[ox-en] Opensourcing the automobile world?
- From: "Franz Nahrada" <f.nahrada reflex.at>
- Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2004 13:22:02 +0200
See below: It seems just like a vague challenge but who else should take
up the challenge? I do not know which answer they give in part 2, but
which answers would WE have?
I take the liberty to post this to two lists with the hope that this does
not lead to further crossposting, but participation of more people in the
redherring challenge. Oekonux is a list explicitely dedicated to the
transfer of FLOSS principles to other domains - and Minciu Sodas is a
loose but dedicated virtual community of independent thinkers who have
dealt intelligently with transportation issues in the past. So its not
exactly a virtual flash mob thats to be declared here, but a certain
widespread attention in order to show the power of collective wisdom.
The Future: A solution for bad traffic, pt. 1
Eyeing open source to ease congestion on the roadways.
May 28, 2004
Traffic in Silicon Valley is terrible. Not surprising: according to a
recent San Jose Mercury News column, there are now 4.5 million cars in
the Bay Area, logging 167 million miles every day ? over 5 billion miles
a year. Cars pollute the environment, adversely affect our quality of
life, and make the Bay Area less attractive and productive. So why don't
we have more public transportation? The existing light rail system isn't
very heavily used, and recent projections suggest that ridership on the
area?s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train will go down in coming decades.
The Bay Area is a patchwork of small governments, which adds complexity
to any big infrastructure project. A bottom-up approach doesn't work
well for mass transit systems, which have to be carefully knit together
to attract riders. And for better or worse, today's voters aren't very
enthusiastic about large public spending projects, and California isn't
exactly flush with cash.
Further, the changes required to turn the Bay Area into a place where
large-scale public transportation would really work shouldn't be
underestimated. Proponents of public transportation argue that the
region's high cost of living would be lowered if we could build
high-density housing served by light-rail trains that would make cars
unnecessary. Essentially, we'd have to transform the Valley from a
sprawl of suburbs and towns into something more like Manhattan or Tokyo
? a sprawl of cities.
And, frankly, most people like cars better than public transportation.
They like the convenience of being able to go exactly from Point A to
Point B, exactly when they want. There are some other experiments in
reducing traffic and the need for car ownership. There are vanpools,
shuttles that run between train stations and corporate parks, and
car-sharing services. These have loyal users ? I rode in a vanpool
between Berkeley and Davis (one hour away) for several years ? but
they're not widely popular. Many of the freeways have carpool lanes, but
as anyone who drives during rush hour knows, the existence of these
lanes hasn't generated much of a carpooling movement. (When you realize
that there are 4.5 million cars and 6.5 million people in the Bay Area,
the lack of traffic in the carpool lanes makes more sense.)
It seems an intractable problem. In a region that is not as densely
built up as a real city, in which it's hard to live without a car,
public transportation is always going to be less attractive than
privately-owned transportation. But there's a possible solution, and it
comes from an unlikely place: the open source movement. Maybe the answer
is to tweak the rules of ownership, to create a system that hooks up
drivers and passengers in real time, and creates incentives to share the
road. Maybe the answer is to create a public transportation system out
Organization: projekt oekonux.de