorts, but that's about it.

but at least if these become real we'll be in "the future" - or something.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:24 AM
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Kinda cool lookin'

Seems like a good idea. Maybe every family could get their own Pod, then there'll be no waiting. You get into your Pod and go where you want. Oh wait . . .
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Old 10-17-08, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cman View Post
I think we should revisit neighborhoods of the past. Ones that emphisize walking or cycling as the main form of transportation. Good sidewalks, garages in the alley and lots of amenities and parks close by. Here is a link to where I live. Recently nominated by American Planning Assoc. as a great neighborhood.

Boise's North End.
https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/...8/northend.htm

The rest
https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/index.htm
Hundreds if not thousands of small towns spread across the country. Many built prior to WW2, laid out on a grid. The one I am currently working in is prime example of what it used to be. Industry was on the ends of town, there is a central downtown area with everything one would need to live. Most of the old neighborhoods show signs of having had a corner store of some sort every few blocks, alleys and many of the houses in the very old part of town show signs of having never had garages.

Unfortunately current zoning restrictions/laws in many areas keep these types of towns from continuing to exist. We owned a small retail store in a similar town. We wanted to put an apartment in over the store, another person wanted to convert a couple of the old buildings into apartments, but the local zoning board would not allow it. Apparently in the past somebody had attempted it but had allowed the building to become little more than a flop house with all of the associated problems. Now the downtown of this place is dead after 5 when all the office people go home. Sad commentary on that particular place.

Also need to bring back passenger rail and interstate bus service for the places where rail may not be available.

We also will not be able to continue to live the hectic lifestyle that many Americans seem to participate in. It will take a total social shift from the over scheduled super parents and kids to a slowing down and taking things at a less hectic pace.

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Old 10-17-08, 07:24 PM
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You know what I want to see? I want to see the end of crap like this



I hate arterial roads. I hate how you're force to walk a half mile in one direction to safely cross, or run across the road and prey. I hate how they give you 10 seconds to walk across 6 lanes of traffic; I mean it's no big deal to me, but what if I have limited mobility?
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Old 10-18-08, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
You know what I want to see? I want to see the end of crap like this



I hate arterial roads. I hate how you're force to walk a half mile in one direction to safely cross, or run across the road and prey. I hate how they give you 10 seconds to walk across 6 lanes of traffic; I mean it's no big deal to me, but what if I have limited mobility?
Complete The Streets Streets off of a dedicated free way need to serve ALL forms of transportation.

Aaron

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Old 10-18-08, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Also need to bring back passenger rail and interstate bus service for the places where rail may not be available.
Aaron
We have interstate bus service. I agree with the rest of your statement, though.

As for the OP, Morgantown, WV, home of West Virginia University, has the PRT, so what is being planned is hardly new.
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Old 10-18-08, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
We have interstate bus service. I agree with the rest of your statement, though.

As for the OP, Morgantown, WV, home of West Virginia University, has the PRT, so what is being planned is hardly new.
A lot of the small towns (10k-15k) that I am in don't have bus service. The bus runs right by but doesn't stop. In this day and age with electronic ticketing and tracking they should be able to flag stop a bus like they do some of the Amtrak schedules. I can recall back in the early 70's when you had a couple of choices on buses, the local that took forever and stopped at every wide spot in the road with a house or the express that ran between the major cities. I used to ride the one out of Greensboro, NC to Fayetteville, NC all the time in the later 70's. The express took about 2 hours the local closer to 3.5 hours for the same trip. The express ran twice a day and made one stop IIRC the "local" made 5 or 6 stops and ran 3 times a day in addition to the express. The town we had our retail shop in has an interstate, 3 US highways, double rail mainline, population over 10k and no interstate bus service or rail. Closest stations are 25 miles away.

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Old 10-18-08, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bikinpolitico View Post
These things combine the high cost and inflexibility of fixed guideway vehicles with the low occupancy of cars. I think these are a waste.
There are several variations on this theme, I prefer Taxi2000s form, small, 3 person max, very light support structure because of the size, and because they are laid out on a grid, with self routing, there is almost none of the problem of fixed guideway inflexibility. One pole gets damaged? one unit breaks down? Others route around it affecting only the units on that small section, until maintenance crews get there. Unlike light rail. I have spent so many times waiting for someone to tell us what the problem is, never mind fixing it!

i got into this subject on the forums a while back.
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...&highlight=prt
Nobody really came up with a reason it couldn't work.
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Old 10-19-08, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Complete The Streets Streets off of a dedicated free way need to serve ALL forms of transportation.

Aaron

I like the idea of cobblestone or cement street WITHOUT the dashed line down the middle. However, I would also allow for parked cars down both sides of the street because this would slow down traffic. I would widen the sidewalks making it 20 feet to cross from one street to the other.
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Old 10-19-08, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike_UK View Post
I like the idea.

One problem of mass transit systems is that they have to run regardless of the level of occupancy. These would seem to run only when needed and not suffer from too few passengers.
I also like the concept but the idea that it would stop at every block would make it very slow. I've riden local bus lines that stopped at each block and in a crowded urban district, it would take 40 minutes to cross 5 miles. Not good at all.

The beauty of light rail is that stops are located two blocks or further away. In fact, my lightrail has stops located nearly a mile away! This enables the train line to provide faster service because it takes only 20 minutes for the train to complete the same 5 mile distance. Trust me, people will walk half a mile to the transit stop if they know the trains are running every 15 minutes since there would be no reason to have a schedule anymore.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I also like the concept but the idea that it would stop at every block would make it very slow. I've riden local bus lines that stopped at each block and in a crowded urban district, it would take 40 minutes to cross 5 miles. Not good at all.
No, they don't stop at each stop, the journeys are point to point without stops or changes, this is the beauty of the system. I've worked out it would be faster for my commute than a car, and about 4 times faster than the combination of light rail and bus that is offered as public transit. It should also have a much lower running cost.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I also like the concept but the idea that it would stop at every block would make it very slow. I've riden local bus lines that stopped at each block and in a crowded urban district, it would take 40 minutes to cross 5 miles. Not good at all.

The beauty of light rail is that stops are located two blocks or further away. In fact, my lightrail has stops located nearly a mile away! This enables the train line to provide faster service because it takes only 20 minutes for the train to complete the same 5 mile distance. Trust me, people will walk half a mile to the transit stop if they know the trains are running every 15 minutes since there would be no reason to have a schedule anymore.
Your response is a good example of why this idea ( Personal Rapid Transit ) generates so much resistance, people scan it, see something in it similar to an idea which has not worked, and dismiss it. If you actually take a few minutes to absorb properly the concept, https://www.personalrapidtransit.com/ you will understand the advantages of the system
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Old 10-19-08, 06:05 PM
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so instead of humans walking about, communicating with each other, maybe sitting side by side on a train or bus... or heaven forbid moving under their own power - they want to put in millions of $$ worth of infrastructure, computer guidance systems, raised tracks, and all these pods?

if we are designing a city for humans... make the human primary to the equation. change zoning to get more people closer to core businesses and services, and take the $$$ and operate buses every 15 min. for those that need to get further out of town. put in a tram to deal with the hills (ithaca is gorges) provide safe secure covered bike parking. keep the streets clean in the winter. keep cars to the periphery. complete the streets so folks can walk, ride, skateboard, rollerblade, scooter, whatever under their own power free from fear of getting run down.

i love ithaca. this thing will destroy the town.
cities for people, not machines.

who profits from this? who keeps it up? will it turn into the self cleaning bathrooms of nyc and san fran? who owns the pods? and who decides where the guideways go? ugh. say it aint so joe! i've got a bridge in alaska that needs building!

the town that gives us moosewood wants to put this in?
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Old 10-19-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
Your response is a good example of why this idea ( Personal Rapid Transit ) generates so much resistance, people scan it, see something in it similar to an idea which has not worked, and dismiss it. If you actually take a few minutes to absorb properly the concept, https://www.personalrapidtransit.com/ you will understand the advantages of the system
I didn't dismiss the idea. I just don't like the idea of having a stop on each city block. As the population increases, there will be people standing on each corner during rush hour. The system will become slow during the most important time of the day. I would like the system but with about 15 stops over a five mile route.
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Old 10-19-08, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I like the idea of cobblestone or cement street WITHOUT the dashed line down the middle. However, I would also allow for parked cars down both sides of the street because this would slow down traffic. I would widen the sidewalks making it 20 feet to cross from one street to the other.
This street is one of the few in this town that has never been paved. According to the local history museum (just behind me when I snapped the picture) this street was laid down around the turn of the century...1900. Prior to that it was dirt. They do allow parking on both sides of this street. This was on the run down side of town. As far as I am concerned the entire town is eminently cycle friendly, especially with the grid layout. Traffic is a bit heavy during the week on the main street, but certainly doable. However traffic is much lighter if you go one block to the north or south

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Old 10-19-08, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bmike View Post
so instead of humans walking about, communicating with each other, maybe sitting side by side on a train or bus... or heaven forbid moving under their own power - they want to put in millions of $$ worth of infrastructure, computer guidance systems, raised tracks, and all these pods?
What's the ridership of Public transit in your city? 2%? 5%? Most people don't want to use it for the very thing you celebrate, having to sit next to some random stranger. I'm not saying thats bad, but a lot of people won't do it.
Originally Posted by bmike View Post
if we are designing a city for humans... make the human primary to the equation. change zoning to get more people closer to core businesses and services, and take the $$$ and operate buses every 15 min. for those that need to get further out of town. put in a tram to deal with the hills (ithaca is gorges) provide safe secure covered bike parking. keep the streets clean in the winter. keep cars to the periphery. complete the streets so folks can walk, ride, skateboard, rollerblade, scooter, whatever under their own power free from fear of getting run down.
Go for it. How long to get it done? How can we improve it in the meantime?
Originally Posted by bmike View Post
i love ithaca. this thing will destroy the town.
cities for people, not machines.

who profits from this? who keeps it up? will it turn into the self cleaning bathrooms of nyc and san fran? who owns the pods? and who decides where the guideways go? ugh. say it aint so joe! i've got a bridge in alaska that needs building!

the town that gives us moosewood wants to put this in?
It will certainly change it, It will reduce car traffic to start with. Who pays for the transit system you have now? If like most cities, at least half is paid for by the taxpayer, PRT has the potential to be revenue neutral or even profitable.
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Old 10-19-08, 06:20 PM
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here's a counterpoint
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Old 10-19-08, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I didn't dismiss the idea. I just don't like the idea of having a stop on each city block. As the population increases, there will be people standing on each corner during rush hour. The system will become slow during the most important time of the day. I would like the system but with about 15 stops over a five mile route.
I still say you haven't understood it, please check out that link. There is a free simulator program available somehwere you can download, plot it against your city and rush hour conditions. Most people are finding with ridership figures of twice the current levels, they are seeing wait times of 2-3 minutes at peak.
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Old 10-19-08, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
What's the ridership of Public transit in your city? 2%? 5%? Most people don't want to use it for the very thing you celebrate, having to sit next to some random stranger. I'm not saying thats bad, but a lot of people won't do it.

Go for it. How long to get it done? How can we improve it in the meantime?

It will certainly change it, It will reduce car traffic to start with. Who pays for the transit system you have now? If like most cities, at least half is paid for by the taxpayer, PRT has the potential to be revenue neutral or even profitable.

umm. we are talking about designing cities for humans.... and while i concede that the title of this thread is 'designing a city for humans not for automobiles' it really is misleading - because we are not talking about designing a city for humans - we are talking about having technology save our @$$ again - how many times can we come up with some techno / industrial fix and realize we maybe should go back to simpler ideas of moving people about.... or better yet - redesign cities so people can use those functions of our bodies that have been developing and evolving over time - mobility, balance, a very efficient engine... and how long would it take to be sick of guideways, pod cars, all the adverts that would be on them... as long as it took to get sick of cars? would 'the wrong side of the tracks' get served with pod car stops? low income neighborhoods? or would these whisk the wealthy do gooders to and fro their suburban mcmansions?

so instead of getting in my car, pulling out of my drive and pulling into my garage @ work - i could do it in a pod? replace 1 form of overbearing, complicated, costly technology and infrastructure with another?

if these run on the ground (cheaper) how do peds and bikes get across / around? do they automatically stop for peds and bikes and kids and such? if they are elevated - will they guideways become eyesores? crumbling hunks of infrastructure that is to $$ to repair? what happens when one pod locks up and breaks down... podjam?
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Old 10-19-08, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
How can we improve it in the meantime?

take all the energy spent fantasizing about flying cars and put it into on the ground, in the trenches, low cost solutions. take all the $$ that someone wants to dump into a prt and spend it on improving what is already on the ground.
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