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Old 03-05-2012, 02:39 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
494 posts, read 586,899 times
Reputation: 209

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The average West European and the average Japanese drives around one-half as many miles per year as the average American per published statistics. Those countries have congested highways because of a much higher population density. The US is huge.

In cities such as London and Tokyo, the subway and bus systems are packed (especially London, per my experience).

Both better mass transit and higher petrol/gas prices are factors for this difference in driving habits. With gas at $4 a gallon and the 520 toll, I find myself using the buses in Seattle a bit more now.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:41 PM
 
Location: LQA, Seattle, Washington
461 posts, read 846,709 times
Reputation: 171
A true subway just seems out of place in seattle, don't know why.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:48 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,476 posts, read 6,163,538 times
Reputation: 2979
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarawayDJ View Post
I'm all for mass transit, but I don't think it has much of an impact on the number of cars on the road..
There's actually a direct relationship. Every rider you have is one car off the road. That's a 100% impact.

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:02 PM
 
5,610 posts, read 6,587,178 times
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I think his point was you can have the best mass transit systems in the world, but it's not necessarily going to ease auto traffic. Tokyo and London have some real bad traffic. Tokyo has done a lot to make driving as inconvenient (paying tolls just to use hi-ways, et. c) and still... lots of people on the road. I've seen it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: South Whidbey Island
1,775 posts, read 1,556,070 times
Reputation: 1933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
I think his point was you can have the best mass transit systems in the world, but it's not necessarily going to ease auto traffic. Tokyo and London have some real bad traffic. Tokyo has done a lot to make driving as inconvenient (paying tolls just to use hi-ways, et. c) and still... lots of people on the road. I've seen it.
Thanks! That is exactly my point. I haven't been to every city in the world, but I've been to a lot. I have never been to any city with great mass transit that ever had me looking around saying "where are all of the cars." They have all been as congested as any American city of similar size. I support mass transit, but it's not the magic bullet some might think it is.

Maybe the highly scientific Big Closet theory is behind it. The bigger the closet, the more you pack in it. The more people taking mass transit, the more room for additional cars on the road? For example, a certain percentage of people start taking mass transit to avoid paying the 520 tolls. Once everyone realizes the 520 is no longer that congested, people who never considered living or working somewhere that would require them to commute over the 520 bridge now say "it's not that bad." After a period of time, traffic is as bad as it ever was going over the 520 bridge.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that is the case. Imagine if the mass transit usage in Seattle increased 300% overnight. The roads in and around Seattle would become blissful. There would be parking spots galore. Now think about all of the people who factor commuting times into where they will live and work. People will begin to figure out that they can live a little further away from town (cheaper) and commute to Seattle for their jobs within a reasonable time. People already living further away and not looking for work in Seattle because of traffic will begin to reconsider it. After a period of time traffic congestion is as bad as it ever was.....which is probably why congestion is bad in Europe. There is someone living 40KM from Munich yet working in Munich that probably wouldn't be making that commute if a good amount of the people closer in weren't taking mass transit. The congestion going into the city is bad now, and would be prohibitive.

Last edited by CarawayDJ; 03-07-2012 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:03 AM
 
5,610 posts, read 6,587,178 times
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Light rail tunnels now link downtown to Capitol Hill, UW - seattlepi.com

They're half-way done with the tunnel to UW! A fascinating note about boring under i5 and some pictures. I had no idea what "Brenda" looked like so that was cool to see "her".
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:40 AM
 
Location: Greater Puget Sound
1,357 posts, read 1,086,815 times
Reputation: 963
Default SF Chronicle: San Francisco rates poorly for street repair and maintenance

This goes out to evergraystate, she who loves to preach about how California does everything better than Washington:

San Francisco rates poorly for street repair and maintenance
Moderator cut: link removed

The controller’s office has released an interesting new report, the first in a series in which it will compare our city government against those in other, similar cities. The other cities examined were Chicago, Oakland, Sacramento, Seattle, San Jose, Washington, D.C. and Vancouver, Canada.

First up? All things street and sidewalk related. Nothing like getting your worst subject out of the way.

San Francisco spends $49 million each year on road resurfacing and reconstruction, which works out to $59 per resident, the highest of any city. That’s $22,966 spent each year per mile of paved road, compared to an average in other cities of $4,898.


More at the link if you're interested. An excerpt: "For San Francisco, nearly 58 percent of the 2,134 paved miles assessed are considered to be in ‘fair’ or ‘better’ condition using the PCI measure, which is slightly lower than the survey average of 63 percent." That's compared to Seattle's 74%, which is behind only Sacramento and Vancouver.

Last edited by David Aguilar; 05-16-2012 at 08:24 AM.. Reason: new members are not allowed to post links
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