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New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

 on: Today at 02:38:04 AM 
Started by US 41 - Last post by jakeroot
Hey, don't get me wrong. I drive a small diesel hatchback with a 6-speed manual (better fuel economy choice at the time). According to Top Gear, I'm "tighter than two coats of paint" (I usually average around 42-45 mpg). I love getting great fuel economy numbers, saving money, etc. And there's plenty of torque from the diesel engine, and I can hold a gear for more power when necessary. Fun and efficient...two metrics we both agree on.

But, I cannot get behind CVT's. There is a fuel economy advantage, but at least for me, that doesn't overcome it's snowmobile-like noises, unimpressive 0-60 numbers, and difficulty towing (not least without overheating). There's also a reliability issue with CVT's that I'm not sure has been worked out.

Do keep in mind that there are other ways of achieving good fuel economy figures, such as advanced engine technology (turbo-diesel, hybrid, full-electric, etc).

 on: Today at 02:13:04 AM 
Started by jakeroot - Last post by jakeroot
At any rate, "traffic" (meaning congestion) is the wrong metric to look at. Four lanes of traffic moving at 20 mph may not seem any better than two lanes of traffic moving at 20 mph since people on the road are experiencing the same level of delay either way, but you have to look at this from a broad perspective rather than an individually centered one - the four lane road is achieving twice the throughput and, therefore, contributing more to people's mobility than the two lane road is.

Aren't you just proving the existence of induced demand? If you double the capacity of a road, but it takes the same time to travel it, at a basic level, that means twice as many cars are using it as before. Why bother with the extra lanes if they're going to fill right up? Do all these extra trips have to be absorbed by the road system? The whole "mobility" metric seems odd to me, if the best a commuter can hope for is ten lanes all moving at 20mph.

Not to change the subject, but isn't it easier to reduce congestion by reducing the number of cars?

If the road is well-utilized, a lack of horrendous congestion resulting from its removal should not be used to excuse it - this doesn't mean the road wasn't necessary, what it means is people are recognizing that they can't get there from here and rather than causing extra congestion trying are staying home or going elsewhere. This loss of mobility does have economic and quality of life implications even if it doesn't have visible impacts on congestion.

But we don't know that for sure, yet. The only available data is that more cyclists were passing through various check-points than before the closure, and water-taxi ridership tripled. So, evidently, at least a few thousand people weren't able to avoid a commute. Certainly there were some that tele-worked, but there's no way that could be anywhere near the majority.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "loss of mobility". You mean to those who stayed home during the closure? Or to those who chose not to drive? In either case, I would not equate the "driveability" of one's regular commute with a languishing quality of life standard.

 on: Today at 02:04:30 AM 
Started by US 41 - Last post by yand
A 1-speed electric motor or a good cvt-like beats any multi-gear transmission any day.

While an electric motor is probably the best option for the future and certainly can be used in the most power-hungry heavy duty vehicles like they already are in locomotives and huge mining trucks, CVT transmissions are a stopgap measure at best.  When I see them in heavy duty vehicles, I may change my mind about them, but until then, I have longevity and towing capacity concerns about them.

Which is why I specify "cvt-like", as in something that achieves the effect of a CVT (engine rpm independent of wheel rpm), which in my book includes electric transmissions used in locomotives.

I think it would only include electric (or hybrid) vehicles. Gas or diesel vehicles with CVT's are just atrociously loud and, well, not fun at all. It might net you an MPG or two better, but it definitely ain't worth it.

If an engine is continuously operating at max power as a CVT allows, then it will naturally be louder than an engine cycling between power levels when going through gear shifts. Giving the driver more control over engine noise by forcing the engine to operate at lower (suboptimal) RPM is just a matter of software.
CVTs deliver more mpg, more power (speed and/or payload) and smoother acceleration. Economy, power and comfort matter a lot to transportation vehicles (most vehicles). "Fun" is somewhat subjective, some people think maximizing power and economy is fun. People who don't share these values can choose toys that do not prioritize efficiency  :sombrero:

 on: Today at 02:04:18 AM 
Started by BigMattFromTexas - Last post by MNHighwayMan
People routinely dump on Clearview Highway, but how many of them have bothered to check if Terminal Design in Brooklyn is some big bad giant corporation? It's really just a small business run by James Montalbano. It's nothing big and sinister. Does everyone expect that guy to work for nothing? Last time I checked he lives and/or works in Brooklyn. It's not cheap to live there, especially now since the whole damn borough has gone through gentrification and rounds of speculative real estate price gouging.

It's his choice to live and work there. I'm personally not going to cry myself to sleep at night concerned about his welfare.

For reasons beyond subjective preference, I'm against Clearview because I don't like the idea of governments being beholden to pay a company for a license to use a highway sign font. That's where price gouging and government waste come in.

 on: Today at 01:58:42 AM 
Started by ipeters61 - Last post by Bruce
Any trip crossing Puget Sound, since you have to either drive around or take a ferry.

For example: Everett and Port Townsend are 28 miles apart as the crow flies, but 62 miles (with one ferry crossing) or 140 miles (with no ferry).

 on: Today at 01:53:50 AM 
Started by roadman65 - Last post by Bruce
WA 16 has a handful of exits with numbers, and a handful without.

 on: Today at 01:41:29 AM 
Started by Thunderbyrd316 - Last post by jakeroot
I don't like the practice much either, and only do it myself when I've been stuck on the side street for a while.
Wait, so does it become safer after waiting a few minutes or something? I don't see why you wouldn't do it straight away.

He might be like me, and didn't know that what you describe is a legal maneuver, thus making the "illegal" maneuver only after getting frustrated.

TBH it still seems wrong to me to use the center lane for merging into traffic.

I know it's not allowed everywhere, though it's certainly ingrained into the driving culture here in the NW. Not doing it gets you honked at (if you hesitate too much); it does help that the law specifically spells it out as legal.

Funny how there are some things that are foreign in some states, but completely normal in others.

It's more of a personal preference than anything safety related.

I'd much rather find my gap in both directions of traffic traffic and do the turn in one motion, instead of finding a gap in traffic from the left, possibly sitting in the middle, and then merging into a gap in traffic from the right. Also, I've always experienced a bit of anxiety being the driver on the main street and not knowing if that car coming from the side street/driveway is actually turning into the TWLTL as I'd expect, or if they're erroneously turning into my lane... It's happened to me more than once.

So I don't like to put other drivers in that situation if I can avoid it. Thus, I only turn into the TWLTL when it's pretty obvious that the volume of cross traffic isn't going to allow a one-stage left turn.

FWIW, it's doesn't seem to be a super common maneuver in Nevada...

I can understand that theory, though being a glorified cab driver myself, I tend to drive in the most efficient manner at all times (instead of only when necessary). So in the case of TWLTLs, I always merge using them even when no one else is around, mostly so when I need to do it in heavy traffic, it doesn't feel weird.

I have certainly seen more than a few drivers who become startled by the maneuver. Sometimes they change lanes to let the person in (even though the person turned left and then stopped to wait for a gap), or slow way down to let them in, under the impression that not slowing down would result in a merge collision (even though the person who turned left, turned into the center lane, not their lane). In either case, however, I've never seen an accident occur. In the hundreds of times I've done it, I've only had one driver honk at me...he gestured at me...I gestured back. Bit childish but whatever.

My favorite time to merge into the center lane is when traffic from the right is waiting to turn left into my road, but can't because of a line of cars turning right (from my left). Since they can't go, and the cars from my left are all turning into my road, there's technically no obstacles. Though you have to watch for blinkers if there's no dedicated right turn lane. Especially in this case, it's really important to turn into the center lane, since cars coming from the right that *aren't* turning, aren't necessarily visible behind the left-turning vehicles.

 on: Today at 01:38:38 AM 
Started by andy3175 - Last post by gonealookin
So when there is no snow, what is the best route to go from the Sacramento area to Washoe Valley?  Is it I-80 or US 50?


If you're going fron Sacramento to the Nevada valleys east of Tahoe...fastest to Carson City and points north of there would be I-80 to Reno, then I-580 south to Carson.  To Minden/Gardnerville I'd use US 50 to Meyers, the Pioneer Trail shortcut to Stateline, briefly back on US 50 and then NV 207 over to Carson Valley.

From Sacramento to the east shore of Tahoe...fastest is I-80 to CA 267 to CA/NV 28 to points north of the junction of US 50 and NV 28.  US 50 to Pioneer Trail to US 50 to points south of that junction.

 on: Today at 01:26:28 AM 
Started by jakeroot - Last post by jakeroot
Not sure how common this is outside of the UK.

Leading up to a roundabout in Gig Harbor, WA, the pavement markings for each lane say exactly which lanes goes to which destination (City *Center, Tac(oma), Brem(erton)):

 on: Today at 01:22:43 AM 
Started by BigMattFromTexas - Last post by Bobby5280
Quote from: DaBigE
I never intended anyone to do the work for free, rather, it should be a project taken on (RE: paid for) by FHWA and/or TRB. I have no issue paying someone to do the work; I just have issues of a company profiting from something that everyone has to pay to be fully Federally-compliant (somewhat similar to what the RRFB system went through, albeit the RRFB was with patenting).

Did you know that most typeface designers are either designing type on a self-employed basis or as part of a very small business? There is not very many big companies involved with distributing commercial or even open-source typefaces. The big players are Adobe, Linotype and Monotype. They've gobbled up other major type foundries. Linotype acquired ITC. Monotype bought out Bitsream (and its MyFonts web site) and the FontFont foundry. Other notable foundries are still around, like House Industries and Letterhead fonts. Quite a few type designers and their company labels are literally one man shops. They gotta be able to make a freaking living.

I've personally spent thousands of dollars of my own money on commercial typefaces. I have a 100% legal license of Clearview Highway for instance (complete B & W weights set no less). That's on top of the thousands upon thousands my sign company has spent on the same thing. It's all part of the cost of doing business.

People routinely dump on Clearview Highway, but how many of them have bothered to check if Terminal Design in Brooklyn is some big bad giant corporation? It's really just a small business run by James Montalbano. It's nothing big and sinister. Does everyone expect that guy to work for nothing? Last time I checked he lives and/or works in Brooklyn. It's not cheap to live there, especially now since the whole damn borough has gone through gentrification and rounds of speculative real estate price gouging. If some company is going to distribute typefaces free to the public that company has to be willing to eat a whole lot of cost. Any such company isn't going to be willing to do that without some kind of money-making benefit on a related angle. That's why I bring up the scenario with Google. But for all I know Google might see a future where no road signs or highway markers are needed at all.

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