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News Banning cars in metro-cities

  1. Oct 8, 2011 #1
    Would it be better if cars are banned in the metro-cities?

    This would reduce all traffic problems, pollution problems, and excessive use of gas in the big cities, *1. There can be designated parking spaces outside the cities accessible through public transit so that people can commute outside their city.

    1: Personally, I always notice that most of the cars have only one passenger even though many of these cars go in same directions. I am not sure if there are some statical study on average number of passengers in a car and number of cars that share similar departure and destination.
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  3. Oct 9, 2011 #2


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    The funny thing is that in countries where previously the average income made cars unaffordable, but as the avarage income began to rise, what do they buy - a car - and they end up with the same problem you cite.
  4. Oct 9, 2011 #3


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    So what is your solution to solving the transport problem?

    How are you going to enforce it? By new legislation? By introducing tolls for roads in the CBD? By some other tax?
  5. Oct 9, 2011 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Venice solved the problem nicely.
  6. Oct 9, 2011 #5


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    Though if I lived there, the gondola-operators would be cursing me in the Italian equivalent of "damned kayakers"!!
  7. Oct 10, 2011 #6


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    They are doing that already. http://www.venicekayak.com/
  8. Oct 10, 2011 #7


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    If a person lives inside a major city, such as DC, I don't know why they even own a car, let alone drive it to and from work. Their parking fees and/or parking tickets probably cost more than the car payments.

    "Parking Wars" is one of the best TV shows on cable and portrays the harried lifestyles of car owners in Philadelphia and Detroit. Evidently, the vehicle impound lot is a favorite location for family reunions. It also seems to be used as a vocabulary training site for sailors.
  9. Oct 10, 2011 #8
    I wish we didn't need cars outside of the inner city - but we do. Forget public transport - why doesn't someone re-invent wings?
  10. Oct 10, 2011 #9
    I live in Calgary. Public transportation here is pretty inefficient compared to driving and it has been argued by some that carbon cost of public transportation is higher then that of cars. Perhaps Calgary is too small a city for public transpiration to work well. There is only about a million people here. I am sure if you have a large enough city there are efficient ways to do public transpiration in terms of monetary cost, carbon cost, and the speed people can get to where they are going.
  11. Oct 10, 2011 #10


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    I live in London and the only people who own cars seem to be people with nowhere to go. They must be because everyone in a car enjoys an average speed of about 0.0001mph as they dawdle down roads with millions of other cars.

    In all seriousness congestion is a big problem. I don't see banning cars as a viable option but you can minimalise their impact by introducing bus lanes, congestion charges and far better (and varied) public transport.
  12. Oct 10, 2011 #11


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    We can start charging like London:

  13. Oct 10, 2011 #12


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    Does this thread title remind anyone else of Megamind?
  14. Oct 11, 2011 #13
    I think the guy is right that you also need to invest in different lanes for public transport. And, coming from the Netherlands, lots of bike lanes; that really rocks.

    (Yah, it reminded me of Megamind too.)
  15. Oct 11, 2011 #14
    Are cars the problem, or are extremely large metro-areas the problem?
  16. Oct 11, 2011 #15
    I have lived in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and NYC. In all places as BobG mentioned parking costs more than car payments etc. But, they all have amazing public transportation. When I started thread, I was thinking of not allowing any cars inside big cities and giving tickets for violation. I think Ryan_m_b suggestion is better.

    Interesting question. I never had any negative thoughts about expanding cities (urban population growth) before.
  17. Oct 11, 2011 #16


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    Good!, a topic in transportation.

    As a transportation economist, I support the pricing solution. Those that need to be in downtown with the cars should be those that have a high benefit of doing that, and thus I support a dynamic pricing system. Basically increase the price with demand. This is currently done with High Occupancy Toll Lanes (e.g. MnPASS system in I-394 Minnesota).

    I believe in London, they have a Cordon Pricing system (area-based charges), but I think the pricing is not dynamically. They should adjust this.

    Main problem with the price implementation is expenses on monitoring. I believe Singapore started the concept of usage charges for downtown back in 1975, but the monitoring was quite expensive. I know London's Cordon pricing is highly expensive due to the high costs of processing the data, and the cameras system. The idea is that the revenue from these charges should pay for the operating costs. I know for HOT lanes (the costs are mostly antenna placing, radio devices, and police enforcement), they do pay, and the costs are about 30% of the revenue collected. For London, I believe is about 70% of the revenue collected.

    Here is a good article by transportation economist David Hensher (from ITLS Sydney)

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  18. Oct 12, 2011 #17


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    Cities are definitely the problem! Don't quote me on this but as far as I am aware only one new city has been built in the UK (i.e from scratch) in the last 50 years, Milton Keynes. As a Kid I used to live nearby and it is very different to any other UK city. It's spread out, has a grid system of roads, has a huge shopping centre with residential areas around it etc.

    The thing is most cities aren't like this. Their are the product of sometimes over a thousand years of incremental development, this means that some areas are hideously designed because they weren't designed with modern life in mind (this is especially true for cities like Edinburgh where a lot of it was built barely with horse and carriages in mind). So it's an interesting puzzle for developers. Do they work to adapt the cities to modern life or does modern life adapt to the cities? It's obviously going to be a bit of both but getting back to the subject of cars I don't think there's an easy way to integrate them. Part of the good things about cities is the high population density but that's a big downfall on a transport system when it has to shuffle millions of people around the same few square miles every day.
  19. Oct 12, 2011 #18
    Imo, no. This would create more problems than it would solve.

    Every large city I've ever been to already has this.

    One of the big problems is clearing transport lanes for emergency vehicles at certain (rush hour) times of the day. Some cities deal with this by prohibiting street parking during those times.

    A possible measure to ease crowding during certain hours might be to spread out the work day, ie., to have more 'swing' and night shifts for the workers wrt whom it doesn't matter when during the 24 hour day they do their work.
  20. Oct 12, 2011 #19
    Related article:

    America has always liked its wide-open spaces and has had a preference for big homes on large plots with no neighbour in sight.

    In the 1990s, ex-urban areas in the US grew twice as fast as their respective metropolitan areas overall, according to the Belgian Science Policy Office.

    Between 1982 and 1997, the US converted more than 24m acres (10m ha) of natural habitat into developed land.

    In the past, people were willing to accept a long commute for a taste of residential freedom, and cities built the infrastructure to assist them.

    Based on wasted time and fuel, congestion cost about $115bn (£74.5bn) in 2010
    1.9 billion gallons of fuel were wasted while standing idle, which would fill 38 super-tankers
  21. Oct 13, 2011 #20
    The area where I live is built with cars in mind. There is too much "sprawl" for public transport to effectively cover it yet it is all city. City after city after city all right next to each other. When I was living in Long Beach I could hop on the freeway and get to work in about 20 minutes. When my car broke down and I could not afford to fix it I was taking the bus and that took me about 2 hours each way. A lot of people that live around here find jobs in places that are not very close to home. They do it because they can. Because driving allows them to get many places without taking much time. Our public transport system doesn't allow this. Restricting vehicle traffic around here would restrict people in many many ways.
  22. Oct 13, 2011 #21
    So do you think the grid layouts in our cities wasn't exactly the most efficient way to get around? Or do you think it's because people want that "perfect job" and are willing to commute an hour for it?

    I'm currently looking for employment, but have rank ordered the various companies in order of distance from my home. I'd like to bicycle to work as much as possible. If not, I'd rather not waste my time fighting grid-lock.

    If more people approached work with this mindset, we'd have a lot more people working down the block than across town. However, the solution is to change the mindset, rather than banning cars. People still need cars, and not everyone can get obtain transportation.
  23. Oct 14, 2011 #22
    IMO cars should not be banned from cities. If a person wants to drive their car through the city, they should be allowed. Not everyone wants to take public transporation. The idea of everyone having to take public transportation I think is something often desired by govenrment bureaucrats who want to control more, having the people move on government-operated buses or trains, operating at government-controlled times, moving along government-controlled routes, etc...the idea of a bunch of independent drivers moving all around of their own volition I think irks some.
  24. Oct 14, 2011 #23


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    I'm all for personal freedom and I have no problem in theory with people owning and driving their own cars as they please. In an ideal city all major (i.e. non-suburban) roads would have dedicated bus lanes and cycle paths with additional infrastructure such as tramways, a tube/train system and guided busways. That way anyone can travel anyway they like efficiently.

    However this isn't the case. Here in the UK (and this is true across much of Europe) most cities pre-date the car by several hundred to over a thousand years. As such much of the centres of these cities aren't designed for cars leading to nightmarish roads that are two small and neighbourhoods that have to adopt complicated one way systems just to make driving possible (there is still much traffic though). In these areas 50 drivers in a car take up over 100m of road whereas all 50 could fit easily in a bus for a little over a tenth of the space. Whilst their are advantages to cars (choice of route, privacy, transport of large goods etc) the freedom of motorists to drive them comes at the expense of other travellers. Cars are a less efficient way of getting around, that one bus I just mentioned could drive around a lot easier than 50 cars because when you have many cars driving around city areas you get a lot of stop-start uncoordinated driving that slows everything down.

    So I'm all for better public transport and if you want to drive you car in busy areas you should still have the freedom to but you should have to pay a congestion charge, the proceeds of which can be funnelled into public transport to relieve the hassle your choice has caused.
  25. Oct 14, 2011 #24
    Only if they're headed to the same location. :0

    ...and destination.

    Same here. I've used it in some big cities. I checked out the bus routes here, though, and they're ridiculous. It would take me an hour to get to some of the locations I'd like to go (Imax theater across town, for one), when by car it would take between 10 and 25 minutes. And I live within a 5 min walk of a bus stop!

    Phooey! We already pay an average of 48.9 cents state and federal tax on every gallon.

    Depending on its design, public transportation causes its own set of hassles. Let them pay your "congestion charge."
  26. Oct 14, 2011 #25


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    Not even. The only way such a journey would be smooth is if all drivers drove in a coordinated fashion. Unfortunately life isn't so ideal, people speed up to fast or get distracted and break unnecessarily etc. The result is traffic.
    You realise I'm not American right? I don't see why driving in busy areas should be a right. The reason congestion charges exist in places like central London is that cars cause the problem. 1000 people trying to move in 200-1000 cars is a lot less efficient than the same amount of people travelling in 50 buses.

    Congestion and traffic is mainly caused by people driving cars who could take public transport. Obviously they have the right to choose but considering that choice makes hassle for other people they should have to pay for it. I don't see what's illogical about that.
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