How to fix rush hour traffic once and for all?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by senttoschool, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Doppel

    Doppel Lifer

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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.
     
  2. ElFenix

    ElFenix Super Moderator and Elite Member
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    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.


    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.
     
    #52 ElFenix, Dec 3, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    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.
     
    #53 Throckmorton, Dec 3, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  4. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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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.
     
  5. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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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.
     
  6. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    Isn't your wife in her late 20s?
     
  7. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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    Yep, and I'm 42.
     
  8. NAC

    NAC Golden Member

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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.
     
  9. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    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.
     
  10. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    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.
     
    #60 Throckmorton, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  11. Railgun

    Railgun Golden Member

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    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.
     
  12. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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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.
     
  13. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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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.
     
  14. ElFenix

    ElFenix Super Moderator and Elite Member
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    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?
     
  15. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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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...
     
  16. slag

    slag Lifer

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  17. ElFenix

    ElFenix Super Moderator and Elite Member
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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.
     
  18. Chiropteran

    Chiropteran Diamond Member

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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.
     
  19. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    Most of the US isn't rural. 80% of Americans live in urban areas.
     
  20. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    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.
     
  21. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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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.
     
  22. KentState

    KentState Diamond Member

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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=SCY9U5XXUJw&feature=g-upl
     
  23. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    No, that 80% includes the suburbs. The only thing they have in most cities is bus park & ride which gets stuck in traffic
     
  24. sandorski

    sandorski No Lifer

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    Sadly, you missed your chance at calling this a "Traffic Bubble". :(
     
  25. Imported

    Imported Lifer

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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.. :rolleyes:
     
    #75 Imported, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012