August 14, 2006
E-book Promotes Transportation Concept
Contributor Jerry Schneider is hosting a new e-book on his web site. For those not familiar with the concept, dual-mode is the idea that you drive your car normally on local streets, but that it coordinates with other vehicles in an automated fashion on higher-speed roads.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SIX BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.
Here is a revolutionary solution for traffic congestion, oil depletion and dependency dangers, air-quality and associated global warming problems. Additionally -- this book describes how we can first supplement, then surpass, the 50-year old Interstate Highway System, provide a lifeline to the nearly bankrupt American auto companies by offering an evolutionary pathway to a brighter future and shows how to greatly reduce highway deaths and injuries. Dualmode transportation offers a way to reduce substantially all six of these critical national problems in a sector of the economy that is vital to the nation's future.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, August 9, 2006
Fifty or more inventors and engineers worldwide have been developing "Dualmode Transportation," a concept in which private cars and most other vehicles could be driven on the streets in the normal manner, but also travel locally and nationally at high speed on an automated, electrified maglev guideway system. All vehicles would be electrically powered in both modes and therefore would not consume fossil fuels or release carbon dioxide and other tailpipe emissions which are so detrimental to human health and exacerbate current global warming trends.
All of the technologies required for this revolution are available now. The problems in building such a system would be sociological and political, not technological. Economics won't be a barrier either, since the system would not require a public subsidy. At present, the concept is largely unknown and unappreciated by the public and by the leaders of business, industry, and government. Therefore one of the coinventors and designers of the dualmode concept, Francis Reynolds, has written a book that broadly discusses and provides preliminary-design details for a metropolitan-wide, national and eventually international dualmode system. This comprehensive e-book, "THE REVOLUTIONARY DUALMODE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM," is now online at
The complete book includes 22 Chapters and associated illustrations and other materials. It can be downloaded at no charge from the award-winning Innovative Transportation Technologies website founded and managed by Dr. Jerry B. Schneider, professor emeritus of Civil Engineering and Urban Planning, University of Washington, Seattle. Schneider is also personally active in the development of dualmode transportation concepts.
According to Reynolds, most of the coinventors of this unique concept are working on it independently, hoping to identify and design the "killer application" of the dualmode concept. Reynolds offers some guidance and many specific details that they all can benefit from, in a readable format that is non-technical and accessible to a broad sector of the public. The dualmode idea is currently our best hope to reduce the heavy negative burden imposed by the six national-scale problems identified above. Reynolds acknowledges that the transportation sector is not the only culprit causing these problems but, as he shows in the book, conventional transportation modes are certainly a very serious contributor to these problems and need our full attention.
Note to Editors and Readers: Since people with a serious interest in contacting Francis Reynolds will find his e-mail address in the book, please don't publish (print and/or Internet) any of the following information other than his name.
Francis D. Reynolds, PE.
3802 127th Ave. NE.
Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
August 14, 2006 3:58 AM
jim karlock Says:
JK: Very interesting concept, but I think there is a more practical path to the same end:
Put computer controls in new cars such that they can link up like a train, but electronically. Obviously cars have to be so equipped and drivers have to agree to be part of a train. When one wants to join a train, two cars can separate, still linked electronically, then the new car can merge and relink.
You don’t need a grandiose rebuilding of America’s roads, just new cars with the capability and in a year or two, small trains would become common, perhaps encouraged by being a requirement of HOV lanes. In a few years they could take redefine HOV lanes to be TOV (train only vehicles) and you have, hopefully, solved congestion.
(I have left out the fuel considerations, because the free market will sort this out, be it tiny cars, bio, coal gasification, nuclear-electric etc.)
The author has a very realistic attitude about cars and transit (my bold):
“Most of us will never voluntarily give up our private cars; they are too useful and convenient—too wonderful”
“Our cars make it possible for most of us to have more space, more privacy, be safer, and get back a little closer to nature. “
“Traffic frustrations are not new. They are functions of population-density, traffic-density, and transportation-system capacity. There were serious traffic jams and accidents in dense cities even when we had only horses and bicycles.”
“We may use five or more different single-mode vehicles in a single long trip. The associated walking, waiting, and the transferring of people and luggage from vehicle to vehicle, often in the rain and in unsafe places, is obviously costly in terms of dollars, time, stress, and danger.”
And finally this little bit of reality that is lost on local planners:
“There is much pressure on us these days to leave our cars at home and use the buses or light-rail systems. Let us assume that people listen, and transit use doubles. “Wonderful, twice as many people are leaving their cars at home and our traffic problems are solved.” Not by a traffic-jammed mile! On average, about two percent of the travelers are now transit riders. In this example there are now twice as many, or four percent, leaving their cars off the highways. That means the percentage of people driving their cars went from 98% all the way down to 96%. That would do next to nothing toward solving our transportation problems. Do the planners ever look at the arithmetic? ”
Another gem of reality:
“Dense city cores and densely populated residential areas were necessary in earlier times, but the density of the optimal city is now lower because we can travel farther in the same length of time. That is, we could a few decades ago before the gridlocks developed. And better transportation is not the only factor that makes dense living obsolete: The mail system, e-mail, telephone, cell-phone, radio, TV, and Internet have all but eliminated the isolation of those living farther away. The abandonment of large dense apartment-house areas in some major cities is further proof that high density no longer has the value that it once had.”
August 15, 2006 12:41 AM
Jason McHuff Says:
“private cars...are too useful and convenient—too wonderful”
They better be. This nation has had a 50-year policy of helping make that happen, by building a grand highway system for them, making sure that people have enough fuel to use them, and providing many other benefits that their users do not have to directly pay for.
"Our cars make it possible for most of us to have more space, more privacy, be safer, and get back a little closer to nature."
While some people may understandably want to avoid certain other transit riders, many people use the opportunity to meet new people (or do other stuff, like read). And since transt has professional operators & large vehicles, I'd wonder whether you are really safer in a personal vehicle.
"On average, about two percent of the travelers are now transit riders."
While this may be true, most people don't have access to transit that's good enough to really be an option.
"the density of the optimal city is now lower"
I'd argue the opposite, since most people now use a lot more services (such as the mail system, cable TV and others that are mentioned) and it costs more to provide them when people live farther apart. Oh, and I can personally say that its still a good idea for people to leave the house and go places.
Overall, I don't think making personal vehicles more efficient, including by linking them into trains, is a bad idea. It's just that it doesn't solve the problems.
August 15, 2006 2:22 PM
50 years? try 80. sure, the "National Defense Highway System" began 50 years ago, but as early as the 1910's general fund revenue was being used for road building experiments for automobile use, leading to the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the Federal Highway Act of 1921, and eventually the state planning documents that formed the blueprint for FDR's proposed interstate highway system. During the 1920's in many cities escalating property taxes were use to pay for huge amounts of new infrastructure and services (water, sewer, roads, streetlights, police, etc.) required for the new automobile suburbs, but levied on the vast majority of tax payers who did not own an automobile (unlike the streetcars which were almost always paid for by private developers). In the 30's the FHA got in on the game by only guaranteeing home loans in "low-risk areas", of course "low-risk areas" was code for thinly populated regions (ie: non-urban) with a majority of newer homes (ie: non-urban) and a mostly white, non-immigrant (ie: non-urban) population in a practice which came to be known as redlining.
I could go on for hours, but to get us to 1956, add in the State Zoning Enabling Act which allowed for the single-use zoning that was used to mandate new developments in a suburban pattern, and federally required funding of public housing in urban areas. Mix and stir.
Make no mistake though, I am not anti-auto, in fact, i rely on my car (which i share with my wife) for 90% of my transportation. The rest is walking, or or sitting in an inner tube on the Clackamas river--I never bike. I just feel like we auto users should be thankful for the centrally planned socialism that has created our automobile dependant society, which initially acted as a great decentralizing force against the monopoly power of the railroads, and now allows for us to travel freely (as in free beer) wherever we want to go.
August 15, 2006 2:40 PM
forgot to add... Now it's time to start paying it back by investing in diverse modes of transportation, and paying for our pollution.
August 15, 2006 5:12 PM
Nathan Koren Says:
Actually,Peter, I don't think that automobiles and free beer go together at all. YMMV, I guess...