U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-05-2015, 09:08 PM
 
981 posts, read 1,990,853 times
Reputation: 1400

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think this might explain it better than induced demand. I'm going to use a simple analogy.

Say you have a network of water pipes connected to each other in a grid pattern.
You want to make water flow faster so you replace one section of pipe with
a larger diameter pipe. Will the water flow faster? No. Because only one section of
the pipe has been widened. The pipes in the network that have not been widened create a bottleneck.
What about adding more pipes? Well if you take a drinking straw and made it longer does it
make the liquid flow any faster? No of course not.

Same idea with roads. Widening a major road does little or nothing to reduce traffic congestion because
of the bottleneck created by the grid network of roads connected to it. Traffic basically flows as fast as the
slowest road in the network. To really make traffic flow faster you'd have to widen or add more lanes to
every major road in the entire city, but of course that is cost prohibitive. And even if you did that it wouldn't
improve the flow because of induced demand.
You analysis is logical in a short term context but it glosses over the underlying reason why roads keep getting widened.

Why no mention of relentless population growth that keeps cramming more cars onto roads? The charade of Smart Growth has played out in most metro areas and suburbs. After a point (like decades ago) you have to admit it's a numbers game. High paid planning* professionals of course want to make it seem more complicated. "We must keep the population growing to keep the economy growing...to keep the population growing..." ad infinitum.

GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth

Traffic volume can also come from miles away as other cities grow like weeds and/or commuters find a bypass in your area. But it still comes down to numbers.

*(planning for endless growth, not sanity)

Last edited by ca_north; 01-05-2015 at 09:18 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-05-2015, 09:09 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,873,607 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
More excuses why rail has not relieved congestion as promised.

So then, time to abandon a solution that will never achieve the robustness that is apparently required to be effective.
The trouble is that rail takes some congestion off the road, but that congestion can be made up by people making trips where the rail isn't stopping or going or that would require transferring trains(an slow process). The road also gets filled with people heading to the train station to park if there is parking at the station. It in someways is self defeating. It pulls people off the road to be replaced by more people.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2015, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,778 posts, read 9,892,768 times
Reputation: 9912
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
More excuses why rail has not relieved congestion as promised.

So then, time to abandon a solution that will never achieve the robustness that is apparently required to be effective.
Repeating a debunked claim does not make it stronger.
Destroying the rail network, and subsidizing the road network is not remedied by a few rail projects.
It's not an excuse - just common sense.
You'd have to rebuild the urban and interurban rail network to accommodate 80 to 90% of the ridership that once was.

"The Powers" do not want rail to rebound.
The StreetCar Conspiracy
At the time [1922], 90 percent of all trips were by rail, chiefly electric rail; only one in 10 Americans owned an automobile. There were 1,200 separate electric street and interurban railways, a thriving and profitable industry with 44,000 miles of track, 300,000 employees, 15 billion annual passengers, and $1 billion in income. Virtually every city and town in America of more than 2,500 people had its own electric rail system.
...
A year earlier, in 1921, GM lost $65 million, leading Sloan to conclude that the auto market was saturated, that those who desired cars already owned them, and that the only way to increase GM's sales and restore its profitability was by eliminating its principal rival: electric railways.
Back in the early 20th century, when America was "Queen of Oil," it might have made sense to encourage consumption of petroleum over alternatives.
Now? Not too smart.

...

LA's Worst Transit Decision
In 1963, Alweg proposed to the city of Los Angeles a monorail system that would be designed, built, operated and maintained by Alweg. Alweg promised to take all financial risk from the construction, and the system would be repaid through fares collected. The City Council rejected the proposal in favor of no transit at all. [Thanks to Standard Oil / Esso / Exxon, et al]
So when a government refuses a FREE urban transportation system, you have to ask "who benefits?"

...

If you remove ALL public subsidies of the automobile / petroleum / pavement hegemony
AND
If you remove ALL penalties imposed on electric traction rail,
THEN
You should find that the Laws of Physics still recommend rail over pavement, for moving the most cargo and passengers for the least cost in fuel, in resources, in pollution, and in surface area.

The choice is simple:
[] Stick with the automobile, expend 20 times as much fuel to move cargo / passengers, and go broke
OR
[] By rail, move 20 times as much cargo / passengers for the same fuel cost as the automobile.
. . .

That argument can be repeated with various other factors : scalability, speed, pollution, surface area, and performance.

IN SUPPORT - - -
One of the few American cities that rely on rail is New York City.
. . .
New York City Subway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Annual ridership . . . 1,707,555,714 (2013)
Number of vehicles . . . 6,384

Daily ridership
5,465,034 (weekdays, 2013)
3,243,495 (Saturdays, 2013)
2,563,022 (Sundays, 2013)

Average passenger load per car per day; round trips
Annual . . . . . . . 733 . . 366
Weekday . . . . . 856 . . 428
Saturdays . . . . 508 . . 254
Sundays . . . . . 401 . . 201

Each train car reduces the need for as many as 428 round trips by automobile.
In NYC’s case, that removes 2,732,352 automobiles from the streets - a definite reduction in traffic congestion.

Last edited by jetgraphics; 01-08-2015 at 05:13 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2015, 11:36 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,012,664 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
The cities who have seen traffic deteriorate the most reads like a Who's Who of cities who built rail. If NYC does not have enough transit to reduce congestion then no city in the U.S. ever will. Look, there are plenty of positive aspects of mass transit, but rail advocates need to quit the phony arguments about congestion.
First, whomever suggests that any given rail project will reduce congestion is speaking nonsense. If it is a good project that will get good ridership then it is simply additional capacity, and we eventually return to equilibrium usage because the route is popular. But it does increase capacity, and that's very important. BART was supposed to reduce congestion on the Bay Bridge, but in reality it made it possible for many, many more people to make the crossing than just with bridge & ferry.

To your point, specifically, it's a logical fallacy that congestion (B) follows rail development (A). That is to say, because A exists, B exists as a result. Rail tends to coincide with higher intensity of land use. It makes sense that high intensity places like NYC are going to face a lot of congestion because there's a lot of people and changes to transit options are only as fast as the very slow NYC bureaucracy allows and are slower than population changes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2015, 05:40 PM
 
9,846 posts, read 4,624,939 times
Reputation: 12825
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
To your point, specifically, it's a logical fallacy that congestion (B) follows rail development (A).
And yet... rail advocates are always exercising that same logic that congestion (B) follows road development (A).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 05:41 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,012,664 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
And yet... rail advocates are always exercising that same logic that congestion (B) follows road development (A).
Yup. Totally true. Annoyingly glosses over many of the reasons why transit advocates, rail or otherwise, feel concerned about road developments, but no group is immune.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 05:44 PM
 
3,568 posts, read 2,385,445 times
Reputation: 2729
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
And yet... rail advocates are always exercising that same logic that congestion (B) follows road development (A).
Even accepting your premise, there's still a choice between adding rail miles (via rail expansion) and road miles (via road expansion), and all kinds of reasons to prefer adding rail capacity over roads in that case.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-18-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,778 posts, read 9,892,768 times
Reputation: 9912
WHY WIDENING DOES NOT WORK - or -
Time to get back on track - GO RAIL !
(1 track has the carrying capacity of 9 lanes of superhighway.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2015, 08:34 AM
 
2,366 posts, read 2,137,016 times
Reputation: 1753
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
WHY WIDENING DOES NOT WORK - or -
Time to get back on track - GO RAIL !
(1 track has the carrying capacity of 9 lanes of superhighway.)
One track does not accommodate for different destinations and trips made by vehicles. You can build rail all you want but as long as there is population increase, its going to be congested. Moving people onto rail does not remove drivers off the road.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2015, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,778 posts, read 9,892,768 times
Reputation: 9912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyxius View Post
[1] One track does not accommodate for different destinations and trips made by vehicles.
[2] You can build rail all you want but as long as there is population increase, its going to be congested.
[3] Moving people onto rail does not remove drivers off the road.
[3]
After a century of subsidy, it would appear that the only option is to support the construction of more roads to accommodate population increase.
However, in any high population situation, it is self evident that expansion has limits.
. . .
The StreetCar Conspiracy
At the time [1922], 90 percent of all trips were by rail, chiefly electric rail; only one in 10 Americans owned an automobile. There were 1,200 separate electric street and interurban railways, a thriving and profitable industry with 44,000 miles of track, 300,000 employees, 15 billion annual passengers, and $1 billion in income. Virtually every city and town in America of more than 2,500 people had its own electric rail system.
. . .
Various reports of the popularity of rail and the skullduggery behind its demise:
Taken for a Ride -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JQWRAoL0vk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_7E9SLXVV0
http://www-tc.pbs.org/opb/historydet...ectric_car.pdf
. . .
[2] Building rail without establishing a network is foolish. Replacing / restoring the streetcar rail system would be a viable alternative to private automobiles.

But the fact remains, that rail IS scalable, unlike the automobile. A streetcar can be expanded to a multicar train, expanded to double decker, shorter headway (times between trains), and so on. A single lane of superhighway is stuck at around 2400 passengers / hour. In contrast, a single train on a single track can be configured to carry 25,000 passengers / hour. Adding another track boosts it to 50,000 passengers / hour. And there is still room to add more capacity.

[1] One track by itself won't - but a network of tracks would.
The advantage of rail lends to the construction of higher population density cities. Rail can effectively move cargo and passengers, for less fuel and less surface area.

If RAIL was so great, why did it die?

Greed and abuse of power.
The privately owned and controlled American rail system, was a mix of steam powered “heavy” rail and electric powered “urban” streetcars and interurbans. In 1920, 95% of all urban travel was by electric rail. Practically every town in America was served by electric rail. In addition, urban rail companies were usually pioneers in constructing electrical power plants, that later became public utilities. And to boost ridership on “off” times, they constructed “Trolley Parks” and Amusement parks, powered by those same electric power plants. All this was done by private investment, in the period between 1890-1920.

As you can imagine, the market for automobiles was fairly flat. Automobiles were still expensive, paved roads were limited, and fuel distribution was challenging. Allegedly, the heads of GM decided to tap into that 95% of rail riders by destroying their competition.

They joined forces with petroleum producers, who also realized the benefits of increasing the customer base, as well as rubber tire producers, to form a corporation to buy up and destroy urban rail systems. They also engaged in public relations - paving a section of road, and putting up signs to get the locals to “DEMAND” public officials pave the roads - at public expense, of course.

But they weren’t alone. Governments, under the sway of Progressives, disliked the idea of “privately owned” mass transit, and used politics to impose draconian policies like freezing fares, while demanding ever more taxes from the rail companies. In addition to paying property taxes for their rail rights of way, rail companies had to maintain the public roads that their rails impacted. Imagine if bus and truck companies had to pay the full cost for roads -AND- paid for rail intersections, as well!

In addition to those problems, came labor unrest and strikes, that would severely reduce ridership for months at a time. And pandemics like the Spanish Influenza, with its quarantine, emptied cars for months and months.

Over time, the combination of government meddling, rising taxes (including the income tax, 1916), lack of fare increases, increased burdens, delayed repair and maintenance, and subsidized competition put the urban rail systems at risk. In some areas, the government took it over. But in most, National City Lines corporation came in and the “old fashioned” urban rail system was replaced with “modern” buses (that no one preferred - due to the diesel fumes, and miserable ride - which was part of the plan to get more folks into automobiles).

At the time, what was good for GM was good for America. Right? But as automobiles proliferated, the compact towns built around rail transport were incapable of handling the load. Remember, automobiles require plenty of surface area - on the roads - and for parking. So we got suburban sprawl, and the need for more automobiles, and infrastructure to serve them. We got strip malls and shopping malls with acres and acres of pavement - a dead zone to nature - and a menace in heavy rainfall.

Once the USA ceased to produce a surplus of petroleum, the major excuse in switching from electric rail to petroleum power was no longer valid. Any further support for it is entirely based on propping up a system created by greedy industrialists and corrupt politicians who reaped great riches from the poor Americans stuck with supporting a wasteful and destructive transportation system.

Examine your own household budget regarding the costs to own and operate your automobile. Imagine that cost multiplied across millions of households, and you will see the reason why “the powers” are loathe to use common sense and cease subsidizing the wrong thing.

You don't break someone's "Rice Bowl" with impunity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top