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Introduction: Kate

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  • Kathryn
    *1. Which of the following best describes you? Please check one.* _*X I own a car but use other forms of transport frequently * *2. How long have you been
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 30, 2007
      *1. Which of the following best describes you? Please check one.*
      _*X I own a car but use other forms of transport frequently
      *
      *2. How long have you been either car-free or used non-automotive transport
      as your principle means of transportation?*
      I'm pretty new to the idea of living car-free or car-lite. It's only been
      this fall that I've started reducing my driving significantly.
      *
      3. What inspired your decision to reduce or end your reliance on the
      automobile?*
      In October, my car broke down, and I was without a car for a week. I was
      determined not to let this stop me from doing what I normally do, and I
      learned that with a few minor exceptions, I had no trouble at all. In fact,
      it was easier to be without the car in most circumstances. I felt lighter,
      without having a huge hunk of metal parked somewhere, waiting for me.
      *
      4. What factors have either impeded or inspired your decision to reduce your
      reliance on automotive transport?*
      I've been inspired by the difference going car-free can make on my carbon
      footprint and on my sense of community (I'll explain below). One thing that
      has challenged me is having to work at night several times a week. In my
      city (and at my workplace), public transit is not quite so reliable or
      predictable at night. A wait at a bus stop can be 45 minutes -- which
      doesn't feel so good on isolated streets late at night. I'm working on
      getting comfortable with night biking, so I have more predictable car-free
      transportation at night.
      *
      5. Have your transportational choices had any discernible effect on your
      family and friends?*
      Not yet. I think it's too soon to know for sure, but I'm guessing it's a
      good sign that no one has noticed much difference.
      *
      6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being car-free and/or
      getting around without using a car?*
      One advantage is not having to drive. I never liked the stress of driving --
      and of having to pay to have my car fixed, for gas, etc. Another advantage
      is that, when I'm getting around without my car, I feel more a part of my
      community. Little things like seeing that the bus driver recognizes me or
      watching someone help someone else with extra change make me feel more a
      part of my city -- and happier about living here. One disadvantage is the
      convenience/safety factor -- especially at night.
      *
      7. Do you typically feel comfortable recommending car-free living to your
      friends and/or relatives? Why or why not?*
      I don't think I know enough to recommend it to anyone just yet. Also, I
      think it's such a personal decision, requiring commitment, to find creative
      ways to get around in a pinch. However, I am quick to tell friends and
      family that getting around without a car is much easier and more convenient
      than we often assume.
      *
      8. Have you experienced any adverse consequences of reducing or eliminating
      your automotive dependency with regard to time and finances?*
      Especially when I first started using public transportation, things
      sometimes took extra time. If I got on the wrong bus or failed to notice
      that a certain line ran only every hour, I would spend lots of extra time
      waiting in frustration. Once I got the hang of my most common routes,
      though, I actually don't notice too much of a difference. You could say that
      I actually gained time, since I get to read or get work done while on the
      bus.
      *
      9. Have there been any benefits?*
      Yes! See above...
      *
      10. In an ideal world, what role should the car play in the general
      transportation system?*
      I think, in an ideal world, most families (at least those living in
      relatively populated areas) would use a car sharing program like Flexcar to
      use cars every so often, like when hauling large loads or traveling under
      special circumstances. At the very least, there would be diversity in the
      ways people traveled, with cars being only one of many common modes of
      transportation, instead of the assumed method of getting around.
      *
      11. Do you have any other personal or general thoughts you've care to share
      on this topic?*
      I'm excited to be part of this group -- and to learn what others are doing
      to live car-free.
      *
      12. Where do you live (city, state, country)?*
      Los Angeles


      Thanks!
      Kate


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Hansen
      ... Cycling at night can be very relaxing when you get used to it. There is often peace and quiet, plus in some areas all sorts of wildlife to admire. ... One
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 2, 2007
        On 30 Nov 2007 at 21:43, Kathryn wrote:

        > One thing that
        > has challenged me is having to work at night several times a week. In my
        > city (and at my workplace), public transit is not quite so reliable or
        > predictable at night. A wait at a bus stop can be 45 minutes -- which
        > doesn't feel so good on isolated streets late at night. I'm working on
        > getting comfortable with night biking, so I have more predictable car-free
        > transportation at night.

        Cycling at night can be very relaxing when you get used to it. There is
        often peace and quiet, plus in some areas all sorts of wildlife to
        admire.

        > However, I am quick to tell friends and
        > family that getting around without a car is much easier and more convenient
        > than we often assume.

        One of the best ways of encouraging others is just to do it and let
        them make the connections. It isn't a fast way of convincing people,
        but it is a deep way.

        > I'm excited to be part of this group -- and to learn what others are doing
        > to live car-free.

        The list has been a trifle quiet recently. Please ask some questions to
        stimulate discussions.

        Welcome to the group, I'm glad you found it.





        --
        David Hansen, Edinburgh
        I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents
        me
        http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
      • Kathryn
        David, thank you for your response -- and your encouragement to bring up a question. Here s something that s been on my mind: As I get into the idea of biking
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 2, 2007
          David, thank you for your response -- and your encouragement to bring up a
          question. Here's something that's been on my mind:

          As I get into the idea of biking at night (around 11pm on some nights, when
          I work late), my friends and family have suddenly gotten protective of me.
          While I am in an urban environment, I don't live and work in particularly
          dangerous neighborhoods -- and my argument is that, on a bike, I can move
          fast (am always moving) and am therefore not much of a target, as long as I
          ride safely with reflective clothes and a bike light. This doesn't seem to
          be much comfort to them. However, I'm committed to trying out a car-free
          life for a 6-month trial, starting this week. Is there anything I can do or
          say to ease the minds of those around me? Am I being naive to think that, as
          a young-(ish) woman, I can be out at night without inviting danger?

          I'm planning to make my first night trip Monday night -- and am curious
          about any tips you might have!

          Thanks in advance--
          Kate.






          On Dec 2, 2007 2:29 AM, David Hansen <davidh@...> wrote:

          > On 30 Nov 2007 at 21:43, Kathryn wrote:
          >
          > > One thing that
          > > has challenged me is having to work at night several times a week. In my
          > > city (and at my workplace), public transit is not quite so reliable or
          > > predictable at night. A wait at a bus stop can be 45 minutes -- which
          > > doesn't feel so good on isolated streets late at night. I'm working on
          > > getting comfortable with night biking, so I have more predictable
          > car-free
          > > transportation at night.
          >
          > Cycling at night can be very relaxing when you get used to it. There is
          > often peace and quiet, plus in some areas all sorts of wildlife to
          > admire.
          >
          > > However, I am quick to tell friends and
          > > family that getting around without a car is much easier and more
          > convenient
          > > than we often assume.
          >
          > One of the best ways of encouraging others is just to do it and let
          > them make the connections. It isn't a fast way of convincing people,
          > but it is a deep way.
          >
          > > I'm excited to be part of this group -- and to learn what others are
          > doing
          > > to live car-free.
          >
          > The list has been a trifle quiet recently. Please ask some questions to
          > stimulate discussions.
          >
          > Welcome to the group, I'm glad you found it.
          >
          > --
          > David Hansen, Edinburgh
          > I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents
          > me
          > http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Kathryn Pope
          Bridge Program Director/ Writing Instructor
          Phone: (310) 947-3796
          www.thebridgeprogram.org


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • fred_dot_u
          Kate, I m also a commuting cyclist, although I have no regular route. I do home pc service and go where my clients call. I like the variety of such travels and
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 2, 2007
            Kate, I'm also a commuting cyclist, although I have no regular route. I
            do home pc service and go where my clients call. I like the variety of
            such travels and occasionally it means riding in dark conditions.

            Early morning is the most enjoyable, and usually what I would consider
            safer, but with sufficient lighting, late day riding isn't a problem.
            You can't have too much lighting or reflectivity, in my opinion.

            On the personal confrontation aspect, I would expect your first reaction
            to someone accosting you would be to angle away from them, perhaps
            further into the roadway. If the person readjusts his "trajectory" to
            continue to threaten you, you might begin to shout and then aim directly
            at the assailant. Some people might also have quick access to the air
            pump, but even a light weight at 15-20 mph will take out a pedestrian if
            needed.

            Let's hope that won't be needed, because you can get away with your
            speed and agility. If you travel the same area often enough, you'll
            begin to see the same people often enough to wave hello and make passing
            friends. Those same people may also be of assistance if needed.

            It's not something one hears of very often and I've not heard of
            anything like it in my general area, so I'm hopeful that you'll find
            your dark-time trips to be just as enjoyable as mine have been.

            fred


            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Kathryn <kathrynepope@...> wrote:
            >
            > David, thank you for your response -- and your encouragement to bring
            up a
            > question. Here's something that's been on my mind:
            >
            > As I get into the idea of biking at night (around 11pm on some nights,
            when
            > I work late), my friends and family have suddenly gotten protective of
            me.
            > While I am in an urban environment, I don't live and work in
            particularly
            > dangerous neighborhoods -- and my argument is that, on a bike, I can
            move
            > fast (am always moving) and am therefore not much of a target, as long
            as I
            > ride safely with reflective clothes and a bike light. This doesn't
            seem to
            > be much comfort to them. However, I'm committed to trying out a
            car-free
            > life for a 6-month trial, starting this week. Is there anything I can
            do or
            > say to ease the minds of those around me? Am I being naive to think
            that, as
            > a young-(ish) woman, I can be out at night without inviting danger?
            >
            > I'm planning to make my first night trip Monday night -- and am
            curious
            > about any tips you might have!
            >
            > Thanks in advance--
            > Kate.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > On Dec 2, 2007 2:29 AM, David Hansen davidh@... wrote:
            >
            > > On 30 Nov 2007 at 21:43, Kathryn wrote:
            > >
            > > > One thing that
            > > > has challenged me is having to work at night several times a week.
            In my
            > > > city (and at my workplace), public transit is not quite so
            reliable or
            > > > predictable at night. A wait at a bus stop can be 45 minutes --
            which
            > > > doesn't feel so good on isolated streets late at night. I'm
            working on
            > > > getting comfortable with night biking, so I have more predictable
            > > car-free
            > > > transportation at night.
            > >
            > > Cycling at night can be very relaxing when you get used to it. There
            is
            > > often peace and quiet, plus in some areas all sorts of wildlife to
            > > admire.
            > >
            > > > However, I am quick to tell friends and
            > > > family that getting around without a car is much easier and more
            > > convenient
            > > > than we often assume.
            > >
            > > One of the best ways of encouraging others is just to do it and let
            > > them make the connections. It isn't a fast way of convincing people,
            > > but it is a deep way.
            > >
            > > > I'm excited to be part of this group -- and to learn what others
            are
            > > doing
            > > > to live car-free.
            > >
            > > The list has been a trifle quiet recently. Please ask some questions
            to
            > > stimulate discussions.
            > >
            > > Welcome to the group, I'm glad you found it.
            > >
            > > --
            > > David Hansen, Edinburgh
            > > I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents
            > > me
            > > http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > --
            > Kathryn Pope
            > Bridge Program Director/ Writing Instructor
            > Phone: (310) 947-3796
            > www.thebridgeprogram.org
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • kjhashim
            Welcome, Kate, and I m also glad you re starting up some discussion. Please feel free to ask more questions, too. :-) Yes, reflective clothes, as well as
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 2, 2007
              Welcome, Kate, and I'm also glad you're starting up some discussion.
              Please feel free to ask more questions, too. :-) Yes, reflective
              clothes, as well as head and tail lights for your bike should do it
              for the most part. Also don't carry valuables, and minimize the
              amount of cash you carry on hand. Act confident, be aware of your
              surroundings, look passers by in the eye for a second with
              confidence. Know your route well, and get to know alternative routes
              in case you need to make a detour. Don't dress nicely enough that
              people think you are well-off. I know what you mean about
              overprotective people around you though. I think people are often
              too paranoid these days. I jog around after dark all the time and
              have been doing so since I was a college student, and I am also a
              female with a small build. I tried biking for about 6 months last
              year but found it to be too much of a struggle, so I stick with
              jogging and the very limited public transportation around here. I
              have mostly worked in good areas but often lived in shady but not
              extremely dangerous neighborhoods. Actually right now I live in a
              shady neighborhood, but I am near a major street and try to stay near
              the busier, well-lit streets.
              KJ in Buffalo, NY


              --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Kathryn <kathrynepope@...> wrote:
              >
              > David, thank you for your response -- and your encouragement to
              bring up a
              > question. Here's something that's been on my mind:
              >
              > As I get into the idea of biking at night (around 11pm on some
              nights, when
              > I work late), my friends and family have suddenly gotten protective
              of me.
              > While I am in an urban environment, I don't live and work in
              particularly
              > dangerous neighborhoods -- and my argument is that, on a bike, I
              can move
              > fast (am always moving) and am therefore not much of a target, as
              long as I
              > ride safely with reflective clothes and a bike light. This doesn't
              seem to
              > be much comfort to them. However, I'm committed to trying out a car-
              free
              > life for a 6-month trial, starting this week. Is there anything I
              can do or
              > say to ease the minds of those around me? Am I being naive to think
              that, as
              > a young-(ish) woman, I can be out at night without inviting danger?
              >
              > I'm planning to make my first night trip Monday night -- and am
              curious
              > about any tips you might have!
              >
              > Thanks in advance--
              > Kate.
              >
            • David Hansen
              ... A risk free life is neither possible or desirable. All anyone can do is do what they consider to be reasonable. You might be attacked while travelling by
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 3, 2007
                On 2 Dec 2007 at 16:22, Kathryn wrote:

                > As I get into the idea of biking at night (around 11pm on some nights, when
                > I work late), my friends and family have suddenly gotten protective of me.
                > While I am in an urban environment, I don't live and work in particularly
                > dangerous neighborhoods -- and my argument is that, on a bike, I can move
                > fast (am always moving) and am therefore not much of a target, as long as I
                > ride safely with reflective clothes and a bike light. This doesn't seem to
                > be much comfort to them. However, I'm committed to trying out a car-free
                > life for a 6-month trial, starting this week. Is there anything I can do or
                > say to ease the minds of those around me? Am I being naive to think that, as
                > a young-(ish) woman, I can be out at night without inviting danger?

                A risk free life is neither possible or desirable. All anyone can do is
                do what they consider to be reasonable. You might be attacked while
                travelling by any form of transport.

                It is worth noting that travelling by car is not free of crime. In the
                UK they have even set up a Safer Parking Scheme
                http://www.britishparking.co.uk/index.php?path=2,64,155 because of
                crime and fear of crime.

                It is worthwhile having a few contingency plans for all sorts of things
                when cycling and that includes some thoughts about crime, whether that
                is from motorists, pedestrians or other cyclists. For example people
                blocking the road will often move out of the way if confronted with a
                cyclist heading fast towards them. However, what you do is for you to
                consider.

                The best way of comforting them will be weeks and months of travelling
                without coming to harm, which is probably what will happen. Nothing is
                guaranteed, but attacks on cyclists are relatively rare. They will
                still worry, but they will do that no matter how you travel.



                --
                David Hansen, Edinburgh
                I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents
                me
                http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
              • Lee
                ... == snip == == snip == == snip == == snip == Hi Kate, welcome to the group. I m a new member also, and just wanted to say hello. though, I actually don t
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 3, 2007
                  --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Kathryn <kathrynepope@...> wrote:

                  > *1. Which of the following best describes you? Please check one.*
                  > _*X I own a car but use other forms of transport frequently
                  > *2. How long have you been either car-free or used non-automotive
                  > transport as your principle means of transportation?*
                  > I'm pretty new to the idea of living car-free or car-lite. It's
                  > only been this fall that I've started reducing my driving
                  > significantly.

                  == snip == == snip == == snip == == snip ==

                  Hi Kate, welcome to the group. I'm a new member also, and just
                  wanted to say hello.

                  though, I actually don't notice too much of a difference. You could
                  say that
                  I actually gained time, since I get to read or get work done while
                  on the bus.*
                • Kathryn
                  Thank you for all your great responses to my question about nighttime biking. I did my first ride tonight, and I didn t feel nervous one bit. In fact, riding
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 3, 2007
                    Thank you for all your great responses to my question about nighttime
                    biking. I did my first ride tonight, and I didn't feel nervous one bit. In
                    fact, riding later at night was easier (and felt safer) because of the light
                    traffic. Other than a little side stitch (I haven't been nearly active
                    enough in the past few months!), I would say it was easy as could be. In
                    fact, it was exhilarating and relaxing--

                    Thanks again! I can't say how much it means to me to have your input--

                    Kate.


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • David Hansen
                    ... A week and a bit ago I was chatting to someone from Friends of the Earth who was going from near Edinburgh to Brussels. The trip by train involved one
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 4, 2007
                      On 4 Dec 2007 at 1:32, Lee wrote:

                      > though, I actually don't notice too much of a difference. You could
                      > say that
                      > I actually gained time, since I get to read or get work done while
                      > on the bus.*

                      A week and a bit ago I was chatting to someone from Friends of the
                      Earth who was going from near Edinburgh to Brussels. The trip by train
                      involved one change of train in London (sadly the promised direct
                      trains to the mainland have never been put on). The travel time was to
                      be used for a number of productive activities, including preparing the
                      presentation she was to do. Far more productive than travelling by
                      aeroplane.

                      A recent report compared trains and aeroplanes between
                      Edinburgh/Glasgow and London from a business perspective.
                      http://www.transformscotland.org.uk/info/news/2007/2007-11-21.html has
                      a link to download it.

                      Some of the same arguments apply to comparisons of buses and cars.






                      --
                      David Hansen, Edinburgh
                      I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents
                      me
                      http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
                    • David Hansen
                      ... The air tends to be colder at night in many parts of the world and so it is refreshing. I hope you have told the worriers how much you enjoyed it:-) --
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 4, 2007
                        On 3 Dec 2007 at 23:47, Kathryn wrote:

                        > Thank you for all your great responses to my question about nighttime
                        > biking. I did my first ride tonight, and I didn't feel nervous one bit. In
                        > fact, riding later at night was easier (and felt safer) because of the light
                        > traffic. Other than a little side stitch (I haven't been nearly active
                        > enough in the past few months!), I would say it was easy as could be. In
                        > fact, it was exhilarating and relaxing--

                        The air tends to be colder at night in many parts of the world and so
                        it is refreshing.

                        I hope you have told the worriers how much you enjoyed it:-)




                        --
                        David Hansen, Edinburgh
                        I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents
                        me
                        http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
                      • De Clarke
                        ... exactly. I like night riding because there are fewer cars and it s easier to see them coming (because of their bright headlights I can sense their
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 4, 2007
                          David Hansen (davidh@...) wrote:
                          > On 3 Dec 2007 at 23:47, Kathryn wrote:
                          >
                          > > Thank you for all your great responses to my question about nighttime
                          > > biking. I did my first ride tonight, and I didn't feel nervous one bit. In
                          > > fact, riding later at night was easier (and felt safer) because of the light
                          > > traffic. Other than a little side stitch (I haven't been nearly active

                          exactly. I like night riding because there are fewer cars and it's easier
                          to see them coming (because of their bright headlights I can sense their
                          presence whether behind or ahead or from the side). a ride across town on
                          a crisp Fall night with a bright moon is really a treat. the only thing
                          to watch out for is closing time -- when they kick the drunks out of the
                          bars.

                          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:
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