Monday, March 14, 2016

___________________ WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS __________________

TWENTY LANES? Are these motorway planners mad? Nahhhhh, the roads are just far to small. Let's build something that will really deal to the traffic. Hmmmmm, let me think; I know! fifty lanes!! That should solve it!

Here's FIFTY LANES with everyone returning from their holidays. Some people were trapped for 5 days in this traffic jam. The solution? First we have to create a paradigm shift in peoples thinking. Do we expect roads to make a profit ? No. Generally they are funded out of taxation, they are an economic and social infrastructural cost.

If we applied this thinking of the 'NON PROFIT ROAD' and provided fast, clean, cheap public transport combined with a high toll on the use of private motor vehicles on main arterial routes without expecting public transport to make a profit we would solve the problem.




The benefits? Take a look at the above photographs again. In every city in the world where there is fast, cheap, safe, clean, efficient and convenient public transport - the public use it. This topic is one of my ranting hobby horses and I have been ranting about this for decades.


Tillerman said...

Traffic expands to fill lanes available.

Alden Smith said...

Exactly Tillerman. If we built roads with 500 lanes it wouldn't take long for them to fill up. What's required is a totally new way of looking at the problem - a paradigm shift.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Alden, the slight contradiction in both those pictures is the surrounding countryside. I'd be delighted to use public transport and indeed I do when I travel to central London 2 or 3 times a week, but in semi suburban/ semi rural area where we live, there is simply no viable public transport system. even to catch the London bound train involves me a short motorway trip of 10 miles and £15 a day to park in the station monopoly car park on top of the £80 return ticket.

The explosion of electric assisted bicycles means at last cycling as a means of short duration trips is viable even in relatively hilly areas such as Burseldon with it's aptly nicknamed "Cardiac hill", BUT our roads are completely unsafe places for cycling which is the major barrier. Having experienced how successfully some European countries have implemented cycling systems (not just in Holland) I'm highly critical of the UK.I and many others ride on the pavement and will pay the fines rather than risk getting killed in 40 MPH traffic.


Alden Smith said...

Thanks for your comments Max. The 20 car lane photo is somewhere in Europe (Germany I think) the 50 car lane photo is somewhere in China. For the sake of my argument I just got the photos off the internet.

I agree that often, especially in suburban areas public transport is not an option as it simply doesn't exist, but I think in the future it needs to exist and will be available if there is a political will to build it and a social conscience and commitment to use it - AND it should be cheap and it could be a lot cheaper than it is now if more people used public transport. The way to get people into the habit of using it is to make it cheap to use and expensive to use their own cars in big cities. But there has to be a political vision and will to build accessible public transport networks.

I think you make an excellent point regarding the dangers of cycling in areas that are not cycle friendly and my attitude over the years has been exactly the same - ride on the footpath until things get safer..... which they have done here where I live. There has been a sea change in attitude towards cycling in Whangarei and with a new Mayor and council elected with promises made to the cycling lobby there has been a huge amount of development around building safe cycle paths. As I drove back today from a kayak out at Onerahi I passed a huge amount of roadworks going on as a very safe cycle way is being built completely separated from the road. The local council is committed to cycle ways and we can look forward to more cycle paths in the future.

I agree that electric assisted bicycles make things a lot easier (At nearly 65 years of age I certainly can do with the assistance on the hills). I tried an electric bike recently and loved it although I am a bit concerned about the price of replacing an expensive battery every three years or so.... but maybe compared to what I would be spending on petrol for the same mileage I am being a bit unreasonable.

A few years ago I did an extensive amount of cycling in The Netherlands which as I am sure you know has a wonderful bicycle culture and an extensive network of cycle paths - BUT - of course they don't have any hills at all which I admit does make a bit of a difference...... BUT having said that I think the thing that really made all the difference was (apart from the towns) the complete separation of the cycle paths from the roading system. This makes cycling very very safe and an absolute joy to use.

So as I have said .... countries that build an extensive network of good cheap public transport AND combine that with an extensive network of very safe cycle ways is really onto something and I think is the way of the future. I think everyone should go cycling in The Netherlands it is a real eye opener to what is possible.

Charlotte Hawkins said...

Didn't you have a great idea about how to solve this dilemma? Something involving a giant tower...? :)

Alden Smith said...

Charlotte!!!!!!! ..... yes of course I had nearly forgotten my "Heath Robinson" invention regarding towers and bicycles... (of course 'mums' the word about this revolutionary concept, I must take out international patents before I declare this first class idea from a first class mind to the world!!! LOL).