Friday, 7 June 2013

We support the RPZ plans for our business driving.

A lot of claims are made about the "cost" of traffic jams, pricing driver's time above that of pedestrians and cyclists. While we certainly agree that our time should be valued above those people who can't afford to pay road tax, we dispute the naive application of "value of time".

The worth of time of people who are stuck in traffic jams as they drive to work is essentially zero.

Why do we we conclude this?
  • The commute marks a transition between work time (paid, valuable) and leisure time (no financial cost to society).
  • The commute time is not part of working hours -it happens after, so is part of the leisure time.
  • If the peak hour commute takes an extra 15 minutes, you can leave 15 minutes early and still arrive at work at the same time. And in the evening you get home 15 minutes later after leaving work at the scheduled time.
  • If you have chosen to move to Bradley Stoke or Portishead, your leisure time is an empty void and so worthless regardless of when you travel.
Because commute time is really leisure time, it isn't costing you anything. The people it is costing are google, because you could spend an extra 30-45 minutes online. This is why Google, strategic partners of both us and the NSA, are so fond of self-driving cars. They could get an extra 1h30 of adverts in front of your eyes.

So: commute time: you can get up earlier and leave earlier to compensate -it doesn't cost business or the country anything.

On the other hand:

the worth of time of businesses who need drivers traversing the city is tangible and negatively affected by commuters in two ways.
  1. The congestion they cause adds delays. This isn't just the jams on the A-roads, it is the cars driving round in circles looking for places to park.
  2. The parking spaces -legal and non-legal- that they use up, create problems for the city all day long.
Bristol traffic has a broad dataset of the what it is like as a white van driver, with numerous problems clearly shown. 

The lack of legal parking bays forces us to park where we can. This can result in parking tickets
This photo was taken on a weekday in Kingsdown -the commuter parking has filled up all the spaces made free by residents, so forcing us to park here. We've also had to waste time driving around until we could find an empty space like this.

The lack of free parking bays costs us time -and hence money

Then there's the double parking. We have to do it whenever we drop off one of our premium entertainment products -especially in Clifton, where there is never any space. We don't mind doing that, don't care about the abuse -but we do care about being held up by other double parking delivery vehicles.

Double parking of short-stay vehicles creates delays that costs us money.

An RPZ provides parking for delivery vehicles, so simplifies our life -and stops us being held up.

Commuter parking can even stop us reaching our destination. Look at this photo of Kingsdown Parade

It's a weekday morning in Kingsdown, and our van is held up by a scaffolding truck that can't get past the parked cars. The crew had to get out, bounce the car out the way. This cost them time, and it cost us time.

Commuter parking narrows roads and eliminates passing places -causing delays and costing us money.

Now look at kingsdown post-RPZ:

Can you see the difference: the road is nearly empty. No more struggles to get wider vehicles past too many parked cars. With the passing places, we don't even need to drive aggressively at oncoming cyclists. Which we actually care about -a schoolrunning parent on Cotham Hill this morning actually put their hand up by their head and damaged our wing-mirror this morning. And now that cyclists are starting to wear helmet-cams more, our driving becomes more visible to the police and employers.

This shows how resident parking zones directly save us money

  1. Providing long stay parking close to our destination, eliminating parking tickets and confrontation.
  2. Providing short-stay parking for deliveries, eliminating double parking -and stopping us being held up by other double parked vehicles.
  3. Effectively widening our roads in the narrow inner city.
The roads in our inner city are too valuable to be wasted on commuter parking.

This is why we strongly support the RPZ plans -it delivers direct business value to us.

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