Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Anniversary

Expand Messages
  • Elizabeth Ward
    Hey all, Well I got thru the 1st yearr. . .I was car-free 1 year on 11/15/06. I think the 1sst year is the hardest. . .once you ve been thru all 4 seasons it
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 2, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Hey all,

      Well I got thru the 1st yearr. . .I was car-free 1 year on 11/15/06.

      I think the 1sst year is the hardest. . .once you've been thru all 4 seasons
      it seems to get a whole lot easier.


      Elizabeth

      www.carfreesonomacounty.org
      "We must become the change we want to see"
      -Gandhi
    • Tom Frost Jr.
      Very good; that s even better (certainly on the surface) than me. The longest that I ve ever done it is for a month or two (which is the length of time that
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 2, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Very good; that's even better (certainly on the surface) than me. The
        longest that I've ever "done it" is for a month or two (which is the
        length of time that I leave my car at home when I'm on my longer bike
        trips).

        But please tell details. Please thereby enable enquiring minds to
        deduce where you've spent your year on the continuum between, at one
        end, car-_driving_ "-free", car-_ownership_ "-free", or car-_paying_-
        for-your-rides-in-them "-free", and at the other end, car-
        _benefitting_-from "-free".

        - Tom Frost Jr.


        --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Ward" <emw@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey all,
        >
        > Well I got thru the 1st yearr. . .I was car-free 1 year on
        11/15/06.
        >
        > I think the 1sst year is the hardest. . .once you've been thru all
        4 seasons
        > it seems to get a whole lot easier.
        >
        >
        > Elizabeth
        >
        > www.carfreesonomacounty.org
        > "We must become the change we want to see"
        > -Gandhi
      • Mary Loe
        Congrats!! What an accomplishment and commitment! Any tips or advice for those of us who are plodding along towards such a celebration? Mary ...
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 2, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Congrats!! What an accomplishment and commitment!
          Any tips or advice for those of us who are plodding
          along towards such a celebration?
          Mary
          --- Elizabeth Ward <emw@...> wrote:

          > Hey all,
          >
          > Well I got thru the 1st yearr. . .I was car-free 1
          > year on 11/15/06.
          >
          > I think the 1sst year is the hardest. . .once you've
          > been thru all 4 seasons
          > it seems to get a whole lot easier.
          >
          >
          > Elizabeth
          >
          > www.carfreesonomacounty.org
          > "We must become the change we want to see"
          > -Gandhi
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >




          ____________________________________________________________________________________
          Do you Yahoo!?
          Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.
          http://new.mail.yahoo.com
        • Robert J. Matter
          ... First, congratulations to Elizabeth for taking the first monumental step of getting rid of her car and enduring that first year of daily trials and
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 2, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Mary Loe wrote:

            > Congrats!! What an accomplishment and commitment!
            > Any tips or advice for those of us who are plodding
            > along towards such a celebration?
            > Mary

            First, congratulations to Elizabeth for taking the first monumental step
            of getting rid of her car and enduring that first year of daily trials
            and tribulations of living carfree in an auto-dependent society. I don't
            think you can fully appreciate the accomplishment of overcoming all the
            obstacles to living carfree until you've actually experienced it.

            My advice to Mary and others who are considering going carfree or have
            recently done so is to get a folding bike and matched bag. With my
            folder and bag I can board any regional bus or train system without
            rush-hour/blackout-date restrictions. If a bus doesn't have a bike rack,
            no problem, I can bring my folder inside with me. A folder extends my
            range and gives me more transportation options. I can mix and match bus,
            train, and bike modes to suit the wind, weather, time, my energy level,
            roads, neighborhoods, etc. A folder can even be slipped into the trunk
            of a car if you accept a ride from someone or need to take a cab.

            Folding bikes are also easier to handle going up and down stairs and on
            elevators/escalators (folding pedals are helpful!) and are easier to
            take with you if adequate bike parking isn't available. I attended a
            function at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Metro in Chicago Saturday afternoon
            and there was no suitable bike parking outside. I folded my bike, bagged
            it, and carried it into the banquet room with me and tucked it out of
            the way into a corner with no problems at all from the hotel staff.

            -Bob Matter
          • Bling Williams
            Congrats. Its not an easy thing to do in the US. Shyrley Mary Loe wrote: Congrats!! What an accomplishment and commitment! Any tips or
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 3, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Congrats. Its not an easy thing to do in the US.

              Shyrley

              Mary Loe <blgtmv@...> wrote:
              Congrats!! What an accomplishment and commitment!
              Any tips or advice for those of us who are plodding
              along towards such a celebration?
              Mary
              --- Elizabeth Ward <emw@...> wrote:

              > Hey all,
              >
              > Well I got thru the 1st yearr. . .I was car-free 1
              > year on 11/15/06.
              >
              > I think the 1sst year is the hardest. . .once you've
              > been thru all 4 seasons
              > it seems to get a whole lot easier.
              >
              >
              > Elizabeth
              >
              > www.carfreesonomacounty.org
              > "We must become the change we want to see"
              > -Gandhi
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >

              __________________________________________________________
              Do you Yahoo!?
              Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.
              http://new.mail.yahoo.com





              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

              ---------------------------------
              Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Bling Williams
              I ve not done a year yet but am struggling. Older 3 kids are easy. They just catch the bus and are mobile with legs that work but getting C places in her
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 3, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                I've not done a year yet but am struggling. Older 3 kids are easy. They just catch the bus and are mobile with legs that work but getting C places in her wheelchair is turning into a nightmare. Usually hubby stays home with her while I cycle to town.
                We have been using hospital transport for her many appointments but they pick you up 2 hours before the appointment and up to 4 hours after. Not great with a tired 2 year old who has seizures.
                There's now one accessible bus into town which we've used a couple of times and thats great although when catching it back we've sometimes been faced with the relief bus (main 2 drivers on a break) and thats impossible to get a wheelchair on. So its a wait of another hour.
                We just don't go anywhere as a family but haven't *had* to yet. One day we'd like to go on a holiday.

                Shyrley

                "Tom Frost Jr." <tomfrostjr@...> wrote:
                Very good; that's even better (certainly on the surface) than me. The
                longest that I've ever "done it" is for a month or two (which is the
                length of time that I leave my car at home when I'm on my longer bike
                trips).

                But please tell details. Please thereby enable enquiring minds to
                deduce where you've spent your year on the continuum between, at one
                end, car-_driving_ "-free", car-_ownership_ "-free", or car-_paying_-
                for-your-rides-in-them "-free", and at the other end, car-
                _benefitting_-from "-free".

                - Tom Frost Jr.

                --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Ward" <emw@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hey all,
                >
                > Well I got thru the 1st yearr. . .I was car-free 1 year on
                11/15/06.
                >
                > I think the 1sst year is the hardest. . .once you've been thru all
                4 seasons
                > it seems to get a whole lot easier.
                >
                >
                > Elizabeth
                >
                > www.carfreesonomacounty.org
                > "We must become the change we want to see"
                > -Gandhi






                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

                ---------------------------------
                Need a quick answer? Get one in minutes from people who know. Ask your question on Yahoo! Answers.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Tom Frost Jr.
                My esteemed opponent Robert Matter wrote: [snip] ... have ... TF: I much prefer a train to a bus. A bus is just another kind of car! And the fact that it has
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 3, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  My esteemed opponent Robert Matter wrote:

                  [snip]
                  > My advice to Mary and others who are considering going carfree or
                  have
                  > recently done so is to get a folding bike and matched bag. With my
                  > folder and bag I can board any regional bus or train


                  TF: I much prefer a train to a bus. A bus is just another kind of
                  car! And the fact that it has the same high-friction, toxic-dust-
                  producing tires is only the tip of the iceberg.

                  Unless it's you or me running the bus company and firing any driver
                  who (as almost all bus drivers that I've observed, do) speeds and
                  tailgates and takes terroristic swings at smaller road users
                  including cyclists, patronizing a bus company is _worse_ than driving
                  yourself (certainly for a guy like me who drives in accordance with
                  the law). For this reason, even though the nearest passenger train
                  stations are around 100 miles away from me and the nearest bus
                  station is only 20 miles away, I largely stopped patronizing bus
                  companies a few years back and started patronizing Amtrak instead.

                  Buses also give roads and bridges a very heavy environmental (and
                  taxpayer-wallet) footprint by being allowed to have a heavier
                  concentration of weight on their rear axles than even heavy trucks. I
                  learned this on the Transport-Policy list. BTW, did you get banned
                  from there, or did you just quit? The incrowd there is a bunch of
                  speeding and tailgating advocates, but on the other hand, one can
                  often still learn something from them.

                  Anyhow, it must be nice to live as close as you do to public cage
                  transportation, and to be in whatever business it is that you're in
                  that doesn't require, for example, going to a junkyard 40 miles away
                  to get a 1500-pound tractor transmission when you've got a batch of
                  hay down. Those of us who don't have that luxury, continue to own
                  motor vehicles.


                  > system without
                  > rush-hour/blackout-date restrictions. If a bus doesn't have a bike
                  rack,
                  > no problem, I can bring my folder inside with me. A folder extends
                  my
                  > range and gives me more transportation options. I can mix and match
                  bus,
                  > train, and bike modes to suit the wind, weather,


                  TF: Wind and weather is _never_ a factor in any of my decisions as to
                  whether to use a cage (personal cage or _public_ cage) for any trip
                  or part thereof! (Well on second thought, it _is_, in that I'm _more_
                  likely to cycle for transportation when the weather is bad, because
                  that's when I tend to have more time!)


                  > time, my energy level,


                  TF: There are a few trips on which a folder would address those
                  issues for me. So, I pipe dream of getting one sometime if I don't
                  get around to sawing one of my regular frames in two first.

                  In particular, I understand that the commuter trains of SEPTA, and
                  more recently NJ Transit, carry regular bikes during off-peak hours,
                  but I'm much more vague about whether next commuter-rail system
                  south, namely MARC, does so. I've been pipe dreaming for a while
                  about how I could apparently, therefore, "cheat" by using those three
                  railroads for most of the distance between Port Jervis, N.Y (which is
                  only a one-day cycling distance southeast of me) and Washington, D.C
                  (where I want to visit my sister a little bit more often), and that
                  this would cut my travel time to 2 or 2.5 days, instead of the 3.5
                  days that it takes me to cycle directly, to visit my Washington, D.C.
                  sister.

                  The biggest single reason that I haven't tried that time-saving (and
                  apparently much cheaper per mile than Amtrak, which is also available
                  for some of the miles) trick _yet_, is that buying/building a folder
                  first would shave the _most_ time off. It would eliminate the need to
                  worry about whether I arrive for each commuter-rail leg during off-
                  peak hours, or whether the MARC leg (which would begin in Perryville
                  after a 30-mile cycling leg) carries regular bikes at all. I only had
                  so much patience in trying to find, on MARC's website, the answer to
                  the latter question, before deducing that I could probably _cycle_
                  that whole southern leg in less time than puttering around mouse-
                  potatoing further, and learning how to open elitist PDF cr** and
                  everything else like that, for the answer.


                  > roads,


                  TF: The Tom Frost Bicyclists' Rights Triad works on _all_ roads.


                  > neighborhoods, etc. A folder can even be slipped into the trunk
                  > of a car if you accept a ride from someone or need to take a cab.


                  TF: I rest my case! Although you're not the person to whom I
                  addressed the question, your answer is: You take the benefits of
                  cars.

                  - Tom Frost Jr.


                  >
                  > Folding bikes are also easier to handle going up and down stairs
                  and on
                  > elevators/escalators (folding pedals are helpful!) and are easier
                  to
                  > take with you if adequate bike parking isn't available. I attended
                  a
                  > function at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Metro in Chicago Saturday
                  afternoon
                  > and there was no suitable bike parking outside. I folded my bike,
                  bagged
                  > it, and carried it into the banquet room with me and tucked it out
                  of
                  > the way into a corner with no problems at all from the hotel staff.
                  >
                  > -Bob Matter
                • she4bikes
                  I live on the California Central Coast where the car/truck reigns supreme. No one has a conscience about the one person/trip mindlessness. We have a county
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 5, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I live on the California Central Coast where the car/truck reigns
                    supreme. No one has a conscience about the one person/trip
                    mindlessness. We have a county wide bus traversing the length
                    of our county both coastal and 'inland'. This service takes
                    40 cars off the road on major commute times. Every project,
                    every development requires parking and extra freeway
                    widening. These 40 cars would normally require parking spaces in
                    conducting daily activities such as shopping or banking, and always
                    take up enough freeway space to contribute to traffic gridlock.
                    Sprawl is out of control here thanks to the liberal mindset by
                    all regarding car/truck driving.
                    To some of us, the bus is the only way to travel ecologically.
                    Our train simply won't take local people anywhere in the county.

                    -Sheila

                    --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Frost Jr." <tomfrostjr@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > My esteemed opponent Robert Matter wrote:
                    >
                    > [snip]
                    > > My advice to Mary and others who are considering going carfree
                    or
                    > have
                    > > recently done so is to get a folding bike and matched bag. With
                    my
                    > > folder and bag I can board any regional bus or train
                    >
                    >
                    > TF: I much prefer a train to a bus. A bus is just another kind of
                    > car! And the fact that it has the same high-friction, toxic-dust-
                    > producing tires is only the tip of the iceberg.
                    >
                    > Unless it's you or me running the bus company and firing any
                    driver
                    > who (as almost all bus drivers that I've observed, do) speeds and
                    > tailgates and takes terroristic swings at smaller road users
                    > including cyclists, patronizing a bus company is _worse_ than
                    driving
                    > yourself (certainly for a guy like me who drives in accordance
                    with
                    > the law). For this reason, even though the nearest passenger train
                    > stations are around 100 miles away from me and the nearest bus
                    > station is only 20 miles away, I largely stopped patronizing bus
                    > companies a few years back and started patronizing Amtrak instead.
                    >
                    > Buses also give roads and bridges a very heavy environmental (and
                    > taxpayer-wallet) footprint by being allowed to have a heavier
                    > concentration of weight on their rear axles than even heavy
                    trucks. I
                    > learned this on the Transport-Policy list. BTW, did you get banned
                    > from there, or did you just quit? The incrowd there is a bunch of
                    > speeding and tailgating advocates, but on the other hand, one can
                    > often still learn something from them.
                    >
                    > Anyhow, it must be nice to live as close as you do to public cage
                    > transportation, and to be in whatever business it is that you're
                    in
                    > that doesn't require, for example, going to a junkyard 40 miles
                    away
                    > to get a 1500-pound tractor transmission when you've got a batch
                    of
                    > hay down. Those of us who don't have that luxury, continue to own
                    > motor vehicles.
                    >
                    >
                    > > system without
                    > > rush-hour/blackout-date restrictions. If a bus doesn't have a
                    bike
                    > rack,
                    > > no problem, I can bring my folder inside with me. A folder
                    extends
                    > my
                    > > range and gives me more transportation options. I can mix and
                    match
                    > bus,
                    > > train, and bike modes to suit the wind, weather,
                    >
                    >
                    > TF: Wind and weather is _never_ a factor in any of my decisions as
                    to
                    > whether to use a cage (personal cage or _public_ cage) for any
                    trip
                    > or part thereof! (Well on second thought, it _is_, in that I'm
                    _more_
                    > likely to cycle for transportation when the weather is bad,
                    because
                    > that's when I tend to have more time!)
                    >
                    >
                    > > time, my energy level,
                    >
                    >
                    > TF: There are a few trips on which a folder would address those
                    > issues for me. So, I pipe dream of getting one sometime if I don't
                    > get around to sawing one of my regular frames in two first.
                    >
                    > In particular, I understand that the commuter trains of SEPTA, and
                    > more recently NJ Transit, carry regular bikes during off-peak
                    hours,
                    > but I'm much more vague about whether next commuter-rail system
                    > south, namely MARC, does so. I've been pipe dreaming for a while
                    > about how I could apparently, therefore, "cheat" by using those
                    three
                    > railroads for most of the distance between Port Jervis, N.Y (which
                    is
                    > only a one-day cycling distance southeast of me) and Washington,
                    D.C
                    > (where I want to visit my sister a little bit more often), and
                    that
                    > this would cut my travel time to 2 or 2.5 days, instead of the 3.5
                    > days that it takes me to cycle directly, to visit my Washington,
                    D.C.
                    > sister.
                    >
                    > The biggest single reason that I haven't tried that time-saving
                    (and
                    > apparently much cheaper per mile than Amtrak, which is also
                    available
                    > for some of the miles) trick _yet_, is that buying/building a
                    folder
                    > first would shave the _most_ time off. It would eliminate the need
                    to
                    > worry about whether I arrive for each commuter-rail leg during off-
                    > peak hours, or whether the MARC leg (which would begin in
                    Perryville
                    > after a 30-mile cycling leg) carries regular bikes at all. I only
                    had
                    > so much patience in trying to find, on MARC's website, the answer
                    to
                    > the latter question, before deducing that I could probably _cycle_
                    > that whole southern leg in less time than puttering around mouse-
                    > potatoing further, and learning how to open elitist PDF cr** and
                    > everything else like that, for the answer.
                    >
                    >
                    > > roads,
                    >
                    >
                    > TF: The Tom Frost Bicyclists' Rights Triad works on _all_ roads.
                    >
                    >
                    > > neighborhoods, etc. A folder can even be slipped into the trunk
                    > > of a car if you accept a ride from someone or need to take a
                    cab.
                    >
                    >
                    > TF: I rest my case! Although you're not the person to whom I
                    > addressed the question, your answer is: You take the benefits of
                    > cars.
                    >
                    > - Tom Frost Jr.
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Folding bikes are also easier to handle going up and down stairs
                    > and on
                    > > elevators/escalators (folding pedals are helpful!) and are
                    easier
                    > to
                    > > take with you if adequate bike parking isn't available. I
                    attended
                    > a
                    > > function at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Metro in Chicago Saturday
                    > afternoon
                    > > and there was no suitable bike parking outside. I folded my
                    bike,
                    > bagged
                    > > it, and carried it into the banquet room with me and tucked it
                    out
                    > of
                    > > the way into a corner with no problems at all from the hotel
                    staff.
                    > >
                    > > -Bob Matter
                    >
                  • De Clarke
                    ... chiming in here also from Central CA... public transport on this coast can be described fairly as insanity . for example: Amtrak has a widespread bus
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 5, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      she4bikes (she4bikes@...) wrote:
                      > I live on the California Central Coast where the car/truck reigns
                      > supreme. No one has a conscience about the one person/trip

                      chiming in here also from Central CA...

                      public transport on this coast can be described fairly as
                      "insanity". for example: Amtrak has a widespread bus network
                      connecting its train lines -- big comfy touring buses running
                      daily on all kinds of routes between various far-flung communities
                      and Amtrak rail stations. BUT... Amtrak cannot sell you a ticket
                      on their buses unless you are making a train journey. something
                      about them not being allowed to "compete" with Greyhound. even
                      when they serve a community that the Hound doesn't touch, or
                      offer a faster route with a better schedule, you'd have to buy
                      a train ticket and not use it in order to ride their bus. except
                      for one short hop between San Jose and Santa Cruz CA, where for
                      some reason they are allowed to carry non-train passengers.

                      this exception is a godsend for local travellers as it connects
                      to the Diridon transit hub where light and heavy rail (2 carriers
                      aside from Amtrak) and various metro buses pass through.

                      Amtrak's train service through the area is in a word Pathetic --
                      the Coast Starlight, affectionately or irately known as the Coast
                      StarLATE due to the more-than-a-decade-long squabble between UP
                      and Amtrak over track maintenance (the list archive should have
                      some info I posted years ago on this, and it's still going on).
                      for long sections south of here the tracks are in such poor repair
                      that they don't meet federal standards for passenger rail and the
                      Starlight has to slow down to 10mph (no kidding) to comply with
                      safety regs, while the freights (with no such regs) continue to
                      rocket through at 60-70mph. plus, the track use agreement forces
                      the passenger train to pull over onto sidings whenever it is
                      conflict with a freight. so there are waits of 15-20 minutes on
                      sidings for long, long freights to clear a section of single
                      track before the passenger service can continue. as Kunstler
                      said, it would embarrass a Bulgarian.

                      the Starlight passes through once, count 'em, once a day N-bound
                      (Seattle to Los Angeles passing through San Francisco and other
                      towns en route) and once a day S-bound, usually 2-3 hours late each way.
                      another rail line, the San Joaquin, runs down the central ag valley,
                      (starting in Sacto I think) but stops in Bakersfield instead of going
                      all the way to LA. another route, the Surfliner, starts in San Luis
                      Obispo several times per day (sometimes as a train and sometimes as
                      a bus) and goes to San Diego by way of Los Angeles.

                      so for example, when I contemplated returning from Los Angeles
                      via Amtrak recently, my best bet was to take a 7:30 am Surfliner
                      out of Union Station (it takes an hour or more to get to Union
                      Stn from San Pedro so this means an early start) to San Luis
                      Obispo (6 hours), then transfer to an Amtrak bus to San Jose
                      (another 4 hours), then wait for the connector bus over the hill
                      to Santa Cruz (an hour ride and a wait of up to 30 minutes on
                      a weekday, more like an hour or 2 hours on weekends).

                      by contrast I could catch a Greyhound bus in Long Beach, change
                      once in LA and for the same 11 hour trip time, be delivered directly
                      to Santa Cruz at lower cost. this despite the fact that Long Beach
                      is a major rail nexus (because of the port of Long Beach)!

                      the single track coastal rail line which could, in theory, connect Santa
                      Cruz residents with the Amtrak station in Salinas, is used only for slow
                      freights hauling gravel and cement to and from the small company town
                      of Davenport. proposals to revive this line for passenger rail have
                      been defeated decade after decade by (a) "outraged tax payers" refusing
                      to endorse funding for the track upgrade, and (b) a wealthy NIMBY lobby
                      from the upmarket suburbs through which the tracks run, which repeatedly
                      marshals a stock set of propaganda about "dangerous" trains, derailments,
                      grade crossing disasters etc., terrifies all the property owners, and
                      (so far) defeats the proposal before it ever gets onto a ballot.

                      meanwhile over the hill in the greater San Jose area, condo developments
                      next to rail stations are the most coveted properties second only to
                      trophy homes in the foothills, Caltrain ridership is steadily rising,
                      and even poor old underfunded, sabotaged, demonised Amtrak' ridership
                      is growing with each passing year. and even in car-crazy Los Angeles
                      the light rail lines (Blue, Red, Green and now Gold) are heavily used
                      around the clock, clean and punctual and very economical ($1.35 to ride
                      as far as you want to one-way). within the major urban conglomerations
                      of greater LA and greater SF/SJ, public transport is actually not too
                      shabby. but intercity service is a joke, and not a very funny one.

                      it's a strange system. to figure out any trip you have to consult
                      the schedules of three or four different carriers. they all have
                      different rules. for example, on BART and Caltrain you can take your
                      bike on the train. but Amtrak awill only accept a bike broken down
                      and boxed as luggage, despite having huge luggage cars far larger than
                      the space available on BART or Caltrain. the express bus to San Jose can
                      carry three bikes on the front rack, but other Amtrak buses have no
                      front rack and some don't have enough space beneath for a bike with
                      or without a box. you can take your bike with you into any BART,
                      Caltrain, Amtrak or Altamont Express station, but the local Greyhound
                      station won't let you inside the station door wheeling a bike... I know,
                      'cos the jerk behind the counter kicked me out when I dropped by to
                      pick up my ticket -- he suggested I just "leave the bike outside" if
                      you please, in a town where bikes disappear if you turn your back for
                      5 seconds, and the nearest available bike parking was about 2 blocks
                      away as every available bike rack is encrusted with bikes by 8am for a
                      block or two radius around the metro station which adjoins the Hound.

                      Greyhound carries freight (quite competitive with UPS for large cartons),
                      but afaik will not take a bike except broken down and boxed. hey ho.
                      it's absolute chaos. you have to be consciously *determined* not to use
                      a car to face the uphill work of planning and executing even a simple
                      journey by bus and rail in car-obsessed California.

                      having said all that, I find the Hound, metro bus, and Amtrak bus drivers
                      are -- on average -- far *more* law abiding and sensible than the average
                      private motorist in these parts (some of whom are driving Hummers and
                      other giant SUVs and vans about 1/3 the size of a metro bus). I am far
                      more scared of the private motorists... though have to admit the diesel
                      buses do stink to high heaven.

                      in LA they now have a kind of "freeway within the freeway" for buses
                      and other HOVs. it is a strange sight, bus stations stranded in the
                      center of 8-lane freeways, and elevated 4-lanes hovering above the
                      8-lanes. very Blade Runner. but also very fast. I took an express
                      bus from Union Station to the Palos Verdes area for $2.25, which made
                      an average road speed of 50+ while private auto traffic on the same
                      route was at a standstill, gridlocked. and half the seats were empty.
                      go figure. I could not help comparing the enormous footprint and
                      construction cost of these freeways-on-top-of-freeways with the
                      modest amount of space and infrastructure needed for a double track
                      rail bed.

                      that bus also had -- and this is enough to make me wish I owned some
                      kind of very destructive small-arm -- built-in television screens with
                      audio piped into the bus speaker system so that one could not escape it.

                      de

                      --
                      .............................................................................
                      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                      :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                      :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                      :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                    • Simon Baddeley
                      It may be off subject but for those thinking of travelling in Europe and beyond by train, ferry and bus there a great website http://www.seat61.com/ I love
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 6, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        It may be off subject but for those thinking of travelling in Europe and
                        beyond by train, ferry and bus there a great website

                        http://www.seat61.com/

                        I love Greece but I don¹t want to fly there from my home in England but in
                        about half-an-hour with the help of this site I was able to plan a journey
                        from Birmingham to Corfu by train and ferry lasting about 4 days with
                        stopovers at B & Bs in Venice and Rome.

                        Are there any websites like this in US? They deserve publicity ­ even if its
                        near impossible to get to USA (or vice versa) without going in a high flying
                        corridor with one¹s knees on one¹s chin wasting carbon.

                        Simon



                        From: De Clarke <de@...>
                        Reply-To: <CarFree@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 21:38:04 -0800
                        To: <CarFree@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: [CF] central and southern california by bus and train





                        she4bikes (she4bikes@... <mailto:she4bikes%40yahoo.com> ) wrote:
                        > I live on the California Central Coast where the car/truck reigns
                        > supreme. No one has a conscience about the one person/trip

                        chiming in here also from Central CA...

                        public transport on this coast can be described fairly as
                        "insanity". for example: Amtrak has a widespread bus network
                        connecting its train lines -- big comfy touring buses running
                        daily on all kinds of routes between various far-flung communities
                        and Amtrak rail stations. BUT... Amtrak cannot sell you a ticket
                        on their buses unless you are making a train journey. something
                        about them not being allowed to "compete" with Greyhound. even
                        when they serve a community that the Hound doesn't touch, or
                        offer a faster route with a better schedule, you'd have to buy
                        a train ticket and not use it in order to ride their bus. except
                        for one short hop between San Jose and Santa Cruz CA, where for
                        some reason they are allowed to carry non-train passengers.

                        this exception is a godsend for local travellers as it connects
                        to the Diridon transit hub where light and heavy rail (2 carriers
                        aside from Amtrak) and various metro buses pass through.

                        Amtrak's train service through the area is in a word Pathetic --
                        the Coast Starlight, affectionately or irately known as the Coast
                        StarLATE due to the more-than-a-decade-long squabble between UP
                        and Amtrak over track maintenance (the list archive should have
                        some info I posted years ago on this, and it's still going on).
                        for long sections south of here the tracks are in such poor repair
                        that they don't meet federal standards for passenger rail and the
                        Starlight has to slow down to 10mph (no kidding) to comply with
                        safety regs, while the freights (with no such regs) continue to
                        rocket through at 60-70mph. plus, the track use agreement forces
                        the passenger train to pull over onto sidings whenever it is
                        conflict with a freight. so there are waits of 15-20 minutes on
                        sidings for long, long freights to clear a section of single
                        track before the passenger service can continue. as Kunstler
                        said, it would embarrass a Bulgarian.

                        the Starlight passes through once, count 'em, once a day N-bound
                        (Seattle to Los Angeles passing through San Francisco and other
                        towns en route) and once a day S-bound, usually 2-3 hours late each way.
                        another rail line, the San Joaquin, runs down the central ag valley,
                        (starting in Sacto I think) but stops in Bakersfield instead of going
                        all the way to LA. another route, the Surfliner, starts in San Luis
                        Obispo several times per day (sometimes as a train and sometimes as
                        a bus) and goes to San Diego by way of Los Angeles.

                        so for example, when I contemplated returning from Los Angeles
                        via Amtrak recently, my best bet was to take a 7:30 am Surfliner
                        out of Union Station (it takes an hour or more to get to Union
                        Stn from San Pedro so this means an early start) to San Luis
                        Obispo (6 hours), then transfer to an Amtrak bus to San Jose
                        (another 4 hours), then wait for the connector bus over the hill
                        to Santa Cruz (an hour ride and a wait of up to 30 minutes on
                        a weekday, more like an hour or 2 hours on weekends).

                        by contrast I could catch a Greyhound bus in Long Beach, change
                        once in LA and for the same 11 hour trip time, be delivered directly
                        to Santa Cruz at lower cost. this despite the fact that Long Beach
                        is a major rail nexus (because of the port of Long Beach)!

                        the single track coastal rail line which could, in theory, connect Santa
                        Cruz residents with the Amtrak station in Salinas, is used only for slow
                        freights hauling gravel and cement to and from the small company town
                        of Davenport. proposals to revive this line for passenger rail have
                        been defeated decade after decade by (a) "outraged tax payers" refusing
                        to endorse funding for the track upgrade, and (b) a wealthy NIMBY lobby
                        from the upmarket suburbs through which the tracks run, which repeatedly
                        marshals a stock set of propaganda about "dangerous" trains, derailments,
                        grade crossing disasters etc., terrifies all the property owners, and
                        (so far) defeats the proposal before it ever gets onto a ballot.

                        meanwhile over the hill in the greater San Jose area, condo developments
                        next to rail stations are the most coveted properties second only to
                        trophy homes in the foothills, Caltrain ridership is steadily rising,
                        and even poor old underfunded, sabotaged, demonised Amtrak' ridership
                        is growing with each passing year. and even in car-crazy Los Angeles
                        the light rail lines (Blue, Red, Green and now Gold) are heavily used
                        around the clock, clean and punctual and very economical ($1.35 to ride
                        as far as you want to one-way). within the major urban conglomerations
                        of greater LA and greater SF/SJ, public transport is actually not too
                        shabby. but intercity service is a joke, and not a very funny one.

                        it's a strange system. to figure out any trip you have to consult
                        the schedules of three or four different carriers. they all have
                        different rules. for example, on BART and Caltrain you can take your
                        bike on the train. but Amtrak awill only accept a bike broken down
                        and boxed as luggage, despite having huge luggage cars far larger than
                        the space available on BART or Caltrain. the express bus to San Jose can
                        carry three bikes on the front rack, but other Amtrak buses have no
                        front rack and some don't have enough space beneath for a bike with
                        or without a box. you can take your bike with you into any BART,
                        Caltrain, Amtrak or Altamont Express station, but the local Greyhound
                        station won't let you inside the station door wheeling a bike... I know,
                        'cos the jerk behind the counter kicked me out when I dropped by to
                        pick up my ticket -- he suggested I just "leave the bike outside" if
                        you please, in a town where bikes disappear if you turn your back for
                        5 seconds, and the nearest available bike parking was about 2 blocks
                        away as every available bike rack is encrusted with bikes by 8am for a
                        block or two radius around the metro station which adjoins the Hound.

                        Greyhound carries freight (quite competitive with UPS for large cartons),
                        but afaik will not take a bike except broken down and boxed. hey ho.
                        it's absolute chaos. you have to be consciously *determined* not to use
                        a car to face the uphill work of planning and executing even a simple
                        journey by bus and rail in car-obsessed California.

                        having said all that, I find the Hound, metro bus, and Amtrak bus drivers
                        are -- on average -- far *more* law abiding and sensible than the average
                        private motorist in these parts (some of whom are driving Hummers and
                        other giant SUVs and vans about 1/3 the size of a metro bus). I am far
                        more scared of the private motorists... though have to admit the diesel
                        buses do stink to high heaven.

                        in LA they now have a kind of "freeway within the freeway" for buses
                        and other HOVs. it is a strange sight, bus stations stranded in the
                        center of 8-lane freeways, and elevated 4-lanes hovering above the
                        8-lanes. very Blade Runner. but also very fast. I took an express
                        bus from Union Station to the Palos Verdes area for $2.25, which made
                        an average road speed of 50+ while private auto traffic on the same
                        route was at a standstill, gridlocked. and half the seats were empty.
                        go figure. I could not help comparing the enormous footprint and
                        construction cost of these freeways-on-top-of-freeways with the
                        modest amount of space and infrastructure needed for a double track
                        rail bed.

                        that bus also had -- and this is enough to make me wish I owned some
                        kind of very destructive small-arm -- built-in television screens with
                        audio piped into the bus speaker system so that one could not escape it.

                        de

                        --
                        ............................................................................
                        .
                        :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory,
                        UCSC:
                        :Mail: de@... <mailto:de%40ucolick.org> | Your planet's immune
                        system is trying to get rid :
                        :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                        :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9
                        E76E:






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Bling Williams
                        He did a London to Moscow by train which I m going to do in the spring with stops in Berlin and Warsaw. Looks fun. S Simon Baddeley
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 6, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          He did a London to Moscow by train which I'm going to do in the spring with stops in Berlin and Warsaw. Looks fun.

                          S

                          Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:
                          It may be off subject but for those thinking of travelling in Europe and
                          beyond by train, ferry and bus there a great website

                          http://www.seat61.com/

                          I love Greece but I don¹t want to fly there from my home in England but in
                          about half-an-hour with the help of this site I was able to plan a journey
                          from Birmingham to Corfu by train and ferry lasting about 4 days with
                          stopovers at B & Bs in Venice and Rome.

                          Are there any websites like this in US? They deserve publicity ­ even if its
                          near impossible to get to USA (or vice versa) without going in a high flying
                          corridor with one¹s knees on one¹s chin wasting carbon.

                          Simon

                          From: De Clarke <de@...>
                          Reply-To: <CarFree@yahoogroups.com>
                          Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 21:38:04 -0800
                          To: <CarFree@yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: [CF] central and southern california by bus and train

                          she4bikes (she4bikes@... <mailto:she4bikes%40yahoo.com> ) wrote:
                          > I live on the California Central Coast where the car/truck reigns
                          > supreme. No one has a conscience about the one person/trip

                          chiming in here also from Central CA...

                          public transport on this coast can be described fairly as
                          "insanity". for example: Amtrak has a widespread bus network
                          connecting its train lines -- big comfy touring buses running
                          daily on all kinds of routes between various far-flung communities
                          and Amtrak rail stations. BUT... Amtrak cannot sell you a ticket
                          on their buses unless you are making a train journey. something
                          about them not being allowed to "compete" with Greyhound. even
                          when they serve a community that the Hound doesn't touch, or
                          offer a faster route with a better schedule, you'd have to buy
                          a train ticket and not use it in order to ride their bus. except
                          for one short hop between San Jose and Santa Cruz CA, where for
                          some reason they are allowed to carry non-train passengers.

                          this exception is a godsend for local travellers as it connects
                          to the Diridon transit hub where light and heavy rail (2 carriers
                          aside from Amtrak) and various metro buses pass through.

                          Amtrak's train service through the area is in a word Pathetic --
                          the Coast Starlight, affectionately or irately known as the Coast
                          StarLATE due to the more-than-a-decade-long squabble between UP
                          and Amtrak over track maintenance (the list archive should have
                          some info I posted years ago on this, and it's still going on).
                          for long sections south of here the tracks are in such poor repair
                          that they don't meet federal standards for passenger rail and the
                          Starlight has to slow down to 10mph (no kidding) to comply with
                          safety regs, while the freights (with no such regs) continue to
                          rocket through at 60-70mph. plus, the track use agreement forces
                          the passenger train to pull over onto sidings whenever it is
                          conflict with a freight. so there are waits of 15-20 minutes on
                          sidings for long, long freights to clear a section of single
                          track before the passenger service can continue. as Kunstler
                          said, it would embarrass a Bulgarian.

                          the Starlight passes through once, count 'em, once a day N-bound
                          (Seattle to Los Angeles passing through San Francisco and other
                          towns en route) and once a day S-bound, usually 2-3 hours late each way.
                          another rail line, the San Joaquin, runs down the central ag valley,
                          (starting in Sacto I think) but stops in Bakersfield instead of going
                          all the way to LA. another route, the Surfliner, starts in San Luis
                          Obispo several times per day (sometimes as a train and sometimes as
                          a bus) and goes to San Diego by way of Los Angeles.

                          so for example, when I contemplated returning from Los Angeles
                          via Amtrak recently, my best bet was to take a 7:30 am Surfliner
                          out of Union Station (it takes an hour or more to get to Union
                          Stn from San Pedro so this means an early start) to San Luis
                          Obispo (6 hours), then transfer to an Amtrak bus to San Jose
                          (another 4 hours), then wait for the connector bus over the hill
                          to Santa Cruz (an hour ride and a wait of up to 30 minutes on
                          a weekday, more like an hour or 2 hours on weekends).

                          by contrast I could catch a Greyhound bus in Long Beach, change
                          once in LA and for the same 11 hour trip time, be delivered directly
                          to Santa Cruz at lower cost. this despite the fact that Long Beach
                          is a major rail nexus (because of the port of Long Beach)!

                          the single track coastal rail line which could, in theory, connect Santa
                          Cruz residents with the Amtrak station in Salinas, is used only for slow
                          freights hauling gravel and cement to and from the small company town
                          of Davenport. proposals to revive this line for passenger rail have
                          been defeated decade after decade by (a) "outraged tax payers" refusing
                          to endorse funding for the track upgrade, and (b) a wealthy NIMBY lobby
                          from the upmarket suburbs through which the tracks run, which repeatedly
                          marshals a stock set of propaganda about "dangerous" trains, derailments,
                          grade crossing disasters etc., terrifies all the property owners, and
                          (so far) defeats the proposal before it ever gets onto a ballot.

                          meanwhile over the hill in the greater San Jose area, condo developments
                          next to rail stations are the most coveted properties second only to
                          trophy homes in the foothills, Caltrain ridership is steadily rising,
                          and even poor old underfunded, sabotaged, demonised Amtrak' ridership
                          is growing with each passing year. and even in car-crazy Los Angeles
                          the light rail lines (Blue, Red, Green and now Gold) are heavily used
                          around the clock, clean and punctual and very economical ($1.35 to ride
                          as far as you want to one-way). within the major urban conglomerations
                          of greater LA and greater SF/SJ, public transport is actually not too
                          shabby. but intercity service is a joke, and not a very funny one.

                          it's a strange system. to figure out any trip you have to consult
                          the schedules of three or four different carriers. they all have
                          different rules. for example, on BART and Caltrain you can take your
                          bike on the train. but Amtrak awill only accept a bike broken down
                          and boxed as luggage, despite having huge luggage cars far larger than
                          the space available on BART or Caltrain. the express bus to San Jose can
                          carry three bikes on the front rack, but other Amtrak buses have no
                          front rack and some don't have enough space beneath for a bike with
                          or without a box. you can take your bike with you into any BART,
                          Caltrain, Amtrak or Altamont Express station, but the local Greyhound
                          station won't let you inside the station door wheeling a bike... I know,
                          'cos the jerk behind the counter kicked me out when I dropped by to
                          pick up my ticket -- he suggested I just "leave the bike outside" if
                          you please, in a town where bikes disappear if you turn your back for
                          5 seconds, and the nearest available bike parking was about 2 blocks
                          away as every available bike rack is encrusted with bikes by 8am for a
                          block or two radius around the metro station which adjoins the Hound.

                          Greyhound carries freight (quite competitive with UPS for large cartons),
                          but afaik will not take a bike except broken down and boxed. hey ho.
                          it's absolute chaos. you have to be consciously *determined* not to use
                          a car to face the uphill work of planning and executing even a simple
                          journey by bus and rail in car-obsessed California.

                          having said all that, I find the Hound, metro bus, and Amtrak bus drivers
                          are -- on average -- far *more* law abiding and sensible than the average
                          private motorist in these parts (some of whom are driving Hummers and
                          other giant SUVs and vans about 1/3 the size of a metro bus). I am far
                          more scared of the private motorists... though have to admit the diesel
                          buses do stink to high heaven.

                          in LA they now have a kind of "freeway within the freeway" for buses
                          and other HOVs. it is a strange sight, bus stations stranded in the
                          center of 8-lane freeways, and elevated 4-lanes hovering above the
                          8-lanes. very Blade Runner. but also very fast. I took an express
                          bus from Union Station to the Palos Verdes area for $2.25, which made
                          an average road speed of 50+ while private auto traffic on the same
                          route was at a standstill, gridlocked. and half the seats were empty.
                          go figure. I could not help comparing the enormous footprint and
                          construction cost of these freeways-on-top-of-freeways with the
                          modest amount of space and infrastructure needed for a double track
                          rail bed.

                          that bus also had -- and this is enough to make me wish I owned some
                          kind of very destructive small-arm -- built-in television screens with
                          audio piped into the bus speaker system so that one could not escape it.

                          de

                          --
                          ............................................................................
                          .
                          :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory,
                          UCSC:
                          :Mail: de@... <mailto:de%40ucolick.org> | Your planet's immune
                          system is trying to get rid :
                          :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                          :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9
                          E76E:

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






                          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

                          ---------------------------------
                          Check out the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta - Fire up a more powerful email and get things done faster.

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Tom Frost Jr.
                          ... TF: ...a thing called free enterprise, it sounds like to me. ... TF: Your bashing of Amtrak would fit right in on the Transport-Policy list, the incrowd of
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 6, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, De Clarke <de@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > she4bikes (she4bikes@...) wrote:
                            > > I live on the California Central Coast where the car/truck reigns
                            > > supreme. No one has a conscience about the one person/trip
                            >
                            > [C]himing in here also from Central C[a.]...
                            >
                            > [P]ublic transport on this coast can be described fairly as
                            > "insanity". [F]or example: Amtrak has a widespread bus network
                            > connecting its train lines -- big comfy touring buses running
                            > daily on all kinds of routes between various far-flung communities
                            > and Amtrak rail stations. BUT... Amtrak cannot sell you a ticket
                            > on their buses unless you are making a train journey. [S]omething
                            > about


                            TF: ...a thing called free enterprise, it sounds like to me.


                            > them not being allowed to "compete" with Greyhound. [E]ven
                            > when they serve a community that the Hound doesn't touch, or
                            > offer a faster route with a better schedule, you'd have to buy
                            > a train ticket and not use it in order to ride their bus[,] except
                            > for one short hop between San Jose and Santa Cruz CA, where for
                            > some reason they are allowed to carry non-train passengers.
                            >
                            > [T]his exception is a godsend for local travellers as it connects
                            > to the Diridon transit hub where light and heavy rail (2 carriers
                            > aside from Amtrak) and various metro buses pass through.
                            >
                            > Amtrak's train service through the area is in a word Pathetic --
                            > the Coast Starlight, affectionately or irately known as the Coast
                            > StarLATE


                            TF: Your bashing of Amtrak would fit right in on the Transport-Policy
                            list, the incrowd of which subscribes, as you do, to the erroneous
                            belief that getting to one's destination on a tight schedule is of
                            paramount importance. News flash: It isn't!


                            > due to the more-than-a-decade-long squabble between UP
                            > and Amtrak over track maintenance (the list archive should have
                            > some info I posted years ago on this, and it's still going on).
                            > [F]or long sections south of here the tracks are in such poor repair
                            > that they don't meet federal standards for passenger rail and the
                            > Starlight has to slow down to 10mph (no kidding)


                            TF: I think I can beat you in the "no kidding" department: When I
                            rode the Coast Starlight one time in 2001, the delays included one to
                            stop and wait for the _tide_ to go out enough to make a certain
                            section of track passable.


                            > to comply with
                            > safety regs, while the freights (with no such regs) continue to
                            > rocket through at 60-70mph. [P]lus, the track use agreement forces
                            > the passenger train to pull over onto sidings whenever it is
                            > conflict with a freight.


                            TF: And reasonably so, given the agreement's recognition of the fact
                            that freight trains are the ones producing more money. Free
                            enterprise again, Ms. De.!


                            > [S]o there are waits of 15-20 minutes on
                            > sidings for long, long freights to clear a section of single
                            > track before the passenger service can continue. [A]s Kunstler
                            > said, it would embarrass a Bulgarian.
                            >
                            > [T]he Starlight passes through once, count 'em, once a day N-bound
                            > (Seattle to Los Angeles passing through San Francisco and other
                            > towns en route)


                            TF: Check your geography (in _addition_ to your penmanship). That's a
                            S-bound direction.


                            > [A]nd once a day S-bound, usually 2-3 hours late each way.
                            > [A]nother rail line, the San Joaquin, runs down the central ag
                            valley,
                            > (starting in Sacto I think) but stops in Bakersfield instead of
                            going
                            > all the way to L[.]A. [A]nother route, the Surfliner, starts in
                            San Luis
                            > Obispo several times per day (sometimes as a train and sometimes as
                            > a bus) and goes to San Diego by way of Los Angeles.
                            >
                            > [S]o for example, when I contemplated returning from Los Angeles
                            > via Amtrak recently, my best bet was to take a 7:30 am Surfliner
                            > out of Union Station (it takes an hour or more to get to Union
                            > Stn from San Pedro so this means an early start) to San Luis
                            > Obispo (6 hours), then transfer to an Amtrak bus to San Jose
                            > (another 4 hours), then wait for the connector bus over the hill
                            > to Santa Cruz (an hour ride and a wait of up to 30 minutes on
                            > a weekday, more like an hour or 2 hours on weekends).
                            >
                            > [B]y contrast I could catch a Greyhound bus in Long Beach, change
                            > once in L[.]A[.] and for the same 11 hour trip time, be delivered
                            directly
                            > to Santa Cruz at lower cost.


                            TF: But not at lower _external_ cost.


                            > [T]his despite the fact that Long Beach
                            > is a major rail nexus (because of the port of Long Beach)!
                            >
                            > [T]he single track coastal rail line which could, in theory,
                            connect Santa
                            > Cruz residents with the Amtrak station in Salinas, is used only for
                            slow
                            > freights hauling gravel and cement to and from the small company
                            town
                            > of Davenport. [P]roposals to revive this line for passenger rail
                            have
                            > been defeated decade after decade by (a) "outraged tax payers"
                            refusing
                            > to endorse funding for the track upgrade, and (b) a wealthy NIMBY
                            lobby
                            > from the upmarket suburbs through which the tracks run, which
                            repeatedly
                            > marshals a stock set of propaganda about "dangerous" trains,
                            derailments,
                            > grade crossing disasters etc., terrifies all the property owners,
                            and
                            > (so far) defeats the proposal before it ever gets onto a ballot.
                            >
                            > [M]eanwhile over the hill in the greater San Jose area, condo
                            developments
                            > next to rail stations are the most coveted properties second only to
                            > trophy homes in the foothills, Caltrain ridership is steadily
                            rising,
                            > and even poor old underfunded, sabotaged, demonised Amtrak'
                            ridership
                            > is growing with each passing year. [A]nd even in car-crazy Los
                            Angeles
                            > the light rail lines (Blue, Red, Green and now Gold) are heavily
                            used
                            > around the clock, clean and punctual and very economical ($1.35 to
                            ride
                            > as far as you want to one-way). [W]ithin the major urban
                            conglomerations
                            > of greater LA and greater SF/SJ, public transport is actually not
                            too
                            > shabby. [B]ut intercity service is a joke, and not a very funny
                            one.
                            >
                            > [I]t's a strange system. [T]o figure out any trip you have to
                            consult
                            > the schedules of three or four different carriers. [T]hey all have
                            > different rules. [F]or example, on BART and Caltrain you can take
                            your
                            > bike on the train. [B]ut Amtrak awill only accept a bike broken
                            down
                            > and boxed as luggage, despite having huge luggage cars far larger
                            than
                            > the space available on BART or Caltrain. [T]he express bus to San
                            Jose can
                            > carry three bikes on the front rack, but other Amtrak buses have no
                            > front rack and some don't have enough space beneath for a bike with
                            > or without a box. [Y]ou can take your bike with you into any BART,
                            > Caltrain, Amtrak or Altamont Express station, but the local
                            Greyhound
                            > station won't let you inside the station door wheeling a bike... I
                            know,
                            > 'cos the jerk behind the counter kicked me out when I dropped by to
                            > pick up my ticket -- he suggested I just "leave the bike outside" if
                            > you please, in a town where bikes disappear if you turn your back
                            for
                            > 5 seconds, and the nearest available bike parking was about 2
                            blocks
                            > away as every available bike rack is encrusted with bikes by 8am
                            for a
                            > block or two radius around the metro station which adjoins the
                            Hound.
                            >
                            > Greyhound carries freight (quite competitive with UPS for large
                            cartons),
                            > but afaik will not take a bike except broken down and boxed. [H]ey
                            ho.
                            > [I]t's absolute chaos. [Y]ou have to be consciously *determined*
                            not to use
                            > a car to face the uphill work of planning and executing even a
                            simple
                            > journey by bus and rail in car-obsessed California.
                            >
                            > [H]aving said all that, I find the Hound, metro bus, and Amtrak bus
                            drivers
                            > are -- on average -- far *more* law abiding and sensible than the
                            average
                            > private motorist in these parts (some of whom are driving Hummers
                            and
                            > other giant SUVs and vans about 1/3 the size of a metro bus). I am
                            far
                            > more scared of the private motorists[,] though have to admit the
                            diesel
                            > buses do stink to high heaven.
                            >
                            > [I]n LA they now have a kind of "freeway within the freeway" for
                            buses
                            > and other HOVs. [I]t is a strange sight, bus stations stranded in
                            the
                            > center of 8-lane freeways, and elevated 4-lanes hovering above the
                            > 8-lanes. [V]ery Blade Runner[,] but also very fast. I took an
                            express
                            > bus from Union Station to the Palos Verdes area for $2.25, which
                            made
                            > an average road speed of 50+ while private auto traffic on the same
                            > route was at a standstill, gridlocked. [A]nd half the seats were
                            empty.
                            > go figure. I could not help comparing the enormous footprint and
                            > construction cost of these freeways-on-top-of-freeways with the
                            > modest amount of space and infrastructure needed for a double track
                            > rail bed.


                            TF: Please come onto the Transport-Policy yahoo group, and back up
                            the minority of us there who agree with you, by presenting your road-
                            vs.-rail cost/benefit comparison complete with numbers and non-
                            leftist sources.

                            - TF


                            >
                            > [T]hat bus also had -- and this is enough to make me wish I owned
                            some
                            > kind of very destructive small-arm -- built-in television screens
                            with
                            > audio piped into the bus speaker system so that one could not
                            escape it.
                            >
                            > [D]e
                            >
                            > --
                            > ....................................................................
                            .........
                            > :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick
                            Observatory, UCSC:
                            > :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get
                            rid :
                            > :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt
                            Vonnegut :
                            > :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA
                            B9C9 E76E:
                          • Robert J. Matter
                            ... Sure, everybody does. But sometimes circumstances dictate a bus. The point is a folder gives you the flexibility to board either without regard to
                            Message 13 of 16 , Dec 6, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Tom Frost Jr. wrote:

                              > Robert Matter wrote:
                              >
                              >> My advice to Mary and others who are considering going carfree or
                              >> have recently done so is to get a folding bike and matched bag. With my
                              >> folder and bag I can board any regional bus or train
                              >
                              > TF: I much prefer a train to a bus.

                              Sure, everybody does. But sometimes circumstances dictate a bus. The
                              point is a folder gives you the flexibility to board either without
                              regard to restrictions applied to ordinary bikes.

                              > Anyhow, it must be nice to live as close as you do to public cage
                              > transportation, and to be in whatever business it is that you're in
                              > that doesn't require, for example, going to a junkyard 40 miles away
                              > to get a 1500-pound tractor transmission when you've got a batch of
                              > hay down. Those of us who don't have that luxury, continue to own
                              > motor vehicles.

                              Taking transit in Chicagoland is far from a luxury. The nearest CTA bus
                              stop to me is 6 miles away. The nearest commuter rail station is 2 miles
                              away and on the other side of a treacherous 9-span bridge. Commuter rail
                              headways are long, especially off-peak, varying between 2 hours and an
                              astonishing 3 hrs. 15 mins. Trains are often late and over-crowded. CTA
                              bus/train service is notoriously slow and unreliable. The facilities and
                              equipment are filthy, in disrepair, and unsecure. Like commuter rail,
                              the headways are long, especially off-peak, and large areas of the city
                              are underserved.

                              > TF: The Tom Frost Bicyclists' Rights Triad works on _all_ roads.

                              Yeah, right. It didn't work on Illinois 130 where Matt Wilhelm was hit
                              from behind and killed by a teenage driver downloading ringtones on her
                              cell phone, did it? See http://www.prairienet.org/mattslaw/?About_Matt.

                              >> A folder can even be slipped into the trunk
                              >> of a car if you accept a ride from someone or need to take a cab.
                              >
                              > TF: I rest my case! Although you're not the person to whom I
                              > addressed the question, your answer is: You take the benefits of
                              > cars.

                              I would hardly call the 3-4 times per year I might accept a ride in a
                              car taking "the benefits of cars".

                              The bottom line is a folder greatly enhances one's ability to go carfree
                              because of the increased transportation options it makes available.

                              -Bob Matter
                              Hammond, IN
                              -----------
                              Cyclestrians fare best when accommodated with exclusive space free of
                              vehicles.
                            • Tom Frost Jr.
                              BM: [snip] ... bus ... miles ... TF: We vehicular cyclists _know_ that a 9-span bridge would be treacherous to _you_, Mr. Matter. But still, no problem. Just
                              Message 14 of 16 , Dec 7, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                BM:
                                [snip]
                                > Taking transit in Chicagoland is far from a luxury. The nearest CTA
                                bus
                                > stop to me is 6 miles away. The nearest commuter rail station is 2
                                miles
                                > away and on the other side of a treacherous 9-span bridge.


                                TF: We vehicular cyclists _know_ that a 9-span bridge would
                                be "treacherous" to _you_, Mr. Matter.

                                But still, no problem. Just _canoe_ across whatever body of water it
                                is that that bridge crosses, and then tow the canoe behind your bike
                                (as I've done but for different reasons) the remaining distance. Even
                                if the whole 2 miles is by water, the commuter rail station is still
                                well under an hour from your home in most conditions. It's absolutely
                                amazing how you think that you can make me believe that you have "far
                                from a luxury", in the same thread in which I've reminded everybody
                                that the closest commuter rail station to _me_ is more like _10_
                                hours (i.e. 100 miles, by an appropriate non-motorized mode for those
                                of us who _aren't_ afraid of traffic) away.


                                [snip]
                                > > TF: The Tom Frost Bicyclists' Rights Triad works on _all_ roads.

                                BM:
                                > Yeah, right. It didn't work on Illinois 130 where Matt Wilhelm was
                                hit
                                > from behind and killed by a teenage driver downloading ringtones on
                                her
                                > cell phone, did it? See http://www.prairienet.org/mattslaw/?
                                About_Matt.


                                TF: Well naturally! The Triad, like anything else, only works 100% of
                                the time if all of the parties involved _obey_ it! Even those who
                                (unlike apparently you) merely bother to _read_ the Triad
                                http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm , know that distracted
                                driving is covered in Section I of the Triad's Motorist's Code of
                                Conduct Regarding Bicycles (as well as in umpteen laws already on the
                                books - which begs the question: how does the Matt Wilhelm website
                                think that its proposed _new_ laws are going to be _obeyed_?).


                                [snip]
                                > -Bob Matter
                                > Hammond, IN
                                > -----------
                                > Cyclestrians
                                [_SNIP_!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]


                                - Tom Frost Jr.
                              • willtell9z
                                ... made ... empty. ... with ... it. ... All this is interesting and highly relevant having just read George Monbiot s article in the Guardian on Tuesday
                                Message 15 of 16 , Dec 8, 2006
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, De Clarke <de@...> wrote:

                                  >
                                  > in LA they now have a kind of "freeway within the freeway" for buses
                                  > and other HOVs. it is a strange sight, bus stations stranded in the
                                  > center of 8-lane freeways, and elevated 4-lanes hovering above the
                                  > 8-lanes. very Blade Runner. but also very fast. I took an express
                                  > bus from Union Station to the Palos Verdes area for $2.25, which
                                  made
                                  > an average road speed of 50+ while private auto traffic on the same
                                  > route was at a standstill, gridlocked. and half the seats were
                                  empty.
                                  > go figure. I could not help comparing the enormous footprint and
                                  > construction cost of these freeways-on-top-of-freeways with the
                                  > modest amount of space and infrastructure needed for a double track
                                  > rail bed.
                                  >
                                  > that bus also had -- and this is enough to make me wish I owned some
                                  > kind of very destructive small-arm -- built-in television screens
                                  with
                                  > audio piped into the bus speaker system so that one could not escape
                                  it.
                                  >
                                  > de

                                  All this is interesting and highly relevant having just read George
                                  Monbiot's article in the Guardian on Tuesday about the poor UK coach
                                  system (''coach'' here being the term used for express buses/inter-
                                  city buses). Especially as last month I suffered a coach (bus)
                                  journey from Bristol to Carlise (280 miles) taking 8 uncomfortable
                                  hours.
                                  Whats proposed here is a simple way in which the whole system could be
                                  overhauled and improved economically with vastly improved
                                  sustainability but as usual likely to be blocked by powerful vested
                                  interests.
                                  http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2006/12/05/life-coaching/

                                  Life Coaching
                                  Posted December 5, 2006
                                  The most miserable of transport modes, the coach, could be used to
                                  transform the way we travel.

                                  By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 5th December 2006

                                  There was one proposal in Sir Rod Eddington's report to the Treasury
                                  with which, when I first read it, I wholeheartedly agreed. He insists
                                  that "the transport sector, including aviation, should meet its full
                                  environmental costs"(1). Quite right too: every time someone dies as a
                                  result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged
                                  out of his office and drowned.

                                  Reading on, I realised that this is not exactly what he had in mind.
                                  Instead, he meant that airports can keep expanding and the capacity of
                                  the roads can be increased, as long as people pay more money for their
                                  pollution. He has even been so kind as to put a price on other
                                  people's lives: £70 per tonne of carbon. This, we discover, is the
                                  "social cost" of global warming, derived by the British government's
                                  department for the environment(2), and unquestioningly accepted by Sir
                                  Rod, who was charged by Gordon Brown with keeping the country moving.

                                  But what the heck does it mean? Does the government believe we can put
                                  a price on Bangladesh? On the people threatened by drought in the Horn
                                  of Africa? On coral reefs, rainforests and tundra? On the security of
                                  global food supplies? When the Stern review was published, some of us
                                  warned that people who know the price of everything and the value of
                                  nothing would interpret it as a licence to reduce the argument to a
                                  dispute about financial costs. This is what Sir Rod has now done. As
                                  long as the books are balanced, the problem is deemed to have been
                                  solved.

                                  Even if we were to accept his outrageous terms of reference, and even
                                  if we were to agree with his proposition that an ever-expanding
                                  transport sector is compatible with "sustainability", there is an
                                  omission in Eddington's report. It is a dirty word beginning with c,
                                  which cannot be uttered in the presence of politicians. In 436 pages,
                                  the coach is mentioned only in the last volume, and then just to
                                  provide historical price comparisons with other modes of transport(3).
                                  As a current or future option, it does not, in Sir Rod's world, exist.

                                  But few measures would go so far towards meeting his goal of
                                  "improving the capacity and performance of the existing transport
                                  network"(4) than persuading people to switch from cars to coaches. The
                                  M25 has 790 miles of lanes. If these are used by cars carrying the
                                  average load of 1.6 occupants, at 60mph its total capacity is just –
                                  wait for it – 19,000 people(5). Coaches travelling at the same speed,
                                  each carrying 30 passengers, raise the M25's capacity to 260,000(6).
                                  Every coach swallows up a mile of car traffic. They also reduce carbon
                                  emissions per passenger mile by an average of 88%(7). So one of the
                                  key tasks for anyone who wants to unblock the roads while reducing the
                                  real social costs of carbon must be to make coach travel attractive.

                                  But how? When I take the bus from Oxford to Cambridge, I arrive
                                  feeling almost suicidal. First I must cycle for 20 minutes in the
                                  wrong direction, into the city centre. Then I sit on a chair designed
                                  to extract confessions, and wait. When at last the coach departs, it
                                  fights through streets designed for ponies. After half an hour it
                                  leaves the city. It then charts a course through just about every
                                  depressing dormitory town in south-east England. On a good day, with a
                                  following wind, the journey from my house to my final destination in
                                  Cambridge, a total of 83 miles, takes four and half hours. The average
                                  speed is 18 miles an hour, about 50% faster than I travel by bicycle.
                                  By car, you could do it in 100 minutes.

                                  The reason for this misery is simple: the system is unbelievably
                                  stupid. It is a hangover from the time when coaches were pulled by
                                  horses, and were probably faster. A far better scheme has been
                                  proposed by a visonary economist called Alan Storkey(8).

                                  Storkey's key innovation is to move the coach stations out of the city
                                  centres and onto the junctions of the motorways. One of the reasons
                                  why long coach journeys are so slow in the UK is that in order to
                                  create a system – which allows passengers to transfer from one coach
                                  to another – they must enter the towns along the way, travelling into
                                  the centre and out again. In the rush hour, you might as well walk.

                                  Instead of dragging motorway transport into the cities, Storkey's
                                  system drags city transport out to the motorways. Urban buses on their
                                  way out of town, he proposes, keep travelling to the nearest motorway
                                  junction, where they meet the coaches. By connecting urban public
                                  transport to the national network, Storkey's proposal could revitalise
                                  both systems, as it provides more frequent and more viable bus
                                  services for the suburbs.

                                  The coaches would never leave the trunk roads and motorways. Some
                                  services would constantly circle the orbital roads; others would
                                  travel up and down the motorways that connect to them. You would
                                  change from one coach to another at the junctions. Just 200 coaches on
                                  the M25, Storkey calculates, would ensure an average waiting time of
                                  between two and three minutes. They would be given dedicated lanes and
                                  priority at traffic lights, disentangling them from the cars which now
                                  hold them up and force them to bunch. The tabloid newspapers might
                                  fulminate, but it would not be long before people stuck in their cars
                                  began to notice the buses roaring past on the inside.

                                  When the faster links to the motorways provided by dedicated urban bus
                                  lanes and relief from the need to find a parking space are taken into
                                  account, this could bring the overall journey time to below that of
                                  car travel. At rush hours and on bank holiday weekends the public
                                  system could be very much faster. It might even be made comfortable.
                                  Double-deckers could increase the leg room without losing much fuel
                                  efficiency, and why shouldn't every coach have TV screens and power
                                  points? In other words, the country's slowest, most uncomfortable and
                                  most depressing form of mass transport could be transformed into one
                                  of its fastest, smoothest and most convenient systems. An effective
                                  coach system could make a serious dent in car sales, and even reduce
                                  the demand for domestic flights.

                                  Storkey's system costs next to nothing. It requires no new roads, no
                                  railway lines, no major public subsidies. If the land now occupied by
                                  coach stations is sold, it could be self-financing from inception.
                                  It's a much better use of private money too: capital investment in
                                  coaches is roughly ten times more efficient than the same investment
                                  in cars. You might have expected the financial case to have touched
                                  even Sir Rod's shrivelled heart.

                                  Eddington's refusal to consider the form of transport which could make
                                  best use of our existing infrastructure is a disgraceful oversight. It
                                  suggests that his review might have less to do with meeting our
                                  transport needs than with meeting the needs of his chums in big
                                  business, for whom an efficient coach system represents a dangerous
                                  form of competition. But when the government hired the former chief
                                  executive of British Airways to re-organise the transport sector, what
                                  else did it expect?

                                  George Monbiot's book Heat: how to stop the planet burning is
                                  published by Penguin.

                                  www.monbiot.com

                                  References:

                                  1. Sir Rod Eddington, December 2006. The case for action: advice to
                                  Government, p7. The Eddington Transport Study.

                                  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/39A/41/eddington_execsum11206.pdf

                                  2. Her Majesty's Treasury/Defra, 2002. Estimating the Social Cost of
                                  Carbon Emissions. http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/209/60/scc.pdf

                                  3. Sir Rod Eddington, December 2006. Taking action:enabling the system
                                  to deliver, pp47-53. The Eddington Transport Study.

                                  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/39F/10/eddingtonreview_vol4.
                                  0_011206.pdf

                                  4. Sir Rod Eddington, December 2006. The case for action: advice to
                                  Government, p33. The Eddington Transport Study.

                                  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/39A/41/eddington_execsum11206.pdf

                                  5. Alan Storkey, 2005. A Motorway-Based National Coach System.
                                  Available from alan@...

                                  6. ibid.

                                  7. Derived from David Jamieson, transport minister, 8th July 2004.
                                  Parliamentary Answer, Hansard column 786W.

                                  http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200304/
                                  cmhansrd/vo040708/text/40708w05.htm

                                  8. Alan Storkey, ibid.
                                • JimmieTheSaint
                                  Tom- Your arrogance and flippant response to the murder of a cyclist disgusts me. Maybe you culd have section one of your Triad carved on your tombstone when
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Dec 9, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Tom-

                                    Your arrogance and flippant response to the murder of
                                    a cyclist disgusts me. Maybe you culd have section one
                                    of your Triad carved on your tombstone when you get
                                    run down by an inattentive driver.

                                    JTS

                                    [snip]
                                    > > TF: The Tom Frost Bicyclists' Rights Triad works
                                    on _all_ roads.

                                    BM:
                                    > Yeah, right. It didn't work on Illinois 130 where
                                    Matt Wilhelm was
                                    hit
                                    > from behind and killed by a teenage driver
                                    downloading ringtones on
                                    her
                                    > cell phone, did it? See http://www.prairien
                                    et.org/mattslaw/ ?
                                    About_Matt.

                                    TF: Well naturally! The Triad, like anything else,
                                    only works 100% of
                                    the time if all of the parties involved _obey_ it!
                                    Even those who
                                    (unlike apparently you) merely bother to _read_ the
                                    Triad
                                    http://www.newmilfo rdbike.com/ Triad.htm , know that
                                    distracted
                                    driving is covered in Section I of the Triad's
                                    Motorist's Code of
                                    Conduct Regarding Bicycles (as well as in umpteen laws
                                    already on the
                                    books - which begs the question: how does the Matt
                                    Wilhelm website
                                    think that its proposed _new_ laws are going to be
                                    _obeyed_?).
                                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.