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Bob View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Jul 2006 at 8:52am
As many Americans celebrated US Independence Day, I was quietly celebrating our independence from any additional onslaught of hybrids. While we still have the old hybrids, we now have independence from having to look at new "smugs" with their brand new cutesy Prius's or hybrid SUVs with paper tags. And to those of you who cynically bought to get in under the wire I say: Enjoy it now because your days are numbered, and that will be even more obvious come August /September when the daily HOV jams are back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2006 at 11:07am
What daily HOV jams? They are as rare as a hybrid parked in the commuter lot!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2006 at 12:48pm
HOV traffic is down at least 25 percent in the early summer (probably 50 percent this week). That gets us back to where we were a few years ago before the hybrids. So we get a feel for how it will be when we boot them out for good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2006 at 1:13pm
"In-season," as recently as a few weeks ago, HOV back-ups were VERY common, especialy in the morning. About as common as NoSUV's daily half-baked, self-serving arguments in favor of SOV hybrids in the HOVs. My guess is that NoSUV does not commute via I-395-N, otherwise NoSUV would get caught in the snarls just like the rest of us. And if you think I-395-N is bad, you should try I-66. My sympathies to I-66 commuters!

NoSUV seems to be the only one supporting the "pro-SOV hybrid in HOV lanes" debate, at least in this forum, with the obvious exception of the hybrid manufacturers who have put big $$ behind their marketing campaigns. But we all know that they just want to sell cars. Auto manufacturers will build any kind of car that sells regardless of the negative impact to our environment, our independence, our security, or our finances. And right now, hybrids are a hot seller. But, as spokesperson for the hybrid manufacturers lobby, NoSUV knows that.

Of course the smart money is looking ahead to the next evolution in technology, which is alternative and renewable fuels. Combine carpooling/slugging in low emmission, bio-diesel or ethanol vehicles and we are starting to address the real problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2006 at 2:57pm
raymond, does it make sense to you that if I were the only supporter of the hybrid exemption that its extension would pass the legislature with such an overwhelming majority?

I travel I-395 nearly daily, and with varying times for the return trip outbound. The express lanes nearly always travel above the speed limit for both the morning commute and the afternoon commute. Coming into DC, there is a knuckle that SpongeBob discussed over a year ago dealing with the Pentagon off ramp - which has nothing to do with hybrids and everything to do with poor engineering.

However, few vehicles are going less than 70 mph as you zip past exits 3-7.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2006 at 3:02pm
quote:
Originally posted by Bob
[br]HOV traffic is down at least 25 percent in the early summer (probably 50 percent this week). That gets us back to where we were a few years ago before the hybrids. So we get a feel for how it will be when we boot them out for good.


That traffic reduction in early summer clearly had nothing to do with the hybrid legislation. Obviously, a mistake was made by eliminating it for new purchases. Why in the world would you think it is a good thing to have miles of empty pavement in the express lanes when the regular lanes are so jammed?

I well remember your posts leading to the 06 legislative session, and your dead wrong predictions then. Unless you can convince the slug drivers to slow down and cause unnecessary congestion, there will be no justification for EVER ending the hybrid exemption.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2006 at 8:35am
I agree, NoSUV, that many consumers have voted with their wallets by buying hybrids. And I appreciate their initiative to take action to do what they feel is a positive step in solving the many problems associated with fossil fuel consumption. But the reality is that we cannot "buy" our way out of this mess. As I have said, I applaude the fact that people generally want to do the right thing. However, most do not know what the right thing is and are influenced by marketers who tout hybrids as the answer to our problems.

Unfortunately, science and economics tell us that hybrids are not the answer. And while marketers have the advantage of well-funded advertising programs designed to polish and promote their propaganda, science and economics has not the means to fight such a publicity battle. So the "feel-good" message we hear is "go green with a hybrid," and many well-meaning consumers respond like sheep being herded to the checkout stand, by lining up to buy a hybrid (did we see you in that line?).

Once again, I am not a "hybrid basher," nor do I hate hybrid owners, but I think hybrids are a distraction from real solutions to our complex problems. I also think that marketers have taken advantage of the "activist sentiment" sweeping the nation by promoting hybrids as some sort of cure for our foriegn oil addiction and our polution problems. Locally, marketers have positioned hybrids as a traffic congestion relief pill. By definition, all of these approaches are radical; a proposed simple solution to complex problems.

The local hybrid exemption is a small issue relative to the larger and much more important issues associated with foriegn fossil fuel consumption and traffic congestion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2006 at 10:16am
I dont consider the hybrid exemption to be a minor issue at all and here's why. We are at a crossroads in the U.S. with highway transportation and what we are going to do to prevent absolute gridlock in 10 to 20 years in cities such as Washington. What we have with hybrid and HOT are special interests sticking their feet in the door to hijack HOV lanes. How we respond to it in the DC region is important, as governments around the country are looking at DC as a test bed of what works and what creates gridlock. Hybrid is important nationally for the ridiculous and unnecessary tax credits that everyone is paying for, including MacDonalds employees.

So count me in as a hybrid basher if you want to use the term, because this is indeed a very important national issue.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2006 at 1:48pm
Bob - of course, the real solution is to ban ALL private vehicles. Ask how many lanes have been added over the past 20 years, and compare that with the number of people who need to use those lanes. Has the transportation capability kept up with the population growth? Has there really been ANY significant improvement in transportation?

I think not. So, this crossroads to which you refer - since the population growth isn't slowing, does that mean that more lanes need to be built? Or should we instead revert to HOV-40?

Actually, HOT brings us much closer to the solution of not having to give up more property for roads. Hop on public transportation and avoid the tolls and congestion. If fact, if we just look to what governments AROUND THE WORLD have done, we can clearly see far better examples of how to control congestion - after all, if the "slug" method was so good, don't you suppose that in 30 years of use that another place (NYC, LA, London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Tokyo...) would have picked it up?

But, if we MUST drive a private vehicle, we need to set the national example that ALL vehicles owned and operated in the region will contribute as little as possible to polution. What we have in government is NOT special interests, but great Americans who are trying to solve several problems at once - while creating the tiny concern that slugs may not have free rides anymore.

So, either get on the bus or get a hybrid. Make your world better.

And, yes, I believe that something better will eventually come along. It's not ethanol. It may be hydrogen. Shoot, it may be wind/solar power. But we need to live in the here and now, stop sitting around, and do what is right for our planet. Today, we can measure our success by the hybrids parked in the commuter lot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2006 at 2:10pm
OK Bob, fair enough, I agree that the eyes of the nation are on us, and that we may set a precidence for traffic control policy in other major cities. I also agree that politicians have jumped on the hybrid bandwagon, and are hot to HOT our HOV lanes. BTW, both of these positions serves the special interests involved at the expense of the populace (a good indication of where our politicos' loyalties lie).

But is NoSUV really advocating the "no private vehicles in HOV lanes," "everyone drive a hybrid," "hydrogen powered cars in our lifetime" and "HOT solves our traffic congestion problems" positions? Man, NoSUV must have really taken a knock on the head last weekend! Talk about radical, and unrealistic. I can't even rationalize an argument against these claims because they are so far out there. Let's resume this talk when NoSUV gets back from vacation in Fantasyland!
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