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Old 07-12-2008, 07:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Wow, a lot of responses so quickly! Obviously, this is a hot-button topic.

Sorry Lazarus, I did a search on 55mph and nothing came up … or else I would have resurrected that (interesting) thread instead of creating this one.

Yes, I know Bill O’Reilly is no ‘journalist’ in the truest sense (few are, in my opinion) but I often agree with his ‘propaganda’ (although on this issue I do not). At least he calls himself a ‘watchdog’ instead of a journalist … and sometimes brings up interesting things to debate. By the way, I like the way you acquitted yourself in the thread Lazarus reference above.

WebShowPro had the best post so far … and is thinking along the same lines I am. If the task was to kill a fly and the ideal weapon is a flyswatter of a certain shape and weight, the government would have us flailing away blindly with a baseball bat and call it ‘progress’ or ‘moving forward.’ Remember, these are the same idiots that gave us dumbed-down EPA numbers rather than tell the public to fix their terrible motoring habits.

Web I think some of your ideas are a bit too much to ask for (unrealistic in terms of driver training, etc …) but many are interesting and definitely appreciated. Instead of STOP signs everywhere, how about something like more YIELD signs or a hybrid of the two that allows a rolling stop? (some intersections not controlled by a light require a full and complete stop. I love the call for better (smarter) traffic lights that don’t stop the flow of traffic needlessly and cause us to idle needlessly and waste more fuel.

I feel that idling is the real MPG killer in this country … and have countless stories of morons in parking lots idling their wallet away. If we came up with a cluelessness vaccine, we could raise the national speed limit on many thruways/expressways to 75mph and still save 20% over what we are consuming now.

Speeding is selectively enforced … and if it isn’t enforced, it does no good. And enforcing it takes law enforcement resources that may be better deployed elsewhere. It’s simple, though, and I can see the politicians seizing on it … especially if it will give localities more revenue. That doesn’t make it right.

Think of all the fuel that is wasted in North America. (And the definition of that term alone would be an arguable point here) People doing stupid things like idling, harsh stop-and-go driving, running on underinflated tires then compare that number number to the difference between an average vehicle today (to say nothing of vehicles available for sale in the coming years) going 55mph vs. 65mph. It’s not exactly a drop in the bucket … but it’s not that much more than that.

The minimal, if any, gains in economy do not justify the hassle when we can (and will) do so much more through other (smarter) means.

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Old 07-12-2008, 07:47 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Talk about wasting fuel .... Do you remember the senseless campaigns of "Don't buy gas on Friday", just think of we could tell the nation to drive the speed limit for one tankful, what message that would send to the oil companies ... I wonder how much fuel we could save as a nation in one tankful if we all slowed down ... hmmm
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Hello -

I definitely want the 55 MPH limit to return, but here's a proposed compromise :

cbs5.com - Rep. Speier Proposes 60 MPH Speed Limit

On the assumption that today's passenger vehicles have better aero than the advent of the original 55 MPH limit, then maybe 60 MPH would get you closer to the same savings.

Now, enforcement is a totally different can of worms.

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Old 07-12-2008, 09:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Oh I definitely realize my proposals to improve things will never happen, for a variety of reasons. I was just hoping to lay a few things on the table to show that while a 55 MPH limit *might* help a little, that there are a whole lot of other things, big and small that will help even more.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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if you want to reduce traffic congestion and improve fuel economy you don't need a 55mph speed limit. You need to reduce the size of the cars and increase the speed of traffic. Its the only way.
Quote:
Fifteen years ago, I went to Japan, sat in a traffic jam for a fortnight and came home again, a bit worried that this festering, superheated example of unrestrained car ownership would one day spread right round the world, causing everyone to think Ken Livingstone might have had a point.

The traffic did not crawl. It did not move at all. The only way you could garner even half an idea of what it might be like to be stationary for so long is to blow your head off. Tokyo, in 1993, really was twinned with being dead.

So you might imagine that after 15 years of almost continuous global economic growth, things today would be even worse. That I could go back there now, and find the taxi I used for the airport run all those years ago still at the terminal, queueing to get back on the expressway. That there’d be people in jams all over the city with no idea the twin towers had come down.

But in fact, Tokyo now flows like the arterial blood in a newborn baby. There are no fatty deposits, no furred-up tributaries, no clots. Recently, at two in the afternoon, I tore up Tokyo’s equivalent of London’s Marylebone Road at 100mph. And there was not a single car in sight. Not one.

A communist might argue that this has something to do with Japan’s excellent public transport system, which classifies a train as late if it arrives more than 59 seconds behind schedule. But the system was just as good 15 years ago.

A hippie might suggest that in the nation that gave us John Prescott’s Kyoto treaty, the average workaday commuter has hung up his wheels in shame and bought a bicycle instead. ’Fraid not, Mr Hillage. And nor have the city burghers invented a congestion charge that somehow cuts down on congestion, rather than just send a rude and impertinent bill every five minutes.

No. What’s happened is very simple. Elsewhere in the world, cars have been getting larger. The current 3-series BMW is 4in longer than a 5-series from the late Eighties. Today’s Polo is bigger than the original Golf. And the 21st century’s Rolls-Royce Phantom is bigger than an Egyptian’s house.

Whereas in Japan, the law says that you must prove you own a parking space before you can buy a car, unless the car is less than 3.4 metres (11ft 2in) long and powered by an engine no larger than 660cc. And because almost no one owns a parking space, demand for cars that would fit in a budgie’s lunch box has gone berserk. There are currently 58 different models on offer with the bestselling, the Suzuki Wagon R, selling to 250,000 people a year.

Seriously, the cars they sell to us in Britain, which are the size of farms and skyscrapers – you hardly see them at all in Japan. Almost everyone has a car so small, many aren’t actually visible to the naked eye.

The result is very simple. A traffic jam made up of normal cars will be twice as long as one made up of these Japanese “kei” cars. And a kei jam will clear more quickly, because in a car the size of a bacterium you don’t have to drive round and round the block looking for somewhere to park. You just pop it in your pocket and the job’s a good ’un.
And you thought Jeremy Clarkson was all about fast cars and naked women.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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What you need to do is reduce the amount of people.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:32 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
if you want to reduce traffic congestion and improve fuel economy you don't need a 55mph speed limit. You need to reduce the size of the cars and increase the speed of traffic. Its the only way.

...

And you thought Jeremy Clarkson was all about fast cars and naked women.
Jeremy Clarkson Nissan GT-R review | Driving - Times Online
Wasn't the Kei-Car classification in existance in 1993? Didn't it go back to the 1950's to also encourage fuel conservation in a post-war resource-empty Japan? I think Jeremy might have been witnessing an after-effect of the Japanese asset bubble :

Japanese asset price bubble - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
The Japanese asset price bubble (バブル景気, baburu keiki?, lit. "bubble economy") was a time of skyrocketing land and stock prices in the Japanese economy, that peaked from 1986 to 1990 and hit bottom in its valuation of the Nikkei index in 2003. It is one of the more famous speculative bubbles in economic history.
When I audited an Urban Planning class at UCLA, the professor said "Yes, traffic jams are bad, but they are also a sign of a booming economy". 1993 would have been 10 years before the Nikkei hit bottom in 2003.

I do agree that the definition of car "classes" should be based on engine displacement and length. I also agree the economy cars should have incentives like the Kei cars. Today's Honda Civic is the same or larger than a 1990 Honda Accord.

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Old 07-13-2008, 03:06 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Just make fuel expensive by taxes, no need for CAFE, 55MPH, mandated small cars......
Attack the root of the problem instead of dancing around it, people wont buy small cars or drive slow unless they want to, and they will never want to when fuel is cheap.
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:54 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Ageist, yes I am very guilty. The question I have is when was the last time you met a truly open minded senior citizen?
My Grandpa.

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One who was truly not afraid of to try something new?
My Grandpa.

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One whose mind was not made up 40 years ago?
Have you made up your mind about old people?

There is nothing new on your list, it has all been considered 60+ years ago. Stubborn mentalities come in all ages. You drive a grandpa car BTW
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Old 07-13-2008, 11:32 AM   #30 (permalink)
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"You drive a grandpa car BTW " Well said, dcb. I, a grampa, would love a '63 split window Stingray, but I will never have one, well, it's no longer is the right thing to do. In '63 premium gas was about $.35 a gallon. I wouldn't be critical of a man who had one though, he'll probably grow up. I did. It did take a few years until my old people thinking finally matured and the wetness behind my ears dried up. I used to think I had the answers to all the questions. The I learned I didn't even know all the questions let alone there answers.

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