I’ve long argued that when planning mass transit, the most important thing to many people — especially those who have the option to drive — is to make sure that mass transit is competitive time-wise with the car. That’s why I encourage all transit planners to read Lina Chung’s opinion piece in the Daily Bruin about the proposed Wilshire bus lanes.
Chung supports the lanes and explains why: her two-mile bus ride and walk to UCLA was such a time-muncher — often taking 45 minutes or more — that she found carpooling was more efficient. Chung supports the bus lane project — it’s in the environmental study phase — and says it will make for more efficient commutes to campus for students. She also doesn’t buy the arguments of bus lane critics that it will worsen auto traffic on Wilshire and only provide a tiny improvement to the time that bus travel requires. The bus lanes, by the way, are being designed for use during the rush hours and not at all times.
I got a hoot out of Wired’s piece on “road trains” — when cars with common destinations come together nose-to-end and travel together on freeways. The lead car controls the ones behind it using high-tech gizmos. I laughed because, well, let’s just say I’m extremely skeptical this can be done without causing NASCAR-style pileups.
There are, however, some interesting developments in the car-to-car communications world. The New York Times’ Wheels blog looks at a device that warns subscribers of places where police are stationed to look for traffic violations. I wonder how much of a market there really is for such services — I’d rather know about traffic conditions.
Here’s the full list of today’s headlines, courtesy of the take-no-prisoners Metro library: