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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Tantalum, Dec 26, 2017.
I thought he was referring to "officer Obie" of Alice's Restaurant fame.
A truce is all there is in Korea, so technically the war never ended. When I was there in the mid 70s we had around 5 F-4s on nuclear alert, loaded and ready to launch. I think in the 90s we took the nukes out (supposedly anyway) but there's talk of putting them back. In fact the Air Force is currently working on a new version of the B61 bomb that tactical fighters carry.
Air Force Museum?
Reminds me of when I was a teenager the town had the main road under construction. So the folks started using residential roads. Socialist professor decides that he does not want traffic using a public road in front of his house and makes a demand that the road be closed to the public and only open to residents residing on the street.
City says sure, you pay for it. Well, a good socialist is not going to pay for anything. Then he comes up with a demand for speed bumps. So the city puts one right in front of his house. One of those 3 feet wide 1 foot tall ones.
Too good of an opportunity exist. We put lose heavy objects in the back of our trucks, like bricks, rocks, loose sheet metal, bowling balls, etc... and drive over the speed bump at the posted speed limit of 25 MPH. Usually at around 10pm. Or later. And with a line of about 5 to 10 trucks all spaced about 100 feet apart. (my dad swears that he did not give me this idea)
Since myself and most of my friends were on a first name basis with the traffic cops, we had a meeting. We promise not to do our "trains" if the speed bump comes down. It comes down, we stop. But now we still have to use the road just to travel. The socialist professor now starts throwing rocks at the cars he does not recognize. The professor hits the wrong car and gets arrested. I never found out what the results were after that, because soon after the main road opened up a couple lanes for traffic. I think he might have moved to New Jersey.....
I did, too, but couldn’t see the connection to littering and Viet Nam... so I started wondering.
I seem to recall that when the interstate system went in and took traffic away from small towns, it caused a lot of heartache due to the loss of business in these towns. Now that the traffic is coming back, it is looked on as a problem.
Both of these remind me of the folks who want "clean renewable energy to end our dependence on coal" (okay, fair enough), but don't want windmills anywhere near them or anywhere that might impact the migratory habits of XYZ or harm their view (same arguments for solar energy, nuclear energy, etc.). There is no free lunch, unless of course the rich pay for it, because, you know, rich people are infinitely privileged and the magic money fairy drops money off at their house every morning; just because.
But the magic money fairy can't get to my house if the traffic is too heavy.
Fairies don't drive. Well the real fairies anyway.
I'm sure your not using fairy in a derogatory way.
Exactly the point of my original post. They are looking at this "problem" very glass half empty.
If you don't like the toll road idea, just put in stop lights and red light cameras with fines to pay for the lights. That will bring in revenue and resolve the congestion without "breaking" waze and other apps. People will stay on the interstate if it's not faster to get off.
Even better is to encourage starbucks and such to develop the area and make bucks off the taxes.
I have no love for apps like Waze. The owners (and Google owns Waze) and leaders really don't care about the people who live in the neighborhoods - they only care about the profits from rerouting people on the roads. I have seen neighborhood streets taking - literally - 1,000 cars per hour through neighborhoods because Waze rerouted people there. And folks can't even get out of their driveways.
In many municipalities, it's the local residents that paid for the streets and pay for maintenance. Waze and the commuters pay nothing. And Waze is unapologetic.
It strikes me that Waze making use of that public resource and generating profits from it, while paying nothing in return. There should be such a thing as corporate responsibility. This is precisely why *some* folks want corporations to pay more taxes. Same theory applies to Superfund sites.
I fully understand why the town is considering this, especially if they (and their taxpayers) paid for the roads. I'm not suggesting it's right, but I understand. At some point folks on both sides need to consider the consequences of their actions.
Bah. Humbug. And, get off my lawn!
They are definitely not making it to my house...
That actually brings up an interesting point.. many modern companies use Maslow's Hierarchy to compete for customer's, like Tom's Shoes which makes donations for every purchase made, etc. I still think though the way to get there is not necessarily by tax or punishment, but by competing. Maybe an app like Waze but that gave some of its revenue back for a cause, or to local municipalities, would see greater success in the long run. Or I'm naive
Because the goal of government is “revenue”? LOL.
Most of Google’s traffic data (they own Waze and have for quite a while now) is sold to municipalities and state DOTs so they can “manage” traffic and alert the public to their own traffic jams from lack of building reasonable alternative routes. It’s not like any road engineer doesn’t know what happens to a road when an accident happens in rush hour.
Planning is poor. The DOTs pay for cell phone data for their planning! LOL. It’s hilarious. They must need a couple more years to “study” traffic jams.
Most of the end users of Google/Waze pay nothing. Google doesn’t share whether running the thing is even profitable, last time I looked at their public filings, it wasn’t broken out as a business unit. Oooh. An ad for some fast food place came up on the app when I stopped at a stop light. Some ad agency must think that means I went there. Haha. Nope.
Even funnier is all that Waze or Google is, is the ability to read a map. Hmm. This road is jammed. I can go this way. It’s just a “magenta line” for lazy drivers. It’s not doing anything that couldn’t happen anyway, if people didn’t absolutely suck at basic navigation skills.
The root cause problem is overcrowding and lack of proper road planning. Don’t worry, government will say they need more of our money to fix it. They always do.
Give me your GPS coordinates. I'll help Kim get them straight.
I've gotten to the age I no longer give a rat's ass what the politicians decide. The almighty will have the final decision and feel his judgement is near. Humanity has corrupted the planet, pure and simple. There is no turning back. We are doomed.
No, the goal of the government is not revenue. But revenue can resolve the problem by providing the funds to physically solve it, or the pressure to induce a behavioral change.
Nah, I’m not into packing all the breeders into fictional spaceships or suggesting we tie up allthe nuclear subs as power plants. LOL.
The statement is correct though. Congratulating someone who’s replaced both parents already is approval of more “traffic” in the long term.
Monkeys need to eat. They tend to gather around the jobs that buy their food. Urbanization and population growth.
And the Ponzi economy always needs new good little taxpayers.
Government’s job is behavior changes of drivers avoiding their other bad roads that are under construction? Huh. Who knew?
Having never used waze, I'm not really sure if I would like it or not. I normally just use my Garmin GPS when travelling a route I am unfamiliar with. On my daily commute, I have the GPS on just so I can see if there are any red zones ahead and for how long. Based upon that, I know if I want to jump off my normal route and take a different route or not. I already have a pretty good idea what my possible alternate routes are and can visually observe if others are baling off the main route and decide whether I should or not. It's a purely tactical and somewhat seat of the pants technique that has served me well over the years. It might not be a fancy computer algorithm with magic crowd sourcing dust sprinkled on top but it works rather well.
So how do you know that those 1,000 cars passing through a neighborhood did so due to waze? And if that many cars are detouring due to waze and causing secondary traffic jams, isn't the smarter move to ignore waze?
And more and more of that money will go off to favorite pork projects...
No! They’ll spend it all on the best possible road and growth planning anyone has ever seen... this time.
Google and others use data provided - for free - by states and municipalities in addition to the cell phone data. That data has been around for years and is collected either from in-pavement sensors or sensors on poles. Google (and it's subsidiary Waze) provide data on non-major-roads and in areas where the sensors don't exist. Radio and TV stations used the state/local data dating back to the mid-90's (when helicopters/planes became too expensive (and represented too much liability). Last PDP-11 that I saw in use was at the Chicago traffic control center circa 1993.
The end users pay through advertising and data collection by Google, which is tied to personal login IDs. They may make some money, but the data collected is FAR more valuable to them in building/maintaining the Google dossier on folks. They won't kill it for that reason alone, but it also supplies data to Google maps. Like the ITA Software purchase, it's about data collection and holding a dominant position in the segment.
It's not just about reading a map - it's aggregating data and selecting what it sees as the best route to follow. It's predictive, not reactive. Yes, users can input data and affect the results but they've also banned people who submit "fake" data to try and keep cars out of their neighborhood. It doesn't even care about posted speed limits - it works on the actual speeds that people drive. So what if they run stop signs, it's faster. At least one jurisdiction has responded with speed cameras - escalating the arms race.
The problem is not really a lack of route planning, it's that in many places - and the DC area is one - there is no room or money to build more roads. They've just converted one public highway to a toll road (rush hour tolls have exceeded $40 and the Governor claims that "it's working"), they handed 2 taxpayer funded lanes to a contractor who built a third lane in the ROW and gets to charge congestion-based tolls, and they're about to hand one (of 4) taxpayer-funded lanes on one of our busiest roads to a contractor who will build one more and get the right to charge 24 hour tolls - all within the existing ROW. Putting a new road in or expanding an existing one requires public hearings, environmental approvals, and multiple other regulatory work that adds much time and money.
To be sure, we have a local councilman in a nearby jurisdiction who opposes any effort to improve the highways through is area (which would get folks off of local streets) saying that adding lanes will just contribute to more cars and more congestion everywhere. And another jurisdiction that sets the speed limit on the major roads through town at 25, then times the traffic lights at 21-22 with at least on being set out of sequence at all times. The engineers can't and won't do anything about it. But in some of the more rural areas, the DOT has adopted a number of techniques to improve traffic flow. But it can't fix the 10 pounds of **** in a 5 pound bag problem. Only way to fix that is to get cars off the road (and one local pol has compared that to getting guns off the street as a way to fix crime).
THIS is why I use Google when travelling, it knows what normal congestion is and what is abnormal, such as backups due to accidents, etc. It then does a pretty darned good job of routing you around the abnormality, although sometimes there is no better route.
Except apparently Portland... there are no better routes(except perhaps Mooney, but ice makes that problematic in winter), but my 2.75 hour drive to PDX always takes 3.5 hours.. Always "Unexpected traffic" with no weather or accidents. If it happens every single day, certainly after a while it should no longer be unexpected.
Sounds like DC has a population control problem. Around here we issue hunting permits when the animals are overbreeding without enough natural predators.
There’s a very easy way to get lots and lots of cars off the roads. Incentivize working from home. Any business that the jobs don’t require being present at an office who builds one and makes people go drive to it and sit in it for no reason, gets fined (or alternatively a business who goes all WFH get a tax break, same thing).
Better ROI on changing energy use and then also on traffic, than all sorts of other silly “green” initiatives.
Same thing with companies who require travel for meetings that can be accomplished via videoconferencing. Airline lobby will lose their freaking minds, but if you want to burn hundreds of thousands of fuel every day... oh the oil lobby will also lose their minds.
It doesn’t have to have any more than a 20-30% impact to be immense.
You gotta spend more time thinking outside the box.
Happy New Year to you, too, Norm!
The Feds do have flex work, and a number of companies do. DC also has the subway. "Flex Work" includes telework and flexible hours (some are on longer days with one more day off every 2 weeks, some come in as early as 6:30 AM and leave by 3, a fair number work from home but there is concern that some "cheat" on their hours.
The roads, however, were designed back in the 60's and 70's when the region was about half to a third the population it is now. It's so bad that the housing prices are high (the realtors have a saying "drive 'till you qualify", meaning you have to go further out to get affordable housing) and the public transportation systems are not great, so there are a lot of folks on the road. There are 4 roads with the worst traffic: I-66 in Virginia, I-95 in Virginia, the Beltway in Maryland, and I-270 in Maryland. I-66 and I-270 are "spokes" from areas that now have far more population - and they're jammed. Virginia widened their stretch of the beltway (albeit with PPP toll lanes), but Maryland refuses so there are huge backups at the river crossings where the number of lanes change. The Beltway has been widened twice in Maryland and 3 times in Virginia since it was first built. I-95 in Virginia carries not only commuters to DC but also all the north-south traffic on the East Coast. There have been plans for an outer Beltway/bypass since the 70's - Maryland and the NIMBYs refuse to consider it on their side.
One would think that the logical solution would be to increase/charge taxes and proffers on the developers of real estate to build roads and infrastructure - they pay some money, but the developers & businesses have fought tooth and nail against the proffers so they are limited.
The cities and counties are pushing "transit oriented development", and new building construction has a much lower parking requirement - the intent by the cities and counties is that by reducing available parking it will reduce the number of people driving. Uber & other services are big. ZipCar has a strong presence.
WFH and hoteling are big. A friend of mine is building a business around short-term office use. I can't even count the number of Regus facilities. CO-working space is also big. I work from home and maintain a membership in a business club for when I need to have meetings. But a neighbor works with certain critical government communications systems and must go into the office each day. Likewise a good friend that has a support role for a law firm.
Remember the city is packed with government offices, law firms, lobbyists, and other professional businesses that interact with the government (consultants that deal with the FCC on behalf of companies is an example). Plenty of trade organizations here - some like AOPA are in the deep suburbs, but others are closer in. And some - like NRA - were further out until the city grew out around them. But "work from home" is not an option if one's job deals with classified information.
What may seem like a simple solution really is not. Yeah, variable tolls tend to affect traffic on the arteries they apply to, but that pushes folks to city streets. The Metro system sucks. It shouldn't, but it does (that's a chapter of the story by itself). With the push to "mixed use", we've got more residential in areas that used to be business - with a corresponding problems appearing on reverse commutes. In fact, a number of large businesses are now outside the city, making public transit options less effective.
And all that doesn't consider the tourists.
You got it a lot easier out where you live.
Sure it is. Cull the herd. Haha.
We could start by not sending so much money from here to there, that’d help you out a lot. Starve them out.
But when the ones that won’t leave and get on with gainful employment outside of government, get sickly, putting them down would be more humane. Wouldn’t want them to suffer needlessly of course.
Pfft... all you have to do is install a couple servers in your bathroom closet and you're in business... easy peasy.
Just FYI - the region's economy is far less dependent on the government than it once was. More and more major corporations based here, and not all in defense).... examples include Hilton, Marriott, VW North America, Inova, Discovery Networks, etc. etc. Heck, a couple of large PE/buyout firms here, too.
That’s cool. Still sounds hella crowded.
Also, your example is in DC, but other cities have these problems too. The original example was a suburb of NYC.
That there is funny!! You mean the grumpy old white man collective, right?
Three pages of blah, blah, blah but then that's the point. Internet entertainment I suppose and here I am, guilty as charged. I just read three pages of gobbledygook and few practical solutions to a real problem, but what did I expect? Now I'll add my gobbledygook.
As I believe one other pointed out, the only practical aid to an impossible problem is not the ridiculous "locals only" tag and ban solution, but rather simply make it more miserable to cross through town than around it. It costs nothing and no one loses any rights, or privileges to simply time the cross town traffic lights to have red lights so long during commute times, that it's quicker to just go around. The folks in town will hate it, but again, it's an impossible situation and everyone is going to suffer one way or another. Too many people trying to move through the same place at the same time.
For some reason that escapes me, big companies, government agencies and other big organizations insist on being clustered in great urban masses even though we now have the technology to displace places of work more evenly throughout the countryside. Instead of having one great big building with say 3000 employees inside at a single location, there could be 30 small offices distributed all around that have 100 employees inside. I'm not talking around the city, or around a metro area, but around the country, or even around the world.
Big cities in America have been tripping over themselves to try to land the massive new Amazon HQ, but what if instead of just one great big HQ, they built 10, 20, or 30 smaller ones located in smaller towns dispersed hundreds, or even thousands of miles from one another sharing the wealth so to speak more broadly? Suddenly everyone's quality of life gets a whole lot better instead of worse. In addition, Amazon won't have to pay these employees so damn much to be able to afford living in an urban hell hole.
I guess they would have to get used to remote communications instead of face to face, but I believe it's worth the effort to transition. They would also have to give up the great big hundred story shiny monument to their corporate awesomeness, but again, I think everyone, including the top leadership of the company would be better off. Commuting is a terrible scourge on humanity and we are finally at a point that maybe we can actually do something about it. So far though, we seem to just be willing to double down on our own misery.
I always wondered this too. I never understood the appeal of living in downtown NY, Boston, LA, or any other huge city. I have noticed in the last 10 years there are more low to mid rise office parks going up in more rural-esq areas.. kind of nice actually to look out your office window on the 5th floor and see a forest outside
The best solution really is to either find a way to capitalize on the increased traffic (food, restaurants, gas, hotels, etc.) etc.. outright banning folks seems like the worst possible idea
That is what my town does...they throw up speed humps and more stop signs on the most common cut through routes and all the neighbors actually love it and are asking for more.
I think there isn't much to capitalize on, but even if there were, other than the business owners and a few employees, how does this help the town's people? They would still have crazy congested streets and likely an additional parking problem. Sure, maybe a few guys can make some money on it, but most get nothing but headache.
It's a moot point though, because basically commuters don't stop for anything if they can. It makes their commute even longer. They gas up and get their coffee near their homes before entering the expressway and they certainly aren't going to stop and have breakfast, or spend the night. No, this conga line of cars are just trying to pass through as fast as they can, that's the whole point of getting off the expressway in the first place, a short cut to save some time, not to go shopping.
I am aware of one exception that meets both criteria.
When they built Dulles Airport (IAD), it was so far out of town and there was no public transit option (still isn't but maybe in 2=3 more years...) that they built an expressway to the airport. As the suburbs grew, commuters wanted to use the road. So they built a toll road alongside the Dulles Access Road (btw, the tolls are funding the public transit extension to Dulles), and left the "free" road as a direct road to Dulles with no exits - and announced that use of that road was limited to airport traffic only.
I'm sure you know what's coming.
So folks would go onto the airport grounds, buy a cup of coffee at the 7-11, and keep the receipt. They could then prove that they were conducting business at the airport. They'd then take the toll-free road into one of the business centers (Tyson's or in-town) and avoid the traffic and tolls on the toll lanes. Time was close to a wash by the time they bought coffee, but they save on the order of $5.00 in tolls each way.