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12297Re: [carfree_cities] Re: NYT's Friedman: "take the Subway"

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  • Steve Atlas
    Mar 5, 2012
      I've lived in Baltimore County, MD for 8 years (and in Columbia, MD for 20 years before that). One big benefit is that I can walk to a local bus that operates 20 hours most days. Neither my wife nor I have had problems (except once when there was construction and the bus was detoured) People are usually friendly, regardless of their race or ethnicity. We appreciate the convenience and frequency of service. I've found that the fear of doing something new is often worse than the reality. As I research more U.S. cities and vacation spots, I am encouraged that so many of them make it possible for visits to enjoy a weekend without ever having to drive or rent a car.

      Steve

       
      Steve Atlas
      Resources for Individuals and Families who are concerned about
      America's continued dependence on automobiles
      http://carfreeamerica.org;
      http://www.pubtrantravel.com,
      e-mail: steveatlas45@...;
      (410) 663-0217


      ________________________________
      From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
      To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, March 5, 2012 11:24 AM
      Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: NYT's Friedman: "take the Subway"


       

      On Mar 5, 2012, at 8:10 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:

      > Richard, you may recall that when I was in Los Angeles for a
      > conference in 2001 and we met for dinner, you put me on the bus
      > back to my hotel. When I mentioned this to one of the local
      > attendees the next day, he was horrified that I had taken the bus
      > at night and even seemed surprised that I had survived the
      > adventure. But in fact, the experience was not frightening at all,
      > unless one considers the presence of dark-skinned people to be
      > inherently frightening.
      >
      > The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind
      > much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.

      I myself don't doubt it for a second. I once took a bus home from a
      party at a friend's house in hyper-liberal Silverlake. I had my arm
      in a sling, and my friend offered to drive me home to "keep me safe'--
      though he'd had a good bit of booze during the party. he was worried
      about predatory Latino immigrants--apparently forgetting that I am
      one myself, just a pale one.

      Needless to say, the bus ride was convivial, pleasant, and safe.

      I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, and I hear
      racist crap from all of then. Especially as regards travel of public
      transport--which is actually far safer than driving.

      The trains in LA do, however, attract riders from higher economic
      classes. And I have even sat next to a Beverly Hills matron dripping
      with diamonds on the rapid bus through that glittery city. So there's
      some hope.

      Bicycles are really starting to take off here, including with Martha
      Stewart types, another odd but very real reason for hope.

      After all, it's the middle and upper classes who drive the most and
      keep pushing freeways through poor folks' neighborhoods.

      Rick
      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.bicyclefixation.com
      http://www.SustainableCityNews.com
      http://www.rickrise.com

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