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Author Topic: Single-Occupancy Cars - Such a waste!  (Read 12010 times)
PonderInc
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« on: July 29, 2008, 11:16:30 am »

Lately, I've been thinking about a few pictures that John Fregonese showed at the TulsaNow "PLANiTULSA" event.  They pertain to the absurdity of single-occupancy vehicles...and how much infrastructure we waste catering to the needs of one driver/one car.  These pictures really stuck with me, so I wanted to share them.  Food for thought.




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Hoss
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 12:31:46 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

Lately, I've been thinking about a few pictures that John Fregonese showed at the TulsaNow "PLANiTULSA" event.  They pertain to the absurdity of single-occupancy vehicles...and how much infrastructure we waste catering to the needs of one driver/one car.  These pictures really stuck with me, so I wanted to share them.  Food for thought.








Maybe it is food for thought, but even moreso is the horrible status of transit in this town.  Would I use public transit?  Sure!  I have in the past.  Why don't I now?

Because it takes me three hours to get where I need to go via Tulsa Transit vs twenty minutes by automobile.  We have almost the nation's worst transit system.  The two hub system, which I could never understand why it was implemented, is horrible.

We need to look at transit structure first.  Ours stinks.
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Hometown
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 12:43:25 pm »

Our old stupid cars will soon be replaced by smart cars that we can feel good about driving.  Tulsa and her many parking lots will be perfectly positioned for the advent of the smart car.

I was thinking about the absolutely luxury and waste involved in my daily one or two baths.  This morning I actually stopped short of filling the tub to the top.  I thought about the world tomorrow where no one is going to have enough to drink then I thought about the swimming pool we didn't build.

Anyway, I've spent most of my adult life on public transit and now I love driving my car to work.

Anti car seems sort of old fashioned to me.  And stadiums and arenas without dedicated parking strike me as nearly totally crazy.

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PonderInc
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 01:32:42 pm »

A lot of public polling has been done in Tulsa to get ready for PLANiTULSA...the comp plan update. (www.planitulsa.org

70% of Tulsans say they are "not very satisfied with their transit choices."  

In addition to their cars, people would also like to use:
46% rail/streetcar
40% bus
37% walk/bike

Given $100 to invest in transportation, Tulsans would spend:
$38 - Streets
$21 - Highways
$15 - Rail or streetcar
$11 - Buses
$10 - Sidewalks, bike paths, trails
$5 - Tollroads

Which means that Tulsans would like to invest 36% of their transportation budget on alternatives to auto-only transportation.  

I've been asking around, trying to get an idea of what percent of our budget actually goes to alternatives to auto transportation.  As far as I can tell, it's in the single digits...and closer to 1% than to 10%.  (More analysis needed...or just look around you for the proof.)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 01:34:28 pm by PonderInc » Logged
OurTulsa
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 01:47:17 pm »

Density, Density, Density...is what is needed to support an efficient transit system.  I am hopeful that many will step up and publicly advocate a Comprehensive Plan that encourages delightful density (it doesn't at all have to look and feel like public housing complexes) that will support a good public transit system.  We are going to have to bleed a little to get there though...we are either going to have to build our density with reluctance to accommodating the hell out of the car until we get the critical mass to support transit or we invest soundly in transit and support it for a while, while encouraging density around the line(s).
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Hometown
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 01:52:23 pm »

BART or Bay Area Rapid Transit, in the Bay Area, is very popular, kind of expensive, and will never pay it's own way -- ever.  It will always depend on State and Federal subsidies.

Tulsa should beef up its bus system with an eye to serving working people, including people that work late shifts, and people in difficult to serve neighborhoods.

Building a railsystem at this point is too little too late and would essentially be underwriting the commute of well off downtown workers at the expense of everyone else.

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OurTulsa
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2008, 01:52:50 pm »

I saw an article the other day that exposed many who traditionally and vigorously oppose density (infill).  The article provided that the very people who fight density in their own back yard typically seek these very environments (dense) out when considering vacation...

I often wonder why so many will visit Boston, Paris, Montreal and absolutely love it but then come back to their woefully inefficient ranch at 31st and Harvard and fight the hell out any infill project that even hints at elevating the density.  
My observation is that more often they are fighting the additional cars the new development will bring.
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OurTulsa
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2008, 01:54:57 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Hometown

BART or Bay Area Rapid Transit, in the Bay Area, is very popular, kind of expensive, and will never pay it's own way -- ever.  It will always depend on State and Federal subsidies.

Tulsa should beef up its bus system with an eye to serving working people, including people that work late shifts, and people in difficult to serve neighborhoods.

Building a railsystem at this point is too little too late and would essentially be underwriting the commute of well off downtown workers at the expense of everyone else.





US Hwy 169 in Tulsa is very popular, kind of expensive, and will never pay it's own way -- ever.  It will always depend on State and Federal subsidies.  No highway project that I know of will ever pay its own way...guess it's all a matter of preferences.
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Hoss
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2008, 02:02:10 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Hometown

Our old stupid cars will soon be replaced by smart cars that we can feel good about driving.  Tulsa and her many parking lots will be perfectly positioned for the advent of the smart car.

I was thinking about the absolutely luxury and waste involved in my daily one or two baths.  This morning I actually stopped short of filling the tub to the top.  I thought about the world tomorrow where no one is going to have enough to drink then I thought about the swimming pool we didn't build.

Anyway, I've spent most of my adult life on public transit and now I love driving my car to work.

Anti car seems sort of old fashioned to me.  And stadiums and arenas without dedicated parking strike me as nearly totally crazy.





Then almost everyone in the country has built arenas crazy.  I cannot think of one, outside of the Kansas Colisuem, that has it's own dedicated parking.
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Libertarianism is a system of beliefs for people who think adolescence is the epitome of human achievement.

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Somebody find Guido an ambulance to chase...
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2008, 02:05:51 pm »

quote:

Building a railsystem at this point is too little too late and would essentially be underwriting the commute of well off downtown workers at the expense of everyone else.





You're kidding?  Building a rail system at this point, in my mind, would be one of the smartest things we could do to ensure Tulsa has a viable future.  

Costs of single occupancy vehicles and the system that supports that mode (economical, social, and environmental) will never be at a level once enjoyed.  

A rail system, and the development that emerges around stations couldn't be a more equitable form of transportation.  A good rail system would serve many more areas outside of downtown including schools, hospitals and essential commercial and employment areas.  While new housing that crops up around stations will in all liklihood be market rate and for many unaffordable, eventually they will mature and even out with regard to affordability.  The areas around stations will more than likely be walkable (accessible to anyone who has two feet or a wheel chair).  The stations could also be the mini-hubs for more efficient shuttle bus systems to outlying areas while the rail system would be the backbone.

Would a rail system be expensive?  Absolutely.  More expensive than our excessive road system?  Not even close.  Less costly to maintain over time?  Big time.  More socially, economically, and environmentally equitable?  Hello?
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Hometown
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2008, 02:08:27 pm »

I'm just curious how many in the pro rail transit crowd are homegrown, and how many were committed to the idea of rail transit before arriving here?  My sense is you are invested in an ideal that has little to do with Tulsa.

Increased bus service would be more affordable and would really make sense, especially buses that serve working people.  Unless we see a significant decline in the price of gasoline, well off office workers will have smart cars before too long.

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TURobY
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 02:10:46 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Hometown

I'm just curious how many in the pro rail transit crowd are homegrown.



I was born and raised in Tulsa, and I am pro rail.
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Hometown
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2008, 02:18:37 pm »

Is the train going to stop in North, West or East Tulsa?

Or is the train going to serve downtown office workers that can well afford to drive anyway?  And is the train ticket going to be priced for the working people of Tulsa?  If it's like BART it won't be.  And working people will still be scrambling for a ride home to the ghetto after getting off at 1 a.m. in the morning because the train isn't running, it doesn't go there, and they can't afford it anyway.

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PonderInc
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2008, 02:30:43 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by TURobY

quote:
Originally posted by Hometown

I'm just curious how many in the pro rail transit crowd are homegrown.



I was born and raised in Tulsa, and I am pro rail.


Me too!

(Though if I had never travelled to other cities in America and in other countries, I may never have learned how convenient, practical, and enjoyable rail transit is...)
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Hometown
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 02:46:23 pm »

Well go for it Homeys.  Lord knows I've been wrong before.  But they are kind of gross when they are packed.

I have to admit I've had some very memorable moments on trains.



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