xoxoxoBruce Thursday Aug 5 01:31 AM
Aug 5, 2010: China's Big Bus
This fall, in Beijing, construction will begin on the first 186km of track for what is called the "3D Express Coach". Rather than acquiring new land, or competing with traffic, this big bus will pass over traffic... and allow traffic to pass under it.
toranokaze Thursday Aug 5 03:52 AM
I foresee this ending very badly
casimendocina Thursday Aug 5 06:20 AM
Looks pretty innovative to me. If a concept such as the autobahn works, there's a strong possibility that this could work too. Probably just a matter of training drivers appropriately.
SPUCK Thursday Aug 5 06:21 AM
Yes! Very, very, badly.
Gravdigr Thursday Aug 5 06:27 AM
One would have to VERY careful when executing that left turn in Albuquerque.
casimendocina Thursday Aug 5 06:37 AM
Now is the time to reiterate my theory (based on 1.5 years experience living in beautiful industrial Wuhan) that in places like Australia everyone expects everyone else to do the right thing (follow the rules etc...) and then is surprised/gets really pissed off when they don't. In a place like China, no-one expects anyone to follow the rules, so aren't surprised when they don't and deal with it much better.
Griff Thursday Aug 5 06:45 AM
Nikolai Thursday Aug 5 06:59 AM
Loves Spucks video especially at 2:02 she nudges him over with her car made me chuckle. Was also noticing a lack of decent lines on the roads or traffic lights.
newtimer Thursday Aug 5 08:45 AM
In an overcrowded country where many of the drivers only get a license because they are rich enough to bribe the examiner because they're too busy to actually study the rules, there's no way this can end well. However...
Has anybody considered the notion that this could be another government form of population control?
Cloud Thursday Aug 5 09:29 AM
I think they should invent the stop sign first!
Sundae Thursday Aug 5 12:38 PM
It appears to run on rails?
Clodfobble Thursday Aug 5 12:46 PM
But if you don't already have subways, digging them from scratch while a city still functions on top is basically impossible. And geology can be a problem too--I don't know about China, but around here we will never, ever have subways because the whole area is sitting on top of solid limestone rock.
Sundae Thursday Aug 5 12:50 PM
I was thinking - again- of European cities that never really STOPPED using the trams and built the roads around them. In Amsterdam the trams go places the cars can't go and vice versa. In Blackpool (Lancashire) the trams serve the tourist routes and are completely separate from cars for most of their journeys. Trams in traffic are no better than buses.
glatt Thursday Aug 5 01:12 PM
Cloud Thursday Aug 5 01:33 PM
what are "trams" as you use that term? electric buses that run on overhead cables?
jinx Thursday Aug 5 01:39 PM
Watch the tram car please.
glatt Thursday Aug 5 01:41 PM
I was assuming Sundae was talking about a streetcar that runs on rails in the road surface. That's what I'm talking about.
Cloud Thursday Aug 5 01:51 PM
do we have any of those? except for cable cars in SF? do cities on the east coast have them?
Happy Monkey Thursday Aug 5 02:01 PM
Not anymore, thanks to Judge Doom.
bbro Thursday Aug 5 02:03 PM
glatt Thursday Aug 5 02:08 PM
Clodfobble Thursday Aug 5 03:45 PM
Every 5 years or so, there's a big intiative to build a "light rail" system in Austin, but so far it's been voted down every time. Among other arguments, opponents are always pointing to the neverending construction boondoggle that was supposed to be light rail in Dallas, but to my knowledge still isn't operable after more than a decade.
glatt Thursday Aug 5 04:18 PM
I think it was stupid to rip the streetcar rails out in the first place and I think it's pretty silly to go through the bother to reinstall them again. The only good thing about streetcars over buses is that they are viewed as upscale. Admittedly, they run on electricity so they don't add to smog in the city center, but many buses run on natural gas, which is also very clean.
sweetwater Thursday Aug 5 06:37 PM
I wonder if an even taller straddle-bus could share the rails with the proposed one shown here. That way the buses could run simultaneously, in opposite directions, and still only use one bus worth of road. (It's my nature to keep improving things until they break.)
BigV Thursday Aug 5 07:02 PM
Unfortunate, funny, and true.
aero geek Thursday Aug 5 11:56 PM
That bus better be made out of Kryptonite. I spent a few months in Shanghai - I think the buses will get a shit kicking. Actually, despite the image that is always portrayed on the web I found Chinese drivers very laid back with a "no worries" attitude. I was in a cab once which grazed another vehicle & destroyed the driver's side mirror. Neither driver stopped and our driver didn't even look over at the other car. Now that's laid back.
ZenGum Friday Aug 6 01:00 AM
Clever idea, but I wonder about accidents etc.
SPUCK Friday Aug 6 06:11 AM
casimendocina Friday Aug 6 07:18 PM
You could say that the Chinese have a somewhat "organic" approach to driving. Everything just sort of flows...(here I'm building on the '"adventurous" but in a laid back sort of way' driving style theme.