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Comment Re:Lefties hate this tax too (Score 1) 684

The $200 limit is obviously an attempt to blunt the worst effects on the poor (you can get a decent used commuter for under that) but it'll still hurt some.

Any bike less than about $400 new is garbage, and nobody who has to ride one should be punished further by being made to pay a fee. Meanwhile, the fee doesn't apply to used bikes, does it?

Comment Re:It makes sense. (Score 1) 684

We actually did that, taking a 3-lane boulevard and turning it into 2 lanes each way, a bicycle path on one side, and turning one center lane into an area where cars can sit before making a left-hand turn rather than blocking traffic.

That actually sounds like it might make some sense, but mostly because it improves the flow of traffic for the cars, and also because boulevards usually have enough space to work with.

Comment Re:It makes sense. (Score 1) 684

Cars aren't airtight, as a rule. However, some do have a carbon filter inside the cockpit, located inside the plenum someplace. In that case, they can filter out your farts. However, most older vehicles don't have this feature at all. I've owned more than a couple of dozen cars in my day, and it's only just now that I've finally got something with a carbon cabin air filter — and it actually only filters intake air.

Comment Re:Why not integrate with the locomotive? (Score 1) 133

What has that got to do with the electrical power supplies?

They've literally found it easier to install diesel gensets in the train cars than one big fat inverter (or inverter bank) in the locomotive which has to deal with the varying output voltage of the engine at different speeds, and you're sitting here asking what the simplicity of the rest of the system has to do with the electrical power supplies?

Comment Re:Why not integrate with the locomotive? (Score 2) 133

I'm surprised that this isn't already integrated with the locomotive. The locomotive is almost certainly diesel-electric, so why did they have separate generators on the cars, rather than just drawing from the massive diesel generators in the locomotive?

The trains use air brakes and don't depend on any other connections. If the air brake connection is broken because cars are separated, then the brakes are automatically applied.

Comment Re: Good (Score 1) 684

We use buses because we need drivers? What?

My first inclination is to simply ask you which word confused you, but I'll go ahead and waste some time explaining this using short words anyway. Vans are more efficient than buses in every way except the amount of manpower required to operate them in the ideal case. If you don't need drivers, then you don't need buses.

Comment Re: Good (Score 2) 684

It seems to me that you have no experience living somewhere with a functioning bus network

Those bus networks are heavily subsidized and lose money in every case, because (again) physics. That's written off as a necessary cost, but it's only necessary because we use buses, which we only do because we need drivers.

Comment Re:It makes no sense (Score 1) 684

You only need new paths when there is a significant number of cyclists in which case there is an impact on traffic. If you don't have a huge number then they can safely use the road with cars.

Nope. If you have a large number who obey the laws and ride with consideration for others, they will have little impact. If you have a small number (or any number really) who don't give a shit, they can have wildly disproportionate impact.

Comment Re:Because they can rather than because its needed (Score 1) 100

There is zero gain not using a driver, in fact because of the reduced speeds and limited operational areas there is a lot to lose not having a human at the controls.

This is why the first bus routes which will be replaced with self-driving vans will be on college campuses and the like. The low speed will not inhibit their activity. At some times of day, there are empty (or mostly empty) buses rolling around campuses because they might have to pick up a passenger.

Comment Re:'trolley' ? (Score 1) 100

A trolley is either a wheeled device you push around, or short for trolleybus which is a vehicle powered by overhead electric cabling. The latter is usually on rails, or at least guided, so that it doesn't wonder away from its source of power.

We (people on the street) don't call that a "trolleybus" in America, we just call it a bus. The transit departments call them trolleybuses, though. And AFAIK the last place they're actually still in use in any number is San Francisco, and they are very much not on rails. Sometimes the bus drivers DO get out from under the pantograph, and another bus has to come along to fix the situation. The bus drivers in SF are particularly bad at driving, or at caring about other humans. I've never been so brutally cut off by buses anywhere as commonly happens in SF. People call the cable cars trolleys.

Comment Re:Good (Score 3, Informative) 684

Last I checked roads are public, those bikes have a right to be there as much as you do.

So why do they have to act like they have more of a right to be there than I do? Why don't they get over into the middle of their special lane, like I am legally required to do? (I already know the answer, they might get a puncture! boo hoo! I don't get to swerve into a cyclist because I'm dodgin' a pinecone.) Why do I have to give them three feet of extra space, just in case they fall off their bike or swerve into my lane? Why is it that if I obstruct traffic in my car I'll get a ticket, but the law explicitly instructs them to obstruct traffic in some ways, and they tend to ignore all the ways in which they aren't — like say pulling over when there are five or more people stacked up behind you on a freeway, at the earliest safe opportunity. For a bicycle that is almost anywhere. Here in California we have a bunch of twisty little highways through the trees and I've been stacked up behind a cyclist repeatedly on such roads.

Cyclists want to cry about how cars take up all the space, then they want to take up more space than they need before they even dry their tears. Wake me up when they have some integrity, I'll start listening.

Comment Re: Good (Score 2) 684

Bikes don't obstruct buses.

Bikes obstruct smaller vehicles than buses all day, every day, especially in California where cyclists aren't required to even use their bike lanes, and where motorists are required to give them three feet of space and are otherwise at fault in a collision no matter how stupid the cyclist is acting, and how little disregard for traffic they are displaying. What causes you to imagine that they wouldn't obstruct buses?

If anything we need a law that requires buses be in a bus lane if one is available.

Bus lanes are garbage, they waste space because they are even less utilized than the buses themselves. They're about the only thing actually worse than taking a lane away from cars and giving it to bicycles.

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