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Old 02-18-2017, 06:10 PM
 
412 posts, read 259,109 times
Reputation: 228

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This is one of the biggest problems of the 21st century. So much of the population is concentrated in metro areas. So much employment is concentrated in the cores of these metros. So much harm is done to the environment by the parking lots we call "highways", you'd think a large chunk of scientific and engineering talent would be focused on it. The solutions are not even in the slightest obvious and easy. There are all sorts of conflicts to be worked out. We have entrenched values that stand in the way of obvious solutions. And a HUGE amount of money is at stake in cultural change. Globally even, since the motor vehicle market now embraces ever continent, both on the buying and selling end.

Today, Saturday, I went on a shopping trip. I have my priorities about travel in town. As a result, I contacted the local transit authority about options to reach a certain store. I was given two options. I chose what I thought was both quickest and sensible. Turned out not to be quickest.

Since my connection was not a good one, I ended up standing around at a transit station. In that number of minutes, I got a few answers about what keeps people tied to their cars. When you select the transit option, you get, in the bargain, time with three types of people: Freaks, addicts, and sick people. I was unable to get an update on my bus on the phone because of inexplicable SHRIEKING nearby. Plus, I got a guy lighting up near me. And when I finally did get on the bus, a fellow passenger was coughing.

Not much to complain about? OK, that's any easy thing to say. But realistically, the prospect of riding with these people is going to weigh against getting out of gridlock. Energy and automobile companies do not wish you to escape gridlock. So the pull to be in your car starts out strong. And then when you consider what sharing a ride can MEAN, well, what seems trivial may be enough to keep you in the car.

As I say, just preaching the "greenness" of public transportation is not going to get very far toward a solution.

Pooling is a second subject. Pooling is a lot like having roommates. There has to be a base level of compatibility plus understood rules about being in the same vehicle for the length of the commute. And, just to complicate matters, your schedules have to mesh. Put all that in there, and pooling may not solve as big a part of commuting as hopeful people imagine.

So there's a small preview of how tangled our issue is.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:38 PM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3112
Suburanites seem emotionally ill prepared to deal with life in the city. I think it is a virus that infects their brains from all the auto fumes out in the suburbs.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:59 PM
 
745 posts, read 1,072,238 times
Reputation: 622
Bikes. They can go anywhere cars can go. They need to start building separate bike paths, away from cars. It's not that difficult. Humans just like to take something cheap, easy and simple, and make something expensive, complicated, and hazardous, and then make sure it becomes the ONLY option.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:00 PM
 
412 posts, read 259,109 times
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Are commuters any more likely to use bikes than mass transit? I think bikes are recreational and a small niche in functional commuting. They can use environment guilt to get a few things done for them. But even gridlock does not persuade motorists to abandon cars. To ME, that is a clear signal that the majority sees flaws in every alternative to their car. I don't think fans of those alternatives are doing anyone a favor by denying those flaws. Noise only gets so much change made.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:35 PM
 
Location: WA
878 posts, read 466,510 times
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I've tried all forms of commuting from bike to bus to car to foot. In many cities around the country, taking a bus or bike isn't practical. Even in the most "bike-friendly" areas it can be dangerous cycling next to distracted or aggressive drivers.

You have to live in a city where there's enough commitment to public transportation. It's a great thing to have when it works, I take the bus and light rail to work daily and it's great. Cannot get into driving on crowded streets and expressways. I arrive at work relaxed, not stressed.

However, I get that there are some places where getting around by bus is not the greatest experience. You just have to move somewhere else if that's possible.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,597 posts, read 54,170,050 times
Reputation: 30830
We used to have that problem when the bus service within the Seattle downtown core was free. There were a lot of people on board that made the average suburban business person uncomfortable. Since the change to all buses charging, that has ended. Even when getting on the bus in the drug/homeless areas, the passengers are all business people. The bus I normally take for my 23 mile commute is always packed, with almost everyone on their mobile device and relaxing. For most of us the choice of taking the bus is not economic, or even ecological, but stress reduction.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:28 AM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
We used to have that problem when the bus service within the Seattle downtown core was free. There were a lot of people on board that made the average suburban business person uncomfortable. Since the change to all buses charging, that has ended. Even when getting on the bus in the drug/homeless areas, the passengers are all business people. The bus I normally take for my 23 mile commute is always packed, with almost everyone on their mobile device and relaxing. For most of us the choice of taking the bus is not economic, or even ecological, but stress reduction.
It's good for suburanites to meet and become adjusted to different cultures.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:45 AM
 
15,460 posts, read 13,452,897 times
Reputation: 21013
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Suburanites seem emotionally ill prepared to deal with life in the city. I think it is a virus that infects their brains from all the auto fumes out in the suburbs.
Urban areas are packed wall to wall with cars. Go to any downtown area on any given weekday and you will see this. I live right in the city and it is constant traffic all day, same for when I lived in the DC area.

The suburbs however, much less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
It's good for suburanites to meet and become adjusted to different cultures.
I did not know homeless is now considered a "culture", and that people should meet and become adjusted to them.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:01 PM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Urban areas are packed wall to wall with cars. Go to any downtown area on any given weekday and you will see this. I live right in the city and it is constant traffic all day, same for when I lived in the DC area.

The suburbs however, much less.


tities.
I did not know homeless is now considered a "culture", and that people should meet and become adjusted to them.
Many suburbanites suffer from your views. It is why we want them only in small quantities.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:39 PM
 
412 posts, read 259,109 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by A1eutian View Post
I've tried all forms of commuting from bike to bus to car to foot. In many cities around the country, taking a bus or bike isn't practical. Even in the most "bike-friendly" areas it can be dangerous cycling next to distracted or aggressive drivers.

You have to live in a city where there's enough commitment to public transportation. It's a great thing to have when it works, I take the bus and light rail to work daily and it's great. Cannot get into driving on crowded streets and expressways. I arrive at work relaxed, not stressed.

However, I get that there are some places where getting around by bus is not the greatest experience. You just have to move somewhere else if that's possible.
Can't help thinking some of those drivers behind or beside you are on phones, and only notice their turn at the very last second, turning in front or into you if you're there on a bike. Same thing for pedestrians. I crossed a street today with the light. There was a carful of people. No turn signal going. Started to cross, driver pulls into street and starts heading toward me. THEN the turn signal goes on. Not unique even in the slightest. Could cite the law, but what's the point? It is entirely random whether anyone drives according to law or not. Best to ASSUME a law will be broken.
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