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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #2741
swaugh3
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Only the western half of the 14th Street bridge has been completely removed, and it's been like that for a few weeks now. Why can't they just remove the entire span at once?
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Old August 12th, 2008, 10:36 PM   #2742
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I think Houston has the most inefficient land usage of any large city within the United States. They create unnecessary large commuting distances, leaving the central city with extreme traffic volumes, thus huge roads. I think Houstons freeways are also the ugliest in the United States with those huge parking lots, commercial zones and frontage roads alongside them, all in concrete.

The extreme parts of the urban area are 50 miles apart. That's extremely large for a city with a population of 5.6 million inhabitants. The traffic volumes are among the highest in the US, comparable with Los Angeles, while that metropolitan area is 3 times larger than Houston.

If you look at the area between I-45, I-610, US 90 and the SH-8, there are huge undeveloped areas around it, with suburbs even further away. Why not construct those suburbs closer to the city? Saves you easily a 100.000 people who have to commute 8 miles instead of 20. If you look at commercial/industrial area's alongside I-45 heading for Galveston, you also see a fairly inefficient usage of space, having a lot of empty lots/area's within the industrial zones.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:57 PM   #2743
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A typical European truck like the Renault Magnum 440hp does 8.25MPG hauling 40t at 100km/h.

The Escalade does 12MPG at empty load, and the hybrid Escalade does 20MPG. Worse, it has a V8 engine.

It is only efficient by American standards.
I said comparable vehicles, the Renault is a semi and a small one at that. Both the Japanese and Europeans make large luxury SUVs that achieve far less mpg. One example is the Mazda CX-9. It is smaller, lighter, and has a significantly smaller engine than the Escalade but only achieves 14-17 mpg.

As for size, some people enjoy an amount of space in their vehicles. If you have a family a little space is especially nice. That is why the U.S. has gone from large station wagons, to large vans, to large SUVs. All primary used by families and all larger than their European or Japanese counterparts (in Japan and Europe). In addition the U.S. family has to drive a greater distance each year than their European or Japanese counterpart. When driving more space is nice.

And then their is the cost issue. Making a vehicle achieve 40mpg is not really necessary if gasoline is cheap. What's the point? Had Europe developed around the automobile, had gas been cheaper in Europe, and had population density been similar to that of the United States I am sure that European car development would have been similar to the development of the automobile in the United States.

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Why the hell need a commuter car to be 3 tonnes?
Keep in mind that the Escalade is an expensive luxury SUV. It is not a commuter car and it doesn't sell in high numbers.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 12:55 AM   #2744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
I think Houston has the most inefficient land usage of any large city within the United States. They create unnecessary large commuting distances, leaving the central city with extreme traffic volumes, thus huge roads. I think Houstons freeways are also the ugliest in the United States with those huge parking lots, commercial zones and frontage roads alongside them, all in concrete.

The extreme parts of the urban area are 50 miles apart. That's extremely large for a city with a population of 5.6 million inhabitants. The traffic volumes are among the highest in the US, comparable with Los Angeles, while that metropolitan area is 3 times larger than Houston.

If you look at the area between I-45, I-610, US 90 and the SH-8, there are huge undeveloped areas around it, with suburbs even further away. Why not construct those suburbs closer to the city? Saves you easily a 100.000 people who have to commute 8 miles instead of 20. If you look at commercial/industrial area's alongside I-45 heading for Galveston, you also see a fairly inefficient usage of space, having a lot of empty lots/area's within the industrial zones.
Simple answer: Because it is Texas.

Real answer: The areas that are vacant are not the most desirable areas to live. People want to be near nice stores, restaurants, and other nice homes. So why not in-fill some of these areas with large, new developments? A lot of these areas are near industrial areas, railroad tracks, and what not. And, again, it's Texas. Different mindset there.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 02:07 AM   #2745
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Those photos were more like 30 years ago, btw. Notice the lack of skyscrapers
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Old August 13th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #2746
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
They are only twice as fuel efficient as fullsize European trucks of 40 tons. Why the hell need a commuter car to be 3 tonnes?



Let's not exaggerate, In Europe, the car is also the most efficient mode of transport for nearly all trips. Only city-center to city-center is usually faster with the train. 90% of all trips in the Netherlands also does not include public transport, which is the same number as in the United States. Yes, more things are in walking distance, but nobody is gonna do groceries for three days walking. Private transport is just much more efficient, which is also why we take our bicycle so much.
Do you have figures for other European countries? It seems you always think of Europe as same as the Netherlands in terms of PT use.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 06:21 AM   #2747
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
I think Houston has the most inefficient land usage of any large city within the United States. They create unnecessary large commuting distances, leaving the central city with extreme traffic volumes, thus huge roads. I think Houstons freeways are also the ugliest in the United States with those huge parking lots, commercial zones and frontage roads alongside them, all in concrete.

The extreme parts of the urban area are 50 miles apart. That's extremely large for a city with a population of 5.6 million inhabitants. The traffic volumes are among the highest in the US, comparable with Los Angeles, while that metropolitan area is 3 times larger than Houston.

If you look at the area between I-45, I-610, US 90 and the SH-8, there are huge undeveloped areas around it, with suburbs even further away. Why not construct those suburbs closer to the city? Saves you easily a 100.000 people who have to commute 8 miles instead of 20. If you look at commercial/industrial area's alongside I-45 heading for Galveston, you also see a fairly inefficient usage of space, having a lot of empty lots/area's within the industrial zones.
Houston's like our Beijing. Beijing has what, 6 Ring Roads? Houston still has 2 to go in order to catch up.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:22 AM   #2748
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X236K View Post
What is a "Cell phone lot"?
That's where you can park to wait for people to call and tell you that they've arrived at the airport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
Well, not as bad...but somewhere along those lines yeah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
They are only twice as fuel efficient as fullsize European trucks of 40 tons. Why the hell need a commuter car to be 3 tonnes?
Americans do a lot of traveling and an above post is correct, more space is more comfort. But you have to keep in mind that Americans also do a lot of towing and hauling. You see a lot of Tahoes and Escalades, but you will also see a lot of boats or horse trailers being towed behind those cars. They are heavy because they are built on a truck platform, and only truck platforms are strong enough to tow 10,000 pounds.

Americans also look at initial price too. If you need a car to carry people and a truck to tow large trailers, you don't have to buy a Honda Accord and a Ford F-150. You could buy a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Explorer that does both jobs at the same time.

But, it's time for change. I'm just waiting for a diesel-powered Volkswagen Tiguan to show up on our shores...or Ford Mondeo, whichever one comes first.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:26 AM   #2749
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We tried the Mondeo in the 90s. It was called the Contour and it failed because it was too big for the Ford Escort drivers and too small for the Ford Taurus drivers.

Today, the Mondeo would be too big for the Ford Focus drivers and too small for the Ford Fusion and Taurus drivers.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:39 AM   #2750
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Originally Posted by AUchamps View Post
We tried the Mondeo in the 90s. It was called the Contour and it failed because it was too big for the Ford Escort drivers and too small for the Ford Taurus drivers.

Today, the Mondeo would be too big for the Ford Focus drivers and too small for the Ford Fusion and Taurus drivers.
Ford Mondeo is the same size as the Fusion. I think it would make for a great car since the Fusion is selling quite well. In a few years, the Fusion will be the odd one of the bunch as the Fiesta, Euro Focus, and new European-styled Taurus arrives. The U.S. lineup is going to mirror the European lineup within a couple years. The only difference is that we will have a sedan that slots above the Mondeo and also a few trucks.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #2751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Ford Mondeo is the same size as the Fusion. I think it would make for a great car since the Fusion is selling quite well. In a few years, the Fusion will be the odd one of the bunch as the Fiesta, Euro Focus, and new European-styled Taurus arrives. The U.S. lineup is going to mirror the European lineup within a couple years. The only difference is that we will have a sedan that slots above the Mondeo and also a few trucks.
In European terms, Mondeo is mid-class while Fusion is a small MPV. There's even a Focus between them in terms of size. So, Fusion is not the same size as Mondeo.

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Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Do you have figures for other European countries? It seems you always think of Europe as same as the Netherlands in terms of PT use.
I think all European countries are ± same, PT is quite popular BUT some 70% of families own at least one car.

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Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
But, it's time for change. I'm just waiting for a diesel-powered Volkswagen Tiguan to show up on our shores...or Ford Mondeo, whichever one comes first.
Mondeo is not being sold in US...? BTW, Tiguan 2.0 TDI is the right choice. 34 mpg.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #2752
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Your Ford Fusion:


American Ford Fusion:



http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/fusion/
^Info on our 2009 Fusion.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 08:55 PM   #2753
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I wish they'd replace the mondeo in europe with the american fusion. I had a fusion as a rental car once, and I really liked it. mondeo is so f***ing boring. fusion isn't exactly exciting either but it has that certain something, which modeo lacks.

in general fords in europe are totally boring. today I would only buy the kuga.



back to the topic though: god, I love american highways.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #2754
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Originally Posted by AUchamps View Post
Your Ford Fusion:

American Ford Fusion:

http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/fusion/
^Info on our 2009 Fusion.
Woops... I didn't know! I'm sorry!
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Old August 14th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #2755
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Woops... I didn't know! I'm sorry!
Ah I'm glad we got the Fusion defused. Haha yeah same name, different cars on either side of the pond.

I think better American highways will bring better cars. If American highways are built with quality and speed, then so will our cars. Look at Germany. One of the legacies is that their cars are built to perform with their highway, and they almost always turn out to be built for high-speed Autobahn driving. America really needs this image. Instead, our car companies are in the state of Michigan, which also has some of the worst roads in the United States.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #2756
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Originally Posted by HD View Post
I wish they'd replace the mondeo in europe with the american fusion. I had a fusion as a rental car once, and I really liked it. mondeo is so f***ing boring. fusion isn't exactly exciting either but it has that certain something, which modeo lacks.

in general fords in europe are totally boring. today I would only buy the kuga.



back to the topic though: god, I love american highways.
You don't like the new Mondeo or Fiesta?!?!??
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Old August 14th, 2008, 12:16 AM   #2757
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the new mondeo is ok. the fiesta too. would never buy one though.

having said that ... the US models aren't very exciting either ...

conclusion: ford sucks (excluding mustang and kuga)
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Old August 14th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #2758
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I saw a special on this exact thing happening about 10 years ago on NBC Dateline. Family from California was down in the Baja and got in an accident and the dad got thrown in Jail.

http://studentsafety.ucsd.edu/mexico_tips.asp

Game. Set. MATCH.
If there's an accident, and SOMEONE DIES there they arrest the driver (or the drivers if there where many cars in the accident) until they do some research and get to know who's guilty (Only around 12-72 hours)... They can't arrest you if there wasn't any death person
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Old August 14th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #2759
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
We are not so keen on Polish or Russian trucks too, because of the lack of maintenance, and a higher than average accident-involvement rate.
but we don't stop them from using our highways ...
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Old August 14th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #2760
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but we don't stop them from using our highways ...
Ofcourse not, trade should be free.

As long as their trucks meet the Dutch requirements, there's not much we can do. However, you see that they are catching up really fast with their trucks. I drove in Germany last week, and nearly all Eastern European trucks were newer than the German ones I saw.

A recurring problem is that foreign truckers often exceed their driving time, you can read stories about truckers having driven 20 hours in a row in the newspapers. I don't know what kind of legislation there is in the United States about driving times, I read trucker stories about truckers who drive like 800 miles a day, which would be unthinkable in the European Union. With our speed limits, a trucker can drive about 750 kilometers a day without major delays. That said, I have to mention most trucking destinations are usually within a 2 - 3 day range (thus a 2000 km / 1200 miles range). Distances within the US are much larger, especially in the west.
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