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Old January 21st, 2012, 08:08 PM   #41
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Quote:
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and therefore the solution would be instead of going to the station jumping the train and coming to Rotterdam just to find yourself waiting for a tram as follwoing:

jumping in your car (whatever it means) that would log into the grid, the system would find the fastest way to the nearest high speed corridor from your side of country to Rotterdam, slowly snawballing other units, there your train would join all other units going same way, warp 9 engaged, splitting in Rotterdam and docking yourself by your office parking slot.

And this is the future, directing our systems to anything else is throwing money away. Possibly current rail and motorways corridors might be converted in the future if we are lucky.
There is all the talk about Personal Rapit Transit, of which, so far, the most notable system is that in use at Heathrow: self-driven vehicles that, in the future, could be coupled together and un-coupled automatically. That is like the grail of transportation: it would bring traffic fatalities to 3-4 times the level of air transport only, be adjustable, and rely on massive automation instead of massive unionized manpower.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 08:21 PM   #42
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PRT will probably never go beyond a few trial networks.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 08:22 PM   #43
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and Masdar City...

But those designs are not thinking about the full potential. Really working system would have to be working on track (high speed long distance, coupled), off track (low speed, coupled and uncoupled). In grid (automated drive) and off grid (semi or manual drive), and private and public compatible.

The transition would be complicated, because you cant shut off the current traffic overnight, and therefore we need to think about this system already now with design of current infrastructure.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 08:24 PM   #44
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PRT will probably never go beyond a few trial networks.
Maybe not with the current setup (battery-powered vehicles travelling on low (up to 60km/h) speeds). But the concept itself is relevant, especially the part of making PRT vehicles easily and automatically attached/coupled to each other when needed. But I know some people oppose the whole idea merely because it would take the 'public' part of 'transit' out of the equation.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 08:29 PM   #45
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Some sort of road vehicles that run automatically following some immaterial guide (magnets, paint strips, radio control) are already on trial, but they are not PRT. They are a more realistic option, who knows?
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Old January 21st, 2012, 08:36 PM   #46
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yes they are trying this out in Masdar city...

I dont think it would take much of the public part of the equation. And it is not only one technology that would be used. It really would need to be done conceptually as a system. Which on the opposite would reduce much the "private" part of the equation. The grid would force you to take certain paths, you wouldnt drive yourself your own car (unit) at certain parts but the grid would etc...

On the other side, it would have to be provided on the public bases as well as private. Thus you could use the unit parked in your garrage as well you could use the unit parked in front of the city hall. (better said, you could call an unocupied public unit anywhere within the grid reach to come to you).

grid (the intelligent system controlling this network)
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 02:56 PM   #47
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What about roadrailing ? (I don't mean it for leisure travels, like for instance in France people traveling Southwards with their car in a train, but for everyday uses)

Could it be efficient, for instance, to take massively everyday commuters from some village 100km to the city center, so they can drive the last few kilometers to their workplaces with car-parks afterwards ?
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 04:06 PM   #48
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With current infrastructure? That would be a joke. You face several problems.

a) trains would still run on schedulle and not on come - served bases.
b) modal change would take more time then the whole trip.

They were doing for several years this in the summer hollidays in CZ. You could come with your car to the railway station, board the train with your car and spend the time in a sleeping carriage. Next morning you would wake up somewhere in Croatia. It was more expensive and slower then driving anyway.


You need instant modal change for this system to work. That means, that you need to "board" or form the train from individiual units in less then few minutes from the time you joined the high speed corridor. Otherwise the system wouldnt work. It would be faster to travel individually then for shorter distances , say 100 - 200 kms, depending on the speed of the corridor.

I see this achiavable only if the individual units are able to form the train by merging themselves into trains or mounting some platforms that are able to merge themselves. Further, the merging would have to be possible to acomplish while moving.The merging would also be important for the city traffic and low speed traffic, because it would significantly increase the capacity and decrease travel times on short distnce.


Further on you would have to assure that the train of merged units would have to have good aerodynamics characteristics and safety standards.It would also have to still be flexible connection in order to make turns.

You face problems with the energy sources, could such a train (whether it would use roads or rails is another question) be powered by external electricity? Would it have to be powered from its own energy source? Another poin is synchronisation of the engines of such a train made of different individual units.


=> here is clearly visible that such a system would indeed take much of the private characteristics of a car as we know it away... e.g. design, power output, sizes, etc etc.


Maybe system where individual units would not have to be physically connected could work as well, just limiting distances between vehicles, but I guess it would be much more prone to accidents.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:56 PM   #49
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What cities can do to improve the situation is build massive underground parking facilities that unclog the problems caused by drivers seeking a on-street parking spot. This is the major source of congestion in busy areas in many cities: drivers screening the curbside for a spot.
In Toulouse they did that in the 1980s and 1990s. The then mayor, Dominique Baudis, opposed full pedestrianization of the Medieval city center. He always allowed the car to keep driving in the city center (some streets were semi-pedestrinized, but none was fully pedestrianized), and he built lots of underground parking facilities throughout the city center, which makes parking in Toulouse very easy (if you're ready to pay for a parking space). At the same time, he built a métro to service the city center and the inner suburbs, which was opposed by pretty much everybody at the time: they said the city wasn't large and rich enough to afford a métro, so they should build tramway lines instead, but he remained inflexible and the métro was built.

Now that he's left office, Toulouse's transportation is going downhill. They've stopped building métro lines and instead have chosen the easy and fashionable solution of tramway lines for future development of the transportation sytem, which is the new norm in France (I call that "tramwayitis"). At the same time, they have decided to make driving in the city center more and more difficult. They have fully pedestrianized the largest street in the city center (), they plan to fully pedestrianize more streets, and some people even talk of closing the underground parking facilities built in the 1980s and 1990s.

It's so annoying that brainless city leaders follow fashion without even thinking.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #50
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That public transport is dirty and full of unsavoury people is just in the imagination of the public transport-shy. Plently of people do use public transport for weekend trips save for certain.
I do find this the most irritating argument against PT. Some people will invent the most ogre-like person you could ever meet as a reason to not give up their car, despite their journey being wholly more appropriate using PT. That using cars effectively in a city centre requires massive underground car parks surely makes them wholly inappropriate. There will always be journeys where the start point requires a car, but within the town centre they just cannot fit with the same density as people. I propose car parks near the centre, but on a circular tram route, to cover the last mile in the centre. Much less digging and better transport for users of PT too.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 12:04 PM   #51
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I think the best way of getting an appropriate transport solution for a major town or city involves looking sequentially at the potential of different modes of transport at meeting likely travel patterns. This can't start however until there is an agreed vision about how future development is managed to change the fabric of a town and its centre. Ideally planning future development needs to involve looking at higher densities and greater diversity, espcially in examining the potential to mix uses and activities in centres and in places where there are transport hubs or potential for transport hubs.

Once a stratgy is in place. Sequential planning for transport can take place by:

1) Assessing the potential for local trips to be made by walking and cycling;
2) Assessing the potential for public transport for meeting travel needs both locally and stratgically;
3) Catering for a residual demand that will remain for private travel.

And for all - building in some redundancy to provide some flexibility to unforseen changes.

To me this would be dramatically different than just seeking to restrict car use for just the sake of it, and pretending to be sustainable with a disjointed and fragmented network of pedestrian, cyclist and public transport infrastructure (which many authorities seem to do for political and ideological reasons rather than tackle genuine transport issues) - it just doesn't work. Most 'sustainable transport' projects, in the UK at least are just a hidden agenda to restrict car use, with a poor offer for alternative transport. No wonder then that pedestrians and cyclists are irrtated by increased congestion and poor infrastructure, whilst people that have to drive (this will always be the case) are equally irritated by engineering obstacles, bus lanes, cycle lanes etc which in the end just makes cities less accessible and unsafe for everyone, and plain ugly also. There needs to be proper planning, integration and co-ordination, with all modes considered and without a prejudice against or towards and particular mode on some sort of political or ideological whim.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #52
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Now that he's left office, Toulouse's transportation is going downhill. They've stopped building métro lines and instead have chosen the easy and fashionable solution of tramway lines for future development of the transportation sytem, which is the new norm in France (I call that "tramwayitis"). At the same time, they have decided to make driving in the city center more and more difficult. They have fully pedestrianized the largest street in the city center (), they plan to fully pedestrianize more streets, and some people even talk of closing the underground parking facilities built in the 1980s and 1990s.

It's so annoying that brainless city leaders follow fashion without even thinking.
If they are doing that nearly everywhere in the world it's because most citizens like it.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:57 PM   #53
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I'm not sure most citizens like it. Maybe the citizens that live in such zones do.

Although not always, which you could see a couple of years ago in Warsaw & which I hear everyday in Paris ...

I agree with brisavoine about the stupidity of creating tramways. First, because it transports less people than the métro, second because it takes too much room from the cars & creates unnecessary additional accidents, & 3rd because as it takes space from cars, it creates more congestion, so it is less ecologically-effective than the métro.

Moreover, in Paris, the métro was made ... simly to bury tramway lines, to avoid the noise pollution & diminish accidents ! & now Delanoë is bringing back what our ancestors buried ... , diminishing parking spaces (= creating more traffic jams - the worst ever not only within Paris, but also in the whole Île-de-France region) & demagogically calling it écologie. WTF ???? Where is the ecology when 1/3 of drivers spend their time looking for a parking place ???

Aha, one more thing. I'm still not sure which region brisavoine is from. But in the Paris region, they make P+R near railway (RER, Transilien) stations PAYING !!! Until a few years ago, they were all free. So more people take their cars to go to their work... Bravo, bravissimo ! "Ecology", you'd still say ?

P.S.: In Warsaw, they made P+R free, but only for people taking public transportation ! Otherwise AFAIK, you pay 100 PLN ...
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"Richtgeschwindigkeit" should be the default system in all EU motorways & expressways & lane indiscipline should be harshly fought! Down with radars on motorways!

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Old January 25th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #54
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I am not sure if it everywhere the same, but the princip of P+R is that you park your car, pay the fee, but for that fee you get free acces to the public transport as well.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #55
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[...] second because it takes too much room from the cars & creates unnecessary additional accidents, & 3rd because as it takes space from cars, it creates more congestion, so it is less ecologically-effective than the métro.
That's why around 20 French cities reintroduced tramways, and always got much more new passengers that planned (and more than the previous bus-only network).
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Old January 26th, 2012, 01:21 PM   #56
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Fixed lines like trams and metros etc are great because they are obvious in where they are, and where they go and stop; their line network is usually clear to understand. They also form an upper level of the public transport hierarchy.

Buses on the other hand, have a maze of complicated and often circuitous routes, stop very frequently (they need to though - that's what they're for) and for the casual traveller aren't attractive to those unfamiliar with routes and timetables.

I'd say that cities with mass transit above buses will have more people leaving their cars at home.

On the subject of P+R. These are good, i've used them, but they are usually function as a car park on the edge of a city. If they are plugged into a mass transit it will certainly provide access to the city centre, and maybe there's a small chance it will provide access to other parts of a city outside a city centre where people will work etc. P+R by bus on the other had often tends to be restricted to providing a direct connection with the city centre only. Hence a journey to an office in a suburban centre may be easier by car than by having "the knowledge" of an area's complicated (and slow!) bus route network.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #57
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This graph by Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch highway and waterworks authority) shows what impact a road widening has on traffic congestion.



The left scale are the number of minutes there was 1 kilometer of traffic jam * 1000. So, the number of kilometerminutes on A2 Zaltbommel - Maas dropped from 250.000 kmmin in 2009 to about 20.000 kmmin in 2010, just by adding one lane each way.

The Den Bosch - Eindhoven section saw a surge in traffic congestion, because it's the only section between Amsterdam and Eindhoven that hasn't been widened yet (works began a few weeks ago here).
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:55 PM   #58
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Do they have such a graph for the A2 widening Amsterdam-Utrecht?
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Old January 26th, 2012, 09:56 PM   #59
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@ChrisZwolle - This graphic tends to prove the Dutch model is the one France should follow. I'm very curious about the statistics for Germany, which has also made a lot of road widenings (among which the A2).

@Surel - It depends where. I don't know how it works in the UK or in CZ. But in Warsaw, there's no parking fee if you've got a valid transportation ticket (unless your car stays overnight) and in the Île-de-Frence region, not only you pay the fee for the car-park but you also pay the fee for the train or the RER

@Coccodrillo - I'm not sure I understood what you meant ...
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