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Re: [carfree_cities] Tom Friedman in the NYT

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  • bruun@seas.upenn.edu
    Dynamic car sharing schemes don t work well. They have been studied and tried for years. If we have better transit and better non-motorized facilities than
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 24, 2009
      Dynamic car sharing schemes don't work well. They have been studied
      and tried for years.

      If we have better transit and better non-motorized facilities than
      people can move
      spontaneously without the need for advanced technology, for planning ahead
      and for potential monitoring of our every movement by the National
      Security Agency.

      Eric Bruun

      Quoting Chris Bradshaw <c_bradshaw@...>:

      > Crawford:
      >> Tom Friedman is hardly anyone's idea of a cheese-eating
      > liberal. Yet he called stridently for a hefty gas tax in
      > yesterday's NY Times:
      > This is not surprising to those who have read his most recent book, Hot,
      > Flat, and Crowded.
      > His main premise is to make oil pay its way, allowing for a faster
      > transition to his "Energy Internet," in which electricity will flow -- on
      > meters -- like info on the Internet.
      > He points out that, although transportation energy accounts for 27% of CO2
      > emissions, it accounts for two-thirds of the oil America consumes each day.
      > Of course, this doesn't take account of the oil used in manufacturing of
      > cars and paving roads and parking lots.
      > What he doesn't get regarding the Internet connection is that, if
      > electricity will be more sparingly used when it is available only through
      > smart meters (to charge more for use at peak times, and to pay those who
      > will pump electricity _into_ the grid, like those with plug-in hybrids),
      > then why not apply the same intelligence to the more efficient use of the
      > existing fleet of vehicles. Congestion pricing is part of the solution.
      > But we must go deeper. You only have to start with the 4-7 empty seats in
      > the typical car on the road, or the amount of time a car sits idle while the
      > owner-driver does his/her business, which translates to each car in a city's
      > car 'population' requiring 6-8 parking spots to be added to its parking
      > 'population.' (ask a city planner to tell you these two numbers for his
      > city, and see a big scrug).
      > Software and the Internet can allow for what I call "trans-seat" where each
      > seat in a car is available to others who will book it and pay for it
      > automatically via cell phones. Little parking is needed because a car when
      > it reaches the destination of the last occupant it sits only long enough for
      > another traveller to request it, whereupon the driver will head to his
      > destination and pick up other 'members' along the way. The solfware will
      > also cover all seats in regular transit. Some of this service will become
      > redundant as a result (most peak-load, especially longer commutes, and
      > service to low-density areas, both of which represent close to all the
      > subsidies today's transit requires).
      > The type of fuel a car uses hardly scratches the range of problems cars
      > cause us. But it is fair to recognize that at leat Frieddman ties together:
      > oil-security (military), resource-deletion, and climate-change angles with
      > his proposals. Now he needs to consider: transportation-access equity,
      > traffic in neighbourhoods, sprawl, congestion, and the three health
      > downsides: trauma, obesity/fitness, and stress. We have too many cars and
      > those who own them drive too much.
      > Chris Bradshaw
      > Ottawa
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