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Comment Use it to set real-time meter prices! (Score 1) 112

Instead of sending the info to people's smartphones, the city should use it to adjust the rates for parking meters to reflect real-time demand. When the parking spot vacancy rate falls below 15%, increase the meter rates, and if the vacancy rate rises above 15%, decrease the meter rates. You'll never have to worry about finding a parking spot again, and you'll always be able to park close enough to right outside your destination. Parking spots are a scarce resource, and we usually ration scarce resources via price, not queuing. Strangely it's only with roads we tolerate queuing instead of price, both for driving (waiting in traffic jams) and parking (circling the block).

Comment Silent vehicles are common (Score 1) 620

Pedstrians who step on to the road without looking are a real danger to cyclists. It happens a lot on busy inner-city roads, and it's obviously caused by their assumption that vehicles make noise, an assumption that is wrong for both cyclists and EVs. The last thing I want is for that assumption to be reinforced by legislation. The better option is to mandate quieter (or silent) conventional cars, or just ban cars altogether. (OK, I know that aint gonna happen, but it would certainly make the streets safer. Quieter too.)

Comment Re:'limousine liberalism' (Score 1) 589

And exactly where does the government 'heavily subsidise' the EVIL OIL COMPANIES?

Gee, I dunno, spending all those billions of taxpayer dollars on roads and freeways? Building a transport system that is designed for motor vehicles instead of, say, bicycles and trains?

Shouldn't oil companies (or at least their customers) have to pay for their own transport infrastructure, ie, roads?

Comment Re:Cost effective? (Score 1) 261

Investment in transport infrastructure drives land-use patterns. The situation you describe in the US is an artifact of 50 years of investment in highways combined with almosy zero (or negative) investment in mass transit. Reverse that funding ratio and over the next 50 years you'll get densely populated cities with heavily utilised mass transit and the sprawl might all be returned to the farmland it was.

Comment Distance depends on transport mode (Score 4, Insightful) 345

The article neglects the way that the transportation infrastructure affects how much transport is needed. If you rely on cars and trucks for most transport you end up with low-density sprawl and hence a very high number of miles travelled. If you rely on trains and bicycles you end up with high-density development and hence a much lower number of miles travelled.

In other words, when comparing transport modes you can't assume that the amount of miles will be the same.

Comment Re:Sure, but (Score 1) 222

Cars are not inherently inefficient.

They are inefficient due to the amount of space they require for driving and parking. It's all that space taken up by roads and parking that stretches out the distance between travel points.

Smaller vehicles such as bicycles require much less road space and parking space, thus making cities more compact, and therefore reducing fuel consumption even for those who drive.

Comment Re:Sure, but (Score 3, Interesting) 222

Regarding the US: Mass transit is fine for many but certainly not all people living in urban areas, a lot fewer people who live in the suburbs, and almost nobody who lives in rural areas. The nearest grocery store to my house is 18 miles away. Mass transit would be an extremely inefficient method of transport out here.

If you build roads and no transit you get the US-style sprawl you describe. If you build transit and only minimal roads you get high-density transit-friendly development.

The transport infrastructure "drives" the style of city you get. Build it and they come.


Submission + - Copyright law used to shut down anti-coal site

driptray writes: The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an Australian mining industry group has used copyright laws to close a website that parodied a coal industry ad campaign. A group known as Rising Tide created the website using the slogan "Rising sea levels: brought to you by mining" in response to the mining industry's slogan of "Life: brought to you by mining". The mining industry claimed that the "content and layout" of the parody site infringed copyright, but when Rising Tide removed the copyrighted photos and changed the layout, the mining industry still lodged a complaint. Is this a misuse of copyright law in order to stifle dissent?

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