HIS DAY OFF, and Scott Kozel is devoting it to something he loves:
He's behind the wheel of his big Buick, steering it around a curve on
a just-opened highway outside of Richmond, admiring the concrete and
steel all around.
The road's surface, unstained ash-gray, shimmers under the midday
sun. Overpasses are unblemished by time and vandals. The median is
crisply mowed, the shoulders free of litter and weeds. It looks less a
highway than a computer simulation.
What Kozel fastens on, however, are things that might easily escape
attention. The way the highway banks ever so slightly as it sweeps
left. Its arc as it does so, no doubt true to the state's prescribed
minimum radius of 1,821 feet for a flat-terrain freeway designed for
travel at 70 mph. Interchanges overbuilt in anticipation of ratcheting
traffic loads. Collector-distributor lanes straddling the main line,
siphoning away congestion at especially busy crossroads.
Rest of the article is at
Froggie | Reporting from Slidell, LA |
> King of the Roads
> By EARL SWIFT, The Virginian-Pilot
> Š August 21, 2005
Pretty much describes the Scott M. Kozel that I have the honor of
knowing and traveling with on occasion. Another deserved
acknowledgment of his work.
John in the sand box of Marylands eastern shore.
"John R Cambron" <*camb...@chesapeake.net*> wrote in message
> fro...@mississippi.net wrote:
>> King of the Roads
>> By EARL SWIFT, The Virginian-Pilot
>> © August 21, 2005
> Pretty much describes the Scott M. Kozel that I have the honor of
> knowing and traveling with on occasion. Another deserved
> acknowledgment of his work.
Well, congradulations to Mr Kozell ! :)
>Pretty much describes the Scott M. Kozel that I have the honor of
>knowing and traveling with on occasion. Another deserved
>acknowledgment of his work.
Yes, great story. Now, Scott, tell us how many more hits you get as a result of
this piece. Bet your bandwidth spikes!
To reply by e-mail, remove the "restrictor plate"
Thanks for the compliments, guys! Firstly, I believe that I discovered
the "bandwidth sink" that I discussed on "Roadgeek" (and got good
feedback on) a couple weeks ago, an article that got a lot of attention
on the "Snope's Urban Legends Pages", and I unlinked several of the .jpg
images and the total website bandwidth dropped back to normal. I'm glad
that I solved that in time for this article, which should increase
Secondly, Earl Swift is a fairly prominent writer, and he works for the
_Virginian-Pilot_, and his articles typically are later published in at
least a half dozen other newspapers. We spent about 4 hours together on
the interview and he is an interesting person, and he gave me some
valuable pointers on how I might go into free-lance writing for a
I'll promote his articles and books, here are several that he wrote
"19th century mountain tunnel may soon return to fame"
By EARL SWIFT, _The Virginian-Pilot_, July 6, 2005
Synopsis: Claudius Crozet’s celebrated Blue Ridge Tunnel, a stone arch
railroad tunnel four-fifths of a mile long under Afton Mountain in
Virginia, once the longest such structure in the world. Abandoned since
1944, it is now the centerpiece of a planned hiking and biking trail.
"Claimed only by the flood"
By EARL SWIFT, _The Virginian-Pilot_ - March 19, 2005
Synopsis: Four children from the same family were lost in the floods in
Nelson County VA in 1969 resulting from the remnants of Hurricane
Camille, and nobody ever stepped forward to claim them, theories abound,
it is believed that they were on a trip traveling through the state, but
the children remain unidentified.
_Where They Lay: Searching for America's Lost Soldiers_
AUTHOR: Earl Swift
Synopsis: "Swift focuses on the search for an army helicopter crew that
went down in Laos in 1971. He interweaves accounts of a generation's
worth of site sifting, involving everything from the most basic shovel
work to satellite relaying of computer data, with the whole history of
the remains-recovery project. He adds short biographies of the four
lost airmen-Jack Barker, John Dugan, Billy Dillender and John Chubb-and
the details of forensic and archeological techniques used over the last
_Journey on the James: Three Weeks through the Heart of Virginia_
by Earl Swift
Synopsis: "In 1998, restless in his job as a reporter for the Norfolk
Virginian-Pilot, Earl Swift landed an assignment traveling the entire
length of the James. He hadn't been in a canoe since his days as a Boy
Scout, and he knew that the river boasts whitewater, not to mention
man-made obstacles, to challenge even experienced paddlers. But
reinforced by Pilot photographer Ian Martin and a lot of freeze-dried
food and beer, Swift set out to immerse himself -- he hoped not
literally -- in the river and its history. What Swift survived to bring
us is this engrossing chronicle of three weeks in a fourteen-foot
plastic canoe and four hundred years in the life of Virginia".
>King of the Roads
>By EARL SWIFT, The Virginian-Pilot
>© August 21, 2005
>Rest of the article is at
I get an error when I try to access this URL (9:30pm PDT). Did it get
moved to an archive page?
postscript - Kozel sez he started driving in '68
when about 60% of the interstates complete.
I started driving in '63... and there was no I-81
and I-95 between Washington and Richmond
were under construction.
Canoeing has been my hobby .. all over the state
and of course.. 'getting there' involves highways
and back roads but I remember many a trip
to western Va on US 250 out of Charlottesville
and then down Route 11 through the Shennandoah
Valley. Boy have things changed!!! :-)
Rest of the article is at
I wonder about that part of the story which states that old walking cities
have been destroyed by the car. The modern industrial city was NEVER a
walking city. It depended entirely on bringing workers in from some
distances, perhaps to a downtown location, but still they did not live
Very cool. While Scott and I disagree every now and then it's nice to
see him recognized (outside this forum at least) for the many positive
contributions he does make.
Just one comment... a BUICK???? that explains a lot :P
> I wonder about that part of the story which states that old walking
> cities have been destroyed by the car. The modern industrial city was
> NEVER a walking city. It depended entirely on bringing workers in
> from some distances, perhaps to a downtown location, but still they
> did not live there.
There are a number of examples of planned cities that surrounded industrial
plants. Both Edison and Westinghouse built cities to support their
factories in a number of places around the Northeast. People often walked
from their company subsidized houses to work, and shopped in stores that
were within walking or cycling distance of their homes.
A few that come to mind are Wilmerding, PA, and Swissvale, PA which are
cities where Westinghouse built a couple of his plants. Edison built
factories in Lawrence Park, PA, and Schenectady, NY, which he supported
with planned communities by the plant gates.
There are numerous examples all over the northeast, from mining towns to
steel and manufacturing towns. Transit systems allowed people to live
farther away from their places of work, but typical commuting time was
still less than 20 minutes in most cases.
Thanks Nate... I appreciate that!
> Just one comment... a BUICK???? that explains a lot :P
Being over age 50 explains a lot of it... that is the age group that
fullsize Buicks are targeted at. Twenty years ago I had no interest in
The writer overall was very accurate in citing what I said in the
interview, but I take exception with that one point, where he said "our
once-pedestrian culture – in which people lived within walking distance
of work or streetcar, and shopped, schooled and worshiped within blocks
of home – was erased by them [roads and parking areas]".
I didn't say that, and I did say that I had lived for 15 years in urban
neighborhoods where I did a lot of walking, biking and riding of
transit, and that both of those neighborhoods were less than a mile from
an urban Interstate highway.
And just what's wrong with a Buick? I drive a large Oldsmobile saloon and am
quite happy with it. Not everybody likes SUVS. I tip my hat(if I wore one)
to Mister Kozel and his Buick. When *you* get a site this big and
authoritative, you can bust on Scott's choice of transport! NERR!
Comrade Mister Yamamoto
"Every existing thing is born without reason,
prolongs itself out of weakness,
and dies by chance." – Jean-Paul Sartre
> "George Conklin" <georgec...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>> > King of the Roads
>> > By EARL SWIFT, The Virginian-Pilot
>> > © August 21, 2005
>> I wonder about that part of the story which states that old walking
>> have been destroyed by the car. The modern industrial city was NEVER a
>> walking city. It depended entirely on bringing workers in from some
>> distances, perhaps to a downtown location, but still they did not live
> The writer overall was very accurate in citing what I said in the
> interview, but I take exception with that one point, where he said "our
> once-pedestrian culture – in which people lived within walking distance
> of work or streetcar, and shopped, schooled and worshiped within blocks
> of home – was erased by them [roads and parking areas]".
Any clue where this myth started? American cities NEVER have had the density
and concentration of European cities-There really was no "pedestrian
culture" in this country's history that I can recall, In fact our history
is replete with efforts to travel and connect great distances to ease
travel for others(thank you, Captain Obvious!). Hardly a pedestrian
friendly idea, I'd say.
Sounds like some silly Bourgeoise rubbish to me.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Buicks. They make
excellent cars for people who prize a smooth ride over things like, oh,
Now if Scott said he had a GSX, I'd be his new best friend :)
(SUV??? I'm hurt. And that sound you just heard was Scott burning his
copy of Hemming's in terror <G>)
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
Depends on how you define "performance". With the V-6 engine and the
suspension in the latest LeSabres, it could perform (acceleration,
speed, high-speed cornering) as well as most of the cars on the road
I'm a car snob, what can I say. I value agility, braking, and
acceleration over just about any other virtues a car may have (other
than reliability and durability I suppose.) "Most" cars quite honestly
I wouldn't be happy driving at all. Now's about the point where you ask
me what I drive and I sheepishly respond that I used to drive a Porsche
944 but now drive a base model Impala because my employer bought it for me.
You may all laugh at me now, but it's free. :(
I've had LeSabres as Avis rentals a few times in the past year, and have had
nothing to complain about when it comes to driveability in real traffic on
real roads. A bit softer ride than I prefer, but certainly adequate.
Oh, forgot to mention. To add insult to injury, I was recently offered
by a friend of mine a slightly used Boxster S for just about the same
price that was listed on the window sticker of my then-one-week-old
Impala. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. No, they won't let
you pick out your own car; I tried.
I wouldn't claim to be able to keep up with something in the class of a
Porsche, but I said -most- cars...
> replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
I wouldn't claim to be able to keep up with something in the class of a
Porsche, but I said -most- cars...
Today's fullsize Buicks aren't the stodgy vehicles that they were 30
years ago... watch out for that old duffer in the Park Avenue, he may
challenge you to a race and then win! :-)
It was a very political statement, to be sure. I'm not surprised,
though. The Virginian-Pilot tends to be very left-leaning...to the
point where some Hampton Roads conservatives call it the
Froggie | Formerly of Virginia Beach, VA |
Thanks for the clarification. Reporters have been told about the walking
city and they always seem to insert false information into their stories. I
gave a series of schoarly articles to one local reporter who simply put them
at the bottom of a pile of paper and never looked at them. Local officials
do the same thing. They are trying to recreate a world that never existed.
The whole goal of urban transit is NOT to walk. That was supposed to be
one advantage of living in the city...you could take transit and leave the
walking to 1. the mules, 2. later, electricity.
My first car was a 1954 Buick rag top. It was rusted out. The transmission
had the car jumping around if you ever put it in reverse. It got about 10
mpg, at best. I loved it. But I never drove another Buick.
I'm not sure how that got in there... the reporter was interested enough
in the website and its author, that he wrote a very positive story about
it. It was his idea to do the story, he found the website and was
interested enough in it to contact me and ask if he could do a story
about it, and as a senior reporter is able to get most of his stories
approved in advance in outline form by his editor.
Ok, but my point was that they really don't read very much as a group.
I have a 1988 Delta 88-not the most impressive looking vehicle on the
highway, but it's in excellent mechanical shape, and has a lot better
acceleration than you'd expect. It sure surprised me the first time I drove
Bah, I'll bet it's nowhere near as entertaining as Pravda. I don't care what
"side" someone fronts for: I can't stand the practice of making up the
facts to fit your agenda. Worse yet is switching somebody's context up to
fit your agenda.
> King of the Roads
> By EARL SWIFT, The Virginian-Pilot
> © August 21, 2005 [snip]
After reading it thoroughly, I thought it was excellent - except for
these two paragraphs:
"So exhaustive is Kozel's approach that an entire section of his Web
site examines the Web site itself - who's using it, where they're
from, when they make contact. A visitor may thus learn that in June,
Roads to the Future scored 548,640 hits, an average of 18,288 per day.
Usage peaked at 2,801 hits per hour.
The No. 1 source of visits? Google, with 3.74 percent of all referrals
to the site, followed, at 1.59 percent, by a search engine written in
Chinese. After American visitors, most come from Taiwan - though
Brazil, Hungary, Thailand and Turkey figure prominently in Kozel's
Scott had nothing to do with the Stats page. That's generated
automatically by the webhost.
Correct. I told him about the /stats/ section of the site, but I did
not claim that I developed it.
At the bottom of each /stats/ webpage, there is the developer cite --
Generated by<A HREF="http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer/"><STRONG>Webalizer
IMHO most cars ought to be able to handle as well as a 20-year-old
(actually, older than that, as the 944 was introduced as a model
somewhere around 1980) Porsche :) but they don't :( Of course, most
vehicles don't ride as stiffly as a Porsche either... picked a friend
up from the body shop the other day, it was the first time he'd been in
the car. He apparently thought that a Porsche was supposed to be an
"upmarket" car and therefore comfortable and luxurious... he found it
difficult to believe that I hadn't modified the suspenson (and actually
mine doesn't even have the optional sport suspension package) so maybe
the market for "Nazi slot cars" isn't as big as I'd like it to be.
> Today's fullsize Buicks aren't the stodgy vehicles that they were 30
> years ago... watch out for that old duffer in the Park Avenue, he may
> challenge you to a race and then win! :-)
In a straight line, a LOT of machinery can beat me... but personally I
wouldn't mind having a 30 year old Buick... well actually the high
point seems to have been around 1970ish... can I get a GS455
convertible please? <G>
What about site views? Those are far more important than page hits(both
are drastically different and site views is what SHOULD be counted, not
I drove a circa 1997 Buick Riviera with a blown 3800 V6 engine back from
Memphis once. It had quite a bit of power, even though I wouldn't call it a
hot rod. The supercharger was transparent, unlike many turbocharged cars
that I've driven. The naturally aspirated 3800 is a tough, reliable engine
with adequate torque, but not a performance car.
When I was in high school, my dad had a 85 Buick Sky Hawk (Cavalier clone)
2.0 OHV with a 4 speed manual. That was a fun car.
>> Today's fullsize Buicks aren't the stodgy vehicles that they were 30
>> years ago... watch out for that old duffer in the Park Avenue, he may
>> challenge you to a race and then win! :-)
> In a straight line, a LOT of machinery can beat me... but personally I
> wouldn't mind having a 30 year old Buick... well actually the high
> point seems to have been around 1970ish... can I get a GS455
> convertible please? <G>
I know where there's a 70 or 71 Olds 442 *convertible* sitting by the side
of the road. It appears complete but is just rotting away. And they won't
sell. A pity, my dad already has a four-door parts car that is complete. A
few years back, there was a late 60's Dodge Dart GT sitting at the same
place, but it's gone now.
If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to buy a car carrier and do nothing but
drive back roads, looking for old cars to buy and restore. A good excuse
Beliefs are dangerous. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning.
A non-functioning mind is clinically dead. Believe in nothing.
- Maynard James Keenan
I saw a Grand National last week near Norman, AR. It looked to be in
excellent shape. Why can't Flint make cars like that now?
Does the base model come with a 4 banger or a 6? I would imagine a 4
cylinder Impala would be totally wuss.
They're coming out with a 5.3L V8 Impala in 06(?). FWD and all. Of course,
it will only be available with a 4 speed slushbox, rendering it useless as a
That's not a bad motor for power unblown-that's what the 88-88 has under the
hood, and it accelerates quite nicely. Mileage isn't half bad, either.
> If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to buy a car carrier and do nothing
> drive back roads, looking for old cars to buy and restore. A good excuse
> for roadtripping.
You need an excuse? :)
So I've heard... it also belongs to the same family as the Grand
National/GNX engine I believe as well as the supercharged Buick
engines. Unfortunately that's an optional engine in the Impala and I
have the base model 3.4 which is based on the old 2.8 and is basically
adequate for a Cavalier-sized car.
> > If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to buy a car carrier and do nothing
> > but
> > drive back roads, looking for old cars to buy and restore. A good excuse
> > for roadtripping.
> You need an excuse? :)
Heh, if that plan ever works out give me a call. You can drive around
and retrieve the stuff and I'll turn wrenches. I don't do bodywork,
though. (that's not me being a prima donna, that's me knowing my