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Old 05-25-2012, 06:13 AM   #1
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the positive impact of m/c commuting

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...-everyone.html

Motorcycle riders donít just save themselves time and money, they do the same for car drivers, and they also help to reduce the emissions of cars.

Thatís the conclusion of a major new study by TML, a Belgian transport specialist. The research centred on a study of motorway traffic flow from Leuven, 10 miles to the west of Brussels, into the Belgian capital, focusing on traffic build-up during rush-hour periods.

The studyís aim was to look at the effect on traffic flow and congestion of some commuters changing from cars to motorcycles. Interestingly, some of the consequences were dramatic for all road users, not just the commuters who made the switch to two wheels.

Existing traffic flow was analysed thoroughly beforehand, using data taken from seven sites on the route, each site being a junction with six sensors monitoring traffic in both directions on the main carriageway and at the exits. Information from the sites was gathered at five-minute intervals around the clock through May last year.

The typical traffic patterns wonít surprise anyone: the intensity increased strongly between 5am and 7am, with queues starting to form at 6.45am and continuing until about 9am. In other words, the morning rush hour took place from 6.30am to 9.30am, much the same as in any European town or city.

At the 7.50am peak, the journey on the 8.5-mile stretch of motorway takes 14 minutes longer than at 6.40am, a big and wearily familiar increase when you consider the same journey takes only eight minutes in free-flowing traffic.
This real-world information was then used to calibrate a sophisticated traffic-modelling system called the Link Transmission Model. TML found that inputting the real data produced simulated traffic patterns very similar to the observed ones, including the same increase in travel times, confirming the accuracy of the model.

TML then quantified the congestion by converting it to ďlost vehicle hoursĒ (the time wasted per vehicle occupant because of congestion), in this case amounting to 1,925 hours in a single morning rush-hour period.
This is where motorcycle behaviour comes into play: in free-flowing traffic a motorcycle uses the same space on the road as a car, just another slot in a line of traffic, but as the density increases, motorcycles start to use less and less space, eventually disappearing altogether between the traffic queues. The study expresses this as a Passenger Car Equivalent space, or PCE. On an open road a motorcycle has the same value as a car, 1, but as the traffic comes to a standstill it drops to 0, where the bikes are filtering through stationary cars and in effect using no road space, or at least none thatís contributing to congestion. Itís a variable that has some major knock-on effects.

Satisfied that the model reflected the real world accurately and the PCE value for motorcycles was accurate, TML next looked at the consequences on traffic flow of one in 10 car drivers switching to motorcycles. The results were astonishing. The travel time for the remaining 90 per cent of car drivers at the 7.50am peak increased by just six minutes instead of 14, while the queues started later and dissipated sooner.
With a tenth of car drivers now using motorcycles, the main queue is gone by 8.30am instead of 9.10am, while the number of ďlost vehicle hoursĒ decreases by 63 per cent to 706.
The individuals making the switch, of course, would enjoy even faster journey times once the queues start to form, but they would also be helping their fellow commuters.
The environment benefits, too. The effect on emissions assumes that car drivers would change to 250cc commuter bikes, which produce 21 per cent less emissions than cars. But this alone resulted in a fall of only one per cent in emissions Ė a greater fall of five per cent came from the improved traffic flow.

In other words, car emissions fell because they were not stuck in traffic jams for so long.
The fuel economy of cars also improved, but the study concludes the biggest benefit to the remaining car users is one of time. Even with a 40 per cent reduction in lost traffic hours, across Belgium a saving of 15,000 lost vehicle hours per day would be made. Applying TMLís figure of £19 per hour per vehicle time value, that comes to a total of £280,000 per day saving for car drivers.

In the UK that saving would be much greater. So those bike riders wriggling past you in the traffic are not only saving themselves time and money, theyíre also saving it for car drivers, as well as cutting emissions.
Move over and let them through, or better still, get on a bike yourself. Youíll arrive at your destination sooner, and less stressed.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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Those numbers blow my mind.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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we should get a tax credit
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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I'm right with you on championing commuting on M/Cs and I'm happy to do my part. But those numbers may hold true for the UK, Europe or a lot of other countries where the percentage of motorcycles miles driven for non-creational purpose is quite high. And the avearge engine cc's is much lower, due to tax laws & registration fees that favor small engines.

Here in the US, the vast majority of miles driven on motorcycles are recreational, which means they are not necessarily displacing automobile usage, but adding on to them. Plus the average bike cc's and weight are much higher than the rest of the world, as Americans love their 1200-2000cc 800 lbs cruisers.

Then again, even if all of us bike commuters switch from our C14's and Tuono's to Ninja 250's, I doubt we would make enough difference to save a drop from the 5-gal bucket.

BTW, how do you guys deal with the summer heat? So far, I'm still tolerating it. I don't mind sweating a bit going home in the afternoon, but on the way into office.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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Mesh jacket, golf "breathable" shirts, golf breathable khakis , get to work early
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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Now if only there was a way to keep distracted drivers from killing us, making commuting even more appealing.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
I'm right with you on championing commuting on M/Cs and I'm happy to do my part. But those numbers may hold true for the UK, Europe or a lot of other countries where the percentage of motorcycles miles driven for non-creational purpose is quite high. And the avearge engine cc's is much lower, due to tax laws & registration fees that favor small engines.

Here in the US, the vast majority of miles driven on motorcycles are recreational, which means they are not necessarily displacing automobile usage, but adding on to them. Plus the average bike cc's and weight are much higher than the rest of the world, as Americans love their 1200-2000cc 800 lbs cruisers.

Then again, even if all of us bike commuters switch from our C14's and Tuono's to Ninja 250's, I doubt we would make enough difference to save a drop from the 5-gal bucket.

BTW, how do you guys deal with the summer heat? So far, I'm still tolerating it. I don't mind sweating a bit going home in the afternoon, but on the way into office.
Most of the article was about the benefits of saving time. Here it would not really matter since lane splitting is illegal. I commute all year long, mesh pants and jacket really cuts down on the heat. I also leave for work at 6 am when temps are not that high.

Last edited by david75; 05-25-2012 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanXJ View Post
we should get a tax credit
Last year doing turbo tax there was some type of credit for having bought a brand new vehicle or something fuel efficient. Apparently motorcycles didn't count for either. I was .
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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now that would be a study to produce the next time a LS bill is introduced
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Last year doing turbo tax there was some type of credit for having bought a brand new vehicle or something fuel efficient. Apparently motorcycles didn't count for either. I was .
There was in 2009 because I took the deduction
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
BTW, how do you guys deal with the summer heat? So far, I'm still tolerating it. I don't mind sweating a bit going home in the afternoon, but on the way into office.
I work 7 to 4 normally, the past couple weeks a mesh jacket in the morning has been a bit on the brisk side.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACER X View Post
Mesh jacket, golf "breathable" shirts, golf breathable khakis, get to work early
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by david75 View Post
Most of the article was about the benefits of saving time.
I leave early to beat the heat, and in so doing get ahead of the heavy traffic, so it is a little quicker. The big deal is the difference in fuel costs between bike and truck is almost $14/day.

Oil changes are more frequent on the bike, but the truck takes 15 qts, so that still favors the bike.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:06 PM   #14
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I've got mesh jackets, which make the afternoon commute tolerable... as long as I am moving. Have to look into the breathable stuff, maybe at Academy. Still, I really see that prolonging the commuting season by at most a month, into June. Come July, Aug, Sept with 100F 100% RH, I just don't see anyway to beat the heat.

Maybe I'm too warm-blooded, but mesh jacket and 65F mornings makes for a perfect morning commute for me.

Are you sure about the IRS allowing motorcycles under the fuel-efficient vehicle clause? Would be great if that's true. me off I'm getting roughly the same mileage as my friend's Prius; he gets deductible and I don't.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yep.



I leave early to beat the heat, and in so doing get ahead of the heavy traffic, so it is a little quicker. The big deal is the difference in fuel costs between bike and truck is almost $14/day.

Oil changes are more frequent on the bike, but the truck takes 15 qts, so that still favors the bike.
what kind of truck do you have that takes 15 qts?
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #16
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #17
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another way it makes you smarter

Another recent study done in Japan.

http://motocrossactionmag.com/Main/N...scov-5756.aspx

I copied this form the above link.

According to Kyodo News International:

A Tohoku University, Japan, study group and motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor Co. said Wednesday they have found riding motorcycles useful for brain training.

The group, led by Ryuta Kawashima, a professor who is known for brain research, looked into brain functions as measured by devices put on the heads of 21 males riding motorcycles and found their brains' prefrontal areas activated. The area covers memory, information processing and concentration functions.

In another test, 22 males who had motorcycle licenses, but did not ride motorcycles often, were divided into two teams -- one for riding motorcycles for two months and the other abstaining from riding. The motorcycle-riding team demonstrated improvements in memory, space recognition and other functions of the prefrontal area.

The study group said past research data have indicated the prefrontal area does not work as much when driving an automobile.

"Balancing and other sensitive control functions are required for riding motorcycles," said Kawashima. "Any motorcycle rider's brain may become more tense in order to process information actively during riding." Riding motorcycles helps keep drivers young by invigorating their brains, the scientist said Wednesday, citing a new scientific study.

"The driver's brain gets activated by riding motorbikes" in part because it requires heightened alertness, Ryuta Kawashima said after his research team and Yamaha Motor conducted a string of experiments involving middle-aged men.

"The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests," Kawashima said.

In one test, which required the men to remember a set of numbers in reverse order, the riders' scores jumped by more than 50 percent in two months, while the non-riders' marks deteriorated slightly, he said.

The riders also said they made fewer mistakes at work and felt happier.

"Mental care is a very big issue in modern society," said Kawashima. "I think we made an interesting stir here as data showed you can improve your mental condition simply by using motorbikes to commute."

"In a convenient and easy environment, the human mind and body get used to setting the hurdle low," he warned. "Our final conclusion is that riding motorcycles can lead to smart aging."

Kawashima is the designer of "Brain Training" software, which incorporates quizzes and other games and is available on the Nintendo DS game console under the name "Brain Age" in North America.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:21 PM   #18
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Is lane splitting even legal in houston?
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:35 PM   #19
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Bikes are good for traffic but not the environment, bikes produce lots of carcinogens because they don't have the same catalytic converters as cars.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Is lane splitting even legal in houston?
no
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