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Old 03-13-2020, 03:33 PM   #96 (permalink)
Bicycle Bob
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Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Which is more expedient: Acrylic tubes down the freeway medians, else holes drilled underground?
The tubes are certainly faster to install, especially given the number of pipes under most urban areas. But, why have a tube at all? Overall, the surface area affected by the vehicles increases, and there are pressure issues. I hope that sound could be minimized other ways.
The tube concept does embody the notion of a very light structure that could be added to a city without much demolition. It would be easy to enforce strict load limits to minimize construction cost. Heavy goods trucks would get longer overall, but that's easy to do.
One way to handle this with minimal air resistance and rolling resistance would be for everything to be smooth and uniform on the expressways. On my electric-assist velomobile, I could head down the entrance ramp at 30 MPH, matching speeds with moving lights. Coasting into what looks like a short tunnel, I would see it match speeds with me just as I got to the far end, and then brake, or let the robot time that to park on the moving floor. This would be similar to boarding an escalator, just on wheels and faster. This minimal covered flatcar would then accelerate to merge with the first passing gap in a train with a bullet nose. If no gaps were immediately available, the entrance ramp lights would slow down to stack traffic there.
There is no excuse for a land vehicle to weigh more than its average payload.
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