Westside MAX=S L O W!

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Brian Varine

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Sep 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/14/98
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Anyone catch the KGW newscast today at 5pm? No big surprise but by
taking the car to downtown, you will save over 30 minutes over MAX even
with all of the congestion on 26.
Time to Portland (KGW Studios) 28 Minutes, time on MAX 1hr 2 min. In
another surprise, most of the riders of MAX previously took the bus. One
bright spot is that the former bus riders said it was much faster than
the bus and much more comfortable.

DeLores

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Sep 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/14/98
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I happen to live on Sundance Court in Hillsboro where the KGW staff chose to
start their trip this morning. I also drove my car to Portland this morning
(NW PTLD) leaving here 15 minutes before they did and it took me one hour
and ten minutes to get there! That is the 'fun' part of taking Sunset to
Portland; ten minutes one way or the other on your departure time can make a
HUGE difference in arrival time depending on which slowdown happens when on
Sunset.

I have to use my car for work but if I had the choice, believe me, I would
be riding MAX!!

Brian Varine wrote in message <35FDCA...@usa.nobulkemail.net>...

Andrew

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Brian Varine <Witch*D...@usa.nobulkemail.net> wrote:
: Anyone catch the KGW newscast today at 5pm? No big surprise but by

: taking the car to downtown, you will save over 30 minutes over MAX even
: with all of the congestion on 26.

Have you ever driven on the Sunset highway? I do it several times a
week, *against* rush hour traffic, from downtown to Hillsboro. For
me, outbound is usually much faster than inbound. When the weather
turns rainy, the inbound (oppposite rush hour) traffic crawls between
Cornell and Cedar Hills and again between 217 and the cemetary. It
can easily take me 45-50 minutes to get from Shute Road (wait in the
long line of cars on the ramp just to get ON the Sunset) - unless
there's an accident, then I start looking at Walker Road or
Cornell...

On a *really* good day I can make it home in about 30 minutes, yes -
assuming good weather, no accidents, and NO congestion, just normal
cars doing almost the speed limit. Only an idiot would assume a MAX
train that stops eight times would be faster. Of course a car doing
60 miles an hour in good conditions will beat it.

Outbound rush hour that I see lined up the other way is usually much
worse. There's no way in hell anyone could make it home in the
evening from KGW to Hillsboro in 28 minutes in those backups.

Still, I'd rather spend an extra half hour on MAX in rainy weather
reading on the way home than getting stuck in traffic in bad weather.

: Time to Portland (KGW Studios) 28 Minutes, time on MAX 1hr 2 min. In


: another surprise, most of the riders of MAX previously took the bus.

Why would this be a surprise? The thing has been open for exactly one
day to commuters. The weather right now is ideal driving weather.
Does KGW think commuters change their commuting habits over night?

: One


: bright spot is that the former bus riders said it was much faster than
: the bus and much more comfortable.

Would anyone really expect a bus to be faster and more comfortable?

Well, I'm glad KGW has determine that westside MAX is a failure after
exactly one day of commuter use. But somehow I have a feeling you had
made up your mind long ago.

Andrew
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew andr...@bizave.com
Visit Andrew's Portland, Oregon Web Site: http://www.bizave.com


Brian Varine

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Andrew wrote:

> On a *really* good day I can make it home in about 30 minutes, yes -
> assuming good weather, no accidents, and NO congestion, just normal
> cars doing almost the speed limit. Only an idiot would assume a MAX
> train that stops eight times would be faster. Of course a car doing
> 60 miles an hour in good conditions will beat it.

I would like to see a comparison of times for a week of commuting. Total
up the times from riding MAX for a week, and the car for a week. I would
bet the car wins.

Another thing is WHY does MAX have *17* stops? It's rediculous to have
this many stops. That is why MAX is so slow. There is no reason to have
that many stops. Have few stops with all busses going to those points.


> Outbound rush hour that I see lined up the other way is usually much
> worse. There's no way in hell anyone could make it home in the
> evening from KGW to Hillsboro in 28 minutes in those backups.
>
> Still, I'd rather spend an extra half hour on MAX in rainy weather
> reading on the way home than getting stuck in traffic in bad weather.

So have you switched to MAX yet? Why not?

> Well, I'm glad KGW has determine that westside MAX is a failure after
> exactly one day of commuter use. But somehow I have a feeling you had
> made up your mind long ago.

Well, it's not a failure if you previously rode the bus. For $1 Billion,
you think we'd have a much faster line

Eric A. Mathiasen

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Alright,

Lets bring a little common sense to the discussion please. Of course
taking the train is slower than driving most of the time. But what
can you do while you're driving? Not much. Maybe you feel you can
risk your life and the lives of those around you by making a cell phone
call, but that's really the limit of your productivity. If you
take the train, you can read the newspaper, work on a speech, organize
notes, use a laptop if you have one, review resumes from job candidates,
any number of productive things you can't do while driving. I wouldn't
recommend using a laptop in public outside of rush hour (safety in numbers)
but the rest is doable any hour of the day. What is the rail distance of
Portland to Hillsboro? About 15 miles? It doesn't surprise me that that would
take an hour. In Chicago, when I lived exactly 10 miles north of the
Loop (the city center, and where all rail lines converge), it usually took
45 minutes to get to downtown on the "El". And I'd guess there are about
17 stops or so between Howard and Madison.

YOu can't take out too many stops or convenience suffers, and too many
and speed suffers. About one every half mile to mile and a half, depending
on population density and surrounding land use is pretty normal. In
Chicago off-hours, I could usually travel from Howard to Madison in
about half an hour by car, but during rush hour the trains were almost
always quicker, and definetely les stressful.

-Eric Mathiasen
--
Eric A. Mathiasen | er...@mathiasen.com | www.mathiasen.com

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 03:59:02 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:

>Have you ever driven on the Sunset highway?

I wonder how your commute on the Sunset will be when the abysmal
2-lane bottlenecks are eliminated.

Because the highway has been allowed for years to sit at inadequate
capacity while massive funds went to the rail line hardly makes it a
fair comparison, although it exactly how the rail advocates want it to
work out.

Andrew

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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lang...@teleport.com wrote:

: On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 03:59:02 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:

: >Have you ever driven on the Sunset highway?

: I wonder how your commute on the Sunset will be when the abysmal
: 2-lane bottlenecks are eliminated.

Never heard of induced traffic, eh?

How will the commutes on the Sunset be in ten years? Or should we
just add another lane again? In twenty years? Just add another lane
then again?

: Because the highway has been allowed for years to sit at inadequate


: capacity while massive funds went to the rail line hardly makes it a
: fair comparison, although it exactly how the rail advocates want it to
: work out.

Light rail is a much better investment for the future than is adding
more lanes to the freeways. A third lane is of course needed on the
Sunset, but there are limits to how many lanes you can add over time.
And for every lane you add, you have to add lanes whereever the cars
will go. New buildings are growing in downtown like weeds - which means
new jobs and new residents - and more cars on downtown streets. At
what point will it reach gridlock?

Ask Seattle if they wish they'd started to build their light rail
system fifteen years ago like Portland did...

Andrew

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Brian Varine <Witch*D...@usa.nobulkemail.net> wrote:
: Andrew wrote:

: > On a *really* good day I can make it home in about 30 minutes, yes -
: > assuming good weather, no accidents, and NO congestion, just normal
: > cars doing almost the speed limit. Only an idiot would assume a MAX
: > train that stops eight times would be faster. Of course a car doing
: > 60 miles an hour in good conditions will beat it.

: I would like to see a comparison of times for a week of commuting. Total
: up the times from riding MAX for a week, and the car for a week. I would
: bet the car wins.

So would I. No one is saying MAX will ever be faster on average than
driving. But in heavy traffic it could well be almost as fast as
driving - and a hell of a lot less stressful, especially in bad
weather.

: Another thing is WHY does MAX have *17* stops? It's rediculous to have


: this many stops. That is why MAX is so slow. There is no reason to have
: that many stops. Have few stops with all busses going to those points.

MAX has too many stops in downtown and the east side between Lloyd
Center and the Steel bridge. MAX is much better designed on the
west side; there are only two stops between Beaverton Transit Center
and Goose Hollow! Because MAX is not going along streets between BTC
and downtown Hillsboro, it can start and stop quickly, unlike in
downtown and inner east side where it moves slowly and has to wait for
traffic.

There are already many feeder busses to support areas close to the new
MAX stations. No, having riden it a few times already, I think they
did a great job picking the stops and the route. There are not too
many stops on the west side.

: > Outbound rush hour that I see lined up the other way is usually much


: > worse. There's no way in hell anyone could make it home in the
: > evening from KGW to Hillsboro in 28 minutes in those backups.
: >
: > Still, I'd rather spend an extra half hour on MAX in rainy weather
: > reading on the way home than getting stuck in traffic in bad weather.

: So have you switched to MAX yet? Why not?

"Switching" to MAX does not register with me, because I am not an
anti-car nut. I would never ever give up my car, but I will take
Tri-met when it is relatively convenient. If everyone who could
easily take mass transit would take it just once a week, the streets
would be a lot less crowded.

Now, if I lived in Hillsboro and worked downtown instead of the other
way around, it would make more sense to take MAX almost every day. I
would not have to fight the horrible traffic and then pay for
parking. At lunch time I could walk all over or use the downtown
buses and MAX to go out for lunch or run errands.

But I commute to Hillsboro with traffic not as bad as rush hour
to-from downtown and with free parking; plus it is hard to walk or
take busses to get errands done or go out for lunch. As it is, I am
planning to take MAX as often as I can, at least once a week (I do not
have to drive to Hillsboro every day anyway). I'll see how it works
out. I'm sure I will be taking it even more often in bad weather.

: > Well, I'm glad KGW has determine that westside MAX is a failure after


: > exactly one day of commuter use. But somehow I have a feeling you had
: > made up your mind long ago.

: Well, it's not a failure if you previously rode the bus. For $1 Billion,
: you think we'd have a much faster line

It's just too early to tell how well Westside MAX will be accepted by
people who did not previously ride the bus. Old commuting habits die
hard. There has been tons of hype about MAX itself, but how many
people on the west side really understand how convenient the new
feeder bus service to MAX is? Give it more than two days, OK?

rsjo...@my-dejanews.com

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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In article <6tm2cj$dl9$1...@hirame.wwa.com>,

I agree with a lot of the above, but, as someone said, for $1 Billion, you'd
think they'd have an amazing, very swift system there. The bulk of the cost,
of course, was the West Hills tunnels. Having built them, perhaps someday
they'll improve the rest of the line to include expresses, possibly reducing
travel time.

In addition, however, it's a mistake to compare travel times on a transit
line in Chicago to Portland. The densities in suburban Portland are such
that you'd think, even _with_ 10 stops between Beaverton and Hillsboro, the
trip would only take about 20 minutes or so - 30 second dwell times and 1.5
minutes between each stop - because the trains could go at maximum possible
speed between stations. Evidently, MAX was not designed with an eye toward
speed. Although I'm sure travel times are not hugely different during
rush-hour, speed is definitely an advantage to transit if it is designed
properly. All those curly-cues MAX does around the Stadium and at the Sunset
TC I'm sure slow everything down a lot.

Same as what I've been saying about Holladay St. and the Steel Bridge - bad
route design, adding a lot of unnecessary travel time for the sake of a tiny
number of passengers (does anybody take MAX to Lloyd Center?). And there are
too many stations downtown. If you eliminated one-third of them, I'd bet
ridership would actually go _up_ because you saved 10 minutes of travel time,
attracting more riders (eventually).

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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On 15 Sep 1998 15:50:43 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
<emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:

>Alright,
>
>Lets bring a little common sense to the discussion please. Of course
>taking the train is slower than driving most of the time. But what
>can you do while you're driving?

You can stop for groceries, you can pick up the kids, you can drive
right into your garage and lock it behind you if a creep is following
you, you can live anywhere and work anywhere without severely
increasing your commute by needing multiple transfers, you can carry
on a private conversation with a passanger, you can sellect the
temperature, you can avoid poeple with unpleasant odors, you can avoid
transmission of contagious deseases, you cna always be guaranteed a
seat, and a clean one at that, you can lock out dangers...

>YOu can't take out too many stops or convenience suffers, and too many
>and speed suffers.

Which is why people are so willing to spend thousands of hours per
year on their cars, and all that time unable to read the "novel" that
transit advocates seem so absorbed by.

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 18:06:38 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:

>Never heard of induced traffic, eh?

I've heard of it plenty, but have never seen any evidence that
starvation is the best way to treat a famine. Let's at least make an
effort to have road capacity keep up with growth. If population
doubles, as a rule the road capacity should double.

>Light rail is a much better investment for the future than is adding
>more lanes to the freeways.

This is the first time I have ever heard of light rail and investment
being used in the same sentence! A billion dollars for *how* many
people to switch from nasty buses to shiny trains?!

>Ask Seattle if they wish they'd started to build their light rail
>system fifteen years ago like Portland did...

Ask them if they *really* wish that they hadn't abandoned their
freeway construction plans when they were only halfway through.

Andrew

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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rsjo...@my-dejanews.com wrote:
: In article <6tm2cj$dl9$1...@hirame.wwa.com>,

: "Eric A. Mathiasen" <emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:
: > Alright,
: >
: > Lets bring a little common sense to the discussion please. Of course
: > taking the train is slower than driving most of the time. But what
: > can you do while you're driving? Not much. Maybe you feel you can

: > risk your life and the lives of those around you by making a cell phone
: > call, but that's really the limit of your productivity. If you
: > take the train, you can read the newspaper, work on a speech, organize
: > notes, use a laptop if you have one, review resumes from job candidates,
: > any number of productive things you can't do while driving. I wouldn't
: > recommend using a laptop in public outside of rush hour (safety in numbers)
: > but the rest is doable any hour of the day. What is the rail distance of
: > Portland to Hillsboro? About 15 miles? It doesn't surprise me that that would
: > take an hour. In Chicago, when I lived exactly 10 miles north of the
: > Loop (the city center, and where all rail lines converge), it usually took
: > 45 minutes to get to downtown on the "El". And I'd guess there are about
: > 17 stops or so between Howard and Madison.
: >
: > YOu can't take out too many stops or convenience suffers, and too many
: > and speed suffers. About one every half mile to mile and a half, depending

: > on population density and surrounding land use is pretty normal. In
: > Chicago off-hours, I could usually travel from Howard to Madison in
: > about half an hour by car, but during rush hour the trains were almost
: > always quicker, and definetely les stressful.
: >

: I agree with a lot of the above, but, as someone said, for $1 Billion, you'd
: think they'd have an amazing, very swift system there. The bulk of the cost,
: of course, was the West Hills tunnels. Having built them, perhaps someday
: they'll improve the rest of the line to include expresses, possibly reducing
: travel time.

They would have to build bridges or tunnels to eliminate the
steet-level crossings. That would be expensive, and I'm not sure how
muchtime it would really save.

: In addition, however, it's a mistake to compare travel times on a transit


: line in Chicago to Portland. The densities in suburban Portland are such
: that you'd think, even _with_ 10 stops between Beaverton and Hillsboro, the
: trip would only take about 20 minutes or so - 30 second dwell times and 1.5
: minutes between each stop - because the trains could go at maximum possible
: speed between stations. Evidently, MAX was not designed with an eye toward
: speed.

There are fifteen stops between Beaverton Transit Center and the last stop, Hatfield
Gov. Center in Hillsboro. Travel time is about 27 minutes.

Although I'm sure travel times are not hugely different during
: rush-hour, speed is definitely an advantage to transit if it is designed
: properly. All those curly-cues MAX does around the Stadium and at the Sunset
: TC I'm sure slow everything down a lot.

With a reasonable number of stops to serve homes and businesses,
there's just no way a train will be faster than no-traffic driving.
Even if MAX went 2X the speed between stations, you wouldn't save that
much time, because you still have to start and stop without yanking
the passengers out of their seats. :-)

A high-speed train is worth it only if you are going a long distance.
A high-speed train is being designed for eventual travel between
Eugene and Vancouver, BC, I think.

: Same as what I've been saying about Holladay St. and the Steel Bridge - bad


: route design, adding a lot of unnecessary travel time for the sake of a tiny
: number of passengers (does anybody take MAX to Lloyd Center?). And there are
: too many stations downtown. If you eliminated one-third of them, I'd bet
: ridership would actually go _up_ because you saved 10 minutes of travel time,
: attracting more riders (eventually).

Now this I mostly agree with. You could get rid of two stops between
Lloyd Center and the bridge; one stop would easily serve the
Convention Center, the Rose Quarter, and 7th Ave.

But yes, people do take it to Lloyd Center. I have a couple of times.

Andrew

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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lang...@teleport.com wrote:
: On 15 Sep 1998 15:50:43 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
: <emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:

: >Alright,
: >
: >Lets bring a little common sense to the discussion please. Of course
: >taking the train is slower than driving most of the time. But what
: >can you do while you're driving?

: You can stop for groceries, you can pick up the kids, you can drive


: right into your garage and lock it behind you if a creep is following
: you,

Oh, I'm sure a lock will keep all the creeps out of your house. Great
idea to let them follow you home so they know where you and your kids
live.

: you can live anywhere and work anywhere without severely


: increasing your commute by needing multiple transfers,

Or you could live in an area where you can *walk* to things instead of
having to get in your car to do *anything*.

: you can carry on a private conversation with a passanger,

Or you can chat with a stranger and maybe make new friends - without
having to keep your eyes on the road - or have someone to talk to if
you are driving to work alone every day, instead of being so
anti-social.

: you can sellect the temperature

You can open a window on buses. MAX trains and some buses have A/C.


: you can avoid poeple with unpleasant odors, you can avoid


: transmission of contagious deseases, you cna always be guaranteed a
: seat, and a clean one at that, you can lock out dangers...

Unless that person you want to hold that private conversation with is
giving off the odors or the diseases.

On MAX or a bus you can often get up and move if someone is bothering
you.


If you drive, you can also get in a car accident (better chance of
this than being a crime victim), get stuck in traffic or road
construction, drive around for ten minutes to find a parking spot (or
pay a few bucks to park), put on your chains in case there is ice on
the Sylvan Hill, have idiots on the road cut you off or endanger your
life, and have your car stolen or vandalized while you are parked.


: >YOu can't take out too many stops or convenience suffers, and too many
: >and speed suffers.

: Which is why people are so willing to spend thousands of hours per


: year on their cars, and all that time unable to read the "novel" that
: transit advocates seem so absorbed by.

People moving out of the cities and into the suburbs has been a mixed
blessing for them. Without mass transit, people in the suburbs *have*
to get in the car to go anywhere. What if your car breaks down? If
mine breaks down, I can walk to a bunch of places or take a bus or MAX
just about anywhere I want to go.

I'll never give up my car, but I love mass transit.

Andrew

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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lang...@teleport.com wrote:

: On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 18:06:38 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:

: >Never heard of induced traffic, eh?

: I've heard of it plenty, but have never seen any evidence that
: starvation is the best way to treat a famine.

So are you saying an extra lane on the Sunset won't get immediately
filled up with cars or not?

Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
eliminate traffic?

: Let's at least make an


: effort to have road capacity keep up with growth. If population
: doubles, as a rule the road capacity should double.

It's not that simple. Once you have a developed area, it is extremely
expensive to add new roads or widen them. Then you have to go back
and do the same thing again in a few years.

: >Light rail is a much better investment for the future than is adding


: >more lanes to the freeways.

: This is the first time I have ever heard of light rail and investment
: being used in the same sentence! A billion dollars for *how* many
: people to switch from nasty buses to shiny trains?!

No, it's an investment because if we waited til the year 2010 to say,
"Duh, gee, our five-lane freeways are still full of cars and air
pollution is horrible, I guess we need mass transit", it would
probably have cost us 5X to build the same MAX line.

: >Ask Seattle if they wish they'd started to build their light rail


: >system fifteen years ago like Portland did...

: Ask them if they *really* wish that they hadn't abandoned their
: freeway construction plans when they were only halfway through.

Again, which cities have managed to build enough roads to handle all
the cars? Los Angeles?

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 23:02:08 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:

>So are you saying an extra lane on the Sunset won't get immediately
>filled up with cars or not?

It is a Good Thing when a public works project is fully utilized by
the public. The goal is not to create empty lanes, but to reduce
wasted commute time and improve safety.


>
>Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
>eliminate traffic?

Probably none, since most of the funds are tied up with strings that
require politically ncorrect transit options that most people don't
want to use themselves, but wish their neighbors would.

>It's not that simple. Once you have a developed area, it is extremely
>expensive to add new roads or widen them. Then you have to go back
>and do the same thing again in a few years.

Only if there is an increasing demand. And it is not such a big
problem if you keep up with growth. However, if you fall behind by a
few decades, you will have quite a battle to get on top of it. So
much that a few anti-car folks will claim that it is impossible, when
it merely takes a rational, concerted effort.

>No, it's an investment because if we waited til the year 2010 to say,
>"Duh, gee, our five-lane freeways are still full of cars and air
>pollution is horrible, I guess we need mass transit", it would
>probably have cost us 5X to build the same MAX line.

Why? Tunnels more expensive to bore? Why not just add busses and bus
lines? A pretty cheap option.

And the bit about the air pollution is an unsubstantiated claim when
current cars are almost pollution free, and the fleet will be much
cleaner in the years ahead.

>Again, which cities have managed to build enough roads to handle all
>the cars? Los Angeles?

If you think that having adequate roads will cause our population to
increase by a factor of 5 or 10, you can think again.

John R Mudd

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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In article <QlCL1.2281$K02.1...@news.teleport.com>,

Andrew <andr...@bizave.com> wrote:
>So are you saying an extra lane on the Sunset won't get immediately
>filled up with cars or not?
>
>Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
>eliminate traffic?

Exactly none. But I don't think that's not what Langlotz was talking about.

I posted an article last month that talks about why a third lane is
needed on Sunset Highway:

http://x10.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=380889030&CONTEXT=905903064.1809121408&hitnum=0

BTW, someone asked why I'm not riding Max yet. That's easy: it doesn't
go where I need to go. That's exactly why I'll be voting against the
upcoming ballot issue. Great, light rail to a shopping mall, that makes
a lot of sense.


Eric A. Mathiasen

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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rsjo...@my-dejanews.com wrote:
: In addition, however, it's a mistake to compare travel times on a transit
: line in Chicago to Portland. The densities in suburban Portland are such
: that you'd think, even _with_ 10 stops between Beaverton and Hillsboro, the
: trip would only take about 20 minutes or so - 30 second dwell times and 1.5
: minutes between each stop - because the trains could go at maximum possible

This is just a minor point, but Chicago's "El" is in fact either elevated
above the traffic, or down below the traffic, or running down the middle of
an interstate, so it can go as fast as it wants without worry. I think the
express trains between Howard and Fullerton get up to 45 or 50 mph in
Chicago, but I could be mistaken.

-Eric

Eric A. Mathiasen

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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Andrew <andr...@bizave.com> wrote:
: Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
: eliminate traffic?

This may be a first for me (and probably a last, too) but
I have to say Minneapolis has excellent traffic MOST places,
MOST of the time, especially compared to Portland and Seattle.
But, I have a feeling our blessings are about to end.
Minneapolis has almost no plans to add significany highway
in the next 20 years, and I'd be shocked if they had even
one spur of their proposed light-rail up and running in 10
years.

But it is pretty much just a matter of time for Minneapolis.
They've allowed their metro area to spread out like a melting
ice cube, and they have the added bonus of extremely expensive
maintanence (road salt, plows, lots of pothole repairs, shorter
road lifetimes because of the weather). Somethings bound to
slip, and I would bet anything that it will be commute times.

I live in Minneapolis now, but I firmly believe that the next
20 years will greatly magnify the wisdom of Portlands planning and
spotlight the insufficencies of cities like Minneapolis. In
other words, in 20 years Portland will still be a great city to
live in, but I doubt the same wil apply to Minneapolis without
a lot of money.

Andrew

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
John R Mudd <j...@pgroup.com> wrote:
: In article <QlCL1.2281$K02.1...@news.teleport.com>,

: Andrew <andr...@bizave.com> wrote:
: >So are you saying an extra lane on the Sunset won't get immediately
: >filled up with cars or not?
: >

: >Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
: >eliminate traffic?

: Exactly none. But I don't think that's not what Langlotz was talking about.

: I posted an article last month that talks about why a third lane is
: needed on Sunset Highway:

I don't need to see an article explaining why the third lane is needed
(at least between Sylvan and 217). It's obvious to anyone who has
driven on the Sunset in the last six months. But once the new lane is
added, expect more cars on the Sunset to fill it up. Traffic will
improve from horrible to bad - until the existing lanes become
inadequate in a few years. Then what do we do? Keep adding lanes?

: BTW, someone asked why I'm not riding Max yet. That's easy: it doesn't

: go where I need to go. That's exactly why I'll be voting against the
: upcoming ballot issue. Great, light rail to a shopping mall, that makes
: a lot of sense.

"It doesn't go where I need to go " is a pretty lousy reason to vote
against something. Not everything the government spends money on
directly benefits me. Does that mean I should vote only for things
that benefits me personally? I think not. If I can see how a
proposal like light rail benefits the region in the long term and
sounds like a good idea, of course I will vote for it, even if I
receive no direct benefit.

There is a better reason to vote against North-South light rail as
currently proposed: the route they're proposing is flawed. You're
right, Clackamas Town Center is not exactly the most desirable place
to put at the end of a light rail train.

I know several people who are light rail advocates, and surprisingly
*everyone* I've talked to so far is voting against it. I'm fairly
sure I will vote no. I think it is doomed if even light rail
proponents will vote against it.

As pointed out to me by a few friends, the proposed N-S line will tear
up the bus mall and require a new bridge - and have to cross the river
*twice*! That's silly. Best to come up the east side to Rose Quarter
and cross there - maybe plan for a new bridge there someday to handle
extra MAX trains or allow them to cross more quickly. The future of
the Steel bridge may be in doubt, anyway.

I have not studied the rest of the plan in detail, beyond seeing where
the routes go. Going through Milwaukie makes sense, but beyond that
I'm not sure. Certainly not to CTC. Perhaps it should meet up with
the proposed commuter rail line from Beaverton to Wilsonville - not
sure how easy that would be to do. It should of course go through
some undeveloped land where new growth could be concentrated. Or
maybe we don't need a N-S line at all.

nic...@eudoramail.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 18:06:38 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:
>
> >Never heard of induced traffic, eh?
>
> I've heard of it plenty, but have never seen any evidence that
> starvation is the best way to treat a famine.

Perhaps you're familiar with the concept of a diet as a good way to treat
obesity.

Let's at least make an
> effort to have road capacity keep up with growth. If population
> doubles, as a rule the road capacity should double.

Interesting concept. Let's see how this works. Right now, half of the land
in Portland is dedicated to automobiles (roads, parking, driveways). If we
double the population and double the amount of land dedicated to the
automobile that leaves us with...um...uh...all of the land dedicated to
automobiles. (Of course this is a ridiculous example. But, to a limited
extent, the concept is valid.)

(As a complete aside, were you aware that the carrying capacity of a roadway
is maximized at 30 mph?)

> >Light rail is a much better investment for the future than is adding
> >more lanes to the freeways.
>
> This is the first time I have ever heard of light rail and investment
> being used in the same sentence! A billion dollars for *how* many
> people to switch from nasty buses to shiny trains?!

A very good investment. You seem to be looking at only one dimension of the
situation. Another benefit of light rail is the type of land development
that it encourages (buses do this too, but to a much more limited extent).
It makes more possible development patterns in which the car becomes less
necessary (e.g., you don't have to get into your car to get a loaf of bread
because you can get to a store faster on foot than others can get to a store
by car. This type of development also encourages more of a sense of
community than the situation in which you take an elevator to a parking
garage and then drive into your home garage, with no personal interaction
along the way. (I understand that you are not a fan of this much closeness
to the community in general. Some people, however, are.) This has the added
benefit of discouraging the crime that you so strongly fear.

Regards,
Nic H.

nic...@eudoramail.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
r...@pgroup.com (John R Mudd) wrote:

> BTW, someone asked why I'm not riding Max yet. That's easy: it doesn't
> go where I need to go. That's exactly why I'll be voting against the
> upcoming ballot issue. Great, light rail to a shopping mall, that makes
> a lot of sense.

We seem to be spending lots of money on roads to get people to shopping malls.
I'm not sure that light rail is any less justified on that basis.

But seriously, you might want to look a little more carefully at the
future. Clackamas county is anticipated to have extremely high population
growth in the next several years. It seems like a good idea to give all those
people an efficient means to get to places where they can work. The S/N line
seems to do that. Sure, it terminates at a mall. But right across the street
is the highest concentration of residential units in Clackamas County.

nic...@eudoramail.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
"Eric A. Mathiasen" <emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:
> Andrew <andr...@bizave.com> wrote:
> : Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
> : eliminate traffic?
...

> I live in Minneapolis now, but I firmly believe that the next
> 20 years will greatly magnify the wisdom of Portlands planning and
> spotlight the insufficencies of cities like Minneapolis. In
> other words, in 20 years Portland will still be a great city to
> live in, but I doubt the same wil apply to Minneapolis without
> a lot of money.

Thanks for the sense of perspective. When I first started comparing Portland
to Minneapolis I was appalled by Portland's road system. Over time I grew to
see the wisdom of Portland's plans for the future (although I still think the
entire west side should be wiped clean and roaded anew). As an added data
point, do you recall how much the new I-3x5 (can't remember the exact number)
road cost and how long it is?

Eric A. Mathiasen

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:
: (As a complete aside, were you aware that the carrying capacity of a roadway

: is maximized at 30 mph?)

This applies only to streets, not to limited access expressways.

: (I understand that you are not a fan of this much closeness


: to the community in general. Some people, however, are.) This
: has the added benefit of discouraging the crime that you so
: strongly fear.

Yep, contrary to the imagination of many suburbanites, the biggest
deterrent to crime isn't a locked door and barred windows, but
enough people out and about being potential witnesses. The only
places this breaks down is where organized crime has a stronghold,
such as some parts of New York City.

Eric A. Mathiasen

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:
: Thanks for the sense of perspective. When I first started comparing Portland

: to Minneapolis I was appalled by Portland's road system.

One thing to consider here is that Portland's surrounding geography
is nothing like Minneapolis' surrounding geography, except that the
Mississippi here could be compared to the Willamette there. Both are
excellent for rowing. :-)

: As an added data point, do you recall how much the new I-3x5 (can't

: remember the exact number) road cost and how long it is?

I3x5 in Minneapolis? Well, I think the newest addition is I-394 from
downtown Minneapolis due west. It's about 12 miles of roadway, but I
don't know what the final cost figures were. It's definitely used a
lot, though, and is a busy corridor now.

The current light-rail proposal for Minneapolis calls for a line from
downtown Minneapolis, near the Convention Center, down what's called
the Hiawatha corridor, past the airport, and terminating near the Mall
of America. Some proponents would like to see that line extended down
south of the river, though, because river-crossing traffic is currently
one of the worst traffic jams in the area. Future spurs would include
a connecting line from downtown St. Paul, and probably one west along
the current I-394 route or north along I-94. There's a lot of discussion
right now in the press because this year was the first time Governor
Arne Carlson gave his support for lightrail (ironically he is not seeking
re-election).

lang...@teleport.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 05:45:47 GMT, nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:

>Perhaps you're familiar with the concept of a diet as a good way to treat
>obesity.

If you think there is a glut of capacity on the roads, you haven't
been driving in the last 20 years.

>Interesting concept. Let's see how this works. Right now, half of the land
>in Portland is dedicated to automobiles (roads, parking, driveways).

This is total nonsense. Where do you come up with this? And what
does private property usage have do do with road congestion?

>If we
>double the population and double the amount of land dedicated to the
>automobile that leaves us with...um...uh...all of the land dedicated to
>automobiles. (Of course this is a ridiculous example. But, to a limited
>extent, the concept is valid.)

Nic, your usually sensible (but misguided ;-) nature is missing here.

>(As a complete aside, were you aware that the carrying capacity of a roadway
>is maximized at 30 mph?)

This is a preposterous simplification. The maximum carrying capacity
speed depends on the road. For one, it might be 15 mph; for another
75 mph. Since we are talking about limited access multilane divided
highways, it is closr to the latter.

In fact we really have it wrong. The speed is dependent on the usage.
traffic will naturally flow at a maximum speed without congestion.
Increase the number of users, and the traffic volume will
increase...to a point. When the road is over used beyond capacity,
the volume flow will decrease. This is the theory for limiting access
with ramp signals.

The goal isn't to maximize speed, but volume, which is a function of
speed.

>A very good investment. You seem to be looking at only one dimension of the
>situation. Another benefit of light rail is the type of land development
>that it encourages (buses do this too, but to a much more limited extent).

So do freeways. Ever notice where the new retail and office complexes
crop up, with new housing not far? Not near bus lines, but near
freeway interchanges. If you want to make some landowners rich, build
a new freeway. But that's not a justification for taking tax dollars:
to make some landowners rich.

>This type of development also encourages more of a sense of
>community than the situation in which you take an elevator to a parking
>garage and then drive into your home garage, with no personal interaction

>along the way. (I understand that you are not a fan of this much closeness


>to the community in general. Some people, however, are.)

If your social vision is so great, why don't the people who prefer it
invest in it without the massive subsidy from my and others' tax
dollars?

Eric A. Mathiasen

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
: If your social vision is so great, why don't the people who prefer it

: invest in it without the massive subsidy from my and others' tax
: dollars?

Public transit is about as feasible to be built 100% with private
dollars as dams are. How many 100% private dams that serve the public
can you name? And would you be willing to sacrifice the cheap
electricity and shipping that dams provide the Northwest?

Jeff Holloway

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
> On 15 Sep 1998 15:50:43 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
> <emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:

>>Alright,
>>
>>Lets bring a little common sense to the discussion please. Of course
>>taking the train is slower than driving most of the time. But what
>>can you do while you're driving?

> You can stop for groceries, you can pick up the kids, you can drive
> right into your garage and lock it behind you if a creep is following

> you, you can live anywhere and work anywhere without severely
> increasing your commute by needing multiple transfers, you can carry
> on a private conversation with a passanger, you can sellect the

> temperature, you can avoid poeple with unpleasant odors, you can avoid


> transmission of contagious deseases, you cna always be guaranteed a
> seat, and a clean one at that, you can lock out dangers...

>>YOu can't take out too many stops or convenience suffers, and too many
>>and speed suffers.

> Which is why people are so willing to spend thousands of hours per
> year on their cars, and all that time unable to read the "novel" that
> transit advocates seem so absorbed by.

What he said.

Jeff


--
Jeff Holloway | He had that rare weird electricity about him --
System Administrator | that extremely wild and heavy presence that you
Tech 7 Systems, Inc. | only see in a person who has abandoned all hope
je...@tech7.com | of ever behaving "normally" - Hunter S. Thompson,
| "Fear and Loathing '72"
Not a member of the Lumber Cartel (tinlc) and not Unit #1572

James_...@88.teleport.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
> "Eric A. Mathiasen" <emat...@tako.wwa.com> writes:
> lang...@teleport.com wrote:

> : If your social vision is so great, why don't the people who prefer it
> : invest in it without the massive subsidy from my and others' tax
> : dollars?

> Public transit is about as feasible to be built 100% with private
> dollars as dams are. How many 100% private dams that serve the public
> can you name? And would you be willing to sacrifice the cheap
> electricity and shipping that dams provide the Northwest?

>>>>

Ahem. Just about >everyone< uses electricity. What percentage of the
general population actually uses MAX?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave 2

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
Andrew wrote:
>
ne on the Sunset won't get immediately
> filled up with cars or not?
>
> Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
> eliminate traffic?
>
Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Norfolk


Elliminate traffic? As in no vehicles on the road at all? ;)

Assuming you mean traffic *congestion*, well, you can never elliminate it, but
you can improve it, or prevent it from getting worse.


Most of those that either improved or stayed the same did so for one of two
reasons - either the city built more freeway lanes and streets to handle the
demand, or demand was reduced as a result of an economic downturn.

http://tti.tamu.edu/mobility/congrel97.stm

lang...@teleport.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
On 16 Sep 1998 17:44:03 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
<emat...@tako.wwa.com> wrote:

>lang...@teleport.com wrote:
>: If your social vision is so great, why don't the people who prefer it
>: invest in it without the massive subsidy from my and others' tax
>: dollars?
>
>Public transit is about as feasible to be built 100% with private
>dollars as dams are.

I was talkijng about investing in residential developments with
idyllic shopping within walking distance, etc., not public transit.

I would never suggest that the people who use public transit actually
pay for it. Everyone knows that they lack the money, and that their
fares pay for only a tiny fraction of expenses. Only by taking tax
dollars from non users is the system feasible.

nic...@eudoramail.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 05:45:47 GMT, nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:
>
> >Perhaps you're familiar with the concept of a diet as a good way to treat
> >obesity.
>
> If you think there is a glut of capacity on the roads, you haven't
> been driving in the last 20 years.

By now you should know that I'm not talking about capacity (and you should
know that I have indeed been driving for the last 20 years). Road building
is an activity that builds its own appetite. The more roads you build, the
more capacity you need. Talk to people who have seen how the elimination of
the Embarcadero Freeway in SF has actually improved traffic in that city
(despite the fact that at least 4(?) lanes of capacity simply disappeared).

> >Interesting concept. Let's see how this works. Right now, half of the land
> >in Portland is dedicated to automobiles (roads, parking, driveways).
>
> This is total nonsense. Where do you come up with this? And what
> does private property usage have do do with road congestion?

Talk to the fine folks at the Surface Transportation Policy Project. Of
course, we already know that those Greenpeace folks are wackos but they say
"nearly 50 percent" in U.S. cities and 65% in LA, 15% in London.
Unfortunately, I can't immediately lay my hands on the reference that I had
for Portland. But, though it may be hard to believe (it certainly was for
me) it's definitely not nonsense.

The point about driveways is that you can't consider just roads when
measuring "capacity." The more people are dependent on cars, the more places
they have to drive to and the more cars per capita, the more parking spaces
and driveways we will need. I would not be surprised to find a direct
correlation between the number of lane-miles built and the number of parking
spaces built.

> >If we
> >double the population and double the amount of land dedicated to the
> >automobile that leaves us with...um...uh...all of the land dedicated to
> >automobiles. (Of course this is a ridiculous example. But, to a limited
> >extent, the concept is valid.)
>
> Nic, your usually sensible (but misguided ;-) nature is missing here.

Yes, well, I exaggerate to make a point. And that is that for every acre of
road capacity added, there's one less acre available for houses, shops,
parks, farms and lots of other uses. And, in cities, there's surprisingly
little land left that isn't under asphalt or concrete.

>
> >(As a complete aside, were you aware that the carrying capacity of a roadway
> >is maximized at 30 mph?)
>
> This is a preposterous simplification. The maximum carrying capacity
> speed depends on the road. For one, it might be 15 mph; for another
> 75 mph. Since we are talking about limited access multilane divided
> highways, it is closr to the latter.

Preposterous? Nonsense? Gosh, I'm really doing poorly today aren't I? Yes,
the speed of the road is one factor. Car spacing is another factor. The
higher the speed, the greater the spacing (to maintain safety). At around
30mph the equation is optimized. For just about any road.

> >A very good investment. You seem to be looking at only one dimension of the
> >situation. Another benefit of light rail is the type of land development
> >that it encourages (buses do this too, but to a much more limited extent).
>
> So do freeways. Ever notice where the new retail and office complexes
> crop up, with new housing not far? Not near bus lines, but near
> freeway interchanges.

...


> If your social vision is so great, why don't the people who prefer it
> invest in it without the massive subsidy from my and others' tax
> dollars?

Ben, Ben, Ben. Compare and contrast the two statements above. Freeways are
paid for by taxpayers. Light rail lines are paid for by taxpayers. Both
types of development are subsidized. After 50-years of investment in auto
infrastructure, the powers-that-be are starting to see that light rail
infrastructure is a valuable investment as well. But don't worry, I'm sure
highway spending will outstrip all other transportation funding by a wide
margin for the foreseeable future.

Andrew

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
Dave 2 <da...@infowave.cutoffs.net> wrote:

: Andrew wrote:
: >
: ne on the Sunset won't get immediately
: > filled up with cars or not?
: >
: > Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
: > eliminate traffic?
: >
: Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Norfolk

Not Philadelphia. Sorry, I grew up near there and still visit. Their
traffic congestion is at least as bad as Portland's. I had to drive
in traffic downtown there for a week just in April. My parents hate
to go down to the city mostly because of the traffic.

And Philadelphia has a decent transit system. Like most eastern
cities they have many trains and subways as well as busses. When I
was there within the last year, there was panic about a possible Septa
strike and the gridlock that would cause on the highways.

: Elliminate traffic? As in no vehicles on the road at all? ;)

: Assuming you mean traffic *congestion*, well, you can never
: elliminate it, but you can improve it, or prevent it from getting
: worse.

Sorry, yes - congestion. The idea is to keep cars moving at some
minimum speed.

: Most of those that either improved or stayed the same did so for one of two


: reasons - either the city built more freeway lanes and streets to handle the
: demand, or demand was reduced as a result of an economic downturn.

I was asking about the former: how well have cities that *have* been
growing managed to build enough new roads and freeway lanes to get rid
of their traffic congestion problems?

The only reasonable answer I've heard is Minneapolis - which is going to
build a light rail system. If cars move so well there and the
freeways are so great, why in the world would they do that? Like
Portland, they are thinking about the future.

James_...@88.teleport.com

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
> lang...@teleport.com writes:

> I was talkijng about investing in residential developments with
> idyllic shopping within walking distance, etc., not public transit.

Well, I grew up in Burlington, VT...pretty much everything was
within a forty minute walking distance...the draw-back: five month
long winters with eight feet of snow and -25 F. temps., but that does
not apply here. There seems to be zero intelligent planning of
development in the Portland area - instead of a lot of small towns
with their own shopping districts joined together (as naturally occur
in say most European countries) we have idiot malls scattered
almost at random...which depend upon an individual owning a car.



> I would never suggest that the people who use public transit actually
> pay for it. Everyone knows that they lack the money, and that their
> fares pay for only a tiny fraction of expenses. Only by taking tax
> dollars from non users is the system feasible.

Did the old trolley companies depend upon public funds to keep
operating? At one time, prior to 1920, one could travel to just about
any town in Vermont from any other town using the privately owned
trolley system. Then came Big Oil and Detroit...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave 2

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
Andrew wrote:
>
> Dave 2 <da...@infowave.cutoffs.net> wrote:
> : Andrew wrote:
> : >
> : ne on the Sunset won't get immediately
> : > filled up with cars or not?
> : >
> : > Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
> : > eliminate traffic?
> : >
> : Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Norfolk
>
> Not Philadelphia. Sorry, I grew up near there and still visit.

I was wondering about Boston. At any rate, this list comes from the TTI. http://tti.tamu.edu/mobility/congrel97.stm

> The only reasonable answer I've heard is Minneapolis - which is going to
> build a light rail system. If cars move so well there and the
> freeways are so great, why in the world would they do that?

Well, both cities already have built an extensive freeway system. If
freeways aren't so great, why did they do that? Trust me, lving in a city
without them is no picnic either.

> Like
> Portland, they are thinking about the future.
>

I do recall a related TTI site that stated that the cities that are suceeding
have BOTH freeways and rail.


Dave 2 (From Vancouver, (the other one), but who has found the Eastside MAX to
be very useful on vists to your fair city)

Dave 2

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:
> Talk to people who have seen how the elimination of
> the Embarcadero Freeway in SF has actually improved traffic in that city
> (despite the fact that at least 4(?) lanes of capacity simply disappeared).

The _Emarcardero_? I-480? (and later CA 480) It was little more than a
glorified off-ramp from the Golden Gate Bridge. No wonder it's not missed.

Dave 2

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
Andrew wrote:
>
> A high-speed train is worth it only if you are going a long distance.
> A high-speed train is being designed for eventual travel between
> Eugene and Vancouver, BC, I think.
>

Don't hold your breath. The NIMBYs in White Rock are already protesting the
29 mph Amtrak train that's there now.

Mike McDonald

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
In article <36003B43...@infowave.cutoffs.net>,

Last fall there was a big clamour to put it back. Seems all of those cars
were now going thru someone else's neighborhood. Or was that the Central
Freeway? Keeping track of all of the dead end "freeways" in SanFran is too
much work.

Mike McDonald
mik...@mikemac.com


Russell Senior

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
>>>>> "Mike" == Mike McDonald <mik...@teleport.com> writes:

Mike> Last fall there was a big clamour to put it back. Seems all of
Mike> those cars were now going thru someone else's neighborhood. Or
Mike> was that the Central Freeway? Keeping track of all of the dead
Mike> end "freeways" in SanFran is too much work.

I wonder why the expression about the 10 lbs of material in a 5 lb bag
keeps occurring to me.

If you don't want congestion, turn off the spigot that is pumping it
in there.

--
Russell Senior
rus...@sns-access.com

Dave 2

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
Russell Senior wrote:
>
> >>>>> "Mike" == Mike McDonald <mik...@teleport.com> writes:
>
> Mike> Last fall there was a big clamour to put it back. Seems all of
> Mike> those cars were now going thru someone else's neighborhood. Or
> Mike> was that the Central Freeway? Keeping track of all of the dead
> Mike> end "freeways" in SanFran is too much work.

That must have been the Central Freeway, the top half of which was demolished.
(IIRC, inbound was demolished, outbound remains. Kind of like turning off the
spigot, but keeping the drain. ;) The Embarcadero was a stub downtown.

OTOH, the South Embarcadero (I-280) and the Nimitz/Cypress freeway (I-880)
were replaced.

> I wonder why the expression about the 10 lbs of material in a 5 lb bag
> keeps occurring to me.
>
> If you don't want congestion, turn off the spigot that is pumping it
> in there.

What you often end up with is replacing the solid, steady stream with a finer
spray as the traffic finds new ways around on surface streets (Talk about
torturing an analogy)

Portland, to its credit, did demolish an old freeway, didn't it? After
building I-5, 205, and 405?

David W. Crawford

unread,
Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
nic...@eudoramail.com writes:

[...]

> > >(As a complete aside, were you aware that the carrying capacity of a roadway
> > >is maximized at 30 mph?)
> >
> > This is a preposterous simplification. The maximum carrying capacity
> > speed depends on the road. For one, it might be 15 mph; for another
> > 75 mph. Since we are talking about limited access multilane divided
> > highways, it is closr to the latter.
>
> Preposterous? Nonsense? Gosh, I'm really doing poorly today aren't I? Yes,
> the speed of the road is one factor. Car spacing is another factor. The
> higher the speed, the greater the spacing (to maintain safety). At around
> 30mph the equation is optimized. For just about any road.


How does your optimality differ from one based on the common assumption of
two seconds per car, per lane (ie, 30 cars per minute, independent of speed) ?

David W. Crawford <d...@panix.com>


Ken Rentz

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
In article <36006f85...@news.teleport.com>, lang...@teleport.com
says...
> On Thu, 17 Sep 1998 00:21:05 GMT, nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:
>
> >Here's an interesting thought. I was on the bus the other day. With about
> >30 of my closest friends.
>
> Considering the typical transit bus nationwide contains barely a
> handful of passangers, on average, your 30 passenger scenario is
> hardly applicable.
>

Well, considering that I hardly ever rode on a buss that didn't have at
least 30 people on it, it sounds a lot more applicable than your
uninformed opinion.

> The subsidy you receive is far in excess of the slight traffic
> reduction caused by transit.
>

I guess you just want us to ignore your subsidies then right. After all
you and you're lifestyle seem to be the only ones worth considering.

> With the cost of West side light rail, we could buy a new Lexus every
> few years for each of the new riders drawn to public transit.

And no roads to drive them on either. And of course when those few years
were up, you'd have nothing but a big pile of scrap left to feed your
ego. Most of us learned to think a little more long term when we grew
up.

nic...@eudoramail.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:

> I was talkijng about investing in residential developments with
> idyllic shopping within walking distance, etc., not public transit.

You are certain that "conventional" residential developments pay _all_ the
costs that their creation and operation generate?

> I would never suggest that the people who use public transit actually
> pay for it. Everyone knows that they lack the money, and that their
> fares pay for only a tiny fraction of expenses. Only by taking tax
> dollars from non users is the system feasible.

You've finally done it. As we speak, a tear is forming at the corner of my
eye as I think of all the greedy, selfish transit riders who pay less than
their fair share of taxes, taking advantage of their hard-working tax-paying
car-driving brethren. Oops. Wait a second. Guess it was just dust.

Here's an interesting thought. I was on the bus the other day. With about

30 of my closest friends. We were using I'm guessing 150 feet of freeway
(following distance plus bus length--this is probably high). If, the next
day, we all drove, each of us would be using about 60 feet of road way (this
is probably low). If we all traveled together, we'd be using 1800 feet of
roadway or 12x what we'd been using the day before. We're obviously using
scarce community resources (roadway during rush hour) much more wisely on the
first day than on the second and providing much more room for our other
friends and neighbors. But the market has no mechanism for compensating us
for this thrift. Except to pick up a (less than pro-rata) part of our costs,
in the form of reduced fares.

Regards,
Nic H.
...thinking outside of the box...errr...bus...uhh..car...

Russell Senior

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
>>>>> "Dave" == Dave 2 <da...@infowave.cutoffs.net> writes:

Russell> I wonder why the expression about the 10 lbs of material in a
Russell> 5 lb bag keeps occurring to me.

Russell> If you don't want congestion, turn off the spigot that is
Russell> pumping it in there.

Dave> What you often end up with is replacing the solid, steady stream
Dave> with a finer spray as the traffic finds new ways around on
Dave> surface streets (Talk about torturing an analogy)

Depends on the conductivity of the surrounding material.

Dave> Portland, to its credit, did demolish an old freeway, didn't it?
Dave> After building I-5, 205, and 405?

Hmm. I assume you are referring to where Waterfront Park is now? If
so, that was before I-205 anyway. I am not quite old enough to
remember Portland before the Marquam Bridge, so I don't know how much
of a `freeway' it was. I do remember the street there in the early
70's, but it wasn't connected directly to any freeways at the time
that I recall. Other than that, the only other freeways we've
demolished were still on the drawing board (much cheaper that way).

Did everyone get a chance to see the late-1950's _plan_ for the
freeway network around Portland that ran in the Oregonian a week or
two ago? What a nightmare.

I also remember (barely) Canyon Road before the freeway and Vista
Ridge Tunnel were completed. That must have been in the mid-to-late
1960's.

--
Russell Senior
rus...@sns-access.com

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On Thu, 17 Sep 1998 00:21:05 GMT, nic...@eudoramail.com wrote:

>Here's an interesting thought. I was on the bus the other day. With about
>30 of my closest friends.

Considering the typical transit bus nationwide contains barely a


handful of passangers, on average, your 30 passenger scenario is
hardly applicable.

The subsidy you receive is far in excess of the slight traffic
reduction caused by transit.

With the cost of West side light rail, we could buy a new Lexus every

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 23:56:45 GMT, Russell Senior
<rus...@sns-access.com> wrote:

>If you don't want congestion, turn off the spigot that is pumping it
>in there.

A healthy economy?

Eric A. Mathiasen

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
: Considering the typical transit bus nationwide contains barely a

: handful of passangers, on average, your 30 passenger scenario is
: hardly applicable.

At rush hour most busses are pretty well utilized.

: With the cost of West side light rail, we could buy a new Lexus every


: few years for each of the new riders drawn to public transit.

Yeah, but then you'd still have even more roads to build!

-Eric
--
Eric A. Mathiasen | er...@mathiasen.com | www.mathiasen.com

Q: How does a quantum logic chicken cross the road?
A. The chicken is distributed probabilistically on all sides
of the road until you observe it on the side of your choice.

Russell Senior

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
>>>>> "langlotz" == langlotz <lang...@teleport.com> writes:

Nic> Here's an interesting thought. I was on the bus the other day.
Nic> With about 30 of my closest friends.

langlotz> Considering the typical transit bus nationwide contains
langlotz> barely a handful of passangers, on average, your 30
langlotz> passenger scenario is hardly applicable.

Truth police here. Obviously (to any sentient being), the high
ridership coincides with incidence of congestion. So, in fact, Nic's
30 passengers are doubly applicable. They not only take cars off the
road, but they do so principally at the *peak* times when doing so is
most noticable.

Try again Benito.

--
Russell Senior
sen...@teleport.com

James_...@88.teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
> Dave 2 <da...@infowave.cutoffs.net> writes:

> > Andrew wrote:

> > Not Philadelphia. Sorry, I grew up near there and still visit.

> I was wondering about Boston.

>>>>

Boston began its subway system in the mid 1890s...it's not really
comparable to west coast efforts at "mass transit".

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

James_...@88.teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
> "Eric A. Mathiasen" <emat...@tekka.wwa.com> writes:
> lang...@teleport.com wrote:

> : Considering the typical transit bus nationwide contains barely a
> : handful of passangers, on average, your 30 passenger scenario is
> : hardly applicable.


> At rush hour most busses are pretty well utilized.

> : With the cost of West side light rail, we could buy a new Lexus every
> : few years for each of the new riders drawn to public transit.

> Yeah, but then you'd still have even more roads to build!

>>>>

Why?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eric A. Mathiasen

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
James_...@88.teleport.com wrote:
:> : With the cost of West side light rail, we could buy a new Lexus every

:> : few years for each of the new riders drawn to public transit.
:
:> Yeah, but then you'd still have even more roads to build!

: Why?

With tens of thousands of extra luxury cars on the road, either rush
hour would be longer, or you'd need more road space.

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On 17 Sep 1998 02:31:16 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
<emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:

>lang...@teleport.com wrote:
>: Considering the typical transit bus nationwide contains barely a
>: handful of passangers, on average, your 30 passenger scenario is
>: hardly applicable.
>
>At rush hour most busses are pretty well utilized.

But the overall average is much, much smaller, so that buses are
actually less fuel efficient per passanger than cars, nationwide.

Your point is good support for rush hour express busses, but those are
the ones that get cnaceled to ensure than Max numbers look good.

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On 17 Sep 1998 15:13:15 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
<emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:

>With tens of thousands of extra luxury cars on the road, either rush
>hour would be longer, or you'd need more road space.

The number of Max riders who formerly drove is so small with respect
to the traffic volume that it would be an unnoticeable drop in the
bucket.

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 22:01:19 -0700, rentz....@europa.com (Ken
Rentz) wrote:

>Well, considering that I hardly ever rode on a buss that didn't have at
>least 30 people on it, it sounds a lot more applicable than your
>uninformed opinion.

Classic observational bias. If the buses are packed at rush hour, and
empty all other times (a simplification), every bus rider interviewed
will tell how the buses are "always packed". There are none or so few
during the off hours, that we're unlikely to meet riders who tell us
that the buses are usually (or ever) empty. The only witnesses to
those empty late night buses are the drivers, and observant motorists.

>And no roads to drive them on either. And of course when those few years
>were up, you'd have nothing but a big pile of scrap left to feed your
>ego. Most of us learned to think a little more long term when we grew
>up.

No need to get huffy about an intellectual excercise. And with the
Max operating costs saved, we could buy them a new car every 5 years!

Andrew

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
: On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 22:01:19 -0700, rentz....@europa.com (Ken
: Rentz) wrote:

: >Well, considering that I hardly ever rode on a buss that didn't have at
: >least 30 people on it, it sounds a lot more applicable than your
: >uninformed opinion.

: Classic observational bias.

Yeah, you would know, as one who consistently posts assertions without
facts - even in the same post.

: If the buses are packed at rush hour, and


: empty all other times (a simplification), every bus rider interviewed
: will tell how the buses are "always packed". There are none or so few
: during the off hours, that we're unlikely to meet riders who tell us
: that the buses are usually (or ever) empty. The only witnesses to
: those empty late night buses are the drivers, and observant motorists.

That wouldn't be an observational bias, would it? Nah...

Yes, Tri-met runs most of their buses empty. They are running
them empty so they can connect with those black helicopters when they
land at their secret landing pads in the west hills. The buses must
be empty or the CIA would not be able to run its operation in secret.
Are you happy now that I have explained it in terms you can
understand?


Maybe I am suffering from observational bias, but in the last few
months, when riding buses at non-rush hour, I cannot *ever* recall
riding an empty bus. I ride the 17, the 12, the 15, the 14, the 5,
the 9, plus others just in fareless square, and these buses *always*
have at least three or four people on them, often ten or more. Often
the number fluctuates as people get on and off around popular stops.
The 12 up Sandy Blvd. to/from the airport often has every seat
occupied even at night.

The only exceptions are the new west side bus lines, which are so new
that people haven't started to use them yet. It will take time.

: >And no roads to drive them on either. And of course when those few years

: >were up, you'd have nothing but a big pile of scrap left to feed your
: >ego. Most of us learned to think a little more long term when we grew
: >up.

: No need to get huffy about an intellectual excercise. And with the
: Max operating costs saved, we could buy them a new car every 5 years!

Yeah, one of those luxury cars, a new Lexus, right? With the trunk
stuffed with hundred dollar bills?

nic...@eudoramail.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
In article <3601349b...@news.teleport.com>,

lang...@teleport.com wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 22:01:19 -0700, rentz....@europa.com (Ken
> Rentz) wrote:
>
> >Well, considering that I hardly ever rode on a buss that didn't have at
> >least 30 people on it, it sounds a lot more applicable than your
> >uninformed opinion.
>
> Classic observational bias. If the buses are packed at rush hour, and

> empty all other times (a simplification), every bus rider interviewed
> will tell how the buses are "always packed". There are none or so few
> during the off hours, that we're unlikely to meet riders who tell us
> that the buses are usually (or ever) empty.

A few points here.
The original 30 was a conservative estimate. May have been as many as 40
(there were very few empty seats).

I also got on a bus the other night at 8p.m. with about 20 of my closest
friends. Heading out for the 'burbs.

The last bus on almost any run will almost always be empty. But, the mere
presence of that bus will substantially increase ridership on the buses
before it. It (and probably a few of its earlier siblings) help ensure that
who have to travel late will take a bus instead of a car. Even if they don't
get on that particular bus.

How certain are you that your own conclusions are based on data gathered
without observational bias?

> And with the
> Max operating costs saved, we could buy them a new car every 5 years!

I think your calculations are off. By a factor of at least 3, probably more
like 6, maybe as much as 10 if you're talking about a Lexus. And that doesn't
even include the number of new roads you'd have to build and maintain. With
their own substantial subsidy by the taxpayers (d*mn! I told myself not to get
into that ancient pissing contest again).

Regards,
Nic H.

lang...@teleport.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On Thu, 17 Sep 1998 16:31:55 GMT, andr...@bizave.com (Andrew) wrote:

>: Classic observational bias.
>
>Yeah, you would know, as one who consistently posts assertions without
>facts - even in the same post.

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I draw my numbers from federal and
local transit data, not from personal anecdotes.

>Yes, Tri-met runs most of their buses empty.

Yes, they average several passangers each, overall.

>They are running
>them empty so they can connect with those black helicopters when they
>land at their secret landing pads in the west hills.

You're hyperventilating. Calm down.

>I cannot *ever* recall
>riding an empty bus....

Perhaps you and the others tend to ride the popular ones, and are not
examining the portions of system or the times that are least popular.

Thomas Cronin

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
Andrew wrote:
> Maybe I am suffering from observational bias, but in the last few
> months, when riding buses at non-rush hour, I cannot *ever* recall
> riding an empty bus.

Well, duh! If you were riding on it, then it wasn't empty... :-)

(sorry)

Actually, I used the bus service earlier this year when
designing/running lights for a show downtown that ended at about
12:30-1:00am each night. I generally caught the last or second to
last bus 57 - it was pretty full each time ..

- tom

Russell Senior

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
>>>>> "langlotz" == langlotz <lang...@teleport.com> writes:

langlotz> Classic observational bias.

Andrew> Yeah, you would know, as one who consistently posts assertions
Andrew> without facts - even in the same post.

langlotz> Sorry, I should have mentioned that I draw my numbers from
langlotz> federal and local transit data, not from personal anecdotes.

Andrew> Yes, Tri-met runs most of their buses empty.

langlotz> Yes, they average several passangers each, overall.

According to `local transit data', in 1997 there were 193,900 bus
boardings per day on a fleet of 661 buses. That works out to about
300 boarding per bus, *on average*. Considering that not all the
buses are in service at any one time and many buses are not in service
during non-peak periods, that's pretty good. For a bus to carry 300
passengers when it is sitting idle in a parking lot is quite
phenomenal!

As long as we are talking about *averages*, how about this (from
Tri-Met): ``The average car emits three times more carbon monoxide per
passenger mile than a Tri-Met bus.''

Andrew> They are running them empty so they can connect with those
Andrew> black helicopters when they land at their secret landing pads
Andrew> in the west hills.

langlotz> You're hyperventilating. Calm down.

The only panting I detect is in your effort to change the subject.

Andrew> I cannot *ever* recall riding an empty bus....

langlotz> Perhaps you and the others tend to ride the popular ones,
langlotz> and are not examining the portions of system or the times
langlotz> that are least popular.

Your evasions are quite pointless, since Nic was talking about
congestion relief. Buses and other public transit options *are*
indisputably well-used during rush hours when congestion is an issue.
Pointing out that buses are relatively empty at 11 pm does not begin
to address his point any more than discussing the color of your boxer
shorts or the quantity of lint in your belly-button.

--
Russell Senior
rus...@sns-access.com

nic...@eudoramail.com

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to

What the..? How do you know this? Especially since Westside MAX is only 4
days old.

And even if you do know this, have you considered that operating costs on a
bus are about 40% higher than for MAX?

Sara Running

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
>
> On 17 Sep 1998 15:13:15 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
> <emat...@tekka.wwa.com> wrote:
>
> >With tens of thousands of extra luxury cars on the road, either rush
> >hour would be longer, or you'd need more road space.
>
> The number of Max riders who formerly drove is so small with respect
> to the traffic volume that it would be an unnoticeable drop in the
> bucket.

Ben,

I have to disagree, and unfortunately it's based on that 'observational
bias.'
When I've driven in the past week, my commutes *have* been shorter both
coming and going (by ~10 min.) Shorter than they were during the
summer, because when school starts there is more traffic on the road.

I have a wait-n-see attitude. It's possible that once the newness wears
off or when the weather gets cold and rainy it will go back. However, I
will be riding public transit 1-2x/week. (I'm looking at it as a $
savings and less wear/tear on the car.) I will also be looking at using
public transit on those air action days, too.

sara
--
Sara K. Running < Not speaking for Intel
>
PTD Automation < History doesn't repeat, but it can rhyme
>
Intel Corporation

Jeff Holloway

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
lang...@teleport.com wrote:
> On 16 Sep 1998 17:44:03 GMT, "Eric A. Mathiasen"
> <emat...@tako.wwa.com> wrote:

>>lang...@teleport.com wrote:
>>: If your social vision is so great, why don't the people who prefer it
>>: invest in it without the massive subsidy from my and others' tax
>>: dollars?
>>
>>Public transit is about as feasible to be built 100% with private
>>dollars as dams are.

> I was talkijng about investing in residential developments with
> idyllic shopping within walking distance, etc., not public transit.

> I would never suggest that the people who use public transit actually


> pay for it. Everyone knows that they lack the money, and that their
> fares pay for only a tiny fraction of expenses. Only by taking tax
> dollars from non users is the system feasible.

And let's remind everyone once again that even if they don't own a car, they
DO use the roads.

Jeff
--
Jeff Holloway | He had that rare weird electricity about him --
System Administrator | that extremely wild and heavy presence that you
Tech 7 Systems, Inc. | only see in a person who has abandoned all hope
je...@tech7.com | of ever behaving "normally" - Hunter S. Thompson,
| "Fear and Loathing '72"
Not a member of the Lumber Cartel (tinlc) and not Unit #1572

Jeff Holloway

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
Andrew <andr...@bizave.com> wrote:
> Dave 2 <da...@infowave.cutoffs.net> wrote:
> : >
> : > Which cities in America have managed to widen their freeways enough to
> : > eliminate traffic?
> : >
> : Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Norfolk

> Not Philadelphia. Sorry, I grew up near there and still visit. Their
> traffic congestion is at least as bad as Portland's. I had to drive
> in traffic downtown there for a week just in April. My parents hate
> to go down to the city mostly because of the traffic.

> And Philadelphia has a decent transit system. Like most eastern
> cities they have many trains and subways as well as busses. When I
> was there within the last year, there was panic about a possible Septa
> strike and the gridlock that would cause on the highways.
[snip]
> : Most of those that either improved or stayed the same did so for one of two
> : reasons - either the city built more freeway lanes and streets to handle the
> : demand, or demand was reduced as a result of an economic downturn.

> I was asking about the former: how well have cities that *have* been
> growing managed to build enough new roads and freeway lanes to get rid
> of their traffic congestion problems?

> The only reasonable answer I've heard is Minneapolis - which is going to
> build a light rail system. If cars move so well there and the
> freeways are so great, why in the world would they do that? Like
> Portland, they are thinking about the future.

Andrew, it sounds like you're contradicting yourself. On one hand, you say
that Minneapolis and Portland are preparing for the future by building light
rail (I'm assuming to ease congestion on the roads), yet you also say that
Philadelphia, with a decent transit system, has terrible congestion. So what
the hell is the benefit to light rail?

Jeff Holloway

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98