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Old 12-03-2012, 04:22 PM   #51
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Bad for economy.

The way to deal with it is automated cars that can drive themselves. It will allow congestion to evaporate. Cars will be able to tail gate safely at high speed, reducing fuel consumption, increasing safety, increasing capacity, etc.

Self-driving cars will be the biggest technological boom of the next 20 years.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:35 PM   #52
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The only real solution is rail. You can move many more people more easily than highways, and without being slowed down by other traffic. Right now I use Houston's park & ride bus system, and it sucks because the bus gets stuck in traffic even on the HOV lane.
i rode the park and rides to work for a while. most convenient TC to me is northwest. but service to NWTC stopped 7:30 am (which is crazy), so i was going downtown and then riding 6 miles back out west to the galleria.


riding out (at about 5:30) i would often note a semi going by as i was waiting at NWTC and seeing when the bus would pass it in the HOV. there were very few times it would have been faster to drive myself in the main lanes. though that's on the katy which has a very nice HOV setup.

metro was supposed to have an app that would tell you where the buses are, but it was promised nearly a year ago and still not available. *

sucks that metro completely bent themselves over on light rail last election. didn't even try to fight for it. i bet a lot of people really did think they were supporting metro by voting yes.


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Originally Posted by EagleKeeper View Post
Rail is very very expensive and only works on high concentrated point to point areas. People are not going to walk more that 3-4 blocks. You have to also have a feeder system from the rail as well as a feeder system into the rail. Auto parking and bus frequency need support to get people out of the car.

Land is expensive; unless you have the right of way already.
yes because highway take up so little space.

meanwhile, even in such a non-rail town as houston what we do have gets very high ridership.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #53
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Mass transit doesn't work except for extremely population dense areas.

The US is 176th in population density (out of 242 nations). The top 100 nations are between 3 and a number so high that it's meaningless more dense than the US.

It works in your NYCs, etc. It doesn't work in your metropolitan areas with 60+ miles of sprawl that feed the jobs in that city.
Highways don't work for metropolitan areas with 60+ miles of sprawl. Sitting in traffic for 2 hours is an extreme fail. This is exactly where we need rail. Park and ride is simple and it works, it just needs to be trains rather than lame buses.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:22 PM   #54
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Damn, I'm glad I'm retired and live in the country, I don't have to put up with that shit anymore.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:44 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Throckmorton View Post
Highways don't work for metropolitan areas with 60+ miles of sprawl. Sitting in traffic for 2 hours is an extreme fail. This is exactly where we need rail. Park and ride is simple and it works, it just needs to be trains rather than lame buses.
Trains don't work in that situation either, though.

Subways are effective for getting around a city with pretty good efficiency. But commuter trains are just way too ineffective. They tried one in Nashville and I don't even know if it's still operating. It was too expensive and you had to get up at least as early as you would to drive.

If it can't give you a faster, more direct route into the city, no one will want to take it. In addition, if the city is of a decent size and your feet are the only transit once you get into it, it's going to be even more unappealing.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:03 AM   #56
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Damn, I'm glad I'm retired and live in the country, I don't have to put up with that shit anymore.
Isn't your wife in her late 20s?
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:35 AM   #57
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Isn't your wife in her late 20s?
Yep, and I'm 42.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Throckmorton View Post
Highways don't work for metropolitan areas with 60+ miles of sprawl. Sitting in traffic for 2 hours is an extreme fail. This is exactly where we need rail. Park and ride is simple and it works, it just needs to be trains rather than lame buses.

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Trains don't work in that situation either, though.
I think you are both correct neither trains nor highways can fix the problem of suburban sprawl and traffic congestion. I think the problem is sprawl itself which causes traffic congestion. We need to spend more on infrastructure, but IMO we simply don't have the space to pave enough highways to fix the traffic problem in many areas.

Work from home more, work off hours, move closer to your job, or move and change jobs to a (perhaps temporarily) less congested area. Those are the only real cures that I know of, and we are seeing more of the first two every year but I don't know if it will ever really fix the problem.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #59
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Trains don't work in that situation either, though.

Subways are effective for getting around a city with pretty good efficiency. But commuter trains are just way too ineffective. They tried one in Nashville and I don't even know if it's still operating. It was too expensive and you had to get up at least as early as you would to drive.

If it can't give you a faster, more direct route into the city, no one will want to take it. In addition, if the city is of a decent size and your feet are the only transit once you get into it, it's going to be even more unappealing.
Commuter trains work fine in the rest of the world. And no they aren't more dense. America is only spread out if you include rural and wilderness areas, which are irrelevant when you're talking about commuter rail in metro areas.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:00 AM   #60
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Quote:
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I think you are both correct – neither trains nor highways can fix the problem of suburban sprawl and traffic congestion. I think the problem is sprawl itself – which causes traffic congestion. We need to spend more on infrastructure, but IMO we simply don't have the space to pave enough highways to fix the traffic problem in many areas.

Work from home more, work off hours, move closer to your job, or move and change jobs to a (perhaps temporarily) less congested area. Those are the only real cures that I know of, and we are seeing more of the first two every year – but I don't know if it will ever really fix the problem.
The population of Houston that lives inside the 610 loop is only 500,000... hence all the commuters coming into the city from the suburbs. There is not enough room for everybody to live close to work.

New York has extremely high density because of all the people living in the city, but look how high rent is.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #61
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but IMO we simply don't have the space to pave enough highways to fix the traffic problem in many areas.

.
Sure we do. You're thinking 2-dimensionally (relatively speaking).

Go up. Look at Seattle. They have a two tier highway. No reason we can't do the same elsewhere. You effectively double your roads without using more area horizontally.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #62
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It works in a city like London where you have a reliable, clean, and safe public transit system that services a wide area. In North American cities that lack such a system, it doesn't. People will just pay the fee and it becomes a cash cow, since there's no reliable alternative to driving.

They've been tossing the idea around in Toronto for years but the transit system is such a disgrace. It's expensive and doesn't go where commuters need it, so congestion fees wouldn't make a dent in traffic.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:16 PM   #63
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It works in a city like London where you have a reliable, clean, and safe public transit system that services a wide area. In North American cities that lack such a system, it doesn't. People will just pay the fee and it becomes a cash cow, since there's no reliable alternative to driving.

They've been tossing the idea around in Toronto for years but the transit system is such a disgrace. It's expensive and doesn't go where commuters need it, so congestion fees wouldn't make a dent in traffic.
London also has a rather hefty congestion charge.

Does London Public Transit pay for itself?

Most of the time, public transit seems to be a money sink.

Some of our big cities have extensive public transit systems, like the Philadelphia area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEPTA

They tend to lose money, though. And the workers tend to go on strike.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #64
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London also has a rather hefty congestion charge.

Does London Public Transit pay for itself?

Most of the time, public transit seems to be a money sink.

Some of our big cities have extensive public transit systems, like the Philadelphia area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEPTA

They tend to lose money, though. And the workers tend to go on strike.
the goal of public transit (and infrastructure projects generally) shouldn't be to make money. making money is a nice bonus, but the real question is if it has net beneficial gains to society as a whole. is a half a billion dollar transit investment worthwhile if it saves 100,000 people 15 minutes a day?
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #65
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No, that wouldn't be worth the debt, nor would it buy much, imo. But most of the US is rural, and there's no need or want of any such transit systems.

We are already broke...a break-even expensive light rail or other transit system would be nice if one is going to be shoved in as we are bent over...
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:14 PM   #66
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http://www.autolust.com/how-to-fix-r...rging-drivers/

Are you guys in favor of adding a fee to driving on the high way during rush hours?
I already pay a daily fee to drive on the highway. I drive on the Kansas Turnpike and pay about a buck each way every day to drive on the turnpike.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #67
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No, that wouldn't be worth the debt, nor would it buy much, imo. But most of the US is rural, and there's no need or want of any such transit systems.

We are already broke...a break-even expensive light rail or other transit system would be nice if one is going to be shoved in as we are bent over...
if it saves a million people 15 minutes a day? same price.


and US rural population is 16% so no, most of the US is not rural when you're talking about moving people from place to place.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #68
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They are actually implementing some variation of this idea in the Northern Virginia area.

https://www.495expresslanes.com/#

I can't really comment on it because I am not an intended customer. I live in Arlington because that is where I work, so I never need to go outside the beltway.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #69
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No, that wouldn't be worth the debt, nor would it buy much, imo. But most of the US is rural, and there's no need or want of any such transit systems.

We are already broke...a break-even expensive light rail or other transit system would be nice if one is going to be shoved in as we are bent over...
Most of the US isn't rural. 80% of Americans live in urban areas.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #70
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if it saves a million people 15 minutes a day? same price.


and US rural population is 16% so no, most of the US is not rural when you're talking about moving people from place to place.
I probably should have said rural or suburban. That is, spread out.

Which big city doesn't already have mass transit though?

NY and Philly have extensive systems and they remain slam full of traffic.

The cost isn't fixed, so your question really can't be answered. Whenever the gov't estimates a cost, it's always way lower than the actual bill.

Raleigh wants to spend $75M on just one train station, iirc...and they are re-using a building...and it isn't really even part of the light rail system they really want.

Raleigh has extensive bus service.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #71
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Most of the US isn't rural. 80% of Americans live in urban areas.
Yes, I didn't use the correct term.

They already have mass transit available to them as far as I can tell.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #72
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I know in the Atlanta area, MARTA has a certain reputation and a lot of people just refuse to take it. I take it daily and it really takes a lot of stress out of my life even though it doesn't save much time overall.

This is an example of what i see everyday. It's not due to stupidity, but too many people on the roads going to the same place. Lasts from 6:30am to 10:00am and then 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Staggered start times will have very little impact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCY9U...&feature=g-upl
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:28 PM   #73
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Yes, I didn't use the correct term.

They already have mass transit available to them as far as I can tell.
No, that 80% includes the suburbs. The only thing they have in most cities is bus park & ride which gets stuck in traffic
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #74
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Sadly, you missed your chance at calling this a "Traffic Bubble".
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #75
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I'd take mass transit if I could get from home to work (San Jose to Palo Alto) in under 30 minutes. Right now, it takes about an hour on Caltrain and costs $7/per person each way. The GF and I carpool and it takes about 45 minutes and $2 in gas each way.

Love that the first section of the high speed rail project in CA is going from Merced to Fresno..
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