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BORING! After lawsuit, Elon Musk's company drops plans for a tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles.


Jason
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  • Jason changed the title to BORING! After lawsuit, Elon Musk's company drops plans for a tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles.

I must be dramatically underestimating the cost of an environmental review if it's the entire difference between digging the tunnel and not. I understand that if you're the one building a project like this you'd rather avoid something like that as much as possible, but is it really the difference between doing it and not?

 

edit:

 

An earlier LA Times article on the subject says that "If the full City Council approves the California Environmental Quality Act exemption, it would shave months, or even years, off the Boring Co.'s construction time." I suppose a possible multi year delay for a project that should only take a year is pretty bad.

 

I'm not exactly Musk's biggest fan, but I even less a fan of NIMBY-ism and would love to see more transport oriented projects fast tracked in CA.

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23 hours ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

CEQA is not about the environment in Urban California. It's about nimbyism. 

 

In this case I'm kind of on the side of the NIMBYs, because when this was first approved it sure seemed like the people who approved it were trying to ram something through that'd block/constrain future Metro expansion through the area. Some of the backers, like Paul Koretz, are notoriously awful NIMBY city councilmembers.

 

https://la.streetsblog.org/2018/04/16/elon-musk-boring-company-test-tunnel-could-get-fast-tracked-blocking-metros-sepulveda-rail-project/

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12 minutes ago, Jason said:

 

In this case I'm kind of on the side of the NIMBYs, because when this was first approved it sure seemed like the people who approved it were trying to ram something through that'd block/constrain future Metro expansion through the area. Some of the backers, like Paul Koretz, are notoriously awful NIMBY city councilmembers.

 

https://la.streetsblog.org/2018/04/16/elon-musk-boring-company-test-tunnel-could-get-fast-tracked-blocking-metros-sepulveda-rail-project/

It's nimbys all the way down

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  • 3 weeks later...

So... they just showed off a demo of their first test tunnel and... it seems pretty dumb?

 

https://www.wired.com/story/elon-musk-boring-company-car-flinging-tunnel/

 

They sent a regular-ass car with retrofitted wheels through at about 50 miles per hour. So basically, this tunnel will allow you to experience... driving a car at normal speeds. But in a one-way tunnel.

 

Or, as Jalopnik put it, "What the Actual Shit Was That?"

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5 minutes ago, Ricofoley said:

So... they just showed off a demo of their first test tunnel and... it seems pretty dumb?

 

https://www.wired.com/story/elon-musk-boring-company-car-flinging-tunnel/

 

They sent a regular-ass car with retrofitted wheels through at about 50 miles per hour. So basically, this tunnel will allow you to experience... driving a car at normal speeds. But in a one-way tunnel.

 

Or, as Jalopnik put it, "What the Actual Shit Was That?"

 

I suppose if you could completely bypass traffic, that would be a plus.  

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3 minutes ago, mclumber1 said:

 

You would ideally go down into the tunnel in your neighborhood and emerge in something close to where you are going, like a parking garage.  

That would be fine for a single tunnel, or a small number of tunnels with a small number of users, but won't work for the population at large. Fast moving traffic doesn't scale. And that parking garage may also have a queue so...

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3 minutes ago, CitizenVectron said:

I mean, wouldn't the tunnel also be paved, or at least graveled? And one-way is a bad idea (if only one lane). Someone is eventually going to break down and strand hundreds of people underground. And what about ventilation?

 

On 11/28/2018 at 6:37 AM, 2user1cup said:

lol like this was even ever gonna happen

 

Oh yeah

 

Right it's the lawsuit

Sure

 

Right on buddy 

 

 

 

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The interesting stuff that the Boring company is doing is primarily in how they're retrofitting the drills. They're taking small drills used for sewers and converting them to be electric and more automated. They have another new drill in progress and then they'll be creating their own from scratch. Given the issues that tunneling has, I think they're making some progress in making it faster and cheaper.

 

That said, they really need a better plan for what to do with the tunnels they dig. This whole "put a Model X on a skate" thing is just about the stupidest possible way to quickly move people through a tunnel. The plan has repeatedly changed over time, and this feels like a stopgap proof of concept more than a real proposal. They do have contracts to build tunnels to Dodger stadium and around one of the Chicago airports, and I have to imagine that this is not their plan for how to use them.

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The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of this tunnel network being used for moving cars.  Instead, it should be mass transit, but it should directly compete with existing MTAs.  A little competition would be a good thing.  If Musk can build a mile of tunnel for $10 million (and he claims it will get cheaper and faster as their drilling tech improves), then the Boring Company would be able to run circles around existing systems.  

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7 minutes ago, mclumber1 said:

The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of this tunnel network being used for moving cars.  Instead, it should be mass transit, but it should directly compete with existing MTAs.  A little competition would be a good thing.  If Musk can build a mile of tunnel for $10 million (and he claims it will get cheaper and faster as their drilling tech improves), then the Boring Company would be able to run circles around existing systems.  

 

Tunnels aren't really the expensive part of building subways. A lot of it is stuff like union costs, and a lot of it is the stations. The Second Avenue Subway has station caverns that are both unnecessarily deep and unnecessarily huge, leading to huge excavation costs.

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4 hours ago, Jason said:

 

Tunnels aren't really the expensive part of building subways. A lot of it is stuff like union costs, and a lot of it is the stations. The Second Avenue Subway has station caverns that are both unnecessarily deep and unnecessarily huge, leading to huge excavation costs.

Euro countries have unions and environmental rules and big deep stations and their construction costs are still way way way below what it costs us. Litigation is the big cost driver of US infrastructure

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6 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

Euro countries have unions and environmental rules and big deep stations and their construction costs are still way way way below what it costs us. Litigation is the big cost driver of US infrastructure

 

Either way I think the relevant point is that it's not the tunneling itself that's the cost-driver here.

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