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Old 05-28-2004, 12:37 PM   #1
dulino
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Default Boost Fuel Efficiency by 17%

So, we discussed hybrids and what not.

For some reason, however, most people don't realize that there are hundreds of other things that people can do to conserve gasoline.

According to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/atv.shtml
17% of fuel is spent on idling.

So, how about this:

1) Adjusting the traffic patterns during rush hours to minimize the amount of time cars spend idling at stop lights ?
2) Building pedestrian overpasses to eliminate the need for cars to stop to let pedestrian cross ?
3) How about pedestrian underpasses ?
4) In congested areas eliminating place where cars wanting to turn create congestions. During rush hours ban turning onto side streets ?
5) Eliminate human-operated toll booths
6) Increase the bridge/tunnel/highway tolls with traffic demand.

etc.

Any thoughts ?

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Old 05-28-2004, 12:58 PM   #2
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Why increase tolls?

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Old 05-28-2004, 01:09 PM   #3
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To regulate traffic flow. In a place like NYC it would really discourage people from driving to work.

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Old 05-28-2004, 02:43 PM   #4
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On busier intersection, an overpass lane for cars that don't need to stop or make a turn at the intersection.

...
'03 Vue 103,000 miles and counting...

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Old 05-28-2004, 03:18 PM   #5
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You can also prevent idling your vehicle by choosing to use public transport. Unfortunately, for the majority of locations within the US, public transport is somewhat lacking. Even where it does exist, I have witnessed the "public transport is for others, not for me" mentality, "the others" implying that it is low-life and poor people not 'decent' enough to be able to buy an automobile who must resort to such lowly forms of transportation.
Europe must be a continent of bums.

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Old 05-28-2004, 04:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Boost Fuel Efficiency by 17%

Those are good ideas, but obviously nothing I can do myself. On another thread we discussed coasting in gear vesus coasting in neutral, so now I'm going to save a tiny little bit because I coast in gear.

Quote:
Originally posted by dulino
For some reason, however, most people don't realize that there are hundreds of other things that people can do to conserve gasoline.

...
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03 VUE: Oct 15, 2002 - Dec 5, 2004 R.I.P.

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Old 05-28-2004, 04:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Boost Fuel Efficiency by 17%

Quote:
Originally posted by dulino
So, we discussed hybrids and what not.

For some reason, however, most people don't realize that there are hundreds of other things that people can do to conserve gasoline.

According to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/atv.shtml
17% of fuel is spent on idling.

So, how about this:

1) Adjusting the traffic patterns during rush hours to minimize the amount of time cars spend idling at stop lights ?
2) Building pedestrian overpasses to eliminate the need for cars to stop to let pedestrian cross ?
3) How about pedestrian underpasses ?
4) In congested areas eliminating place where cars wanting to turn create congestions. During rush hours ban turning onto side streets ?
5) Eliminate human-operated toll booths
6) Increase the bridge/tunnel/highway tolls with traffic demand.

etc.

Any thoughts ?
1. This wouldn't solve the problem. If you lengthen the lights, then the cars sitting at the light waiting to cross would have to wait longer. If you shorten the lights, traffic would build at the lights and you would have a "stop-and-go" traffic pattern developing.

2. Pedestrians could continue to cross at intersections/crosswalks. Otherwise you would have to build an overpass at virtually every intersection.

3. This would be a crime risk (the criminals would love to have underpasses...less visibility for pick-pockets/muggers, etc.).

4. What about the people who use side streets to get to their homes? How would they get there? Businesses on side streets wouldn't be able to survive the reduced traffic.

5. There will always be a need for human operated toll booths. Systems like EZPass are gaining in popularity, but they are not without their problems (bad transponders, lane closures/malfunctions). There will always be people that want to pay cash at tolls.

6. Increasing tolls would be great for padding the State's transportation revenue. They don't spend enough on road improvement as it is. Why give them even more of our money to do nothing with? People will still drive themselves even if tolls increase.

A lot of fuel could be saved if people would not let their cars warm up for 20-30 minutes during the winter, and cool down for 20-30 minutes during the summer. That is a huge waste of fuel. Not to mention the people that let their cars run while they refuel. Both a waste and unsafe.

It is also important to plan out one's trip. Don't take routes if you know they are burdened by numerous stop lights. That just means more idle time.

Also make sure your tire pressure is at the manufacturer's suggested pressure, and your engine's air filter is clean.

There are little things that people can do without having to change entire transportation system infrastructures. Idling is just something that cannot be entirely eliminated, unfortunately.

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Old 05-28-2004, 05:03 PM   #8
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dulino, I think you have some great suggestions. I think most, if not all, are currently implented where possible. Los Angeles has a traffic center that monitors traffic congestion and adjusts traffic lights accordingly. Here in MA, the human toll taker is becoming a thing of the past being replaced with "fast pass" tolls, an automated system. In my city many side streets are off limits during rush hour, but I think that might be more for snob reasons than efficiency. Increasing tolls during high demand periods might cause riots here since we're taxed so highly already.

Why don't we, as a nation, build more fuel efficient vehicles and provide some real incentives to purchase one? I know this won't help immediately, but we have to start somewhere.

It's nice to know that people care about this subject. I think the prevelant view in this country though is that most people think it's their right to drive whatever they want , however they want and whenever they want. Maybe they're right? I don't pretend to have the answer. Maybe that's what makes us a great country. We're big and we waste big.

Enough ranting.

'04 4cyl 5spd Vue.

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Old 05-28-2004, 09:31 PM   #9
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There are two routes I can take for about half of my commute to work. The faster of the two routes takes 30 seconds less but is about half a mile longer than the other. Both have the same number of stop signs.

I normally take the faster route because the roads are straighter, there is less wildlife and there is a wider right-of-way - net, the faster way is safer, particularly in the dark.

Well, I hadn't taken the slow way for about six months, so I took it today. A doe and two fawns started to jump into the road in front of me. I was able to stop without hitting 'em.

My guess is that the slower/shorter route would be more fuel efficient, but probably not significantly. Even if I got a 10% increase in fuel economy, it would save me about $2 a week.

Not enough savings to justify additional risk of hitting something.

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Old 05-30-2004, 07:46 PM   #10
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I've seen underpass/overpass used for pedestians in asia but the cost of adding them is higher than most local govts would be willing to pay.

Most drivers could reduce fuel consumption by driving in more conservative manner.

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Old 05-30-2004, 10:50 PM   #11
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I agree that idling is a prime gas-waster. Here's where a mild hybrid (no electrics, just an automatic quick-stopping, quick-starting engine)could really make a difference. Picture coasting to a stop for a traffic light. As soon as you hit the brakes, your engine shuts off (perhaps improving your stopping distance as well). It remains off until the light goes green and you hit the gas to go.

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Old 05-31-2004, 12:37 AM   #12
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Idling and having a lead foot waste quite a bit of gas, but having a more efficient car in the first place is going to get you pretty far. Unfortunately, not all of us would find a tiny car w/ a 4-banger adequate. Combining trips, working closer to home, taking public transportation when possible, these are all things we can do to save on total fuel consumption. Unfortunately, public transportation in DFW pretty much sux unless you happen to live very close to downtown Dallas, in which case you can probably use the bus and light rail to get around. I've used the train to go out to Stars games from the airport, saved me time and miles, and it's cool. I wish there was a train that I could catch in to work, I could zone out or sleep or work on the way in, instead of just driving, but for a lot of people, public transportation just won't get you where you need to go.

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Old 05-31-2004, 03:51 AM   #13
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I've never lived in a place where public transportation was practical.

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Old 05-31-2004, 04:08 AM   #14
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We have eliminated some of the human toll booths here in Far North 40 of Dallas and it sucks big time. If you don't have a toll tag you have to use a dollar changer machine... which of course never works properly and ends up holding up traffic as someone tries to get their limp dollar to go in the machine.

I think Public trans is a good solution, but we need to invest in it to make it work properly. More routes to more places, etc.

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