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Archive for the ‘automotive’ Category

When a city gives away curbside parking, don’t be surprised if someone takes all the spots to operate a car rental business:

Ask anyone about parking on the 4700 block of North Kenmore Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Multiple people attempting to park in the area told us that it was taking them 30 to 45 minutes to find a spot because every spot is taken by cars that are part of a resident that rents out cars to people similar to an Airbnb operation.

Ald. James Cappelman, 46th, lives on the same block of Kenmore. Even he had no clue why parking was so ridiculous until residents started complaining and he noticed this. “We saw many locked boxes with keys and I didn’t know what it was so thought this is strange,” he said.

The man accused of running the operation didn’t answer, but the alderman said he rents cars around 38 cars to people through an app called TURO. All with legal permits because the city has no limit.

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Canada could have spent $2.6 billion CAD on new transit or bike paths. Instead, it bailed out Chrysler:

The Liberal government has quietly written off a $2.6-billion auto-sector loan that was cobbled together to save Chrysler during the 2009 global economic meltdown.

The write-off, among the largest ever for a taxpayer-funded bailout, is buried in a volume of the 2018 Public Accounts of Canada, tabled in Parliament on Friday.

Canada’s auditor general has previously cited a lack of transparency over the bailouts. “We found it impossible to gain a complete picture of the assistance provided, the difference the assistance made to the viability of the companies, and the amounts recovered and lost,” Michael Ferguson said in his fall 2014 report.

At the time of the 2009 auto-sector bailouts in Canada and the United States, Chrysler was split in two: an “Old Chrysler” that went into bankruptcy and a “New Chrysler” that became viable and remains in operation today. Now called Fiat Chrysler, the international firm reported net profits of $4.3 billion US for 2017.

It will be interesting to see whether Chrysler continues operating the Canadian plants if Trump goes ahead with tariffs.

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A spot-on comment to the NTSB

ntsb_twitter

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“Smart City” has become one of those inane buzzwords that can mean almost anything:

One of Bill Gates’ investment firms has spent $80 million to kickstart the development of a brand-new community in the far West Valley. The large plot of land is about 45 minutes west of downtown Phoenix off I-10 near Tonopah.

The proposed community, made up of close to 25,000 acres of land, is called Belmont. According to Belmont Partners, a real estate investment group based in Arizona, the goal is to turn the land into its own “smart city.”

“Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs,” Belmont Partners said in a news release.

Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, says the land Gates’ company purchased is in a good spot, in part due to the proposed I-11 freeway, which would run right through Belmont and connect to Las Vegas.

Ex-urban car-centric development is the dumbest city imaginable. But it will have high-speed internet and “autonomous logistics hubs” so there’s that…

 

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The Disney Corporatocracy

Anaheim taxpayers are wondering why their city paid for a $108 million parking garage, but Disney gets to keep all the parking revenues:

They zoom into the six-story concrete structure, carloads of costumed kids, foreign tourists and graying baby boomers sporting Mickey Mouse ears, “Frozen” dresses and “Star Wars” backpacks.

The cash pours in too: Each vehicle pays $20 to park at the Mickey & Friends facility, $35 for a preferred space close to the escalators and elevators. Even if the parking garage fills just half its spaces, it would still generate more than $35 million in annual revenue and easily hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the structure.

That money all goes to Walt Disney Co. The city of Anaheim, which owns the garage and spent $108.2 million to build it, charges the company just $1 a year for the lease.

More than 20 years after Anaheim agreed to pay for the parking facility as part of Disneyland Resort’s expansion, it has become a symbol of the city’s complicated and increasingly tense relationship with its biggest and most powerful corporate citizen.

 

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In January 2017, Fox News published a how-to video of driving techniques for plowing through crowds of protestors. “Study the technique; it may prove useful in the next four years” they advise. The video features scenes of motor vehicle violence set to the lyrics “Move Bitch Get Out of the Way.”

They silently removed web page today, but the internet remembers:

fox_nazis

 

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As a bicyclist, this makes me extremely nervous. The Tesla Model X has a convenience “feature” whereby the car door opens itself. It is very gee whiz, until this happens:

cardoor

And here is a video taken by a Tesla enthusiast as he discovers this feature:

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