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What every Brit should know about jaywalking

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  • Todd Edelman
    DONT JAYWALK IN THE USA! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6251431.stm ... Todd Edelman Director Green Idea Factory Korunn� 72 CZ-10100 Praha 10
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 11, 2007
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      DONT "JAYWALK" IN THE USA!

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6251431.stm


      ------------------------------------------------------

      Todd Edelman
      Director
      Green Idea Factory

      Korunní 72
      CZ-10100 Praha 10
      Czech Republic

      ++420 605 915 970
      Skype: toddedelman

      edelman@...
      http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain

      Green Idea Factory,
      a member of World Carfree Network
    • c1ttad1no
      ... Well, that s certainly an embarrassing story from the land of the free. However, lest our members around the world conclude that America s anti-pedestrian
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 12, 2007
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        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...> wrote:
        >
        > DONT "JAYWALK" IN THE USA!
        >
        > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6251431.stm

        Well, that's certainly an embarrassing story from the land of the free.

        However, lest our members around the world conclude that America's
        anti-pedestrian tendencies have no bounds, a quick overview of the
        legal situation may be in order.

        Laws vary more between jurisdictions (states and cities) here than in
        many other places but, in general, the street-crossing rules provide:

        * Drivers must yield to peds in crosswalks (which exist, whether
        marked or not at intersections).

        * Other than at intersections (e.g. mid-block crossings), pedestrians
        may cross, provided that they yield to all traffic close enough to
        create an immediate hazard (or similar language). Motorists must
        always exercise due care for pedestrian safety.

        * Mid-block crossings are usually prohibited only between signalized
        (controlled by traffic lights or officers directing traffic)
        intersections -- that is, along the busiest sections of roadways.

        I have never before heard of someone arrested for jaywalking in the
        U.S. Even traffic citations for the offense must be vanishingly rare.

        On the other hand, blatantly disobeying the "lawful order" of a police
        officer is an excellent way to win a trip, in handcuffs, to one of our
        jails. A large majority of Americans appear to approve of this
        heavy-handed application of official power.


        -Doug
      • Todd Edelman
        SEE an interview with this pedestrian terrorist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCa43r9jmY - T ... Todd Edelman Director Green Idea Factory Korunní 72
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 12, 2007
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          SEE an interview with this pedestrian terrorist:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCa43r9jmY

          - T


          > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> DONT "JAYWALK" IN THE USA!
          >>
          >> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6251431.stm
          >
          > Well, that's certainly an embarrassing story from the land of the free.

          ------------------------------------------------------

          Todd Edelman
          Director
          Green Idea Factory

          Korunní 72
          CZ-10100 Praha 10
          Czech Republic

          ++420 605 915 970
          Skype: toddedelman

          edelman@...
          http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain

          Green Idea Factory,
          a member of World Carfree Network
        • Jym Dyer
          ... =v= Rare for most white people in most of the country, with two broad exceptions. =1= Jaywalking is one of several things used as a pretext stop (as it
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 12, 2007
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            > I have never before heard of someone arrested for jaywalking
            > in the U.S. Even traffic citations for the offense must be
            > vanishingly rare.

            =v= Rare for most white people in most of the country, with two
            broad exceptions.

            =1= Jaywalking is one of several things used as a "pretext stop"
            (as it is known in civil rights circles) for members of targeted
            demographics, usually people of color.

            =2= Car-crazed cities do enforce jaywalking laws, most famously
            in Southern California. Atlanta falls in this category. I have
            been detained and interrogated but not booked by the police for
            simply *walking* in a suburban area near Dallas. (They drove me
            to the town limit and suggested I hire a cab to return to where
            I was staying.)

            > On the other hand, blatantly disobeying the "lawful order"
            > of a police officer is an excellent way to win a trip, in
            > handcuffs, to one of our jails. A large majority of Americans
            > appear to approve of this heavy-handed application of official
            > power.

            =v= I see no evidence of blatant disobedience in the case at
            hand, and I strongly suspect that the population of Americans
            who appear to approve of these tactics do so because they are
            ignorant of how thoroughly they are abused.
            <_Jym_>
          • c1ttad1no
            Well, this is all probably too far off-topic to keep alive for long, but... ... From the originally-cited article: The bespectacled professor says he didn t
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 12, 2007
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              Well, this is all probably too far off-topic to keep alive for long,
              but...

              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Jym Dyer <jym@...> wrote:

              > =v= I see no evidence of blatant disobedience in the case at
              > hand, and I strongly suspect that the population of Americans
              > who appear to approve of these tactics do so because they are
              > ignorant of how thoroughly they are abused.

              From the originally-cited article:

              "The bespectacled professor says he didn't realise the 'rather
              intrusive young man' shouting that he shouldn't cross there was a
              policeman. 'I thanked him for his advice and went on.'"

              I submit that the behavior described would be seen by the vast
              majority of American cops as "blatant disobedience." It was intended
              as nothing of the sort, of course, and, in any event, this is hardly
              "disobedience" that reasonably warrants tackling and arrest.

              As for *why* Americans approve of this jack-booted approach to "law
              enforcement," I just don't know. It's entirely clear that they do
              approve, however.

              Just another shameful episode from the streets of the Police State of
              Carmageddon.


              -Doug
            • Jason Meggs
              Yeah -- I can comiserate; this little pedestrian that could was once followed for block upon block by a helicopter, while walking in Granada Hills (wealthy
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 12, 2007
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                Yeah -- I can comiserate; this little pedestrian that could was once
                followed for block upon block by a helicopter, while walking in Granada
                Hills (wealthy suburb of LA).

                In Berkeley, the car-first cops have repeatedly shifted from the
                pedestrian ROW violation "stings" to citing pedestrians for "jaywalking."
                They've also repeatedly cited local activists, even singling one woman out
                of a crowd walking against the light on Telegraph. (Interestingly, one of
                their officers was hit by a car while participating in a sting operation.)

                Worth mentioning: I just came from a Berkeley Critical Mass which happened
                to cross through a neighborhing town, Emeryville. During the peaceful
                ride through this auto-oriented town, a security guard grabbed a young
                woman on a bicycle and wrestled with her, and later, an Emeryville police
                officer rushed through the demonstration at high speed and grabbed a
                cyclist, saying over and over again how angry he was.

                Cyclists were dragging "Christmas Trees" through the streets in protest of
                car culture and environmentally deadly consumerism, and playing music on a
                bicycle trailer-borne sound system.

                You may find this bikes-come-peds demonstration, now almost 5 years old,
                in the state capitol of Sacramento, amusing and even enlightening in this
                context:

                http://guest.xinet.com/bike/sactocm/bikesincrosswalk.html

                linked from:

                http://guest.xinet.com/bike/sactocm/

                with more info generally about Sacramento Critical Mass here:"

                http://bclu.org/sactocm/

                and for a bit more about Berkeley's Critical Mass:

                http://berkeleycriticalmass.org/

                (Berkeley, that radical 60's protest icon, home of People's Park and the
                free speech movement, and currently a protest campaign against cutting old
                oak trees to build a parking garage and sports center -- you know it,
                right -- a town where the number of people voting for Ralph Nader for
                President in 2000 vied with those voting for Al gore...also home to a
                voter-landslide 80%+ measure G calling for an 80% reduction in Greenhouse
                Gases by 2020! Yet getting the tiniest concessions for bicycling or
                transit, let alone Carfree Housing, proves quite the challenge...)

                Jason

                [Fresh from the streets.]

                p.s. They confiscated his PEPPERMINTS!?!!?!??


                On Fri, 12 Jan 2007, Jym Dyer wrote:

                >> I have never before heard of someone arrested for jaywalking
                >> in the U.S. Even traffic citations for the offense must be
                >> vanishingly rare.
                >
                > =v= Rare for most white people in most of the country, with two
                > broad exceptions.
                >
                > =1= Jaywalking is one of several things used as a "pretext stop"
                > (as it is known in civil rights circles) for members of targeted
                > demographics, usually people of color.
                >
                > =2= Car-crazed cities do enforce jaywalking laws, most famously
                > in Southern California. Atlanta falls in this category. I have
                > been detained and interrogated but not booked by the police for
                > simply *walking* in a suburban area near Dallas. (They drove me
                > to the town limit and suggested I hire a cab to return to where
                > I was staying.)
                >
                >> On the other hand, blatantly disobeying the "lawful order"
                >> of a police officer is an excellent way to win a trip, in
                >> handcuffs, to one of our jails. A large majority of Americans
                >> appear to approve of this heavy-handed application of official
                >> power.
                >
                > =v= I see no evidence of blatant disobedience in the case at
                > hand, and I strongly suspect that the population of Americans
                > who appear to approve of these tactics do so because they are
                > ignorant of how thoroughly they are abused.
                > <_Jym_>
                >
                >
              • Jym Dyer
                ... =v= I know a thing or two about law enforcement training and about legal challenges to police abuses. The training includes methodical handling of
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 13, 2007
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                  > "The bespectacled professor says he didn't realise the 'rather
                  > intrusive young man' shouting that he shouldn't cross there
                  > was a policeman. 'I thanked him for his advice and went on.'"
                  >
                  > I submit that the behavior described would be seen by the vast
                  > majority of American cops as "blatant disobedience."

                  =v= I know a thing or two about law enforcement training and
                  about legal challenges to police abuses. The training includes
                  methodical handling of miscommunications like these. When, in
                  particular, the question of police identifying themselves comes
                  into play, it is standard operating procedure to show a badge,
                  and what's more, failure to do so makes any charge of disobeying
                  police orders likely to fail.

                  > As for *why* Americans approve of this jack-booted approach
                  > to "law enforcement," I just don't know. It's entirely clear
                  > that they do approve, however.

                  =v= Approval is generally coupled with a foolish notion that
                  the police are acting methodically and not abusing their power,
                  two tests which the cop failed in this case. This notion
                  is based on what most white Americans see; those who've seen
                  otherwise tend very quickly to dispense with this notion.
                  <_Jym_>
                • Joel Siegel
                  ... We US ers (at least the white ones, as Jym notes) have been carefully trained, especially over the last thirty-odd years, to Be Very Afraid of The
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 13, 2007
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                    >> As for *why* Americans approve of this jack-booted approach
                    >> to "law enforcement," I just don't know. It's entirely clear
                    >> that they do approve, however.
                    >
                    >=v= Approval is generally coupled with a foolish notion that
                    >the police are acting methodically and not abusing their power,
                    >two tests which the cop failed in this case. This notion
                    >is based on what most white Americans see; those who've seen
                    >otherwise tend very quickly to dispense with this notion.
                    > <_Jym_>

                    We US'ers (at least the 'white' ones, as Jym notes) have been carefully trained, especially over the last thirty-odd years, to Be Very Afraid of The Criminals (and, of course, now The Terrorists as well), and thus to give the police more and more power. From passing draconian 'anti-crime' laws to electing 'tough on crime' judges to electing 'tough on crime' politicians who appoint 'tough on crime' judges, to deferring to the police (especially on juries) when it comes to misconduct, to giving the police a free pass except MAYBE when it's caught on video (and often not even then), we have pretty much created a police state here.

                    Perhaps off-topic, but an excerpt from Milton Mayer's 1955 book _They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45_ have been circulating the net and appearing on what little progressive radio we have here. The parallels are chilling. The book is available from University of Chicago Press, Paper US$22.00sp ISBN: 978-0-226-51192-4 (ISBN-10: 0-226-51192-8).

                    Excerpt at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html; with your indulgence I'll quote a few paragraphs here.

                    "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

                    "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter....

                    "...Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

                    "Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’"

                    Joel
                  • Huang Eu Chai
                    Here in Singapore, it is an offence to jaywalk within 50m of a signalised, subway or overhead bridge crossing, the penalty being a small fine. Otherwise
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 14, 2007
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                      Here in Singapore, it is an offence to jaywalk within 50m of a
                      signalised, subway or overhead bridge crossing, the penalty being a
                      small fine. Otherwise thereis no restriction.

                      Nevertheless, many (including myself) flaunt this ruling, either
                      crossing within the restrcited zone, or else crossing on red if the
                      traffic is sufficiently low. I have been told of people being caught
                      and fined before many years, but haven't seen or heard of any
                      enforcement in the last few years.

                      The police probably have better things to do than running after
                      jaywalkers.

                      Eu Chai
                    • Karen Sandness
                      Actually, this topic is not tangential to discussions of car-free living. When I was car-free in Portland, one of the most common questions people asked was,
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                        Actually, this topic is not tangential to discussions of car-free
                        living. When I was car-free in Portland, one of the most common
                        questions people asked was, "Aren't you afraid to take the bus/light
                        rail at night?" Here in Minneapolis, the inconvenience and lack of
                        connections are what keep even atransit nerd like me from going fully
                        car-free, but for most people, it seems to be fear of crime, or perhaps
                        more accurately, a prejudice that assumes that all dark-skinned people
                        are dangerous.

                        When I attended a convention in Los Angeles in 2001, I met up with
                        Richard Risemberg, who took me on a brisk evening walk through some
                        interesting neighborhoods and then gave me transit directions for
                        returning to my hotel. All went well, and my fellow riders, almost all
                        of whom were either African-American or Latino, were friendly and
                        helpful. Not once on the trip, which required a transfer to the subway,
                        did I feel threatened.

                        Yet the next day at the convention, I had lunch in a group that
                        included a more typical local resident. We were asking him for ideas on
                        things to do if we didn't want to attend the afternoon sessions. He
                        sensibly discouraged people from going to places that really were too
                        far away for an afternoon jaunt (Long Beach pier, Disneyland, etc.),
                        but when it came to more conveniently located attractions, he insisted
                        that we would have to hire cabs, because it was "too dangerous" to walk
                        or ride transit.

                        I wish I'd told him that I'd already ridden the bus and subway the
                        previous night and had explored Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and Olvera
                        Street on foot and on the "Dash" buses that circulate in the downtown
                        area.

                        Fear of public transit and public spaces is pervasive in American
                        society. The first manifestations I remember are New York-based
                        comedians making comments about how dangerous it was to ride the New
                        York subway or visit Central Park, a shtick that one still hears
                        occasionally. The fear can reach absurd levels, as when when the local
                        rumor mill turned one unfortunate shooting at a light rail stop in
                        Portland into "hundreds of people have been killed on MAX." In
                        Minneapolis, stories of violent crime so dominate the newscasts that
                        people like my mother, whose view of the world is heavily mediated by
                        television these days, tells me that she doesn't like it that I go
                        downtown.

                        It's silly but real. No one stops to think that the presence of large
                        numbers of people actually deters violent crime.

                        Advocates of car-free cities in the States have to acknowledge the
                        general public's media-induced fear of crime. The rich have always
                        insulated themselves from the larger society, but what is different
                        about the current situation is that middle-class Americans are now
                        allying themselves with the rich rather than the working class and
                        poor, sequestering themselves in rolling steel isolation booths and
                        subdivisions twenty miles outside the central city.

                        No one talks about this fear, because, after all, we're all supposed to
                        be anti-racist and to avoid "fomenting class warfare," but in fact,
                        racism and prejudice against the lower classes have played and continue
                        to play a major role in the formation and ongoing growth of the
                        car-dependent suburb.

                        In transit,
                        Karen Sandness
                      • Richard Risemberg
                        ... Actually, blakely & Snyder, in their book, fortress America, have examined exactly this. There s an excerpt on my zone at:
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                          On Jan 15, 2007, at 7:01 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:

                          > No one talks about this fear, because, after all, we're all
                          > supposed to
                          > be anti-racist and to avoid "fomenting class warfare," but in fact,
                          > racism and prejudice against the lower classes have played and
                          > continue
                          > to play a major role in the formation and ongoing growth of the
                          > car-dependent suburb.
                          Actually, blakely & Snyder, in their book, "fortress America," have
                          examined exactly this. There's an excerpt on my zone at:

                          http://bicyclefixation.com/fortress.htm

                          Richard
                          --
                          Richard Risemberg
                          http://www.rickrise.com
                          http://www.bicyclefixation.com
                          http://www.newcolonist.com







                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • J.H. Crawford
                          ... Nothing, in fact, is more effective. ... No, not always, even in the USA. Today, however, the super-rich know that they have their obscene wealth mostly by
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                            Karen Sandness said:

                            >It's silly but real. No one stops to think that the presence of large
                            >numbers of people actually deters violent crime.

                            Nothing, in fact, is more effective.

                            >Advocates of car-free cities in the States have to acknowledge the
                            >general public's media-induced fear of crime. The rich have always
                            >insulated themselves from the larger society,

                            No, not always, even in the USA. Today, however, the super-rich
                            know that they have their obscene wealth mostly by theft and
                            are rightly afraid of those from whom they have stolen it.

                            >but what is different
                            >about the current situation is that middle-class Americans are now
                            >allying themselves with the rich rather than the working class and
                            >poor, sequestering themselves in rolling steel isolation booths and
                            >subdivisions twenty miles outside the central city.

                            The middle class has, of course, much more in common with
                            the poor than the rich. Why they have made this mistaken
                            alliance with the rich is a little difficult to understand.

                            >No one talks about this fear, because, after all, we're all supposed to
                            >be anti-racist and to avoid "fomenting class warfare," but in fact,
                            >racism and prejudice against the lower classes have played and continue
                            >to play a major role in the formation and ongoing growth of the
                            >car-dependent suburb.

                            Racism, especially covert, has been one of the most powerful
                            forces in American life since the Civil War. Most of the
                            housing policies from the 1930s, which spawned suburbia,
                            are, at their heart, racist. It really is time to end this.

                            Regards,




                            ----- ### -----
                            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                          • J.H. Crawford
                            ... and I ll paste the quote from that page right here because it s so germane: The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself Here s a couple of quotes from
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                              And then Rick replied while I was typing:

                              >Actually, blakely & Snyder, in their book, "fortress America," have
                              >examined exactly this. There's an excerpt on my zone at:
                              >
                              ><http://bicyclefixation.com/fortress.htm>http://bicyclefixation.com/fortress.htm

                              and I'll paste the quote from that page right here
                              because it's so germane:

                              The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself
                              Here's a couple of quotes from Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder's Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States (Brookings Institution Press, 1997):

                              In an open city...people of different colors and incomes must negotiate their mutual fate together. In some respects, they learn to value one another more highly, and social networks are expanded. In socially isolated environments [such as gated suburbs], social distance leads to stereotyping and misunderstanding, which in turn leads to fear and even greater distance. A resident in one of our [suburban] focus groups exemplified this dynamic when she told us that she never left her downtown San Francisco office building, even for lunch, for fear of people on the streets. Her building is located on a central street of department stores and offices, populated at lunch hour mainly by businesspeople and shoppers. But because it is a public space where anyone may go, it is too uncontrolled for her comfort, too unpredictable. Unlike her gated suburb, its openness increases the vulnerability she already feels to an unacceptable level.

                              * * * * * * * * * * *

                              As one citizen told Constance Perin in her study of community and place in American life: "See, you have to understand the fundamental feeling in the suburbs is fear, let's face it. The basic emotional feeling is fear. Fear of blacks, fear of physical harm, fear of their kids being subjected to drugs, which are identified as a black probem, fear of all the urban ills. They feel [that] by moving to the suburbs they've run away from it, in fact, they haven't, in reality they haven't, but in their own mind's eye they've moved away from the problem."





                              ----- ### -----
                              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                              mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                            • Simon Baddeley
                              ... And my piece on ³burb cowards² http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2005/12/27/75328/953 I think that anyone who is so frightened of their fellow humans
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                ... And my piece on ³burb cowards²

                                http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2005/12/27/75328/953

                                I think that anyone who is so frightened of their fellow humans that they
                                are prepared to move house to a "safer" area and "stay in their car" for
                                fear of urban predators and watch their children constantly to stave off the
                                risk of "stranger dangers", might be referred to as lacking moral fibre (LMF
                                I think it used to be called) and contributing to fear in the population -
                                for which there used, in war time, to be penalties. I am familiar with these
                                fears. I have long struggled with them - not for myself now - but for my
                                children. I recognise them and seek to control them. I haven't moved house
                                from the inner suburb of Handsworth in Birmingham (UK) - to the continuing
                                surprise of some traders and estate agents who imply in various ways a
                                mismatch between my apparent income and social class and my choice of
                                address. (Changes in urban living are fortuitously going to make our choice
                                of home look extraordinarily far sighted to these people in another few
                                years - but that's another matter - and we can all be hostages to
                                fortune.).....

                                Simon

                                From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
                                Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                                Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 07:24:07 -0800
                                To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                                Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Fear in the Streets?






                                On Jan 15, 2007, at 7:01 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:

                                > No one talks about this fear, because, after all, we're all
                                > supposed to
                                > be anti-racist and to avoid "fomenting class warfare," but in fact,
                                > racism and prejudice against the lower classes have played and
                                > continue
                                > to play a major role in the formation and ongoing growth of the
                                > car-dependent suburb.
                                Actually, blakely & Snyder, in their book, "fortress America," have
                                examined exactly this. There's an excerpt on my zone at:

                                http://bicyclefixation.com/fortress.htm

                                Richard
                                --
                                Richard Risemberg
                                http://www.rickrise.com
                                http://www.bicyclefixation.com
                                http://www.newcolonist.com

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






                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Simon Baddeley
                                Good on you Karen. But if you are spending a large part of your earnings to send children to private school and to enjoy access to private space (tennis clubs
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                  Good on you Karen. But if you are spending a large part of your earnings to
                                  send children to private school and to enjoy access to private space (tennis
                                  clubs and health clubs versus public parks) and travel long distances to
                                  salubrious suburbs, cognitive dissonance almost requires that you amplify
                                  and distort your worst fears about the places you¹ve abandoned to justify
                                  the money spent on escaping them. I have met people who¹ve gone to live in
                                  foreign countries to get away from the Œpace of life¹ in the UK ­ which is a
                                  coded form of this fear of the Œother¹ in our midst. I do not deny that some
                                  of the ennui of oppressive poverty (being without many material possessions
                                  is not what I mean) can rub off on anyone living in proximity to
                                  hopelessness and the consolations bred by such despair, but can¹t the life
                                  of the suburbs turn out dispiriting? I do not deny that there are places
                                  where you can leave the house key in the front door and others where that
                                  would be unwise, and I do not deny that the species faces fearful challenges
                                  ­ not the least being attempts by thousands of people Œto get away from it
                                  all¹ who end up up creating more of what they sought to escape.
                                  S



                                  From: Karen Sandness <ksandness@...>
                                  Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 09:01:19 -0600
                                  To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: What every Brit should know about jaywalking





                                  Actually, this topic is not tangential to discussions of car-free
                                  living. When I was car-free in Portland, one of the most common
                                  questions people asked was, "Aren't you afraid to take the bus/light
                                  rail at night?"


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                                • Debra Efroymson
                                  It gets worse, recently four children died in a fire here in Bangladesh, after their parents/uncle locked them in to go to the doctor. If they had trusted
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                    It gets worse, recently four children died in a fire
                                    here in Bangladesh, after their parents/uncle locked
                                    them in to go to the doctor. If they had trusted
                                    their neighbors, it wouldn't have happened. In our
                                    own experience, we were successfully robbed after
                                    moving to a higher-income neighborhood, while in a
                                    lower-income one, our neighbors prevented the one
                                    robbery attempt. (We HAD to move, partly because the
                                    smell of sewage became overpowering.)
                                    A character in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales says it
                                    very well, after she is beaten up by her husband's
                                    enemies: the best security is a good relationship
                                    with your neighbors. No wall or security force will
                                    save you if your neighbors are out to get you.
                                    Just another reason why we are promoting
                                    environments conducive to outdoor interactions in
                                    urban areas. But everyone I talk to here says, focus
                                    on the lower-income groups, because the rich care
                                    about prestige, not quality of life. Can it be
                                    true????
                                    Debra

                                    --- Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:

                                    > ... And my piece on ³burb cowards²
                                    >
                                    >
                                    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2005/12/27/75328/953





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                                  • Debra Efroymson
                                    And the belief that the economy must always continue growing. If the post-WWII housing crisis had been addressed through building of apartments, people would
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                      And the belief that the economy must always continue
                                      growing. If the post-WWII housing crisis had been
                                      addressed through building of apartments, people would
                                      have bought a lot fewer cars and appliances.
                                      Isolated, single-family houses were seen as a great
                                      way to encourage large purchases which would in turn
                                      create jobs. As houses became a financial investment
                                      rather than a home in a community, owners worried more
                                      about potential (though apparently rarely realized)
                                      drops in property value if blacks moved into the
                                      neighborhood, than about integrated, positive,
                                      environments.
                                      If people were happier, they would buy fewer
                                      unnecessary things, and capitalism, at least as
                                      currently defined, would falter. Unless we shake our
                                      belief that the economy must always grow through
                                      unfettered consumerism, I don't see much hope for
                                      changing government policy away from encouraging
                                      suburbia.
                                      Of course I agree that racism is also a factor!!
                                      but the middle class are going to be far more
                                      concerned about property values than integrated
                                      neighborhoods.
                                      Debra

                                      --- "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...> wrote:

                                      Most of
                                      > the
                                      > housing policies from the 1930s, which spawned
                                      > suburbia,
                                      > are, at their heart, racist.




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                                    • Jason Meggs
                                      ... Of note, the history of minimum parking requirements, a constant obstacle to carfree proposals, originated in Nazi Germany, with the following quote
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jan 17, 2007
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                                        On Sat, 13 Jan 2007, Joel Siegel wrote:

                                        >
                                        >>> As for *why* Americans approve of this jack-booted approach
                                        >>> to "law enforcement," I just don't know. It's entirely clear
                                        >>> that they do approve, however.
                                        >>
                                        >> =v= Approval is generally coupled with a foolish notion that
                                        >> the police are acting methodically and not abusing their power,
                                        >> two tests which the cop failed in this case. This notion
                                        >> is based on what most white Americans see; those who've seen
                                        >> otherwise tend very quickly to dispense with this notion.
                                        >> <_Jym_>
                                        >
                                        > We US'ers (at least the 'white' ones, as Jym notes) have been carefully
                                        > trained, especially over the last thirty-odd years, to Be Very Afraid of
                                        > The Criminals (and, of course, now The Terrorists as well), and thus to
                                        > give the police more and more power. From passing draconian
                                        > 'anti-crime' laws to electing 'tough on crime' judges to electing 'tough
                                        > on crime' politicians who appoint 'tough on crime' judges, to deferring
                                        > to the police (especially on juries) when it comes to misconduct, to
                                        > giving the police a free pass except MAYBE when it's caught on video
                                        > (and often not even then), we have pretty much created a police state
                                        > here.
                                        >
                                        > Perhaps off-topic, but an excerpt from Milton Mayer's 1955 book _They
                                        > Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45_ have been circulating the
                                        > net and appearing on what little progressive radio we have here. The
                                        > parallels are chilling. The book is available from University of
                                        > Chicago Press, Paper US$22.00sp ISBN: 978-0-226-51192-4 (ISBN-10:
                                        > 0-226-51192-8).


                                        Of note, the history of minimum parking requirements, a constant obstacle
                                        to carfree proposals, originated in Nazi Germany, with the following quote
                                        attributed to you-know-who:

                                        "Above all, it is the young who succumb to this magic.
                                        They experience the triumph of the motorcar with the full
                                        temperament of their impressionable hearts. It must be
                                        seen as a sign of the invigorating power of our people
                                        that they give themselves with such fanatic devotion to
                                        this invention, the invention which provides the basis
                                        and structure of our modern traffic."
                                        -- Adolf Hitler

                                        Further information as to the ties between U.S. auto makers and oil
                                        companies to the Nazis is well documented. (For example, Ford was given a
                                        public award by Hitler; U.S. auto makers helped build Nazi war machinery.)

                                        Jason


                                        > Excerpt at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html; with
                                        > your indulgence I'll quote a few paragraphs here.
                                        >
                                        > "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by
                                        > little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions
                                        > deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so
                                        > complicated that the government had to act on information which the
                                        > people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people
                                        > could not understand it, it could not be released because of national
                                        > security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in
                                        > him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would
                                        > otherwise have worried about it.
                                        >
                                        > "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap,
                                        > took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps
                                        > not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated
                                        > with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the
                                        > crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they
                                        > did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of
                                        > government growing remoter and remoter....
                                        >
                                        > "...Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little
                                        > worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great
                                        > shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will
                                        > join with you in resisting somehow. You donÿÿt want to act, or even
                                        > talk, alone; you donÿÿt want to ÿÿgo out of your way to make trouble.ÿÿ
                                        > Why not?ÿÿWell, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just
                                        > fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine
                                        > uncertainty.
                                        >
                                        > "Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as
                                        > time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general
                                        > community, ÿÿeveryoneÿÿ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly
                                        > sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against
                                        > the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the
                                        > great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university
                                        > community, in your own community, you speak privately to your
                                        > colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say?
                                        > They say, ÿÿItÿÿs not so badÿÿ or ÿÿYouÿÿre seeing thingsÿÿ or ÿÿYouÿÿre
                                        > an alarmist.ÿÿ"
                                        >
                                        > Joel
                                        >

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