An interesting question ..... if the a left turning car and a right turning car coming the other way are turning into the same street the right turner gives way .... however as I understand it if there's a traffic island there separating the left turners off a little early then the left turner and right turner meet at a second Y-merge intersection and the give way to the right rule attaches - the person who just turned left must give way to the one who just turned right - remember a bit of paint on the road is just as much a traffic island as a raised bit of pavement .... this even applies if the car on the right has just gone through a give way or stop sign
(For those in Dunedin: for example this applies to those going up Rattray St outside the Catholic Cathedral - they have to yield to those going through the give way sign and crossing the stream of traffic despite the new road rules)
Lucy: as a driver I'm largely in favour of it too .... but as a pedestrian I see that it has its problems - it puts those cars into spaces that traffic lights usually keep them out of (active pedestrian crossings) - with, as I've seen, potentially dangerous results.
I actually think that US drivers (off the freeway) are largely more polite and careful than those in NZ, they indicate more and they're used to stopping a lot in built up areas - that guy (and it does seem to be guys) who thinks he owns the road when he gets in his car is not going to come to a complete stop when turning on a red, and he's going to be looking for other cars more than he's looking for bikes and pedestrians.
Mind you I think I'd be willing to trade the California every intersection is a crosswalk and pedestrians have the right of way rule for allowing left turns through a red after a stop
excellent - I wonder if it also applies to the electric part of dual fuel cars like a plug in Prius
Well I live in a hill in Dunedin, in my (old model) Prius I can drive down town without turning on the petrol motor - by the time I get there the battery is full to overflowing (just from the braking) and I have about enough of a charge to drive the length of town (if I'm careful - it's a small battery) - I use petrol when I go back up the hill
I'd love a plug in Prius - maybe the next car - but ideally I want one that I can set to charge 3/4 full so I can claim that bonus from the hill - I'd probably never put petrol in it when driving around town.
In the US there's no road-tax on electric cars (yet) it's done on purpose to encourage them - we should do the same, it would encourage us to moving to local energy independence - importing oil has a really bug effect on our foreign balance of payments - we could do the same as we do with the excise tax on cigarettes - keep increasing it as the pool of non-electric car users gets smaller to encourage more and more adopters and then when it reaches some preset limit (say 40% adoption) switch over to a regime more like diesel
Before we put in our Solar Hot Water I did the sums and found that it would never pay for itself. We would be better off financially, by investing the money that the Solar would cost, and using the income from that to pay for electricity (and have a bit left over)..
And I largely did the same math when I bought a Prius 8 years ago - but we did anyway because we saw it as a technology that needed to be bought into because it was bound to get cheaper and more common over time - if no body bought them we'd be stuck with the traditional technology
Actually having lived with the free left turn on red rule for 20 years I'd disagree - really what it does is turn a red light into a stop sign for those turning left (you're supposed to give way to absolutely everyone else in this situation) - for a start lots of bikes just don't stop, and Californians tend to do that rolling stop thing - often you can't see pedestrians well and when waiting to turn left you tend to be looking right for oncoming traffic with a green light and miss new pedestrians entering the crossing from the left
My favourite disaster intersection in Berkeley (College and Ashby by the Wells Fargo crossing Ashby for those who know), is one where I've been hit twice by red-turning cars, thrown onto the windscreen once, leaves one waiting for the cross light because of a green-arrow turn signal which means the pedestrian phase starts 30 secs after the turning car's red light - cars wanting to to turn through the red light think people waiting are waiting at the bus stop that's right there because they aren't crossing, and they're looking the other way anyway (and they can't see the lights the pedestrians are waiting for).
(trying very hard in the paragraph above not to use left or right because of course it's all backwards there)
The US does have places where "no turn on red" signs are posted (this is one that needs one) and traffic lights need to be very carefully tuned.
So someone has to speak up for the pedestrians: I used to live in Berkeley (California) home of an avid pro-bike community - as well at the home of the radical disability rights movement. On Telegraph Ave you're as likely to be bowled over by a bike cop as by someone in a wheel chair.
In California pedestrians have absolute rights - in particular they have absolute rights on uncontrolled "crosswalks" - in California there is a legal crosswalk across every street at EVERY intersection whether it's painted in or not - for this consideration pedestrians give up the rights to cross between intersections (jaywalking). It helps that legal urban speed limits in the US are lower and stop signs are used where give ways are used here.
Sadly in Berkeley bike riders don't stop, for legally crossing pedestrians or stop signs - people die. Somehow bike riders pick up that same sense of road-entitlement that they complain of in motorists. I see the same behaviour here.
Wandering through the Queenstowns gardens last weekend on my currently gammy leg I was continually being hassled by cyclists for not getting out of the way - if you're behind me I'm not going to jump out of your way, I can't see you I don't know which way is safe, and with this stupid leg I can't jump anyway, I can't walk into the litter on the side of the track, I'm unsteady I'll fall over - I'm going to be predictable and do nothing sudden you can't predict, maybe you'll have to stop.
Small kids are a particular problem - Berkeley Bike cops used to be a real safety issue - parents work hard to keep their kids safe - we herd them along the footpath and teach them that it's safe so long as they stay out of the street - they'll dash across the pavement to look at something shiny in a shop window, they have no idea of bikes and how to judge what they might do, how fast they might go - riding on the footpath where children might be present should never be an option. And if you're a bike cop you should not be rinding your beat there - unless you have your siren going and you're in in hot pursuit.
Enough of a rant - but one more - if you're out at night on your bike - get a light, a bright one - on the front as well as the back - so pedestrians can see you .... and if you're going to run stop signs or red lights .... well that night time light is a must
I don't know, I'm an electrical engineer - it's all plumbing to me - made up artificial markets get in the way of doing that efficiently.
I would argue though that the lowest possible price of reliable power to the consumer (rather than the largest profit to the power companies) is probably the metric I'd choose
exactly that's one of my big problems with asset sales: in the name of "market efficiencies" it's actually creating a balkanised less efficient market than, perish the thought, a little sane central planning could create
The real problem I guess is that govt asset sales is basically a religious tenant of a particular faith in the efficiencies of the free market rather than a sane and reasoned position about reality
Is decentralized solar that bursty? Individual panels are bursty, but the aggregate effect of ten thousand panels on roofs across an entire city would very much have a smoothing effect.
well it all goes off at night .... or on cloudy days .... or eclipses or ..... basically you need your backup power (ie hydro) to be able to handle the worst case peak load and let the lakes fill, or empty more slowly when the sun shines or the wind blows - that means you need more turbines and penstocks than the existing dams are designed for.
The problem is that we've put all the companies that should be cooperating to do this competing against each other - and they make the most money when energy is at its shortest and the prices goes through the roof - it's what Enron did and for some weird reason, to do with the belirfs of a particular sect of economic fundamentalism, we've decided that's what we want as a nation