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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 08 2014, @12:52PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you-can't-get-there-from-here dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Michelle Rindel reports at AP that despite being two of the largest cities in the Southwest, Las Vegas and Phoenix are linked by a road that narrows to two lanes, hits stoplights in a Depression-era town and until recently backed up traffic over the Hoover Dam. An effort to improve what's now a 4 1/2-hour drive to cover the 300 miles of desert between Sin City and the Valley of the Sun with a more reliable road has heavy-hitting allies, including business leaders and the Republican governor of each state. 'Long-term jobs are created by our connectivity,' says Steve Betts, noting that the stretch would be the first piece of a new shipping route between Mexico and Canada.

That the cities aren't already linked by an interstate is a fluke of timing. The Phoenix and Las Vegas populations exploded just after the national road-building frenzy that started in the 1950s. The Las Vegas metro area, population 2 million, is 40 times larger than it was in 1950. The Phoenix area, population 4.3 million, has grown 13-fold over that span. Highway supporters won a key victory last year when Congress formally designated Interstate 11. The legislation provides no funding, but it allows builders to tap into interstate construction dollars. An interstate could link Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas as partners in a 'megaregion' that competes with other regions, and could open a trade route from Mexico to Pacific Ocean ports and Canada. Arizona and Nevada are currently losing much of that flow and its attendant development to Texas and California, according to Betts, chairman of CAN-DO, an acronym for Connecting Arizona and Nevada-Delivering Opportunities. Still, other critics worry that pushing further toward the interstate dream would contribute to urban sprawl and hurt the environment. 'The last thing we need is another freeway,' says Sandy Bahr, president of the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club. 'We need to look for other transportation modes.'"

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday March 08 2014, @01:32PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday March 08 2014, @01:32PM (#13177) Homepage Journal

    It would be orders of magnitudes cheaper to establish an Amtrak [amtrak.com] route from Las Vegas to Phoenix.

    For me to travel one way from San Jose, California to Portland Oregon on Amtrak set me back eighty bucks. Last I checked in 2010, one way air from Seattle to San Jose was $160.00. My Aunt Peggy recently paid $250.00 to fly round trip from Spokane to Portland; that's $86.00 on Amtrak with two weeks advance purchase.

    There is no security checkpoints at any Amtrak stations - Some Soylentils pointed out that when TSA tried to set up at some Amtrak station, they were escorted out by security.

    The seats are wide and comfortable with enough legroom that you can play footsie with the cuties sitting opposite you. Some of the seats have tables not the fold out trays like on airplanes but enough room to spread out your work. They all have lots of 110 VAC sockets, most trains have WiFi.

    However that Wifi is a single shared 3G connection, so it drops when the train is in some rural areas, streaming video is blocked and you are limited to 10 MB of file downloads.

    The Amtrak website does not have the lowest fares because its web programmers were infinitely many monkeys. To get the best fare you must go to the station. For some routes just one day advance purchase will get you a good price but for other routes you need two weeks so do look into it well ahead of time.

    The railway tracks are ALREADY there as the US does still ship a lot of freight via rail. The very best way to get new passenger routes established is to take the train for routes that are presently there. The Amtrak Coast Starlight from Seattle to LA is always full, but most routes aren't. It doesn't cost any less to operate a train when seats are empty so in reality Amtrak operates on a shoestring.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ilPapa on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:46PM

      by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:46PM (#13189) Journal

      I just took the Empire Builder from Chicago to Minneapolis and back and it was delightful. I got work done, a brief nap and caught up on the Venture Bros. When I got there, I was ready to roll.

      If I'd driven I90-94, with the weather, I'd have needed therapy by the time I got there, and with the weather it probably would have taken longer. If I'd flown, by the time I drove to the airport, dealt with the public humiliation of lines and anal probes and sat on the tarmac, it wouldn't have saved much time and I'd feel like crap. Except the weather had flights delayed by hours, so it would have been all that pain plus taken just as long.

      Trains are where it's at. Come Fall, I'm taking that baby all the way to the Pacific Northwest.

      My grandfather worked for the Rock Island railroad, so I've been taking trains all my life. It's the only way to travel that keeps your dignity intact.

      --
      You are still welcome on my lawn.
      • (Score: 1) by Jiro on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:07PM

        by Jiro (3176) on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:07PM (#13229)

        Quickly checking Amtrak's site shows that only one Empire Builder train per day runs. If you had driven, you could have gone any time you wanted. That's why people drive cars.

        At least you're fortunate enough to have picked a train that actually runs on weekends.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @04:12PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @04:12PM (#14050)

          The Chicago - Milwaukee segment runs every 30 minutes during the rush hour and every hour most of the rest of the day. I've taken that more times that I can count.

          There were plans to extend that to Madison and eventually MPLS but for political reasons that absolutely had to be stopped. It was, and is, a great idea.

          The train goes 60-100 MPH continuously with about three five minutes stops, even when you go to the bathroom or eat dinner. So its much faster than driving.

          As for flying, unless you're rich you either have to save money or your boss requires you to save money such that you will be taking the one cheapest flight. So once again, there is only one travel time per day.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Angry Jesus on Saturday March 08 2014, @03:16PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Saturday March 08 2014, @03:16PM (#13205)

      Some Soylentils pointed out that when TSA tried to set up at some Amtrak station, they were escorted out by security.

      Amtrak even used to run a commercial where they said one of the perks was that you got keep your shoes on.

      Unfortunately, the gears of government bureaucracy grind slow but sure. [nytimes.com]

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Saturday March 08 2014, @04:55PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Saturday March 08 2014, @04:55PM (#13225)

        Hey! You guys who rated my comment as "funny" need to click the link at the end.
        It is anything but funny. We are losing.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by McGruber on Saturday March 08 2014, @03:20PM

      by McGruber (3038) on Saturday March 08 2014, @03:20PM (#13210)

      Phoenix (population 4,329,534) and Las Vegas (population 2,000,759) are the two largest major US cities without passenger rail service:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major_cities_ in_U.S._lacking_Amtrak_service [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 0) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:29PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:29PM (#13240) Homepage Journal

        I once had a close friend who was from that way-out-in-the-middle-of-the-desert town.

        A little town like that one wouldn't expect much fine dining, but the McDonalds she worked at during high school has a special, private seating section for bus drivers. All you have to do is park your bus in that fine Scottish Restaurant's parking lot, and you get all the McD you can eat, gratis.

        It is quite popular to organize charter bus trips to gambling centers. That's big, between the SF Bay Area and Reno.

        I once rode the Amtrak train from Reno to Oakland, but trains don't stop for gas, beer, junk food or tobacco.

        Some other Soylentil pointed out that the existing road is just fine because the average velocity is 67 miles per hour.

        However I expect an Interstate between LV and LA would be at least three lanes all the way, four or even five near each city, yet it would still be at capacity and there will still be lots of traffic backups.

        It will move lots of Quarter Pounder meals though!

        Again: We MUST get the money out of politics. The people who ride Amtrak, who work for Amtrak, the people who make the trains, I expect we vote but few of us contribute cash to the congresscritters.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
        • (Score: 2) by demonlapin on Sunday March 09 2014, @10:37PM

          by demonlapin (925) on Sunday March 09 2014, @10:37PM (#13658) Journal
          If you take the political money out of Amtrak, it would quickly die outside the Northeast Corridor.

          Trains are useful over a certain set of distances. They work well in Western Europe due to its incredibly high population density. They're wonderfully scenic ways to view the land, too. But it takes three days to get from New Orleans to LA. You can fly - with change of aircraft! - in less than seven hours, for $520.
    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:50PM

      by davester666 (155) on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:50PM (#13285)

      So, you are saying I should start taking the train to places I don't want to go, in the hopes that eventually, Amtrak will notice and go "hey, this guy seems really determined to take the train. Sure, he is kind of crazy for taking the train to spots where he doesn't want to go, but just maybe he is crazy like a fox. We should make a new route to where this guy really wants to go, and then see what happens."

  • (Score: 2) by Boxzy on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:45PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:45PM (#13188) Journal

    "The last thing we need is another freeway," says Sandy Bahr, president of the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club. "We need to look for other transportation modes."

    "Yay Trains!"

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:48PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:48PM (#13336) Journal

      Too late.
      The road is already there.

      And the trains do exactly nobody any good except the people in Phoenix that want to run to Vegas and lose some money.

      Tourists and travelers to Vegas aren't going to take a side trip via the train to Phoenix. Nor will anyone park their cars in Phoenix to take a train to Vegas. You can survive in Vegas without a car provided you are content to stay withing a 10 block radius of your hotel.

      And slowly but surely both states are widening the highway to 4 lanes using mostly state money.
      Every few years another few of the remaining two-lane miles are converted to 4 lane.
      Completion of the remainder would be some of the cheapest road building anywhere in the US.
      Its a scenic drive in some portions.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by evilviper on Saturday March 08 2014, @03:15PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Saturday March 08 2014, @03:15PM (#13203) Homepage Journal

    An effort to improve what's now a 4 1/2-hour drive to cover the 300 miles of desert between Sin City and the Valley of the Sun with a more reliable road has heavy-hitting allies,

    300 miles in 4.5 hours is 67MPH. That's pretty impressive for a road that's getting lambasted as a piece of junk, urgently in need of replacement. Assuming a perfect 75MPH speed limit the entire way, you'll only save 30 minutes, max. Meanwhile, the freeway speed limit in California is 70MPH, tops. The drive from LA to LV according to GMaps is 277mi in 4 hours 7 mins (or 67MPH) at best, and Friday-night (or the Sunday night return trip) traffic can EASILY add more than an hour to that time. And LA has many, many times more people... 10 million in the county, and at least 8 million more in neighboring counties along the route to LA. Where's the outrage for So. Cal? Where's the crazy plan to spend billions of dollars making a faster and more direct route for them?

    An interstate could link Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas as partners in a "megaregion" that competes with other regions

    I fail to see how those three aren't already linked, or how a just-slightly-faster road from Phx to LV would substantially change things.

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Pooch on Saturday March 08 2014, @04:07PM

      by Pooch (3199) on Saturday March 08 2014, @04:07PM (#13215)

      thank you! that was my first thought ... just how quickly do you want to be able to traverse the distance ... two hours ... one?

    • (Score: 0) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday March 08 2014, @06:09PM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday March 08 2014, @06:09PM (#13252) Homepage Journal

      First let me point out that I do not want that highway built. There is very little that highway could do that passenger rail would not do better.

      However, Intel's largest wafer Fab in the US, is in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix. You know those VLSI designers like to play the slots when Intel meets its quarterlies and they all get bonuses.

      Presently most of them fly. That would be like me flying from Portland to Seattle. I mean that's just asinine when I can take the BoltBus for a dollar.

      So what we have here are McDonalds and the other fast food joints, Big Tobacco, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Coors, Pabst and Budweiser lobbying for the highway, and Boeing, Airbus, United Airlines, USAir and so on lobbying against it.

      Who lobbies for passenger rail? Railway work pays well but there aren't a whole lot of railway workers anymore. No one makes a fortune by investing in rail equities anymore.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:15PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:15PM (#13343) Journal

        The road from Phoenix to Vegas does not only or even principally serve the e people that live in either city, neither does I5 only serve the needs of Portland and Seattle.

        Rail is not an option, for so many reasons. If you haven't spent any time in Phoenix you couldn't possibly understand the difficulty of getting around in the spread out city, and the heat. Its not like hopping a bus or the LightRail in a dense city like Portland, or the 5 hour ride on Amtrak to Seattle, in addition to an hour on each end getting to the station and finding parking.

        I've traveled that line often. Its a pain in the ass, because you end up having to get a car at either end, or spend more time trying to navigate either city's public transit system.

        Its a 2:45 minute drive from my door Portland, and the only way I take the train is if the weather is really bad.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:22AM

          by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:22AM (#13481) Homepage Journal

          I'm not saying one should take public transit to a hypothetical Vegas or Phoenix rail station.

          Both cites are spread out enough, and land is cheap enough that both cities could have Amtrak stations with big parking lots, somewhere towards the edge of each city but also close to arterials or just off a highway offramp.

          So in either city, one would drive no more than ten minutes to get to Amtrak. The train is not a whole lot faster than a car, but you don't need to drive, you're not weary when you arrive, you can hang out at Websites of Ill Repute for the entire trip provided they assign you a seat in the right place, and there is no particular limit on your luggage.

          Note that my above example spoke of wealthy Chandler and Phoenix residents flying to Vegas to gamble. Those people aren't that concerned about getting there so quickly, about parking, they don't need a car once they arrive because they have the cash to rent one or pay a taxi.

          I expect you live in Tacoma or so but from time to time, work in Portland. I myself live in either Portland or as now, in my mother's basement in Salmon Creek.

          (Well, actually she doesn't have a basement I live in her luxurious, tastefully appointed guest room, with my O'Reilly books and Linux boxen all over the place.)

          I'm completely willing to accept that gentlemen such as yourself really do need to drive.

          There are all kinds of reasons that those who travel for their work, really must drive, as did I when I worked in Silicon Valley, Maine, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

          But in Vancouver BC, not only did I not own a car, I never felt the need even to rent one, nor to even take a taxi.

          That wasn't so much because of the excellent public transit but because of the population density. There are highrises all over the place, not just in Vancouver but in neighboring cities like Surry.

          The key to successful public transit is high population density, so where you put a bus or train stop, there's lots of people who find it convenient to walk from their homes to that stop.

          That's why Portland has the bus and light rail.

          Vancouver has the C-Tran buses, but the Salmon Creek Park-and-Ride is quite cruelly designed not to serve the needs of actual Salmon Creek residents such as myself who do not own cars.

          It is for me a HUGE PITA to live in Salmon Creek. I like it here but from time to time I really do need to go somewhere else. I cannot get to Portland and back on Sundays, I can't stay past four in the afternoon on Saturdays, and the last bus from Portland to Salmon Creek leaves portland at 7:30.

          The Salmon Creek Park-and-Ride was designed specifically to serve the commuters who live in Ridgefield, Battle Ground and the like, and who also work in Portland. If you time it just right, there is ample parking, and for a seven dollar day pass, or a monthly express pass with a significant discount, you can get to downtown Portland from Salmon Creek in twenty minutes.

          But for me to have any hope whatsoever of remaining self-employed, I'm going to have to move to somewhere in Portland, Beaverton or Gresham.

          I like downtown Portland, but I was born in Spokane, my Mom lives in Salmon Creek, and I have discovered the state of washington to be fucked up beyond all repair.

          In much the same way that I'd rather become a Canadian citizen someday - I would be by now had my ex not divorced me - I came to realize that my country needs me, so I am back in the US, pissed as hell and writing Walls Of Text all over creation then snail-mailing them to my congress critters.

          In much the same way, I'd rather live and work in the Pearl District, but downtown Vancouver looks just like downtown Detroit: lots of vacant storefronts, no pedestrians on the sidewalk, the only really prosperous business are hard liquor bars, lots of homeless folk but no soup kitchens nor shelters.

          So if my current press release plan works out (see my sig - a week from Monday or so), I'm going to lease an office in downtown vancouver, then pay a living wage to some Clark Country residents, provided they get to our office on public transite.

          Care to elucidate?

          --
          Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:56PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:56PM (#13339) Journal

      300 miles in 4.5 hours is 67MPH. That's pretty impressive for a road that's getting lambasted as a piece of junk

      Significant sections of the road are four lane. Its only the two lane sections that slow down traffic during some periods to sub 60mph.

      As for comparing it to California, that is a pointless exercise. The amount of disruption and seizing of heavily built up property in California make just about any development outrageously expensive. You can't make the case that no road can be built anywhere in the US until California gets their pet projects.

      Vegas to Phoenix is largely desert, and most of the four lane is already marked out and surveyed in those few sections that are not already four lane. Actually finishing the road would be crazy cheap compared to a similar project in California.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:42AM

        by evilviper (1760) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:42AM (#13414) Homepage Journal

        The amount of disruption and seizing of heavily built up property in California make just about any development outrageously expensive. [...] Vegas to Phoenix is largely desert

        Los Angeles to Vegas is mostly desert, too. It's only the first 40 miles that's through urban sprawl... but there are already multiple parallel freeway routes that span that particular stretch of it. The 10, 60, 210, 91, etc.

        It's the other 237 miles through mostly desert and vastly less populated areas, where there is no alternative route, and one accident or brush fire shuts the whole thing down.

        Actually finishing the road would be crazy cheap compared to a similar project in California.

        Considering the 4-billion dollar price tag getting slapped on it, I find that quite hard to believe.

        --
        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @04:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @04:19PM (#13217)

    Please, try to always mention which country a city belongs to. Thanks

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas_(disambigu ation)#Geography [wikipedia.org]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix#Places [wikipedia.org]

    Also, "two of the largest cities in the Southwest". Southwest of what?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cwix on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:11PM

      by cwix (873) on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:11PM (#13231)

      If someone speaks of building a new highway from Sydney to Perth I do not need them to explain that those cities are in Australia. There really are not that many Las Vegases or Pheonixes.

      So my question is were you actually confused by this article, just trying to make a point, trying to start a troll war?

      If you were truly confused then perhaps you should pay more attention to world media. If you were just making a point perhaps you should wait for a submission that is truly confusing before you try to make that point. If you were just trying to start something perhaps you should grow up.

      • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:48PM

        by mojo chan (266) on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:48PM (#13245)

        Outside of the US not everyone is familiar with major US cities, especially in non-English speaking countries that don't get a lot of US TV shows. It isn't necessary to mention the country every time, and if you do at least try to get it right (so no "London, England" please) but some hint wouldn't go amiss. On the other site the article could be tagged "usa".

        --
        const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @08:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @08:44AM (#13502)

          I'm asking just to be a dick; is it common for the residents of those non-English speaking countries that don't get a lot of US TV shows to read English websites that occasionally mention geographic locations by name?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @08:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @08:20PM (#13296)

        When this site started everybody agreed to not make it so USA-centric like Slashdot.
        i.e. using the metric system, news not only about USA, etc.

        The thing is, this submission talks about a thing that only americans care about. Its impact over the rest of the world is zero.
        It would have been ok if it talked about some new USA law affecting other countries too (e.g. copyright), or USA tech companies, etc.

        Imagine a submission making to front page talking about a new road in Uganda.
        This article should never been made to the front page.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:15AM (#13402)

        If someone speaks of building a new highway from Sydney to Perth I do not need them to explain that those cities are in Australia.

        You would need to if you are telling that to an American.

        And I hope I was joking about it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:32AM (#13426)

        If someone speaks of building a new highway from Sydney to Perth I do not need them to explain that those cities are in Australia. There really are not that many Las Vegases or Pheonixes.

        That's a poor example. Sydney to Perth is instantly recognisable as Australia, but only because Sydney is very well known as Australia's largest city. If it was just-about-anywhere-else to Perth, it would be worth mentioning ", Australia", since without the context of "Sydney", I imagine most non-Australians would assume that "Perth" was in Scotland, where it's always been...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by unitron on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:17PM

    by unitron (70) on Saturday March 08 2014, @05:17PM (#13234) Journal

    "...noting that the stretch would be the first piece of a new shipping route between Mexico and Canada."

    This is all about big trucks traveling back and forth from Mexico to Canada as quickly as possible with as little interaction with the U.S. as possible.

    The people behind this have no interest in a good passenger rail connection between Arizona and Nevada, or even a mediocre one.

    --
    something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
    • (Score: 1) by khchung on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:21AM

      by khchung (457) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:21AM (#13404)

      This is all about big trucks traveling back and forth from Mexico to Canada as quickly as possible with as little interaction with the U.S. as possible.

      If the US is serious about this, they would be talking about laying down high-speed train tracks, and do it as in Switzerland - trucks drive up on the train at one border, train goes to the other side, trucks drive away with driver well rested and much gas saved.

      For crossing that much land from Mexico to Canada, it would be tremendously stupid to build roads and expect individual trucks to drive across. Shipping and trains would be much much cheaper while causing much less pollution and fewer accidents.

      • (Score: 2) by unitron on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:52AM

        by unitron (70) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:52AM (#13444) Journal

        Do you really expect the U.S. to do it the smart way?

        You must be new here.

        Here being the planet.

        --
        something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by docwiz on Saturday March 08 2014, @06:28PM

    by docwiz (3403) on Saturday March 08 2014, @06:28PM (#13258)

    I really don't think we should be enabling the people in Arizona to spread their wacky ideas around. Arizona seems to be full of crazy bigots. Best to keep them isolated in the desert. Climate change will make the place uninhabitable after a while and then they will die off.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:07PM (#13272)

      Climate change will make the place uninhabitable after a while and then they will die off.

      No, what will happen, is what already happens with Californians. They move to other places and infect the new place with their California ways of thinking, living, building, etc.

      • (Score: 0) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:51PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:51PM (#13286) Homepage Journal

        however I wrapped my pop-can around a highway overpass post - buckle up for safety - and so now I leave the driving to TriMet and C-Tran.

        North Clark County - where Vancouver, Washington is - is very popular with former Californians. I am here in part because my parents retired to Battle Ground back in the day. While there is not as much of it, much of the traffic in Portland is now just as bad as the SF Bay Area.

        In the Bay Area, it is simply not possible to work as a coder unless one owns a car.

        Just today I learned that they're finally abandoning the Columbia River Crossing, the proposed $3.5B new bridge over the Columbia for Interstate 5.

        The two biggest reasons for the collapse of the project, is that no one wanted to pay bridge tolls, and Clark County residents were strongly opposed to bringing Portland's TriMet MAX light rail into just fucking downtown Vancouver.

        Have to keep the riff-raff out. Property values, you know.

        Most were supportive of the bridge itself, but to have included light rail on the bridge would have meant that those who drive cars all the way from Ridgefield way north of Vancouver, to Intel's Hillsboro Oregon headquarters, way west of Portland, would have been paying for The Great Unwashed to take light rail.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 1) by Snotnose on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:11PM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:11PM (#13273)

    It's a straight shot to LA via the 5, to Vegas via the 15, and to Phoenix via the 8. I've done all 3 drives several times.

    --
    Just found out grandpa is taking Viagra. Nobody is taking it harder than grandma.
  • (Score: 2) by Appalbarry on Saturday March 08 2014, @08:28PM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Saturday March 08 2014, @08:28PM (#13299) Journal

    OK, we're all new, and we're recovering from some kind of palace revolt or something. I get that.

    Still, unless you live in either Las Vegas or Phoenix this is a story that is of no interest whatsoever.

    Every state, country, province, and village has road planning discussions, and mostly no-one else needs or wants to hear about them. And I speak as someone who actually sits on our municipal Transportation Planning Committee.

    The last thing that I would think to submit is a link to our local Official Community Plan [dnv.org] and Transportation Plan, [dnv.org] and suggest that anyone here cares about the alleged gridlock on Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver.

    This has nothing about tech, doesn't even reference other successful and similar projects, (much less alternatives) and seems to completely ignore the larger questions that surround the whole automobile culture.

    • (Score: 1) by dj245 on Saturday March 08 2014, @09:42PM

      by dj245 (1530) on Saturday March 08 2014, @09:42PM (#13314)

      I would be perfectly happy if there 1/3 or even 1/4 of the current story churn on the front page. The low number of comments per article is an indication that stories are rushing by too fast.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Maow on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:44AM

        by Maow (8) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:44AM (#13438) Homepage

        The low number of comments per article is an indication that stories are rushing by too fast.

        I don't think that's the reason.

        When scanning the front page and seeing ~5 to ~50 comments per story, it doesn't take long to scan through them for nuggets of wisdom, continue on to next story and finish up in half an hour.

        I think it's due to

        a) the low number of users,
        b) the even lower number of active users,
        c) the stories not being of interest to some users (unavoidable, our interests do not and can not completely overlap),
        d) ... profit?

        Here's hoping that we'll soon have an average of 100 comments per story so that there is some serious reading to do - and serious learning opportunities.

        I always waited 'til there were 100-200 comments on a story on the other site before reading. It'll be great if this site grows to that level of activity.

    • (Score: 2) by Maow on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:37AM

      by Maow (8) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:37AM (#13456) Homepage

      Too true.

      The last thing that I would think to submit is a link to our local Official Community Plan and Transportation Plan, and suggest that anyone here cares about the alleged gridlock on Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver.

      Hell, I don't care about traffic planning in North Van and I'm way down south by Marine Drive in South Van.

      Your point is proven.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mendax on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:39AM

    by mendax (2840) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:39AM (#13437)

    While I am a general fan of the Sierra Club, they are quite out of line here. They are complaining that the country does not need another interstate. The reality is that:

    1) There is already a paved highway there that has been there for decades;
    2) That highway already has a high speed limit.
    3) Much of that highway has been upgraded to four-line divided, built to Interstate standards except for the lack of interchanges in many places, and two stretches already follow existing Interstates (I-40 and I-515)

    They ought to instead concentrate on ensuring that this highway minimizes the impact on the desert it travels through.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.