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  • L Danish
    I just got back from a three day trip to Catalina Island (22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles), which is interesting to this audience because it is I guess
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 7, 2000
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      I just got back from a three day trip to Catalina Island (22 miles off the
      coast of Los Angeles), which is interesting to this audience because it is I
      guess you would say "car restricted". The only town of any size on the
      entire island is Avalon, it has a permanent population of about 7000 (but of
      course swells with tourists). I spent all my time in Avalon which is quite
      compact, maybe 1 square mile. The island itself is about 60 square miles
      and is virtually all privately owned by a conservancy and outside of Avalon
      and tiny Two Harbors is undeveloped.

      In order to have a car in town, you must get a car permit. Years ago
      (1970-something?), the town capped the number of cars at some number (800 or
      so, i was told). Residents wishing to get a car since then enter a waiting
      list for one of the 800 current permitees to die or move away or whatever.
      People on the list as of mid-1988 are currently getting their permits, a
      twelve year wait! But since the list has been growing ever-faster, the
      current waiting time is projected to be 35 years(!). There is some sort of
      parallel universe for getting a permit for a commercial car/truck.

      Town has limited parking -- which is, I suppose, the real reason behind the
      restriction. The streets are relatively narrow, but not anything like you
      find in ancient European cities.

      Now for the bad news: since residents can't get cars, they all drive around
      in golf carts (technically called "autoettes") -- and what's worse, they are
      almost all gasoline powered. They range from relatively quiet to very
      noisy, and spew quite a bit of pollution. For reasons that weren't clear,
      there are very few electric carts (possibly because the hilly terrain make
      for very limited range?)
      Making matters worse, they rent these damn things (gas-powered golf carts)
      to tourists, so every day all day long there are as many as a couple of
      hundred more of them running around. At least the rental hours are
      relatively short, 9am - 5pm.

      The obvoius advantage to the carts is that they take up a lot less parking
      room. Their slow speed of something less than 25 mph isn't a problem since
      the town is so dense, and just outside of the core, the roads are twisty.
      The low potential speed makes the town core fairly pedestrian-friendly.


      Does anyone know of anywhere else in the US that cars are restricted by the
      government? I wouldn't have thought it was possible(?) -- but there you
      have it.
    • Bill Volk
      Regarding: Does anyone know of anywhere else in the US that cars are restricted by the government? I wouldn t have thought it was possible(?) -- but there you
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 7, 2000
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        Regarding:
         
         Does anyone know of anywhere else in the US that cars are restricted by the
        government?  I wouldn't have thought it was possible(?) -- but there you
        have it. 
         
        Yes,
         
            Fire Island, NY ... Mackanaw Island, MI (I'm sure the spelling is wrong) ... I suspect Martha's Vinyard, MA ... 
         
        Bill 
      • L Danish
        yes, but I though they were restricted de facto (as in, no car-ferry, for example) , not by law. but i really don t know....??? I would really like to find out
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 8, 2000
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          yes, but I though they were restricted de facto (as in, no car-ferry, for
          example) , not by law.
          but i really don't know....???
          I would really like to find out facts, text of law, etc...
          It seems distinctly possible that such a law may be unconstitutional(?) --
          or at least considered so by many (car drivers without car permits
          especially :-)
          After all, <playing devil's advocate here> what right does the city of
          Avalon have to restrict the movement of lawfully registered vehicles in the
          state of California?

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Bill Volk <bvolk@...>
          > Regarding:
          >
          > Does anyone know of anywhere else in the US that cars are restricted by
          the
          > government? I wouldn't have thought it was possible(?) -- but there you
          > have it.
          >
          > Yes,
          >
          > Fire Island, NY ... Mackanaw Island, MI (I'm sure the spelling is
          wrong)
          > .. I suspect Martha's Vinyard, MA ...
          >
          > Bill
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