pico1180

Hydrogen fuel on its way

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Ya, I should get some too, (T8) my nephew has "SAD" or seasonally associated depretion.... and even in the summer... if thier is a week of cloudy/rainy days, he starts acting up... I'll look at other stores for light bulbs. I never would consider buying from future shop, (prices seem so high on everything) but I'll check walmart, canadian tire, home depot, ect. perhaps someone has better lights...

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Just remember that the only ones proven effective against SAD are the sunlight, or full-spectrum, lamps. These usually have a color temperature of around 5000K to 5500K and a CRI of 90+. The more common cool white and warm white T8s won't be effective against SAD.

My kitchen has four T-8 full spectrum lamps. It should be interesting to see if we all feel less depressed in the winter months.

I'm seriously thinking of writing to the Mayor about this topic. I really think some of the poor academic performance and behavioral problems can be traced to the use of cheap cool white fluorescents in most of NYC's schools. IIRC from my school days they had an awful greenish tint to them.

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If the device were well sealed I doubt the bacteria would be a probelm. On the other hand, if it did leak, having your flesh slowly converted to electrical energy by bacteria doesn't sound too nice :)

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If the device were well sealed I doubt the bacteria would be a probelm.  On the other hand, if it did leak,  having your flesh slowly converted to electrical energy by bacteria doesn't sound too nice :)

The bacteria would have to come into contact with blood in order to get the sugar from the blood stream...

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They made it sound like these reactions could go on a long time on a small amount of "fuel".....  Or maybe some sort of one-way membrane would be possible...

No chemical reaction is without waste byproduct of some sort... A 1 way membrane maybe possible, but at some point waste by products would build upto the point that they would rupture...

Also haveing a 1way membrane would be like having internal bleeding, as blood is removed from the supply and doesnt return... I think the human body only contains a couple of quarts of blood at any given time..

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jtr1962-

I live in the country, or what you call the "sticks." To let you know how "back-woods" high speed internet comes to me via satellite, although cable has just recently come available. Anyhow. I love living where I live. I look out me window and I see trees. I have a densely populated forest of 10 acres for my back yard. My dad has a piece of property that totals nearly 1000 acres. That’s ONE THOUSAND acres. I wouldn’t give up my place to live in the city for my life. Nor would I even DREAM of selling my dads place when it comes time to be mine.

I don’t drive an SUV because they suck. I hate them. They serve no real purpose. They’re completely worthless for 99% of the population. The first came about in Australia when there was a need for basically, a 4wheel drive van. And ever since they’ve been trending peaces of stinker for yuppies and wan-a-be yuppies to buy. I do however drive a 4x4 extended cab Ford Ranger which gets just as shittie gas mileage as any SUV (15 MPG). But you know what? I need it. Matter of fact, I have to take it in to have the u-joints in the front-end replaced because of excessive use. The bed has been torn up from excessive loads of fire wood I have cared in it. My dad always tasks me with cutting his winter wood for him. Open fire place is his primary source of heat during cold winters. However, he is beginning to see the light, and after sufficient protest from my self and brother in-law, he is slowly moving to natural gas as his heating source.

I am however starting to lean away from my 4wheel drive truck in favor of my 4 wheeler. It gets me everywhere my truck can get me plus more. My dad is actually pressing me to not buy another 4wheel drive because he says there’s no need for it and the times I do take it up into the mountains for wood or work or what ever doesn’t offset the extra cost and maintenance. He tells me I can just tow a trailer with his 68 Toyota Land Cruiser. Well, screw that I saw. Those hills are steep and a little Land Cruiser being pushed down a mountain by a trailer loaded full of wood is an accident waiting to happen. So as much as I think I need a 4x4, my dad doesn’t think I do. Not to mention the times we’ve been rained in and the roads have hard 4 inches of mud on them. Sure, 4x4 is an absolute must, but it sure does make like easier.

Anyhow. My hope is that you see how much I DO need a 4x4. And still my dad thinks I don’t. You an imagine my disgust when I see Escalades and Excursions and even S-10 blazers, Explorers, and Pathfinders and what ever else. I just want to drag those people out of those cars and bitch slap them.

Anyway. My point? I wouldn’t give up my “back woods” life for anything. If I do run out of milk (or bear) the nearest convenience store is mom and pop owned, never been robbed, doesn’t have bars on the windows and is about a 10 minute walk away. Or if I’m feeling lazy I can drive to it. In that case its about 10 seconds from the bottom of my road. About a minute and a half total driving time both ways. That’s WITH traffic. If I’m feeling daring I can zip down there on my 4wheeler (hopefully no state troopers on the road). My dad on the other hand has about a 20 minute drive down a dirty dusty road to get to the nearest store and about 45 minutes to get to the nearest suburbs and about an hour and a half to get o the nearest city. He’s nearly on oaky in MY book. Lol.

Anyway. I’m rambling. My point wasn’t to talk about SUV’s or gas guzzling trucks. Its to talk about the city. I hate it. Bottom line. The smog, the traffic, the congestion, the bustle, the streets. Its sickening. I would never give up my way of life.

I dread the days I have to go to the city. I look out my window and see trees. I can barley see my next door neighbor throw the dens foliage. Even that is to close. We had some trailer trash monkeys park a camp trailer next to our fence recently. It’s a disgusting blight on the landscape. I cant imagine how you (or anyone in a city) can live like that. Never mind everything else. How do you deal with the Closter phobia factor? I’m not talking about trailers parked agents your fence. I’m talking about the concrete jungle you live in. Where’s your privacy? Don’t you just want to be able to look out your window sometimes and see something other then a building? It almost makes me want to cry to think people have to live like that. You don’t get to wakeup with the sun and see the dew on the ground and hear the birds sing. You don’t get to see the sun set behind a tree topped mountain. I feel sorry for you. It makes me sad to think that people live and die in city’s and never get to see the beauty I live with every day. My once a month business trips into the San Francisco bay area levees me with a disgusting, bitter taste in my mouth. It makes me resent the city and feel sorry for the people trapped in it. Connivance be dammed. I will give up a Best Buy or a shopping mall 20 minutes away if it means the only cement I’m going to see when I walk out side is my patio.

To hell with your city’s and your mile-high buildings and your concrete jungles of super highways and office buildings. I will wake up to trees any day.

Sorry for the rant...

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Anyhow. My hope is that you see how much I DO need a 4x4. And still my dad thinks I don’t. You an imagine my disgust when I see Escalades and Excursions and even S-10 blazers, Explorers, and Pathfinders and what ever else. I just want to drag those people out of those cars and bitch slap them.

Of course I do, and I even said that the people who really need them are not the problem. That's a very small percentage of drivers, and a really small impact on the environment from the lousy gas mileage. People like you owning 4x4s are not the problem. It's all the stupid yuppies who commute 60 miles to work each way in them and pollute the air in the city I live who are the big problem. I frequently feel like giving them all a good smacking as well, and a nice kick in the butt.

I cant imagine how you (or anyone in a city) can live like that. Never mind everything else. How do you deal with the Closter phobia factor? I’m not talking about trailers parked agents your fence. I’m talking about the concrete jungle you live in. Where’s your privacy? Don’t you just want to be able to look out your window sometimes and see something other then a building? It almost makes me want to cry to think people have to live like that. You don’t get to wakeup with the sun and see the dew on the ground and hear the birds sing. You don’t get to see the sun set behind a tree topped mountain. I feel sorry for you. It makes me sad to think that people live and die in city’s and never get to see the beauty I live with every day. My once a month business trips into the San Francisco bay area levees me with a disgusting, bitter taste in my mouth. It makes me resent the city and feel sorry for the people trapped in it. Connivance be dammed. I will give up a Best Buy or a shopping mall 20 minutes away if it means the only cement I’m going to see when I walk out side is my patio.

I recall saying that living in a truly rural area like where you are might be something I would want to do. It's the suburbs that I hate. They're even more artificial than the cities with less of the convenience. If I ever left the big city, it would be for a place like where you are. I would just come into civilization once a year to get supplies, and live off the land as much as practical.

Rather than defend my way of life I'll point out that I do see trees, I see sunsets, I see the birds singing outside my bedroom window each day, I grow vegetables, I generally enjoy my way of life. I have something of nature but also have the convenience of walking to the store, taking a train 30 minutes into Manhattan, not having to own a car. I might be compelled to give these things up for a life like you mentioned, but as for suburbia, that's a way of life I would never adjust to.

New York City, the outer boroughs in particular, do not resemble the maze of concrete ribbons that largely constitute cities on the West coast like San Francisco, or even worse Los Angeles. These "cities" to me seem more like extended suburbs with some large buildings and sidewalks thrown in. A city like Dallas seems like a bunch of malls connected by freeways. New York is organic. We have neighborhoods, greenery, history. Sadly in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s some but not all of the fabric of the city was destroyed when an urban terrorist named Robert Moses saw fit to bisect neighborhoods in the city with unneeded(at least for urban residents), ugly highways. Thankfully he was stopped before he could run one down the middle of Manhattan. Other East coast cities like Boston and Philadelphia are quite a bit more organic than the horror shows over on the other side of the country. While nobody here will ever have 1000 acres, or not be able to see your neighbor's window, we do have a way of life that can be as satisfying as the life you describe. If I feel trapped here, it is more by annoyances like pollution and noise from airplanes. I also feel in time technology will eliminate both, and cities will be that much more liveable. Take heart, we urban dwellers cherish our green spaces as much as you do. It's only now that more people are finally realizing you can't just have concrete canyons.

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Lots of stereotypes are flying around here.....

"Cities are dirty..." "Anyone who has an SUV in the city is a poser....." "Suburbs suck...."

Cites ARE efficient. Lots of people close to one another. Culture. Proximity to fine arts and business. Undeniable.

Suburbs provide proximity to the culture of the city (I'm a 35 minute train ride into manhattan) without the noise, congestion and generally high prices of the city.

Living in the country has its benefits.... Massive expanses of cheap space.... etc.

Anyone who has owned a sports car in a highly urban area like Manhattan with it's horribly maintained roads with their terrible potholes and 1 inch steel plates every 1000 meters knows that a messed up suspension and ruined rims are a fact of life. Heavy winter snow in Manhattan or any northeastern city are a fact of life.

SUVs ride easily over the potholes and steel plates of the city, and ensure that one gets to work in a snow storm. Even the suburban city I live in takes it's maintenance cues from Manhattan when it comes to the roads. I-95 in Fairfield county Connecticut is among the most highly congested and construction stricken strips of highway in the country. Shaved pavement with potholes and 12" of snow are a fact of life.

While I opt to live .5 miles from work and walk when it snows, not everyone lives so close and SUVs are a very effective way to travel in uncertain terrain.

Freedom is about choice and many people like the freedom and security of SUVs. I despise the blanket characterizations that are bantered around here calling SUVs cars that are the choice of yuppies and wannabe posers. I could just as easily call country bumpkins people who are too afraid to cut it in the city, but I wouldn't do that now would I :)

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Suburbs provide proximity to the culture of the city (I'm a 35 minute train ride into manhattan) without the noise, congestion and generally high prices of the city.

EXACTLY! I'm not sure why jtr misses the obvious: many people like cities (or at least many of the conveniences and benefits of them), but don't actually want to live there. Suburbs are the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too.

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Here's why I don't like suburbs:

1)They all look the same. I've been to Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, upstate New York. These places don't look a whole lot different from each each other. They're basically roads, mostly shingle single family homes, malls, industrial parks, trees, and lawns. There is no sense of place. You can drive for literally hours and feel you're still in the same spot. This is unlike cities, which all look very different, have their own personalities, and their own neighborhoods. Drop me almost anywhere in New York City and I'll know where I am within seconds just by looking at landmarks. I can't say the same for suburbs. Put me on Long Island and I might as well be in a suburb of Chicago. Maybe in warmer places the oaks and maples are replaced by palm trees but the same lack of sense of place holds. You may not be bothered living somewhere like that, I am.

2)No sidewalks for the most part, and unless you're lucky to be near a shopping center you need to drive literally everywhere. Besides preventing you from getting exercise in the course of running errands, you absolutely need to own a car. This is a very expensive proposition. If I didn't work at home, it would cost me exactly $833.33 annually to get to work(assuming the usual 5-day work week and 50 weeks/year). If I go out on my days off, I can buy a monthly pass for $70, and pay just $840 annually for work and recreational travel. Just the insurance on a car in many places will run you more than that, to say nothing of gas, tolls, repairs, or the price of the car itself. I couldn't imagine working and spending 20% or more of my take home pay just on transportation. Besides that, cars are subject to the whims of traffic, and aren't the safest or fastest way to get around either. I also get car sick on any trip over a few minutes, which pretty much leaves the suburbs out for me. SC may be a 35-minute train ride(about the same as me) from Manhattan, but I guarantee you most suburban dwellers aren't so conveniently located. And I guarantee that he won't pay $3.33 round trip like I will, either.

3)Housing isn't that much cheaper than the city in many suburbs. My sister's house near exit 68 on the LIE is worth about $300,000. The house I'm living in is probably worth $425,000(we paid $52,000 for it in 1978). Her taxes are $5,000, ours are around half that. The difference in taxes combined with the car expenses already more than offsets the extra mortgage payments to buy a house in the city. Add to that the fact that jobs here pay more and you're way ahead. Everything else except housing in NYC costs less than in the suburbs thanks to competition. I generally spend under $300 a year on clothes by buying at sales, for example. Food? No contest, and the variety of take out here is staggering if you don't feel like cooking. Sure my sister has 3/4 of an acre while we have 1/10, but unless you plan to grow your own food, or are really into gardening, I just don't see any rationale behind needing that much land. The usual "for the kids to play" doesn't wash, either. We have plenty of parks and playgrounds. Much better. Your kid socializes with other kids, and burns calories walking or biking to the park. Also, they can travel independently at an earlier age thanks to the subway. I started going by myself on the trains at 13. No 13 year old in the suburbs has that freedom, or for that matter can see the things I've seen in my life here. Wonderful things, sometimes terrible things, but always changing, always alive.

4)Suburbs are a very wasteful way of living in terms of land per person. While the US is large enough and currently sparsely populated enough that this isn't too environmentally damaging to the planet as a whole I worry should the remaining 6 billion people on the planet choose to emulate us.

5)While I frankly don't care if suburban dwellers who remain in the suburbs use wasteful vehicles like SUVs, if they need to come into NYC please take the railroad. There is zero reason to drive to Manhattan and pollute where I live with junk from auto exhaust. There is even less reason why neighborhoods had to be ruined with highways which don't benefit city dwellers at all. In a nutshell, too many suburban dwellers love to run to their nice clean sterile towns while they dump their trash and buy their drugs in the cities. After all, who cares if you destroy some vibrant, functioning neighborhoods with highways and auto exhaust if it means you can get through the "dirty" city 5 minutes faster. Yes, this mentality exists. A few years ago the residents of Queens successfully defeated a proposal to add lanes to the LIE within city limits. The resulting construction would have caused some to lose their homes, and saved an average of one minute for those driving back to Long Island. At least until more people started taking their cars and we were back to square one. These morons have a very nice railroad which takes them into the city very fast(at up to 100 mph IIRC) and fairly cheaply. More people should be encouraged to use it. I would even go so far as to put toll gates at city limits and charge a $25 toll to enter the city during rush hours(with a much smaller or no toll during other times).

On a final note, one big problem of our time is all the people who want to "have their cake and eat it too". There is no such animal. Everything has it's consequences. When somebody gains someone else invariably loses. The move to suburbia exacted a huge price on those who couldn't or wouldn't leave the cities. Maybe you're not aware of how high a price your and SCs way of life has taken on us city dwellers. Now you are. On a global scale, the way of life in the US and other nations has taken a huge toll on those countries not powerful enough to stand their ground. Maybe I'm more empathetic than most. If I know I'm doing something that hurts someone I won't do it any more(hence the reason I would never drive anything except a zero emission vehicle). We would do well if more people would care about the consequences of their actions. The "so long as I get mine I don't give a sh*t mentality" has got to stop.

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1)They all look the same. ...

If you were just as familiar with the suburbs as you are with NYC, I can assure you, you would definately be able to distinguish the different neighborhoods very easily. And they certainly don't all look the same. Within five miles of where I live, there's everything from very poor neighborhoods to middle class homes to multi-million dollar mansions. There's small neighborhood family owned businesses to malls to large multi-national corporations.

2)No sidewalks for the most part, and unless you're lucky to be near a shopping center you need to drive literally everywhere.

Every street in my town has sidewalks. You don't need to drive everywhere, and I could walk to the supermarket if I wanted to, but I would have to go every few days. With a car, I only have to go every two or three weeks. I also have the freedom to go where ever I want whenever I want, without having to be stuck to a bus or train schedule.

Everything else except housing in NYC costs less than in the suburbs thanks to competition.

So that's why half the cars in North Jersey malls have NY license plates on them. ;)

Sure my sister has 3/4 of an acre while we have 1/10, but unless you plan to grow your own food, or are really into gardening, I just don't see any rationale behind needing that much land. The usual "for the kids to play" doesn't wash, either. We have plenty of parks and playgrounds. Much better. Your kid socializes with other kids, and burns calories walking or biking to the park. Also, they can travel independently at an earlier age thanks to the subway. I started going by myself on the trains at 13. No 13 year old in the suburbs has that freedom, or for that matter can see the things I've seen in my life here. Wonderful things, sometimes terrible things, but always changing, always alive.

I'm very glad the house I grew up in had a decent size yard (1/2 acre). It's nice to have some place to play with just your friends, and it let me stay outside later (there are curfews at the parks in town). And it didn't stop be from biking, or going to the parks to play baseball. As for 13 years old not being able to get around, it certainly doesn't stop them from getting to the movies or the mall, around here.

After all, who cares if you destroy some vibrant, functioning neighborhoods with highways and auto exhaust if it means you can get through the "dirty" city 5 minutes faster.

After all, who cares if NYC trucks its garbage through some vibrant, functioning NJ neighborhood if it means the city doesn't have to deal with the garbage it generates. :)

These morons have a very nice railroad which takes them into the city very fast(at up to 100 mph IIRC) and fairly cheaply. More people should be encouraged to use it.

The LIRR doesn't go anywhere near 100MPH. It take my uncle longer to take the train than it does to drive to/from the city.

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Every street in my town has sidewalks. You don't need to drive everywhere, and I could walk to the supermarket if I wanted to, but I would have to go every few days. With a car, I only have to go every two or three weeks. I also have the freedom to go where ever I want whenever I want, without having to be stuck to a bus or train schedule.

IIRC you live no farther from Manhattan than I do. The parts of New Jersey within about 10 miles of Manhattan are very similar to Queens, where I live. I wouldn't call where you are a suburb any more than I would call where I live one. I have a friend who lives in a nice town about 17 miles from Manhattan. Everything within walking distance, including the train which takes maybe 30 minutes to midtown. Also, I could have car here, too. It may buy some freedom, but at a rather steep cost which I can't afford anyway.

So that's why half the cars in North Jersey malls have NY license plates on them.

Blame the City Council for that. They repealed the sales tax on clothing a few years ago and then brought it back this year to allegedly balance the budget. When we go back to no sales tax on clothes next year, you should see far fewer cars with New York plates.

After all, who cares if NYC trucks its garbage through some vibrant, functioning NJ neighborhood if it means the city doesn't have to deal with the garbage it generates.

Again, blame the City Council for that. We should ship our garbage by rail to any place that can recycle most of it. The Japanese actually make bricks from garbage. Also, generating less garbage is a good start. Things nowadays are grossly overpackaged.

The LIRR doesn't go anywhere near 100MPH. It take my uncle longer to take the train than it does to drive to/from the city.

The M1 and M3 cars are permitted to go 100 mph, and they've been tested to 110 mph. Most of the time they don't get near that because station stops are too closely spaced, but they usually get to at least 70 or 80. I normally see them go past the Woodside station at 70 or 80, and the Forest Hills station at 90+. Same as the NJ Transit Arrows I used to ride. The only place they reached 100 was on the 15.8 mile run between New Brunswick and Princeton Junction, but they did hit 80 or 90 alot of times in the run.

BTW, are you comparing trip times during peak or off-peak hours? And is that just to go into Queens or all the way into Manhattan? Sure driving is faster off-peak if the roads are clear, but rush hours the train wins hands down. The few times I've been in a car to/from Manhattan during rush hours it's taken me at least an hour to make the 10 mile trip. Even the subway with delays can beat that. Heck, I can beat that on my bicycle. I also have a little difficulty believing that it usually takes you 90 minutes to go 75 miles to your aunt's house through midtown and on the LIE as you said in the other thread. That's an average speed of 50 mph on a route that includes two tunnels, some local streets with a 30 mph limit, and of course the LIE. Maybe you're unusually lucky. I just have trouble believing that someone could do that most of the time. Maybe once in a while when you hit everything just right, but most of the time? ;) My brother's done the 270 miles from my late grandmother's house in Rome, NY in three hours a few times, but 4 to 5 was the norm even leaving late at night. You almost always encounter traffic or road construction somewhere in New York these days. I'm six blocks from the LIE and the side going to Manhattan AM or from Manhattan PM rarely goes more than 30 mph during the peak hours. I know-I frequently go faster on the service road on my bike. :P Kind of funny if you think about it. :D

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jtr1962, you have many great ideas of how to make your city, community, county, state, country better... but all these need strong incentives or even laws (as in Germany regarding recycling) to succeed.

Start giving small amounts of tax deductions or free-parking cards for those who for example separate their garbage (paper, glass, aluminium, etc.) or have ultra-low emissions in their cars or use public means of transportation, etc... and prolly some positive moves would be registered. Or even start giving fines for those who are on the opposite bank (over-polluting).

The means to do it are many, but it needs a confident politician to enact these measures cause it would be unpopular in the beginning.

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Prof, everywhere I have lived in America for the past 10 years has had recycling laws, and recycling was optional (but available) prior to that.

That's a good idea, though. It would be very nice to provide incentives to those who are more environmentally conscious. Perhaps a tax credit to homes that use less than a certain amount of energy per square foot, tax writeoffs for ULEV and using public transit, etc. There is a concept in a number of places called a HOV lane on our highways, and it is (supposed to be) reserved for those vehicles with multiple occupants. This is supposed to encourage carpooling among commuters.

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There is a concept in a number of places called a HOV lane on our highways, and it is (supposed to be) reserved for those vehicles with multiple occupants.  This is supposed to encourage carpooling among commuters.

When I was in California two years ago, one lane was supposed to be for "carpools only". It was really good, but I was seeing many cars that weren't supposed to be there.

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IIRC you live no farther from Manhattan than I do. The parts of New Jersey within about 10 miles of Manhattan are very similar to Queens, where I live. I wouldn't call where you are a suburb any more than I would call where I live one. I have a friend who lives in a nice town about 17 miles from Manhattan. Everything within walking distance, including the train which takes maybe 30 minutes to midtown. Also, I could have car here, too. It may buy some freedom, but at a rather steep cost which I can't afford anyway.

Yep, we're about the same distance away. If fits the definition of a surburb, and it certainly doesn't feel like part of the city.

BTW, are you comparing trip times during peak or off-peak hours? And is that just to go into Queens or all the way into Manhattan? Sure driving is faster off-peak if the roads are clear, but rush hours the train wins hands down.

It's total time into midtown. To be fair, he does leave earlier than the peak rush hour, but it's still during normal commuting times.

I also have a little difficulty believing that it usually takes you 90 minutes to go 75 miles to your aunt's house through midtown and on the LIE as you said in the other thread. That's an average speed of 50 mph on a route that includes two tunnels, some local streets with a 30 mph limit, and of course the LIE. Maybe you're unusually lucky. I just have trouble believing that someone could do that most of the time. Maybe once in a while when you hit everything just right, but most of the time?

It's only 2 miles from the Lincoln to the Midtown, so it actually doesn't take that long to get cross-town, and EZ-Pass has cut down on the time it takes for the tolls. Maybe I have been very lucky all those times, however the part of the LIE you're seeing is the busiest, but it's only a small part of the highway, and once past that it usually goes smoothly. On the Cross-Bronx, on the other hand, I have been stuck in traffic far more often, sometimes for hours, and I would consider that the worst highway in the area.

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There is a concept in a number of places called a HOV lane on our highways, and it is (supposed to be) reserved for those vehicles with multiple occupants.  This is supposed to encourage carpooling among commuters.

When I was in California two years ago, one lane was supposed to be for "carpools only". It was really good, but I was seeing many cars that weren't supposed to be there.

HOV lanes turned out to be a disaster when they tried them here, and they actually increased commuting time, and the expected traffic decrease didn't come at all. When they finally removed them about five years ago, commuting times decreased. The only HOV lane that actually works around here is the bus-only lane that heads into the Lincoln Tunnel during rush hour, since there are hundreds, if not thousands, of buses that pass through there every morning.

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Yep, we're about the same distance away. If fits the definition of a surburb, and it certainly doesn't feel like part of the city.

Interesting. My aunt lives in Cresskill, which is probably not much further than me from Manhattan. That certainly feels like the suburbs. However, alot of NJ less than 15 miles from Manhattan looks and feels like Queens.

On the Cross-Bronx, on the other hand, I have been stuck in traffic far more often, sometimes for hours, and I would consider that the worst highway in the area.

Thanks for reminding me. I don't travel on the Cross-Bronx very much, but it is a nightmare. :ph34r: Worse than the LIE most of the time.

The only HOV lane that actually works around here is the bus-only lane that heads into the Lincoln Tunnel during rush hour, since there are hundreds, if not thousands, of buses that pass through there every morning.

I think thousands. The buses basically run practically bumper to bumper for a few hours straight going to Manhattan AM/from Manhattan PM. The bus lane usually moves pretty decently even when the rest of the road is jammed.

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jtr1962, you have many great ideas of how to make your city, community, county, state, country better... but all these need strong incentives or even laws (as in Germany regarding recycling) to succeed.

Start giving small amounts of tax deductions or free-parking cards for those who for example separate their garbage (paper, glass, aluminium, etc.) or have ultra-low emissions in their cars or use public means of transportation, etc... and prolly some positive moves would be registered. Or even start giving fines for those who are on the opposite bank (over-polluting).

The means to do it are many, but it needs a confident politician to enact these measures cause it would be unpopular in the beginning.

Thanks for the compliments, Prof, although I certainly don't have a monopoly on good ideas around here.

I've always favored the carrot and stick approach. For example, incentives for drivers of ZEV and ULEV are a good start. I also favor a $5 or so per gallon gas tax, phased in over a number of years so as to prevent any shock to the economy, and allow automakers time to get their most fuel efficient vehicles on the road in large numbers. I would allow exemptions from the tax for vehicles like heavy trucks and buses which are probably already as fuel efficient as they can be, and maybe a partial exemption for some offroad vehicles if the user can prove they really need those vehicles to run a business or survive. However, the majority of people currently driving SUVs and the like would not by any stretch of the imagination be permitted exemptions. While they wouldn't be outlawed, I tend to think that driving a 10 to 12 mpg vehicle when gas costs upwards of $6/gallon with the gas tax would be a rather expensive proposition. Thus, the free market would eventually cause most SUVs to be replaced with more sensible vehicles.

I've always seen one obstacle to many of my ideas. They would be hugely unpopular, at least in the beginning. After their effects(like much cleaner air) were felt, undoubtably they would be more popular. For example, as much as we need a gas tax like I mentioned, it probably has next to zero chance of being passed. A few in Congress are receptive to the idea, but unfortunately big oil owns the legislature lock, stock, and barrel(pun intended).

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The problem with gas taxes, is that they're inflationary. Most products come to market on truck, anything that makes getting goods to market more expensive is bad for the economy... Its hardest on the poeple at the bottom of the economic totem pole.

Gas Tax = bad... Perhaps a 'property' tax on gas guzzeler luxury cars would be better... (leave poor poeple alone, and leave commercial operators alone, (taxi drivers and delivery drivers))

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The thing is that I specifically said I would exempt heavy trucks and buses from the gas tax. These are the vehicles that are mainly used for delivery, and I realize that for the most part they're already as efficient as they can be. I would probably also give incentives to convert large vehicles to LNG right away since it's far less polluting, and to fuel cells long term. I would replace bus routes that haven't changed in decades with electrified light rail vehicles(LRVs). While flexibility of bus routes is one thing frequently touted by those pushing buses over LRVs, fact is most routes haven't changed much in decades. I'm all for laying rail along all the main arteries of most big cities which will allow changing routes at will by switching tracks. Besides the fact that LRVs are zero emissions, they can move much faster than buses when a portion of their route is separated from auto traffic. The costs of laying the rail and electrification would be offset by the cheaper operating costs of the LRVs. As for taxis and livery drivers, no reason here why they can't adopt fuel efficient vehicles. You don't see many SUVs as taxis anyway because of the high fuel consumption and poor safety record.

A luxury tax was already tried and it ended up hurting the people who built the luxury vehicles. Besides, unless the tax is really steep(like $30,000 per vehicle) I just don't see that it would decrease demand for vehicles like SUVs. Many would galdly fork over a few thousand extra to buy these gas guzzlers. Evidently they have money to burn(literally) since their gas bills don't seem to discourage many now. Even at $1.50 per gallon, driving 2000 miles a month in a 12 mpg vehicle vs a 75 mpg vehicle costs $2520 extra annually, or about $4000 in pre-tax income. I don't know about you, but most people I know consider that amount of money to be very significant. However, SUV owners evidently don't care about paying at least $15000 extra in gas over the life of their vehicle. Hence, a gas guzzler tax might only work if it was in the tens of thousands of dollars.

A gas tax is a win-win situation. You use less oil, hence less pollution. You generate revenue which can both reduce budget deficits and pay for more public transportation(something too much of the US is sorely lacking in) which will get yet more cars off the roads. You create jobs developing and building fuel efficient vehicles and alternative power sources. Finally, you no longer need to import foreign oil, or to send troops to places like Iraq to insure that US interests there are met. Once we don't need OPEC oil, we have no interests at all in what goes on in that region. This equates to billions saved on the armed forces monthly.

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