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Old 09-27-2015, 12:57 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,195,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
This is what I'm talking about. People who are strapped to Jawbone data aren't exactly the Fat Joe Blow's, and places like NYC are over 300 square miles of land. If Americans want to squabble about studies and data over and over to try and prove various points through statistics (that can be manipulated to tell a thousand stories), then nothing of quality will ever happen. I'll take common sense, which is that when people live in a pleasant area where they have more choices to walk to a store, park or school, their health benefits in several ways. That doesn't mean everyone will do it, but it will gain more momentum and it won't cost any more than what we've been doing.

And the idea is not to rebuild America, it's to start making smarter choices about future build so that we have more pleasant places that increase people's activity as much as possible (less traffic, less gas money, less pollution, less stress, shorter commutes). I applaud the SG and hope more of the US's leaders catch-on to encourage wiser decisions.
This post covers it well. We need to plan our built environment for more options.
We need to include the 30-35% of the population that does not drive
We need to plan for the next energy crisis and peak oil.

In urban history, commuting by personal fossil fuel vehicle is very new and is probably just a phase we are going thru.
We need to design cities for everyone and all future options.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,090,068 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
This post covers it well. We need to plan our built environment for more options.
We need to include the 30-35% of the population that does not drive
We need to plan for the next energy crisis and peak oil.

In urban history, commuting by personal fossil fuel vehicle is very new and is probably just a phase we are going thru.
We need to design cities for everyone and all future options.
In urban history many things far newer than fossil fuel transportation. Really I don't think we should be abandoning either trains or cars or computers because they're new and scary to some. That's solidly into Luddite territory. But yeah, we should be looking at alternative sources of energy: solar, nuclear, biodiesel/algae oil and what have you. That goes way beyond transportation though. Transportation even in the US is just a small slice of energy usage (28-29%). Even if you stopped all fossil fuel transportation today, you'd still have the problem as only ~20% of our energy comes from renewables and nuclear. Really, the environmental benefits are the driver for me moreso than peak oil or peak coal. Certainly with coal we've got quite a lot of that but it's pretty dirty. Using less of that for reasons other than running out would be preferable, but just relying on natural gas/petroleum (which account for almost 2/3rds of our energy sources) while better would exacerbate the fact that those resources are finite and more limited than coal is. At the same time, yeah, energy demand is just going up both with population and demand per capita.

Focus on personal fossil fuel vehicles is telling of your agenda, however. Personal fossil fuel vehicles are already more energy efficient than than most public transit in this country. If what you're worried about is fossil fuel availability and what will replace it as an energy source, getting people out of public transportation and into personal vehicles is actually a small step forward in many cases while improving efficiency of public transportation. It isn't a long-term solution though. The long-term solution is different energy sources and improved efficiency. It's either that or we go back to looking more like a developing country which uses far less energy. Transportation is certainly a part of that but again, by no means the biggest, which is industrial. Residential and commercial likewise are not far below transportation. The biggest energy use in residential is space and water heating, which is somewhat difficult to reduce. In cold climates smaller buildings with greater interior to exterior wall ratios is really the only way to do that unless we come up with some new super insulator. Basically, if we run out of things to power our personal vehicles we'll also have other problems that are more difficult. Food would be the biggest issue as without petroleum we could no longer generate enough food to even worry about the problem of not being able to get it from the farm to the grocery store. Along with industrial energy use, those are far more difficult than fossil fuel personal vehicles. We already have the technology to address that problem anyway. It's not perfected yet but it exists. What's lacking is the replacement energy source.

Last edited by Malloric; 09-27-2015 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,660,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
In urban history many things far newer than fossil fuel transportation. Really I don't think we should be abandoning either trains or cars or computers because they're new and scary to some. That's solidly into Luddite territory. But yeah, we should be looking at alternative sources of energy: solar, nuclear, biodiesel/algae oil and what have you. That goes way beyond transportation though. Transportation even in the US is just a small slice of energy usage (28-29%). Even if you stopped all fossil fuel transportation today, you'd still have the problem as only ~20% of our energy comes from renewables and nuclear. Really, the environmental benefits are the driver for me moreso than peak oil or peak coal. Certainly with coal we've got quite a lot of that but it's pretty dirty. Using less of that for reasons other than running out would be preferable, but just relying on natural gas/petroleum (which account for almost 2/3rds of our energy sources) while better would exacerbate the fact that those resources are finite and more limited than coal is. At the same time, yeah, energy demand is just going up both with population and demand per capita.

Focus on personal fossil fuel vehicles is telling of your agenda, however. Personal fossil fuel vehicles are already more energy efficient than than most public transit in this country. If what you're worried about is fossil fuel availability and what will replace it as an energy source, getting people out of public transportation and into personal vehicles is actually a small step forward in many cases while improving efficiency of public transportation. It isn't a long-term solution though. The long-term solution is different energy sources and improved efficiency.
Based on the information you've provided in the past, this is not true at all. Public transit falls short on efficiency because of the relatively small number of people who use it. It becomes more efficient as more people use it, and less efficient as fewer people use it.

Unless you're talking about forcing more people to depend on a car, and eliminating all but the most heavily used public transit routes/systems, instead.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,090,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Based on the information you've provided in the past, this is not true at all. Public transit falls short on efficiency because of the relatively small number of people who use it. It becomes more efficient as more people use it, and less efficient as fewer people use it.

Unless you're talking about forcing more people to depend on a car, and eliminating all but the most heavily used public transit routes/systems, instead.
Effectively, yes. I'm talking about realigning and reducing transportation where demand is not high enough for it to operate as efficiently as personal vehicles. You end up with less ridership but by less than you cut service. Again, there's a lot of room for just better route planning as opposed to just getting rid of transportation. 2008-2010 we had a ~9% reduction in funding, ridership dropped. We're still today not back to where we were as far as funding levels, but ridership is at new highs. Two routes did get cut altogether, but then those routes also had per boarding subsidies of $70-100 per boarding. No one used them anyway. Other routes were realigned. Basically there's greater accessibility for a greater number of people today with less funding. Again, that was a dollars consideration not an energy one but they kind of work hand in hand. We just didn't have the money to have a bus that saw less than one passenger per hour driving around 12 hours a day any longer.

There's of course other considerations such as accessibility. Energy is cheap so energy efficiency hasn't been a priority and won't become a priority as long as it remains cheap. Energy wasn't a consideration in realigning routes.

Don't get me wrong, bus service here still sucks but they've now changed priority from providing minimum levels of horrible service at large that no one would willingly use to a focus on providing usable transportation. We still have the routes that will never operate efficiently as accessibility, as I said, is a consideration. The emphasis going forward, however, has been on providing what actually is fairly good levels of service along transportation corridors. That lays the groundwork for TOD to actual now be something that is possible. It's in it's infancy and those changes will take decades to really see a lot of benefit but it really is leading to the complete opposite of forcing more people to depend on a car. We're not quite there yet but in the future because of a focus on providing transportation as opposed to exclusively welfare transit of last resort the hope is that that's where we'll end up. I already see that happening. The transit center near my house, for example, Starbucks closed its location due to lack of business. They now have reopened the store across the street. The storefront Starbucks had been in sat empty for years and just recently there's signs up for a new restaurant there. CVS closed its old location and opened a new store that's much more transit accessible as the old one was back in a huge strip mall a 10 minute walk from the nearest bus stop whereas the new one is less than a minute. They're small, incremental changes but changes that actually make the city less car dependent. The majority of the city will still be auto-centric but because there's now density of transit, TOD then becomes a possibility whereas when the transit uniformly was four people on a bus that came once an hour it wasn't. It's the "transit village" approach that basically everywhere with effective transit had even before the term was used.

I mean if you go and choose to buy that house in the new subdivision, yeah, the buses don't even run there at all or barely run there if you're lucky. Mostly anything built since the '90s doesn't have transit access and won't be getting transit access. Even before the change from minimum level of service to providing transportation became the paradigm there just wasn't any money to run buses on those routes which is why they never got bus service. Now with the change in paradigm any expansion in service will be along corridors where demand exists for transit as opposed to running another once-an-hour bus route from nowhere to no where that no one rides anyway because they have to spend 30 minutes on the bus going in a giant circle before they can transfer to the bus that actually goes somewhere they might want to go. Again, it hasn't happened yet but zoning and transit is now there such that a developer could build apartments or maybe town homes as in fill development along a transit corridor. Before there wasn't any reason to do that as the transit wasn't there. Most people still don't care and it won't be most development, but hey at least it's feasible now for it to occur.

Last edited by Malloric; 09-27-2015 at 02:44 PM..
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