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Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49753287) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

There is no way to differentiate since the end results are the same.

No, they really aren't. Well, even a completely sign-less intersection should have people 'assume' yield signs, but you should never just blow through an intersection.

As for signalling, well, last night I had a bit of an issue with people in cars not signalling, so it's definitely not restricted to bicycle riders.

Oh, please. You can't imagine how a bicyclist who runs down a pedestrian could do significant physical harm to them? A twenty MPH piece of steel/carbon fiber/whatever with an attached human mass would just what, bounce off a pedestrian?

Sure, it could cause injury. But a car causes death at the same speeds, having orders of magnitude more mass. Personally, I just go for real-world statistics. The number of pedestrians injured in bicycle accidents are insignificant compared to the number and magnitude of car strikes.

You keep ignoring the fact that vehicle law is not created just to protect the automobile driver from death by bike accident. It's there to protect YOU, too. And the pedestrians who you are a serious threat to.

Actually, you're simply assuming that, I suggest you stop with that assumption. Also, talk about blowing it out of proportion. I'd be insane to assume that. Yes - vehicle laws are made, for the most part, to try to keep everybody safe. What you're ignoring is that the law can always be adjusted to increase safety, efficiency, or whatever. So I'm free to talk about a hypothetical law that allows bicyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield sign.

Also, 'almost ran over' isn't 'run over'. I'm starting to wonder if you have an excessively wide definition of 'almost' given how often you use it.

You question the fact that when vehicle laws are obeyed the people involved are safer?

No, I question the effectiveness of a law that nobody obeys. Whether following it or not would be safer is irrelevant when it's not obeyed by default. That's where you have to go back and assess what the law was trying to do, consider human nature, and try something different.

Other than that, it seems you're determined to read everything I write in the stupidest way possible. When I talk about cops 'enforce not being stupid', that roughly meant 'hand out tickets for particularly stupid/dangerous acts(that are also illegal for good reason)'. That means handing out tickets for violating the stop sign, but concentrating on those that violate the stop sign in a dangerous manner. By doing so you avoid pissing off the community too much.

So I suggest going back, rolling back your conclusions that lead to anger and such, reread my posts in a reasonable light, then come back.

You can stop arguing that the existing laws shouldn't apply to them. That's a start. I remember the idiots because they are both so common and do memorably stupid things.

Such as this. I proposed a change to the law, not that existing law shouldn't apply. For that matter, I even explained why the change would be irrelevant to the idiots, because they'd still be violating even my proposed changed law. It's all a balancing act anyways. Hell, maybe the law change combined with a media campaign advertising it would catch a the attentions of a few of them and get them to change their behavior.

Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49747403) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Actually, you were arguing that all bicyclists should get special treatment under vehicle law by making stop signs into yields for you, based on your personal manner of riding. Turning stops into yields does NOT minimize the hassle for everyone, as I've already explained.

Actually, the problem as you describe is that bicyclists are treating the signs as though they don't exist. They're not treating them as yield signs, they're ignoring them. Changing the law to allow riders to treat stop signs as yield signs would STILL have the described behavior be a violation.

That's a lie. If I ran over you because you blew the stop sign and failed to make the turn you could have easily made at a slower speed, it would go on my driving record, it would impact my insurance rates, and the trial would cost me a lot of money and time. I might even feel a bit of remorse over the accident, but that depends on how many bikers who want special privileges I've talked to recently.

*sigh* That's still nothing compared to being, you know, dead. I'm not much of a physical threat to you.

Also, I was taught when I was growing up that the laws of physics trump the laws of man - IE it's not a good idea to engage in behavior where I'm likely to be run over by a non-careful driver, even if I'd be technically in the correct(and them liable) by the law. I'd rather not be run over, thank you very much. ;)

Second, the traffic laws aren't there just so you aren't a danger to drivers. Pedestrians are involved, and you are a significant danger to them.

... How? Of course, I don't live in an area with significant numbers of them. I avoid them just like I avoid cars. I'm continuously scanning for things to avoid, pedestrians are easy. Well, unless the crowd is too thick, but again, at that point I'm either riding elsewhere or walking.

On the generic tact, I'd think we'd see a lot more injury reports if cyclists were indeed a significant danger to pedestrians.

If you want to argue for a change, you need to admit and accept that your personal habits are irrelevant, just as my personal driving habits are when talking about changed to motor vehicle laws.

Well, you'll actually need to prove that the law is effective then, I guess. Because as you've mentioned, it's being completely non-followed right now. Having the cops enforce being not stupid for a bit might be more effective than trying to keep pushing 'stop means stop! Because bicyclists are ignoring stop signs and risking me run over them!'. I've already told you I'm not going into the intersection if I'm at risk of you running me over. I know quite a few riders that way. I'm sorry that you only remember the idiots, but I can't do anything about them.

Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49744651) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

As a driver, I just LOVE it when I'm traveling on the through-street and a high-speed biker comes to the stop sign on an intersecting road. Stop? Of course not. Blow through the stop sign at full speed, get halfway into the intersection, and then lay the bike over to the right and turn onto the street I'm on.

Well, first I'm never 'high speed', second, well, there's a reason I said non-idiot bikers. I also signal, though I hope you know how to recognize those.

Roughly speaking, I take my turn in the queue like everybody else, which means that if you're stopping for me(assuming you're not overly paranoid), you would have had to stop anyways. Making me stop first only forces you to stop longer.

And then there's the ones who are actually crossing the street I'm on, and instead of stopping at the stop sign until the through-traffic clears, they jog over into the crosswalk and pretend they are pedestrians -- forcing everyone on the through street to slam on the brakes to stop for them.

You have pedestrian crossings at stop signs? Strange. I've used pedestrian crossings at stop lights before - I'm just too small and light to trip the automatics, and sometimes it's safer for me to walk my bike across, so yeah, I'll use the button.

Sharing the road means both sides have to share. You have to do things you don't want to do for the safety of everyone, just like I have to.

And you're engaging on a rant, basically saying that bicyclists do things that I don't do. Well, there's a reason I mentioned 'idiots'. I know they're out there. I was just saying how I worth things to keep myself safe* while minimizing the hassle for everyone. Remember how I mentioned 'opening'. That means that you aren't about to go through the intersection, because if you are, that means I'm slowing down a touch to go behind you.

*Let's face it, I'm not much of a threat to anybody in a car.

Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49739343) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

But why should bikers treat stop signs as yields? That seems dangerous and unnecessary.

The important part is 'seems'. When I'm bicycling, it's important to realize that my maximum speed is much lower, so I'm approaching the stop at a lower speed, giving me more time to assess the intersection(not to mention relatively short stopping distance). Even my acceleration is effectively less, so it takes longer to get through the intersection from a stop.

The net effect is that a non-idiot bicyclist will assess an intersection even as he approaches it. Assuming that it's not a blind intersection where you don't have sight lines for on-coming traffic(in which case stopping is a smart idea anyways), allowing me to treat it as a yield sign allows me to 'time' my speed and approach to maximize my velocity through the intersection through an opening, while still maintaining full safety. If the intersection is busy, well, then I stop, just like you stop at a yield sign if it's not clear.

Plus, well, not making me stop all the time encourages me to bicycle more, which is good for the environment, health, and various other things.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49739181) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

But in both of these cases, they're rare enough that they really don't need to figure into the equations.

The problem is 'right now'. Right now, I'm just in favor of jacking up the gasoline tax as a sort of subsidy for efficiency, and to encourage EV use. Once they start reaching, say, 10% of the cars on the road, you're going to have to come up with something, and it's probably best to have that figured out now, rather than later.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49739155) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

It would take much longer than 5 minutes for an employee of DMV to come to my house, break into my garage, and read my odometer.

In my area you'd have to replace said employees quite often. Breaking into garages in my area would result in quite a few occupational deaths & injuries. ;)

The insurance costs would be insane.

That being said, London has passed a congestion tax that they enforce via the use of cameras and automatic license plate recognition. So that system could be used for 'congestion' taxes. Mile taxes could be charged by requiring you to report your mileage somehow. Either during a vehicle inspection, or switching to reporting to the DMV for the meter to be checked.

Comment: Re:Fourth power rule of thumb (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49739099) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Why do they waste money re-laying asphalt roads every few years? That's a huge waste of money lining the pockets of road contractors.

If you run the actual numbers it evens out. Where I grew up we had a lot of asphalt covered concrete roads. The reason for this isn't that it's a waste of money, but that grinding up and relaying asphalt is relatively dirt cheap compared to redoing concrete - such that even if you have to do it 5 times as often it's still cheaper than concrete. The concrete base provides the support, the asphalt seals and protects the concrete.

Even installs - it takes a couple weeks to do several miles of concrete road, but you can do the same miles in a single day to do it with asphalt. So while you have to close the road more often to do the asphalt work, the road is actually open more.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 825

by Firethorn (#49738941) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Agreed. Don't forget about all those batteries that will need disposing of in the near future.Agreed. Don't forget about all those batteries that will need disposing of in the near future.

Don't you mean recycling? They're 100% recyclable. Also generally I define 'near future' as 'less than 5 years', and right now they're being rated at more than a decade for EVs.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 255

by Firethorn (#49738805) Attached to: Energy Dept. Wants Big Wind Energy Technology In All 50 US States

You have the AC on a couple switches. If the 'Expensive power' flag isn't set, it cools to, say, 72F. If the expensive power flag is set, then it only cools to 75F. The idea being that the house typically takes longer to reach 75F when the power is expensive than the typical expensive power duration.

Perfectly doable with a well insulated house.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 2) 255

There's still a lot that can be done. My grandparents had their pool on a system that allowed the power company to turn it off for periods of time. They got a discount for this. My parents had a timer on their water heater - it was big enough that they could still have a hot shower even with it off, again, only for limited periods, but they got a cut in their bill. Same with AC systems and many other big power suckers that aren't precisely 'on demand'.

Increase the discount by a touch and more people will take the power companies up on those offers.

Comment: Re:Disbar. (Score 4, Interesting) 123

by Firethorn (#49719647) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

I remember reading a case, I think it was in Reader's Digest, where a Lawyer was 'touring' through small towns, then suing their main streets(more precisely, all the businesses on said main street) for ADA violations, doing much the same as presented in this article.

Despite being in a wheelchair, I believe he did end up being disbarred from the practice. What happened to him is that he did it enough that the towns found each other, formed a group, and basically caught the dude lying. As a lawyer representing himself, what could be considered 'mistakes' added up to him not doing 'due diligence'.

For example, he sued a hardware store for not having a wheelchair ramp. Yet said hardware store had had such a ramp for decades before he came by. Once this was noticed, they started going through his claims, collated from the various lawsuits, and started noting up discrepancies. For example, him suing a store for not being accessible inside - when the store had been closed when he supposedly visited due to illness by the owner/operator. Basically, they figured out that he stayed in the hotel for a couple days, then sued everybody on the street, without having actually attempted to patronize their business. A number of businesses actually had accommodations for him - he would have simply had to ask, which is very much allowed under the ADA.

Comment: Re:Assets valuation? (Score 1) 335

by Firethorn (#49719541) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

This is the problem with placing monetary valuation on any object or service; value is in the eye of the beholder, and that includes the value of money itself.

That's why everything ends up being estimates, but with something like a wheelbarrow there's a number of stores you can get a wheelbarrow in, so you end up with a standard price for wheelbarrows, which is the general range where the person who needs a wheelbarrow can count on being able to buy one, and where a person with a wheelbarrow can count on selling it.

So you might 'value' your wheelbarrow at $100, but if the price of wheelbarrows actually traded is around $50, that indicates that you're not looking to sell. If a dude values his at $20, but can sell it at $50, he's probably going to adjust his valuation to ~$50 and sell it at that price.

So the guy with 50 wheelbarrows values them at ~$2500 and puts that on his value sheet. He might value them a bit more, but if he went to liquidate or had to replace the wheelbarrows(theft, natural disaster, accident), that's what they'd be worth.

The idea is that with a large company, unless you have systematic errors, it should be 'pretty' correct in most companies, despite the individual value of things like 'name brand', IP, and such being hard to estimate correctly.

Comment: Re:Does not understand the market, obviously. (Score 2) 335

by Firethorn (#49719471) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Right. It's been rare in recent decades for even individual companies to sell for less than their asset value, for precisely the reason you mention: that nearly any functioning business is worth more than the sum of its assets.

Part of the deal with this, I believe, is that if a company has a Q-value of less than one it's a prime indication that it would be worth more broken up, and is thus a prime target for corporate sharks to come in and liquidate it, dissolving the company or selling the remnants to suckers after having sucked the worth out of the company.

A q-value of less than 1 is an indication of a company that's NOT efficient with it's assets.

Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 2) 393

I think that depends on the subway. Property taxes already go towards paying for the road in front of most houses, for example, because there's not enough traffic for gasoline taxes(for example) to pay for the upkeep.

In a city where the roads can't keep up, paying at least for the subway transitway makes some sense. The extra transport capacity helps bring customers and employees to the work site. To put it another way, in properly situated sites adjusting things for the extra car traffic would be even more expensive.

Another factor you might not be considering is the marginal cost per passenger is quite small for rail(most forms of transit, really). You can run into a situation where if the trains were full, you wouldn't need to subsidize them even at low fare levels, yet at high fare levels you won't get enough passengers, so the rate of subsidization actually remains pretty constant. But by setting fairs low you actually move more people that way.

In a lot of cases, our rail travel sucks because there's just not enough of it. With enough investment - straightening routes allowing higher speeds, to actually useful destinations, we could make it a lot more prevalent, and safer/cheaper/more environmentally friendly to everybody.

The idea being that you're a lot more likely to take a 200mph train that can actually get you to work faster than driving. And because there's so many people like you, the train's reasonably full and thus profitable.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.