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Author Topic: Single-Occupancy Cars - Such a waste!  (Read 12002 times)
PonderInc
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2008, 02:56:32 pm »

Here's a fun little tool where you can calculate your annual fuel costs, based on price of gas, average MPG, and how many miles you drive each year. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/savemoney.shtml

For example, if you get 25 MPG on average (most SUVs don't), and you drive 15000 miles a year, and the price of gas is $3.85...you are spending approximately $2,310 per year on gas alone.

Of course, this doesn't factor in your car payment, your insurance, your car maintenance and repairs...or the tax dollars you spend on building/maintaining roads and highways....but it's a start.

Imagine the system we could build if every driver in Tulsa contributed $2,000 per year!  (Let's see...382,000 x 2,000 = $764 Million per year.  Yep...we could do something cool with that!)

I agree, however, that any rail would have to be designed in concert with appropriate and dense infill near strategic stations.  And I also believe that you can't have viable rail without a working bus system.  All three components (planning for transit-oriented-developments, rail, and buses) are needed to make it work.

Oh, and BART tickets?  BART offers 62% discounts to kids, seniors, and people with disabilities.  Other discounts are also available.  Compared with the price of gas, parking, and car ownership...even a full-price ticket is cheap!
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Hometown
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2008, 03:09:09 pm »

BART, seems like I was paying $8.40 a day roundtrip (and I was only 2 stops away from downtown).  Not my idea of cheap.  Office workers can often get discounted tickets through employers though.  But the night crew at the restaurant cannot.  They don't qualify for any discount.  And BART shuts down early.  BART mainly serves well off financial district workers.  And some BART stations have subsidized parking that mainly benefits well off financial district office workers.

Your post didn't address how rail will help North, East and West Tulsa.  And for most Tulsans $2,000 would be a hardship.


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PonderInc
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2008, 03:40:28 pm »

That's my point: $2,000 / year IS a hardship.  That's the cost to buy gas for a single car for a single year (assuming you get 25 MPG, which you probably don't).  Now multiply that times the number of cars in your household.  Every man, woman, and teenager who must drive in Tulsa b/c there are no workable alternatives...they are already faced with this hardship.

I believe that North, East, West and South Tulsa would all benefit from an intelligently designed rail and bus transit system.  

First of all, it would alleviate the need for every member of your family to own a car.  

It would provide reliable and efficient transportation to the approximately 35% of people who don't  drive (kids, the elderly, people with physical limitations, folks who can't afford a car, and those who don't want to drive for environmental or other reasons.)

And, intelligently planned transit-oriented developments (higher density, mixed-use villages near transit stops) would breathe new life into areas of town that are currently not seeing much investment.  Because rail is a fixed route, and a long-term investment, developers and businesses are willing to invest private money along a transit system.  One reason is that it guarantees fairly consitent/predictable transportation costs over time.  That is, they would not need to worry about tennants moving b/c the price of gas went up (or war broke out in an oil producing country).  There are also a lot of people who would like to have the CHOICE of whether or not they want to drive.  This would bring that choice to thousands of people who can't (or don't want to live) in midtown or downtown...currently the only places in town you can live somewhat car-free.

I'm rambling...and there are others on this forum who can address this topic far better than I.  I just wanted to get people thinking and talking.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 03:41:07 pm by PonderInc » Logged
OurTulsa
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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2008, 03:49:27 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Hometown

BART, seems like I was paying $8.40 a day roundtrip (and I was only 2 stops away from downtown).  Not my idea of cheap.  Office workers can often get discounted tickets through employers though.  But the night crew at the restaurant cannot.  They don't qualify for any discount.  And BART shuts down early.  BART mainly serves well off financial district workers.  And some BART stations have subsidized parking that mainly benefits well off financial district office workers.

Your post didn't address how rail will help North, East and West Tulsa.  And for most Tulsans $2,000 would be a hardship.






To me, a public created/enabled and in many cases subsidized land development pattern that more or less 'requires' car ownership for mobility is a hardship to the working poor.  For many poor living in North, west, east and south Tulsa in order to get to gainful service employment or others requires that they purchase and maintain a car...nevermind the socially debilitating effect riding around in a beat up jalopy has on the working poor...

Side note, to me that was one of the beauties of good public transit and a pleasantly walkable city was that it seemed to put the general public on equal footing.  In many cases working poor rubbed shoulders with corporate executives.  And we all had a stake in the public environment; it wasn't just a blur or an image in our rear view mirror while escaping on limited access highways at 55 mph.  In many ways a driving dominated environment is far more socially isolating and enables if not directly encourages class isolation.  I had many conversations with lawyers, advertising executives, financial district employees waiting for a train while one of the starving working poor in the City.
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2008, 04:01:06 pm »

When I lived in Denver last summer I rode the RTD light rail everyday to work.  I paid $50 for a monthly unlimited pass which I could also use for the bus (but never did).  I lived about half a mile from a stop about 4 miles southeast of downtown near the Univ. of Denver.  I biked to the stop, usually waited anywhere from 3-6 min. for the train (rush hour), loaded my bike and rode about 10 min. to a station about 3/4 mile from my office on the south side of downtown.  All in all my commute was about 25-30 min. which is close to what it would be if I drove and then had to park about half a mile from my office.  I preferred the train ride because I could read the Denver version of Urban Tulsa (Westword) they have available at the stations on the ride in/out and I got some light bike exercise.  Plus I would have to pay to park downtown, which was $60 a month.  And then there's the cost of gas, so I was coming out ahead.

If something like this was available in Tulsa I think many would choose to ride the train and not drive, especially those that live in suburbs that have 30-40 min. commutes on traffic-clogged highways.  For me in Denver it was nice but not necessary as I was only a few miles from downtown, but if I was in Boulder or Littleton (Owasso, Jenks, BA) it would be MUCH easier taking the train even with driving to the station to park before the ride into downtown.  

So yes it would help downtown workers, especially those whose companies would be more willing to pay for their pass than to pay for their parking.  But each line would also have stops that connect different parts of the city: the Jenks line could have stops in west Tulsa near the river, the BA line could have stops in east Tulsa, and the Owasso line could have stops in north Tulsa and the airport.  Really the only area that wouldn't be served would be midtown (except for potential stops on the BA line at 11th and Lewis and 4th and Peoria) and south Tulsa.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 04:04:18 pm by SXSW » Logged

 
inteller
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2008, 04:02:39 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

That's my point: $2,000 / year IS a hardship.  


maybe to you, but you probably view cars as just a way to get from point a to point b and not a form of leisure.  I ENJOY driving, so paying for the gas is just part of the hobby.
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YoungTulsan
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2008, 04:23:48 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by inteller

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

That's my point: $2,000 / year IS a hardship.  


maybe to you, but you probably view cars as just a way to get from point a to point b and not a form of leisure.  I ENJOY driving, so paying for the gas is just part of the hobby.



I agree with inteller.  I love driving around just for the hell of it.
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nathanm
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2008, 04:23:58 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by inteller

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

That's my point: $2,000 / year IS a hardship.  


maybe to you, but you probably view cars as just a way to get from point a to point b and not a form of leisure.  I ENJOY driving, so paying for the gas is just part of the hobby.


I enjoyed driving much more when gas was a third its current cost. I enjoyed it even more when I was a kid and a buck would fill up my motorcycle's tank and still buy me a coke and a candy bar.

As far as getting to work every day, that's just a chore no matter what car I'm driving. I'd much rather nap, read the paper, play a video game, or read this forum than sit behind the wheel for half an hour or more in congested traffic.

Now, driving out in the country on some nice dirt roads or one of the many very twisty state highways over in Arkansas..that's fun unto itself. Commuting to work? Boooooorrring.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2008, 04:29:00 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by inteller

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

That's my point: $2,000 / year IS a hardship.  


maybe to you, but you probably view cars as just a way to get from point a to point b and not a form of leisure.  I ENJOY driving, so paying for the gas is just part of the hobby.


Wow!  You're right!  Usually, I'm annoyed by cars, traffic, etc...and I'm not that comfortable sitting in a lot of cars (no head room, no leg room).  

A few years ago, I had to drive back and forth to Owasso on a regular basis.  I started eating sunflower seeds in the car b/c I was so frustrated/antsy with the drive...I needed a nervous habit (and I don't smoke).

I've also discovered how ugly most of our streets are, now that I no longer live close to downtown by the river (where there's natural beauty, and inspiring architecture and lots of landscaping to admire).  Now, I have to drive on Harvard almost every day, and I realize that it's so ugly, I try not to look left or right...I just sort of stare straight ahead and hate every minute of it.  (I sometimes take narrow, pothole-filled Lewis, just b/c it's so much more attractive.)  Ugly streets really bother me, and make me unhappy to be on them.  Parking lots, billboards/signs, boring lack of architecture, no landscaping...it all adds up.

I've discovered that I take routes based on whether or not the street is attractive (versus soul-crushing ugly).  Much like I walk downtown along the interesting streets...not those that offer a blank wall, or parking lot to look at.

But then, again, I'm sensitive that way.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 04:30:25 pm by PonderInc » Logged
inteller
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2008, 08:04:53 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

quote:
Originally posted by inteller

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

That's my point: $2,000 / year IS a hardship.  


maybe to you, but you probably view cars as just a way to get from point a to point b and not a form of leisure.  I ENJOY driving, so paying for the gas is just part of the hobby.


Wow!  You're right!  Usually, I'm annoyed by cars, traffic, etc...and I'm not that comfortable sitting in a lot of cars (no head room, no leg room).  

A few years ago, I had to drive back and forth to Owasso on a regular basis.  I started eating sunflower seeds in the car b/c I was so frustrated/antsy with the drive...I needed a nervous habit (and I don't smoke).

I've also discovered how ugly most of our streets are, now that I no longer live close to downtown by the river (where there's natural beauty, and inspiring architecture and lots of landscaping to admire).  Now, I have to drive on Harvard almost every day, and I realize that it's so ugly, I try not to look left or right...I just sort of stare straight ahead and hate every minute of it.  (I sometimes take narrow, pothole-filled Lewis, just b/c it's so much more attractive.)  Ugly streets really bother me, and make me unhappy to be on them.  Parking lots, billboards/signs, boring lack of architecture, no landscaping...it all adds up.

I've discovered that I take routes based on whether or not the street is attractive (versus soul-crushing ugly).  Much like I walk downtown along the interesting streets...not those that offer a blank wall, or parking lot to look at.

But then, again, I'm sensitive that way.



you need to move. it is obvious that you have a neurosis regarding cars...and Tulsa is definitely not the place for you. I think Portland or some other various locale on the left coast needs you.  They have plenty of people there that share your malady.

This is a car town.  Always has been and always will be.  In the 50s Tulsa was second only to LA in cars per capita.

Your second little cute picture from Frego displays exactly what Tulsans want.....their space!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 08:06:43 pm by inteller » Logged
azbadpuppy
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« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2008, 11:11:41 pm »

There's a really simple answer and it won't take years to build, won't cost anyone a dime, doesn't have to be voted on, and in fact could be implemented as soon as tomorrow.

Carpool!

Why is this idea met with such hesitation? Have Americans regressed that far back into the depths of anti-social behavior? Are we that afraid of other people? What are the reasons? I am truly curious.
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Hoss
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« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2008, 11:19:33 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by azbadpuppy

There's a really simple answer and it won't take years to build, won't cost anyone a dime, doesn't have to be voted on, and in fact could be implemented as soon as tomorrow.

Carpool!

Why is this idea met with such hesitation? Have Americans regressed that far back into the depths of anti-social behavior? Are we that afraid of other people? What are the reasons? I am truly curious.



The reasons are that most of the people of this town do not work in a central enough location with relation to one another for this to work in a fashion that is measurable unless you work in the CBD.  Tulsa got away from the CBD years ago; now you have areas like 61st and Yale, to some extent the area I work at on 45th and 129th East Ave at the old Occidental complex and have office workers spread out all over town.

For quite some time I was carpooling with people; but fact of the matter is, in some cases, a lot of companies aren't flexible enough to allow workers to change their hours to accommodate carpooling.  For that matter, some workers aren't.

It's sad too.  But, Park N Ride could be an option if Tulsa would pull it's head out and work on more of a circulator system than a hub-and-spoke system.
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« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2008, 05:36:18 am »

I work in the CBD and am not served by our mass transit system. Closest Bus line to me is alittle over half a mile and it doesn't go downtown. If I go about a mile I can get to a bus that goes downtown, but unlike the BA shuttle which drops people off all over downtown, that bus would drop me off at the denver station and I'd have about another mile to get to my office, at which I would arrive about a half hour late.
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azbadpuppy
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« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2008, 11:39:06 am »

quote:
Originally posted by Hoss

quote:
Originally posted by azbadpuppy

There's a really simple answer and it won't take years to build, won't cost anyone a dime, doesn't have to be voted on, and in fact could be implemented as soon as tomorrow.

Carpool!

Why is this idea met with such hesitation? Have Americans regressed that far back into the depths of anti-social behavior? Are we that afraid of other people? What are the reasons? I am truly curious.



The reasons are that most of the people of this town do not work in a central enough location with relation to one another for this to work in a fashion that is measurable unless you work in the CBD.  Tulsa got away from the CBD years ago; now you have areas like 61st and Yale, to some extent the area I work at on 45th and 129th East Ave at the old Occidental complex and have office workers spread out all over town.

For quite some time I was carpooling with people; but fact of the matter is, in some cases, a lot of companies aren't flexible enough to allow workers to change their hours to accommodate carpooling.  For that matter, some workers aren't.

It's sad too.  But, Park N Ride could be an option if Tulsa would pull it's head out and work on more of a circulator system than a hub-and-spoke system.



All good points. However I do notice that no matter where you go in the US, when you look around at other cars on a freeway during peak hours, nearly every car only has one driver. And then also look where many of those cars get off the freeways. Almost at the same locations, right?

You say your arguments against carpooling are specific to Tulsa, everyone being spread out, etc, but then is this the case for every major American city? I think not. Many large groups of people live, and then work in the same areas, even in Tulsa. How many people work downtown, or close to downtown? Tens of thousands, no? How many of those live within a mile or so of each other in South Tulsa, or BA, or Jenks, or Owasso? Many, many of them. Carpooling of course won't work for everyone, but it could work for many people if people could get over their issues with it.

A little bit of inconvenience and getting used to something different could go a really long way. If just 2 people carpooled together for a year, each of them would reduce their fuel cost by half, not to mention the reduced emissions. Can you imagine half the amount of cars on the road? That would be pretty awesome.

There's many more reasons people do not want to carpool, and I suspect it mainly has to do with the 'bubble' mentality, where people do not want to share their private space or talk to strangers, etc. People are also reluctant to do anything the least bit inconvenient, but I also suspect that will all change as the price of gas continues to climb.
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2008, 01:03:13 pm »

I used to carpool when I was working at Benham in OKC.  The people who lived in Norman carpooled together, as did the people who lived in Edmond and Yukon.  The manager sent out an email that set it all up.  Maybe if more Tulsa businesses did the same thing it would work.  As it is you may not know who in your office lives nearby.  And for non 8-5 type jobs it's more difficult, especially if you have to leave during the day for any reason.  

Would HOV lanes on certain Tulsa highways like 169, the BA, and 44 have any impact??  I always wonder why we don't have HOV lanes and every major Texas city has them, is it because our traffic is relatively calm compared to the nightmare that is driving at rush hour in Dallas, Austin, Houston, etc.
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