Skip to main content

Political Issues: Mass Transit

One of the largest causes of pollution in the Phoenix area is the amount of cars on the roads. Although expensive, the solution is REAL mass transit. What I mean is a commuter rail system that is fast and inexpensive. Our current bus system is way too slow. For example, it takes me between 30 and 50 minutes to drive to work (depending on traffic), but I rode the bus, it would take about 2 hours. Even if if was free I wouldn't take the bus. Commuter rail would probably drop the time down to 45 minutes to an hour. That would be worthwhile.

We could have a subway, and elevated train, or use existing track. The trick is for it to have it's own right of way (not have to wait for traffic). You could have a stop every mile or so with the buses fanning out from the rail stops. If the commuter rail hit malls and shopping centers as much as possible you would already have parking and the businesses would get a boost from the commuter traffic.

If we can pull half of the cars off of the road, we would greatly reduce the "brown cloud", make traffic run faster, and make Phoenix more accessable to everyone.


Eric said…
boy ain't that the truth. hey, this is your brother. while doing a minimal amount of research on my high school grad speach i found out that if you take out 4 cars out of a hundred, traffic jams would cease to exist. putting in a rail system would definately help out the traffic system. and not just in phoenix but all over the country.
Jeff said…
Yeah, I remember your speech. It was really good. It is truly amazing how little it takes to cause huge problems (a mere 4 cars to make a huge traffic jam). I guess small and simple things can bring to pass great and/or terrible things.

Although mass transit would have a great effect on traffic and pollution, a far simpler method would be for 4% or more of the population to carpool. If traffic jams cleared up then we'd have saved hours of wasted time and millions of gallons of gas. I've been trying it out myself and using the carpool lanes really speeds up my commute not to mention the money I'm saving on gas.

Popular posts from this blog

Insteon: Controller vs Responder

This entry is going to be more of a technical article.  If you're not planning on setting up scenes in an Insteon environment, this isn't for you.  If you are or like me, have been running into some confusion about what should be set up as a controller, what should be a responder, and what should be both.  Here's what I learned.

I've been using Insteon switches for a couple of years now and had set up a few scenes.  When adding a switch to a scene, you have the option of adding it as a controller, a responder, or both.  Not knowing the difference and wanting to cover my bases, I set all of my scenes to both.  Since my scenes were all timing type scenes (e.g. turn on night lights at sunset) it worked fine.  Then I added an 8 button keypad and started programming the buttons to control other lights.  The program for this, of course, is a scene.  Once again, I set every switch and button as both a controller and a responder.  Then I created a scene, specifically for my E…


I just finished reading The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. It's a biographical novel of Michelangelo (you know, the famous sculptor/artist whose statue of David and the paintings in the Cistine Chapel are super famous) that gives a very interesting view of his life. It seems that while Michelangelo had a very productive life, it wasn't a very happy one.

One of the first things that I noticed about Stone's portrayel of Michelangelo is that he was obsessed with creating sculptures and a true perfectionist. For a large portion of his life (into his 60s it seems) his every action was calculated toward a goal of sculpting marble - either getting a commission or improving his talent (or both). Not only did he want to sculpt, he wanted his pieces to be as real as possible.

His obsession with carving perfect sculptures drove him to do endless studies of the human form. He even spent months sneaking into a morgue to dissect bodies so he could figure out how the body real…

Sonos Control with the Amazon Echo - How I did it

I've had my Amazon Echo for a year or so and one thing that I've wanted ever since I purchased it, is to be able to use voice commands to control my Sonos speakers.  I waited patiently (OK  not patiently) for Sonos skill to appear on the Echo but it still hasn't come.  I was encouraged when Sonos announced it was going to focus more on voice but still nothing.  Isn't there any way to control my Sonos with my Echo?

Yes - sort of.

WARNING: This post is not for the faint of heart because the solution is not trivial.

So, I found a project on github that uses another project on github combined with a custom skill on
the Echo via a web service hosted by AWS Lambda.  OK, that was the easy part.  I knew that going in.  That's why, initially, I waited.  There must be an elegant solution out there.  I searched and waited and searched again and waited again.  Finally I decided to give it a try.  If it worked it would be really cool.  If it didn't, well I'm no worse o…