This is Zef Wagner's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Zef Wagner's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Zef Wagner
Recent Activity
I love old, historic buildings, and love to see them restored and/or renovated. I get very frustrated, however, at the tendency of some people to think that everything that is old is also historic, or that the loss of any 100-year-old building is a terrible loss. This church is a spectacularly uninteresting and unattractive building. What is worth saving about it? The white plank siding? The generic church windows? The home featured later in the article is more interesting, but is still one of hundreds if not thousands of similar Victorians all over Portland.
It seems like trolley-cars could work on highways at the very least, as long as engineers could figure out the grounding issue. I could see highways becoming more automated, with cars fixed to one lane with a metal strip in the pavement. If you wanted to exit, there could be a way to signal that and the car would release from the power strip. This extra step would have another benefit of cutting down on excessive lane switching which is a major cause of congestion. I live in Seattle and I am a huge fan of our trolley-bus system. They are quiet, have no emissions, and have a much easier time going up hills than diesel buses. I have read about next-generation trolley-buses that can go offwire for short periods, which would help with getting through tangled intersections or around obstacles. Streetcars are another great form of electric transit that are justified in sufficiently dense areas. As the price of oil goes up it would behoove smart cities to invest in trolley-bus systems rather than diesel-hybrids, which barely get any worthwhile increase in gas mileage. We should certainly consider new innovations like trolley-trucks. We already have designated trucking routes--they would just need batteries sufficient to get that last mile to the final destination. Of course, wiring the interstate highways would be a massive infrastructure project, but we could certainly use the jobs at the moment! Trolley-boats would be useful in certain situations, like canals and rivers, or even small lakes like we have around Seattle. Especially if the boat is running alongside or under an existing bridge, the wire would not be difficult to string up. Cities should also consider aerial trams like those found in Portland and NYC. They are a great way to connect two destinations with a large grade change. I've always wanted Seattle to connect trams to the Space Needle and go to the top of Queen Anne and Capitol Hill. Too bad the Space Needle is a tourist trap and not public infrastructure.
1 reply
Zef Wagner is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 15, 2010