The Earth Party
Blueprint for a Mature Civilization
Step 1C: Arrange the Benign Transit Network
The Benign Transit Grid is a crucial element of the mature civilization. This new grid is necessary for several of the other steps to be possible.
Right now, we already have a transportation network - but it's a mess. To call it "poorly planned" would be an understatement, because it wasn't planned at all. It was cobbled together by a random series of personal whims of millions of different people, with no cohesive vision for the big picture.
And as a result, it is woefully confusing, inefficient, and wasteful. It scars our planet's face with unnecessary monstrosities. It converts living soil into dead concrete by a factor of dozens of times more than we need it to.
A mature civilization has a mature transit grid - an intuitive one that's efficient, simple, and coherent.
When we build this new grid, we will no longer need the old grid, and will be able to give it back to Nature. Since the new is so much more efficient, nature can regain a lot of land this way.
There is a De-Facto transit grid (the one we're currently using, consisting of roads, highways, railroads, and so forth), and the Benign transit grid (not yet built).
On this page, we will first explain what the Benign grid will look like, and then, after that, we will explain how to transform the De Facto grid into the Intuitive. We'll explain, step-by-step, how to transition in a smooth way, with minimal inconvenience or disruptions.
So let's get started!
The Benign Grid consists of three main components:
Settlements are the natural social units described in the beginning of the Master Plan. For review, they are:
And since we're talking about transit, we'll need to add in one more:
The first thing that makes the Benign Grid benign is the fact that the pathways will be of appropriate size for the levels of settlement that they connect.
There are 7 degrees of pathway, based on what they're connecting:
1. Building to Building
2. Building to Village center
3. Village to Village
4. Village to Town center
5. Town to Town
6. Town to City center
7. City to city
As you go down the list, their carrying capacity increases.
#1 is just a simple footpath.
#7 is a Large Roadrail (this term will be explained further down).
All pathways are required to fit into one of these degrees, and to not exceed the width and ecological impact allowed for its degree.
Furthermore, land may be selected for only one pathway connecting each set of settlements - no duplicates. If natural pathways already exist (for example, more than one footpath connecting two Villages), there is of course nothing wrong with this, and they may continue to exist. But no new paths may be deliberately made - or, to put it more precisely, no more of the planet's surface area may be allotted and dis-animated (stripped of the ability to grow an ecosystem) on behalf of creating any extra pathway, beyond the one.
Descriptions of each degree of pathway, and its corresponding vehicles:
Connect: Building to Building
Width: Wide enough for 2 people to walk abreast
Vehicles: People, hand-pushed vehicles, (e.g. child strollers)
2. Wide Footpath
Connect: Building to Village Center
Width: Wide enough for 3 people to walk abreast
Vehicles: People, hand-pushed vehicles, non-motorized bicycles
3. Bike Lane
Connect: Village to Village
Width: Enough for 2 bicycles (non-motorized) to pass each other comfortably
Vehicles: People, hand-pushed, bicycles
Before we continue, we have to explain what a RoadRail is. It's an elevated railway, with a paved ("normal") road directly underneath. It's very efficient, and takes up minimal space.
4. Small RoadRail
Connect: Village to Township Center
Width: Enough for 2 scooters to pass each other comfortably
Rail Pods: Two seats, side by side
Manual Vehicles: People, hand-pushed, bikes, motorbikes
5. Medium RoadRail
Connect: Township to Township
Width: Enough for 2 cars to pass each other comfortably (one lane in each direction)
Rail Pods: Two seats, side by side, plus an aisle
Manual Vehicles: Up to and including small cars
6. Large RoadRail
Connect: Township to City Center
Width: Enough for 2 cars to pass each other comfortably, plus a third "passing" lane
Rail Pods: An aisle + two seats on either side (four seats abreast)
Manual Vehicles: Up to and including standard trucks
7. Intercity RoadRail
Connect: City to City
Width: Enough for 4 cars (two lanes in each direction)
Rail Pods: Any. Standard "train" size.
Manual Vehicles: Up to and including trailers and 18-wheelers
A few notes:
1. The larger pathways can have smaller pathways running immediately adjacent to their shoulders, to allow smaller vehicles (and pedestrians) to travel alongside, without being put in danger
2. The exact dimensions may vary slightly from Eco-Region to Eco-Region, due to differences in the landscapes of the various regions of the planet. For instance, all pathways will naturally need to be narrower in mountainous regions than in flat regions.
3. The exact dimensions will be set by each Regional Council, for its Eco-Region.
Now let's talk about how the RoadRails operate:
All RoadRails will be:
Either maglev for high-speeds, or slow enough to not disturb local tranquility with noise.
3) Paved Underneath
To allow bicycles and motorbikes (scooters).
4) Outfitted with Chargers
To charge electric vehicles at any stop.
5) Protected by Fences
To prevent collisions of fauna and vehicles on the lower, paved surface, provided that the fences allow small fauna to pass unrestricted, and have natural, soil-lined land-bridges placed at every kilometer, to allow large fauna to pass and migrate.
The road follows the contours of the land, and does not require extensive reshaping of the land.
The road does not fell any large mature trees, does not traverse any old-growth/virgin forest, does not pass through any village, (but rather goes around the periphery), and does not involve blasting or carving out bedrock, except in the case of tunnels.
The road has been voluntarily and willingly approved by all people with Land Stewardship Rights on land that it passes over.
9) Built In Stages If Necessary
If a town cannot presently afford to build the railway, then the bike/scooter way may be made first, designed for the eventual addition of the railway above
"What about air travel?"
Air travel will be (mostly) phased out and replaced by high-speed Intercity Roadrails.
The purpose of air travel is to cross large bodies of water.
Existing air routes that traverse dry land may continue to operate during the transition to global, sustainable, surface-based travel, but no new air routes will be established over land.
No new airports, nor new runways will be constructed in inland areas ("inland area" defined as any area that has another airport between it and the nearest large body of water).
Existing inland runways may be maintained. New airports may only be constructed directly adjacent to the shoreline of the body of water they are meant to traverse.
In all airports, the grassy area around runways shall be open to gardening with non-woody plants by security-approved local residents.