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Old December 21st, 2007, 07:17 PM   #1361
Paddington
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I-5 between San Fransisco and LA is totally empty, at least when I drove that route 7 years ago with family.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 07:51 PM   #1362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Oh yeah? Since when is public transportation more efficient than cars?
Um...since forever. Transit has the capability to move many more people per hour than do cars & freeways. Take the 401 in Toronto for example. This is one of the busiest freeways in the world, yet still moves only 500,000 cars per day (and this is with huge traffic jams). Just the YUS subway, which is of a shorter length and doesn't run 24 hours carries more than that.


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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Yeah, but that's not affordable for any mid-size to large city, only for really large cities like the ones you mentioned.
What do we define as mid-sized to large? I'd say around 1-5,000,000 inhabitants or so? If so, just look no further than cities like Stockholm, Munich, Busan, Berlin, Copenhagen, Montreal, etc. All with extensive and well-used metros.

As long as the city is dense enough with a well designed transit system, it can move most people regardless of population.


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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
And even those cities like New York and Paris still have huge amounts of cars on their roads. It is an utopia to think public transportation can even meet the majority of transport demands, especially in the non-multi-million-cities.
Well of course they are going to have lots of cars on the road. But the fact remains the majority of people in these cities use transit. You simply could not fit an extra 5 million cars in city like New York (going back to my point on efficiency - is it impossible to move such massive numbers of cars, while transit is fully capable).
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Old December 21st, 2007, 07:56 PM   #1363
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A Super his speed train lines across north America
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Old December 21st, 2007, 08:34 PM   #1364
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I've always liked that the LA/Orange County freeways don't try to apologize for being freeways. With the towering interchanges and large number of lanes, they don't try to hide what they are all about - driving. You won't find any 'parkways' with only 2 lanes in each direction and extremely wide grassy medians. These roads in LA are freeways and are proud of it. Does that make sense?
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Old December 21st, 2007, 08:51 PM   #1365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin View Post
Um...since forever. Transit has the capability to move many more people per hour than do cars & freeways. Take the 401 in Toronto for example. This is one of the busiest freeways in the world, yet still moves only 500,000 cars per day (and this is with huge traffic jams). Just the YUS subway, which is of a shorter length and doesn't run 24 hours carries more than that.




What do we define as mid-sized to large? I'd say around 1-5,000,000 inhabitants or so? If so, just look no further than cities like Stockholm, Munich, Busan, Berlin, Copenhagen, Montreal, etc. All with extensive and well-used metros.

As long as the city is dense enough with a well designed transit system, it can move most people regardless of population.




Well of course they are going to have lots of cars on the road. But the fact remains the majority of people in these cities use transit. You simply could not fit an extra 5 million cars in city like New York (going back to my point on efficiency - is it impossible to move such massive numbers of cars, while transit is fully capable).
Again, a lot of countries have only a few very large cities. That is when public transportation can be efficient, but not so much for any 100.000 - 500.000 cities and their commuter area's. And efficiency is not always about capacity, but what about driving time? The car is often faster even with traffic jams. Public transportation do not start at your door, and doesn't bring you to your work exactly, you often need extra transportation, which adds up to the time.

I do agree PT is efficient in multi-million agglomerations, but the number of such large cities is only small compared to the numerous 75.000 - 500.000 population centers. You don't build a metro-network in a city with 150.000 inhabitants, that's not affordable for these cities. Even if you build one line, it is only efficient to a part of the city, since you can't serve an entire population with one line.

So my point is, except in the very large cities (million or more), public transportation can never outrun a car on typical suburb-to-job drives.
PT is fast from city center to city center, but the demand for such links is lower than the massive urban-job commute.

A fast rail-link in the United States is more an alternative to flying, and maybe some long car-trips, but not for the average commute. Therefore, there shouldn't be a comparison between freeways and highspeed rail, but between airplanes and highspeed rail.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:55 PM   #1366
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Not really
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Old December 21st, 2007, 10:35 PM   #1367
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A couple from around Chicago.....































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Old December 21st, 2007, 11:33 PM   #1368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin View Post
Um...since forever. Transit has the capability to move many more people per hour than do cars & freeways. Take the 401 in Toronto for example. This is one of the busiest freeways in the world, yet still moves only 500,000 cars per day (and this is with huge traffic jams). Just the YUS subway, which is of a shorter length and doesn't run 24 hours carries more than that.




What do we define as mid-sized to large? I'd say around 1-5,000,000 inhabitants or so? If so, just look no further than cities like Stockholm, Munich, Busan, Berlin, Copenhagen, Montreal, etc. All with extensive and well-used metros.

As long as the city is dense enough with a well designed transit system, it can move most people regardless of population.




Well of course they are going to have lots of cars on the road. But the fact remains the majority of people in these cities use transit. You simply could not fit an extra 5 million cars in city like New York (going back to my point on efficiency - is it impossible to move such massive numbers of cars, while transit is fully capable).
Too bad none of that will solve logistics relating to "just in time" transport. Semis will always be needed and vital to our continents. You can't expect to build a Distribution Center and only have it by a railline, or only by a port. You need a distribution center that's every bit as massive as what Target, Wal-Mart, or the US Military has at certain Army, Naval, and Air Force Bases.

Public Transit does nothing to solve the issue with goods, transport, and highly efficient "just in time" logistics. In a perfect world, all goods would be RFID tracked and transported in the absolute most direct manner. It just seems like so many on here don't want to see the importance of land based goods transport via 18 wheelers.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 12:39 AM   #1369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Again, a lot of countries have only a few very large cities. That is when public transportation can be efficient, but not so much for any 100.000 - 500.000 cities and their commuter area's.
As I said earlier, as long as a city is sufficiently dense and of a certain size with a well planned and organized transit network, that network will be able to sustain itself. Or, not be cost prohibitive for small municipalities, in other words.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
And efficiency is not always about capacity, but what about driving time? The car is often faster even with traffic jams.
I'd say there are 4 parts to efficiency in this context - capacity, time, energy use, and cost.

Capacity: I think its been established that PT can always carry a far greater number of people than can cars.

Time: In congested larger, denser cities, transit will be faster, but of course, in smaller, sprawlier centres the car will likely take less time.

Energy: As long as there is a sufficient use of the system, it will use less energy per person that cars.

Cost: In many cases, transit systems are able to create a profit. Freeways are generally free to use and thus are wholly supported by tax payers. And of course, driving is much more expensive for the individual with gas costs, insurance, repairs, and the car itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
A fast rail-link in the United States is more an alternative to flying, and maybe some long car-trips, but not for the average commute. Therefore, there shouldn't be a comparison between freeways and highspeed rail, but between airplanes and highspeed rail.
Can't say I recall even mentioning HSR, let alone it competing directly with the automobile.


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Originally Posted by AUchamps View Post
Too bad none of that will solve logistics relating to "just in time" transport. Semis will always be needed and vital to our continents.
Well, yeah, uh, I wasn't exactally recommending that we ship our goods via subways.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:46 AM   #1370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Really? CA DOT gives only 35.000 - 40.000 AADT for the section Barstow - Nevada (this is what i think you can call through traffic between LA and LV)

40.000 is nothing, even on 2x2 lanes.

It might be a lot more busy ofcourse on holidays, but when you only travel a certain road on holidays, it doesn't give a good view of what the traffic is on average.
You should try driving that Friday nights and Sundays. It is terrible. A HSR line there would be a great investment, and it is being studied between Vegas and Anaheim.

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Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
I-5 between San Fransisco and LA is totally empty, at least when I drove that route 7 years ago with family.
Well it's not that way today.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 12:51 PM   #1371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin View Post
As I said earlier, as long as a city is sufficiently dense and of a certain size with a well planned and organized transit network, that network will be able to sustain itself. Or, not be cost prohibitive for small municipalities, in other words.
But that's just the point: efficient PT demands a higher density. In that way, even a city with a few million people could be bad connected with PT, if it has a very low density. But does that really matter, if people are happy and commuters have acceptable travel times? Someone mentioned some european cities. The reason why those are relative well connected with PT is that, especiallly city centers, are very old, which represent in a high density. Keeping it accesible for cars is hard, but not impossible.

You build a city on the way people want to live, not on the way they want to be transported there. That's just accessory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin
I'd say there are 4 parts to efficiency in this context - capacity, time, energy use, and cost.
For the daily commuter only the costs and (especially) time really matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin
Capacity: I think its been established that PT can always carry a far greater number of people than can cars.
A freeway can carry the same amount of people as a railway, if it's wide enough. What you mean is you problably need less space to carry the same amount of people. But even that is certainly not always true. Not every PT-line carries every 2 minutes some hundreds of people underneath a city centre. PT is always concentrating to places, so that means the majority of the line is underused. Besides from that, you need a lot of space to provide stations and railways to 'park' trains, on which you can't carry pessengers. So the space-effenciency of PT is questionable...

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin
Time: In congested larger, denser cities, transit will be faster, but of course, in smaller, sprawlier centres the car will likely take less time.
In a way, that sounds like a demand that traffic should be stuck to make PT efficient. You're ignoring the consequences of the congestion problem. You'll never get problems solved with that attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin
Energy: As long as there is a sufficient use of the system, it will use less energy per person that cars.
Trains also need a lot of electricity, or even diesel, as well as buses. I'm sure PT will use less energy per person, but does that really improve things? For the commuter it is, except for some extreme environmentalistics, not an important issue. Besides from that: some countries (especially in europe) are very dependant from car drivers, because a big part of the state's income comes from them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyronin
Cost: In many cases, transit systems are able to create a profit. Freeways are generally free to use and thus are wholly supported by tax payers. And of course, driving is much more expensive for the individual with gas costs, insurance, repairs, and the car itself.
And PT lines are not supported by tax payers, you'd say? Driving may be more expensive, but if the driver gets back a (much) shorter travel time, it compensates for most of the people more than enough.

Don't get me wrong. Imo there still should be invested in PT. Only not for solving congestion problems, but for solving problems in PT itself.

Last edited by Jeroen669; December 22nd, 2007 at 12:56 PM.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:58 PM   #1372
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Originally Posted by Jeroen669 View Post
For the daily commuter only the costs and (especially) time really matter.
And so the average commuter should not at all care about the environment? And regarding capacity, they wouldn't care about overly-congested roads or packed trains?


Quote:
A freeway can carry the same amount of people as a railway, if it's wide enough. What you mean is you problably need less space to carry the same amount of people. But even that is certainly not always true.
Correct, you do need less space. Much, much less space, mind you. As I mentioned earlier, the 401 freeway in Toronto is one of the world's busiest with 500,000 cars being carried every day. For most of its width, however, it is 18 lanes (huge).

Compare this to the JR Yamanote line in Tokyo, which carries 3,550,000 people/day. For the 401 to carry this many people, it would need over 120 lanes.

The Yamanote is mostly at grade so it does take up some space (no more than a minor road though), but theoretically, it could be entirely underground and take up no space at all. For a 120 lane motorway to be underground however, would be quite the feat.


Quote:
Besides from that, you need a lot of space to provide stations and railways to 'park' trains, on which you can't carry pessengers. So the space-effenciency of PT is questionable...
The space used on elevated stations & track, station entrances, and rail yards is minuscule compared to that used just by freeways, not to mention every other road, off/on ramp, and parking lot.

Going back to Toronto, let's just compare the TTC's main train yard vs. a stretch of the 401.





Now, just multiply the latter by 40km (or more).


Quote:
For the commuter it is, except for some extreme environmentalistics, not an important issue.
hmm, no. These days, more than just "extreme environmentalists" actually give half a shit about the earth.


Quote:
And PT lines are not supported by tax payers, you'd say? Driving may be more expensive, but if the driver gets back a (much) shorter travel time, it compensates for most of the people more than enough.
Transit lines are supported by tax payers, yes, but unlike freeways and roads, they typically pay for themselves through fares after a few years.


Quote:
Don't get me wrong. Imo there still should be invested in PT. Only not for solving congestion problems, but for solving problems in PT itself.
Right, and plenty of "investment" into roads for more cars, correct?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 07:24 PM   #1373
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You should stop comparing cities with efficient public transportation (like Tokyo) to freeways. Those few cities were public transportation is actually a better alternative to cars (i would take the subway in New York or Madrid too), are no comparison to the thousands of 100.000 - 700.000 cities or low density urban area's (like the Randstad, Atlanta etc) where the car is much more efficient than public transportation.

However this discussion looks like to end up as a classic public transportation versus freeways one, forgetting that it are often different transportation demands/motives, and agglomeration circumstances (demographics, density, economy) can differ very much.

I personally love the way they do it in Spain, money don't seems to be an issue, and both public transportation and freeways are excellent. In other western European countries (like mine) the transportation budget is just laughable, and barely enough to maintain the network, let alone expanding/improving it.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 08:23 PM   #1374
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Naturally the Semitruck gets lost in the discussion even though WE WILL ALWAYS NEED FREEWAYS FOR OUR GROWING SEMITRUCK POPULATION.

LOGISTICS. No amount of public transit will reduce the growth of semis on the road.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:11 PM   #1375
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People still bring up the semi argument and its over. No one is arguing for rail exclusively.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:59 AM   #1376
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It doesn't matter how many cars you take off the road, the number of semis to offset that will grow. The net effect is zero.

Remember that.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 02:09 AM   #1377
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Isn't that last picture Interstate 190? I think it's only destination is the airport and Interstate 90.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 03:50 AM   #1378
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Can you provide proof to support that?
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 07:29 AM   #1379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post


Isn't that last picture Interstate 190? I think it's only destination is the airport and Interstate 90.
You also forgot the Canadian border It connects directly to Highway 405 in Ontario. I remember driving on it on my trip to NYC this summer, I posted some pictures long ago.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 07:42 AM   #1380
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Quote:
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You also forgot the Canadian border It connects directly to Highway 405 in Ontario. I remember driving on it on my trip to NYC this summer, I posted some pictures long ago.
That's actually Highway 420 aka Pot Freeway.

EDIT: Those were pics from I-190 in Chicago. You guys are thinking of I-190 in Buffalo-Niagara.
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