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Old November 21st, 2013, 08:43 PM   #2441
Sunfuns
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Swiss aren't more attached to their cars than elsewhere (possibly less), but they are particularly attached to their native areas and often prefer driving 40 min over moving closer to work. Trains are also every year more and more full...
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 07:15 PM   #2442
John Maynard
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Affirmative, train are completely full during rush hours and between major cities; also, you often have to remain standing for all the journey because their is not a single place to sit on (this is valid for all trains, including: IC, EC and IR). And If you have to take further a bus or a tram, it's almost very slow and no room (sometime you must wait for another bus/tram).
Motorways are congested, but most what is a nightmare, is entering the cities which take more time than traveling inter-city or bypassing them.
Transiting for work between cities is just awful in CH, and nothing is done to improve it, or to release traffic (is the contrary in fact, for ideological reason).
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 07:28 PM   #2443
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It would be better if people could move closer to work, but with high prices in cities and vacancy rates for apartments below 5% that's easier said than done. All this is a side effect of rapidly growing population (+20% since 1990).

I commute with a train out of a city every morning and even in that direction train is 80% full for the first two stops. Of course it still beats driving...
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 07:41 PM   #2444
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For travels like Lausanne-Geneva (60 km) or Bern-Zurich (100 km) it's full for all the journey during rush hours.

Did you know that in Geneva and Vaud, many Swiss people lives now in France, because they can't afford rents, or there is no housing availability for a reasonable price?
Public transports in France to CH are almost inexistent; so there is no choice but to use cars.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 08:13 PM   #2445
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Problem is that many Swiss towns restrict construction of taller buildings or any new buildings. Especially those in more narrow valleys or in the mountains. I read they often use Spanish Pyrenees as a negative example of what can happen if there is taller development in foothill communities.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 08:42 PM   #2446
John Maynard
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On the other side, the main reason of high prices and lack of available housing is CH jobs, salaries and life attractiveness for foreigners. It's also the reason of massive congestions on roads and cities, as well as fully booked public transports.

Recently, a federal level referendum against the urban sprawl was accepted by 62,9% of voters; so I wouldn't look in this direction .

Also, with less than 1,46 born/woman, massive rising of population is strictly done by immigration. Maybe the solution must be find in this field, if Swiss doesn't wants to enlarge or built roads, improve public transportation and refuse to build more housing (which is partially understandable with so many beautiful landscapes).
Otherwise, it seems that asphyxia and deterioration of quality of life are the future, if no solution is found .

Last edited by John Maynard; November 22nd, 2013 at 08:51 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:14 PM   #2447
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The increased immigration is because of constantly strong and growing economy ale low unemployment even during a crisis elsewhere in Europe so it's not all doom and gloom. Uncommonly large percentage of those immigrants are highly educated people (mostly from EU) contributing a lot to the prosperity of the country.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:16 PM   #2448
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Also let's not lose the perspective here. The are problems (which country doesn't?), but the quality of the road network is already very high and the public transport is the best in Europe for sure.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:33 PM   #2449
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The problem you mentioned comes from the Swiss education system that imposes "numerus clausus" or are excessively selective for those highly skilled and highly needed jobs. Do they prefer so foreign countries pays education for them, per ex. doctors or engineers, while Swiss must settle for an apprenticeship (btw. finding no jobs elsewhere than CH or Swiss companies)?
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:44 PM   #2450
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There are Swiss doctors and engineers, just not quite enough considering the constantly rising demand and low birth rates among the native population. Swiss education system is quite similar to one in Germany and has served the local economy exceedingly well. Which other European country has been able to keep the unemployment below 5% during the last decade?

Anyway this is completely off-topic. Back to the road network!
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:46 PM   #2451
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Most of the Swiss congestion problems are - besides the obvious Gotthard Tunnel - in the less mountainous areas and can relatively easy be resolved by adding a lane. The Gubrist Tunnel near Zürich is a bit of an outlier in that aspect when compared to other parts of A1. The Swiss population grew by more than 1.5 million people since most of the main motorways were completed, and much of that population growth was in the northern Mittelland, which is not as mountainous as the popular image of the country.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:47 PM   #2452
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Road quality is very good in general, train network is extensive and they're more often punctual, that's true (however, public transportations prices are very high as well).
But the network - roads and railways - wasn't designed for such an increasings of users, it's now reaching almost it's full capacity, and will be more and more congested in the future. You see, it was designed to serve a population of 20-30 years ago, not now. What about if demography will keep growing, and in 20 years they will be again an increase of more than 20% of population?
As I said it will be a nightmare if no sensible solution is found.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:56 PM   #2453
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Maynard View Post
Road quality is very good in general, train network is extensive and they're more often punctual, that's true (however, public transportations prices are very high as well).
Yes, but remember that hardly anyone pays a full price (half fare card is cheap and widespread) and commuter passes are subsidised. I pay 740 chf a year for Basel area - very cheap in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Maynard View Post
But the network - roads and railways - wasn't designed for such an increasings of users, it's now reaching almost it's full capacity, and will be more and more congested in the future. You see, it was designed to serve a population of 20-30 years ago, not now. What about if demography will keep growing, and in 20 years they will be again an increase of more than 20% of population?
As I said it will be a nightmare if no sensible solution is found.
Certainly construction of more infrastructure will be needed and some of it is already on-going or in plans. Another 20% more would make the country more congested for sure regardless of infrastructure, but I don't expect a nightmare even then. If it happens most of the increase will be in Zurich area. At that point a proper subway might be justified.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:57 PM   #2454
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@Sunfuns:
By the way, not a single country in Europe has so low rate of university/tech students than CH, which is about 20%. Even Germany has more, and most of other countries have more than DE. So, solutions could be envisaged here to reduce impact on infrastructures / roads / housings / landscape as Swiss decided not to improve them or destroy the last.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 10:00 PM   #2455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Maynard View Post
@Sunfuns:
By the way, not a single country in Europe has so low rate of university/tech students than CH, which is about 20%. Even Germany has more, and most of other countries have more than DE. So, solutions could be envisaged here to reduce impact on infrastructures / roads / housings / landscape as Swiss decided not to improve them or destroy the last.
I know that, but remember that part of a reason is that Swiss don't require university level qualification for jobs where it's not actually needed. It's kind of a vestige from a past and for better or worse it is changing slowly… Switzerland is culturally conservative in case you didn't know.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Maynard View Post
Affirmative, train are completely full during rush hours and between major cities; also, you often have to remain standing for all the journey because their is not a single place to sit on (this is valid for all trains, including: IC, EC and IR).
Talk about good public transport. Here you have all train for yourself.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 10:10 PM   #2457
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Almost everywhere in CH there is a massive increasing of population. Zurich is only a part of it. You must come to the Geneva Lake area and see, everywhere they're building housings and infrastructures to them (which will stop in the future since this votation), rental prices are rising at extremely high rate, infrastructures are congested, and quality of life is already diminishing with this and things like crime, increasing of prices in general, and unemployment rate is going up (Geneva has one of the highest in CH).
Where are all the visionary Swiss? We need to find solutions not narrow-mindness.

Last edited by John Maynard; November 22nd, 2013 at 10:15 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 10:21 PM   #2458
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"quality of life" is highly subjective. Often a high quality of life comes at a high price too, making it unaffordable for a large proportion of the population.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 10:25 PM   #2459
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Basel is also growing, but at a more manageable rate than Zurich or Geneva. Not that much to complain about here just yet.

Lots of villages in the mountains are losing population.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 10:25 PM   #2460
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Thank God it's Friday!
The A4a today morning - first snow in this area between Zurich and Lucerne fell in the night.

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