A. spent most of this year dealing with losing my best friend in a motorcycle accident and then losing another best friend to stupid drama, effectively removing nearly all my riding buddies from my repertoire'. That is not a pity or sympathy statement only one to explain why my last post was nearly a year ago.
B. Its cute AND funny how you think cars MPG and traffic lights are related, I chuckled quite a bit.
ok Two things:
1. please read "The life and death of Great American cities" by Jane Jacobs, if you like to read and can make it through the book it will astound you, I mean un-BELIEVABLY astound you.
2. the reasoning for this ^ will be apparent in a moment.
Cars and mile per gallon readings economy etc are ruled on and created by law and taxation, as the fuel, fossil and otherwise, of the world become scarce and more expensive law and tax will increase and raise respectively.
Traffic control however literally has NOTHING to do with economy of fuel and regulatory law relating to usage. It seems like it SHOULD but it does not. Traffic control does however have an immense amount to do with control simply put, it is not about making things easy to deal with its about controlling people, period.
I designed two civil projects when I was about 12 and took them to a design firm to be told how good they were, too good to be used because there would be no stopping no "traffic" I didnt understand why until I was much older. When I was around 30 I designed a new parking lot to completely remove pedestrian vs vehicle interaction to increase safety and eliminate traffic entirely, again when I started to take these patented ideas to people I was told they were too good to use and that lack of traffic is just as bad if not worse than traffic itself. Now I would agree in small shopping centers etc but at a Wal-Mart for example there is NO reason to have the heinous types of multi-entrance bullshit going on that does, where people are LITERALLY 4 feet in their monster trucks from the doors. But people design lights, parking lots, speed bumps, service roads, highways and regular streets with the thought in mind to make people slow down and make them notice things. Simple concept shitty design, but ask anyone if they have ever been somewhere and passed by the place they were looking for 5 times trying to find it and you will understand the impact is not only silent but also infuriating for regular Joe's that need the speed slowed to accomplish the finding task.
If you read the Life and Death book you will find yourself in AWE of the things we used to do but dont do now.
One of my favorite items in the book is the Porch concept in urban/neighborhood areas. This concept roughly dumb down is that we used to build houses with porches and the porch and front entrances to houses were regulated to be X feet from the sidewalk and street, all distances matching. The point was to be able to be on the porch look left, look right, and see every neighbor as far left or right as you could see. To be able to communicate and regulate communication in neighborhoods, to be self-sufficient, helpful, self-reliant and communicative for support and everything else. Now if you look in any typical neighborhood you will find no porches or rarely any, no same space/distance front areas, and sunk in doors and entryways more hermit-like than anything. Think about it, if you wanted to control people and keep them afraid of each other, not communicating with each other, not making a "community" so that if/when things werent going well they would hole up and not speak to each other how would you do that. Would it be easy to create a law that made having the front entrance/areas to houses never be able to see each other or interact easily with each other ?
I live in a nice neighborhood, what I would say is that last bastion of money for a new neighborhood without going in to mini mansions, my house is around 350k which is decently expensive for Dallas, Texas and there isnt a porch one, neither a entry way that isnt cavelike. The next step up in house prices around here is around 500-750k and above and those houses are mostly on 1 acre lots and are way too far from each other to be "community". I traveled alot the past decade and found this is basically true of all new construction all across this country, and not at all in Europe and many other countries where regularly being on someones back apartment porch would yield community parties and conversations someone frequently and easily.
Anyone sorry for the "rant" thought you might like to know a bit more about why your frustrated about two things that don't "connect" and why they dont' :)
Originally Posted by AntiHero
Boston was a mess. I made a last minute reservation at a B&B over the phone. The owner said that there's plenty of parking, it's a safe neighborhood, etc. etc., only when I showed up the only non-residential permit parking was 3 blocks away. Nope....wasn't feeling it, so I left. Went into an Embassy Suites or Hilton or something just to unload all my gear and get online to find another place, which I did at the College Club of Boston on Commonwealth. They even had a local parking garage. Excellent.
Course when I showed up at the parking garage they wouldn't let me through....strict policy of no motorcycles. Couldn't bribe the guy, he wouldn't turn a blind eye. So street parking it was for the night.
About the only thing worse than the parking was the traffic and traffic flow--and it's time for some fucking political commentary, which I hate, but fuck me--billions are being spent to try and increase MPG of cars and decrease emissions and lower our dependence on fossil fuels, but has no one thought about perhaps upgrading the metered traffic lights to something, say, more advanced than what was being used in 1960. In Boston and countless other cities traffic is constantly stopped for no reason while we wait for the green light that smiles upon an empty lane. And what's worse is if the lights were timed so that you could hit 5 or 6 green in a row (ala 19th Ave in SF), millions of gallons of fuel would not be wasted. I just don't get it. An intelligent traffic metering system using technology that already exists (motion sensors, logarithms that meter traffic based on optimal flow patterns, a fucking motherboard with a processor, etc.) could do more for fuel efficiency in cities than anything that's currently happening to save it in the private sector.
Anyhow, traffic in Boston made for bad times. And pedestrians are dumb as shit--and arrogant about it--too. The city could save thousands of tax dollars a year by not painting crosswalks, too, since no one uses them.
Anyhow, so I spent most of the first night trying to find where I'd be the second--none of it panned. Fate smiled on me and at the last min. a particular someone got me into the Omni for the night with early check in/late check out. :) Thanks again! They even had a parking garage nearby that allowed bikes.
Right near the hotel was a bustling cemetery. Surprised when I saw this:
After two days being in the thick of it I wanted out. I was not enjoying Boston. People are nice and the history of the city is very cool, but the place didn't click with me. Love the energy of lots of big cities, just couldn't dig Boston. Stayed in Jamaica Plains for the next three days. Couldn't say I loved that, either, but at least it was relaxing.
Also got a chance to try Haggus--which I've been afraid to eat, figuring it would be gross. (Sheep stomach stuffed with meat and oats). Looks like a giant alien's eyeball, sliced open with an exacto knife, then stuffed with gristly bits of ground up toes.
Tasted marginally better than it looked. About the only thing needing updating more than traffic lights is Scottish cuisine.
Got to cross this off my list, too. :)