Re: [carfree_cities] St. Louis "Most Dangerous City"
- On Oct 31, 2006, at 5:54 AM, Robert Madison wrote:
> on 2006-Oct-30 15:05 Todd Edelman said the following:However, there's a well-established though little-publicized
>> Still, I wonder about the corralation between carcities and
>> crime... any
> Unfortunately, at least in the US, I don't think that correlation
> be favorable to us. The areas with the least crime tend to be the
> low-density, heavily car-dependent suburbs. But that's really more a
> matter of demographics than anything else (i.e. crime tends to
> thrive in
> areas of concentrated poverty, which one would not find in suburbs).
connection between car-dependent suburbs and violent death, which we
can play up.
I don't have time to dig up the references again (someone here can, I
hope), but the death rate for 15-25 year olds is higher per capita in
the suburbs than in the inner city, because of automobile accidents.
Tangentially related: one often hears people who've just gotten a
traffic ticket complain, "Why aren't the cops out catching real
I checked the numbers a couple of years ago: in the US, the most
violent Western democracy, about 5,000 people a year are murdered.
Of these, a little over half are killed by family members or friends--
in other words, police presence cannot prevent these murders.
Murders committed by strangers or in the course of other criminal
activity are in the minority by a little bit, so let's just say about
2500 a year.
But bad drivers kill 47,000 innocents a year.
This doesn't even count maimings, burns, and healable injuries.
So really, the police would do better to take officers off murder
beats and put them on motorcycles catching more bad drivers, who kill
more good people.
This is related to a discussion a few weeks back about new car-dependent
"eco-suburbs" and how to best save energy/lower emissions (by greener
Perhaps this is entirely obvious and/or has been written about in other
ways, but, having lived without a refrigerator for the last month
(planning to get a pricey, efficient one) it has become more clear to me
how much in Western cities the length of a shopping trip can affect the
size of a fridge.
I have heard that a fridge is the biggest single user of electricity in a
typical American house. I have no fridge now so I shop a few times a day,
and fortunately good shops are steps away. BUT in "car-dependent suburbs"
there is the ever-present "big shopping", which many people have to or
feel they have to do in order to make the long trip worthwhile.
So, they use lots of energy (transport) it seems to get the stuff they
need, and then more energy to preserve it with a big fridge (and freezer)
until the next trip. Also with a bigger car they can fill a bigger
of course this forms a circle.
I realise that lots of little stores also use lots of little (relative to
supermarkets) fridges and freezers.
Any thoughts? Studies? Anecdotes?
Todd, in Prague, equidistant between a good small store and the pear and
walnut trees in the backyard....
Green Idea Factory
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a member of World Carfree Network
- given that poverty = more violence
In a post peak oil economy, car dependent areas will be more
economically depressed that the urban areas of the East and West
Coasts of the US.
Therefore, I expect to see violence increase throughout the US in the
near future with a disproportionate level of violence in the Mid-West