Europe Can Pack ‘Em In

9 04 2019

Cologne

Explaining the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region to St. Louisans.

First off, Germany has only twice the land area of Missouri, but with 82 million people.  Imagine if Missouri had 41 million people.

The Michelin road atlas of Germany is actually an eight-country atlas.  While it’s only officially advertised as having seven countries, (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland), any map or atlas that shows either all of Switzerland or all of Austria will by necessity show all of Lichtenstein.  And those eight countries have a total combined population of 138 million, all while having a total combined land area less than Texas.

Now for the good stuff, the thought experiment.

Put Cologne Cathedral and the St. Louis Arch in the same space, then keep everything else to scale.

Bonn would be just south of Millstadt, Illinois.  Düsseldorf would be at Pelican Island, the northernmost part of St. Louis County.  Duisburg would be northeast of Godfrey, Illinois.  Essen would be near Brighton, Illinois, and Dortmund would be right about at Gillespie, Illinois.  Mönchengladbach would be north of St. Peters in the Mississippi River valley.  Aachen, while not officially part of The Region, is close enough and historically important enough to mention here;  It would be at Villa Ridge, Missouri, which is the place where Highway 50 splits off of I-44 as Route 50 goes to Washington.

The population of the urbanized parts of The Region is more than ten million.

Expanding out a bit further, Bremen would be around Chenoa, Illinois (northeast of Bloomington), Berlin would be at Ridgeville, Indiana (east of Muncie), Frankfurt would be at Marion, Illinois, and Munich would be at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

And yet, I have to hear the ZOMG WE NEED MORE PEEPHUL LOL~!!!!1 Kuhscheiße in this country and on this continent.

On the other hand, it’s why sky high European gas prices aren’t quite so bad in terms of the household budget of the typical sort of average car owner, if only because people don’t really need to log that many miles in their cars, only because everything is so much closely packed together.  And most German car owners will take the train for out of town trips anyway.  Also my cynicism informs me that high gas prices are a deliberate public policy position, only because traffic in Germany and Europe is already so phlarking bad that if gas were much cheaper, traffic would be impossible on account of all the new cars on the roads.  It’s why, in spite of the reputation that the Autobahns have among Americans, the reality is that barely more than half the system mileage has no legal speed limit anymore, the percentage continues to decline over time, and even where there is no speed limit, it’s not a good idea to floor the gas anyway.  The only difference is because Germans have better lane and spacing discipline than Americans, it means it’s safer to go faster and with more overall throughput.  It is credibly estimated that the 85th percentile, or one standard deviation above the median, speed, on no speed limit Autobahn sections, is 92 miles an hour.


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27 11 2019
Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 3 | Countenance Blog

[…] of Germany just standing there and turning my neck, though that’s not hard when you have to pack a lot of people into not that much space.  Anyway, I figured having it in his office was going to be a better option than being in the open […]

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