Thursday, January 05, 2006

resolving road, transportation and fuel problems

I need your help. You and many more like you. I need your suggestions and I need your support asking others to take an interest.
I believe we have a major transportation problem.We have so many automobiles traveling the highways we are constantly expanding our roads. Thousands of you, your friends and your loved ones are being killed each year. A large portion of your income goes to buy and maintain yourautomobiles. Fuel is very expensive We see 3 lane highways being expanded to 6 lanes and expectations they will need to be 12 lanes in a few years.
Some of the statistics offered include a recorded highway deaths of 43,000 per year. A large percentage are on rural roads. But it works out to over 115 per day, That is equivalent to one jumbo jet crashing every 3 days, the same number of deaths in the twin towers every month and the same number that have died in Iraq every 2 and a half weeks. My apologies to the families of those who have died in the twin towers and in Iraq. I do not wish to belittle those tradgedies, I just wish to bring your attention to the death we face on our highways and the enormity of our tragedy.
Is there a solution?Mass transportation could help.Most attempts to promote mass transportation have failed. There are a few great systems such as the trains that service Washington DC, the trolley system that willtransport you through Portland, Oregon, the subway system in New York City and there are others.But we need more, much more and it can be developed but it needs our help. Yours and mine.
First, we must analyze the problem. We must understand why it developed before we can decide how to change it.Second, we must set a goal for a sound transportation concept.Third, we must stimulate the inventive minds that can create such a system.Fourth, we must support the new system and make it financially successful.
To start the process I am going to tell you my thoughts for each step outlined above. I am not so conceited that I think my ideas have much merit, but getting you to think about the problem and getting you to develop a better idea will stimulate the process.
To make this work, we need a central home base leading us, exposing the ideas, seeing that each idea is recorded and recognized. Every contribution needs to rewarded, somehow.
My suggestion is to ask museums to take on the task of presenting the program. If many museums would develop a display and receive back the ideas of visitors, adults, school children, high school and college classes along with the thoughts of advanced scientists and engineers we could, all working toward the same goal, stimulate a superior transportation system that we would prefer to use rather than avoid. We could also design it so there is not competition between systems.
Our efforts to develop and sustain a mass transportation system have failed in the past because these efforts have placed each segment of the system in competition with each other. We love our automobiles, they have become the status symbol of our culture and we love to drive them. They compete with the trains and buses and trolleys for our comfort and attention. The buses compete with the trains and they compete with the airplanes and marine travel.
When we start analyzing the problem we will probably find the biggest problem is ourselves. We just do not want to use mass transit and so it fails.
I submit to you that the first step in solving the problem is to combine our automobiles with mass transit and that might give us an opportunity for a solution. If we can develop this theme we could probably achieve the 4 goals described above.
Let us imagine we could work together and develop a new system. For example, we could have cars that are van like with comfortable seats on one side and a television or radio on the other side. When these vans or travel modules are placed in a transport "rack" it would travel in groups with other modules at high speeds, like 300 miles per hour using magnetic levitation. Most of the technology for this type of system is already developed. Instead of discarding our present rail right of ways we could be saving them for a new transportation system. If we use the approach of encouraging potential users of helping to select the design of a system we would develop interest, loyalty and future usage.
There, in simple form we have described a system that is possible to develop. The train companies can get involved in the trackage and transporting. The automobile manufacturers still produce the modules. These same modules might be placed in large planes for travel either shorter distances by the ground effect aerial transports over water or at high elevations on super transports for the longer distances.
Everyone works together so the need for each system to compete with each other is minimized.
A change in our system and some improvements are needed but it is our responsibility. The solution rests with you and me. And here is what we must do:
We must change our attitude about transportation. We must make transportation safer by making mass transportation more attractive. We will start with education. We must make everyone aware of our problem and a possible attractive solution. I suggest we start with museums and encourage them to put up displays that will educate all ages. We need to start teaching young people to worship something other than material items, especially the automobile. We need the help of students of all ages to provide ideas for a new system. We need to encourage engineers, technicians and inventors to design solutions for a new system. We need to encourage citizens to accept mass transportation as safer and more convenient than driving long distances on highways. We need to encourage politicians to stimulate creativity and we need to encourage manufacturers to work together to have an integrated design that encourages high use, not competition.
A Sample journey
How about a sample journey? Let me invite you on an imaginary ride in one form of a new transportation system. I agree, this is not perfect and maybe not possible but I feel most of the components exist. If you do not like the system, please suggest a better system, we are open to your thoughts and will help you develop and promote your ideas.
Our journey.
You decide you want to take a trip and you need to stop at the office first and then leave for a trip to Dallas and you live in St. Augustine, Florida.First, you enter your destination into your computer and let it know when you want to leave and when you expect to return. You transfer the information to a memory stick and take it to your transportation module in its docking station in the garage. You insert the memory stick into the cars computer memory reader. It might already be loaded if you have the wireless networking connected.The transportation module is your car with a few modifications. It has all the bells and whistles of the old cars, maybe a little more of a sleek egg style because it is designed to allow you maximum comfort while traveling. At the allotted time you load your bags and move your module out of the docking station. Your computer tells you the best route to your office, either by a mass transit mode or by a straight drive. After you leave the office you head out for the mass transit docking station. Your module has special docking connectors to hold it in the travel system. Your module can be any form you want but it has a maximum size and the four docking points that meet standard travel requirements.Your computer directs you to the docking station where you follow the directions and your module is driven into and connected to a travel frame or cage. This frame slides out and up into the handling tracks and is moved to the acceleration track and finally merged into the high speed travel lanes.Your module is modified inside so that you can have restful seats, television, radio and a view out either end. You are merged sideways so there is a module every 5 feet and all units will move at the maximum rate of speed depending on the distance traveled. A long trip such as from Florida to Dallas will be completed at 300 miles per hour and the modules could be moved by magnetic levitation.If you need to make a comfort stop you send a signal to your computer and you are moved over to a deceleration track and sent to a rest station.At your destination you are sent to a disembarkation station at the point closest to your destination. You will be eased out of the frame and then drive to your location.
The movement is controlled by a central location which gives the opportunity to bypass the auto's own engine and be moved by a central power grid. If mag lev is utilized then the power is electricity and great economies can be realized with an impact on the savings of oil.
There, in simple form you have made a trip on a system that is possible to develop. The train companies can get involved in the trackage and transporting. The automobile manufacturers still produce the modules. These same modules might be placed in large planes for travel either shorter distances by the ground effect aerial transports over water or at high elevations on super transports for the longer distances.
Everyone works together so the need for each system to compete with each other is minimized.
It all starts with you and me. Do you know someone you can forward this information to or someone you can send to the blog for information?
Thank you for your help.Stew RusbyA contribution to fuel savings
As you review the entries to this blog and understand the concept I am trying to stimulate I hope you will recognize the following:I am trying to stimulate your thoughts so you can contribute to the concept of a new type of transportation that will not infringe upon your own desire to have your own automobile.The personal auto will be altered slightly to be compatible with a convenient and more efficient travel system.The new travel system can be powered by the autos themselves but the ability exists to ustilize a central power system that could reduce our need for oil.Thank you for reading my suggestions and I hope your thought process stimulates a contribution of ideas from you. If you scroll down to the bottom of the postings you can follow the introduction and grasp the over all concept.
The purpose of this proposal.
1. Make all citizens primarily of the United States aware of our growing need to change our transportation habits.
2. Create this awareness by stimulating educational exhibits.
3. Create interaction with visitors to the exhibit by stimulating their participation and bonding their support.
4. Present the history of transportation illustrating the dedication in the US to the automobile and how the fondness for it as a status symbol is a strong influence.
5. Present a sample model for a transportation system to help visitors develop their own ideas for solutions.. Record and reward these proposals.
6. In the past suggestions for mass transit have placed the various modes in competition. The model presented attempts to combine all forms of transportation into a mutually beneficial project.
&. The author does not benefit from the project. It is a stimulating project designed to cause interaction and thought contribution.
When you see a movie or some depiction of the future it usually involves some type of transportation floating through the air in some mysterious way.
Imagine the traffic from your local interstate floating up there. Pretty crowded.
I think we can start thinking about something more practical, maybe using the new magnetic levitation processes as mentioned above. There is a high speed train operating in Japan using mag lev. I think we will develop a way in which we could have our own car attach to a rack type system like you see in industrial plants moving products along. Our cars could be standardized to fit these racks or conveyors and be moved along at high speed using maglev. Our bright young inventors will figure it out.Anyway, most of the technology exists and needs to be refined, we need understanding to accept it and adapt to a new efficient form of travel. We must start thinking about it now because it will take several years to develop.

No comments: