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RE: [CarFree] Just getting started

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  • Lanyon, Ryan
    I can talk about some other Canadian cities: Ottawa - I ve lived here car-free for almost six years, and love it. Downtown living is great, and a few older
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 10, 2000
      I can talk about some other Canadian cities:

      Ottawa - I've lived here car-free for almost six years, and love it.
      Downtown living is great, and a few older suburbs are really blooming
      (Westboro, Glebe, Ottawa South). If you like suburban living but still want
      to live car-free, stay withing the 'Greenbelt' - It's a band of protected
      lands that surrounds the city. Everything inside this area is pretty
      compact, with some sprawl at the fringes. Still has good bus service. The
      city is covered with bike lanes, paths, paved shoulders and wide curb lanes
      for cycling. In fact, I work for the local municipality to encourage people
      to walk, cycle, bus, carpool or telework. We have a web site for this stuff
      coming up soon. Car-sharing is also an option here.

      Hamilton - A smaller city (600,000 or so w/Burlington + 'burbs), but it has
      an extensive traditional section where it is easier to live car-free. The
      'Mountain' or upper Hamilton is largely suburban and completely
      car-oriented, so stay downtown.

      St. Catharines/Niagara Falls - About 300,000 people when you include the
      entire Region, but almost all suburban. St. Catharines might be manageable
      car-free, but transit isn't very good, and inter-city travel isn't the
      greatest (never mind taking a bus to the train station!).

      Montreal - A great city to live in, but the ability to speak French is a
      definite asset for employment. It was named #1 by Bicycling Magazine before
      Toronto was. There's some light rail from the suburbs, and inner-city loops
      of a metro (subway). Plenty of traditional neighbourhoods to choose from,
      and even some older suburbs. Car-sharing is strong here.

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: michael and karen dudley [SMTP:umdudley@...]
      > Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2000 10:27 AM
      > To: CarFree@egroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [CarFree] Just getting started
      >
      > If you're willing to consider moving to Canada (recently acknowleged--not
      > for the first time--to be the best place in the world to live according to
      > the UN's set of lifestyle inidicators), then there are a number of cities
      > that provide excellent transit, and walkable mixed-use districts.
      >
      <snipped>
    • Ross or Judy
      Ryan: How do you deal with the cold, snow and ice in these cities. Did Bicycling Magazine do a summer tour only ? Ross
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 10, 2000
        Ryan:
        How do you deal with the cold, snow and ice in these cities. Did Bicycling
        Magazine do a summer tour only ?
        Ross


        >I can talk about some other Canadian cities:
        >
        >Ottawa -
        >St. Catharines/Niagara Falls -
        >Montreal #1 by Bicycling Magazine before Toronto was.
      • Lanyon, Ryan
        From what I understand, Bicycling Magazine only does a survey - no visits. I think their survey is heavy on facilities, likes lanes and pathways, rather than
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 10, 2000
          From what I understand, Bicycling Magazine only does a survey - no visits.
          I think their survey is heavy on facilities, likes lanes and pathways,
          rather than terrain, promotion or attitudes.

          As for cold, snow and ice:

          Cold - dress in layers, wear some warm booties and something covering the
          face.
          Snow - We have a relatively dry winter, so most of the time the roads are
          clear.
          Ice - Major roads are well-maintained and kept clear. Salt, however, is a
          problem, so people are encouraged to use a beater bike because of corrosion.

          There are days, particularly after a major snowfall or when the windchill
          dips down to -50 degrees Celsius, that cyclists are encouraged to leave
          their bikes at home and take the bus. There is some similar encouragement
          for motorists after large snowfalls, too, since the roads can be slippery
          for everyone.

          Serious winter conditions really don't start until mid December and last
          until late February. Personally I retire my bike around November and bring
          it out again in March, but I walk most everywhere anyway.

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Ross or Judy [SMTP:rossjudy@...]
          > Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 12:02 PM
          > To: CarFree@egroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [CarFree] Just getting started
          >
          > Ryan:
          > How do you deal with the cold, snow and ice in these cities. Did Bicycling
          > Magazine do a summer tour only ?
          > Ross
          >
          >
          > >I can talk about some other Canadian cities:
          > >
          > >Ottawa -
          > >St. Catharines/Niagara Falls -
          > >Montreal #1 by Bicycling Magazine before Toronto was.
          >
          >
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        • FolderPete@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/10/00 5:22:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... V interesting figures. Does seem like the best car-free places on the list are small and
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 10, 2000
            In a message dated 7/10/00 5:22:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
            greglpotts@... writes:

            > I've ranked the 100
            > Most CarFree cities, the 100 "Most Biked" cities,

            V interesting figures. Does seem like the best car-free places on the list
            are small and college oriented. And includes v few cities (Tuscon appeared
            on one list!) over 100,000.

            I'd jsut like to suggest Minneapolis as a bike-friendly place to (live) or
            visit:
            ++ Green. Bike friendly, formerly (and still) great transit tradition.
            - - White. ...as in snowy winter. But then many include that
            disadvantage.

            Sacramento CA is also nice (no snow).

            While I thank Joan & Jim from BikesAtWork for this info, I'd like to
            question the statistic that San Francisco has only 0.99% cycling to work.
            Recently our Dept of Parking and Traffic reported that on "Bike to Work Day"
            this year, 43% of the traffic on Market St (the main drag) was bicycles.

            (Maybe all those other cyclists don't have jobs?)

            FP

            Ps: H of Shame -- Atlanta? San Antonio? (where all the buses *used* to go
            into the center of town, before going anywhere else).
          • Jim Gregory
            ... list ... appeared ... Yes, and several military bases are on the lists, too. Perhaps one way to get in a more carfree community is to join the
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 10, 2000
              Folder Pete said:

              > V interesting figures. Does seem like the best car-free places on the
              list
              > are small and college oriented. And includes v few cities (Tuscon
              appeared
              > on one list!) over 100,000.

              Yes, and several military bases are on the lists, too. Perhaps one way to
              get in a more carfree community is to join the military...:)

              Actually, there are several large cities on the 100 Most CarFree list--New
              York ranks #8, Washington, D.C. is #22, Boston #35, etc. All make the list
              because a high proportion of people walk AND use public transit. Most of
              the small communities make the list only because a high proportion walk to
              work.

              > While I thank Joan & Jim from BikesAtWork for this info, I'd like to
              > question the statistic that San Francisco has only 0.99% cycling to work.
              > Recently our Dept of Parking and Traffic reported that on "Bike to Work
              Day"
              > this year, 43% of the traffic on Market St (the main drag) was bicycles.

              > (Maybe all those other cyclists don't have jobs?)

              Interesting. Is that level of bicycle traffic on Market St. typical, or
              just a result of B to W Day? The Census Bureau says that respondents were
              asked what is the *primary* method they use to get to work.

              According to the 1990 Census, 147187 people drive to work, 43925 carpool,
              4540 ride a motorcycle, but only 3634 ride a bike in SF.

              Using the Census data, only 0.45% of the residents in an average community
              of over 5000 people ride a bike to work. So, the percentage of people who
              ride to work in San Francisco is actually more than twice the national
              average.

              > Ps: H of Shame -- Atlanta? San Antonio? (where all the buses *used* to
              go
              > into the center of town, before going anywhere else).
              >
              What struck me after compiling the data was that many of the towns on
              Bicycling's Magazine "Best Bicycle Cities" list rank comparatively low, if
              at all. Madison, Wisconsin, for example, ranks 56 on the 100 "Most Biked"
              list, while Portland and Denver aren't even on the list.

              -Jim
            • David Hansen
              ... http://www.a2bmagazine.demon.co.uk has some advice on living in a car free/minimised way. Their view is that traditional towns and cities are best.
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
                On 10 Jul 00, at 20:01, FolderPete@... wrote:

                > V interesting figures. Does seem like the best car-free places on the
                > list are small and college oriented.

                http://www.a2bmagazine.demon.co.uk has some advice on living in
                a car free/minimised way. Their view is that traditional towns and
                cities are best. Sprawling suburbia makes it difficult to minimise or
                eliminate car use due to the large distances between things.




                David Hansen | davidh@... | PGP email preferred
                Edinburgh | CI$ number 100024,3247 | key number F566DA0E
              • FolderPete@aol.com
                ... Yes, this would explain it. The use of bikes has *exploded* over jsut the last two years. I myself was on a motor-bike (with trucks and car) ten years
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
                  In a message dated 7/11/00 5:10:21 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Jim writes:

                  > >Recently our Dept of Parking and Traffic reported that on "Bike to Work
                  > > Day" this year, 43% of the traffic on Market St (the main drag) was
                  > > bicycles.
                  > ...
                  > According to the 1990 Census, 147187 people drive to work, 43925 carpool,
                  > 4540 ride a motorcycle, but only 3634 ride a bike in SF.

                  Yes, this would explain it. The use of bikes has *exploded* over jsut the
                  last two years. I myself was on a motor-bike (with trucks and car) ten years
                  ago. .
                  FP
                • Gregory Potts
                  Thanks to everyone for the responses. I really appreciate all the support and information. I actually do have a history with car-free living. Straight out of
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
                    Thanks to everyone for the responses. I really appreciate all the
                    support and information.

                    I actually do have a history with car-free living. Straight out of
                    college, I got married and lived in Seoul, Korea for a year. (We were
                    English teachers.) While we were there, we got around exclusively by
                    train, subway, bus, and of course, our feet. Plus the occasional
                    taxi. Never had a problem. I loved it and was in great shape. Mind
                    you, car traffic is horrendous there and the air quality is poor, but
                    it was easy to get around without a car.

                    Then when we returned to the states, we bought just one car. My wife
                    usually drove to work and I would walk, bike, take a bus or catch a
                    ride with her to classes on campus and back home. This was Norman --
                    a college town. As someone pointed out, college towns tend to be a
                    little more workable.

                    But since I finished my degree and moved to Oklahoma City, I've lived
                    a very car-dependent life. And I miss my car-lite days in Seoul and
                    in Norman. I've since divorced and am now with a male partner. He
                    and I also share a car. Usually, he will drop me off at work so he
                    can have the car during the day. (He's self-employed.) I've really
                    been thinking about it and I'm not sure if I can get to my work
                    carless. My office is in about the most inconvenient possible
                    location right next to a busy highway. I checked the bus schedule
                    and found that it would take a LOT longer to get to work that way (I
                    would have to change buses). In addition, the last bus home would be
                    near my office about 5 and I usually leave later than that (5:30 or
                    6). So the public transit here really does stink. And my employer
                    discourages telecommuting. (I got to do it once during a blizzard.)
                    However, I also just learned that my city has a ride share program
                    where they can match you up with someone who either needs a ride or
                    is willing to give one. I might look into that. It would at least
                    be something. However, even if the commute doesn't work, I am
                    thinking that I could do a lot more about walking/biking to errands
                    and social activities.

                    Okay, that may be more than anyone needed to know. Again, thanks for
                    all the responses.

                    --Greg
                  • aneml@uaa.alaska.edu
                    Ross or Judy wrote: In my opinion, the snow free coast [of Canada] is the only place where cycling a lot in the winter can be comfortable, and safe. I
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 21, 2000
                      "Ross or Judy" wrote:
                      "In my opinion, the snow free coast [of Canada] is
                      the only place where cycling a lot in the winter
                      can be comfortable, and safe."


                      I come from a place similar to Canada where we are innundated by snow
                      and cold in the winter. I find cycling in the winter to be
                      comfortable
                      and safe. In fact, winter cycling is spreading in Anchorage.

                      Unlike twelve years ago, studded tires are now regularly stocked in
                      most of the major bike stores. Instead of making our own by screwing
                      sheet metal screws through tires, we can buy them from the store.

                      After a major snow, some of the major the bike trails get packed down
                      by pedestrians and cyclsists. I often see at least four other sets
                      of tire tracks through the new snow on my commute to work.

                      The City has actually started to gradually plow more and more of the
                      sidewalks. They still have a long way to go, but there has been
                      progress.

                      As for being cold, I find that sitting in a cold car waiting for it
                      to warm up when it is below zero (Farenheit) is far colder and
                      miserable than hopping on my bike and quickly working up a sweat as I
                      plow through a new snow fall.

                      The biggest problem is figuring out layerings. I get very hot with
                      lots of layers going up hill and then I get cold and chilled going
                      down. I need jackets and layers with lots of zippers, pit zips, and
                      quick release flaps that I can open and close.

                      I am still working on face coverings. If I wear my neoprene mask
                      over my face (needed when moving at any speed when it is below zero)
                      my breath tends to travel into my ski goggles and cloud them up. I
                      shift the face coverings around to let some venting of the goggles.

                      The feet are the problem. There are some nice pedal coverings that
                      I've seen in the stores that fit over pedal and foot. They are like
                      the big handlebar mits that they make for snowmachines (snowmobiles).

                      I am comfortable down to about zero Farenheit with all of this
                      layering and finagling of coverings. Below zero, it gets to be more
                      of a hassle than it is worth. Instead, I ditch my bike and I walk.
                      Walking is warmer than biking in the winter, and I've been doing much
                      more walking than biking during the very cold weather.

                      Compared to Fairbanks, we are not that hard core. In Fairbanks, the
                      temps stay at 30 to 40 below zero during most of January and
                      February. The bicyclists up there change the grease in their bearings
                      for the winter. Standard grease hardens and makes pedaling very
                      difficult when it is cold. I'm not sure what type of grease they
                      replace it with. There are quite a few year-round cyclists in
                      Fairbanks because it is a college town with the main branch of the
                      University of Alaska.

                      Eric
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