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Light-Free, Car-Free Day - Idea Factory

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  • Eric Britton
    With enormous respect to Martin Cassini and those who believe that human nature and civil behaviour alone is going to do the trick, I would like to add the
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 2, 2006
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      With enormous respect to Martin Cassini and those who believe that human
      nature and civil behaviour alone is going to do the trick, I would like
      to add the following small variant for an eventual Light-Free, Car-Free
      Day in your city. But first a caveat:

      The very nature of the car is that it makes one impatient, and speed is
      a natural, inevitable, almost universal expression of this impatience.
      In all of us I am afraid, even those of us who stop and smile when a
      pedestrian is waiting to cross. It is, irrevocably, the nature, the
      pathology of the beast (the beast by the way in this case being that
      particular combination of man and machine - the roaring centaur of the
      20th century)

      So, what to do in those places in 2007 where they decide to turn off the
      traffic lights for the day and have a go at this interesting idea?

      Bear in mind that - in our skeptical version of this at any rate - the
      one thing that is needed to slow people down is to remove as many of
      those long straight lines that usually they have to run in. What we
      need to do is to make it physically impossible for them to speed. At
      least at the learning stage.

      So at every intersection on this one day, just before the lights go off,
      someone smart puts in an agreed obstacle, a large visible obstacle that
      everyone, every driver can see and be obliged to slow down for and creep
      around.

      Now this might for example be one or two parked cars in the middle of
      the intersection - a sort of improved roundabout.

      Even better perhaps if we can do something around whatever is the large
      visible object we pop there. For example turn it into a bit of convivial
      public space. Maybe with a couple of potted plants. An all day poetry
      reading from a chair and media link. Maybe a get up like the following
      from the terrific Rebar group --
      http://www.rebargroup.org/projects/parkingday/index.html -- but this
      time in the middle of the intersection.



      Anyway, you get the idea.

      Anybody ready to run with this?

      Eric Britton



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tom Frost Jr.
      ... human ... like ... Free ... speed is ... impatience. ... the ... off the ... the ... off, ... that ... creep ... of ... large ... convivial ... poetry ...
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 2, 2006
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        --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Britton" <eric.britton@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > With enormous respect to Martin Cassini and those who believe that
        human
        > nature and civil behaviour alone is going to do the trick, I would
        like
        > to add the following small variant for an eventual Light-Free, Car-
        Free
        > Day in your city. But first a caveat:
        >
        > The very nature of the car is that it makes one impatient, and
        speed is
        > a natural, inevitable, almost universal expression of this
        impatience.
        > In all of us I am afraid, even those of us who stop and smile when a
        > pedestrian is waiting to cross. It is, irrevocably, the nature, the
        > pathology of the beast (the beast by the way in this case being that
        > particular combination of man and machine - the roaring centaur of
        the
        > 20th century)
        >
        > So, what to do in those places in 2007 where they decide to turn
        off the
        > traffic lights for the day and have a go at this interesting idea?
        >
        > Bear in mind that - in our skeptical version of this at any rate -
        the
        > one thing that is needed to slow people down is to remove as many of
        > those long straight lines that usually they have to run in. What we
        > need to do is to make it physically impossible for them to speed. At
        > least at the learning stage.
        >
        > So at every intersection on this one day, just before the lights go
        off,
        > someone smart puts in an agreed obstacle, a large visible obstacle
        that
        > everyone, every driver can see and be obliged to slow down for and
        creep
        > around.
        >
        > Now this might for example be one or two parked cars in the middle
        of
        > the intersection - a sort of improved roundabout.
        >
        > Even better perhaps if we can do something around whatever is the
        large
        > visible object we pop there. For example turn it into a bit of
        convivial
        > public space. Maybe with a couple of potted plants. An all day
        poetry
        > reading from a chair and media link.


        TF: I prefer the kind of traffic-impeding devices that aren't there
        for the _purpose_ of impeding traffic but rather, are providing a
        transportational function for their owners while doing the impeding
        incidentally. That way they meet the criteria of what roads are for
        (i.e. they "_are_ traffic" - a concept which, BTW, has nothing to do
        with a certain organization of newbie cyclists that came along and
        hijacked it to use as their slogan). As many people as there are who
        individually choose to do so, can do this impeding all the way down
        to a micron an eon as far as I'm concerned. Here's one that I
        happened to see on the CBS Evening News last night that meets all of
        this criteria and even stops to do poetry reading for you:
        http://www.usonfoot.com

        - Tom Frost Jr.


        > Maybe a get up like the following
        > from the terrific Rebar group --
        > http://www.rebargroup.org/projects/parkingday/index.html -- but this
        > time in the middle of the intersection.
        >
        >
        >
        > Anyway, you get the idea.
        >
        > Anybody ready to run with this?
        >
        > Eric Britton
      • JimmieTheSaint
        Tom, why are you so mad at cyclists? TF Said- (i.e. they _are_ traffic - a concept which, BTW, has nothing to do with a certain organization of newbie
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 9, 2006
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          Tom, why are you so mad at cyclists?

          TF Said-
          (i.e. they "_are_ traffic" - a concept which, BTW, has
          nothing to do
          with a certain organization of newbie cyclists that
          came along and
          hijacked it to use as their slogan)
        • Tom Frost Jr.
          Me mad at cyclists? Only the ones that are so Triad-hating, and/or ignorant of the cycling community s diversity, as to straw- man certain organization of
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 10, 2006
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            Me mad at cyclists? Only the ones that are so Triad-hating, and/or
            ignorant of the cycling community's diversity, as to straw-
            man "certain organization of newbie cyclists" into "cyclists", or, as
            in your second straw-man attack, "Section I of the Triad's Motorist's
            Code of Conduct Regarding Bicycles" into "Section I of the Triad".

            *PLONK*

            - TF
            ----
            http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm


            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, JimmieTheSaint
            <jimmiethesaint529@...> wrote:
            >
            > Tom, why are you so mad at cyclists?
            >
            > TF Said-
            > (i.e. they "_are_ traffic" - a concept which, BTW, has
            > nothing to do
            > with a certain organization of newbie cyclists that
            > came along and
            > hijacked it to use as their slogan)
          • Bling Williams
            Your Triad reallly is a list of common sense road behaviour. I don t think any cyclist hates it. Its just the car drivers don t appear to have read it, or
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 11, 2006
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              Your Triad reallly is a list of common sense road behaviour. I don't think any cyclist 'hates' it. Its just the car drivers don't appear to have read it, or the highway Code and many speed, pass too close, don't indicate etc etc
              If everyone did drive/cycle by the highway code and obeyed the law tnen the roads would be safer.
              But you do refer to it as if a. everyone has read it, and b. if only they'd read it they'd all obey it.
              people just don't obey rules or act with common sense.
              There was some survery last week in the UK of drivers and the majority admitted to speeeding, driving without due care, using a cell phone while driving (against the law here) and 1 in 20 owned up to driving while drunk. They all know the rules, they just don't obey any of them.

              S

              "Tom Frost Jr." <tomfrostjr@...> wrote:
              Me mad at cyclists? Only the ones that are so Triad-hating, and/or
              ignorant of the cycling community's diversity, as to straw-
              man "certain organization of newbie cyclists" into "cyclists", or, as
              in your second straw-man attack, "Section I of the Triad's Motorist's
              Code of Conduct Regarding Bicycles" into "Section I of the Triad".

              *PLONK*

              - TF
              ----
              http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm

              --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, JimmieTheSaint
              <jimmiethesaint529@...> wrote:
              >
              > Tom, why are you so mad at cyclists?
              >
              > TF Said-
              > (i.e. they "_are_ traffic" - a concept which, BTW, has
              > nothing to do
              > with a certain organization of newbie cyclists that
              > came along and
              > hijacked it to use as their slogan)






              The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.

              Hubert H. Humphrey

              ---------------------------------
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Tom Frost Jr.
              ... don t think any cyclist hates it. TF: One need not look far to find a pattern in which a certain handful of my opponents hates the Triad. It happens when
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 11, 2006
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                --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Bling Williams <bobalinga@...> wrote:
                >
                > Your Triad reallly is a list of common sense road behaviour. I
                don't think any cyclist 'hates' it.


                TF: One need not look far to find a pattern in which a certain
                handful of my opponents hates the Triad. It happens when they figure
                out, correctly, that the Triad isn't like a fruit salad. They can't
                pick the scolding-of-motorists parts of it out to promote out one
                side of their mouth while, out the other side of their mouth, making
                excuses for their violating of instructing-of-cyclists parts.


                > Its just the car drivers don't appear to have read it, or the
                highway Code


                TF: _I_ haven't read the highway code! It's too long and convoluted!
                Indeed, that's why I'll continue to be "flippant" (to use Jimmie's
                word) towards websites that apparently (based on my unfortunately
                having looked at only the first page of it; the website itself it too
                long) want to make the highway code even _more_ long and convoluted.

                Most people are even less likely than me to read, let alone study,
                anything longer than about one page. That is why I spent hundreds of
                hours in 1990 condensing all of the most-important-for-cyclists parts
                of traffic law onto one page - the Triad.


                > and many speed, pass too close, don't indicate etc etc
                > If everyone did drive/cycle by the highway code and obeyed the
                law tnen the roads would be safer.
                > But you do refer to it as if a. everyone has read it,


                TF: The only people that I _particularly_ expect to have read it are
                those who have attacks to do on it and expect me to spend time
                responding to them. I've done my part by making the Triad short and
                easy to read.


                > and b. if only they'd read it they'd all obey it.
                > people just don't obey rules or act with common sense.
                [More of the same, snipped by TF]


                TF: My point exactly, in my not-flippancy-free-enough-for-leftists
                paragraph at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carfree/message/17751 (in
                which I responded to the promoting-of-more-laws website). Humans'
                natural tendency to prefer a set of recommended behavior that's like
                a fruit salad that they can pick and choose what parts of to bother
                obeying, is _minimized_ when the set of recommended behavior is
                _succinct_.


                - Tom Frost Jr.
                ---------------
                http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm
              • Bling Williams
                In the Uk you have an extensive test on the highway code. What about the US? I know VA s was stupidly easy. S ... don t think any cyclist hates it. TF: One
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 11, 2006
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                  In the Uk you have an extensive test on the highway code. What about the US? I know VA's was stupidly easy.

                  S

                  "Tom Frost Jr." <tomfrostjr@...> wrote:
                  --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Bling Williams <bobalinga@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Your Triad reallly is a list of common sense road behaviour. I
                  don't think any cyclist 'hates' it.

                  TF: One need not look far to find a pattern in which a certain
                  handful of my opponents hates the Triad. It happens when they figure
                  out, correctly, that the Triad isn't like a fruit salad. They can't
                  pick the scolding-of-motorists parts of it out to promote out one
                  side of their mouth while, out the other side of their mouth, making
                  excuses for their violating of instructing-of-cyclists parts.

                  > Its just the car drivers don't appear to have read it, or the
                  highway Code

                  TF: _I_ haven't read the highway code! It's too long and convoluted!
                  Indeed, that's why I'll continue to be "flippant" (to use Jimmie's
                  word) towards websites that apparently (based on my unfortunately
                  having looked at only the first page of it; the website itself it too
                  long) want to make the highway code even _more_ long and convoluted.

                  Most people are even less likely than me to read, let alone study,
                  anything longer than about one page. That is why I spent hundreds of
                  hours in 1990 condensing all of the most-important-for-cyclists parts
                  of traffic law onto one page - the Triad.

                  > and many speed, pass too close, don't indicate etc etc
                  > If everyone did drive/cycle by the highway code and obeyed the
                  law tnen the roads would be safer.
                  > But you do refer to it as if a. everyone has read it,

                  TF: The only people that I _particularly_ expect to have read it are
                  those who have attacks to do on it and expect me to spend time
                  responding to them. I've done my part by making the Triad short and
                  easy to read.

                  > and b. if only they'd read it they'd all obey it.
                  > people just don't obey rules or act with common sense.
                  [More of the same, snipped by TF]

                  TF: My point exactly, in my not-flippancy-free-enough-for-leftists
                  paragraph at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carfree/message/17751 (in
                  which I responded to the promoting-of-more-laws website). Humans'
                  natural tendency to prefer a set of recommended behavior that's like
                  a fruit salad that they can pick and choose what parts of to bother
                  obeying, is _minimized_ when the set of recommended behavior is
                  _succinct_.

                  - Tom Frost Jr.
                  ---------------
                  http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm






                  The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.

                  Hubert H. Humphrey

                  ---------------------------------
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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