The Evolution of the Petrol/Gas/Filling/Service Station Gas stations might be boring or even ugly places, but for the most part, you can’t avoid stopping by one on a long trip. However, they have been so many more beyond the basic design of columns, roof and shop over their history. The following 60+1 filling stations encompass almost a century of architectural progression, showcasing some of the best Art Deco, Bauhaus, futurist, brutalist, minimalist, modernist, Googie building designs of the motorist history. Enjoy the ride!
The Case for More Traffic Roundabouts
— "Here’s why: Using simple principles of physics, roundabouts dramatically reduce crash rates, as well as injuries and deaths. They diminish vehicle emissions. They are a more effective use of road space, and cost less to maintain than traditional four-way intersections. And it’s time that America learns to love them."
- A film about a sculpture by Chris Burden
In 1929, three young women (Edith
, and Evelyn
), ages 23 and 25, went on a three-month-long, 12,353-mile road trip. Learn more about their experience, and follow an effort to recreate the journey, at Three Months by Car
. [more inside]
Can autonomous vehicles navigate the law? This year has been full of big news about the progress of self-driving cars. They are currently street legal in three states and Google says that on a given day, they have a dozen autonomous cars on the road. This August, they passed 300,000 driver-hours. In Spain this summer, Volvo drove a convoy of three cars through 200 kilometers of desert highway with just one driver and a police escort. Cadillac's newest models park themselves. The writing, one might think, is on the wall. But objects in the media may be farther off than they appear.
Driving in Russia.
(SLYT) (warning: contains footage of many many car accidents.)
Steve Wozniak explains his rules of the road. My best habits include use of blinkers and not blocking others. I keep a good distance behind the car in front of me. I never tailgate. Also, I buy and study the large DMV handbooks from the first page to the last. I would never lie in traffic court. Once I was asked if I could have been going 75 mph and I told the truth, that I didn't know because I hadn't looked at my speedometer. I lost on that one.
Steve Wozniak (Mefi's own-ish
) fills in for San Jose Mercury News columnist Mr. Roadshow
France has passed a law that all cars must carry a road safety kit
that includes a breathalyzer, .. [more inside]
Joe Simonetti is a 57-year-old psychotherapist who lives with his wife in Pound Ridge, New York. His commute takes him from the northern reaches of exurban Westchester County to his office just south of Central Park. It's about three and a half hours each way. By bike. [more inside]
The Unofficial Guide to the DMV
― This web site was created to provide easy-to-access information and resources for all your Department of Motor Vehicles needs for all 50 states. Details about driver’s licenses
, driving records and ID cards, as well as vehicle registrations
, title transfers, bills of sale and smog checks are available here. [more inside]
The Road Rage Quiz
Take this test to gauge your ability to create rage in yourself & others. How do you deal with ragers? Here's two sites which advocate carrying & displaying Signs
. This site
likes the "Sorry" sign, while this site
offers cards of a different nature.
Okay, so why do they drive funny overseas?
Blame it on swords
, of course, but also on Pope Boniface
(can this really be true?), and, of course, on the French.
At least we all can agree on boats
Why $2 Gas Is Amazing
Gasoline is now selling at more than $2 a gallon, which, after inflation, is higher than it's been since 1981. But that's not the amazing part. Actually, there are three amazing parts.
California bans using computers or watching TV while driving
I made this post
on Dec. 26 about the Laptop Steering Wheel Mount
and just wanted to post a follow up. I wish more states would enact the same type of law.
The Texas Transportation Institute released their latest figures
on which cities are the most congested, and how many hours per year the average person spends in traffic. Or you can read The Big Picture
. I find it amazing that New York City isn't in the top 25 cities. The reason being is that New York City has an excellent public transportation network. Even some Politians are realizing that public transportation is a better bang for the buck.
Breastfeeding while driving
seemed like a good idea to Catherine Donkers, but now she is (thankfully) on trial for it. Since she's a member of a weird cult
that believes the Bible should be the law of land, this should be entertaining. Presumably, they can just keep appealing for a few years until the crazies run the country.
Is That an Ethanol SUV?
I recently found out that some of the most popular SUVs (Suburban, Yukon, Tahoe, Explorer) are already capable of running completely on Ethanol (E85)
. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition
website has lists of cars and SUVs that already run on Ethanol. A handy map
of refueling locations is also available. It is surprising (and good) to see the large auto-makers tangibly supporting alternative fuels.
Not content on resting on its laurels
, BMW brings in a new season of The Hire
"Your car will be watching the road even if you're not"
Or so says DaimlerChrysler in their new ad campaign. Electronic eyes, infrared systems, ways to keep your eyes on the road better.... All in good time, as we all expected - but wouldn't you be worried if your car could just stop itself if it saw a squirrel in the road? (via the Wall St. Journal ad 10/9/02)
Atomic blast licence plates
rejected by state
"Any reference on a license plate to weapons of mass destruction is
inappropriate and would likely offend our citizens."
Outta my way, or under my wheels!
According to this survey from the American Iron and Steel institute, Miami has the rudest drivers in the country. I live in Miami, and it's true. If you disagree with me, you're a slack-jawed moron.
ATHEIST license plate too offensive for Florida.
The state has declared one man's personalized license plate as too obscene or offensive after he's had it for 16 years. This from the same state where you can buy a "Choose Life" speciality tag
, which I'm sure some people also find offensive.
Which side of the road do you drive on?
It's all down to which side you held your sword on, in the end. (Via Fark.)
"I don't live in this state, your laws don't apply to me."
The Supreme Court of Illinois threw out a traffic ticket because the driver is not a resident of Illinois. Granted its just a no-insurance ticket but this looks like a very bad precedent.
The Day My Car Ratted Me Out.
Dear Winston Smith,
Your 1984 Corvette has informed us that over the past month, you have failed to obey the speed limit 36 times, at times reaching speeds exceeding 130 MPH. As A result, we feel that we can no longer provide you with coverage. We have also supplied this information to the proper authorities, their jackbooted thugs should be in your driveway momentarily. Thank you.
First it was the rental car companies, now it is GM and the Insurance companies. This is the top of a very slippery slope of privacy issues and technology, specifically GPS.
WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
Big Brother is sorry, but all we have for you is a hatchback.
On the one hand, he knew full well that they were monitoring him. On the other, they took the money out of his account without his knowledge, which could have led to all sorts of problems. Inevitable progress, or invasive technology?
GM encourages new SUV owners not to drive.
"No injuries yet." But how bad does the defect have to be for them to tell their customers not to drive the damn things?
] I've always had a suspicion that traffic was a wave phenomenon. This is interesting theory. [more inside...]
Britain's Traffic Problems
Sounds like the UK is trying its hardest to catch up with the US in auto-dependency. The Highways Agency is planning to spend US$1.75 billion on "intelligent transportation" improvements, but local motoring organizations are pushing for more lanes as traffic continues to worsen. [more inside]
Interest in traffic Web site no accident
after a dramatic increase in fatal accidents, the osaka prefectural police started posting the exact locations of upcoming traffic inspections [for speeding & drunk driving] on their website
, and now they are logging record numbers of hits -- the idea being that the more people who know about their plans for traffic inspections, the better. the police feel that disclosing such information will help cut down on the number of deadly road accidents.
whether it has had a noticeable effect on traffic safety, however, is uncertain -- the number of drivers caught for violations is about 10 percent less than by this time last year, but the death toll on the prefecture's roads are about the same