04-13-09, 03:39 PM #61
I just hear on TV (not watching it) that GM is to be bankrupted - broken into two parts. Perhaps Detroit will be first to have these food riots and /or burning city blocks (Since MKL was murdered and Watts, CA rioted).
What really needed:
1) GM executives are to be shot
2) heads of UAW are to be shot
04-14-09, 10:03 PM #62
Last edited by Billy T; 04-14-09 at 10:21 PM.
04-15-09, 12:44 PM #63
04-15-09, 12:53 PM #64
04-15-09, 02:59 PM #65
04-15-09, 03:09 PM #66
04-16-09, 06:27 AM #67
04-16-09, 10:19 PM #68
04-17-09, 09:08 AM #69
no they won't stfu and go outside
life card played
04-17-09, 10:26 AM #70
Well spidergoat looks like you might get your wish:
Looking at the chart though it looks like high speed rail is only going to provide 15-30% decrease in energy consumption over cars, of course that with 3 times the speed over land and without being hooked on oil (assuming all electric trains). But electric cars could provide signifigetn decrease in energy usage over existing automobiles, existing cars have 20-30% efficiency while electrics can do over 80%.
04-17-09, 12:33 PM #71
I happen to know that the safest form of transport is the elevator in fatalities per passenger mile. I suspect they are not as efficient as the electric car on a passenger mile basis, but when the distance traveled (in my city design) is considered they would greatly reduce energy consumption and save 99% of all lives lost in travel accidents.
*A key point of the design is a quasi- rectangular street grid but NO at grade intersections. Earth has been removed from one street near intersection and used to make over pass ramps for the other road. (Except for the short bridge under which the road with dip passes.) There are turn lanes at the corners of half the blocks** to permit change of direction of travel and parallel streets are all alternately one way. I.e. you can get from any block “A” to any block “B” in the city quickly on one-way streets. (You may need to walk a max of one block or less 50% of the time.) You never need to stop for any traffic lights. – This save a lot of time and energy. Many more details in the urban planning thread I cannot find.
** All “Turn Blocks” are in a pattern like the squares of one color of a checker board. Private cars are not used, but center of each turn block has an electric “autocar” pickup / drop off kiosk. Computer controlled autocars AVERAGE about 36 mph thru the city as they never stop prior to the destination you requested at the kiosk terminal. The request kiosk prints your bar code key, tells color and number of the car that is yours, normally already waiting only a few feet from the kiosk. (You pay monthly the bill the system sends you.) The autocars come in 2, 4, and 6 passenger sizes, but some have cargo space for commercial deliveries. Once you are inside, the door locks. The autocars are essentially a “2D horizontal elevator system.” I.e. like elevators, only they travel the access limited road space between buildings. Most urban trips take less than 2 minutes and autocars are very cheap to use (compared to owning a private car or using taxi with its driver) because they serve many instead of sit in parking lot or garage most of the time unused. Each has “liquid spilled” and odder detector. If triggered, that car drops you at nearest kiosk and goes to the cleaning center – you get the bill for cleaning, of course. If you change your desired destination in route, just hit the “stop” button and it will go to the nearest kiosk and let you out to request another destination (or walk). Probably in another autocar as the one you left is already serving someone else. Bikes are privately owned with free lock post area on the bike path level, at center of all buildings above the autocar kiosk, if that is a “turn block building.”
Because only aurocars, elevators and bikes (on their own enclosed pathways - first level above the roads and just under the walk ways) the city air is “forest fresh.” Seen from high above the city, it looks like a 100% green space as the tops of the walkways are grass covered and all builds have their green grass or tree covered perimeter setbacks of their “stepped pyramid” shapes.
ALL travel should be by 1 or 2D elevators, bike or walking in a well-designed, very-pure-air city.
Last edited by Billy T; 04-17-09 at 03:45 PM.
04-17-09, 01:11 PM #72
04-17-09, 04:57 PM #73
I am not suggesting scrapping existing cities; however, effectively we already have in many urban city centers. When I last lived in the USA, it was in Columbia Maryland. I was one of the "pioneers" (first 1000 to move there) Then there was just one neighborhood, Bryant Woods, and two years before What is now Columbia was all just woods, farms or cow pasture.
In a decade it was a city of 130,000* centered on the Columbia Mall and a dozen or so large office buildings in the city center. Around that are 9 "villages" each centered on a high or junior high school at the center of the large roughly circular village road. Each village has 4 or 5 "neighborhoods" with its much smaller loop road around the central elementary school. Half of the elementary school kids do not cross even one road to walk to school and the other half cross only the village loop road. All power lines are underground and there are no unsightly signs anywhere. There are many miles of asphalt bike trails that wind thru the city and all of its neighborhoods and their central parks. (In total, I bet at least 250 miles of bike trails inside the city! and about a dozen small lakes in the naturally low points.)
It has some of the best public schools in the US. Each village has an indoor pool or sports center (ice rink etc. if not heated pool) and all neighborhoods have an outdoor summer pool. It attracted relatively liberal people, at least initially, and many well off blacks. Opra Windfree lived about a minute's walk from my townhouse, but she was just a local radio personality then. My neighbors were all college grads and well off.
Columbia has been a huge financial success for the Rouse Company that designed it from scratch. Many different builders made the houses and apartments, so now the Rouse Co. only owns the central mall (four "anchor stores" at the corners, but only three when I left existed.) and most of the central city office buildings. From their POV owning the central city was the long term financial reason for making Columbia. One of my immediate neighbors was a black doctor in DC who only used his house on the week-ends to get out of DC. Another was Mort Hoppenfield, the city's chief planner. He told me this "retain the center" plan was why Columbia got financed, but he and others planners were strongly motivated to make a better place for people to live as well as a big profit.
SUMMARY: As Columbia proves, a well designed city can be made out of pasture or farm land and be very profitable. The suburban infrastructure the US has built will be destroyed by expensive energy. - The sooner we learn how to more efficiently live in literally green cites** with clean healthy air and only bikes or shared electric transport (but individually convenient - the "autocars" in what is very much like a 2D horizontal "elevator") the less painful the adjustment to the high cost energy era will be.
*The Wiki article gives slightly less than 100,000 but that does not include the "Out Parcels." Land inside the Columbia Postal area which the Rouse company was not able to buy. After living in Bryant Woods for about 6 or 7 years, I built and moved into big private house in the nearest one, called Beaverbrook, mainly as Norwegian wife was becoming very Americanized. (I bought the big car too as my VW beattle was not good enough for her any more.) From my back porch I could throw a rock onto one of the Columbia bike paths. I avoided the Col. assoc. fees, but had to pay about twice their user fee for the indoor pool of Wilde Lake Village, but was still so close to it that I often road my bike there to swim on that bike path. (I am a big swimming nut. - I still swim year round and because Brazil is so nice to old people that cost less than $100 annually, including the medical exams for skin problems four times annually.)
**If walking or biking anywhere in the city I described in prior post you mainly see trees, grass and flowers that cover the "stepped pyramid" buildings and the enclosed Autocar roads. As Obama, might say: YES WE CAN (make clean efficient safe profitable green cities and end suburban sprawl, long commutes, and decayed center city cores with rat infested schools.) All it takes is the will and a little intelligent planning.
PS -After writing the above, I thought to check Wiki. See:
for more details and current facts, but not the local color I gave.
Last edited by Billy T; 04-18-09 at 05:39 PM.
04-17-09, 06:11 PM #74
I have given the "autocar" technology a little though, but not done any serious economic analysis. (I am sure it more than an order of magnitude cheaper that all current systems.) Since it is electric, it is “on thread” to describe it briefly.
Recall all roads are one way and autocars are locked (like an elevator car is) to keep all (even dogs, birds and paper trash) out of their enclosed right of way (again like an elevator shaft, but in 2D and horizontal.)
I would think a linear electric motor is the way to move the autocars. Possibly they have passive permanent magnets (and or eddy current aluminum) bottoms instead of batteries and coils in the auto cars. Then the coils in the road way are dynamically energized to pull the autocar along in a traveling wave of magnetic fields. (All autocars must move at the same speed anyway when the thru put is max.) Late at night when few autocars are in use, these coils are energized only under a moving autocar. (For economy, the system is NOT using super conductors anywhere, so there are RI^2 loses in the coils.) However, the energy in the magnetic field of one coil is feed to the next as its field collapses and the car moves along so only the RI^2 loses exist.
As the Autocars are light weight, carry no fuel or batteries , are relatively simple (lack motor, gears, exhaust systems, steering wheel and its linkage, even breaks) and all are essentially identical they will be very cheap to make.
The commuter controlling their flow knows when some road is approaching capacity and can dynamically adjust routes to maintain high speed flow. The computer "knows" your start and destination kiosks and charges you based on that even if the route is not always the same between those two kiosks.
To encourage you to ride your bike or walk to football games and pop concerts etc. where many may want to come and leave at the same time, the charge also has a "point load factor" normally unity but high to the block of these big events. You can avoid it by coming earlier or staying later or going to a kiosk a few blocks away and walking in the enclosed walkways (periodic glass or plastic windows allow you to see the trees and flowers etc (natural daylight and ventilation also enters by them.)
If walking in the wee hours of the morning you may need to wait for the cleaning robot to clear out of your path. Likewise the computer controlling the autocars may not allow use of some section of the roadway if, for example a coil is being replaced, etc. Normally the autocars just "coast" over a defective coil until the wee hours repair crew comes to change it.
From a dead stop at the center of the block kiosk to the roadway there is a "launcher" that brings your autocar smoothly up to roadway injection speed and injects your autocar into and open slot of the flow. Thus at peak travel time you may set for fraction of a minute in your locked autocar before it starts to move, but once it does it will not stop until at your destination kiosk. (Much like airplanes cannot take off until they have an assured landing slot time when the destination airport is operating at capacity.)
This Launcher probably use compressed air stored in large concrete tank below the building (an integrated part of the foundation). It also stops the autocars returning to the kiosk area and can recover (in compressed air) much of their kinetic energy. The “launcher / stopper” probably “grabs” hold of the autocars by direct electro-magnet to permanent magnet contact and is sort of a variable speed linear motor. To considerable extent it determines the minimum size of the “pyramid buildings” as less than 1G is used to get auto car from the central kiosk to injection speed in half the building base size.
Last edited by Billy T; 04-17-09 at 06:52 PM.
04-18-09, 12:14 AM #75
Columbia has been a huge financial success for the Rouse Company that designed it from scratch. Many different builders made the houses and apartments, so now the Rouse Co. only owns the central mall (four "anchor stores" at the corners, but only three when I left existed.) and most of the central city office buildings.
SUMMARY: As Columbia proves, a well designed city can be made out of pasture or farm land and be very profitable. The suburban infrastructure the US has built will be destroyed by expensive energy.
04-18-09, 12:28 PM #76
As the Wiki article I linked to mentions, the Applied Physic Lab is also in Howard County with Columbia. I usually went in a little late and when going home spent more than an hour in the library reading journals. Thus I missed the traffic and trip was about 5 minutes drive - a few APLer's rode their bikes from Columbia to APL, but I was in a 4 man car pool some years too. (These 4-person car pools got reserved parking space near the entrances.) The Shorter "back road" was one lane and >2000 people trying to arrive on time or leave the parking lots at 5PM sharp made quite a traffic jam.
I am not too surprised that Rouse Company no longer exists. (I would be quite surprised if Rouse himself does now.) Probably Columbia will lose most of the features that made it a great place to live. America needs to learn, before it is too late (probably already is) that the suburban life style is very energy intensive and not feasible in the high cost energy era. (Because others can buy the smaller quantities of energy they need and produce cheaper anything the US can to pay for it.)
I bet Columbia, still has many small "high brain power" firms. One or two of the tiny drug developers I follow is based there and some other small firm I noticed recently was too.
Last edited by Billy T; 04-18-09 at 05:53 PM.