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[ba-ohs-talk] Traffic and PC

Eric,    (01)

Don't get me started on "car pool lanes...."    (02)

Rod    (03)

Eric Armstrong wrote:
> Rod Welch wrote:
> > 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?
> Well, that raises another issue entirely. Car pool lanes.
> 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.
> Then I see a gardening truck with a a couple of workers. They're
> on business, too.
> 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.
> And there are folks who look like they may be married. Odds are
> good they would be car pooling anyway.
> 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.
> After we subtract all of those, we have the *real* number of
> multiple-occupancy cars that otherwise would have been single
> occupancy.
> 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"?
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.    (04)