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Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654 654

Bus lanes in almost every setting add to congestion and are an inefficient use of roads. I worked (and road the bus) in one of the only places in the US where a dedicated bus lane ever worked, the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel between NJ and NY. For about 3 hours every morning, they took one outbound (from NY) lane and converted it to an inbound bus lane. During that commute time, that lane was full of buses, carrying about 20x the density of cars in adjacent lanes. Also, this was one lane of three outbound which were not heavily used in the morning (people live in NJ and work in NY). That's your absolutely best case scenario. It likely works in other major metro areas for short periods of time in the same way. But now take a more typical small US city and take one of two lanes and convert it to buses only and then put one bus on it every 5 minutes. That's about the maximum density of buses where I live now in Austin TX on Guadalupe, which is a major artery to UT and downtown and probably the most dense 'mass transit' we have. One bus every 5 minutes in that lane is 10 people/minute being conveyed down Guadalupe. In one minute, 30-60 cars can use that same lane. That's 3-6x the capacity if only one person is in each car!

I'm all for mass transit, but it doesn't work at all well in most of the U.S. precisely because the density of our cities and towns is nowhere near that of, say, Europe and the mobility of our workforce is far higher. Add to that most cities pushing 'mixed-use' development makes them even less likely to create the dense, business core where the jobs are that makes mass transit from outlying, largely residential, areas efficient. NY works because it was a damned island and it grew up rather than out and a crap ton of people work there from all over the tri-state area and many of us took trains or buses because they were more convenient than a car (but often times still not cheaper).

In Austin, where I live now, this is a joke. The jobs and people are spread all over Travis and the adjacent counties. I could buy a house tomorrow near where I work and maybe take a bus (although unless your 9-5, the schedules are terrible), but then I'd change jobs and there would be no remotely reasonable path for me. We can't all buy new houses or rent new apartments every time we change jobs!

If you look at some of the other growth areas in the US you'll see the same idiocy. A lot of green types pushing mass transit at the same time they're railing against dense development. Well, you can't have it both ways and in the US land is cheap and outside of the major metro areas it's cheaper to grow out than up, so we need to get over thinking public transport is an option in most places and build efficient roads so we're not all sitting in traffic jams puking out more CO than we have to until electric cars are not basically a joke.

Comment With one-way streets right is the same as left (Score 1) 363 363

Seriously, NY is the land of one-way streets. Even in the outer boroughs, the number of two-way streets is vanishingly small. There is no practical difference in the position of cars vs. pedestrians in this scenario. On any turn, I'll be turning into pedestrian traffic. When you walk in NYC, you're head is on a swivel. You pay attention or you risk getting hit and if you're in a car, you end up in the middle of intersections waiting on pedestrians. I'd be surprised if Google's algorithm didn't actually favor right hand turns in NYC, as in most places right-on-red is still legal and having driven their for over 3 decades, it's like UPS says, you get there faster if you restrict yourself to right turns.

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.