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Wizened Variations Apr 17, 2011 9:40 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaW7TFvZPNE (New Jersey electric powered double decker


This is a run through at approximately 70 mph.

This type of speed is barely world class, but in the case of the DIA line, appropriate.

BG918 Apr 17, 2011 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5242561)
Hey, cool! I felt the need to stitch them together.

http://beyonddc.com/nonweb/Denver-stitched.jpg

Very nice. I can already see the infill buildings in my mind. Is this the nation's largest built-from-scratch downtown TOD? It is an awesome project and hope I can one day be a part of it by either working on the project itself and/or living there.

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 12:08 AM

Most downtowns were themselves built-from-scratch TODs.

Fritzdude Apr 18, 2011 6:08 AM

Has anyone read up on the concept of an elevated maglev propulsion system that moves people around in light-weight pods rather than trains? It's really a brilliant idea and one that would cost a fraction of the cost of light rail or highway construction. Plus, it would be able to zoom people around at over 100 mph without having to stop at intermediate stations. Not to mention, maintenance costs would be minimal considering there are no moving parts. As for electrical requirements, pods would need the same amount of power as "two hair dryers".

I've been reading a couple of articles and instantly thought about our continous debates about transit options into the mountains. Imagine a system of metal poles, basically the same dimensions as those hanging traffic lights, positioned 100 ft apart all the way along I-70, riding 30 feet above traffic. When people want to disembark, they simply chose an electronic option and the pod veers off at the requested decline ramp. Think how packages fly through a UPS Logistical Center. Then, when new passengers get on, the computer provides the necessary propulsion to integrate the pod back on the main rail. All the passengers have to do is choose their destination and the computer does the rest.

This would be great for skiers since it's basically a modern take on a gondola, albeit one that can move at high velocity. All the mountain towns could have their own station and there wouldn't be any need for right away concerns for property rights or crossing mechanisms, since whenever pods crossed paths, it would be done at separate elevations.

How cool would it be to 25,000 pods, each containing 2-4 people, roaming silently through the mountain corridors, flying along much faster than traffic at 30 ft in the air (though not directly overhead, but along the median so as not to be a distraction.)

The costs per passenger mile is reasonable and it gives riders incredible
autonomy. Meanwhile, whenever there is extra capacity, pods would simply sit idle in stations and energy is conserved. To read more, read the following link or google airtran maglev.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...c-transporter/

http://www.skytran.net/phpsite/home/home.html

Cirrus Apr 18, 2011 6:55 AM

PRT is stupid and doesn't work. It combines the efficiency of cars with the convenience of transit, which is to say it's neither efficient nor convenient. And no matter what fuzzy math PRT people use to try and sell the idea, it would cost absolutely massive amounts of money to duplicate the existing street network with a new elevated version.

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 1:33 PM

How does PRT manage to rear its strange-looking head every 5 or 10 years or so? Is it because it's so perfectly amenable to a sci-fi blade runner image of the future that it makes for good TV and dramatic magazine articles?

The classic, head scratching retort to PRT advocates is "we have personal rapid transportation, they're called CARS!"

Now admittedly, back in the day, that wasn't a very satisfying answer, because there are plenty of people who can't drive for one reason or another. But today, its easy to see that technology is going to render traditional-PRT obsolete. We're not that far from self-navigating cars anymore. Isn't that all a PRT is? A fixed route car that drives itself (except, publically funded)? And the notion of elevating this and that is absurd... We don't elevate our trains and highways unless we absolutely have to (but we could, and we could improve both in doing so), so why would be suddenly come in and build an elevated pod conveyor?

PRT's roots are in people who want to ride transit (to avoid traffic) but who don't want to mingle with "those people.". But again, we already have a technology that services that market segment - the SUV.

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 2:00 PM

By the way, their claims that you can so this on a standard utility pole are flat wrong. Ever seen a ski lift on an 8-inch pole?

That website strikes me as a college project, absent the real world headaches that make this stuff difficult. Elevated 8-feet? Double that unless you want to get creamed by a semi truck.

Brainpathology Apr 18, 2011 2:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5245517)
PRT's roots are in people who want to ride transit (to avoid traffic) but who don't want to mingle with "those people.". But again, we already have a technology that services that market segment - the SUV.

That's a majority of the population. Probably a super-majority.

I'm sorta disappointed and confused at the two responses so far. Actually, you don't need the "sorta". It's not like Fritzdude is a poster with a history of nonsensical manure all over the board. And yet this is dismissed with nearly mocking?

I've never heard of this mode before but both the links seem pretty compelling. At the very least, for those of us who are either "stupid" or haven't had much experience with transit options (not sure what category I fall into since I found both links quite interesting) could you guys provide something similar? Or maybe briefly why at 10mil a mile (or why it isnt' that cheap), no new right of way, and might appeal to the exact demographic we all seem to resent because they DO want their own space isn't what this is actually delivering?

I mean just because it might get racists and people who hate homeless off the road isn't a reason not to get them off the road is it?

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 2:18 PM

We're not attacking Fritzdude at all, sorry. You'd have to know the background and history on PRT I suppose to understand the visceral negative responses. These people are the enemy. PRT has been cleverly anti-transit from its inception. This isn't new...it's been around for decades, although it appears to be greenwashed now because that's the rage today. But it's a distraction and always has been. Read that page, it doesn't even pass the smell test. Cheap, low energy, fast, easy, beats traffic... You know, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But these silver bullets have been used to attack "yesterday's technology" (like streetcars) for decades.

DenverInfill Apr 18, 2011 2:32 PM

Sounds like people on this forum are not familiar with their RTD history. In 1973, metro Denver residents approved a sales tax of 0.5% to RTD to build a PRT system in Denver. The project was obviously never built and, consequently, caused skepticism in a lot of people when RTD started talking about wanting to build light rail in the 1980s.

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 2:34 PM

To give you guys a little history, here's the 1973 Public Transportation Plan adopted by RTD (its first, I believe). It was a PRT plan, and utilized vehicles almost identical to those posted in the links, minus the maglev part. Operationally, it never worked. The 1976 study tried again, with a slightly different form of PRT (rebranded 'ART' - automated rapid transit). This fad was a major distraction until 1978, when RTD moved on to study conventional old-school diesel commuter rail. This is not new.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...s/scan0002.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...s/scan0003.jpg

EDIT: Nice, Ken, we posted at the same time again. :)

Brainpathology Apr 18, 2011 2:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5245546)
We're not attacking Fritzdude at all, sorry. You'd have to know the background and history on PRT I suppose to understand the visceral negative responses. These people are the enemy. PRT has been cleverly anti-transit from its inception. This isn't new...it's been around for decades, although it appears to be greenwashed now because that's the rage today. But it's a distraction and always has been. Read that page, it doesn't even pass the smell test. Cheap, low energy, fast, easy, beats traffic... You know, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But these silver bullets have been used to attack "yesterday's technology" (like streetcars) for decades.

Yeah I don't know the history at all.. so it was surprising. It probably doesn't pass the smell test to you but plenty of things that don't pass my smell test in medicine get traction too. It doesn't usually help my case any when my first reaction to non-doctors is looking like I just swallowed bile is all. I don't know how many times I'm going to have to explain why vaccines are good for the rest of my career, certainly not 0. But I still have to, just because some celebrity with a pretty face (and I'm fully aware both of those links may just be "pretty faces") decided her kid got autism from them.

And that's not to say I'm not confident both you and Cirrus are right. But if you could give me the link to a playboy centerfold telling me these suck your case would be done right there! (k fine playgirl for me, playboy for everyone else)

Brainpathology Apr 18, 2011 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5245570)
To give you guys a little history, here's the 1973 Public Transportation Plan adopted by RTD (its first, I believe). It was a PRT plan, and utilized vehicles almost identical to those posted in the links, minus the maglev part. Operationally, it never worked. The 1976 study tried again, with a slightly different form of PRT (rebranded 'ART' - automated rapid transit). This fad was a major distraction until 1978, when RTD moved on to study conventional old-school diesel commuter rail. This is not new.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...s/scan0002.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...s/scan0003.jpg

EDIT: Nice, Ken, we posted at the same time again. :)

HAHA fun... that does help. And obviously I'm not familiar with all of Denver's transit history :)

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brainpathology (Post 5245571)
I don't know how many times I'm going to have to explain why vaccines are good for the rest of my career, certainly not 0. But I still have to, just because some celebrity with a pretty face (and I'm fully aware both of those links may just be "pretty faces") decided her kid got autism from them.

Don't vaccines cause autism? I mean, Chicken Pox didn't kill me, why should I give my kid a dangerous vaccine? ;)

bunt_q Apr 18, 2011 2:40 PM

To be fair to whoever's website that is, the low energy innovative maglev stuff is not something I know anything about. But if they've figured that out for PRT, little 12-man pods, why couldn't that technology be adapted to power more traditional trainsets (light rail/streetcars) that we know work, or even our cars, for that matter? It's the energy savings and low cost we want. So dump the PRT, and adapt it to a more operations-friendly model.

glowrock Apr 18, 2011 2:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brainpathology (Post 5245574)
HAHA fun... that does help. And obviously I'm not familiar with all of Denver's transit history :)

Don't worry, that was a new one for me as well! Damn, look at those Year 2000 ridership projections! :banana:

Aaron (Glowrock)

EngiNerd Apr 18, 2011 3:15 PM

Regarding PRT, like Bunt said, our cars will be to that level eventually, self navigating for the morning and afternoon grind, automatic distance sensing (think the auto cruise control, but everyone has it), etc. Why would you need to build a complete new infrastructure, when it would be relatively easy to adapt the existing infrastructure and vehicles to accomplish the same thing?

BG918 Apr 18, 2011 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5245101)
Most downtowns were themselves built-from-scratch TODs.

Right, and it's great to see that focus has returned. I know NYC has the WTC transit center and SF has the Transbay, both of which are larger than DUS, are there any other U.S. cities doing anything on the same scale?

Brainpathology Apr 18, 2011 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EngiNerd (Post 5245634)
Regarding PRT, like Bunt said, our cars will be to that level eventually, self navigating for the morning and afternoon grind, automatic distance sensing (think the auto cruise control, but everyone has it), etc. Why would you need to build a complete new infrastructure, when it would be relatively easy to adapt the existing infrastructure and vehicles to accomplish the same thing?

Well I would think the disadvantage would be the fuel.. it would be great if we could adapt cars to run like this. But if they have this other system (not saying they do) that can do the same for less energy it would be nice. That's what the hook was for me when I first read it. Less energy, more people. I don't really care if it's the same as cars. And what if it could be adapted so that you COULD purchase your own pod which is stored by the city or entity at a pick-up point.

Not saying its practical, not saying it will happen or could. But the idea does have "tempting" merit. But that's why I'm here... I know as much about the history and practical use of transportation and planning as I know about how to build a planet from scratch. So hearing why it doesn't work or hasn't in the past is nice.

Brainpathology Apr 18, 2011 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5245576)
Don't vaccines cause autism? I mean, Chicken Pox didn't kill me, why should I give my kid a dangerous vaccine? ;)

HAHAHA...

The thing is.. and I may have said this before. Even if we were to concede that vaccines cause autism at the maximum rate that the most fraudulent British physician could imagine; that rate would still be WAY WAY lower than the amount of deaths we would prevent if we stopped vaccinating.

The fact that the evidence overwhelmingly says that they don't makes the arguments you see even more incredible. I mean it took career ending fraud and a retraction from a large scientific journal (a journal actually outright retracting something and apologizing is about on the order of the Catholic Church admitting their priests like diddling children) to establish even a tenuous association between autism and vaccines.

So yeah.. I TOTALLY understand a visceral revulsion at something that to someone without any expertise in an area seems plausible.


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