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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Traffic

Rod Welch wrote:    (01)

> Just another thought, you will have my vote for all the reasons in
> your exegesis, if you will expand your plank to fix the traffic mess.
> There has to be a million hours wasted everyday just getting to work
> and home.  Has anyone noticed how people are willing to work hard,
> getting up earlier and earlier and getting home later and later, but
> working smarter is a sore subject?    (02)

Well, that raises another issue entirely. Car pool lanes.    (03)

I watch the cars in the car pool lane. When I see 3 suits in the car,
I know they're on their way to or from the airport. They would only
have had one car anyway.    (04)

Then I see a gardening truck with a a couple of workers. They're
on business, too.    (05)

Then I see a woman and her 6-year old kid. Tell me again how much
gasoline we're saving because they're not riding in separate cars.    (06)

And there are folks who look like they may be married. Odds are
good they would be car pooling anyway.    (07)

Finally, there are environmentally aware, conscietious people who
car pool out of social concern -- who would be carpooling whether
or not there was a car pool lane.    (08)

After we subtract all of those, we have the *real* number of
multiple-occupancy cars that otherwise would have been single
occupancy.    (09)

In other words, the question is not, "How many cars are there in the
car pool lane". The question is, "How many multiple occupancy cars
are there on the road that were induced to do so by the existence of
a car pool lane"?    (010)

These thoughts originally arose when I noticed that within 15 minutes
of the end of the car pool hours, the traffic magically begins to flow
easily, and you can actually get where you're going. Now, either
everyone has timed things SO well that they are all pulling off the
road right at that time. Or, more likely the car pool lane is costing us
more than it buys us.    (011)

It occurs to me that perhaps the traffic planners did a damn good job
of predicting traffic volume and building the roads that would be
needed -- but then the number of lanes was reduced to 3/4 or 2/3
by fiat, with the attendant congestion.    (012)

Now, that artificial traffic jam construction may actually be a *good*
thing, in some ways. By creating a problem early, it has put pressure
on population growth, and has lead to a search for alternatives (like
work at home) sooner than would otherwise have been necessary.    (013)

So maybe we're ahead of the game. But I'm not sure, because when
I look at all those gas guzzlers creeping along in long lines, running at
the most inefficient possible speed and polluting the air with every
inch they travel, I wonder if the cost we're paying is too high.    (014)