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

danger and Jane Jacobs

Expand Messages
  • Simon Norton
    I strongly disagree with Bijan s contention that not many more people would willingly cycle if traffic was removed. Have a look at the levels of cycling in
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 29 8:43 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      I strongly disagree with Bijan's contention that not many more people would
      willingly cycle if traffic was removed. Have a look at the levels of cycling in
      truly cycle friendly cities like Groningen, as compared with other cities of
      similar size.

      Of course, land use structure also makes a difference. If cities are compact
      it's easier to cycle everywhere. But compact cities and car-free development go
      together because of the enormous amount of space required by cars...

      Thanks, Bill T, for drawing our attention to the recent pronouncements by Jane
      Jacobs.

      Any idea how recent the Detour panel discussion is ? The other interview is
      dated 2001. I'm glad to see that she still seems to be going strong. I've read
      three of her books -- Death and Life of Great American Cities, Economy of
      Cities, and Cities and the Wealth of Nations. The first is the best known, but
      the third also seems to propound many original ideas. I was a bit disappointed
      that neither the second nor the third seemed to take up the themes of urban
      structure which form the main topic of the first.

      I have sometimes seen her quoted as an apologist for the free market as against
      the type of planning advocated by socialists (and I mean Galbraith type
      socialists rather than Soviet type communists). I don't think her books support
      this attitude. And while I don't agree with everything she says, I think that
      because of their wealth of ideas her books should be compulsory reading for all
      social reformers.

      Anyone read and care to offer opinions on any of her other books ?

      Simon Norton
    • Bijan Soleymani
      ... I think you could be right. I might be underestimating the effect of traffic on people. I just have never seen that as being the problem. I can only speak
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 29 11:43 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        Simon Norton <s.norton@...> writes:

        > I strongly disagree with Bijan's contention that not many more
        > people would willingly cycle if traffic was removed. Have a look at
        > the levels of cycling in truly cycle friendly cities like Groningen,
        > as compared with other cities of similar size.

        I think you could be right. I might be underestimating the effect of
        traffic on people. I just have never seen that as being the problem.
        I can only speak from my own experience. Most people I know won't bike
        for the same reasons they won't ride the bus:
        o It takes longer.
        o You have to suffer through bad weather (rain and snow).

        Getting rid of cars doesn't fix that. It just removes driving as an
        option.

        I'm sorry but I think I might be strongly biased. I don't personally see
        cycling in traffic as dangerous, so I can't take other people's fear
        seriously. I can accept that they would be afraid, but I can't see that
        fear as being justified. Because of this I have a hard time accepting
        the idea that we should cater to this fear of traffic.

        Don't get me wrong I think we should get rid of cars, but I don't think
        that this by itself would be a sufficient reason. It would require everyone
        to stop driving so that some people would feel more comfortable cycling.
        Now this group (people who would cycle) might be pretty big, but I can't
        see it being as big as the group of people who would have to stop driving.

        I think this sort of thing would work somewhere where there are few drivers
        and many cyclists. But where there are many people who drive regularly
        it is unlikely that they will be convinced by people who aren't cycling,
        but would like to do so.

        > Of course, land use structure also makes a difference. If cities are
        > compact it's easier to cycle everywhere. But compact cities and
        > car-free development go together because of the enormous amount of
        > space required by cars...

        Yes but getting rid of cars doesn't instantly make cities compact.

        > Anyone read and care to offer opinions on any of her other books ?

        I read "The Economy of Cities" a while ago. I didn't think much of it.
        Not a lot of solid facts. It reminded me of Ayn Rand's work. A lot of
        supposing going on :)

        Bijan
        --
        Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
        http://www.crasseux.com
      • Simon Norton
        Another take on danger, this time commenting on Traci s post. I agree with her as far as ringing a cycle bell is concerned, but I find that car horns are often
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 29 12:06 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          Another take on danger, this time commenting on Traci's post. I agree with her
          as far as ringing a cycle bell is concerned, but I find that car horns are often
          so loud (because they have to be heard inside another car with its windows shut)
          as to elicit a startle and possibly a freeze reaction. That's one reason why I
          believe that sounding them should be banned except in case of emergency. In the
          UK there's a law against doing so at night but I have never heard of any
          enforcement of that law -- not surprising, because how are people in bed (the
          victims of those who sound their horns) supposed to identify the car involved ?

          Jane Jacobs like Ayn Rand ? Now there's someone who really is wedded to free
          enterprise. My first reaction on coming across one of her books in a second hand
          bookshop was to think that she might have some interesting ideas, but by the
          time I'd got halfway through I decided I couldn't go any further and thought I'd
          wasted my money (admittedly not much) except in managing to avoid exposing
          someone else to that rubbish. No, by comparison Jane Jacobs in "The Economy of
          Cities" (which I regard as the least appealing of the three books by her that
          I've read) is the epitome of common sense.

          Simon Norton
        • ensignaurora
          ... AND ... Doesn t make them safer, either, necessarily. Huge, FLAT, college campus in Texas, won t name names. At class change, the pedestrain stands a
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 29 10:53 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Bijan Soleymani <bijan@p...> wrote:
            > I'm sorry but I think I might be strongly biased. I don't personally see
            > cycling in traffic as dangerous, so I can't take other people's fear
            > seriously. I can accept that they would be afraid, but I can't see that
            > fear as being justified. Because of this I have a hard time accepting
            > the idea that we should cater to this fear of traffic.

            AND

            > Yes but getting rid of cars doesn't instantly make cities compact.

            Doesn't make them safer, either, necessarily.

            Huge, FLAT, college campus in Texas, won't name names. At class
            change, the pedestrain stands a decent chance, in my humble opinion,
            of being runover by bikes. They ride EVERYWHERE and if you don't watch
            where you step, you may end up with last week's mud down your backside.

            Now compare that with this campus. It was built on a hill. As such,
            the problem is not the same at all. Lots of people walk but only a few
            die hards bike anywhere they want on campus.

            Terrain probably has a lot to do with whether or not people bike.

            But it is more than that. We are talking about this fear of traffic.
            But if people biked, would it be gone? Maybe the fear but not the
            threat. From my point of view, people don't bike as they drive, they
            bike with even more disregard of anything but thier point of view.
            Why? Probably because the law doesn't catch up with them as fast, as
            they would believe, as with a car. A classic is that flat campus
            again, but 7 years before the first observation, where a biker went
            thru a stop sign, the police officer told him stop, and she
            essentially had to tackle him to get him to stop.

            Think about it for a moment. If bikers did what you see with cars,
            such as disregarding stop lights, riding on sidewalks where it is
            posted they are not to ride, and riding against traffic, how soon
            would it be before they were busted?

            But I don't necessarily believe they do it because they are bikers but
            because they believe they can get away with it or because the system
            owes them. Why? Because I've seen situations of where drivers have
            done similar such as drive against traffic a short distance to get
            where they want. Not as many, of course, but it has been done.

            Of course, all bikers aren't like that. I'm not. I obey the traffic
            law, walk my bike on sidewalks, and so forth. But then again, I've
            always been considered a stick in the mud.

            Cars are like guns; they don't kill but rather, it is the major part,
            the nut that holds the wheel. Get people out of their cars and on to
            bikes and only a portion of the problem is solved. If one wants to
            remove the danger in the streets (and on the sidewalks, trails), one
            has to teach the majority of the bikers to be respectful of
            others........or at least the system.

            -Traci
            (EVERYONE is riding out to the remote research installation. "Oh, how
            much longer must I do this?"--Sid
            "Dr. Wolpner says until you get the BIG picture."--Secretary,
            (w,stte), "Creator")
          • ensignaurora
            ... agree with her ... horns are often ... windows shut) ... Personally, I believe they do it when they are right on top of me to startle me, scare me, and not
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 29 11:14 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <s.norton@d...> wrote:
              > Another take on danger, this time commenting on Traci's post. I
              agree with her
              > as far as ringing a cycle bell is concerned, but I find that car
              horns are often
              > so loud (because they have to be heard inside another car with its
              windows shut)
              > as to elicit a startle and possibly a freeze reaction.

              Personally, I believe they do it when they are right on top of me to
              startle me, scare me, and not because they want to tell me they are
              there.

              You know, "See that biker with the unicorns on her helmet? Let's make
              her jump!"

              And that opens up an interesting can of worms. People tell me that
              they saw me riding, that they honked to say "Hi", but I rode on
              without acknowledgement. Well, after years of riding, the basic point
              is that I do see cars as threats and the people in them as jerks who
              want to have fun at my expense.

              That, however, probably doesn't come from cars but from a long history
              of being different, singularly different, and people teasing for their
              joke, my expense. It just carries over with cars for two main reasons:
              demonstration by at least a few and knowing that if they hit you, it
              will be bad.

              Now I don't see everyone like that all the time, with the shields up.
              I do do 5 and 10K's, afterall and even though I probably do stand out
              to a certain degree in such, I don't see people as hostile against me.

              But on a bike? Far different because people are jerks whether they are
              in cars or others on bikes who believe that the traffic code doesn't
              apply to them, such as riding against traffic which then puts me in an
              interesting situation. Do I take evasive action and pull out into
              traffic, traffic behind me that I can't immediatly see, for their
              conveiance or maintain course and force them out into traffic?

              On the open road, biking where there are others biking doesn't
              increase the trust of one's fellow citizen but runs the equation in
              quite the opposite direction. Hence, I don't bike for reasons of
              others but my own reasons.

              -Traci
              (Data has been kidnapped and is trying to negotiate with his "host".
              "You might not be so critical of me if you knew of my childhood
              growing up as a beggar in the streets of Kalahan."--Kivas Fajo
              "That is regrettable but it still doesn't excuse your current behavior."
              "Eh! It doesn't matter, it's all a lie anyhow.", (w,stte), ST:TNG "The
              Most Toys")
            • Jym Dyer
              ... =v= Everywhere I ve ever lived in the U.S. makes it illegal to use the horn except in an emergency, 24 hours a day, and everywhere I ve ever lived simply
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 1, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                > ... elicit a startle and possibly a freeze reaction. That's
                > one reason why I believe that sounding them should be banned
                > except in case of emergency. In the UK there's a law against
                > doing so at night but I have never heard of any enforcement
                > of that law ...

                =v= Everywhere I've ever lived in the U.S. makes it illegal
                to use the horn except in an emergency, 24 hours a day, and
                everywhere I've ever lived simply fails to enforce that law.

                =v= Car alarms, which have been shown to have no effect on
                deterring car theft, are as bad -- and some of them operate
                by honking the horn. Another peeve is the remote-control
                door lock that honks the horn. Whoever invented that feature
                belongs in the Annals Of Horrible Engineers. (That such a
                feature would actually be implemented is testament to the
                way these laws continue to be unenforced.)

                =v= I know a guy whose response to horn-honking was to channel
                his anger into haiku, which he calls "honku," and which he
                parlayed into a book:

                http://www.honku.org/

                I read about a recent so-called crackdown on honking in his
                neighborhood, which is truly a nightmare of nonstop noise. The
                police only ticketed six cars, were very apologetic about doing
                so, and loudly hinted that the judge will throw the ticket out
                anyhow.

                > Jane Jacobs like Ayn Rand ?

                =v= That's so bizarre that I can't really even think about how
                to respond. Maybe it's an _Atlas_Shrugged_ thing, in which
                some superheroic egomaniac architect doesn't build a freeway?
                (We can only hope.)
                <_Jym_>
                --
                Ads below? Just ignore 'em.
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.