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Thread: The Roads Must Roll / The Venus Project ...

  1. #1 The Roads Must Roll / The Venus Project ... 
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    Has anyone read "The Roads Must Roll" a 1940 science fiction short story Robert A. Heinlein?

    Go read it then look at the circular "Roads" of Jacque Fresco's Venus Project.
    It is obvious that Fresco's city could have "Moving Sidewalks".
    No need for cars, etc. in the inner city.

    The people could travel around the inner city, at say, 45 miles per hour, simply by stepping from sidewalk to sidewalk.

    N.M.


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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    What is the safty factor at those speeds though?


    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Read the story, to see how it works. What is the safety factor of the system we have now? ...I just got hit by a woman texting while driving.

    The big danger, with any mass transit system, of course is terrorist. And terrorist and social unrest are a separate issue.
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Morons will be just as much a problem with "rolling sidewalks" as they are now. I do not have the story, so the onus is on you to answer regarding the safty of the suggestion.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nada Machine View Post
    Read the story, to see how it works. What is the safety factor of the system we have now?
    If you will recall, terrorists stopped one of the "roads" in that story - and people quickly started dying.

    The basic idea is to provide a big, multispeed conveyor belt to move goods and services. I will submit that a simple cable car system could do the same thing with much higher safety at a fraction of the cost. It would also be 100% compatible with both EV's and gas engines.
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    Paleoichneum,
    You are correct, it was lazy of me not to give some description of Heinlein's "Roads".

    Imagine several conveyor belts running side-by-side.
    The speed difference between any two adjacent belts was 5 miles per hour, small enough to let people step from one to another with care. Long distance travelers had to step all the way to the innermost, fastest belt.


    Let me start by saying, that Heinlein's story was ridiculous even for the 1940's. It would be a thousand times easier to build say, a Space Elevator, than even a small "Road".
    That said "moving sidewalks" have been tried in several airports. The longest was 670 feet.

    I have always had a "problem" the conveyor belt idea though, it requires a lot of machinery underneath to keep it moving.
    But if you had a circular city, your moving sidewalks could go around in a circle, like a big merry-go-rounds. This seems mechanically simpler, to me.


    Moving sidewalks have several advantages:
    No waiting around 20 to 30 minutes for a bus or train, simply step on and go.
    Encourages people to walk. The sidewalks like the subways would deliver people to within "walking distance" of work and shopping,etc.
    Can be powered by solar or wind, etc.
    It could maintained with no more trouble than say, a modern subway system.
    They could be elevated to let other traffic pass unimpeded.


    Please remember it doesn't have to be a "one choice" solution:
    You can have multiple forms of transportation in your city of the future, I'm simply bringing up moving sidewalks because they seem to have been forgotten.

    Back to the safety factor. If if a moving sidewalk were suddenly to stop, at say 40 miles an hour, hundreds of people would fall and be hurt. Is it worth the risk? I would say further test are needed. (crash test dummies needed here.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nada Machine View Post
    It would be a thousand times easier to build say, a Space Elevator, than even a small "Road".
    Nope.
    A road is much easier than a space elevator.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Lets just say nether one is achieveable at our present level of technology.

    (by "Roads" I was referring to one of Heinlein's conveyor belt roads, say from New York to Philadelphia.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nada Machine View Post
    Lets just say nether one is achieveable at our present level of technology.
    I don't think any technical issue would keep us from doing a Heinlein-esque road right now. No new materials technology/devices/control systems needed. There's currently a ~60 mile conveyor belt running in Morocco for ore; NY-PHL would only be 90 miles.

    Now, the rights-of-way, on the other hand . . .
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