19 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Secret Life of the Car”

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssv2q6Txb1A

    Anyhow- worth getting the whole thing. Though also good idea to get hold of some footage of however nasty cars were, they had nothing on horses for danger, filth, and general obnoxiousness.

    Also, bike advocates have to set the record straight as to who gave motorists the pavement that saved cars from exhaust leavings from- see above.

    Also, another justified dig in the spare-ribs over how superior the chain drive was to drive shafts. In the 1950’s you’d still occasionally see a beat-up coal-truck with a bicycle chain wrapped around a sprocket on its pack axle.

    In the Horatio story, the car had to stick to a road right beside railroad tracks so it could be resupplied with everything that fell off. Only one part that left San Francisco remained on the car when Horatio rolled into his garage in Connecticut.

    Where the chain fell off. Also find “American Road” by Pete Davies. Worked with army trucks too.
    Mark Dublin

    1. Hopefully never. The St Petersburg Metro has to stop and maneuver backward and forward to lone up with the doors before they open, and it’s an annoying waste of time to have to just sit there and wait, like when the trains in the DSTT used to have to wait for buses in front of them to clear before moving.

      1. The train to the north and south sattalite terminals at SeaTac has protective gates, and I don’t recall the trains ever having to maneuver forward and backward to line up with them. Maybe the problem is not the gates themselves, but old technology.

      2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXQv-6CXf1g

        Mussolini was famous for “Getting the trains running on time”. But also for proclaiming that Italy could win the Second World War. Think by the end of the Roman Empire, most of their soldiers were future Germans and Frenchmen. Good thing we never abandoned our guarantee of a 100% US citizen armed forces by fifty years ago abandoning the Draft.

        Sounder conductors have told me that freight engineers don’t see what the big deal is about it. My guess is cows don’t complain to customer services, because they’re not in any hurry about upcoming appointment. I’ve been away 23 years. What’s general experience with instruction departments on all our services? And what is language on our contract with BN on this subject?

        For the station shields, I’m not going to suggest any similarities with other glass-and-shiny metal equipment of ours. Though we might want to get that fixed before letting the contract. Caution I’ve got is that for barriers in general alongside moving trains, LINK constantly face real danger of people getting caught chain link fences and trains after ballgames.

        Title “Accident Report” is a real slap in the face to people who put so much effort into such a perfect result.

        And also having platform sign poles colliding with a guy running after a departing train while clowning around with his girlfriend, who was onboard. Which should be correctable by all the other places visible to train driver could be. And have said so. Might check hearing of whoever’s responsible for designing the shields.

        Have been cautioned against drawing conclusions about anything that happened last December 18. But real problem with idea that an unfortunate side-effect of vertebrate digestion “just happens”. Some living creature has got to squat and squeeze. Though timing and trajectory of the results are amenable to training.

        Mark Dublin

      1. Poncho, on this problem, someone getting trapped between chain and shield….if we had a device to protect everybody from that happening, what advantage would a robot system have over a human driver with same preventive instrument?


    2. When SoundTransit has already funded things that are actually necessary, blown through the list of “nice to have”, completed the list of “better take care of those now” (eg, escalator maintenance), and has enough spare change to do something no other light rail line in the world is doing.

      Among the various issues (yet another moving object to maintain), this would require all of the cars in the entire fleet all have exactly the same door pattern. This would limit future car purchases.

  2. Metro really needs to split the 62, it’s far too unreliable. Split it into two routes, one going from Sand Point to Fremont and one from either Roosevelt or Ravenna to Downtown.

    1. Splitting the route would increase operating costs, since you would now have double the number of buses running between Green Lake and Fremont. To pay for it, it would likely be necessary to reduce the frequency of the Sand Point->Fremont route from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes, at least on evenings and weekends. This would be a significant cutback.

      It’s also not clear where the Sand Point->Fremont route would use for its layover spot in Fremont. Metro does not currently have any bus route that end there.

      1. If significant overlap is a concern, when Northgate Link opens I wouldn’t mind if the 62 terminated at U-District station.

        The northern segment can terminate where the 3/4 terminate at SPU just across the river. I just don’t think the 65th St crosstown (kind of) has any business also being the Fremont/Dexter/Downtown route.

      2. Well, the reason the 65 is on Dexter is that when Metro tried twice to move the 5 to Dexter during the cuts, there was so much opposition that Metro withdrew it. But there needs to be some route on Dexter.

      3. Just turning around in Fremont looks very difficult. So a live loop would be hard as well. You might be able to send a bus out on Leary, take a left, and then turn around somewhere up there. Maybe 41st and 6th (https://goo.gl/maps/k4TPciJSAzn).

        In general, because of the extra cost, you want to get something out of a split besides more reliability. A split at Fremont could have potential, as there is a turn there, which means you are well set for extending either side a ways to provide more easy connections. In this case, though, I don’t really see any great possibilities. Any extension would get you something, but not a lot. For the Sand Point-Fremont part, you have East Fremont, but then very little until you get to Ballard.

        For the other leg you could send it up the hill towards the zoo. But again, that doesn’t get you that much. It does make for a good connection from part of Phinney Ridge to Fremont, but the 5 already does that, if you are willing to walk a few blocks. So you are basically adding a section of Fremont — which means those riders have a faster way to get to Dexter (as they already have faster ways to get downtown).

        Meanwhile, as Mike said, some people lose out, big time. Wallingford to Dexter and downtown becomes a two seat ride. Taking the 44 and E to downtown isn’t that bad, but still not ideal. For those headed to Dexter it is a big negative. My guess is that there are lot more people around Wallingford than there are on that section of Fremont I mentioned in the last paragraph. But the people that are really hurt are those in Tangletown. That is there only bus, and it no longer goes downtown. They are looking at a pretty slow ride to downtown. Just to get to Fremont takes a while — and then what? Take the infrequent 26, or the very crowded 40, or the same old 62. Unlike the folks in Wallingford, they don’t have a fast two seat option for getting downtown.

        I wouldn’t touch this until Northgate Link gets built, and even then I’m not sure I would. Or if I did, I would probably just truncate the 62 at the Roosevelt Station, and let other bus routes (like a modified 45) handle the eastern part of 65th.* Sending the 45 east (and not to the U-District) is certainly controversial, but between Link and Roosevelt RapidRide, there will be plenty of options for folks in Greenwood to get to the U-District. I think you could justify very high frequency on that new 45, which means that while a trip from Sand Point to Wallingford or Fremont would require a transfer, the first leg would be very frequent, while the second would hopefully be every 15 minutes.

        * That is what I came up with while messing around with ideas for a post Northgate Link world: https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1KDWI_ZGvzkoGxA6Z9DPeQr9EtQw

      4. I’m not saying that the 62 shouldn’t be on Dexter. I’m just saying that the bus going up and down Dexter, and the bus going east west on 65th St, don’t necessarily need to be the same bus. Which is where a lot of this is coming from.

        Does Seattle use short turns on any other bus routes? I feel like the 62 could use some.

      5. “Does Seattle use short turns on any other bus routes?”

        Do you mean, does Metro have runs that go only part of the route? Yes, the 62 has extra peak runs between Greenlake and downtown. the 3/4 have daytime runs only to 23rd & Jefferson. The 7 used to have alternating daytime runs to Columbia City, the 12 to 12th & Madison, the 36 alternated between Dawson Street (mid Beacon Hill) and Rainier Beach, and the 73X had peak runs to 65th Street.

      6. I always assumed it would be split at Greenlake, not Fremont. That allows people on 65th to go straight to Greenlake. It would break the new Roosevelt-Fremont connection which some riders have been glad for, but that’s inevitable: any split to a central crosstown route would hurt some trips somewhere.

    2. The 62 is problematic. It takes far too long to go from Greenlake to Roosevelt because of its meandering, and that’s right in the middle of the route so it affects people on both sides. The biggest congestion is in SLU and Fremont, but that’s also where the high ridership is. Metro is trying to position the route as a major new route, making it full-time frequent now and upgrading it to RapidRide in the future. But it’s questionable whether it’s necessary to make its entire length the same route. On the other hand, splitting it would be like splitting the 44 or 45: no matter where you do it you’d throw off some trips across the middle such as Roosevelt to Fremont, and that’s one of the route’s strengths. Maybe when Metro straightens it out for RapidRide and addresses the congestion in Dexter and Fremont it will be better.








    In 1965, 53 years ago, this was our family car while my father worked for USAID in Tanzania, East Africa. Citroen DS 19.

    Four cylinders. Stick shift. Sat family of six comfortably. Gas-filled hydraulic cylinders for shock absorbers. National highway system mostly “washboard” clay and gravel.

    You heard the wheels shuddering over the endless stream of horizontal ruts. But ride didn’t feel rough at all. Comfortable at 60 mph. Would’ve torn a US car to pieces. Citroen maintenance: very reasonable. Due to aerodynamic shape, gas mileage excellent. Airstream carried car through the air so well that dust didn’t form on the back window.

    Tire-change- only one difference from the video above. Instead of multiple lug-bolts on wheels, each wheel had a single hexagon (I think) socket, and a four foot metal bar with a matching lug to get tires on and off fast as a racing car in the pit.

    And every time I took the wheel, same thought: “Why the HELL can’t we make one of these in the United States!” Because I saw one advantage that US car design had, up through maybe 1954: simplicity. But truth to tell, that car could take a beating that’d demolish a tank and shrug it off.

    The Citroen looks like an ordinary car now. So this is the time for us to bring back this basic car, but simple enough to work on in your driveway- even though nobody does that anymore. Housing density has eliminated driveways. But could save us a ton of money when we don’t need roads anymore.

    Thanks for the video, Oran.


Comments are closed.