65mph on MOPAC (urban fway)? What a concept!

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David

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Dec 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/1/95
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In article <Pine.BSD/.3.91.9511302349...@matrix.eden.com>,
Richard Aleksander <artd...@eden.com> wrote:

> I think it's paternalistic of traffic engineers and our officials to
> invest more value in the opinions of traffic engineers than in the
> common sense of thoughtful citizens. Traffic engineers' actions put
> emphasis on decreasing conflicts with autos and those actions in turn
> harm the city as a public place.

I agree to some extent with this. Moreover, it would seem that some
traffic engineers have a good grasp of velocity, density, etc., but they
can do little to control behavior on the roads. If somebody can engineer
a way to prohibit the "get out of my way, here I come and I'll tailgate
you if I damn well please" mentality that runs rampant on our roads - now
there's an engineer! I fear that raising the speed limit will only
encourage a greater sense of "lawlessness" and diminish an already low
level of common courtesy.

Here's my traffic engineering formula:

Suburban development + more freeways + higher speeds = aggravation,
polarization, and urban decay.

Mark Bornheimer

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Dec 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/1/95
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Richard Aleksander <artd...@eden.com> writes:

> The state officials have said that the new speed limits will balance
> convenience and safety. More important is what they say they cannot even
> consider:
>
> 1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.

If someone cared, they would stop driving.

>
> 2. Increases in noise levels that will result from higher speeds that
> will have a strong impact on inner city residents and businesses
^^^^^^
> alongside roads.

I doubt a 10MPH increase will have a _strong_ impact. I bet it will
be barely noticable.

>
> 3. Raising speed limits decreases the capacity of a road because there's
> more space between cars:
> Short term it will result in even more congestion. And then it will
> result in more calls to widen the roads more. And the cycle will roll
> over.

This is untrue. Faster speeds mean less congestion because each car is
on the road for less time. Traffic simulations have proven this.

>
> Why can't they consider these issues?
>
> Ever hear of the 85th percentile rule?: Texas State law holds that speed
> limits - other than federally mandated limits - will be legal only if they
> are within five miles per hour of the average speeds used by 85 percent of
> cars using the road.

Is this really true? If so, that means that if we all drive at 150MPH the
speed limit must be raised to 145. I like that.

> This already was the law of the land on non federal
> roads and highways; now it will hold on highways as well. By law nothing
> else can even be considered.
>
> These are the sorts of issues considered by ROUTE, Rethinking Our Urban
> Transportation Environment. For more information, or to receive the
> ROUTE newsletter, email me or Lee Nichols <l...@eden.com>.

No thanks.

Mark Bornheimer

Rick Shank

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Dec 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/1/95
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In article <Pine.BSD/.3.91.9511302349...@matrix.eden.com>,
Richard Aleksander <artd...@eden.com> wrote:
>
>The state officials have said that the new speed limits will balance
>convenience and safety. More important is what they say they cannot even
>consider:
>
>1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.
>


I find this stat highly suspect as it appears to neglect that at higher
speeds, the trip takes less time.

>2. Increases in noise levels that will result from higher speeds that
> will have a strong impact on inner city residents and businesses

> alongside roads.
>

The higher speeds are on the interstates and highways. What has this to
do with the businesses and inner city on the surface roads?

>3. Raising speed limits decreases the capacity of a road because there's
> more space between cars:
> Short term it will result in even more congestion. And then it will
> result in more calls to widen the roads more. And the cycle will roll
> over.
>

This is making a mountain out of a mole hill. When the traffic congests,
the speed drops to next to zero anyway. This argument is worthless in the
overall scheme of things.


>Why can't they consider these issues?
>

Probably because none of them are important given a complete picture.


Rick - someone who also thinks the collective IQ of the traffic engineers
in this area is below 100. You just need better arguments to support your
case.

Fo@ ›Ø˜nformation, or to receive the

>ROUTE newsletter, email me or Lee Nichols <l...@eden.com>.


I r@¥0e right to copyright my statements.


--
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Brendan B. Boerner

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Dec 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/1/95
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In article <Pine.BSD/.3.91.9511302349...@matrix.eden.com>,
Richard Aleksander <artd...@eden.com> wrote:

>Ever hear of the 85th percentile rule?: Texas State law holds that speed
>limits - other than federally mandated limits - will be legal only if they
>are within five miles per hour of the average speeds used by 85 percent of

>cars using the road. This already was the law of the land on non federal


>roads and highways; now it will hold on highways as well. By law nothing
>else can even be considered.


I don't get it. On one hand you argue against raising MoPac's speed
limit to 65, then on the other you bring up the 85% rule. IMHO the 85%
rule would justify raising MoPac's limit to 65. This is what I find
self-serving ab/Mayor Todd's comments in today's (Friday) Statesman.
Raising the limit to 65 won't affect safety, people are *already*
driving ~65. All it will do is remove a revenue stream.

Brendan
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Internet: bboe...@BtrvTech.Com \ Please use either if replying
or Brendan...@BtrvTech.Com / by mail exterior to BTI.
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Richard Aleksander

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Dec 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/1/95
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> >And if your idea of a safe driving speed is wrong, you are putting the safety
> >of others at risk. This is a public safety issue, not a liberty issue. It's
> >just plain selfish to speed to get home 2.5 minutes earlier.

Higher speeds in themselves may not cause more accidents but it is
incontrovertible that the roadkill and severity of injuries goes up with
higher speeds.


> Should speed limits be set
> by politicians or traffic engineers? I vote for engineers. This is the
> sort of stuff they are good at. Rather than giving press conferences or
> flaming on the net, they can do actual studies, collect a base of
> empirical facts and apply sound principles. They have apparently done
> this and recommend 65 for most of MOPAC. If you disagree, bring your
> numbers.

I have been flamed by traffic engineers on the 'net and I have done actual
studies. A professional traffic planner and I personally conducted days of
stop action photography (movies) of downtown traffic from the top floors
of a tall building. It was a more revealing study (movements of cars and
trucks, parking, loading and unloading, pedestrianization etc.) than
virtually anyone has ever done of traffic in this city. FYI, Capital Metro
and local traffic departments recently concluded a study of the downtown,
The Downtown Mobility Study and its conclusions contained in the Downtown
Mobility Action Plan (which calls for converting 5th and 6th streets and
others eventually from one-way into two-way for instance).

I think it's paternalistic of traffic engineers and our officials to
invest more value in the opinions of traffic engineers than in the
common sense of thoughtful citizens. Traffic engineers' actions put
emphasis on decreasing conflicts with autos and those actions in turn
harm the city as a public place.

This city's Transportation Department has put out documents with plenty of
fluff, speciousness, misattributions, editorializations, misstatements of
costs (costs of undesirable programs are inflated) and flat out wrong
conclusions. In this region no one as yet takes into account when
planning roads: connectivity, matching of capacities of roads, economics,
aesthetics, and effects on future growth of the region. What's more,
their modeling assumptions - those dealing with emissions and feedback
(increasing capacities bring more vehicle trips) for instance - are
fallacious.

(I digressed because I couldn't let the prioritization of traffic
engineers' opinions go unchallenged) Back to the (urban) speed issue...

The state officials have said that the new speed limits will balance
convenience and safety. More important is what they say they cannot even
consider:

1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.

2. Increases in noise levels that will result from higher speeds that


will have a strong impact on inner city residents and businesses
alongside roads.

3. Raising speed limits decreases the capacity of a road because there's


more space between cars:
Short term it will result in even more congestion. And then it will
result in more calls to widen the roads more. And the cycle will roll
over.

Why can't they consider these issues?

Ever hear of the 85th percentile rule?: Texas State law holds that speed


limits - other than federally mandated limits - will be legal only if they
are within five miles per hour of the average speeds used by 85 percent of
cars using the road. This already was the law of the land on non federal
roads and highways; now it will hold on highways as well. By law nothing
else can even be considered.

These are the sorts of issues considered by ROUTE, Rethinking Our Urban
Transportation Environment. For more information, or to receive the

David L. Crow

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Dec 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/1/95
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Richard Aleksander <artd...@eden.com> writes:
>I think it's paternalistic of traffic engineers and our officials to
>invest more value in the opinions of traffic engineers than in the
>common sense of thoughtful citizens. Traffic engineers' actions put
>emphasis on decreasing conflicts with autos and those actions in turn
>harm the city as a public place.

First you say that citizens' common sense should be valued over
over a traffic engineers' opinion...

>The state officials have said that the new speed limits will balance
>convenience and safety. More important is what they say they cannot even
>consider:

>1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.

>2. Increases in noise levels that will result from higher speeds that
> will have a strong impact on inner city residents and businesses
> alongside roads.

>3. Raising speed limits decreases the capacity of a road because there's
> more space between cars:
> Short term it will result in even more congestion. And then it will
> result in more calls to widen the roads more. And the cycle will roll
> over.

>Why can't they consider these issues?

>Ever hear of the 85th percentile rule?: Texas State law holds that speed
>limits - other than federally mandated limits - will be legal only if they
>are within five miles per hour of the average speeds used by 85 percent of
>cars using the road. This already was the law of the land on non federal
>roads and highways; now it will hold on highways as well. By law nothing
>else can even be considered.

Then you mention things that would take studies (by traffic
engineers I would assume) and complain about the 85th percentile rule.

I am confused. Are you for the 85th percentile rule or not? Or does
it depend if the 85th percentile agrees with you?
--
------ Texas! It's like a whole other country. ------
David L. Crow cr...@tivoli.com
http://www.cactus.org/~crow/

Joe Senner

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Dec 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/2/95
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]>2. Increases in noise levels that will result from higher speeds that

]> will have a strong impact on inner city residents and businesses
]> alongside roads.
]
]The higher speeds are on the interstates and highways. What has this to

]do with the businesses and inner city on the surface roads?

apparently the assumption is that if it's paved, it will be 70mph :-)

]>3. Raising speed limits decreases the capacity of a road because there's


]> more space between cars:
]> Short term it will result in even more congestion. And then it will
]> result in more calls to widen the roads more. And the cycle will roll
]> over.

]
]This is making a mountain out of a mole hill. When the traffic congests,


]the speed drops to next to zero anyway. This argument is worthless in the
]overall scheme of things.

nor does this "argument" consider that between two points more vehicles
will pass at a higher speed than a lower. never mind that this person
as obviously never driven rush hour I35 :-)

]>Why can't they consider these issues?
]Probably because none of them are important given a complete picture.

I would say because none of them make any sense.


David Stanek

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Dec 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/2/95
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In article <DIxJJ...@txnews.amd.com>, ri...@dvorak.amd.com (Rick Shank) says:
>
>In article <Pine.BSD/.3.91.9511302349...@matrix.eden.com>,
>Richard Aleksander <artd...@eden.com> wrote:
>>
>>The state officials have said that the new speed limits will balance
>>convenience and safety. More important is what they say they cannot even
>>consider:
>>
>>1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
>> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.
>
>I find this stat highly suspect as it appears to neglect that at higher
>speeds, the trip takes less time.

Actually, this is true because you use more fuel at higher speeds.
Reduction of energy consumption was the motivating force behind
the 55 mph speed limit in the first place. If you use more fuel
you produce more unburned fuel (hydrocarbons, also ozone precursors),
carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.


>
>>2. Increases in noise levels that will result from higher speeds that
>> will have a strong impact on inner city residents and businesses
>> alongside roads.
>>
>The higher speeds are on the interstates and highways. What has this to
>do with the businesses and inner city on the surface roads?

Residences and businesses near these roads may have an increase in noise,
but not having lived near a freeway, I wouldn't know how much of an
effect this has on people. However, it is an important part of
environmental impact analysis.

*********************************************************************
* David Stanek | *
* Institute of Transportation Studies | dmst...@engr.ucdavis.edu *
* University of California, Davis | (916) 752-4122 *
*********************************************************************

Colin R. Leech

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Dec 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/2/95
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Mark Bornheimer (born...@austin.ibm.com) writes:
>> 3. Raising speed limits decreases the capacity of a road because there's
>> more space between cars:
>> Short term it will result in even more congestion. And then it will
>> result in more calls to widen the roads more. And the cycle will roll
>> over.
>
> This is untrue. Faster speeds mean less congestion because each car is
> on the road for less time. Traffic simulations have proven this.

It's been posted previously in various newsgroups that the speed which
optimized capacity is around 35-40 mph. I don't have the reason for this,
but I think it is something in that range.

>> Ever hear of the 85th percentile rule?: Texas State law holds that speed
>> limits - other than federally mandated limits - will be legal only if they
>> are within five miles per hour of the average speeds used by 85 percent of
>> cars using the road.
>

> Is this really true? If so, that means that if we all drive at 150MPH the
> speed limit must be raised to 145. I like that.

This is absolutely crazy. It totally ignores things like other road users
(bicyclists, pedestrians, residents living along the roads), and "margin
of safety" issues.


--
##### |\^/| Colin R. Leech || Civil engineer by training
##### _|\| |/|_ ag...@freenet.carleton.ca || Transport planner by choice
##### > < Opinions are my own. Consider them shareware if you want.
##### >_./|\._< misc.transport.[misc|road|marine] coming soon to Usenet!

David J. P. Long

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Dec 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/3/95
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ri...@dvorak.amd.com (Rick Shank) wrote:

>>1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
>> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.
>>


>I find this stat highly suspect as it appears to neglect that at higher
>speeds, the trip takes less time.

It seems pretty realistic from the stand point that you actually burn
more fuel going faster. I get around 40MPG going 65-70mph. That goes
down to around 35 or so if I really crank it up. So, to go the same
distance, I would be burning about 11% more gas.

>The higher speeds are on the interstates and highways. What has this to
>do with the businesses and inner city on the surface roads?

Absolutely nothing. Traffic is naturally slower in the cities anyway.
In Boston you get more noise from the damn HORNS in traffic than you
do fromthe roads when the traffic is moving.


------------------------
dj
djl...@magic.mv.com
david...@fmr.com
----------------------- [No time for cute graphics]


Colin R. Leech

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Dec 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/3/95
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Richard Aleksander (artd...@eden.com) writes:
> I think it's paternalistic of traffic engineers and our officials to
> invest more value in the opinions of traffic engineers than in the
> common sense of thoughtful citizens.

Paternalistic? Is it paternalistic to seek the opinion of a professional
doctor to diagnose your symptoms when you're sick? If "anybody with half a
brain can do it" (I know you didn't say this, but it's the type of
attitude I encounter a lot), then what is the value of all those years of
training and experience that go into the making of a traffic engineering
career?

Richard Aleksander

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Dec 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/3/95
to
Colin, I'm not saying that traffic planners like you are the problem either
- in fact - you're just the type I think we need to counteract some
of the bad guys the likes of whom Gus Ayre wrote.

Examples of some of the worst: (Or, what is wrong with most of the
traffic engineers that I know)

(Assuming the current situation is ideal - when it isn't) Traffic engineers
sometimes frame the problem by asking the wrong questions. In Australia
they told the Citizens Against Route Twenty (CART) that their neighborhood
was going to have a two fold traffic increase and what kind of road
improvements did they want to handle it. CART decided the proper question
was what decisions led to the increase in traffic and what could be done
to turn those old road building decisions around.

(Dishonesty) Here in Austin Texas our traffic department has been so
gung-ho on one way streets that, when the city hired a consortium of
planners to tell them what was wrong with the downtown and they responded
with criticism of the one way streets, the traffic department
overestimated the cost of restreeting to two way by a factor of ten
times. The city council voted to do it anyway and the city manager
ordered the conversion. Not until then did they reveal the actual cost was
only 10 % of their original estimate.

(Stalling) Then they told the city council to delay converting until the
conclusion of another (future) study. The council decided to listen to
the traffic engineers over the objections of downtown merchants. The new
study is now telling the city again to convert to two way. Result of
relying on our traffic engineers' judgment: Continuing
depedestrianization and five years of delay in getting residences and
retail into the downtown.

(Shortsightedness and false modeling) Maybe I'm generalizing on the basis
of our local traffic engineers when I criticize road building decisions
that don't take into account speed design, appropriateness of roadway
widths, noise, design aesthetics, economics, growth planning, feedback
resulting from capacity enlargements and current scientific pollution
modeling.

Granted, some engineers have adapted to the new findings that you have
alluded to in your postings, but they're not here. How can our city find
some good ones?

In Oregon, it took a group of citizens (1000 Friends) to come up with a
new roadway plan that considered these heretofore unconsiderables (above).

I'll send you by email our Fall Newsletter of ROUTE (Rethinking Our Urban
Transportation Environment) that discusses local transportation in more
detail.

Rick Shank

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Dec 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/4/95
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In article <DIzrq...@mv.mv.com>,

David J. P. Long <djl...@magic.mv.com> wrote:
>ri...@dvorak.amd.com (Rick Shank) wrote:
>
>>>1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
>>> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.
>>>
>
>
>>I find this stat highly suspect as it appears to neglect that at higher
>>speeds, the trip takes less time.
>
>It seems pretty realistic from the stand point that you actually burn
>more fuel going faster. I get around 40MPG going 65-70mph. That goes
>down to around 35 or so if I really crank it up. So, to go the same
>distance, I would be burning about 11% more gas.
>


Uhm, we were talking about 55 vs 65-70. Keep up. ;^)

Rick

o
>@ ŸÀ˜ the businesses and inner city on the surface roads?


>
>Absolutely nothing. Traffic is naturally slower in the cities anyway.

Rick Shank

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Dec 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/4/95
to

In article <DJ03u...@freenet.carleton.ca>,


Colin R. Leech <ag...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA> wrote:
>Richard Aleksander (artd...@eden.com) writes:
>> I think it's paternalistic of traffic engineers and our officials to
>> invest more value in the opinions of traffic engineers than in the
>> common sense of thoughtful citizens.
>
>Paternalistic? Is it paternalistic to seek the opinion of a professional
>doctor to diagnose your symptoms when you're sick?

Absolutely! 90% of visits to the doctor (generally colds/flus etc.) are
unnecessary.

WARNING: Tongue in cheek mode on.


>If "anybody with half a
>brain can do it"

And judging from the road designs in Austin, this is exactly who does it.


>(I know you didn't say this, but it's the type of
>attitude I encounter a lot), then what is the value of all those years of
>training and experience that go into the making of a traffic engineering
>career?
>
>


Again, judging from the road designs in Austin, we are wasting alot of money
on traffic engineering.


Rick
@   Newsgroups: misc.transport.urban-transit,austin.politics,austin.general,alt.planning.urban
Subject: Re: 65mph on MOPAC (urban fway)? What a concept!
Summary:
Expires:

Spike White

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Dec 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/4/95
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David Stanek (dmst...@engr.ucdavis.edu) wrote:
: >>1. The effect of higher speeds on pollution: Higher speeds increase
: >> releases of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors of ozone.
: >
: >I find this stat highly suspect as it appears to neglect that at higher
: >speeds, the trip takes less time.

: Actually, this is true because you use more fuel at higher speeds.


: Reduction of energy consumption was the motivating force behind
: the 55 mph speed limit in the first place. If you use more fuel
: you produce more unburned fuel (hydrocarbons, also ozone precursors),
: carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.

Actually, this is not true in all instances. You use less fuel at the
speeds for which the engineers optimized it. For instance, my German
motorcycle, which is set up for the AutoBahn, faithfully gets ~45mpg
about town and on the freeway when I stay below 65. When I go on long
trips (W. TX, for instance), and keep it above 75, it never ceases to
get >50mpg, even w/ a full load.

I've had numerous other owners of German motorcycles colloborate this
phenomenon. I suspect you'd see similiar fuel savings in BMW cars run
at higher speeds.


--
Spike White | sp...@hal.com | Biker Nerds
HaL Software Systems | '87 BMW K75S, DoD #1347 | From HaL
Austin, TX | http://www.halsoft.com/users/spike/index.html
Disclaimer: HaL, want me to speak for you? No, Dave...

Lee & Margaret

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Dec 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/4/95
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In article <DJ03u...@freenet.carleton.ca>, ag...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA
(Colin R. Leech) wrote:

> Richard Aleksander (artd...@eden.com) writes:
> > I think it's paternalistic of traffic engineers and our officials to
> > invest more value in the opinions of traffic engineers than in the
> > common sense of thoughtful citizens.
>
> Paternalistic? Is it paternalistic to seek the opinion of a professional

> doctor to diagnose your symptoms when you're sick? If "anybody with half a
> brain can do it" (I know you didn't say this, but it's the type of


> attitude I encounter a lot), then what is the value of all those years of
> training and experience that go into the making of a traffic engineering
> career?
>

I don't mean to cause board drift, but in some fields I regard a degree as
a negative. In addition to being a transportation activist, I'm also a
news media activist (and a former professional in the mainstream media).
Most mainstream reporters are graduates of journalism school, where they
are supposedly trained in news judgement. Yet I find that they
consistently overlook crucial stories (like US involvement in Indonesia's
brutal invasion of East Timor) in favor of easy-to-digest stories about
Princess Diana, OJ, etc. And they are supposedly trained to be
"objective," yet they consistently show the corporate viewpoint and give
minimal voice to racial minorities, labor, women, etc. When I look for
real news, a "trained and experienced" reporter is the last person to
which I would turn.

However, Richard Aleksander has already said you're one of the good guys
in a previous post, and I trust his judgement.

Now, back to the subject of MoPac.

Lee Nichols
Newsletter Editor
ROUTE

Rick Shank

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Dec 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/5/95
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In article <lmn-041295...@net-1-247.austin.eden.com>,


No, back to your board drift. You are completely wrong. The selection of
drivel topics to report on has nothing to do with whether the reporter is
trained/degreed or not. It has to do with the idiots who make the decisions
that they are going to sell to idiots interested in drivel. This is an
accounting decision rather than a reporting decision. The trained/degreed
reporter would much rather report on a real story than who Di is sleeping
with today but people in general are moronic sheep. They buy far more copies
of 'OJ sleeps with Di' because that's where their mindset is. The owners
have decided 'because we're in business to make money (not report news), if
that's what the sheep want, that's what they will get.'

Alexander Medwedew

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
I've had this discussion with a friend of mine who feels higher speeds
are beneficial to society because they ultimately lower consumer costs ,
which is the more important. The argument regarding what is the most
efficient speed on a highway has so many factors that it may be an
extremely difficult question to answer.

Lowering the limit was a result of the need to save fuel. The argument
was higher speeds more fuel consumed. Greater polution resulting, but
this is supposedly negated by the use of cleaner fuels. The lowering of
speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile
accidents. Thus lower medical costs for accidents, insurance and
property damage. The cost of delivering goods was effected by the
increase in time required for transit thus effecting labor costs. The
increased labor costs meant higher prices for goods to the consumer. The
commuting time for those taking autos and buses is also greater. The
result is wasted productivity, the time commuting could be used for
greater production. The discussion goes on. I personally would like
higher speeds as long as it is safe and environmentally sound.

--
Alexander Medwedew
Computer Ventures, Inc.
comp...@tribeca.ios.com
http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/
CADVANCE LITE - Affordable CAD Software
http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/cadvlite.html

Alexander Medwedew

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
As a additional note vehicles are more efficient in the use of gasoline.
Does the 55 mph speed limit no longer have the conservation aspect as an
argument.

george conklin

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com> Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> writes:
>I've had this discussion with a friend of mine who feels higher speeds
>are beneficial to society because they ultimately lower consumer costs ,
>which is the more important. The argument regarding what is the most
>efficient speed on a highway has so many factors that it may be an
>extremely difficult question to answer.
>
>Lowering the limit was a result of the need to save fuel. The argument
>was higher speeds more fuel consumed. Greater polution resulting, but
>this is supposedly negated by the use of cleaner fuels. The lowering of
>speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile
>accidents. Thus lower medical costs for accidents, insurance and
>property damage. The cost of delivering goods was effected by the
>increase in time required for transit thus effecting labor costs. The
>increased labor costs meant higher prices for goods to the consumer. The
>commuting time for those taking autos and buses is also greater. The
>result is wasted productivity, the time commuting could be used for
>greater production. The discussion goes on. I personally would like
>higher speeds as long as it is safe and environmentally sound.
>
>--
>Alexander Medwedew
>Computer Ventures, Inc.
>comp...@tribeca.ios.com
>http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/
>CADVANCE LITE - Affordable CAD Software
>http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/cadvlite.html
>
>

You are very right in your idea that one must factor in a
person's time when making calculations of transit efficiency.

For example, for me to go the 7 miles to work, I can drive
door to door in 15 minutes, including parking.

To take transit, it would involve 3 changes and 1.5 hours.
This would be a subsidy in my time of about $30 each way, money
extracted from my hide by transit planners. They, of course, do
not count my time as anything, since they view my body as a pawn
in their plans.


--

Lee & Margaret

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>, Alexander Medwedew
<comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:

>I personally would like
> higher speeds as long as it is safe and environmentally sound.
>

Then I'm afraid you've just put yourself in the lower-speed camp. (Sorry
for snipping the other arguments you made, they were sound, but I wanted
to cut to what I -- and apparently you -- believe are the most important
factors.)

Lee Nichols
Rethinking Our Urban Transportation Environment (ROUTE)
Austin, TX

Jeffrey W. Janner

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>, Alexander Medwedew
<comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:

} I've had this discussion with a friend of mine who feels higher speeds
} are beneficial to society because they ultimately lower consumer costs ,
} which is the more important. The argument regarding what is the most
} efficient speed on a highway has so many factors that it may be an
} extremely difficult question to answer.
}
} Lowering the limit was a result of the need to save fuel. The argument
} was higher speeds more fuel consumed. Greater polution resulting, but
} this is supposedly negated by the use of cleaner fuels.

Hos anybody else noticed that the hole in the ozone layer started cropping
up *after* the speed limit was reduced to 55? ;)

} The lowering of
} speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile
} accidents. Thus lower medical costs for accidents, insurance and
} property damage.

And I suppose that improved structural designs and more strict DWI laws
had *nothing* to do with it?

--
Jeff Janner | jwja...@tamu.edu
Windows 95 is like a Centauri. It's very stylish, relatively powerless, tends to fall over a lot, and has it's tentacularities everywhere where they don't belong.

Mike Heath

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>,
Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>... The lowering of
>speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile
>accidents. ...

I didn't want to let this go by unchallenged.

There were several other factors involved that resulted in the decline
of fatalities. The biggest single factor was that since gasoline prices
were increasing dramatically at that time, FEWER MILES WERE BEING DRIVEN.

I also wouldn't discount the advancement in seat belt design and other
safety features.

Back in '78 or '79, I did a report on just this topic for a class
assignment. Two facts that really struck me were (at least at that time):

1) 85% of all FATAL auto accidents occured at speeds of 20 mph or less.

2) 95% of accidents (I don't remember if they were just fatal) occur
within 5 miles of home.

FYI
--
Mike Heath Pencom Software mi...@pencom.com
Austin, TX

Chris White

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>I've had this discussion with a friend of mine who feels higher speeds
>are beneficial to society because they ultimately lower consumer costs ,
>which is the more important. The argument regarding what is the most
>efficient speed on a highway has so many factors that it may be an
>extremely difficult question to answer.
>

Alexander lists a lot of factors, like delivery costs, that show
that efficiency can't be termed in terms of fuel only.

However, his concerns are not especially relevant to MOPAC, which
is where this thread started.

And again, MY argument is that 55 is safer, and not appreciably less
efficient. It may not be the safest or most efficient, but it seems
a reasonable trade-off. To me.

--
Chris White e-mail: chris...@mail.utexas.edu
\\// Live long and prosper.


Chris White

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
mi...@pencom.com (Mike Heath) wrote:

>1) 85% of all FATAL auto accidents occured at speeds of 20 mph or less.
>
>2) 95% of accidents (I don't remember if they were just fatal) occur
> within 5 miles of home.

What percentage of all accidents occur at less than 20 MPH?

What percentage of vehicle-hours are driven within 5 miles on the home?

How much more hazardous are surface roads than interstate, since these
roads tend to be slower and are more likely nearer home.

Without the ancillary numbers, I can't interpret the two numbers you give.

Gconklin

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
In article <4a4t43$k...@digdug.pencom.com> mi...@pencom.com (Mike Heath) writes:
+In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>,
+Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
+>... The lowering of
+>speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile
+>accidents. ...
+
+I didn't want to let this go by unchallenged.
+
+There were several other factors involved that resulted in the decline
+of fatalities. The biggest single factor was that since gasoline prices
+were increasing dramatically at that time, FEWER MILES WERE BEING DRIVEN.
+
+I also wouldn't discount the advancement in seat belt design and other
+safety features.
+
+Back in '78 or '79, I did a report on just this topic for a class
+assignment. Two facts that really struck me were (at least at that time):
+
+1) 85% of all FATAL auto accidents occured at speeds of 20 mph or less.
+
+2) 95% of accidents (I don't remember if they were just fatal) occur
+ within 5 miles of home.
+
+FYI
+--
+Mike Heath Pencom Software mi...@pencom.com
+ Austin, TX

You are right, Mike. The auto fatality rate had been falling
for years, and continued to fall between 1973 and 1974. The
expected fall was then claimed as a speed reduction decrease,
even though the rates continued to fall for the next 20 years.
It was just another example of being lied to by government. The
states where no speed reductions took place (because they also
had the 55 mph before it was nationally done) also had reductions
in fatalities between 1973-1974, as did urban areas, where no
speed change took place at all. The difference
in predicted and expected mortality was about quite small.
Nevertheless, the speed reduction did save about 1,000 lives a
year (total mortality on highways= 45,000-50,000 a year). The
road and design changes in the highways have caused the mortality
rate per 100,000 miles to decline by half in 20 years.

When rural interstates went up to 65 mph, about 750 additional
lives were lost per year due to the speed increase. Yet, had not
cars been made safer, we would be having 100,000 deaths per year
on the highway, instead of 45,000. So there is a small tradeoff:
highways are much safer, and a little will be lost with the
increased speed.


And for your internet flamers, I have used this dat set in my
statistics class for years now, and I have no intention of
listening to the comment "You are a liar and cannot post the
data." Give it up.


Gconklin

unread,
Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
to
In article <4a56t3$r...@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu> Chris White <chris...@mail.utexas.edu> writes:
+mi...@pencom.com (Mike Heath) wrote:
+
+>1) 85% of all FATAL auto accidents occured at speeds of 20 mph or less.
+>
+>2) 95% of accidents (I don't remember if they were just fatal) occur

+> within 5 miles of home.
+
+What percentage of all accidents occur at less than 20 MPH?
+
+What percentage of vehicle-hours are driven within 5 miles on the home?
+
+How much more hazardous are surface roads than interstate, since these
+roads tend to be slower and are more likely nearer home.
+
+Without the ancillary numbers, I can't interpret the two numbers you give.
+
+--
+Chris White e-mail: chris...@mail.utexas.edu
+\\// Live long and prosper.
+

All this stuff is published yearly, and has been since world
war 2. Why not look it up.

Overall fatality rates per 100,000 million miles traveled are
about half of what they were 20 years ago (in tahe 2 range vs 4-5
range, depending on area of the country. This would be for
non-urban roads.

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
to
In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>,

Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>I've had this discussion with a friend of mine who feels higher speeds
>are beneficial to society because they ultimately lower consumer costs ,
>which is the more important. The argument regarding what is the most
>efficient speed on a highway has so many factors that it may be an
>extremely difficult question to answer.
>
>Lowering the limit was a result of the need to save fuel. The argument
>was higher speeds more fuel consumed.

This was not only not true then, it is not true now. Do the test yourself.
Drive 500 miles at 55 and then 500 miles at 65. You will quickly find out
that you get better mileage at 65. It was a big lie then and it is still
a big lie. The speed limit was reduced because it was lobbied heavily by
safety enthusiasts under the guise that lower speeds => higher mpg. It was
done during the fuel shortage. It is NOT true.

I did the test back then in a '70 roadrunner and the results are the same
with an '85 RX7. The bottom line is cars are geared such that you are
running your engine in it's most efficient part of the torque curve at about
65 mph.

Rick

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
to
In article <DJ60o...@ecsvax.uncecs.edu>,

george conklin <geo...@nccu.edu> wrote:
>
> You are very right in your idea that one must factor in a
>person's time when making calculations of transit efficiency.
>
> For example, for me to go the 7 miles to work, I can drive
>door to door in 15 minutes, including parking.
>
> To take transit, it would involve 3 changes and 1.5 hours.
>This would be a subsidy in my time of about $30 each way, money
>extracted from my hide by transit planners. They, of course, do
>not count my time as anything, since they view my body as a pawn
>in their plans.
>


I did this going to college for 2 years. Like you said, it took me
2 hrs each way to go 20 miles each way. Mass transit -- bullshit!

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
to
In article <jwjanner-061...@ppp19-05.rns.tamu.edu>,

Jeffrey W. Janner <jwja...@tamu.edu> wrote:
>In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>, Alexander Medwedew
><comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>

snipple ...

>
>} The lowering of

>} speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile

>} accidents. Thus lower medical costs for accidents, insurance and
>} property damage.
>
>And I suppose that improved structural designs and more strict DWI laws
>had *nothing* to do with it?
>


It should be obvious that both your arguments contributed to it.

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
to
In article <4a4t43$k...@digdug.pencom.com>, Mike Heath <mi...@pencom.com> wrote:
>In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>,
>Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>>... The lowering of
>>speeds had the effect of reducing fatalities related to automobile
>>accidents. ...

>
>I didn't want to let this go by unchallenged.
>
>There were several other factors involved that resulted in the decline
>of fatalities. The biggest single factor was that since gasoline prices
>were increasing dramatically at that time, FEWER MILES WERE BEING DRIVEN.
>

I doubt this affected the stat for more than one year (the crisis was over
by then). Either way, it was a contributor.

>I also wouldn't discount the advancement in seat belt design and other

>safety features.
>

Welllll, other safety features. How much improvement has there been in
seatbelt design? :^)

>Back in '78 or '79, I did a report on just this topic for a class

>assignment. Two facts that really struck me were (at least at that time):
>

>1) 85% of all FATAL auto accidents occured at speeds of 20 mph or less.
>

As an ex ambulance attendant, I can guarantee you this is false (unless you
are including the fact that it is the stop that killed the occupants). :^)

>2) 95% of accidents (I don't remember if they were just fatal) occur

> within 5 miles of home.
>


I remember it being 90% within 25 miles of home.

Cynthia Bradshaw

unread,
Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
to
l...@eden.com (Lee & Margaret) wrote:
>In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>, Alexander Medwedew
><comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>
>>I personally would like
>> higher speeds as long as it is safe and environmentally sound.
>>
>Then I'm afraid you've just put yourself in the lower-speed camp. (Sorry
>for snipping the other arguments you made, they were sound, but I wanted
>to cut to what I -- and apparently you -- believe are the most important
>factors.)

Ok. Isn't this whole safety issue relative? Meaning, aren't there some
areas of the country where going faster isn't really going to make that much
difference? for example, Wyoming. I-70 is very flat, almost no turns, and
except in winter, very dry.

BTW, I've always argued that anyone who really wants a national speed limit
of 55 should have to drive across Wyoming on two lane roads withuot ever
exceeding 55.

Cynthia Bradshaw
-my own opinions, not my employers, maybe not yours


Dustin Christmann

unread,
Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
to
Cynthia Bradshaw wrote:
> Ok. Isn't this whole safety issue relative? Meaning, aren't there some
> areas of the country where going faster isn't really going to make that
> much difference? for example, Wyoming. I-70 is very flat, almost no
> turns, and except in winter, very dry.

I drove across Wyoming this summer (it's I-80, BTW) on a 6000+ mile road
trip. By far, those 300 miles were the most godawful boring ones -- no
hills, no curve, no anything. If I had run off the road, I would have hit
nothing.

Anyway, I cruised at 75 the entire way, and was passed with the same
regularity as if I were doing 65 in most other places.

> BTW, I've always argued that anyone who really wants a national speed limit
> of 55 should have to drive across Wyoming on two lane roads withuot ever
> exceeding 55.

The problem is that federal laws are partially made by a body whose
representation is based on population. States where you have to drive
200-300 miles to get anywhere generally have very few representatives whose
voices, in turn, get drowned out by representatives from places where
distances are much shorter.

National speed limits are a joke in a country with both the population
densities of the eastern seaboard (Boston-NY-Philly-Baltimore-Washington) and
of Montana.

--
Live from the Big Nerd Ranch, | LonghornsAstrosRocketsNinersBurnToro
Dustin R. Christmann | sLightningTottenhamEintrachtPadovaRe
University of Texas '94 | dSoxFlamesSidekicks
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dallas Burn Home Page (primo): http://www.metronet.com/~dustin/mls/
Texas Lightning Home Page (lame): http://www.metronet.com/~dustin/lightning/

Gerald Rioux

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
I just returned from a trip to Australia and find this discussion amusing
since I drove a number of gravel roads with speed limits as high as 110
kph (about 68 mph). Limiting travel to 55 mph on modern super highways
is ludicrous.


Jim McCoy

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
Rick Shank (ri...@dvorak.amd.com) wrote:
> In article <4a4t43$k...@digdug.pencom.com>, Mike Heath <mi...@pencom.com> wrote:
[...]

> >There were several other factors involved that resulted in the decline
> >of fatalities. The biggest single factor was that since gasoline prices
> >were increasing dramatically at that time, FEWER MILES WERE BEING DRIVEN.

> I doubt this affected the stat for more than one year (the crisis was over
> by then). Either way, it was a contributor.

It has continued to effect the number of miles driven. The reason fewer
miles were being driven _was because people were taking a plane_. The
growth of commuter airlines serving 200-500 mile hops in the past 20
years was not an fluke...a difference in 10 mph in the speed limit for
trips of this distance results in the trip taking 40-240 minutes longer.
Time is a very important commodity for most people.

> >I also wouldn't discount the advancement in seat belt design and other
> >safety features.
> >

> Welllll, other safety features. How much improvement has there been in
> seatbelt design? :^)

Well, when the speed limit was set to 55 no one outside of high-performance
racing and aeronautics had even heard of the following:

-airbags
-anti-lock brakes
-crumple zones and "cage" protection for passengers
-safety glass
-mandatory seatbelt/motorcycle helmet laws
-etc...

Back during the days of gas lines and bell-bottoms we were all still driving
tanks made by GM and Ford, didn't use seatbelts, and DWI offenders were
given a slap on the wrist. Times change. If you want to see how much take
a look at car commercials from the 70s and compare them to current ones.
The word "safety" was not in the auto manufacturers vocabulary until the
80s when boomers/yuppie-scum started having kids and getting paranoid.


jim


Gconklin

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
In article <DJ8Hy...@txnews.amd.com> ri...@lagrange.amd.com writes:
+In article <DJ60o...@ecsvax.uncecs.edu>,
+george conklin <geo...@nccu.edu> wrote:
+>
+> You are very right in your idea that one must factor in a
+>person's time when making calculations of transit efficiency.
+>
+> For example, for me to go the 7 miles to work, I can drive
+>door to door in 15 minutes, including parking.
+>
+> To take transit, it would involve 3 changes and 1.5 hours.
+>This would be a subsidy in my time of about $30 each way, money
+>extracted from my hide by transit planners. They, of course, do
+>not count my time as anything, since they view my body as a pawn
+>in their plans.
+>
+
+
+I did this going to college for 2 years. Like you said, it took me
+2 hrs each way to go 20 miles each way. Mass transit -- bullshit!
+
+Rick
+
+--
+Disclaimer: Not only are these NOT necessarily the opinions of the great company
+I work for - AMD, they may not even be the opinions of this author. If you are
+smart, you will take this post as the scribblings of a madman and ignore it.
+ "I know NUSSING, absolutely nussing." Sgt. Schultz

Notice I never say "Rapid Tranit." That is the biggest lie
ever invented.

Glad you noticed. Planners don't seem able to do this.

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
In article <4a7u6u$6...@test24-227.rz.uni-hohenheim.de>,

Cynthia Bradshaw <cynthia....@metrokc.gov> wrote:
>l...@eden.com (Lee & Margaret) wrote:
>>In article <4a3hf5$q...@news2.ios.com>, Alexander Medwedew
>><comp...@tribeca.ios.com> wrote:
>>
>>>I personally would like
>>> higher speeds as long as it is safe and environmentally sound.
>>>
>>Then I'm afraid you've just put yourself in the lower-speed camp. (Sorry
>>for snipping the other arguments you made, they were sound, but I wanted
>>to cut to what I -- and apparently you -- believe are the most important
>>factors.)
>
>Ok. Isn't this whole safety issue relative? Meaning, aren't there some
>areas of the country where going faster isn't really going to make that much
>difference? for example, Wyoming. I-70 is very flat, almost no turns, and
>except in winter, very dry.
>

Uhm, do you mean I-80?


>BTW, I've always argued that anyone who really wants a national speed limit
>of 55 should have to drive across Wyoming on two lane roads withuot ever
>exceeding 55.
>

--

Disclaimer: Not only are these NOT necessarily the opinions of the great company

I work for - AMD, they may not even be the opinions of this author. If you are

smart, you will take this post as the scribblings of a madman and ignore it.

Glenn Standifer

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
:110...@net-1-168.austin.eden.com>
<4a7u6u$6...@test24-227.rz.uni-hohenheim.de> Distribution:

Cynthia Bradshaw (cynthia....@metrokc.gov) wrote:

: BTW, I've always argued that anyone who really wants a national speed limit

: of 55 should have to drive across Wyoming on two lane roads withuot ever
: exceeding 55.

: Cynthia Bradshaw


: -my own opinions, not my employers, maybe not yours

Amen, I was extremely pleased to learn that while on break, and making a
trip from Houston to West Texas (a trip with nothing but a few cactus and
cows to hit for the most part) I'll be able to go a decent speed and not
worry about Insurance costs.

A few thoughts-
One of the loudest people complaining about adverse effects to
safety is the insurance industry. Currently th einsurance money can
swindle people based on abnormally low speed limits. If you get a ticket
for going 70 on a wide open interstate, thats a major ticket, points on
your license and money in Allstate's pocket for three years.
Second, AAA conducted a study showing a decrease (yes, but hey
really don't want to lak this one) in deaths due to increasing speed.
Setting reasonable limits encourages people to drive on faster roads
which frequently are much better designed and therefore among the safest
facilities we have.

Glenn Standifer _______________ __________ __________ ____
Civil Engineering '97 __/Trains, | | ______ | | ______ | | _
University of Pennylvania | Planes, and | | |____| | | |____| | | |_
gle...@eniac.seas.upenn.edu|oo_Automobiles_oo_| |_oo__oo_| |_oo__oo_| |___


George Jefferson

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
:> Ever hear of the 85th percentile rule?: Texas State law holds that speed
:> limits - other than federally mandated limits - will be legal only if they
:> are within five miles per hour of the average speeds used by 85 percent of
:> cars using the road.
:
:Is this really true? If so, that means that if we all drive at 150MPH the
:speed limit must be raised to 145. I like that.
:

that is exactly what the rule says. It works out because *very* few
people drive would drive anywhere near that fast, even if there
was no limit.

David L. Crow

unread,
Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
to
gle...@red.seas.upenn.edu (Glenn Standifer) writes:
>Amen, I was extremely pleased to learn that while on break, and making a
>trip from Houston to West Texas (a trip with nothing but a few cactus and
>cows to hit for the most part) I'll be able to go a decent speed and not
>worry about Insurance costs.

Insurance costs? If you spend a little time working with the system,
your insurance company never has to know about tickets you get. I
have a friend (yeah, that's it, a friend of mine) that gets 3 and 4
tickets a year and none of them go on his record. As a matter of
fact, he gets discounts on insurance for taking defensive driving.

Before anyone goes nuts, this friend has never made an insurance
claim against his auto insurance except during the hail storm a couple
of years ago. So I do not believe that there is a correlation between
people that get speeding tickets and higher insurance claims.
--
------ Texas! It's like a whole other country. ------
David L. Crow cr...@tivoli.com
http://www.cactus.org/~crow/

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/9/95
to
In article <4a8g5e$c...@anarchy.io.com>, Jim McCoy <mc...@io.com> wrote:
>Rick Shank (ri...@dvorak.amd.com) wrote:
>> In article <4a4t43$k...@digdug.pencom.com>, Mike Heath <mi...@pencom.com> wrote:
>[...]
>> >There were several other factors involved that resulted in the decline
>> >of fatalities. The biggest single factor was that since gasoline prices
>> >were increasing dramatically at that time, FEWER MILES WERE BEING DRIVEN.
>
>> I doubt this affected the stat for more than one year (the crisis was over
>> by then). Either way, it was a contributor.
>
>It has continued to effect the number of miles driven. The reason fewer
>miles were being driven _was because people were taking a plane_. The
>growth of commuter airlines serving 200-500 mile hops in the past 20
>years was not an fluke...a difference in 10 mph in the speed limit for
>trips of this distance results in the trip taking 40-240 minutes longer.
>Time is a very important commodity for most people.
>

And of course the large increase of miles flown rather than driven has
nothing to do with the lower air fairs. BTW, there are more people today
also. The number of miles driven per year dipped during that period for
about a year. There significant drop did not continue to the present day.
People still drive as much as they use to. As soon as the price of gas
got back to reality, people got back in their cars.


>> >I also wouldn't discount the advancement in seat belt design and other
>> >safety features.
>> >
>
>> Welllll, other safety features. How much improvement has there been in
>> seatbelt design? :^)
>
>Well, when the speed limit was set to 55 no one outside of high-performance
>racing and aeronautics had even heard of the following:
>
> -airbags
> -anti-lock brakes
> -crumple zones and "cage" protection for passengers
> -safety glass
> -mandatory seatbelt/motorcycle helmet laws
> -etc...
>

Yes, I can see these are all improvements in seatbelt designs. Please read
the original comments. That's why I left them in there.


>Back during the days of gas lines and bell-bottoms we were all still driving
>tanks made by GM and Ford, didn't use seatbelts, and DWI offenders were
>given a slap on the wrist. Times change. If you want to see how much take
>a look at car commercials from the 70s and compare them to current ones.
>The word "safety" was not in the auto manufacturers vocabulary until the
>80s when boomers/yuppie-scum started having kids and getting paranoid.
>
>
>jim
>

You must be a lot younger than me or your memory is a lot worse. I was there
driving my 70 roadrunner in those days and it had seatbelts. I used my seat-
belts too. The word safety has been around since the Tucker (40s). The rest
of the manufacturers didn't use it until it was crammed down their throats by
people like Ralph Nader (1964 Corvair) and subsequently by insurance companies.
(My 65 Corvair had seatbelts too BTW.) Safety glass was around back then too.
5 MPH bumpers were installed in the mid 70s. The 80s brought us crumple zones
and mandatory belt/helmet laws. The 90s brought us antilock brakes and air
bags. I'm referring to when these safety options/features became regular with
my dates, not when they were conceived.


Rick

Silas Warner

unread,
Dec 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/9/95
to
cr...@tivoli.com (David L. Crow) wrote:
>--
> ------ Texas! It's like a whole other country. ------


You ain't kidding, especially about traffic laws. You really should
explain the custom of the "Texas exit" some time.

(Hint: it's the Texian (that's how they say it!) practice of driving
off the freeway across the grass and onto the frontage road.)

Silas Warner


olin

unread,
Dec 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/9/95
to
ri...@dvorak.amd.com (Rick Shank) wrote:
[snipped]

>You must be a lot younger than me or your memory is a lot worse. I was there
>driving my 70 roadrunner in those days and it had seatbelts. I used my seat-
>belts too.

Rick, if you recall, seatbelts were still something of a "performance"
option in those days. At least they were circa 1964, when I graduated
from h.s. If memory serves, mandatory seatbelt installation didn't come
along until at least after 1965.

The word safety has been around since the Tucker (40s). The rest
>of the manufacturers didn't use it until it was crammed down their throats by
>people like Ralph Nader (1964 Corvair) and subsequently by insurance companies.
>(My 65 Corvair had seatbelts too BTW.)

Ford (Fix Or Repair Daily / Found On Road Dead / or my personal favorite,
Fucking Old Rebuilt Dodge) introduced the deep dish steering wheel and
the padded dash in 1956, AS safety features.

Safety glass was around back then too.
>5 MPH bumpers were installed in the mid 70s. The 80s brought us crumple zones
>and mandatory belt/helmet laws. The 90s brought us antilock brakes and air
>bags. I'm referring to when these safety options/features became regular with
>my dates, not when they were conceived.
>

BTW, There have been a couple seatbelt design improvements, but they're
fairly minor. The latches have also been improved somewhat, to allow
for better quick release.

As any racing driver will tell you, the only truly competent seatbelt is
the three point competition harness, and about the closest street cars
come to that is the one piece shoulder/lap belt. Big whoop! It's better
than nothing though, as it does keep you more or less under the steering
wheel, which I seem to recall, is still the position from which one best
controls the car. :-)


--
Olin Murrell
Austin, TX
ol...@bga.com

Randy Garbin

unread,
Dec 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/9/95
to

> > To take transit, it would involve 3 changes and 1.5 hours.

> >This would be a subsidy in my time of about $30 each way, money

> >extracted from my hide by transit planners. They, of course, do

> >not count my time as anything, since they view my body as a pawn

> >in their plans.

> >
>
>
> I did this going to college for 2 years. Like you said, it took me

> 2 hrs each way to go 20 miles each way. Mass transit -- bullshit!

It isn't "bullshit" when it is used in an area that is optimized for it.
Trying to build mass transit systems in an area that was designed with
automobile usage as the primary mode of transportation is almost doomed to
failure.

The obverse of this, of course, is trying to use your car to commute in
Midtown Manhattan or in the Back Bay of Boston. I think you'd find
commuting by car to take MUCH longer than taking the T.

--
General Motors didn't build the interstate highway system. Government did. Think about it.

http://www1.usa1.com/~roadside/RoadsideWebPage.html

Colin R. Leech

unread,
Dec 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/10/95
to

Now that misc.transport.road exists, please remove this thread from
misc.transport.urban-transit and move it there.

Thank you.


--
##### |\^/| Colin R. Leech || Civil engineer by training
##### _|\| |/|_ ag...@freenet.carleton.ca || Transport planner by choice
##### > < Opinions are my own. Consider them shareware if you want.
##### >_./|\._< misc.transport.[misc|road|marine] are here! Ask for them.

Gconklin

unread,
Dec 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/10/95
to
In article <roadside-091...@wmn2-58.usa1.com> road...@usa1.com (Randy Garbin) writes:
+In article <DJ8Hy...@txnews.amd.com>, ri...@lagrange.amd.com wrote:
+

+> > To take transit, it would involve 3 changes and 1.5 hours.
+> >This would be a subsidy in my time of about $30 each way, money
+> >extracted from my hide by transit planners. They, of course, do
+> >not count my time as anything, since they view my body as a pawn
+> >in their plans.
+> >
+>
+>
+> I did this going to college for 2 years. Like you said, it took me
+> 2 hrs each way to go 20 miles each way. Mass transit -- bullshit!
+
+It isn't "bullshit" when it is used in an area that is optimized for it.
&^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
&^^^^^^^

"Optimized for mass transit." Right.

Turning everyone into an apartment dweller and making cars to
expensive for the average person. Force them into overcrowded
trains at rush hour like in Tokoyo or NYC. If they don't like
it, the come up with plans like Durham's 2020 plan to make sure
they cannot escape using the coercive function of government to
close off other opportunities. Make them pay 50 cents a mile for
mass transit, and spend 2 yours a day using that transit,
discounting their time to zero.

And yes: proclaiming that this hell is good for crime,
environment, vegetarians and roller skaters and Jesus
Christ himself.


Alexander Medwedew

unread,
Dec 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/10/95
to
road...@usa1.com (Randy Garbin) wrote:
>It isn't "bullshit" when it is used in an area that is optimized for it.
>Trying to build mass transit systems in an area that was designed with
>automobile usage as the primary mode of transportation is almost doomed to
>failure.
>
>The obverse of this, of course, is trying to use your car to commute in
>Midtown Manhattan or in the Back Bay of Boston. I think you'd find
>commuting by car to take MUCH longer than taking the T.
>

Trying to add additional mass transit such as trains in Manhattan's
downtown or even an additional line on the east side is extremely
difficult at best. The disruption on the surface when building a new
subway line in New York City is incredible. Before a subway line can be
built all underground services must be moved. This takes years to do.
Meanwhile the traffic jambs get worse.

It is easier to build mass transit into a rural or suburban area than
try to retrofit a crowded urban area like New York City. You can build
elevated structures above existing highways for high speed trains. Los
Angeles a city highly dependent on the automobile did this on its Blue
Line in some sections.

--
Alexander Medwedew
Computer Ventures, Inc.
comp...@tribeca.ios.com
http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/
CADVANCE LITE - Affordable CAD Software
http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/cadvlite.html

Gconklin

unread,
Dec 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/10/95
to
In article <4afb0r$i...@news2.ios.com> Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com> writes:
+road...@usa1.com (Randy Garbin) wrote:
+>It isn't "bullshit" when it is used in an area that is optimized for it.
+>Trying to build mass transit systems in an area that was designed with
+>automobile usage as the primary mode of transportation is almost doomed to
+>failure.
+>
+>The obverse of this, of course, is trying to use your car to commute in
+>Midtown Manhattan or in the Back Bay of Boston. I think you'd find
+>commuting by car to take MUCH longer than taking the T.
+>
+
+Trying to add additional mass transit such as trains in Manhattan's
+downtown or even an additional line on the east side is extremely
+difficult at best. The disruption on the surface when building a new
+subway line in New York City is incredible. Before a subway line can be
+built all underground services must be moved. This takes years to do.
+Meanwhile the traffic jambs get worse.
+
+It is easier to build mass transit into a rural or suburban area than
+try to retrofit a crowded urban area like New York City. You can build
+elevated structures above existing highways for high speed trains. Los
+Angeles a city highly dependent on the automobile did this on its Blue
+Line in some sections.
+
+--
+Alexander Medwedew
+Computer Ventures, Inc.
+comp...@tribeca.ios.com
+http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/
+CADVANCE LITE - Affordable CAD Software
+http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/cadvlite.html
+
+

You seem to have fogotten that the NYC subways were built
after development had already taken place.

Antny

unread,
Dec 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/11/95
to
Yeah, but there being no daytime speed limit in Montana, excepting the
judgement of the drivers and the state troopers as to what a reasonable
speed limit is, seems a bit ridiulous.
Antny

Alexander Medwedew

unread,
Dec 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/11/95
to
ghco...@nando.net (Gconklin) wrote:
>
> You seem to have fogotten that the NYC subways were built
>after development had already taken place.
>
>

New York City's downtown was centered around Wall Street in the early
1900's. Harlem in Upper Manhattan was considered to be a suburb of the
city in 1890. Midtown did not realy flourish until after the 1950's.
Most of the major underground subway tunnels and bridge crossings for the
IRT, BMT and IND lines in Manhattan were completed before the late 1920's
when midtown was still low rise and had none of the traffic problems of
today.

Some Major Transportation and Construction Milestones in New York
History:

1609 New York Discovered by Henry Hudson
1624 Became permanent Dutch Colony
1664 Captured by British from Dutch
1785 Capital of the United States
1830 New York and Harlem and New York and New Haven Railroads
1851 Hudson River Railroad
1869 New York Central and Hudson River Railroad mergers
1871 First Grand Central Terminal and railroad approaches
1883 Brooklyn Bridge
1880 Expansion of upper Manhattan suburbs.
1886 Statue of Liberty
1900 Grand Central annexes expanding facility to 37 tracks.
1903 Williamsburg Bridge
1908 IRT tunnel connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn
1909 Manhattan Bridge
1909 Queensborough Bridge
1902 New York State Legislature passes law requiring use of electric
locomotives in Manhattan after 1910
1910 Pennsylvania Station and tunnels to New Jersey built
1913 Woolworth Building built, considered tallest building at time
1913 Second Grand Central Terminal opened
1916 Hellgate Bridge, Pennsylvania Railroad
1920 BMT tunnel connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn
1921 Port of New York Authority established
1924 14th street tunnel connecting manhattan to brooklyn
1927 Holland Tunnel
1931 Washington Bridge
1931 Empire State Building
1923 Train yards under Park Ave covered with construction of
Park-Lexington Building
1936 Triborough Bridge
1937 Lincoln Tunnel
1939 New York Worlds Fair
1939 Whitestone Bridge
1950 Beginning of major building boom in NYC
1963 PanAm Building
1964 New York Worlds Fair
1964 Verrazano Brige

--
Alexander Medwedew
Computer Ventures, Inc.
comp...@tribeca.ios.com
http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/

CADVANCE LITE - Affordable CAD Software

http://tribeca.ios.com/~compvent/cadvlite.html

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/11/95
to
In article <roadside-091...@wmn2-58.usa1.com>,

Randy Garbin <road...@usa1.com> wrote:
>In article <DJ8Hy...@txnews.amd.com>, ri...@lagrange.amd.com wrote:
>
>> > To take transit, it would involve 3 changes and 1.5 hours.
>> >This would be a subsidy in my time of about $30 each way, money
>> >extracted from my hide by transit planners. They, of course, do
>> >not count my time as anything, since they view my body as a pawn
>> >in their plans.
>> >
>>
>>
>> I did this going to college for 2 years. Like you said, it took me
>> 2 hrs each way to go 20 miles each way. Mass transit -- bullshit!
>
>It isn't "bullshit" when it is used in an area that is optimized for it.
>Trying to build mass transit systems in an area that was designed with
>automobile usage as the primary mode of transportation is almost doomed to
>failure.
>
>The obverse of this, of course, is trying to use your car to commute in
>Midtown Manhattan or in the Back Bay of Boston. I think you'd find
>commuting by car to take MUCH longer than taking the T.
>


Guess what. I went to school in Boston (Wentworth Institute). My friend
got to school in 30 minutes. My friend lived in Brockton with me. I did
not have a car. I was forced to use public transportation.

Rick Shank

unread,
Dec 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/11/95
to
> Silas Warner
>

They do this because the regular exits are so poorly designed. :^)

Rick - Ain Tayxis (with mah pickup), it's awl ayxit.

Tim H. White

unread,
Dec 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/11/95
to
In article <4a9rki$d...@netnews.upenn.edu> gle...@red.seas.upenn.edu (Glenn Standifer) writes:
> One of the loudest people complaining about adverse effects to
>safety is the insurance industry. Currently th einsurance money can
>swindle people based on abnormally low speed limits. If you get a ticket
>for going 70 on a wide open interstate, thats a major ticket, points on
>your license and money in Allstate's pocket for three years.

Bingo! You hit the nail on the head! Just wait now and we'll see what the
benchmark rate increases to this next year... :-) Now they (the insurance
companies) actually have a reason to raise the insurance rates....

Of course the other group that would like to see the limits stay down
are the folks that can hardly stand driving the 55 MPH speed limit. These
are the people who should be riding the bus to start with!

> Second, AAA conducted a study showing a decrease (yes, but hey
>really don't want to lak this one) in deaths due to increasing speed.
>Setting reasonable limits encourages people to drive on faster roads
>which frequently are much better designed and therefore among the safest
>facilities we have.

I believe it...

Tim White
--
==========================================================================
Opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of my employer
1-512-838-1128 whi...@austin.ibm.com

Spike White

unread,
Dec 13, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/13/95
to
Antny (ans...@sas.upenn.edu) wrote:
: Yeah, but there being no daytime speed limit in Montana, excepting the
: judgement of the drivers and the state troopers as to what a reasonable
: speed limit is, seems a bit ridiulous.

Why? Is there something inherently suspect about the facilities of Montana
drivers, more than, say, British or German drivers?

--
Spike White | sp...@hal.com | Biker Nerds
HaL Software Systems | '87 BMW K75S, DoD #1347 | From HaL
Austin, TX | http://www.halsoft.com/users/spike/index.html
Disclaimer: HaL, want me to speak for you? No, Dave...

Cynthia Bradshaw

unread,
Dec 13, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/13/95
to
sp...@hal.com (Spike White) wrote:
>Antny (ans...@sas.upenn.edu) wrote:
>: Yeah, but there being no daytime speed limit in Montana, excepting the
>: judgement of the drivers and the state troopers as to what a reasonable
>: speed limit is, seems a bit ridiulous.
>
>Why? Is there something inherently suspect about the facilities of Montana
>drivers, more than, say, British or German drivers?
>

However, all those white crosses on the side of the road that mark fatal
accidents are a real reminder of the actual dangers.

I thought that drivers were still financially responsible for any
livestock killed.

There is really a wide variety of terrain in Montana (mountain passes,
two lanes highways along the clarks fork river, and wide open spaces) and
weather (dry prairies, wet western front range, snow, ice, etc.).

There's also something to said about the "spirit" of the place. It's a
place where the ethic is still for people to take care of themselves.

Cynthia Bradshaw
-my own opinion, not my employers

David J. P. Long

unread,
Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
to
road...@usa1.com (Randy Garbin) wrote:

>The obverse of this, of course, is trying to use your car to commute in
>Midtown Manhattan or in the Back Bay of Boston. I think you'd find
>commuting by car to take MUCH longer than taking the T.

Nashua NH to Boston MA, Beth Israel Hospital annex (Kenmore Square).
Commute times: Driving, 55 minutes - Drive/Train/Walk/Subway/Walk: 1
hour 45 minutes minimum.

Hudson NH to Boston, MA (World Trade Center) - Drive/Walk: 1 hour 10
minutes (since they moved the parking lot further away for
construction of a hotel). Drive/Train/Shuttle Bus - 2 hours.

------------------------
dj
djl...@magic.mv.com
david...@fmr.com
----------------------- [No time for cute graphics]


Antny

unread,
Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
to
sp...@hal.com (Spike White) wrote:
>Antny (ans...@sas.upenn.edu) wrote:
>: Yeah, but there being no daytime speed limit in Montana, excepting the
>: judgement of the drivers and the state troopers as to what a reasonable
>: speed limit is, seems a bit ridiulous.
>
>Why? Is there something inherently suspect about the facilities of Montana
>drivers, more than, say, British or German drivers?
>
>--Yeah, you got a point, but I don't approve of their lack of speed limit either.


Marc Dufour

unread,
Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
to

==============================================================
Alexander Medwedew <comp...@tribeca.ios.com>
écrivit le - wrote on 11 Dec 1995 20:37:53 GMT:
--------------------------------------------------------------

...


>Some Major Transportation and Construction Milestones in New York
>History:

A few questions...

>1609 New York Discovered by Henry Hudson
>1624 Became permanent Dutch Colony
>1664 Captured by British from Dutch
>1785 Capital of the United States
>1830 New York and Harlem and New York and New Haven Railroads
>1851 Hudson River Railroad

How did that road originally crossed (is it the East River?) into
Manhattan island, by a bridge or by carfloats?

>1869 New York Central and Hudson River Railroad mergers
>1871 First Grand Central Terminal and railroad approaches

...


>1913 Second Grand Central Terminal opened
>1916 Hellgate Bridge, Pennsylvania Railroad

Wasn't the hellgate built by the NY,NH & H RR? Was it designed by
Otto Lindenthal? I read somewhere that one of it's major piers is in
fact resting on an underground "bridge" over a major geological fault.
Is there information available somewhere on that?

>1920 BMT tunnel connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn
>1921 Port of New York Authority established
>1924 14th street tunnel connecting manhattan to brooklyn
>1927 Holland Tunnel

Was it built by the Port Authority? Was it the one where a sandhog
was expelled from the digging shield by a blowout, and was able to swim
to the surface of the river?

>1931 Washington Bridge
>1931 Empire State Building

...


>1964 New York Worlds Fair
>1964 Verrazano Brige

Is it still the longest single-span bridge in the world?


-------------------Pour la République Française du Québec------------------
Ask yourself: What is social progress?
Is it when individuals can accumulate as much wealth/power as possible no
matter how, or is it when the little guys are protected from the big guys?
--- Marc Dufour -- [\] ACUC 6 31874 & TDI -- http://www.accent.net/emdx ---


Spike White

unread,
Dec 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/16/95
to
Cynthia Bradshaw (cynthia....@metrokc.gov) wrote:
: I thought that drivers were still financially responsible for any
: livestock killed.

Usually it's the other way around. Unless it's open rangeland and clearly
marked as such, the farmer or rancher is obligated to maintain his fences.
If he doesn't, and his livestock strays onto the public roadway, the farmer
or rancher is financially responsible for any damages.

That's the law. The reality is it's damned hard to prove which rancher's
cow it was you hit (ask me how I know). OTOH, I did hit an unleashed Labrador
Retriever once on a motorcycle -- the owner was ruled financially responsible
for not keeping her "livestock" penned.