Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2020

Stay Home

Not sure why this is even controversial:

About 1 million Americans a day packed airports and planes over the weekend even as coronavirus deaths surged across the U.S. and public health experts begged people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings.

And the crowds are only expected to grow. Next Sunday is likely to be the busiest day of the holiday period. 

To be sure, the number of people flying for Thanksgiving is down by more than half from last year because of the rapidly worsening outbreak. However, the 3 million who went through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Sunday marked the biggest crowds since mid-March, when the COVID-19 crisis took hold in the United States.

This time next year, you might be short several family members because of COVID-19. Why would you risk that by traveling this year when, for all intents and purposes, it will probably be much safer to travel next year?

I don't get why people can't put it off for a year. The selfishness at work here is pretty staggering.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gas Prices Plummet

I can still remember Election Day, 2008.

In our little corner of Maryland, I went to the polling place and voted. Some jackass was driving around in the parking lot, obstructing people from voting, and he was campaigning from his car window in violation of the law. On his bumper were two stickers:

Get Ready for $5.00 gal/gas If Obama Wins

Still waiting, asshole. Still waiting.

One of the traditional measures of how a President was doing was centered around the price of a gallon of gas. Nothing affects working people more than what they pay at the pump. You can't just "cut down" on the amount of gas you buy because people use it to get to where they have to be. As in, work, school, and to the store. Nobody buys gas they don't need. And so the impact on our economy is felt when the cost of gas is high because you HAVE to buy gas--you cut back on extras after you buy the gas you have to have. That's what drives down our consumer consumption.

This President can't even campaign for other Democrats because things are so toxic, and there is no shortage of those who believe he has been a tyrant/apologist/sellout/failure. None of those people remember the days when President Bush was clueless about why our endless wars in the Middle East were causing massive disruptions in the oil supply. The same people who apologized for Bush are deranged about Obama, and vice versa.

The best case for voting for Democrats? Cheap gas, baby. Enjoy it while you can.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's All About the Bridges

Something interesting happened for a truck driver on the Rock Creek Parkway this morning:

A semi-truck that became wedged under the overpass of the Whitehurst Freeway bridge on Rock Creek Parkway Friday is severely impacting traffic.

All northbound lanes of Rock Creek Parkway at Potomac Freeway SW, just north of Virginia Avenue, will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time.

Southbound traffic is open but will periodically go down to one lane as needed as officials work to extract the truck.

This is not exactly the fault of the thinking that led Robert Moses to deliberately build bridges that would keep buses--and, thus, the "poor"--from accessing infrastructure on Long Island, but it does look like a situation that cries out for infrastructure and investment.

The bridge in question is pictured below. Note how old it is.

The bridge in question went into service in 1964, which was the height of the Moses era. Now, it could very well be that the semi in question was "overly tall" in some way or operated in an unsafe manner. It could very well be a case where a smart kid could walk up and tell them to let the air out of the tires so that the truck can be "unstuck" from where it is. Or this could be another example of how we have failed to make the improvements we need.

Tell me we don't have a missed opportunity to make things right in here somewhere...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Which Way Do You Want It?

President Obama and his socialist minions finally find a way to stay out of the way of small government conservatives and libertarians alike and this is the thanks he gets?

So, the President is not supposed to be spending money that we don't have, but the President is supposed to be spending money on planes that might not even have helped contain this fire because certain wind-driven forest fires cannot be stopped, no matter what?

We don't have any money to spend on health care, a stimulus package, improving our nation's infrastructure (hello, what do you think a fire-fighting plane is part of but the infrastructure of the Federal firefighting effort?), taking care of Veterans, investing in new technologies, getting off foreign oil, or finding renewable energy sources, but we're supposed to buy the idea that there's plenty of money to fight forest fires from the air in Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs only but the Obama Administration has been too slow to spend that money we don't have?

Convoluted logic much? Either you believe in a functioning, active government that spends money and invests in things like planes and technology and preventative forest management or you believe in things like the Ryan budget plan which cuts money for those things and starves old people and gives tax breaks to the wealthy. If you're going to sit here and say you believe in both, get the hell out of town.

That reminds me of a saying. Everybody hates the government, but damned if they don't change their mind when a fire truck pulls up at two in the morning and saves their house from burning down. Damned if they certainly don't.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Would This Be a National News Item if it Happened in Cleveland?

This seems to be a story driven more by where it is happening rather than what is actually happening. Criminal damage to property like this happens in a lot of American cities, but I don't think it would get this much attention (and thus, likely, fuel more car burnings through copycats and whatnot) if it hadn't gotten so much media attention.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The End of Saab?

If Saab fails, then I'm certain that any remaining U.S. car dealers who derive even part of their business from selling Saabs will feel the effects. Are there any dealers who sell Saabs and only Saabs? Or have they all "folded in" with other brands?

The global auto industry has changed over the past few years, so no one is really shocked to see Saab's demise. Whenever a carmaker goes out of business, so many different groups are affected. The people who deal with and supply parts now have to make do with what they have, since the manufacturing process has stopped. The people who rely on their old Saabs for transportation--and can't afford new cars or expensive repairs--now have to wonder what they will have to go through in order to get a simple repair done for their car. What a mess.

These cars were somewhat popular in Minnesota. I can remember walking by a pair of parked Saab 900s every morning on the way to broadcasting school, circa 1988-89.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not Everyone Who Owns a Wireless Phone Is Going to Fly

I cannot fault the marketing hype behind this "info-graphic" presentation. The idea that the airlines are going to cater to people who use cell phones is kind of a no-brainer. Anyone who understands that flying is really getting to be more and more of a rich person's endeavor already knows this.

I would predict that, as more and more airlines begin to realize that their product has such enormous costs built into what they do, they'll begin to price potential customers out of using their services. By charging more for a flight, fewer people will be able to afford to fly. The airlines will then structure their services based on getting just the right number of people to pay the right amount of money to keep them in business. That will mean that fewer people will fly, and those that do will pay just enough to make the airlines profitable. It could totally go the other way--what with cattle calls and all. But security nightmares, cost overruns, and labor costs are eventually going to make flying in a passenger plane a rich man's fancy, I would guess.

Anyway, the arrow points to a part of the info-graphic that bothers me. It says that "73.4% of the Earth's Population Subscribe to Wireless Services." I think it should have read "subscribes," but I'm nitpicking.

No, the real issue here is, so what? 73.4% of the Earth's population is not going to be flying on planes, ever, probably not even one time in their lifetime. That's because many of those "subscribers" actually use a pre-paid wireless phone and live at or below the poverty line. You see, wireless providers know that they can make money off of pre-paid handsets. There are just enough people who make just enough money to afford the basic luxury of having a phone with 50 or 100 minutes of service per month, and those people number in the millions. Are any of them ever going to fly on a plane? No, sadly they will not be able to afford to fly.

This is why I like to question the statistics that are out there. Sometimes you find things like this, which are minor, but do misinform.
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