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  #1  
Old October 15th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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Exclamation Big cars in Honolulu

I was not old enough to drive, when the streets of Honolulu will filled with big cars. When my time came (80s-90s), cars were a lot smaller.

Often time I feel there is just enough space for small car. It don't matter if I'm finding parking in Downtown, Waikiki, or at Ala Moana center, everything is just so tight. The buildings, the streets, the parking structures, are all the same.

So how did the old-timers do it? Cars from the 60s-70s. How did you cruise around the same places I used to (I'm on the mainland now) with my small car?
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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by cabanalane View Post
I was not old enough to drive, when the streets of Honolulu will filled with big cars. When my time came (80s-90s), cars were a lot smaller.

Often time I feel there is just enough space for small car. It don't matter if I'm finding parking in Downtown, Waikiki, or at Ala Moana center, everything is just so tight. The buildings, the streets, the parking structures, are all the same.

So how did the old-timers do it? Cars from the 60s-70s. How did you cruise around the same places I used to (I'm on the mainland now) with my small car?
I don't think all the places have the same sizing. While the same parking structure, I do believe the size of each parking stall has shrunk (think compact written on those stalls). I do not believe those existed in the 60s-70s. And I am aware that with the additional lane created on the H1 between Liliha and Pali, they shrunk the width of lanes and used some shoulder lane space to make it happen.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Red face Re: Big cars in Honolulu

I am certain that parking stalls have gotten narrower at the same time as some vehicles have gotten wider... and even longer. There are some pickup trucks out there that have no business trying to squeeze into a "compact" stall, let alone some of the SUV monstrosities out there. In the building where I work, there's a long-bed pickup that is easily two feet longer than most cars... which wouldn't be a problem, except the driver loves to park in the last stall on a row, next to the exit lane. People always struggle to get around that turn, and I'm surprised the truck hasn't lost its bumper yet.

Fortunately, as with the early 80s, gas prices has driven many people to smaller vehicles. "Smart cars" are picking up. It's just a little troubling that we're basically mixing hulking masses and little metal eggs on the same road.

That said, I was a big fan of "big American cars" from the 60s and 70s. When I lived in Waikiki, I drove a '79 Oldsmobile Cutlass. As improbable as it was, I got pretty good at squeezing that thing into parallel parking spaces and other not-quite-legal patches of curbside. Of course, I also got towed a few times.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

For one thing there were probably half the amount of cars on the road back then, also the length and width of a car was about the same as a pickup truck. Jeep's were the only four wheelers around. Other than the Nash Rambler the "small" cars were the Ford Falcon, Chevrolet Corvair, and maybe the Plymouth Valiant. Parking stalls were definetly wider.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

I had a 1988 BMW 735i. Considered as BMW's flagship fullsize luxury sedan, it was the same length as my then co-worker's 2002 Toyota Camry which is considered to be Toyota's popular mid-sized sedan. I was shocked.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
That said, I was a big fan of "big American cars" from the 60s and 70s. When I lived in Waikiki, I drove a '79 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
You think the '79 Cutlass was a "big car?" The previous generation Cutlass was a good deal bigger, over a foot longer in length. At one time, I had a '76 Chevy Monte Carlo, which was something like 15 inches longer than the downsized '78 models. The hood compartment on that bomb was long and deep.

The combination of the American Big 3 downsizing their cars and the explosive increase of sales of Japanese imports in the late 1970s naturally led to the phenomenom of smaller average size of vehicles on the road. This trend lasted well into the 1980s. Then in the '90s, the size started getting bigger again..... but it wasn't due to the sedans and coupes. It was the large-sized trucks and SUVs. Mini-vans also began replacing station wagons as the vehicle of choice for soccer moms during this time.

I don't remember parking stalls decreasing in size, as much as establishments introducing "compact" sized stalls, which the folks with intermediate or full-sized vehicles ignored anyway. (The kind of people that didn't care about getting dents and dings on their doors.) The one parking structure that seemed to cater to compact cars was the one at Ward Warehouse. The ramps and the stalls were narrow. It was built just at about the time in the '70s when cars were getting smaller. But when Ward Center opened up in the '90s, the parking garage there was bigger, which was a good thing as it gave the guys with the Broncos and 4Runners a place to park their barges. If they tried to use the Ward Warehouse garage, they would have ended up hogging two stalls.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

I've always thought that compact cars parking in regular stalls instead of compact stalls should be towed out as they leave no space for larger vehicles.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

I used to drive a 1972 Chevy Malibu, 1980 Ford Granada and 1973 Mercury Comet. The Chevy was quite large but at the time considered a mid-size. The Granada and Comet were "compacts" but are rather large by today's standards. The Chevy and Mercury had V8 engines that ate gas like there was no tomorrow... the Granada was underpowered with a small 6 cylender.

I learned to park those cars fairly well.

I moved on to smaller cars as time went on... Ford Tempo, Toyota Corolla.

The biggest vehicles I remember driving are Dodge Caravan, Chevy Impala (1980s model), and Saturn Relay (van)... Long ago when we visited Kauai I drove this huge Steve McGarrett Mercury Grand Marquis for a few days.

Those big vehicles are fun if you are out on the open road with not too much traffic. But to fork over $$$ to fill their gas tanks... um.. forget it.

On the other hand I am not a big fan of those tiny smart cars. You get into a serious collision with those and you'll be dead. I caught one in the wild last week with my camera.

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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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On the other hand I am not a big fan of those tiny smart cars. You get into a serious collision with those and you'll be dead. I caught one in the wild last week with my camera.

I swear you could pick it up with one hand, like those 24-pack Buds.

I'm guessing it's for people who can't ride/balance on two-wheeled scooters.

I hope when I'm in my 80's I still get to drive in a "young boy" car, like a Honda Civic.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

So here's a before and after smart car photo. Not much crumple zones anywhere
Attached Images
File Type: jpg smart car 1.jpg (43.6 KB, 20 views)
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by mel View Post
Long ago when we visited Kauai I drove this huge Steve McGarrett Mercury Grand Marquis for a few days.
That was the thinking behind my post. I was (continue) to watch Hawaii Five-O on DVD, and was just thinking, how did they drive those big cars in the same place, same buildings, I did with a small car?
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Old October 16th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

Not only were lanes and stalls wider, but there just weren't as many cars around.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
So here's a before and after smart car photo. Not much crumple zones anywhere

O U C H !
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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
I've always thought that compact cars parking in regular stalls instead of compact stalls should be towed out as they leave no space for larger vehicles.
I can agree to that so long as bigger cars that force themselves into compact spots can treated the same.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Red face Re: Big cars in Honolulu

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
So here's a before and after smart car photo. Not much crumple zones anywhere.
As usual, a fake but popular e-mail forward. The car was a Ford Escape SUV, not a Smart Car... and frankly, any car vs. trucks like that would come out badly. For the most part, modern cars are much, much safer than the giant steel tanks we think were invincible from the 60s and 70s.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
As usual, a fake but popular e-mail forward. The car was a Ford Escape SUV, not a Smart Car... and frankly, any car vs. trucks like that would come out badly. For the most part, modern cars are much, much safer than the giant steel tanks we think were invincible from the 60s and 70s.
There's also the law of diminishing returns. Increasing car size and weight provides added safety up to a certain meaningful point. As you pointed out, any car vs heavy equipment trucks, it doesn't really matter what car you drive.

Cars from the 60s and 70s may seem more "invincible" because they were not engineered to crumple to absorb the impact energy which translates to a surviving car but not necessarily a surviving occupant.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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I can agree to that so long as bigger cars that force themselves into compact spots can treated the same.
The reason why big cars squeeze themselves into compact stalls is because the larger stalls are taken by smaller cars. It gives those small cars more space between cars. Even compact cars in compact stalls get door dings.

Try going to Kaiser Moanalua. The top (street level) deck is reserved for larger vehicles but you'll see them full of compact cars, leaving no stalls for the larger vehicles, forcing them to park in the smaller stalls in the lower levels.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
As usual, a fake but popular e-mail forward. The car was a Ford Escape SUV, not a Smart Car... and frankly, any car vs. trucks like that would come out badly. For the most part, modern cars are much, much safer than the giant steel tanks we think were invincible from the 60s and 70s.
So if a Ford Escape got creamed that badly, a Smart car would be...worse. And yes I do believe today's cars are safer than cars of the past with engineered crumple zones.

Which brings me to what people do to their cars by modifying them with stress bars, anti-sway bars and other chassis stiffening products. They may improve handling but I've always wondered if all those modifications to the chassis adversely affects how the body of the newly reinforced chassis will crumple on impact.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Which brings me to what people do to their cars by modifying them with stress bars, anti-sway bars and other chassis stiffening products. They may improve handling but I've always wondered if all those modifications to the chassis adversely affects how the body of the newly reinforced chassis will crumple on impact.
I would think the dynamics controlling movement (car performance) is different from crash worthiness. A person with muscles will hurt the same from a fall as as person with little muscles. Still hurts.

On the flip side, if you could perform better, better control, better braking, you can avoid accidents all together.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
I've always thought that compact cars parking in regular stalls instead of compact stalls should be towed out as they leave no space for larger vehicles.
Even if all the compact stalls are taken?

The idea behind the compact stalls is obviously to fit in more cars into the same space.

My personal feeling is that if most or all of the compact stalls on a lot are filled, then there's nothing wrong with a compact car using a regular sized stall. AFAIAC, anything that encourages motorists to use smaller vehicles on the road in the city is a good thing.

Besides, I can imagine the confusion and controversy that would arise over what cars should or should not be towed. Especially nowadays since there are not only compact cars, but cars that are classified as "sub-compact," which blurs the distinction between compact and mid-size. In many people's minds, the Chevy Cobalt sedan is mid-size, not compact, since it is quite longer than an Aveo.

I pity the poor parking attendant who has to explain to an irate customer about why his borderline compact/mid-size vehicle had to be towed. It would make for very bad P.R. It's one of those rules that would have to be clearly spelled out, with exact minimum dimensions printed on a sign. Would shopping centers want to go through that extra hassle and expense, just for the sake of the guys driving the big trucks/SUVs? Realistically speaking, I would say it's very doubtful.

Last edited by Frankie's Market; October 16th, 2009 at 04:08 PM.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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I would think the dynamics controlling movement (car performance) is different from crash worthiness. A person with muscles will hurt the same from a fall as as person with little muscles. Still hurts.

On the flip side, if you could perform better, better control, better braking, you can avoid accidents all together.
I believe if you strengthen a car's chassis, you change the dynamics of it's ability to crumple. Kinetic energy is transferred thru a stiffer frame onto it's occupants.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
I believe if you strengthen a car's chassis, you change the dynamics of it's ability to crumple. Kinetic energy is transferred thru a stiffer frame onto it's occupants.
And let's go to the video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xwYB...layer_embedded

This is one example of a bunch of versions of the crash test between a 2009 Chevy Malibu and a 1959 Chevy Bel Air (with the obligatory fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror). 40 MPH, offset to the driver's side. The first crumple zone in the Bel Air appears to be the passenger. The Malibu's passenger compartment doesn't even seem to be significantly affected.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

Try finding a video where a modified Honda has the same crumple characterisitics of an unmodified one and see if the results are the same. This is my point.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Even if all the compact stalls are taken?

The idea behind the compact stalls is obviously to fit in more cars into the same space.

My personal feeling is that if most or all of the compact stalls on a lot are filled, then there's nothing wrong with a compact car using a regular sized stall. AFAIAC, anything that encourages motorists to use smaller vehicles on the road in the city is a good thing.
Likewise if all larger stalls are filled then there's nothing wrong with a Minivan using a compact sized stall. There are lots of compact stalls at further walking distances than regular-sized stalls nearby but if it were a rainy day and the compact stalls were farther out than a regular stall, where would you park?

I can see not driving a large SUV or even a massive truck to a WalMart parking lot, but remember Minivans are bigger than compact cars but are a necessity for larger families.

The point I was addressing in the Kaiser Moanalua parking lot is that there are larger vehicles (including minivans) that need those stalls. But because of their convienence to the main building itself, it's more desirable to park there instead of driving around and around on the lower decks to find parking in tight stalls (even for compact vehicles). Plus because of the larger stalls, some people who own compact vehicles park there because they know there is less chance of their car getting dinged by another because of the increased distance between vehicles.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Big cars in Honolulu

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
I can see not driving a large SUV or even a massive truck to a WalMart parking lot, but remember Minivans are bigger than compact cars but are a necessity for larger families.

The point I was addressing in the Kaiser Moanalua parking lot is that there are larger vehicles (including minivans) that need those stalls.
Well, no matter what size of vehicle patients/visitors arrive in, I don't often see large families coming in all at one time to Kaiser or any other medical center. So that negates your previous argument as far as the "necessity" of driving a minivan to a hospital/medical center parking lot. (Those who drive a mini or full-sized van because it has wheelchair ramps will no doubt have the disabled parking permit to use the handicapped stalls.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
But because of their convienence to the main building itself, it's more desirable to park there instead of driving around and around on the lower decks to find parking in tight stalls (even for compact vehicles). Plus because of the larger stalls, some people who own compact vehicles park there because they know there is less chance of their car getting dinged by another because of the increased distance between vehicles.
Two cliches here apply.

1) Early bird gets the worm.

2) Being at the right place at the right time.
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