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   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.



Quote:
Seriously, this is the future that China's envisioning: huge friggin' buses engulfing smaller cars on the road. Despite the silly picture and the eccentric "3D Express Coach" branding, this cunning project by Shenzhen Huashi Future Car-Parking Equipment actually makes sense. The idea is to make use of the space between regular-size cars and bridges, thus saving construction costs as well as minimizing congestion impact by allowing cars to drive underneath these jumbo buses.
video at the link


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.

Since Chinese can't drive worth a damn now, how are they ever going to handle the added complexity of rolling spaces.

Watch this movie you will see what I mean. It's like they have no idea.




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

Quote:
Originally Posted by toranokaze View Post
I foresee this ending very badly
What could go wrong?




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

Quote:
Originally Posted by casimendocina View Post
(based on 1.5 years experience living in beautiful industrial Wuhan)
2 years in Wuhan, followed by another 3 in/around Beijing.
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?
In which case, no more dangerous than trams mixed with traffic.

No matter how "adventurous" your driving style, you learn pretty early on not to mess with trams, buses, bin lorries etc. This would be the same.
I question just how economical it would be though. The space taken via the space utilised (for passengers) is less than 50%. Aren't subways still a better solution? NONE of the traffic issues and 99% passenger space?



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.

But either way, I think the problem with the normal trams is less about danger and more about convenience. They move slowly, and then they stop every couple of blocks and hold up traffic. (This is exactly what our public buses do here.) With this over-traffic model, when the tram stops the rest of the traffic just keeps right on going.



Sundae  Thursday Aug 5 12:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
But if you don't already have subways, digging them from scratch while a city still functions on top is basically impossible.
Gotcha. Didn't think of that as our Tube system is so old.
Quote:
But either way, I think the problem with the normal trams is less about danger and more about convenience. They move slowly, and then they stop every couple of blocks and hold up traffic. (This is exactly what our public buses do here.) With this over-traffic model, when the tram stops the rest of the traffic just keeps right on going.
Good point also.
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae Girl View Post
Trams in traffic are no better than buses.
Trams can actually be worse, if you get some idiot car driver blocking the tracks. A bus can drive around. A tram just has to sit there until the car moves.


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.

(Actually, Pittsburgh's "subway" goes on the roads here and there. There are probably a few more scattered about.)



bbro  Thursday Aug 5 02:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
(Actually, Pittsburgh's "subway" goes on the roads here and there. There are probably a few more scattered about)
It's called the "T" and goes above ground in the suburbs and below ground in downtown - entering and emerging at the Station Square stop. I used to ride it quite a bit. Used to put me to sleep with the gentle swaying.


glatt  Thursday Aug 5 02:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud View Post
do we have any of those? except for cable cars in SF? do cities on the east coast have them?
Some do. Baltimore does, DC is installing a line, and Arlington VA is going to put a line in. I think Boston has some too. There are probably others.


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.

Buses are cheaper, and more flexible. If populations shift, you can drive the bus to a different neighborhood. Changing bus routes is easy. With rails, you are stuck literally in a rut. You can't drive around traffic jams. If some jerk in a car is outside of his lane and is blocking the track just by an inch or two, you have to just sit there and wait for him to move.



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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud View Post
what are "trams" as you use that term? electric buses that run on overhead cables?
Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
I was assuming Sundae was talking about a streetcar that runs on rails in the road surface. That's what I'm talking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Some do. Baltimore does, DC is installing a line, and Arlington VA is going to put a line in. I think Boston has some too. There are probably others.
SLUT!

Unfortunate, funny, and true.
Quote:
"We're welcoming the SLUT into the neighborhood," said Jerry Johnson, 29, a part-time barista. Johnson said the T-shirts were done just for fun, but they seem to have tapped into something: The first 100 sold out in days and now orders for the next 100 are under way.



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.


What they need is a ...



Monorail! monorail monorail monorail MONORAIL!



SPUCK  Friday Aug 6 06:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
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.
I like the people who are just standing there when the little vehicle backs over them all like bowling pins.


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.



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