Future Cars: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby mattaudio » June 1st, 2019, 6:43 pm

So you're saying we just need to electrify our cars but cars are fine otherwise?

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 1st, 2019, 9:36 pm

What I'm trying to say is that is that the switch to BEV's may have a lot of additional leverage, in the sense that you're not trading electric miles for gas/diesel miles on a one to one basis. I'm suggesting that when you no longer have to take deep breaths of toxic haze to ride a bicycle people will do it a lot more, and you will automatically see a substantial number of trips which are now car trips shifting over to biking or walking. An all BEV fleet would make bicycling an order of magnitude more fun and healthy.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 2nd, 2019, 6:41 am

I'll tell you this, when I choose to bike or not bike, it's not because of car exhaust that I feel unsafe. It's drivers not viewing me as human and engineers thinking drivers will respect unprotected bike lakes.

mamundsen
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby mamundsen » June 2nd, 2019, 7:49 am

Exactly the same reason I don’t bike the 1.7 mile trip to my bus. The only route is dangerous. Part of it is 6(!) lanes and I’ve seen drivers cutting off other drivers as they make last minute decisions. I wouldn’t stand a chance.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 2nd, 2019, 8:49 am

Those are very real concerns, and they also need to be addressed, but the bad effects of breathing the exhaust from cars trucks and buses are real and well documented. When you guys hit a cloud of stinky exhaust do you hold your breath or just breathe it in? When I get a whiff of diesel I just try to hold my breath, but sometimes I can't.

When you look at the air quality reports there are quite a few days in the summer when it's recommended to limit physical activity outdoors, and while this is occasionally due to forest fires, it's mostly from motor vehicles. Physical exertion while breathing fine particulates, oxides of nitrogen, unburned hydrocarbons, and ground level ozone seems like a pretty bad health choice, even if the drivers behaved perfectly.

Again, I'm not trying to minimize the hazard of oblivious or aggressive drivers, I'm just saying that right now in addition to coping with that risk you also have to breathe in some very toxic stuff, and people will ride more and drive less when the air is cleaner.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby mplsjaromir » June 2nd, 2019, 10:10 pm

I wonder what New York City does that eliminates tail pipe emissions to the point that so many people walk?

alexschief
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby alexschief » June 3rd, 2019, 7:29 am

Electric vehicles are great and we should go full speed ahead on EVs. That being said, because of (1) the emissions involved in their manufacture, and (2) the additional energy capacity needed to support full vehicle electrification, we cannot meet our climate goals by relying on EVs alone. Reducing VMT is simply essential, there is no path to the needed scale of carbon reduction otherwise.

xandrex
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby xandrex » June 4th, 2019, 10:25 am

Not biking because of tailpipe exhaust seems to be largely a boogeyman of folks who don't want to bike in the first place (either searching for an excuse not to do so or as part of an anti-bike argument). In most parts of the city, exhaust largely isn't a perceptible issue.

And for what it's worth, research shows the cardiovascular benefits outweigh the harms done by breathing the fumes. That's not going to convince anyone new to get on a bike, but it's still an important finding.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 4th, 2019, 5:52 pm

Xandrex, I generally agree about the benefits outweighing the harm, but there are times when it just doesn't seem worth it, like when you're on the downwind side of 6 lanes of idling cars by the Walker and getting all the fumes from the tunnel.

FWIW, the several people I've talked to who have mentioned the emissions have been women, all of whom ride enthusiastically around the lakes and on parkways.

xandrex
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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby xandrex » June 5th, 2019, 3:17 pm

Yeah, I don't disagree that some of those people exist - just that most people who I've seen make that excuse haven't always been genuine. Regardless, it's clearly a reality for some, and even if it isn't, we'd still want to reduce emissions.

That said, I'm surprised anyone would cite the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck specifically as a particularly problematic area. That's a pretty short stretch with curb-and-boulevard protected bike lanes. You'll never be sitting directly behind a car there. The real threats seem to be the Groveland and Oak Grove intersections. I'd say the worst spot for exhaust is Nicollet (both the Mall and Avenue), where there is a lot of bike traffic often stuck behind buses and cars at intersections.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Future Cars: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 6th, 2019, 5:23 pm

Not totally on board with these posts being moved. I was hoping to bring this back around to Sam, where I started it, and discuss the assumptions that he and his colleagues on the planning commission are working from. It's uplifting to hear him say that we should be more like New York or Paris, but with our much colder winters and no subway system in the earliest planning phase, how much would driving (regardless of the energy source) have to be reduced to get in their league? Fifty percent?

Multimodal
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Re: Future Cars: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Postby Multimodal » June 10th, 2019, 10:06 am

Are you saying that moving to electric cars by itself will mean that people shouldn’t take fewer car trips?


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