Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    26 Jan '17 13:39
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14391410/elon-musk-tunnels-traffic-tesla-spacex-boring-company

    Elon Musk thinks being stuck in traffic is “soul-destroying” — but, he has a solution: tunnels. Musk has been tweeting about tunnels for a month now, and even said he’s going to build a tunnel boring machine and start digging. In developed cities, we can’t widen roadways, and elevated highways are ugly. So, we dig.

    “Without tunnels, we will all be in traffic hell forever,” Musk told The Verge via Twitter DM today. “I really do think tunnels are the key to solving urban gridlock. Being stuck in traffic is soul-destroying. Self-driving cars will actually make it worse by making vehicle travel more affordable.”


    The obvious question is: once you're building tunnels, just build a subway system and link it to the existing metro rail system in LA. LA certain has one of the weakest public transit systems of any major western city.

    The problem is that, for whatever reason, Californians seem to want to drive. In the Bay Area, there's a nicely developed and underused subway system but the enormous 12-lane interstates are still clogged with traffic.

    Some people just don't want to spend the extra time it takes to get to the station, wait for the train and get from the station to their destination. I don't think it's so much a matter of not wanting to walk a little. I love walking, but I drive everywhere because it's so much faster (though I do live in a suburb where bus service is inefficient and driving is easy).

    Given all of that, do massive traffic tunnels designed to bypass city centers to ease congestion make sense?
  2. Joined
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    26 Jan '17 14:20
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14391410/elon-musk-tunnels-traffic-tesla-spacex-boring-company

    [quote]Elon Musk thinks being stuck in traffic is “soul-destroying” — but, he has a solution: tunnels. Musk has been tweeting about tunnels for a month now, and even said he’s going to build a tunnel boring machine and start digging. In developed cities, we can’t ...[text shortened]... that, do massive traffic tunnels designed to bypass city centers to ease congestion make sense?
    I believe among other things it depends on where you intend to drive. If you are starting and ending in the city that is covered by a public transportation system a subway works great (for example you live in Manhattan and want to go to Yankee stadium). If you are going through an area covered by a system but not starting or ending where a public transportation system exists then it really doesn't help you.
  3. Unknown Territories
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    26 Jan '17 15:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14391410/elon-musk-tunnels-traffic-tesla-spacex-boring-company

    [quote]Elon Musk thinks being stuck in traffic is “soul-destroying” — but, he has a solution: tunnels. Musk has been tweeting about tunnels for a month now, and even said he’s going to build a tunnel boring machine and start digging. In developed cities, we can’t ...[text shortened]... that, do massive traffic tunnels designed to bypass city centers to ease congestion make sense?
    That's a very weird coincidence to see this topic brought up today, as my thoughts on the issue over the last several years were brought to a head this morning with the report of a think tank's (Policy Matters Ohio) finding on the critical need for public transit here in Cleveland just yesterday.
    Boston had the Big Dig with its huge overrun in costs, but the proof is in the pudding: what used to be a nightmare became a boon in savings for travelers, both in costs and time.
    In my visits to one of my favorite cities ever, Montreal, one of the selling points of that city is the rapid underground transit it boasts: travel from one end of the city to another in 15 minutes or less!

    Funny how 'forward thinking' is really nothing more than common sense aptly applied...
  4. Joined
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    26 Jan '17 17:261 edit
    Build a subway system in LA just in time for the big earthquake.

    If they can build one for Tokyo, then they can build one for LA and San Diego.
  5. Unknown Territories
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    26 Jan '17 17:29
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Build a subway system in LA just in time for the big earthquake.
    At least we'll know where to dig for the bodies?
  6. Standard memberSoothfast
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    26 Jan '17 21:02
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14391410/elon-musk-tunnels-traffic-tesla-spacex-boring-company

    [quote]Elon Musk thinks being stuck in traffic is “soul-destroying” — but, he has a solution: tunnels. Musk has been tweeting about tunnels for a month now, and even said he’s going to build a tunnel boring machine and start digging. In developed cities, we can’t ...[text shortened]... that, do massive traffic tunnels designed to bypass city centers to ease congestion make sense?
    I imagine the majority of those who work in San Francisco don't live in San Francisco, which is a reflection of the general lack of affordable housing in the city proper. So, maybe you live in Hercules like a friend of mine does and drive into the city, at which point you may as well drive all the way to the office.
  7. Behind the scenes
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    26 Jan '17 21:402 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14391410/elon-musk-tunnels-traffic-tesla-spacex-boring-company

    [quote]Elon Musk thinks being stuck in traffic is “soul-destroying” — but, he has a solution: tunnels. Musk has been tweeting about tunnels for a month now, and even said he’s going to build a tunnel boring machine and start digging. In developed cities, we can’t ...[text shortened]... that, do massive traffic tunnels designed to bypass city centers to ease congestion make sense?
    America's love affair with the automobile has a lot to do with this. I know people that will get in their car to go 3 blocks, also many Americans look upon trains, buses, subways, bikes, walking etc. as "lower class transportation". It's going to take a lot to change this mindset.
  8. Joined
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    26 Jan '17 22:29
    Originally posted by mchill
    America's love affair with the automobile has a lot to do with this. I know people that will get in their car to go 3 blocks, also many Americans look upon trains, buses, subways, bikes, walking etc. as "lower class transportation". It's going to take a lot to change this mindset.
    Not so much in the north east. I visited Boston, great food, subway and buses are heavily used.
  9. Standard memberRemoved
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    26 Jan '17 22:48
    Originally posted by mchill
    America's love affair with the automobile has a lot to do with this. I know people that will get in their car to go 3 blocks, also many Americans look upon trains, buses, subways, bikes, walking etc. as "lower class transportation". It's going to take a lot to change this mindset.
    I agree about the love of the automobile, but where I live in Western NY, right now walking three blocks is out of the question. Especially when we get snow and sub zero temperatures.
    I know there used to be a public transit system back over 60 years ago in my area but I never got to see it. It had already died out when I was a kid. The local buses are used quite a bit, but overall people depend on their vehicles. I think some of it it is the feeling of independence knowing you can go anywhere. Some are just not comfortable in crowds and want to avoid public, conversations with strangers, etc. It would make an interesting study, which has probably been done somewhere.
  10. Joined
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    26 Jan '17 23:361 edit
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I agree about the love of the automobile, but where I live in Western NY, right now walking three blocks is out of the question. Especially when we get snow and sub zero temperatures.
    I know there used to be a public transit system back over 60 years ago in my area but I never got to see it. It had already died out when I was a kid. The local buses are ...[text shortened]... with strangers, etc. It would make an interesting study, which has probably been done somewhere.
    Mass transit works best in densely populated areas I think.
  11. SubscriberWajoma
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    26 Jan '17 23:46
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14391410/elon-musk-tunnels-traffic-tesla-spacex-boring-company

    [quote]Elon Musk thinks being stuck in traffic is “soul-destroying” — but, he has a solution: tunnels. Musk has been tweeting about tunnels for a month now, and even said he’s going to build a tunnel boring machine and start digging. In developed cities, we can’t ...[text shortened]... that, do massive traffic tunnels designed to bypass city centers to ease congestion make sense?
    There is an easier cheaper solution - Motorcycles.

    Encourage motorcycling, deregulate, allow lane-splitting/lane filtering (whatever you want to call it) lower registration fees, voluntary insurance.

    In a 25 minute commute in Melbourne I pass at least 200 cars stuck in traffic, yes sitting stuck in a car is soul destroying and despite the Melbourne weather I'd rather be on a bike.
  12. SubscriberWajoma
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    26 Jan '17 23:521 edit
    Originally posted by mchill
    America's love affair with the automobile has a lot to do with this. I know people that will get in their car to go 3 blocks, also many Americans look upon trains, buses, subways, bikes, walking etc. as "lower class transportation". It's going to take a lot to change this mindset.
    That's because it is lower class, do you use it? The gimp/freak quotient is high, who hasn't sat on a train and pleaded with their imaginary friend in the sky that the latest jibbering slobbering fool to embark doesn't sit near you.
  13. Joined
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    26 Jan '17 23:581 edit
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    That's because it is lower class, do you use it? The gimp/freak quotient is high, who hasn't sat on a train and pleaded with their imaginary friend in the sky that the latest jibbering slobbering fool to embark doesn't sit near you.
    I used it in Boston and it wasn't just the liwer class. True there were great number of the poor, but there were many working class people too, some in suits.
  14. Standard membersh76
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    27 Jan '17 17:55
    Originally posted by mchill
    America's love affair with the automobile has a lot to do with this. I know people that will get in their car to go 3 blocks, also many Americans look upon trains, buses, subways, bikes, walking etc. as "lower class transportation". It's going to take a lot to change this mindset.
    I don't think that's the reason.

    Public vs. private transit is (mostly) not about attitude or stigma. It's about incentives.

    People in New York rely on public transit.Why? Because the costs of driving in Manhattan (traffic, parking, high stress driving) are high and the convenience of the public transit system is good. 98% of the people in my town drive to go places because the costs of driving are low (not much traffic and ample parking) and the bus system isn't very good.

    Sure there's a certain stickiness to the way people do things, but ask any economist. The way to change behavior is to change the incentives equation.
  15. Joined
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    27 Jan '17 17:56
    Originally posted by sh76
    I don't think that's the reason.

    Public vs. private transit is (mostly) not about attitude or stigma. It's about incentives.

    People in New York rely on public transit.Why? Because the costs of driving in Manhattan (traffic, parking, high stress driving) are high and the convenience of the public transit system is good. 98% of the people in my town drive ...[text shortened]... things, but ask any economist. The way to change behavior is to change the incentives equation.
    Is there anyplace to park all the cars if everyone in New York City had a car?
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