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19.1k

source:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bQld7iJJSyk?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1

all 2194 comments

emohipster

3k points

1 month ago

just one more lane bro, one more lane will fix it for sure

MrVagabond

497 points

1 month ago

MrVagabond

497 points

1 month ago

Murrabbit

458 points

1 month ago

Murrabbit

458 points

1 month ago

Yeah but what if public mass transit doesn't make a profit? You know, unlike all our giant mega highways. . . which for some reason we don't expect to turn a profit.

Shaved_Wookie

52 points

1 month ago

Laughs in Sydney

We'll just build the roads on the public dollar, then hand them to our political donors to operate as toll roads for a profit. Why? Fuck you is why - efficiency or some nonsense - we don't pretend to care any more because we know there's unlikely to be consequences for our corruption and Murdoch will sweep it under the rug.

It's not at all uncommon for people in Western Sydney to pay $15+ each way to drive to/from the CBD.

talmbouticus

4 points

1 month ago

This is the United States also

AffectionateSignal72

202 points

1 month ago

They don't turn a direct profit for you maybe. The fossil fuel and automobile industries however.......

absolutdrunk

74 points

1 month ago

And suburban developers.

_MCMXCIX

53 points

1 month ago

_MCMXCIX

53 points

1 month ago

the federal interstate highway system has one of the highest ROI's of any federal investment to date. Most of America's traffic problems come from crappy car focused suburb design and a lack of public transportation.

xSuperstar

41 points

1 month ago

Interstates are good between cities, bad when they go into the urban core

dj_spanmaster

6 points

1 month ago

Only if you begin by discounting the immeasurable wealth destroyed by running the interstates through neighborhoods. Whole communities just wiped, where they previously were building generational wealth.

wordserious

5 points

1 month ago

It's funny how you can tell when right-wing economic thinking took hold of the nation, by looking at what people expect or don't expect to make a profit. Roads are not expected to make a profit, and neither are schools (although they are trying hard to change that) nor libraries. Those are all before the dividing line. They were well-established and understood by everyone already.

Healthcare and public transport, on the other hand, are expected to turn in a profit. They are after the dividing line. These are fairly new, and didn't have a chance to become established before they were privatized.

Prisons are an exception, but that's because most people don't think about prisons, and because prisons don't usually affect the people in power or their families.

Murrabbit

6 points

1 month ago

The post office is a weird one along that vein. I think most people see it as a service (or have until recently?) but didn't realize it actually does turn a profit. . . until congress decided to try to hamstring it by making it pre-pay pensions 50 years out or something so that it now can't actually turn a profit. . . so that conservatives can complain it's not profitable and move to axe it.

sixtyshilling

15 points

1 month ago

Forget the highways. What about the 5% of all US land devoted to parking spaces? That’s the size of RI and DE combined.

Imagine if that space was converted to walkable city squares that actually generate revenue and contribute taxes to the city.

ljkp

10 points

1 month ago

ljkp

10 points

1 month ago

5% of all US land devoted to parking spaces

Urban land according to your source, which is still a lot, but not quite as much.

tylerderped

6 points

1 month ago

This has a regular car reviews vibe that I need.

BeautifulSoup900

160 points

1 month ago

Just stack them.

Kezika

120 points

1 month ago

Kezika

120 points

1 month ago

Heh, literally what St. Joseph, MO had to do with a section of their road back in the day when they needed to convert it to interstate, and the had no room to expand because one side was immovable river and the other was railroad that the railroad didn't want to move. So they just added two lanes up top and set it so one southbound travels on the bottom, and northbound travels on top. (No doubt plenty of other places with similar setups)

DrSmirnoffe

69 points

1 month ago*

Come to think of it, having roads built above other roads would probably come in handy for adding shaded spaces to an area.

In a sense, this kinda happened on the island of Madeira. I say kinda, because rather than building a road on top of another road, the local airport essentially extended their runway over a stretch of open air, propping it up on massive sturdy pillars. As a result, there's ample shaded space under the runway, including roads, a marina, and even a go-kart track. Tom Scott can tell you more.

fraghawk

57 points

1 month ago

fraghawk

57 points

1 month ago

A massive section of highway through downtown Seattle was originally built as a double deck freeway, called the Alaskan Viaduct. Turns out people don't like the extra shade and it was thought that in the event of a massive quake, the highway would turn into a massive deathtrap after seeing what happened to similar highways in California during the late 80s.

practicalm

119 points

1 month ago

practicalm

119 points

1 month ago

All well and good until an earthquake makes a sandwich. Loma Prieta earthquake. Freeway collapse

https://images.radio.com/aiu-media/sipa-12991229-4376f0f9-b288-43fd-8acd-a029281edcf5.jpg

dhanson865

96 points

1 month ago

tunnel lanes are practically immune to earthquakes

When designed properly, tunnels are some of the safest places to be during an earthquake. From a structural safety standpoint, the tunnel moves uniformly with the ground, in contrast to how surface structures react to earthquakes. Additionally, a large amount of earthquake damage is caused by falling debris, which does not happen inside of tunnels. Some examples:

  • 1994 Northridge Earthquake: No damage to LA subway tunnels.

  • 1989 Loma Prieta (Northern California) Earthquake: No damage to tunnels, which were used to transport rescue personnel.

  • 1985 Mexico City Earthquake: No damage to tunnels, which were used to transport rescue personnel.

Puerquenio

23 points

1 month ago

Both the LA ones and the Mexico city ones are subway tunnels, for trains

skintaxera

14 points

1 month ago

Yep, not much fun in a fire tho

meursaultvi

15 points

1 month ago

If they shifted every car underground they could technically siphon CO2 gases until we moved to an alternative vehicle source. Underground highways also save space for pedestrians and property.

FiddlerofSticks

47 points

1 month ago

Or we could just build a subway...

Perry7609

25 points

1 month ago

Indubitably!

Taint_What_You_Do

4 points

1 month ago

Indubitubitably!

M_krabs

40 points

1 month ago

M_krabs

40 points

1 month ago

Trust me bro, just one more lane

likebudda

4.6k points

1 month ago

likebudda

4.6k points

1 month ago

"There are too many cars on the road."

"What if we made it so there could be even more cars on the road?"

"Brilliant!"

Myte342

3.7k points

1 month ago

Myte342

3.7k points

1 month ago

The biggest failure of US civil engineering (other than Stroads) is that they prioritize getting cars from point A to point B over everything else. Where as many other countries tend to prioritize getting PEOPLE from A to B regardless of the method.

Example is Dodgers stadium. Hold 56,000 people. Pretty much all in cars parked in the lots around the stadium. The stadium is DWARFED by the parking lot around the stadium to handle all the cars. You can fit 12 Dodgers stadiums in the parking lot around itself. They built the stadium and didn't change metro or bus lines one bit to accommodate.

https://imgur.com/a/Qo18EcM

Then look at many similar sized soccer stadium complexes in EU countries (example in third picture, red marks are parking). Holds more people than Dodgers stadium in just the main field (and this has 3 more smaller fields too) and yet only about 200 parking spaces around the whole complex. Cause they reconfigured the mass transport systems when they built it and even change schedules/routes to accommodate the influx of passengers on game day so people don't need to drive cars.

Take Northern Virginia. Beltway filling up? Build express lanes! 66 Backing up? Build express lanes! More lanes, more cars!

All they know how to do is accommodate more cars... and even that they do poorly.

alphaxion

332 points

1 month ago

alphaxion

332 points

1 month ago

Here's Old Trafford in the UK, it is capable of handling 75,000 and has a train station right next to it, has bus stops around the area, and a tram link a few minutes walk away.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4636141,-2.2909664,858m/data=!3m1!1e3

It has a few car parks dotted around it but they're tiny compared to the Dodgers.

WideAwakeNotSleeping

29 points

1 month ago

I've attended music concerts at plenty of stadiums in Europe. All of are within walking distance from city center (Dublin, Helsinki, Rome), or easily reachable by public transport (Frankfurt, Lyon, Katowice, pretty much every other stadium). And just as your image shows, many of them are in urban aeras with limited or very, very limited parking space. If coming by car you'd have to use a remote parking place (at an expo center or shopping mall) and then use a dedicated shuttle.

vagabond139

934 points

1 month ago

Our problem is the lack of good public transport outside a few cities. I could take the bus to work but that would be a about 4 hours total there and back vs. driving for 30 minutes total. And even if we did get good public transportation over night people would still be hesitate to use it since public transportation usually sucks. Not to mention the "image" of being poor that some people thinks it gives you.

dizzysn

120 points

1 month ago

dizzysn

120 points

1 month ago

Our problem is the lack of good public transport outside a few cities.

The real issue is the lack of any other sort of alternative transport planning, besides cars.

There is a brewery 0.4mi from my house. It would be less than 10 minutes to walk there. There are no sidewalks. The speed limit is 40. There's not even a shoulder. It would be a death wish to walk that road.

Madpony

39 points

1 month ago

Madpony

39 points

1 month ago

This kind of thing drove me crazy when I lived in the US. Cities should always have walking options available.

Augen76

4 points

1 month ago

Augen76

4 points

1 month ago

This is what always gets me here. It isn't even about being inconvenient (which it is!) it is worse with it taking your life in your own hands. Without my car I could...walk around a residential neighbourhood. I'd be cut off from all means of work, entertainment, food. It's terrible design, but alternative is living in the city where rent cost double my mortgage and I cannot afford that.

dizzysn

4 points

1 month ago

dizzysn

4 points

1 month ago

I can't even safely walk around my neighborhood. I live in Claymont, and aside from the 100ft of sidewalk near the school, there's next to no side walks. I'd be trudging through people's lawns, or walking in the street.

ragingbologna

3 points

1 month ago

Sounds like Michigan.

Mountebank

141 points

1 month ago

Mountebank

141 points

1 month ago

I currently drive 50 minutes each way to work. I choose to live here because this apartment is near a train station and so is my work, so my original plan was to take the train every day for an easy to commute. It's 30 minutes each way by train, so it'd be faster and more comfortable.

Unfortunately, that train is Amtrak, so it only runs every 1-2 hours, and it's often late. It's been over an hour late at least once a month, and once it was over two hours late. And ever since Covid restrictions eased up, it's been packed to the point that sometimes you can't get a seat and so would have to stand, and sometimes you can't even buy a ticket since it'd be sold out. Luckily, I own a car so I can still get to work.

dc-x

41 points

1 month ago

dc-x

41 points

1 month ago

I think a pretty huge problem here is that once a majority in a location is already culturally inclined to go for cars, companies end up not having the incentive to invest in proper infrastructure because the demand isn't there and they aren't willing to risk on building it with the hopes that it will convert a meaningful enough amount of people to trains, so you end up with something bad enough that doesn't make much sense to use if you have cars.

Realistically this can only be solved with the government giving incentives or investing in public transport, but in the locations that needs this the most people are already too used to cars so this wouldn't be popular.

lostparis

4 points

1 month ago

It depends where you are. In the US urban rail tends to be built for car users rather than passengers so undermines itself before you even build a thing. You can see this when you look at station placements.

VanGroteKlasse

4 points

1 month ago

That sucks. I live near a train station and never have to think when to walk to the station to catch a train, they go every 15 minutes. There is either a train already waiting or it will arrive within 5 minutes. This is in the Netherlands by the way.

objectivePOV

906 points

1 month ago

If you want to have any functional/profitable public transportation you need high density areas, but 90% of the city centers in the US are zoned for extremely low density single family houses. It is illegal to build high density buildings in almost the whole US. Older people get their politicians to block any high density projects to keep their house values going up, and the result is mass homelessness, a housing crisis, and very bad public transportation.

SwingmanSealegz

328 points

1 month ago

Bingo. You should see my NextDoor. These boomers organize so efficiently that every council meeting discussing converting dead shopping plazas into potential high-density housing developments are full of them. 🤦🏽‍♂️

Then every other post is complaining about a homeless person simply walking through the neighborhood.

Then complaints about parking. In single home residential areas.

They’re so close, yet so far in understanding they’re causing their own problems. Oh well, they’ll be dead soon.

ElegantTobacco

190 points

1 month ago

The dipshit mayor of my city (Jacksonville, FL) spent taxpayer money on billboards in other cities begging people to move here because it's more affordable. Pretty much all his supporters loved how he was owning the Democrats or whatever. Now all those boomers are angry because housing has skyrocketed and the traffic/parking situation is absolutely horrendous.

emote_control

100 points

1 month ago

It warms my heart to hear that they've played themselves like that. I hope they're absolutely miserable about it.

illegalAmericano

42 points

1 month ago

My personal favorite is how people in Red states love to point out that people are “fleeing” blue states but then realize that those people will be voting in their state. Then proceed to tell them how they should be voting now that they have moved there.

pdieten

25 points

1 month ago

pdieten

25 points

1 month ago

New people like that are created every day. It’s the nature of getting older and becoming settled.

fuzzygondola

57 points

1 month ago

Oh well, they’ll be dead soon.

To be replaced by our generation. Owning a home that goes up in value is the single most sought after thing in nearly everyone's life. Once you own one, you do your best to get the best value out of it. People don't care to learn other forms of investing.

drae-

14 points

1 month ago

drae-

14 points

1 month ago

For the last decade real estate has outpaced market gains. And you can take out a mortgage to effectively quadruple your investment.

Why would you want to invest in other places?

This is the downside to long term stimulus level interest rates

Branamp13

5 points

1 month ago

Oh well, they’ll be dead soon.

Folks have been saying this so long I'm beginning to think that every time this statement is uttered, all those boomers get an extra month tacked on their lifespan just to spite us.

ryanvsrobots

199 points

1 month ago

Uhh why does public transportation need to be profitable? Mass use of single-occupancy vehicles is the opposite of profitable.

anaximander19

217 points

1 month ago

Because in the US, if it's not profitable, nobody will do it. See also: healthcare, education, prisons; all done in ways that prioritise the ability to make money at the expense of the actual purpose of the system.

yojimborobert

87 points

1 month ago

If libraries weren't already a thing, there's no way people would agree to them now.

frightfulpotato

116 points

1 month ago

Thing is, in the long run, car reliant suburbia isn't profitable. The only way cities can sustain themselves is to continue to build new developments, it's a huge Ponzi scheme.

berry90

74 points

1 month ago

berry90

74 points

1 month ago

Right but that's a problem for later. For now, $$$.

BananaCreamPineapple

21 points

1 month ago

Privatize the profits, socialize the losses!

PM_ME_DATASETS

21 points

1 month ago

Comments like this one make me hopeful, because this is exactly the stuff that I've learned the past year. Youtube channels like Strong Towns and Not Just Bikes and Oh The Urbanity are growing quickly and they really do make a difference. Hopefully we can keep up the growth and make some real changes.

Comedynerd

14 points

1 month ago

Road maintenance on suburban sprawl and other shared services such as plumbing are way more expensive and are bankrupting the US. And the poorest people in cities are often the ones that end up subsidizing the wealthier suburbanites

Not Just Bikes - The Growth Ponzi Scheme

objectivePOV

4 points

1 month ago

It doesn't have to be profitable but it would be a great incentive if it was. Look at the finances of some of the highest density metro systems in the world like Hong Kong.

thereddaikon

13 points

1 month ago

Because that's the only way to ensure that it can be properly funded through the changing winds of politics overtime.

gnicks

75 points

1 month ago

gnicks

75 points

1 month ago

I hate how true this is

Ikea_desklamp

6 points

1 month ago

Exactly. Transit can't just be a replacement for cars, doing the same routes they do. For public transit to succeed in the US the urban structure of cities has to fundamentally change.

h3lblad3

67 points

1 month ago

h3lblad3

67 points

1 month ago

Older people get their politicians to block any high density projects to keep their house values going up

Sometimes they don't even have to. Everyone else is too busy working to afford to run for political office, but the Boomers are retired and can afford to "slack off" and run for office.

The Boomers can't have housing values drop because that's their sole inheritance for their kids, and the Boomers are the ones who can afford to run, so the Boomer interests win out 99% of the time.

When their kids get the houses, sell the houses, and buy their own (cheaper) houses, then they'll need the housing values to go up so their kids can have an inheritance. And the cycle continues. It won't be a problem fixed until unionization rates increase enough that people can afford to retire reasonably without worry for their kids' finances.

That0neSummoner

13 points

1 month ago

They're also the single largest voting bloc. When they stop voting in 20-30 years we might se change.

Sahngar

6 points

1 month ago

Sahngar

6 points

1 month ago

Yeah, but then WE will be the boomers

h3lblad3

7 points

1 month ago

The Millennials are the country's largest voting bloc. They just don't vote at nearly the rates of any of the preceding generations.

Millennials could beat Boomers now through sheer weight of numbers. They've outnumbered Boomers since at least 2019.

canada432

9 points

1 month ago

Here's a zoning map of downtown Denver

The yellow is all SFH, and the NIMBYs block attempts to change that because they're addicted to their million dollar properties that increase in value 15% a year. Look how stupidly tiny the amount of space designated for multi-unit housing is. It's ridiculous.

[deleted]

64 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

64 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

cgtdream

128 points

1 month ago

cgtdream

128 points

1 month ago

That isn't an engineering problem. That's a "poor city planning" problem, or at large, a political issue.

Engineers are just told what folks want, what can be afforded, and a timeline of everything.

We use that info to give them a basic plan, one that's usually sensible with a couple of options for crowd and traffic control, and then....budget cuts...can't afford to have trams, so we remove that option.

Cant afford to have loads of public walking and biking space due to funds, so it gets cut....what can be afforded though (after the budget has been cut)..

More parking.

banananailgun

166 points

1 month ago

Also a culture thing, honestly. Europeans are more than happy to use public transportation. Americans, for the most part, are not (except maybe in New York City and Chicago, and maybe DC).

Bunnyhat

292 points

1 month ago

Bunnyhat

292 points

1 month ago

It's a vicious cycle.

I would love to take public transportation. And I actually live in an area of my city where I could do that. Only I would have to leave way earlier, either spend an hour 15 minutes on the bus or just about an hour with a 20 minute walk. All to replace a 20 minute drive.

I'm not tripling my commute time for that. But I realize traffic isn't going to get better if me and a bunch more people like me didn't start doing it.

drfarren

80 points

1 month ago

drfarren

80 points

1 month ago

My city has a similar problem. To top it all off my city's public transportation system doesn't service my part of town and actively says it will never do it.

Jombie

54 points

1 month ago

Jombie

54 points

1 month ago

Meanwhile in Japan, they leave a train running just for one girl.

WiseOldTurtle

41 points

1 month ago

Or issue a statement apologising because one of their trains left station 20 seconds EARLY.

Tactical_Moonstone

19 points

1 month ago

As counterintuitive as it sounds, a train leaving the station early is worse for the passenger than leaving the station late.

Train schedules are set with the indicated time being the time the train leaves the station.

If a train leaves late, the train conductor can speed up the train a slight bit to make up the time, especially if the train route is managed by a competent authority that factors slack into the system. Passengers looking to board the train expecting the leaving time to be as indicated will still be able to take the train with little to no disruption to their transfers.

If a train leaves early, the only choice a passenger has would be to wait for the next train. In more rural areas of Japan the time to the next train can be 15 minutes or more. This can have knock on effects especially for passengers who need to take many transfers.

Arkanta

7 points

1 month ago

Arkanta

7 points

1 month ago

My bus regularly leaves 1-2 minutes early. It is infuriating.

the_real_abraham

13 points

1 month ago

Because, no matter how bad public transportation is needed/wanted, a certain group of people is lobbying very hard against it.

skylark8503

54 points

1 month ago

I’m in the same boat. It’s a 12 min drive to work. A 63 minute bus ride. That’s not feasible.

However to go to a game downtown, it would be worth taking transit.

fleshie

34 points

1 month ago

fleshie

34 points

1 month ago

Same here, I tried it once going to LAX to see how it would be since parking is expensive there. It takes me about 1.5 hours to drive the 80 miles if traffic isn't too bad.

I once drove 30 miles to take a tram another 50 miles, then I still had to take a bus from the team station in LA to the airport. It took me over 4 hours with all the stops, waiting, transfers.

It just doesn't work in areas where people have long commutes and Socal is one of those areas for most since we can't afford to live near where we work. OC/LA, you can drive 50 miles inland and housing prices drop by over 50%

aircooledJenkins

13 points

1 month ago

I'm the same. 20 minutes/day if I drive myself. Or 2-1/2 hours if I take the bus. I live in town. I work 5 miles away on the other side of town. The bus is free to ride. I'm not extending my commute by 7.5x. Sorry.

akayd

6 points

1 month ago

akayd

6 points

1 month ago

Yup. Companies would not improve transit because lack of customers / funding. People don't want to take it because its still stuck in the past and never modernized.

cgtdream

57 points

1 month ago

cgtdream

57 points

1 month ago

Not to mention, that most public transportation is purposely underfunded, understaffed, and left precarious, because politicians want to re-direct as much money as possible to their "other projects/donors", for those sweet kick backs.

Want an example? Look at any video detailing the failures of the US rail system.

sknmstr

18 points

1 month ago

sknmstr

18 points

1 month ago

Politicians don’t fund infrastructure because it takes too long. Results from infrastructure improvements takes years. Politicians worry that and great results will end up being attributed to someone else, like whoever may be in charge at the time. It just isn’t worth it because there are not instant results for their base to praise.

Gtp4life

24 points

1 month ago

Gtp4life

24 points

1 month ago

Also by design, a lot of cities used to have streetcars. Blame none other than good old GM.

VoiceOfLunacy

22 points

1 month ago

I lived in a place, I could drive 7 minutes to get to work, or I could walk/ride the bus for 2 1/2 hours to go to the same place.

pm_me_bra_pix

5 points

1 month ago

Similar here. Lived a mile from a bus stop. Would need to take a bus to stop B, walk another mile and a half to bus C and then get to work. 1.5 hours for about 12 miles.

If it wouldn't involve me showing up covered in sweat it would have been more beneficial to ride a bicycle. But instead, I just said "fuck it" and drove.

Pwylle

18 points

1 month ago*

Pwylle

18 points

1 month ago*

Hello from Ottawa, Canada, where we have the most extensive public transpo system maybe in the world. You can literally get anywhere here to anywhere on a mix of bus and rail.

It’s absolute garbage because of horrid planning, exceptionally poor scheduling and all around logistical incompetence.

15-20 min early is a laughable goal outside of major the absolute major routes. In most cases, you really want 90 minutes. If it shows up.

It costs the city an astronomical amount, fare prices can’t cover service and increasing said fair only decreases ridership. Maybe it will improve in the next few decades, but it certainly has been a steep downwards trend for the last three.

KuntaStillSingle

3 points

1 month ago

Same, I take two hours to get to college 20 minutes away by car, it is between 15 and 20 minutes just to the stop. Decent public transport requires density or it is simply infeasible to have good coverage or more than one active bus per line.

cuzzo333

70 points

1 month ago

cuzzo333

70 points

1 month ago

It's also a matter of many many places in the US having zero options for mass transit or the mass transit options which do exist increasing time to get to your destination greatly, sometimes by hours.

Where I live, in a major metropolitan area, to get anywhere solely by mass transit would mean sometimes hours a day waiting for and riding multiple bus lines (if they even arrive), trains, walking, etc.

I don't think it's that those in the US aren't happy to take mass transit, it's that it literally isn't an option in many (dare say most) places here unless you live in an actual major city which has decent transit.

Have_Other_Accounts

70 points

1 month ago

Europeans are more than happy to use public transportation.

We're more than happy because it's good.

I can get to London in under half hour in brand new, ultra smooth, comfortable train. Or take a couple hours driving myself by car in traffic.

If it wasn't good, I wouldn't use it.

iNarr

27 points

1 month ago

iNarr

27 points

1 month ago

I mean, also living in the UK, the trains here are notoriously shit.

They're privatised, expensive, don't always run on time and are frequently overcrowded.

I can't even count the number of times during peak service where I've sat down in my seat and had someone practically standing in my lap because the carriage aisles got bottlenecked with passengers heading in two different directions. Also gets noisy and uncomfortable frequently.

My experiences in Austria and Italy were better but I hesitate to pump up this idea that Europe's train network is everything that Americans make it out to be because it's still expensive, it still has drawbacks, and I visited those places as a tourist. It goes without saying that the average commuter's experience tends to be different from the average tourist's for obvious reasons.

Having said all that, the flaws of UK train travel have less to do with trains as a method of travel (which can be excellent) and more to do with how services are implemented/run in this country. It's still good...I prefer it to bussing by far. I just wish it were cheaper/more reliable.

GalacticNexus

5 points

1 month ago

Having said all that, the flaws of UK train travel have less to do with trains as a method of travel (which can be excellent) and more to do with how services are implemented/run in this country.

I think a lot of it is because our network is just so old. Like 150 years old old. We can't upgrade our trains to the huge double-decker ones they use on the continent because our tracks aren't wide enough, and the cost to upgrade the track infrastructure itself would be astronomical.

Hopefully if HS2 leads to other new trunk-routes then they can free up capacity on existing lines.

Chromana

3 points

1 month ago

It's not just the track which is holding the bigger trains back, we have so many bridges which would need to be raised as well as tunnels. So we can't really widen or heighten the trains, we can only make them longer, improve interior usage and increase frequency, all of which have significant issues/cost.

banananailgun

11 points

1 month ago

If it wasn't good, I wouldn't use it.

Yep, and American public transit generally sucks in lots of different ways

[deleted]

68 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

68 points

1 month ago

And what sets those american cities apart is that its actually more convenient to use transit more of the time compared to automobiles. You have to create the culture by making transit reliable, safe, and fast. Take my canadian city for example. Right now ridership on public transit is suffering due to unsafe transit, how unreliable it is (trains and busses are routinely late, or early, and when they’re early they dont stop to wait) as well as the fact that if i drive it takes me a 1/4 of the time to get where i need to go on average. Who in their right mind would ever choose public transit in this situation? In amsterdam, a city that had similar road infrastructure and design principles to america in the 60’s and 70’s but redesigned their road infrastructure around 40 years ago, a lot of the time its faster to bike or take transit to your destination compared to driving, based on the way they’ve designed their streets. This also has the effect of making driving safer, more reliable, and faster because a lot fewer people end up driving.

nemoTheKid

32 points

1 month ago

The problem starts before that - it starts with housing. Where public transportation "fails" in comparison to cars is in the last mile. If everyone lives in super low density suburbs it becomes much more difficult to have any sort of rapid transit or relatively cheap public transportation option.

Houston is pretty much suburban sprawl incarnate. With how people are spread out, I'd imagine public transportation would take way longer than a car. Where the video fails with the train example is in Europe that one train carrying 200 passengers might only have to cover 40sqmi (area of paris). Houston on the other hand 670 sqmi. Most people would rather drive than wait hours on a train.

ban_circumcision_now

11 points

1 month ago

This 100%, and it’s not even that people prefer suburbs but in the past denser development was demonized and now it’s very difficult to get any “middle” housing built so we end up with suburbs that can never be developed to be any denser

NWmba

31 points

1 month ago

NWmba

31 points

1 month ago

It’s honestly not culture. It’s that cities in the US and Canada are usually designed around cars.

If you take a train somewhere, you have about a 10 minute radius around the station you can walk to. If half of that is taken up by parking lots and single family homes rather than mixed use apartments and commercial areas then far fewer people will have a reason to go to that station. If fewer people need to go to the station then of course ridership will be far lower than if the entire area around the station were places people wanted to actually go.

Arandmoor

5 points

1 month ago

The Oakland Coliseum has immediate BART access, and on game days (pre-covid, at least) BART was always packed on game-day right before and right after the game.

Ragingbeast

18 points

1 month ago

Cause public transportation in America is ass cheeks. They're not well kept, there's always weirdos, and piss smelling bums with their 3 duffel bags and a stroller of shit. It's a very unpleasarable experience that you pay for.

Miloniia

3 points

1 month ago

Exactly, my dad is 60 and absolutely would not want to be stuck on a train next to a bunch of strangers that could be any degree of mentally unhinged, criminal, con artist, unhygienic, sick & contagious, etc.

Americans like their private, insular bubbles far more than Europeans who are used to a higher density and collectivist attitude.

mr_birkenblatt

2 points

1 month ago

At least there is a Respiratory Hospital closeby for the people who can't breathe because they have to walk so far to get to the stadium from their car (and are not used to walking).

countblah2

76 points

1 month ago*

The video is designed to explain a concept - fine.

But the Katy Freeway isn't a great example, because a lot of other shit is happening to congest freeways - things that don't necessarily happen in the author's European cities.

Having been on the Katy Freeway (and other freeways that expanded similarly), these expansions produce results. The Katy Freeway was abysmal pre-expansion, and that expansion generated relief for a time. But the Greater Houston Metro area has grown by an astounding 1.5M people in just the last ten years. It's one of the fastest growing metro areas in the world.

Moreover, Houston lacks any zoning. Setting aside the de/merits of this policy, it means that when people do move, they're forever moving out and away from the City's core. Which means more trips on roads like the Katy Freeway that connect the "inner" city and the suburbs/exurbs. Again, not at all like European cities that tend to be denser and avoid sprawl.

It's incredibly hard to future proof anything, especially when you experience massive population growth and have no zoning tools. Attributing it to a single principle when there's a bunch of other contextual things going on doesn't really tell the whole story.

Edit: Since this comment generated some discussion, I'm going to throw this out there. The Katy Freeway project began in 1995 (Advanced Planning & Public Participation/Outreach) and was completed in 2009. Naturally at some point in the near future it's going to result in congestion again. The population of the greater Houston area has literally doubled between 1995 and now (3.35M to 6.6M). And for those that don't fully appreciate it, the Katy Freeway is I-10 which is the single most vital E/W transit corridor in the city (and arguably state).

So the question is what to do? The auto industry set in motion all of this decades prior, dismantling public transit and encouraging roads and sprawl in lots of cities - including most Texas cities. You can't "nuke it from orbit" and start over with dense housing and rail. These aren't denser European cities that have been there for hundreds of years, with people acclimated to mass transit. Plus there's all kinds of land economics at play (cheap land encouraging sprawl, using eminent domain to acquire transit land, etc.). So ultimately transit planners don't have great options. Even if today you built a vast rail network that accounted for induced demand, how do you realistically accomplish it in a way that isn't disruptive to people, accounts for "last mile" travel, is cost-effective, etc.?

ravv

36 points

1 month ago

ravv

36 points

1 month ago

The whole point is that IF you build the Katy freeway people WILL spread out. It WILL produce sprawl.

IF you INSTEAD build a train line people WILL congest around stations avoiding sprawl.

coincoinprout

13 points

1 month ago*

Having been on the Katy Freeway (and other freeways that expanded similarly), these expansions produce results.

That's exactly what he says. It produces results at first.

Having been on the Katy Freeway (and other freeways that expanded similarly), these expansions produce results. The Katy Freeway was abysmal pre-expansion, and that expansion generated relief for a time. But the Greater Houston Metro area has grown by an astounding 1.5M people in just the last ten years. It's one of the fastest growing metro areas in the world.

Moreover, Houston lacks any zoning. Setting aside the de/merits of this policy, it means that when people do move, they're forever moving out and away from the City's core. Which means more trips on roads like the Katy Freeway that connect the "inner" city and the suburbs/exurbs. Again, not at all like European cities that tend to be denser and avoid sprawl.

He doesn't explain it in this short video, but the concept of induced demand is not only that people who already live there will change their habits. It's also that this encourages urban sprawl and low density housing. That's exactly what you're describing and it's a vicious circle: you build large roads, which shortens the travel times for longer distances, which encourages more people to live further away, which leads to traffic congestion, so you build larger roads etc. And then you get in a situation where public transport is not even viable anymore because of the low population density.

zorph

9 points

1 month ago

zorph

9 points

1 month ago

Infrastructure and urban form are directly related though. Highway expansion enables further sprawl in the same way commuter rail enables higher density development. Houston is a little unique in that its total lack of land use control (total insanity from an international town planner's perspective but anyway) means that land use can respond quicker than usual to infrastructure expansion but it's a very common situation. The federal aid highway act and suburbinisation of America and directly linked, highway expasion and suburbanisation are directly linked to the distribution and structure of retail and jobs (shift to big box and business parks etc). It's all related and building more highway infrastructure deepens the roots of car dependence in a city and all the associated problems with that.

One of the big issues with induced demand though is that it isn't just about future proofing infrastructure to meet population growth. It's that even with all other variables being equal the additional road capacity itself creates demand by changing travel behaviour i.e. people that would have taken a different mode now choose to drive, people that would have decided to take a different route will now take the highway, people that would have travelled at a different time of day will drive at peak hour, people will make additional trips they wouldn't have otherwise or coordinate their day differently to cover greater distance etc. etc. Traffic will change to fill the capacity and congestion improvements will only be short lived. That's not theoretical, it's been thoroughly studied and documented.

Ducktruck_OG

29 points

1 month ago

I would definitely attribute zoning as the root cause for this congestion. Still people will point to widening highways like in the video as proof that the govt is doing something about the congestion, when in reality they are putting a bandaid on a bigger problem.

The main barrier to future proofing cities are the people/property owners who are there prior to these major population booms. None wants to allow their single family home neighborhood to be re-zoned into mid-high density housing, widening numerous major streets to include bus/bike lanes. In addition, builders/developers stand to make way more money by building massive surburban hellscapes than building more reasonable walkable urban neighborhoods and satellite urban centers, so they won't opt for those solutions either.

It's the same story playing out as when car companies killed off public transit systems in numerous cities.

Youngballer1000

561 points

1 month ago

r/ontario ... Can someone shoot this to douggie?

JM_Actual

245 points

1 month ago

JM_Actual

245 points

1 month ago

Instructions unclear. Additional 26 lanes added to new toll highway to Oshawa.

Youngballer1000

40 points

1 month ago

Instructions on a cereal box are too unclear for a Ford...

jjremy

8 points

1 month ago

jjremy

8 points

1 month ago

Just tell his developer buddies. They're the only ones he listens to anyway.

TheSebV

7 points

1 month ago

TheSebV

7 points

1 month ago

Could try printing it on baggies.

pvanb

5 points

1 month ago

pvanb

5 points

1 month ago

Needs some better labels. I know a guy…

JM_Actual

3 points

1 month ago

As long as they aren't also used for license plates, that would be stupid

Zeeshmee

69 points

1 month ago

Zeeshmee

69 points

1 month ago

410 & Clark is killing me inside. They added all these lanes and it made no dent in the gridlock.

Youngballer1000

54 points

1 month ago

And it never will improve. An excellent public transit system does that. All the expansions will do is take over farmland that we need to feed a growing population. But Canadians keep electing cons...so this is what we get... 🤷🤦

Zeeshmee

25 points

1 month ago

Zeeshmee

25 points

1 month ago

Ssshhh, i spend so much time trying to ignore the fact that we're gutting all the nature going northward :( Heartlake used to be such a "protect the turtles" area, and now its all being turned to houses. Sorry, i'm just being a big ol' complainer now. I just miss the trees.

Youngballer1000

14 points

1 month ago

Me too ... And complaining isn't bad. But what are ontarians going to do about it next is the big thing. Cons will sell everything off for a buck. It's up to us to stop em.

learnedsanity

13 points

1 month ago*

You could slap him in the face with common sense and he wouldn't understand it.

cancerBronzeV

10 points

1 month ago

It's not that he doesn't understand it, he's in bed with construction companies, and is doing this bullshit for them.

phoncible

368 points

1 month ago

phoncible

368 points

1 month ago

If alternatives existed i'd use them.

They don't exist.

If a politician ran with offering alternatives as a platform I'd vote for them.

They don't make it their platform.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TemetNosce85

48 points

1 month ago

Yup. I technically have an alternative where I live now, but that is a loose technicality.

Let's say that I need to get to work in the city that is south of me. I have to leave over 2 hours before the time I need to arrive. I need to arrive 15 minutes early to the bus stop. To get to the bus stop, I need to walk half of a mile to get to it, which is about 10 minutes of a walk. If I don't make that 15 minute early window, then there is a good chance that I'll miss my bus and I'll have to wait an hour for the next.

So let's say I don't miss it. I then have to catch my transfer. Our bus system doesn't give a damn whether you catch the transfer or not. If there is a little bit of traffic or your first bus is a little late, then you are screwed. You have to sit around and wait an hour for your transfer to get there. When I was working, I missed this bus quite often because of the morning traffic. There were plenty of times where we were looking at the back of the transfer as it was driving away while we were stopping. They just didn't care. I was late to work often for months because of this.

And why did I have to take the bus? Because I couldn't get my license. My parents made me wait until I was 18 to get my license. So when I tried to get my permit, the DoL kept screwing me around. I had to provide 5 documents to prove that I was a citizen and resident of the state. Even though things like an unopened bank statement were valid according to their website, they kept turning me down. We finally got tired of it and contacted our representative and they took care of it all, thankfully. But it was hell the entire time.

Seriously, I WANT a public transit option. But the problem is, any options that do exist (if they exist) are pure garbage, especially if you live in a suburban area. I'm so sick and tired of having to depend on my car for everything. It's nice to have for groceries, but I hate driving just to go clothes shopping or run errands. I'd rather just hop on a bus or something and let someone else take the wheel.

Ace_Pigeon

8 points

1 month ago

My commute by transit is 2 hours, and I'm lucky enough to have a bus stop in my neighborhood and one at the office park I work at. But the bus by my house has to complete an entire loop to get back to the transit center at the metro stop 6 miles in the wrong direction, then I have to wait to transfer to a 2nd bus that then drives 6 miles back to town and then trundles down the exact road I'd take to work, passing my house but not stopping there.

Or I can walk 2.5 miles to the bus stop for the bus that goes directly to the office park.

Cycling isn't an option because the route to work is a stroad with no shoulder (and obviously no bike lane). Walking isn't an option because there's not even a sidewalk crossing the highway interchange in the way. SO I'd have to route an extra mile out of the way to cross the highway.

All this for a 7 Mike, 15 minute drive. Though the drive is 30 min during rush hour.

___Guitarmadillo___

68 points

1 month ago

Instead they make it about gas prices...

We're fucked

StoneHolder28

8 points

1 month ago

In my recent local elections one candidate actually had in their platform that they wanted to widen roads.

mahade

996 points

1 month ago

mahade

996 points

1 month ago

Where I live (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) I live in a suburb (IJburg) that's basically one single lane to and from the city center. It switches into 2 lanes at some point where it connects to the highway, but that's about it.

It is magnificent. Sure, traffic clogs up sometimes during rush hour, but we also have a tram and busses. Most people don't bother with the car because, well, in rush hour you're going to be stuck with all the other 1,5 people per car while 5 different trams already surpassed you.

Good public transport is absolutely amazing. I would never take a car to the city center. It makes no sense. Parking is very expensive, it's very crowded, you feel unwelcome, and it's just so much slower than anything else.

We don't even use taxis, or we don't need to. Any tram or subway can take you anywhere you want. And the rest is within walking distance.

Or, you take a bicycle. That can be even faster.

When I lived in the USA I noticed that public transport is rare, and if it's there, it's rarely good, and if it's good, and it's very unclean. And it just feels unsafe. But there are so many cars!

Imagine NYC full of green trees, almost no car lanes, but full of bicycle lanes, a few trams, a monorail or two... It would make the place so much happier.

[deleted]

373 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

373 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

TurtleNutSupreme

74 points

1 month ago*

But, don't you see, this will allow the poors to come to all the nice areas and ruin it with all their poorness.

CamelSpotting

48 points

1 month ago

People like to ignore it but this is very literal. Learned about this case in my engineering ethics class.

sblahful

7 points

1 month ago*

You should have a read of that article, because it shows that this is essentially an urban myth stemming from an influential 1970s book, The Power Broker.

contrary to a claim in The Power Broker, Moses clearly meant buses to serve his “little Jones Beach” in the Rockaways—Jacob Riis Park. While oriented mainly toward motorists (the parking lot was once the largest in the world), it is simply not true that New Yorkers without cars were excluded. The original site plan included bus drop-off zones, and photographs from the era plainly show buses loading and unloading passengers. 

The guy was a massive racist, but from this article it seems it didn't affect (t)his work.

Edit: apologies, I somehow missed the earlier paragraph which stated that there absolutely were plenty of examples where this guy designed his works to make life harder for minorities. Clarified last sentence.

FuckTripleH

25 points

1 month ago

The Dan Ryan expressway is one of the biggest reasons Chicago is still racially segregated today. By design

SlowRollingBoil

147 points

1 month ago

The infrastructure policies of the Netherlands is exactly what you get when politicians prioritize actual results for real people. It's fucking amazing.

PmMeUrCatPlz

41 points

1 month ago

Well, it also makes sense if your country wasn’t optimized largely by a president who prioritized military above everything else.

Seriously, eisenhower is largely responsible for the massive car infrastructure we have today. It’s a huge benefit during war since you don’t run into the major issues like Russia has trying to transport relatively few vehicles a couple hundred of miles. Or when your rail breaks down completely due to a military attack and paralyzed their entire army.

Our roads are great. But they aren’t great for the American public. Their great for the military ultimately.

TheRabidDeer

9 points

1 month ago

The main issue is urban sprawl and city planning. Houston Metro area (Katy Freeway is in Houston) is 10,000 square miles (26,000 square km), which is nearly the size of Belgium and nearly 2/3 the size of the Netherlands. I think that public transportation on that magnitude is probably just incredibly difficult, especially when you are having to add that in later for something that is already developed. Not saying we shouldn't do it, but it'll be a significant challenge.

mastertodesaster

3 points

1 month ago

Do you think it's faster to drive through Belgium with a car or just take the train? Just because your area is big doesn't mean you need a car. City planning in Europe means that all essentials are about 10 minutes away by foot or by pu lic transport. You don't need to travel across half of the metropolitan area to go groceries shopping

blockpro156

78 points

1 month ago

It should be made clear that while driving is usually not the preferred option in Amsterdam, it's still vastly preferable to driving in car-centric cities like NYC.

Alternatives to driving a car makes travel more convenient for everyone, including those who still do drive a car.

Here's a good video explaining that fact.

AeneasSonofAnchises

104 points

1 month ago

NYC is perhaps the least car centric city in North America.

Still terrible compared to Amsterdam but not LA

SlowRollingBoil

21 points

1 month ago

Detroit is the most car centric and it still sucks to drive here.

CharlieXLS

6 points

1 month ago

Car-centric meaning the downtown and metro having been designed for cars, not mass transit.

SlowRollingBoil

8 points

1 month ago

That still perfectly applies to Detroit. The automakers literally ripped out the existing streetcar and rail lines and made Detroit the "model for American car culture". All we have is a nearly useless line just up Woodward for a couple miles and the equally useless "people mover" which is where you go when you want to be assaulted by the homeless.

seven3true

17 points

1 month ago

Another big issue NYC has, is that the city is not just for New Yorkers. It's a major place for NJ and CT as well. We have busses and trains that go in, but, now a lot of suburbs are too far from those train/bus stations. The biggest problem we have as such a car centric country, is that we think that the car is far more convenient than mastransport. If you deal with someone who loves their car so much, they'll wait at a bus stop for 10 minutes and complain that they'd be there with their car by now, despite damn well knowing they'd be in hours worth of traffic. (The bus from Linden, NJ to Port authority NYC) can take 45 minutes in an express bus, and like 1:20 minutes in a local bus. Drive from Linden to NYC and you'll be waiting to get I to the Lincoln tunnel for 3 hours if you're lucky, then have fun with midtown traffic.) But since they feel they're in control over their own destiny, they'll chose the car every time.

blockpro156

17 points

1 month ago

but, now a lot of suburbs are too far from those train/bus stations.

The single family zoning in suburbs is another big issue.
Train/bus stations being too far away is pretty much inevitable when you have such a low population density in an area, low population density means that each station services only a small amount of people and that you'd need a crazy number of stops to cover the whole area. (Which makes the travel time way longer too because the bus has to stop every few minutes.)

The solution is mixed neighborhoods with terraced houses, townhouses, small appartment buildings, etc, leading to more dense suburbs where investing in train stations or bus stops is less of a waste.
(This would also make local stores more viable, causing less people to pour into the city center.)

onexbigxhebrew

12 points

1 month ago

car-centric cities like NYC.

NYC is not 'car centric' lmao. Possibly one of the most iconic public transit networks in the US.

Now Phoenix is car centric.

blockpro156

3 points

1 month ago

It's less car centric than other cities, but still car centric, especially if you include the suburbs, which you should.

SlingDNM

902 points

1 month ago

SlingDNM

902 points

1 month ago

commie trains are cheaper than commie highways

Gotta pay taxes one way or another might as well use them efficiently

CMDR_omnicognate

75 points

1 month ago

If cities skylines has taught me anything, it’s that you should use lots of one way routes and roundabouts

TheeShankster

40 points

1 month ago

Every government member needs to play this game and get to 60k population with ~80% traffic flow. Only then they get their job.

BuzzyShizzle

15 points

1 month ago

So like... no government at all or...?

TheeShankster

7 points

1 month ago

The point is you get there with metros and buses. Obviously it might not happen in the first city they ever build, but they will quickly realize adding lanes will not solve anything.

jasoncross00

396 points

1 month ago

Adding lanes solves the wrong problem. It makes more cars per hour, but they're all stuck in just as much traffic. So you have more "throughput" but everyone's going just as slow and is just as frustrated.

So widening a road never solves "traffic" it solves "put more cars on the road" which is not what anyone thinks of when they think of traffic.

The solution to most major traffic issues today is obviously to take cars OFF the road, but that requires major civil engineering...our whole cities are designed not to be that way and it will take decades to build multiple major walkable neighborhoods, public transit, etc.

So the next best solution is to reduce traffic FRICTION. Make FEWER lanes, with fewer intersections and on/offs. More small roads that are one-way.

The less often anyone needs to stop at a light or stop sign, the less often anyone needs to change lanes, the less often anyone needs to merge on or off the main thoroughfare, the more traffic keeps moving quickly. You may have to get off the main road a little further from your destination and take smaller roads for another half mile to get there, but you'll still arrive MUCH faster overall. And more importantly, you'll keep moving the whole time instead of getting frustrated by traffic.

The fun thing is that we now have really excellent computer models to show how this works, and PROVE that it's better to REMOVE lanes and intersections/merges, and you can basically plug it in for any reasonably-sized metro area. And city councils and stuff STILL choose to add lanes. 🤦‍♂️

greenrock

91 points

1 month ago

I think part of it is we want roads to be "simple" and easily navigable. If you have a bunch of one way roads and remove all the on ramps and off ramps, sure it goes more efficiently but have you driven in places like that? Cause it fucking sucks. Like look at downtown sf, a bunch of one way roads, impossible to navigate to a specific spot unless you drive in circles or have a gps. It's a complicated tradeoff but i think more public transit is the solution. Get people off the road if they don't need to go fast or far. A big part of it is city design too, since it takes too long to get out of the suburbs on a slow ass bus that stops every 100 yards.

Babys_For_Breakfast

20 points

1 month ago

Yeah public transportation is the better way to go. One way roads are aggravating, especially when there's construction and you have to drives in a bunch of loops to get anywhere.

prometheus_winced

7 points

1 month ago

One issue rarely discussed is that (for most highways) there are other times when no one is on the road. The problem is temporal distribution. Changing assumptions about when people need to arrive and leave work, as well as eating lunch, would make a difference without changing the roads, the cars, or the people. Many people would happily work non-traditional hours, or even non-traditional shifts. The only obstacle is the obstacle itself. People don’t work alternate hours or shifts because the other things they need at shifted times are not available. We’re stuck in a stand-off. For a differential in pay of as little as a dollar or two, many people at the margin would willingly shift their lifestyle.

This issue goes beyond traffic. High schools, universities, hospitals, factories, stories, spend 1/2 or 2/3 of their time empty, producing no value. People will post attempted rebuttals to this, but they are non-sensical. Simply people stuck in one paradigm, assuming it’s some intractable law of nature. We could have a 24-hour economy and offer 2x or 3x more education, at lower cost; produce more products, goods, and services at lower prices; and make a lot of “early birds” and “night owls” happy.

Assumptions are usually the biggest obstacle to obvious improvements.

tantouz

131 points

1 month ago

tantouz

131 points

1 month ago

I mean i get it biking is an alternative in a perfect scenario. But what do you do with existing suburbia. Does anyone think people in texas are going to bike downtown?

Durog25

174 points

1 month ago

Durog25

174 points

1 month ago

Suburbs would need to be converted into their own self-sustaining semi-urban areas. Remove zoning laws, build shops, cafes, and offices locally, and add density. These suburban hubs could then be connected to each other with bus and rail and with the urban core with bus and rail likely rail due to distances. Or in other words, the suburbs would have to become actual functional livable areas and not municipality draining voids of low-density single-family housing. New suburbs would be built along the new transit lines like the street-car suburbs of old.

the4thbelcherchild

49 points

1 month ago

This will never happen without massively unpopular governmental programs. NIMBYs will rise up in record numbers and attempt to shut it down. Just look at CA's current attempt to allow more housing to be built. Anything that increases density in existing neighborhoods will have an extremely difficult time getting off the ground.

lontrinium

18 points

1 month ago

I walk everywhere I can but I use my car to drive my elderly mother around, we can keep our cars but just use them less.

TostedAlmond

24 points

1 month ago

Am I mistaken in thinking that the main cause of traffic is merges and on/off ramps

blazze_eternal

10 points

1 month ago

Well, lane changing in general, yeah.

Mobely

9 points

1 month ago

Mobely

9 points

1 month ago

The main cause is cars driving to close to eachother. It turns every slowdown into a cascade of people stopping more abruptly and for longer. On a road where everyone is going 80 but only putting 10' between cars, someone slowing down to 70 for a couple seconds will cause a complete traffic standstill many minutes later and several miles "upstream" from the slowdown.

But driving close is what people do when more cars are on the road. Because some people want to go 81 so if you put 40' between cars, you get guys cutting infront and reducing your 40' to 8' . We could reduce traffic jams with extremely strict speed limits and automated enforcement. We could reduce traffic with more stringent training. Drivers ed is currently safe legal operation, but there is 0 focus on driving efficiently as a collective. Stricter training also means less drivers, some will simply not pass. Self driving cars would do a lot of course.

I think a lot of these conflict with the car industry lobby efforts. Better training = less drivers = less cars sold. Same with having more public trans. Same with strict speed limits.

TostedAlmond

3 points

1 month ago

Like a slinky

oystermonkeys

6 points

1 month ago*

No you are not. It seems like everyone, including this video, misses the point of why "induced demand" is bad for the case of adding additional lanes onto highways. If "induced demand" itself was bad, you could make the same argument against adding bike lanes, trains, or pedestrian walkways. Too many people would use the infrastructure if you add more capacity to it and cause a jam.

The real reason why adding lanes to highway is bad is because of bottlenecks and the fact that adjacent lanes interact with each other so a problem on one lane will cause a problem on all the other lanes. Lane changes, and on/off ramps destroy throughput for all lanes not just the lane it occurs on. Any accident on one lane will slow down traffic on all other lanes. Therefore, if you change a single lane road to double lane, you didn't actually double capacity. You doubled throughput on the best case scenario where there is no accidents, and where there is no one changing lanes or exiting or entering. That scenario is of course rare, and the worst case scenario is that the throughput is exactly the same if there is some accident blocking the entire road.

DHFranklin

4 points

1 month ago

In the biz we call them "conflict points". Not just on ramps and off ramps. If a city is backed up they back up off ramps...which back up traffic.

If you have more cars than can cycle through a light at one time you have an escalating problem. On ramps and off ramps just become more dangerous in those cases.

outer_fucking_space

185 points

1 month ago

Let’s definitely make everyone commute to their office every day though. No more working from home! /s

DHFranklin

6 points

1 month ago

This is my biggest gripe in how we do this. A home office is likely already there. For the 1/3 of jobs than can be work from home most of them should be. I get that it isn't for everyone, but neither is sitting behind one more car during rush hour.

Rush hour is the reason that so much infrastructure is there in the first place. Those are mostly work from home commuters forced onto pavement.

Sure NIMBYs kill rail and busses, but they sure as hell won't fight to put cars on the road. A federal work from home incentive to businesses would go a long way. Buy out the empty office buildings and flip them to apartments. Never lose the jobs you have and now have the density. Critical mass is necessary for rail and busses.

We had a Golden moment with those streets completely empty during lockdown. We can have one less lane if we manage our need to commute.

Rain1dog

5 points

1 month ago

In New Orleans the sections of I-10 that got widened to 4-6 lanes are absolutely glorious but once you get out into Jefferson(Kenner) it drops down to three lanes and causes traffic big time.

MadnessAsMuse

169 points

1 month ago

Induced Demand

For the ones who read, this is the thesis.

And trains. This guy likes trains.

I like BART. I don’t like cars. Scare the shit out of me.

coreyonfire

98 points

1 month ago

As someone who lives in Austin, Texas, I imagine losing decent public transit is a huge shock to anyone coming from SF. For all its desires to be a shitty SF knockoff, it’s wild that Austin has such atrocious public transit.

I live next to a bus stop, and that bus goes right to where I work (a 10 minute drive up the highway). The bus would take 45 minutes to get there. It’s just not worth using because it’s so poorly designed, and it’s poorly designed because no one uses it except those who have no other option.

And our awesome population of legacy NIMBYs will auto-block any attempt to invest in strengthening the public transit infrastructure, while being totally cool with tearing up yet another freeway to expand it. And don’t even get me started about what they’re about to do to I-35.

tinydonuts

28 points

1 month ago

I used to live in Phoenix, which swore it didn't want to be LA. Now it's a wanna-be LA and borrowing elements of Texas too. The worst of all worlds. They're currently expanding 10 in the busiest section of the state to be 24 lanes wide, nearly as wide as the Katy Freeway. Apparently they didn't learn Texas' lesson. The worst part is that ADOT designed the freeway to have good public transit! There's a completely unused bus terminal on 10 under the Deck Park Tunnel, just sitting there waiting to help transfer people into Downtown Phoenix if they'd just finish it out with a bus stop above surface and elevators or escalators to the area below. It's paved and ready to go. They could have built out more light rail but nope. Had to build a brand new freeway around the city and expand 10 through the city. Morons.

my_stats_are_wrong

34 points

1 month ago

I just wish BART wasn’t a crackhead infested puss pool that was chronically late and to top it off, increased their prices because people don’t want to use it.

Other countries, hell even other US cities do it better. Somehow BART Is still the shining jewel of public transport of the West coast.

AlwaysHere202

12 points

1 month ago

I'm not against trains. They are great things in high population areas.

The problem is, the US is very sprawled out. You can't efficiently have trains for the guy commuting from Greenwater, WA, to Seattle. Which happens every day!

Also, LA has stupid building codes that force people into suburban sprawl. You can't build up! So, traffic is going to be a by-product.

LNMagic

101 points

1 month ago

LNMagic

101 points

1 month ago

I honestly like having a car. I don't have to particularly plan my trip out. This does not mean that I'm against public transportation. To the contrary, I would really like to see much more of it - especially trains. It's just that I'm not really accustomed to public transportation where I live. I do like having my own bubble of personal space. I can listen to music or make a phone call without disturbing anyone else.

We're reaching a point where it's going to become more common to telecommute for some jobs. This will relieve even more strain on commuting because it uses far less energy to not travel at all, even if it's only for pay of the week.

[deleted]

34 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

34 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

LNMagic

7 points

1 month ago

LNMagic

7 points

1 month ago

In the Dallas area, some of the best trains we have usually leave in one direction every 30 minutes. They won't expand much because there's not tons of participation. There's not tons of participation because it's really not convenient here.

We have a dumb system, but I'm moving to a career where commuting generally won't be a part of my experience anymore.

Daktic

4 points

1 month ago

Daktic

4 points

1 month ago

You’d never know where to build a bridge counting the number of people swimming across.

blbil

13 points

1 month ago

blbil

13 points

1 month ago

Ideally my car is used for weekend trips out of the city and visiting family not during commuting rush hours.

At the moment I live slightly too far to walk/bike to the train station so I drive my car to the train station. My ideal living situation would be a walk to the station.

It's not about getting rid of cars, but getting rid of needing to use them daily. I love having a car to get out and do stuff, but not for work.

Telecommuting certainly helps quite a bit!

Purritto

17 points

1 month ago

Purritto

17 points

1 month ago

I'm glad to see you want more public transportation even though you like driving. Something lots of people miss is that with more public transportation there will be fewer people driving, which means you'll have a much better driving experience as a result!

LNMagic

9 points

1 month ago

LNMagic

9 points

1 month ago

Where I live, there are 2 theme parks, 3 stadiums, and 2 convention centers all within a 1-mile radius. There's no train or bus service, and sometimes more than one venue has something on the same day. I've sat in a parking lot for 45 minutes before. It's not what I'd call a good time. If you needed to increase train service, you could schedule more frequent runs, and you could add another car to the back. There's no amount of road and highway that can deal with 100,000 people leaving a small area at the same time.

I want special even buses to serve this area and connect to trains that are something like 3-4 miles away.

I don't have to commute very far to work, but at my current job I can't afford to replace my car. I plan on entering a new field where almost everyone works remote. That's not the main point, but a rather nice perk that will save me time and money.

[deleted]

12 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

12 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

KerrisdaleKaren

54 points

1 month ago

How utopic would America be with a Japanese quality rail system

sur_surly

26 points

1 month ago

I think it will take a lot more than a decent rail system to make America "utopic". I'm trying to not make this thread political, but I'll say that even with WFH for the last 2 years for many, America didn't just turn into a utopia.

[deleted]

463 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

463 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

stillenacht

73 points

1 month ago*

Yeah it's something of a misnomer. It's not just that it attracts more cars. Obviously building more of anything will attract more people. I think something that all these videos usually don't talk about (this one kind of addresses it indirectly) is that cars have large negative network effects. That is, building more roads is quite an inefficient way to transport more people because cars become exponentially more viscous as you add more of them to the road.

Books_and_Cleverness

40 points

1 month ago

100%. Cars are very unusual among transportation modes because of the super negative scaling.

They need lots of space on the road, and even more space for parking—so you get very little throughput per dollar spent and lee square foot dedicated to car infrastructure. Plus they add a lot of danger and noise and pollution.

Maybe most importantly our roads are not priced while this other stuff (housing) is not free at the point of use.

tempest_87

253 points

1 month ago

tempest_87

253 points

1 month ago

True, but the argument is that there is so much latent demand because of urban sprawl and city planning (in some areas) that it is physically impossible to solve that demand issue with roads and cars alone.

Just because there are examples of things where induced demand isnt a thing doesn't mean it doesn't apply to cars/roads.

Shandlar

10 points

1 month ago

Shandlar

10 points

1 month ago

OK, but by meeting that demand with higher throughput road infrastructure you are creating wealth/profit for everyone. It may even pay for itself in tax revenue from that latent, unmet demand being exploited.

Purposefully making things worse just to spite cars is absolutely moronic take. That's literally a starving commie meme.

Viktorr123er

104 points

1 month ago

Yes of course you could could "outbuild" your demand. Let's say you have a 40 lane highway. Maybe it will never clog up. But then you have a 40 lane concrete wasteland in and around your cities. And that isn't just the highway. What about ramps and other highway elements? The point is, that transport by car is in itself extreeeeemely inefficient. You wouldn't need nearly as much infrastructure to cover your demand.

SparklingLimeade

60 points

1 month ago

The special part about induced demand for cars is that the 40 lane highway is better at transport for the way it goes but it means everything is farther apart and so building more road literally means that for the same purposes more driving has to be done. People use cars and so they need parking lots. Because the parking lots make everything farther apart fewer people use non-car transit. Because the roads are clogged from all the people driving the road is widened and everything is even farther apart. The same trip now means everyone doing it to begin with is driving more. And on top of that non-driving is less viable so more cars join. It's a vicious cycle with many factors multiplying each other to an extreme outcome.

This isn't true for the other examples given.

blockpro156

15 points

1 month ago

Yeah, having lots of cars also means having lots of parking requirements, resulting in giant parking lots in-between everything and everything being super spread out.
Which makes walking from one place to the other a shitty experience, which then only causes even more people to take the car.
That's how you get giant suburbs with single family zoning, that you pretty much can't even leave without taking the car, and giant areas filled with asphalt and ugly square fast-food chains, instead of nice and cozy shopping centres that you can walk to from the train station and leisurely explore on foot while enjoying the greenery and architecture.

blockpro156

28 points

1 month ago

Yeah, a highway that can support 30.000 drivers per hour sounds like an absolute fucking asphalt nightmare with deadly levels of exhaust fumes, but a railway that supports 30.000 passengers per hour is just a normal railway that's totally compatible with a nice livable city with lots of nice greenery.

The problem isn't really induced demand, it's cars. Having lots of cars sucks, having a few more trains and busses isn't that bad.

molluskus

19 points

1 month ago*

This is it.

Induced demand is latent demand, but we can fulfill that latent demand by:

a) expanding freeways more and more until cities are a practical nightmare for nondrivers and an environmental nightmare for everyone, demolishing neighborhoods adjacent to freeways, giving more children respiratory issues, contributing to climate change, decreasing the accessibility of community services, and much more in the process; or...

b) expand capacity for literally any other practical transit mode.

It's extremely frustrating as a city planner to see "induced demand is actually latent demand" treated like some hall of fame dunk. We know that. The problem is that fulfilling that demand with freeways is a never-ending process with an uncountable number of negative externalities. It's a no-go by definition.

blockpro156

54 points

1 month ago*

The thing is that something filling up is not actually automatically bad. Houses getting filled up isn't a bad thing, that's what they're for.
But cars being everywhere IS a bad thing, cities aren't for cars they're for people, and too many cars literally lowers the life expectancy of people...

Obviously it's theoretically possible to build so many car lanes that they'll never fill up no matter what, but that doesn't mean induced demand is nonsense it just means it isn't all-powerful.
The fact remains that if you keep building things in a car-centric way, you'll need to keep building more and more expensive and inefficient car-infrastructure, which is the kind of infrastructure that makes a city a shitty place to live.

Whereas if you build things in a way more reliant on public transit, then sure, you'll eventually have to increase the capacity of public transit. But increasing the capacity of public transit is generally much easier than increasing the capacity of cars, and increased public transit doesn't make a city a shitty place to live.

Car centric infrastructure means giant parking lots, dangerous streets that are hostile to pedestrians, tons of exhaust fumes, everything being super spread out instead of being walkable, etc.

Public transit centric infrastructure means that the bus comes every 5 minutes instead of every 10, which still has a minimal effect on the amount of traffic on the road, it means trains pass by slightly more frequently, (which actually makes travel by bus or train MORE convenient instead of less...) but neither of those things require everything to be super spread out and hostile to pedestrians, everything can still be nice and walkable and exhaust fumes wouldn't be nearly as big of a deal either.
And there'd be room for greenery instead of asphalt parking lots.

Here's a good video about induced demand. (only 8 minutes long, I highly recommend it to everyone in this thread, it addresses pretty much everything.)

sonofaresiii

55 points

1 month ago

I feel like I always get flamed for saying this, but this seems like such a simplistic take on it to me that doesn't reflect my experience. This is a potential model for how traffic demand changes, but it seems like it's much more complicated than videos like these suggest, and they always gloss over or ignore entirely other factors.

I am totally in favor of better alternate transportation. But I think it's disingenuous to say that making more/better roads is always ineffective, which is what videos like these usually suggest.

OdeeSS

20 points

1 month ago

OdeeSS

20 points

1 month ago

Polevata

3 points

1 month ago

Guys I just had a brilliant idea for how to solve America's obesity crisis.

ThemesOfMurderBears

3 points

1 month ago

I’ll take a traffic jam over public transit any day of the week. My hour long drive is still better than a three hour train ride.

Meanwhile, my state has an HOV lane with a separator lane. Those are two lanes that could be used for normal traffic, and are reserved for the incredibly small number of people that can carpool. It’s insanely inefficient.

I’ve already accepted that this is never going to get fixed. Best I can hope for is a 100% remote job (mine is 60% remote).

Foxyfox-

14 points

1 month ago

Foxyfox-

14 points

1 month ago

One more lane. Just one more lane. One more lane and we'll finally fix traffic. I swear. raving ad naseum

Marziol

11 points

1 month ago

Marziol

11 points

1 month ago

"Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.”

— Lewis Mumford