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Here is a documentary on the demise of the trolley system, the origins of the national highway system and the efforts to build a Light Rail system to replace buses and automobile traffic density. Not too much has changed in 20 years. It is not very complimentary to GM I have to say. It is worth watching, if for nothing else but to show eye glass frame styles of the past. :p:D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-I8GDklsN4
 

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Urban myths. The truth?

Who killed urban surface rail systems? We did, the consumer.

Who killed the electric car in ~1996? We did, the consumer.

Most things in life that were desired by the public, but destroyed anyways, were through government or legal action, not corporate.

Nobody made us give up VHS tapes, but somebody certainly did abolish cheap cars. Technically, there could be a $6000 4-seater car sold in the USA for low-income workers that passed emissions standards. You do not get a choice in that decision.
 

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Technically, there could be a $6000 4-seater car sold in the USA for low-income workers that passed emissions standards. You do not get a choice in that decision.
There is. It's called a used car.
 

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Nobody made us give up VHS tapes, but somebody certainly did abolish cheap cars. Technically, there could be a $6000 4-seater car sold in the USA for low-income workers that passed emissions standards. You do not get a choice in that decision.
I suspect safety regulations have had at least as a big a part in cost increases as have emission standards. As a fan of the more minimalist cars though I agree with the general point. Compare a BMW Mini to a BMC Mini - I think it's something like the latter that is more needed today.
 

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The end of trolley service in my town was on 7/28/1923. No conspiracy involved.
 

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With all the traffic problems in big cities, I think we need something to help the flow of traffic at a fundamental level at the stop lights. How many times have you seen people leaving way too much space between cars at a stop light, causing the line to be much longer than necessary. Then when the light turns green, the first car departs, a few seconds later, the second, then the third, etc. Just a simple system where your car senses the car in front of you so a platoon of cars can all leave the light simultaneously when the light turns green would help ease the congestion.

Then the next problem is the sheer size of our vehicles. The Mini Cooper is no longer Mini. Today's civics are the size of accords from a decade ago. The CTS used to be a mid-sized car, now its huge. Yes, there are smart cars, but when everyone else is in and SUV, you don't want to be SUV bait. It everyone drove a smart car-sized vehicle, then the fear of getting squashed goes down.

I think big cities need to start banning icers and only allow pure EVs. People coming in from out-of-town will need to mark in Disneyland-like parking lots and take light rail into town. An EV only push would most certainly accelerate adoption.
 

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So you're sitting in city traffic in your not small Cadillac CTS, left in the intersection by someone who stops short, and suddenly you've gone from a capitalist to a central planning socialist with brilliant economy destroying philosophies?

Here's a better plan: SPREAD OUT!!
That's where you've got it all wrong, there is no city traffic where I live. But every time I visit Cali, DC, or Chicagoland I wonder how people tolerate the traffic day in and day out. Increased stress levels, decreased quality of life, and the denser you pack them in, the more they kill each other. I don't know how my sister does it as she lives in Chicago raising 3 kids and working full time.

Plus I don't want people to spread out as I've already done that (24 acres in the country) to escape the madness. I don't want crazy city folks putting their McMansions anywhere near my bean fields. Call me selfish. Also call me hypocritical for considering jettisoning my CTS for a Silverado, Suburban, or Land Rover. Where I live, I have rush minute - if I leave precisely at 5pm, I will have to wait through 1 set of lights, maybe two, then it's smooth sailing from there unless there is any road construction. Though lately there have been a string of serious accidents which have closed off major highways for major stretches of time. But that can happen on any interstate. Interstate 72 is so lightly travelled, you could be sleeping at the wheel and not hit anyone. I've recently seen 3 semis decide to go off-roading in a corn or bean field off of I72.
 

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No I had it right. You do sit in traffic in Chicago with your CTS.
I only drive to Chicago at most once or twice a month, not daily. And the number of times I'm actually stuck in stop and go traffic is probably 1/3rd to 1/2 the times.
 

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Imagine how much a used 5 year old $6000 car would be. $1500?
My folks owned a car just like that
It was called a Yugo and it's still in their garage
 

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So you admit it then. :rolleyes:
Yea, I admit I get stuck in traffic once in a great while. I don't understand why people want to do this daily, which is why I moved away. Folks who drive during rush hour in LA, Silicon Valley, Chicago, NYC, Boston, Dallas, DC, Austin, they're all a bit crazy. There needs to be a better way of getting to work and back for these heavily congested areas. Spreading out doesn't help if they still have to head into a congested area for their jobs.
 

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Long enough to have 'ideas'. I'll just leave that there.....



Yeah, but the insanity can be as much if not more a byproduct of the environment. Look how it affects you!



Not sure why you're limiting your thinking there. Spread out the jobs and the rest takes care of itself, and you don't have to come in and destroy anyone's economy with your central planning socialist ideas. A lot of it is already happening. Take a ride west on 88 from 294. Downers Grove, Lisle and even Naperville are picking up some big players.
The only other option I see other than platooning vehicles with autopilot-like network aware road sharing is to go vertical with double and triple decker highways. But that increases the chances of vehicles going airborne and crashing through some poor sap's roof. I see traffic problems getting worse, urban sprawl making commutes longer, and companies who used to be supportive of allowing Webex, Skype, Lync, etc closing down remote offices and making big offices bigger. We are headed towards building on every square inch of the earth like in the Star Wars world Coruscant. Of course add antigravity, and we won't need roads and highways. But back to topic, how can we continue to add more cars, more people, and more traffic to our Infrastructure when streetcars are pretty much gone.

Side note, if you ever go to San Francisco, the best seat in the cable car isn't inside, it's standing on the outside holding on for dear life. We accidentally discovered this two decades ago when we got into a cable car that was too crowded. Now we specifically pick those spots.
 

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I lived there a short while. Never rode one or went to Pier 39. When my mother came to visit we finally hit a few spots, but still didn't ride the cable cars. When you live there it's not that exciting.
Riding a cable car in SF needs to be on everyone's bucket list. So is driving down Lombard St.
 

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Riding a cable car in SF needs to be on everyone's bucket list. So is driving down Lombard St.
Been there done that. I wouldn't go out of my way to do either. However, when we have visitors, I do the Lombard drive. The cable cars are too crowded - folks waiting over 1/2 hr and then paying big bucks for the ride.
 
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