[FoRK] LA Traffic - solution?

laurent oget laurent at oget.net
Sat Sep 1 11:54:05 PDT 2012


2012/8/31 Bill Kearney <wkearney99 at hotmail.com>

> High speed rail seems to be going forward in California.  If it is truly
>> fast, it probably is worth it because of the dual massive population
>> centers and mostly unpopulated land in between.  However, it doesn't
>> make sense to create a full train network beyond that. Efficient
>> automated shared / multiplexed electric self-driving vehicles seem
>> perfect and reuse the roads that are fundamental.
>>
>
> High speed rail doesn't really make sense at all.  There's really no
> actual "NEED" for most of that travel.  Certainly not at a high speed. Too
> much behavior is centered around traveling distances on a whim. They're
> doing it now because they "can" not because of any real need. Certainly not
> ones supported by realistic economic factors.  Take the artificial
> cheapness out of it and you're on your way to drastically altering
> behaviors.
>
> Moves toward personal electric make much more sense.  They accomplish two
> goals, one being breaking the habit of travel over unnecessary distances on
> a regular basis.  The other being reduction/elimination of end-use burning
> of fuels.
>
> Commuting from distances greater than electric vehicle capacity would be
> made even more obviously stupid than it already is.  The argument needs to
> turn from "the cars can't go far enough" toward "it's stupid to be
> traveling that far for anything other than an exceptional basis."  I don't
> expect that to happen in the current generation of the population.
>
> We've been spoiled by the artifical cheapness of traveling the wide open
> spaces.  That time is rapidly approaching it's end.
>
> -Bill Kearney
>
>
Even if you reduce the number of trips between places I believe there is
still a huge economy of scale that makes high speed rail a huge win
compared to anything individual between two urban centers. say LA-SF,
Houston-Austin, or Atlanta-Charlotte. A train carrying 1000 people makes
much more sense than 1000 cars, be they electric, even if they were
self-driven. Even if everybody telecommutes the tracks would still make
sense for freight, and once you have tracks, trains are not that big of an
investment.


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