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Old August 2nd, 2014, 05:34 PM   #2681
ChrisZwolle
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Emissions from trucks has been greatly reduced in the 20 years since the referendum banned transit traffic growth. They could have much more trucks per day with less emissions than in 1994.

They need a more pragmatic approach to the Gotthard Tunnel. At least the new tube should have space for 2 lanes, to allow an easy conversion to 2x2 lanes should the 1994 referendum be changed. Anything else is a giant waste of money.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 05:45 PM   #2682
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
They need a more pragmatic approach to the Gotthard Tunnel. At least the new tube should have space for 2 lanes, to allow an easy conversion to 2x2 lanes should the 1994 referendum be changed. Anything else is a giant waste of money.
I think a particular bad option is the one regarding "improving" the Gotthard pass route with more tunnels and avalanche sheds. It would cost a lot, and it would still not make the route passable year-round. The Gotthard pass is quite a wide and modern route as Alpine passes go. It makes no sense to spend couple billions CHF to increase its operating span just another 8-10 weeks per year. Better to excavate another bore.

Actually, I think there is already a "pilot bore" on the Gotthard right? Enough to fit service vehicles, which would be enlarged to accommodate 2-lane traffic while the current tube is renovated.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:01 PM   #2683
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Emissions from trucks has been greatly reduced in the 20 years since the referendum banned transit traffic growth. They could have much more trucks per day with less emissions than in 1994.
Also CO2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
They need a more pragmatic approach to the Gotthard Tunnel. At least the new tube should have space for 2 lanes, to allow an easy conversion to 2x2 lanes should the 1994 referendum be changed. Anything else is a giant waste of money.
The second tube would have two lanes of the same width, but no shoulder (because one of the two full width lanes would act as a shoulder).

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I think a particular bad option is the one regarding "improving" the Gotthard pass route with more tunnels and avalanche sheds. It would cost a lot, and it would still not make the route passable year-round. The Gotthard pass is quite a wide and modern route as Alpine passes go. It makes no sense to spend couple billions CHF to increase its operating span just another 8-10 weeks per year. Better to excavate another bore.
It is not planned to keep open the pass road year long, works being done today are just heavy maintenance which would be done anyway. I don't know their cost, but certainly not a couple of billions...

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Actually, I think there is already a "pilot bore" on the Gotthard right? Enough to fit service vehicles, which would be enlarged to accommodate 2-lane traffic while the current tube is renovated.
It does exist a pilot tunnel on the axis of the then planned second tube (which runs between the second, unused, portals on both sides), but a second tube if built now would be entirely new, so to continue to use the pilot bore as safety tunnel and because it is full of cables and infrastructure which would have to be moved elsewhere.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:14 PM   #2684
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Also CO2?
CO2 is harmless at point of emission, concerning on a global scale. In any case, reducing road capacity is not a smart way to fight CO2 emissions, it is a global problem that can only be addressed with large-scale solutions.

But while we are at it, energy efficiency of road traffic is at its lowest when you have stop-and-go traffic due to congestion.

Otherwise, it is like trying to address global hunger problems by disallowing bread appetizers served on restaurants.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:19 PM   #2685
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On the southern side at elast, there are two traffic ligths: the real Blockabfertigung before the Gotthard tunnel, and another before the tunnel just before ("Stalvedro"), so that the stop and go traffic is mainly (or should be) before the Gotthard tunnel, but less before the Stalvedro tunnel, where vehicles wait longer but start massively to fill the successive waiting area when it is more empty.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:27 PM   #2686
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Quote:
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Also CO2?
CO2 emissions are irrelevant at local level, because they don't impact local areas, but are a global problem. Lower speed limits, or slightly less traffic is not going to make any material difference in global or even national CO2 levels.

A stronger point would be noise levels. But A2 runs through a thinly populated valley at both ends, and many localities are already protected by noise barriers and a large number of artificial tunnels.
Although it could be argued the Swiss don't really care that much about highway noise, as most motorways do not have noise-reducing pavement, in some cases even outdated concrete.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:45 PM   #2687
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My understanding is that both tubes will stay open, but will be restricted to one lane per tube.
Like buying a Ferrari with a Fiat Panda engine...
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Old August 4th, 2014, 05:25 PM   #2688
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And after works are completed, one of the two tubes will be closed anyway, since two tubes are incompatible with crazy Swiss laws. If they think that long queues of standing smoking vehicles are very good for the environment...
Start-stop automatic will solve this problem within the next year. Any improvement on the Gotthard will shift traffic from other routes to the Gotthard, that is what the constitution change in 1994 just wanted to avoid that (and shift traffic to the trains).
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Old August 4th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #2689
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Any improvement on the Gotthard will shift traffic from other routes to the Gotthard, that is what the constitution change in 1994 just wanted to avoid that (and shift traffic to the trains).
The only alpine crossing with a possible shift towards Gotthard is San Bernardino and there are rarely queues - so why should traffic relocate? Neither the Mont-Blanc-Tunnel nor Brenner are close enough to the Gotthard route to cause significant relocations of traffic. Truck traffic can still be limited by a maximum admissible number per hour as is in effect today such that the shift of freight transport towards rail is still achievable.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #2690
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Truck traffic can still be limited by a maximum admissible number per hour as is in effect today such that the shift of freight transport towards rail is still achievable.
I think a compromise that opens two lanes per direction on tunnels while also keeping a hard limit on truck crossings would be the second-best solution. It wouldn't bring more trucks to the valleys - and modern car pollution there is low and lowering as modern cars replace older 1990s ones, which usually slash local pollution by 70% or more.

If they want to divert some trucks, they could charge the same tolls of the Frejus, Mont-Blanc and Gran San Bernardo on the Gotthard and San Bernardino tunnels as well... but that is a whole new discussion.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #2691
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Exactly.

I quite like the solution, for which it creates the physical infrastructure needed should a later referendum approve the opening of the tunnel on a 2x2 configuration, after all rail projects are completed and all older pre'-Euro 5 vehicles are essentially phased out.
Which is why many people opposite it.

The Constitution as amended by the Swiss people strictly forbids the increase of capacity through the Alps. Period. There's no more possible discussion about it.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 10:58 PM   #2692
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Just a side note: a discussion is not only possible but also necessary. People can change their mind. Different generations have different opinions. The constitution is not carved in stone.

But yes, the current public opinion won't allow more than a one lane road through the Gotthard.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 11:28 PM   #2693
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Exactly. Unfortunately public discussions like these usually lack rational thinking.

If you repeat things long enough, people will believe it.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 12:42 AM   #2694
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Couldn't they close the pass? The total capacity with 2x2 tunnel wouldn't increase!
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Old August 5th, 2014, 01:17 AM   #2695
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Start-stop automatic will solve this problem within the next year. Any improvement on the Gotthard will shift traffic from other routes to the Gotthard, that is what the constitution change in 1994 just wanted to avoid that (and shift traffic to the trains).
The big change in Switzerland was allowing bigger trucks around 2000. That and the toll system have led to a small but noticeable ....and ongoing ....reduction in truck transit traffic across Switzerland starting 2001. The problem with the base tunnels is that either they all work or none of them work. The Gotthard on its own will not make much of a difference to truck transits IMO, the three base tunnels together probably will ...but by 2020 and including the second bore of the Lotschsberg that is unbuilt and cannot be finished in less than 3 years.

Data here to 2013 ( multiple languages inc English)

http://www.bav.admin.ch/verlagerung/..._JjKbNoKSn6A--

Switzerland could bring in emissions regulations skewed towards modern trucks and that would make a bigger difference than taking 50% of 2001 era HGV transits off the road in one fell swoop. Modern Diesel cars , as in post 2000, are infinitely better than pre 200 one s and they were infinitely better than pre 1990 diesels themselves.

In fact it must be 10 years since I abandoned my automatic 'must overtake' response when I came up behind a bus, they are so clean nowadays.

Had the Swiss known in 1990 how much better Diesel engines would become by 2015 they may not have committed themselves to all these base tunnels, and the enormous cost, at all.

Last edited by sponge_bob; August 5th, 2014 at 02:27 AM. Reason: dammit, bigger trucks were allowed around 2000 not 1980, sorry
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Old August 5th, 2014, 08:29 AM   #2696
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The only alpine crossing with a possible shift towards Gotthard is San Bernardino and there are rarely queues - so why should traffic relocate? Neither the Mont-Blanc-Tunnel nor Brenner are close enough to the Gotthard route to cause significant relocations of traffic.
The Brenner is not that far for many routes from Germany to Italy and vice versa. Especially for anyone north of Stuttgart going south of Modena
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Truck traffic can still be limited by a maximum admissible number per hour as is in effect today such that the shift of freight transport towards rail is still achievable.
So you just want an improvement for cars alone?
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Old August 5th, 2014, 10:18 AM   #2697
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The Constitution as amended by the Swiss people strictly forbids the increase of capacity through the Alps. Period. There's no more possible discussion about it.
Sure there is. We are discussing right here and now. The Swiss constitution doesn't forbid discussion.

More importantly, the Swiss constitution doesn't forbid changing the Swiss constitution, although it sets some requirements to such changes.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 12:03 PM   #2698
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So you just want an improvement for cars alone?
Yes. Cars are much cleaner today, they don't pollute the valley anymore, but their sheer numbers make the route congested at times.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:40 PM   #2699
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The most severe congestion is at days and times when truck traffic is banned anyway. So taking more trucks off the Gotthard Route will do practically nothing to reduce traffic congestion.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 07:22 PM   #2700
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So you just want an improvement for cars alone?
I think the reduced NOx emissions because of the reduction of congestion will have a higher effect than the induced traffic because of the capacity increase. My car uses about 40 to 50% more fuel in congested traffic than in free-flow at 100 to 120 kph. Traffic induction on days without congestion will be negligible as on those days the travel time is not changed. I strongly doubt that the induced traffic on the highly affected days will exceed 10%.

And for the "the constitution was amended - period - end of discussion" argument: this amendment can just as well be repealed by another referendum. I think there is a good chance that in a new referendum - and such a referendum will come in the next decade, I'm pretty sure about that - a twinning of the Gotthard tunnel will be approved.
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