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Old March 19th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #1961
Alex Von Königsberg
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FM 2258, I would agree with you if we only consider the existing situation with city planning in America. If, however, from the beginning cities were planned differently allowing people to do all their necessary shopping without a car, then we wouldn't even have this discussion. I lived in Kaliningrad, Kiev, and Dresden - and in all those places I could get around without a car. You visited Italia, right? What do you think about their city designs? And yet, in America all new communities keep being built in a way that forces people to drive cars to do any small thing.

Mike, sorry I drifted this topic astray again
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Old March 19th, 2008, 06:16 AM   #1962
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
FM 2258, I would agree with you if we only consider the existing situation with city planning in America. If, however, from the beginning cities were planned differently allowing people to do all their necessary shopping without a car, then we wouldn't even have this discussion. I lived in Kaliningrad, Kiev, and Dresden - and in all those places I could get around without a car. You visited Italia, right? What do you think about their city designs? And yet, in America all new communities keep being built in a way that forces people to drive cars to do any small thing.

Mike, sorry I drifted this topic astray again
Do you ever do anything other than bitch about America? Why don't you go back to Germany, or Russia, or wherever the hell you're from. Because no one here gives 2 shits about what you think.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #1963
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
Do you ever do anything other than bitch about America?
Apparently, you are not a frequent visitor in this sub-forum, Herr Paddington?

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Why don't you go back to Germany, or Russia, or wherever the hell you're from.
I just don't want to go there at this moment.

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Because no one here gives 2 shits about what you think.
I will leave it up to moderators to decide who should give what about whom I was able to successfully ignore you for quite a long time, and I hope from now on you could do the same. Danke!
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #1964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Apparently, you are not a frequent visitor in this sub-forum, Herr Paddington?


I just don't want to go there at this moment.


I will leave it up to moderators to decide who should give what about whom I was able to successfully ignore you for quite a long time, and I hope from now on you could do the same. Danke!
Well said, I hope that Paddington was kidding because the car culture in the US sucks ass. I just studied abroad in Europe and did a fair share of traveling about the continent, and the lack of a car did nothing to hinder my travels. Trains, planes, whatever; everything is connected and everything is efficient and cheap. We Americans sure could learn something from Europeans. I apologize for his typical American ignorance.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #1965
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Thanks, but I wouldn't attribute his behaviour to a typical American ignorance because he is rather an exception here. All other American fellow forumers are decent intelligent people on this sub-forum.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #1966
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Parts of Europe do require a car to get around unfortunately.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #1967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Thanks, but I wouldn't attribute his behaviour to a typical American ignorance because he is rather an exception here. All other American fellow forumers are decent intelligent people on this sub-forum.
I have your back all the way. I am an American and I would be more than happy to bitch about American transportation issues. I've been in Europe, and yes, I love it there. Do I want to live there? Sure why not. Do I want to criticize my country and hopefully make changes to steer the USA in the right direction? More than happy to.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #1968
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You guys all talking about Europe

The difference between US and EU cities, is that European cities tend to be more compact (though that's not always true), allowing for a more extensive commercially feasible public transport. But don't let the shinyness of public transportation blind you. Public Transportation in Europe also requires massive funding by the government, because the price on the ticket you pay is not the real price for moving you around. The only way railways can make a profit is with 1st class ticket payers, and real estate development on the stations. Moving commuters around don't make a profit, because they all travel with discount. Students even travel for free, and guess what, in most places students are the majority of the travellers, so you do the math.

Most profitable are the intercity connections, because they have generally high ridership, also outside of rushhours. But then again, looks can be deceptive, because most trains are shorter (fewer traincars) outside rushhours, making the train always look heavily travelled.

Another problem is that the cost of the infrastructure construction went sky high in the last 15 years, but the prices of the tickets didn't grow evenly. High Speed Rail in the Netherlands costs over 50 million per kilometer on average. Nearly (and especially) all railway projects went over budget, or opening delayed. The problem is that the cost of labour is very expensive in Western Europe. The construction of the most simple roundabout can cost about 2 - 3 million dollars.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #1969
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Chris, you're not wrong about what you've said about the true cost of rail- however, while I hear people saying "rail doesn't make a profit", I would hasten to point out that highways don't either. Interstate 95 does not make a profit. It simply exists as a tool for motorists. In fact, at least in the US, we have a lot of infrastructure upgrades that are needed for which there's no money. Just this week a section of 95 in Philly had to be shut because of a huge crack on one of the concrete pillars holding it up. That's just one example.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #1970
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Well, that's a major difference between the United States and Europe. In Europe, road taxes are much higher than in the United States, not to mention fuel taxes. All Dutch motorists pay about € 17 billion in road-related taxes per year, though the governments only invests € 2.5 billion a year in roads.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #1971
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Speaking of that 95 crack...here's some pics:

image hosted on flickr


YIKES!!!

image hosted on flickr


95 Closed in both directions...

image hosted on flickr



image hosted on flickr

Last edited by Billpa; March 19th, 2008 at 02:44 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #1972
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Where is that? Is that the elevated section near Philadelphia?
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Old March 19th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #1973
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Yes, just north of Center City between Allegheny and Girard.

Last edited by Billpa; March 19th, 2008 at 03:24 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #1974
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Hmm there are 8 lanes there with an AADT of 179,000

That's gonna be problematic.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #1975
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Here's Penndot's District 6 web cams...click on the ones just north of 676 to see the area affected...

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/penndot/d..._map2?OpenPage
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #1976
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Chris, since you seem educated on this, what caused the huge spike in infrastructure costs for rail and has it affected roads?

From what we've seen in the US, any overrun in freeway construction costs are allowable, but once it happens with rail people are all over it. Why the disparity?
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #1977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billpa View Post
Speaking of that 95 crack...here's some pics:

image hosted on flickr


YIKES!!!

image hosted on flickr


95 Closed in both directions...

image hosted on flickr



image hosted on flickr
That is ******* scary. Thankfully, they closed it before something terrible happens.

This just solidifies my argument even more: our infrastructure, and especially our Interstate Highways, are aging and are in desperate need of repair across the board. I'm surprised that our infrastructure problems (from rail, to electrical grid too) isn't an election issue.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #1978
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Our politicians don't give a shit about our country.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #1979
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That is ******* scary. Thankfully, they closed it before something terrible happens.

This just solidifies my argument even more: our infrastructure, and especially our Interstate Highways, are aging and are in desperate need of repair across the board. I'm surprised that our infrastructure problems (from rail, to electrical grid too) isn't an election issue.
Can't agree more, and I think this issue is shared between the US and Canada in some regards. For example, after the 2003 Northeastern Blackout they suddenly realized that the whole Niagara-Mohawk grid (which feeds large parts of Ontario and the Northeastern United States) is extremely outdated and some of the infrastructure in it corresponds to Third World standards. I think that's unacceptable. Each year they threaten people that if they don't conserve and turn off their A/C they will perform rotating blackouts in the Toronto area, which is completely ridiculous, since realistically one knows that domestic conservation is a joke compared to the overall consumption in the grid. These are just all excuses averting the main issue - that we need more raw generating capacity and a modernization of the whole distribution system. But I guess this is somewhat going off-topic. Perhaps someone should start a power infrastructure thread in the Infrastructure and Mobility forum

But keeping on-topic, the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto is suffering from similar neglect. Parts of it are also cracked and apparently falling apart, and there were a few times recently when blocks of concrete fell from its structure onto the street.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 05:39 AM   #1980
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There are two, perhaps three, big reasons why it is so hard to upgrade infrastructure:

1) Nobody wants to pay the higher taxes that such improvements require (only when things get to crisis levels are the changes made - and the volume-based fuel tax doesn't help, either, as inflation renders it impotent and it is often politically impossible to make the periodic adjustments needed to just keep the rate level with inflation)

2) NIMBY! Nobody wants that new highway, high-energy power line, power plant, railroad, etc, built near them, and many NIMBYs have deep political connections and/or the ability to hire the best lawyers needed to keep them unbuilt.

and, perhaps separate from #2 is

3) Enviro-whackos whom feel that any and all infrastructure is a sign of the pure evil of humanity with its audacity to spoil the pristine planet and also often have the money and connections seen in #2.



Mike
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