Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

eizbaer

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There are studies that do show the exact opposite effect of your gut-feeling/anecdotal expectation, though. Throw the cars out of the city center, pedestrianize and make it a nice place to be - banish the cars to centralized parking structures at the edge to make parking easy (and keep people from trying to park in the street, it's dumb) - and business turnover actually increases.

... also this reaction is exactly what I was expecting :D hence my "let's see how this will do". Also: what smug aura? the question is entirely justified, if you'd care to be honest and objective about it. cities are (mostly) designed for cars, not people.

also, question for you guys (actually scratch that, consider this a rhetorical question -.-): why do you feel you're entitled to free use of public space? and no "we're already paying through our car / fuel taxes" doesn't count - those don't cover the actual incurred cost by far.

oh oh, talking about anecdotal: people are idiots! in my home town they increased cost for curbside parking above the rate of the big parking garages and limit public parking to 60min max. people still park there, even if they have meetings that go for 2 hours, then demand a 15 min break during those meetings, to re-feed the meter / get a new ticket. what the actual fuck is wrong with people? I've met people like this multiple times now and now mostly get angry enough with those wasting my time by rather strictly giving htem the choice of either continuing the meeting, or cancelling right then and there. ugh. now i made myself mad.
 

93Flareside

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There are studies that do show the exact opposite effect of your gut-feeling/anecdotal expectation, though. Throw the cars out of the city center, pedestrianize and make it a nice place to be - banish the cars to centralized parking structures at the edge to make parking easy (and keep people from trying to park in the street, it's dumb) - and business turnover actually increases.

... also this reaction is exactly what I was expecting :D hence my "let's see how this will do". Also: what smug aura? the question is entirely justified, if you'd care to be honest and objective about it. cities are (mostly) designed for cars, not people.

also, question for you guys (actually scratch that, consider this a rhetorical question -.-): why do you feel you're entitled to free use of public space? and no "we're already paying through our car / fuel taxes" doesn't count - those don't cover the actual incurred cost by far.

oh oh, talking about anecdotal: people are idiots! in my home town they increased cost for curbside parking above the rate of the big parking garages and limit public parking to 60min max. people still park there, even if they have meetings that go for 2 hours, then demand a 15 min break during those meetings, to re-feed the meter / get a new ticket. what the actual fuck is wrong with people? I've met people like this multiple times now and now mostly get angry enough with those wasting my time by rather strictly giving htem the choice of either continuing the meeting, or cancelling right then and there. ugh. now i made myself mad.

Until there's consequences, enforcement of the parking times, it'll keep happening. Like here, speed limits largely only matter when a police officer is present.
 

NooDle

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I get what you’re saying, but as usual there are a few problems. Anyone who doesn’t live in the middle of a big city will need to visit one at some point. By far and away, a car is still the easiest/cheapest/fastest way to do that. Parking at the edge of town and using public transport only works if you have reliable and fast public transport. In my experience walking from the edge of town to the centre is often quicker.

And yeah, on street parking is daft, but why not build underground/ high rise parkings with decent, normal prices? That way you can get to where you want fast and not clutter up the roads. I don’t mind paying to park (especially if the parking lots have car chargers) but 3-5€ an hour is ridiculous…
 

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In the nearest bigger town to me there's a situation where the town center is constantly fledgling because of the market area on the other side of the train tracks getting all the business. I think this is partially because the town has a reputation for blood thirsty parking attendants: in the absolute center there's a big department store that offers free 3hr parking in three stories and I always park there so I can shop anywhere else as well, and the parking structure has plenty of space. But park on the narrow streets without a correctly applied disc and you're surely getting ticketed in the first 5 minutes. The town has bigger issues than that but the narrative is that business is dying because of parking, son.
 

eizbaer

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And yeah, on street parking is daft, but why not build underground/ high rise parkings with decent, normal prices? That way you can get to where you want fast and not clutter up the roads. I don’t mind paying to park (especially if the parking lots have car chargers) but 3-5€ an hour is ridiculous…
Here's where it gets problematic though... parking garages are expensive (mostly to build, but also to maintain / operate). So there has to be a certain cost somewhere. There's ways around that with monthly flatrates for employees or residents (remember those 30€/year? ... yeah, no), and daily limits - but in the end, the "real cost" has to be paid*! That's why I feel that currently, many drivers are fairly spoiled in that regard. E.g. in my hometown, the parking garages mostly cost 2€/h - which I feel is very reasonable (yes, there are chargers) - and which is actually less than what roadside parking costs (all the more stupid that people still do that).

Alternative to both, which is being done more and more: P&R quite a bit outside of the city with a sort of express public transport to the centre. One ticket to park as long as you like and go into and back out of the city. This is a thing being done even in a place like Amsterdam for (iirc, it's been a few years) 5€ or something? Mostly this is lacking in the "express" part of the transport into the city - but, if we're being honest, especially with larger cities, you still end up losing 0 time compared to driving in, because you're stuck in traffic all the way anyway (only works with a train / tram or sth ofc, bus would be stuck in the same traffic -.-).

Anyway - the situation has to be improved, I think we can all agree on that.

* some random number I found:
In 2012, it cost the average American developer $34,000 to build one underground parking space...
assuming an arbitrary 5% of that return per year (should be fair for capex?) and an average occupancy of, say, 20% (for the whole 24hrs that is) - this cost alone is 1€/h.

In the nearest bigger town to me there's a situation where the town center is constantly fledgling because of the market area on the other side of the train tracks getting all the business. I think this is partially because the town has a reputation for blood thirsty parking attendants: in the absolute center there's a big department store that offers free 3hr parking in three stories and I always park there so I can shop anywhere else as well, and the parking structure has plenty of space. But park on the narrow streets without a correctly applied disc and you're surely getting ticketed in the first 5 minutes. The town has bigger issues than that but the narrative is that business is dying because of parking, son.
which begs the question: why would anyone ever park in the street?

Also, asked the guy with the EV: why the hell are EVs allowed to park for free (roadside) for 2hrs everywhere? I get that there's supposed to be an incentive to get an EV, but at some point you're gonna have to get rid of that and it's going to be a struggle.
 

gaasc

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There are some other considerations with the carless city.

First things first: @eizbaer, you didn't notice the :p on my previous post. I have serious issues with the false dichotomy that cities are designed for cars or people. They can be both. So let us examine it on a less facetious and surface-level way and see the arguments for and against them.

There are the obvious ones like better air quality (which will slowly become moot as we move towards electrification and the vast majority of people move towards EVs, hopefully without an ICE ban), reduced noise (see that one again) and the creation of more green spaces (which I believe it is what you meant when you said "make it a nice place to be", implying that would not be possible without pedestrianization) and the health benefits of essentially making the population walk more. But let us consider other facts.

Pedestrianized cities need to be very dense to function. Mayor Hidalgo of Paris, for instance, is intent to divide her city into what she calls Ville Du Quart D’Heure, or 15-minute cities, where everything you need to live will be available within that timeframe by car or bicycle. This means that you will have to deal with all of the disadvantages of that, such as the such as higher housing prices relative to incomes and the creation of a second wave of gentrification as a result, spread of diseases (NYC took months to properly sanitize their subway system amidst the pandemic because "The New York City subway system has never been closed. It operates 24 hours a day because we have a 24-hour city."), to say nothing of things like hostile design, where the space merely looks to be nice, but is instead exclusionary. For instance, this sitting areas as seen in central London:

1629997893395.png


I guess they are nice to look at, and they get rid of skateboarders or, indeed, people who want to sit for more than 10 minutes.

But that's dense city issues. Carless city issues are...dense city issues plus others. For instance, you still need to create spaces for cars to go through in case you need, for instance, an ambulance or a fire truck. You can make do without them of course, one presumes the dead that will be created as a result will be categorized as "impossible to save" due to the increased response time much as they are now with traffic calming measures. In this environment, it is also impossible to have someone already there to drive you to hospital, which means you're also completely dependent on the availability of the emergency services to attend to you. If there has been a building collapse at the other side of town at the same time you have an emergency, you're in more than a little trouble.

On a less fatalistic basis, limiting your movement means that your local businesses have a captive market and are likely to charge accordingly. you can no longer simply go out of town and make a day of shopping without careful planning if you intend to buy anything larger than the average tower PC. and it's no use saying that you will get it delivered because the delivery service will have the same issues and too charge accordingly.

So no, personally I don't think pedestrianized cities are really something we should continue pursuing. Especially since the advent of mass electrification. The concept of the city itself should be re-evaluated now that we can live in less-dense environments thanks to things such as remote work and easy delivery options.

As to answering your question about public spaces, and you will forgive me if I am more colloquial on this one: THEY ARE CALLED PUBLIC SPACES! They are spaces for the public. If the public can't use the public space, it's a private space. In which case, the public should not be required to pay for it or maintain it.

Are you sure you don't just hate parking? :p
 

GRtak

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One more reason not to like Carvana.
 

eizbaer

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Are you sure you don't just hate parking? :p
I think to a degree we're sort of talking about two different things... or rather: two different places on a spectrum :) I am by no means in favor of ditching all car traffic in cities - only in the parts of the cities that would really benefit from that and only "most of traffic". I don't want to remove streets and access for the groups of people that have no other choice (emergency, disabled, also delivery, craftspeople and the like) - those can all perfectly well use pedestrianized city centers btw (we just have to keep the entitled lazy asshats out).
You actually provided a nice impulse with the hostile design picture above: I feel the way many cities (or large parts thereof) are currently designed and administered, they're very much themselves examples of hostile design (on a different scale) - hostile to anyone who isn't inside a car!

And I actually love parking, if the people doing the parking are the ones paying for the parking and are ideally hiding away somewhere nice and compact :D
 

93Flareside

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Ya’ll need a lower wacker drive. For those unaware, it’s a ring road around the absolutely dead center of Chicago and is basically an access road to the high rises for delivery trucks and maintenance folks, such as myself. It’s great because there’s zero pedestrian traffic and there’s few intersections and traffic lights.
 

Matt2000

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Ya’ll need a lower wacker drive. For those unaware, it’s a ring road around the absolutely dead center of Chicago and is basically an access road to the high rises for delivery trucks and maintenance folks, such as myself. It’s great because there’s zero pedestrian traffic and there’s few intersections and traffic lights.
b556a6cd-fb20-4ceb-b18b-59f219e91ab6_text.gif


Of course it was used in The Dark Knight too, a pretty iconic location even for people like me who have never visited it.
 

NecroJoe

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I've always had a weird soft spot for styling of the last Ford Thunderbird from the early 2000s...
1630119759444.png



...but, man...that interior was just so...so..."nothing". SO...early "2000's Ford."
1630119689580.png
 

93Flareside

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I've always had a weird soft spot for styling of the last Ford Thunderbird from the early 2000s...
View attachment 3562308


...but, man...that interior was just so...so..."nothing". SO...early "2000's Ford."
View attachment 3562307

Myself included, as well as the Lincoln LS. Same engine and drivetrain I believe so I guess it's a matter of "do you want 4 doors" or not.
 

Perc

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The town has bigger issues than that but the narrative is that business is dying because of parking, son.

Sounds familiar.

We have a great underground parking cave here (as you know) but it was built in the 1990's apparently with the idea that people wouldn't ever drive anything bigger than a Peugeot 205. I go there for Clas Ohlson because it's the only store that doesn't exist in the spacious shopping district ten minutes to the north.
 

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I've also started to look into drinking the EV Kool-Aid. Like I've posted in my Volvo thread, I live about an hour away from the office and have to visit it about three times a week, working from home the other two days. I've calculated that it costs me around 3500 eur per year now just to drive to work, but some of that is offset by km compensation declared in my tax form. But it feels to me I would be better off using that to fund a new car instead of just keeping diesel fuel providers in business. The answer, then, is to either a lease or finance an EV that would currently cost pennies to charge especially as we can at least currently charge at work. I also have charging capabilities here at home, a night in the rope is enough.

Has anybody of you spent any time in an Ioniq EV currently? I test drove one just to get a feel for it, and wrote a long-ass post over at the pokey motoring site where I can publish stuff without anybody complaining. But that was just to verify the road noise isn't too bad in the summer. How's the Ioniq in the long run?

I'm pretty settled regarding the choice of car: if it's going to be an EV, it's probably going to be an Ioniq. Used ones cost 20-25 grand with the 28kWh battery (200km summer, roughly 150km winter), new MY21 ones are 42k MSRP or 36k with subsidies/deals and they come with the 38kWh battery (310km summer, ~230km winter). The old one (2017-2019, some 2020) is well priced for what it is and you can get one with battery warranty til 2028, but the 150km winter range is dicey and would require charging all day every day at work. If there was a charging spot downtime there I'd be screwed, the newer car would get me there and back with range to spare. There's no charging stations on my commute and I'm sure as hell not going to stop for a mid-commute charge, the drive takes long enough as it is.

But the Ioniq is very efficient at around 13 kWh/100km and I don't see myself paying extra to get any more battery capacity than what the 38kWh car has, as I wouldn't be doing any longer drives. This would be strictly for the commute, paid with the money saved from not having to fuel up or to pay 800 eur of diesel tax per year, and with a car under warranty the maintenance costs would also seem reasonable. Other car alternatives cost more to get, it's only the Kona with a 64kWh battery that works as an alternative as a short-term lease. But that's some 340 euro more per year compared to the 415e/month Ioniq for 5000 eur per year. A 12-month lease would also give me a "test period", after which I could see if the Ioniq works as a commuter car for me, and I could then find a used, low-km car to finance.
 

eizbaer

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Haven't ever driven one, but the EV bubble is pretty agreed that the first gen ioniq (28kWh) is brilliant as a "just car" (i.e. just for driving, disregarding fancy shmancy driver aids and the like) - expecially if you can get it fairly cheaply. The bigger battery facelift model is actually mostly considered worse / a step down, as it charges much slower (and i think suffers from even slower charging with repeated fast charges). Also, as you say, the thing is ridiculously efficient, which goes a long way in offsetting the comparably small battery.
 

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Oh yeah, I agree on that distinction. It's only that I would effectively always slow-charge it at home and work, and I could get the 100km extra during a workday for either model. The extra battery capacity would be there to lessen the range anxiety for my commute :)

And it has driver assist features which are completely unnecessary to me! :D I only need cruise control, not lane keeping.
 

NooDle

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Get a bigger battery. I have a shorter commute than yours, and while I’ve never been stranded anywhere due to low battery, it has been close a few times(with my 36kwh -200 km range eGolf). A Kona is just the sweet spot between battery/price and efficiency for me so I’d go with that.

Otherwise, Kia EV6 or Ionity5 are both awesome cars with the same battery/drivetrain but very different styling…
 
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