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Old 01-30-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
5:07 p.m. Pacific Time

Driving time from Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood - 18 minutes

Transit time from Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood - 40 minutes

You could probably stop at an In 'N Out Burger on the way home and still beat transit!
when we lived in Hollywood and my husband worked in DTLA it was about the opposite -- maybe traffic has improved, but taking the subway was about half the time as driving, at least at rush hour. There are many reasons to have a car in LA and many other cities, but if you live in Hollywood and work downtown then taking mass transit is generally a much easier, faster option. Or at least that was our experience. In any case, I think getting home in 18 minutes would have required a car with wings, or at least lights and sirens, while the subway zips you right there.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:15 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,989,613 times
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How reliable is Google's traffic time estimates? And this journey taking 35 minutes at rush hour is hard for me to believe:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Long+I...t+new&t=m&z=13
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,115,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
when we lived in Hollywood and my husband worked in DTLA it was about the opposite -- maybe traffic has improved, but taking the subway was about half the time as driving, at least at rush hour. There are many reasons to have a car in LA and many other cities, but if you live in Hollywood and work downtown then taking mass transit is generally a much easier, faster option. Or at least that was our experience. In any case, I think getting home in 18 minutes would have required a car with wings, or at least lights and sirens, while the subway zips you right there.
Ehh, I don't think traffic has improved haha.

I don't drive enough to be able to confirm or refute Google Maps' drive time accuracy with traffic. It seemed a little unbelievable but the wife did get home pretty quickly last night.

The problem with relying on your car for that commute is half of the time there is an accident, and that can really, really back things up. It doesn't even have to be an accident on the 101! A crash on adjacent freeways or even surface streets can send things backing up for miles. There have been days when it has taken her easily an hour and a half just to get home from DTLA. Unfortunately the nature of her job requires her to bring home huge files about 2-3 times a week, so it's mostly car-commuting for her.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,115,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
How reliable is Google's traffic time estimates? And this journey taking 35 minutes at rush hour is hard for me to believe:

Long Island City, Queens, NY to West New York, NJ - Google Maps
I've been trying out commute vs. transit times from Midtown Manhattan to a few different Brooklyn neighborhoods... For the most part the transit times and driving times are pretty much even. To Williamsburgh transit was about 10 minutes faster. I'd still rather ride transit even if it is a little less efficient, so much more relaxing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:28 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I've been trying out commute vs. transit times from Midtown Manhattan to a few different Brooklyn neighborhoods... For the most part the transit times and driving times are pretty much even. To Williamsburgh transit was about 10 minutes faster. I'd still rather ride transit even if it is a little less efficient, so much more relaxing.
For Williamsburgh, transit has an advantage because driving requires a somewhat longer route to get to a bridge. This cherrypicked but actual commute (a co-worker of my mom's has something similar):

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=4...m&z=12&start=0

is 23 mins by transit, 51 mins by driving. For most of these Manhattan trips, there's not much of a choice; parking is prohibitively expensive. If one could find cheap parking or street parking somewhere, it'd take time find it and you'd have to walk to wherever your car is parked. At rush hour, as you mentioned, there's always the risk of unexpected long delays. Not sure how NYC compares with delays, but for the bridges and tunnels are especially prone to delays and are bottleneck creators. Building an expressway through Midtown connecting the tunnels on either side of the river would help, something my dad thinks is a good idea.

If the government had money to burn I suppose building an underground expressway would be non-destructive, but it'd mostly create trips few would be willing to do previously.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,115,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
For Williamsburgh, transit has an advantage because driving requires a somewhat longer route to get to a bridge. This cherrypicked but actual commute (a co-worker of my mom's has something similar):

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=4...m&z=12&start=0

is 23 mins by transit, 51 mins by driving. For most of these Manhattan trips, there's not much of a choice; parking is prohibitively expensive. If one could find cheap parking or street parking somewhere, it'd take time find it and you'd have to walk to wherever your car is parked. At rush hour, as you mentioned, there's always the risk of unexpected long delays. Not sure how NYC compares with delays, but for the bridges and tunnels are especially prone to delays and are bottleneck creators. Building an expressway through Midtown connecting the tunnels on either side of the river would help, something my dad thinks is a good idea.

If the government had money to burn I suppose building an underground expressway would be non-destructive, but it'd mostly create trips few would be willing to do previously.
Even if it was faster to drive to work in NYC it absolutely makes sense why people don't drive, due to the parking.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:39 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,989,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Even if it was faster to drive to work in NYC it absolutely makes sense why people don't drive, due to the parking.
So a car only gives freedom if there's a convenient place to park the thing. Once you get to: why move my car, I could lose my parking space, not much freedom is gained.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:05 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,105,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Renting a car is expensive and takes a lot of time. It makes sense for very occasional use only.
It really doesn't. I rent cars about monthly from Enterprise. They pick me up at work, bring me to the office, 25 minutes later I'm back at my desk. It's also inexpensive. The last five cars I rented (in MD X 3, NH and OR) were all under $34/day total.

Car2go is cost-effective for quick one-way trips (10 minutes: $3.80, parking and gas included). Zipcar is cost-effective for a two-hour run to Ikea ($17, gas included).
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:16 PM
 
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Contrary to most people's perception, American per capita car ownership rates are actually among the lowest in the developed world. It is actually much higher in most of Europe.

That said, American per capita energy usage is about double that of Europe. For any intercity travel in Europe, the train is almost always a better option. They all have cars, but the typical American who seldom uses mass transit except for airplanes is more effective.

Here is the crux of the issue. Almost all cars owned by Americans can comfortably be driven on a 600 to 1000 mile journey. We have this capacity, even though we spend most of our time within 50-100 miles of home. Europeans tend to own automobiles that are essentially designed to operate 100 miles from home and when they want to go further they take a train. So our roads are overcrowded with larger than necessary automobiles, mostly with single or double occupancy, driving around our suburbs.

With rare exceptions like Boston or San Francisco the idea of purchasing a small town car is anathema in the USA. So we get the freedom, and the restriction at the same time.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,115,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
Contrary to most people's perception, American per capita car ownership rates are actually among the lowest in the developed world. It is actually much higher in most of Europe.

That said, American per capita energy usage is about double that of Europe. For any intercity travel in Europe, the train is almost always a better option. They all have cars, but the typical American who seldom uses mass transit except for airplanes is more effective.

Here is the crux of the issue. Almost all cars owned by Americans can comfortably be driven on a 600 to 1000 mile journey. We have this capacity, even though we spend most of our time within 50-100 miles of home. Europeans tend to own automobiles that are essentially designed to operate 100 miles from home and when they want to go further they take a train. So our roads are overcrowded with larger than necessary automobiles, mostly with single or double occupancy, driving around our suburbs.

With rare exceptions like Boston or San Francisco the idea of purchasing a small town car is anathema in the USA. So we get the freedom, and the restriction at the same time.
I don't know, the most popular car in LA is the Prius which is a fairly compact car. I think with most cities that have a reputation for bad traffic or tight parking, people tend to buy small cars. Lots of SmartCars and Fiats around these parts.

But other than that I totally agree, many people have too large of cars for their need.
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