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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2017, 2:33 AM
Daario Daario is offline
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I completely disagree that the future of Philadelphia is all about trains.

The future for Philly and rest of the country in transportation rests with self driven cars. This technology is going to completely change how cities are built and where folks live.

Inga has an article today talking about how Uber has impacted mass transit. That is nothing, NOTHING!, compared to what self driven cars will do to it.

My guess, self driven cars are 1-2 car generations away (5-10 years). Add another five years for rapid adoption. hence, the transformational impact will hit during the 2030's.
I disagree. I sincerely think self driving cars are a terrible idea. How are they anything but a really decentralized mass transit system? How would you give it morals and such? I also have genuine fears that it will decentralize cities rather that help them. Mass transit is still the way to go in my opinion.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2017, 5:06 PM
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SEFTA SEFTA is offline
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Self-driven cars will impact every city, not just Philly. Where Philly stands out is rail infrastructure. Self-driven cars still need a place to park. It will put more cars on the streets and they will be more congested. Every progressive city in the world is investing bigly in rail, as well as every other concept coming. The key is infrastructure investment, in all forms. Philly has the rails that other cities are trying to put into place. The impact of the connection to NYC and DC can not be under estimated. Frankly, it's what is saving Philly.
The NE Corridor is the strength of the NE and is linked by rail. As far as "walkable" cities, few beat Philly. Play to your strengths, and your history.

Last edited by SEFTA; Mar 26, 2017 at 5:20 PM.
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2017, 5:38 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Self-driven cars will impact every city, not just Philly. Where Philly stands out is rail infrastructure. Self-driven cars still need a place to park. It will put more cars on the streets and they will be more congested. Every progressive city in the world is investing bigly in rail, as well as every other concept coming. The key is infrastructure investment, in all forms. Philly has the rails that other cities are trying to put into place. The impact of the connection to NYC and DC can not be under estimated. Frankly, it's what is saving Philly.
The NE Corridor is the strength of the NE and is linked by rail. As far as "walkable" cities, few beat Philly. Play to your strengths, and your history.
Self-driven cars (probably two decades away as far as mass use) will neither make public transit obsolete, nor put more cars on the street. If anything, self-driven cars will reduce the number of people that have private vehicles and reduce traffic. But there will still be a use for rail. Certain intra and inter-city commutes will always be more convenient via rail/SEPTA, while others will not.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 2:44 PM
christof christof is offline
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Originally Posted by Daario View Post
I disagree. I sincerely think self driving cars are a terrible idea. How are they anything but a really decentralized mass transit system? How would you give it morals and such? I also have genuine fears that it will decentralize cities rather that help them. Mass transit is still the way to go in my opinion.

You nailed it! Decentralization will be back in vogue when self driven cars hit the road.


There is an ebb and flow to everything. The city was everything, then came cars and suburbs became the thing. We are likely seeing the peak of city revitalization before self driven cars changes everything again.
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 2:59 PM
allovertown allovertown is offline
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You nailed it! Decentralization will be back in vogue when self driven cars hit the road.


There is an ebb and flow to everything. The city was everything, then came cars and suburbs became the thing. We are likely seeing the peak of city revitalization before self driven cars changes everything again.
Your overly optimistic take on self driven cars and your incredibly ambitious timeline to their easing traffic congestion aside, your viewpoint misses a huge factor.

Global warming is not going to become less of a problem as time goes on. Even if self driven cars are an entirely electric fleet, it still won't offset how incredibly inefficient suburban living is.

Personal carbon footprints, energy efficient societies. These factors will have a greater impact than self driven cars and dense city living is the key to energy efficiency.

So you see, playing with future is tricky and requires looking at more than one factor. Self driven cars are close to being introduced to the public. But they will only have a significant affect on traffic congestion when they are the only such cars on the highway. Considering how much americans love driving their cars your previous assertion that this will be happening by the 2030s is super optimistic. You're talking about something that is many many years in the future, it's impossible to say what will happen that far in the future.

Public transit is incredibly important now and it is FAR too soon to write it off as unimportant to the future.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 3:06 PM
christof christof is offline
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Your overly optimistic take on self driven cars and your incredibly ambitious timeline to their easing traffic congestion aside, your viewpoint misses a huge factor.

Global warming is not going to become less of a problem as time goes on. Even if self driven cars are an entirely electric fleet, it still won't offset how incredibly inefficient suburban living is.

Personal carbon footprints, energy efficient societies. These factors will have a greater impact than self driven cars and dense city living is the key to energy efficiency.

So you see, playing with future is tricky and requires looking at more than one factor. Self driven cars are close to being introduced to the public. But they will only have a significant affect on traffic congestion when they are the only such cars on the highway. Considering how much americans love driving their cars your previous assertion that this will be happening by the 2030s is super optimistic. You're talking about something that is many many years in the future, it's impossible to say what will happen that far in the future.

Public transit is incredibly important now and it is FAR too soon to write it off as unimportant to the future.

Folks are not going to think twice about carbon footprints. They will see the opportunity to buy a nice home with some land surrounding it and will jump at it. Self driven cars will simply make the commute to the ex-burbs that much easier.

Maybe the 2030's will be a little quick, though if you look at how technology gets adapted over the last 30 years, it is quite realistic. Those that are being born today will be the driving force behind how society is going to radically change when self driven cars become the norm...
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 3:37 PM
allovertown allovertown is offline
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Folks are not going to think twice about carbon footprints.
Really easy to say that today. I know plenty of people who think about such things today and I highly doubt the amount of people who care about such things is going to trend down. 30 years from now when the vast majority of scientists believe parts of America will begin to see real and serious repercussions from global warming, that may not be the case at all.

Also, while you are very optimistic about the advances in self driving cars, you totally ignore the advances that could be made in mass transit in the same period, so that even if self driving cars do everything you dream of, they still could end up less important than a superspeed train.

My main point though, is who the hell knows what is going to be happening in 30 years. Mass transit is immensely important today and the near future. Making decisions today regarding what may or may not happen decades down the line that could make mass transit obsolete is foolhardy.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:15 PM
christof christof is offline
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Really easy to say that today. I know plenty of people who think about such things today and I highly doubt the amount of people who care about such things is going to trend down. 30 years from now when the vast majority of scientists believe parts of America will begin to see real and serious repercussions from global warming, that may not be the case at all.

Also, while you are very optimistic about the advances in self driving cars, you totally ignore the advances that could be made in mass transit in the same period, so that even if self driving cars do everything you dream of, they still could end up less important than a superspeed train.

My main point though, is who the hell knows what is going to be happening in 30 years. Mass transit is immensely important today and the near future. Making decisions today regarding what may or may not happen decades down the line that could make mass transit obsolete is foolhardy.
No one in government is going to allocate the capital for superspeed trains. That horse left the barn years ago.

Funding may one day come for a hyperloop system, but that will occurs years, if not decades, after self-driven cars arrive.
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:19 PM
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SEFTA SEFTA is offline
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Driverless cars will play a part. Not the only part, and I hope not the biggest part. I believe it will be a combination of many and depending on your driving needs. There is a reason transit hubs are making come backs. Demand. Congestion and parking is simply making it more reasonable to take other means.
If you're running errands around the Walmart-land, your driverless car is the way to go. Headed to CC. You'd probably want to take the train. City dwellers shouldn't have to rely on a single form of transportation. That is the advantage of living in the city. Philly has a strong rail infrastructure. It only makes sense to build on that.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:42 PM
christof christof is offline
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Originally Posted by SEFTA View Post
Driverless cars will play a part. Not the only part, and I hope not the biggest part. I believe it will be a combination of many and depending on your driving needs. There is a reason transit hubs are making come backs. Demand. Congestion and parking is simply making it more reasonable to take other means.
If you're running errands around the Walmart-land, your driverless car is the way to go. Headed to CC. You'd probably want to take the train. City dwellers shouldn't have to rely on a single form of transportation. That is the advantage of living in the city. Philly has a strong rail infrastructure. It only makes sense to build on that.
1. Will we continue to be a services oriented economy?

2. Will broadband infrastructure continue to expand and improve?

If the answers to both are yes, how much longer will we have central cities for work? It's only a matter of time before going to work means going to an office in your home / apartment.

Honestly, how society will function in 30-50 years will be completely different than what we see today and what we expect it to be like decades from now.
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:43 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Originally Posted by christof View Post
You nailed it! Decentralization will be back in vogue when self driven cars hit the road.


There is an ebb and flow to everything. The city was everything, then came cars and suburbs became the thing. We are likely seeing the peak of city revitalization before self driven cars changes everything again.
I don't see driverless cars diminishing the desirability of urban living much at all. There has been a fundamental shift in mentality, and cities are also far nice places than they were historically to live. Chock full of green space, amenities, more comfortable housing, restaurants, entertainment, etc...all at your fingertips. They will have an impact at the margins because people who otherwise like the suburbs but feel burdened by the commute will be able to get other things done (work) or relax during the drive. It's still a chunk out of your day and what you can do during that commute remains limited. I can take conference calls but don't do great trying to work in cars (as a passenger) or on trains.
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:46 PM
allovertown allovertown is offline
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No one in government is going to allocate the capital for superspeed trains. That horse left the barn years ago.

Funding may one day come for a hyperloop system, but that will occurs years, if not decades, after self-driven cars arrive.
Man I wish I had your confidence in what will be happening 20-30 years from now. You've got it all figured it out huh?
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 6:08 PM
christof christof is offline
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Man I wish I had your confidence in what will be happening 20-30 years from now. You've got it all figured it out huh?
Not at all. But you have to think outside the box, because that is where we are going to end up.
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