[FoRK] LA Traffic - solution?

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Aug 30 12:04:09 PDT 2012

LA should have a subway system.  But the problem with subway systems is that you have to have quite a few branches and stops to 
handle a diffuse area and they are very expensive to build.  Especially close to shore where there's like water table issues, etc.

LA seems to suffer in a major way from bottlenecks to get from zone to zone, neighborhood to neighborhood.  And, because everything 
is so spread out, you often can't easily walk the "last block" on each end.

Yet, we have some modern conveniences not realized in the past: ZipCar etc., Segways, etc. that have been underused.

I suggest that LA have dedicated high speed buses to parking / car sharing / micro-rental lots, preferably with very rapid 
park-and-ride.  Use efficient valets if necessary (turn gas guzzling into employment), with mobile apps for indicating ahead of time 
that you will be arriving and need your vehicle ready.  After proof of concept phase, invest in automated garages, moving platform 
entry/exit, etc.

Each bus should supply power, Internet, a tablet-level computer with local web cache, bathroom, etc.  Carry any number of bikes and 
also support scalable bike storage on each end (some people could just own 2 bikes).

The rapid buses (zoom bus = zus?, bus busy business = busi?, bus commute verb = busted, plane efficiency for ground travel = low 
flight, grounded flight, rapid taxi, taxi-way, surface flight, flit) should get dedicated lanes or lights or something and should 
travel at top speed (65 minimum, use technology to make 80+ possible) with plane-like take and landing ramps at each end, not slow 
local streets.  Mix mega buses with standard and mini and limo-size down to minivan.  Mix and match to handle volume efficiently 
with a very short average wait until takeoff.

Then, at each of a small number of rapid bus endpoints, thoroughly support diversified competitive vehicle sharing, swapping, 
rental, etc.  Do this with an umbrella of security cameras, electronic tracking, reputation system, Lo-Jack, GPS, live video, mobile 
Internet, etc.  Make it virtually impossible to get away with theft, violence, etc.  Self-insure a bit from fees, etc.

Support not only cross shared, rented, and parked vehicles and bicycles, but also Segways, inline skates, scooters, etc.  Create 
very minimal drop-off points all over, just concrete pads with lockup, security camera, touch panel, hotspot.

Charge enough to make the system solvent, but be ruthless about optimization and charging as little as possible.
Have affinity buses at certain times (being very careful about potential problems): student vs. college kids vs. professionals, 
concert traffic, etc.

Use the lack of subways as an advantage.  Drastically reduce highway traffic.  Improve range and available time for everyone.


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