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Re: What about the weather? again..

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  • Don
    ... Well, I want to reiterate my initial question, with clarification, I guess. I understand that bicycling *is* possible in harsh weather, and that there are
    Message 1 of 30 , Feb 6, 2008
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      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg
      <rickrise@...> wrote:
      >
      > Ain't nothin' better than merino wool for hot or cold weather. And
      > ti's made of grass! (With the mediation of sheep, of course.)
      >
      > I've used the wool gabardine bicycling knickers I designed for
      > weather up to 100F, and my customers have worn them bicycling down to
      > 22F (lower with liners). Same garment. No synthetic, nor any
      > cotton, can match that. Lets you wear fewer clothes in any weather,
      > for any type of exertion, and as Erik pointed out it takes it forever
      > to get smelly. No itch either.
      >
      > And wool keeps you warm when it gets wet, unlike any other fabric.
      >
      > It's almost a necessity in a human-powered transit mode. And back
      > when everyone walked everywhere, it was the universal fabric--though
      > cotton was available and cheaper.
      >
      > Rick
      >
      > On Feb 2, 2008, at 3:56 PM, Erik Sandblom wrote:
      >
      > > Merino wool is a good base layer because it doesn't absorb water and
      > > sweat as much as cotton, and when wet or sweaty it doesn't lose its
      > > insulation as much as cotton does. It also gets less smelly compared
      > > to synthetic base layers, while being almost as soft and comfortable
      > > as dry cotton
      >
      > --
      > Richard Risemberg
      > http://www.bicyclefixation.com
      > http://www.newcolonist.com
      > http://www.rickrise.com
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >

      Well, I want to reiterate my initial question, with clarification, I
      guess. I understand that bicycling *is* possible in harsh weather,
      and that there are all kinds of clothing and equipment options, but my
      question/prompt is not about the people who do or will ride a bike.
      While there definitely can be more people riding than currently do,
      there is a percentage of the population who *can't* ride, or won't,
      for one reason or another. This is the part of the population I am
      thinking about.

      Understand that this is not intended as an argument against biking or
      walking; instead it is a request for comment and discussion about what
      can be designed to fully accommodate as many people as possible in all
      types of weather in some reasonable way. i.e. Filling in the gaps so
      we can provide support for the largest possible percentage of the
      population in a carfree environment, thereby making the idea more
      appealing to more people.

      Ideas already in the mix
      - bike paths, racks, change areas, showers, etc.
      - walking paths, parks, with short walks to transit
      - transit lines that are efficient and accommodating and safe

      Weather/temperature/nighttime ?
      - covered walk ways?
      - over/underground pathways; subway without the train?
      - other people moving systems?

      What do you know, what do you think?

      Don
    • Tuomo Valkonen
      ... Skis. I would love to move relatively short (and not too hilly... but there s already a well-tested solution to that) distances by skis in the winter[*].
      Message 2 of 30 , Feb 7, 2008
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        On 2008-02-07, Don <fsstudio@...> wrote:
        > Weather/temperature/nighttime ?
        > - covered walk ways?
        > - over/underground pathways; subway without the train?
        > - other people moving systems?

        Skis.

        I would love to move relatively short (and not too hilly... but
        there's already a well-tested solution to that) distances by skis
        in the winter[*]. Skiing is faster than walking, but not as chilly
        as bicycling, demanding more warming motion (unfortunately meaning
        it's also more sweaty business). Another nice thing about skis is
        that it's easy to carry them in (the hypothetical) public transport,
        unlike bicycles. They also don't demand so much "parking" space,
        if any.

        But presently skiing has been reduced from an utility sport into mere
        entertainment and fitness even more so than bicycling: you can't well
        ski anywhere in cities (around here anyway), because all the paths are
        gritted, and intersect the dry asphalt where the metal cages live.

        Given a wide bicycle bouleward as in the Reference Design, I think
        even half (one lane) of it should be reserved for skiing in the
        winter (skating style space in the middle, plus classic tracks to
        each direction on both sides of it), assuming there's going to be
        any winters anymore. On other streets there could also be at least
        a single classic skiing track, but skating style demands too much
        space in most places.

        ---

        [*] I define winter as "when there's snow". These past two years
        there hasn't been much of a winter. Even now it's about +1C and
        something wet is falling from the skies, wheras typically the
        temperatures at this time of the year can reach -30C or so. One
        really annoying effect of snowless non-winter is that the metal
        cages still have studded tyres under them, and without snow and
        ice for the studs to bite into, and snow to act as a dampener,
        the noise levels are simply infernal.

        At those -30C tempatures, and over relatively short distances (of
        less than 5km or so), I've actually found the major challenges to
        bicycling to be not the so much the cold as such, but a) failing
        equipment, such a crankarms cracking, b) having to leave the bicycle
        outside for the day, so that the gears, breaks, and the chain
        freeze over, c) trying to avoid losing the breath, because
        breathing gets difficult in the cold air.

        In fact, the worst time for bicycling is when the snow starts
        melting, which hasn't recently been restricted to the spring.
        Then you're practically swimming in the slush, because road
        maintenance takes precedence if there's any multi-use path
        maintenance at all -- no proper bicycle paths here -- and the
        slush from the road just gets pushed on these paths. Also
        during the winter the snow from the road is piled on the
        sides of the multi-use path, making it even narrower, and
        adding to the slush.

        --
        Tuomo
      • Doug Salzmann
        Folks, we need to get back to the real world, here. In the real world, some 30% to 40% of the population (depending upon what studies you accept) is at least
        Message 3 of 30 , Feb 7, 2008
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          Folks, we need to get back to the real world, here.

          In the real world, some 30% to 40% of the population (depending upon
          what studies you accept) is at least partially disabled
          (mobility-impaired) for some period of time during an average year.

          As the saying goes, it happens; and it doesn't take much.

          How far will you ski with a raging headache? Cycle with a sprained
          ankle, or on a creaky day when you're 83 years old? Roller skate in a
          buffalo herd?

          The answer is, "Not very far," and should probably taken as about the
          same as the "design distance" between home or work and the nearest
          transit halt.

          Cycling, skiing, small-wheeled transport -- all are fine for those who
          desire to, and are able to, use them (provided they don't threaten or
          intrude upon pedestrian movement), but they cannot be relied upon by an
          entire population.

          The answers to the carfree mobility problem are in the design of the
          built environment and the design and operation of the transit system.
          Both are covered rather comprehensively in Joel's book.


          -Doug


          Tuomo Valkonen wrote:
          >
          >
          > On 2008-02-07, Don <fsstudio@...
          > <mailto:fsstudio%40suscom-maine.net>> wrote:
          > > Weather/temperature/nighttime ?
          > > - covered walk ways?
          > > - over/underground pathways; subway without the train?
          > > - other people moving systems?
          >
          > Skis.
          >
          > I would love to move relatively short (and not too hilly... but
          > there's already a well-tested solution to that) distances by skis
          > in the winter[*]. Skiing is faster than walking, but not as chilly
          > as bicycling, demanding more warming motion (unfortunately meaning
          > it's also more sweaty business). Another nice thing about skis is
          > that it's easy to carry them in (the hypothetical) public transport,
          > unlike bicycles. They also don't demand so much "parking" space,
          > if any.



          --
          ==========================
          Doug Salzmann
          Post Office Box 378
          Tiburon, California 94920
          USA

          <doug@...>
        • Richard Risemberg
          ... Agreed. However, I think the original poster was referring to a human-powered city, which would indicate no mass transit either. Not practical, except for
          Message 4 of 30 , Feb 7, 2008
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            On Feb 7, 2008, at 9:28 AM, Doug Salzmann wrote:

            > The answers to the carfree mobility problem are in the design of the
            > built environment and the design and operation of the transit system.
            > Both are covered rather comprehensively in Joel's book.


            Agreed. However, I think the original poster was referring to a
            human-powered city, which would indicate no mass transit either. Not
            practical, except for fairly small villages.

            Also (and this is something I have gone over on the Urban Ecology
            list at length), we have to consider that survival and cultural
            continuation require that we live in harmony with the weather. This
            means traveling less in winter, not requiring accommodation so that
            we can travel when we are sick or injured, not having cheap tomatoes
            in January in the northern hemisphere, etc. Maybe not living in some
            places that just require to much energy comfortably to accommodate
            humans.

            On the other hand, a largely human-powered city, which means in real
            life mostly walking and bicycling, has been shown statistically to
            reduce disability throughout life. In Japan and northern Europe,
            people bicycle quite unheroically through the winter at advanced
            ages, as well as very young ages.

            And even now, even in the US, cyclists live longer and are disabled
            less frequently than the general population, despite the perception
            of inconvenience and danger. If I recall the Fed's stats on
            accidents correctly, the death rate per million miles traveled is
            very slightly less for cyclists than for motorists.

            In Copenhagen, where well over 30% of all utility trips are done on
            bicycles, and no one wears helmets, there were only six deaths from
            cycling accidents in 2006. Copenhageners cycle over 1,000,000 kms
            daily on average. This despite snow, rain, cold, and cars. Only 17%
            of Copenhageners cycle for "exercise or recreation"; the rest is
            utility riding.

            Here's a link to the (PDF) report from Copenhagen's city government:
            http://www.sfbike.org/download/copenhagen/bicycle_account_2006.pdf

            There is a tram system there; does anyone on this list know whether
            they have a metro?

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







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Erik Sandblom
            ... on ... from ... 17% ... whether ... They have a lovely new driverless metro, and you can even take bikes on it! Full size, non-folding, perfectly normal
            Message 5 of 30 , Feb 7, 2008
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              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg
              <rickrise@...> wrote:
              >
              > In Copenhagen, where well over 30% of all utility trips are done
              on
              > bicycles, and no one wears helmets, there were only six deaths
              from
              > cycling accidents in 2006. Copenhageners cycle over 1,000,000 kms
              > daily on average. This despite snow, rain, cold, and cars. Only
              17%
              > of Copenhageners cycle for "exercise or recreation"; the rest is
              > utility riding.
              >
              > Here's a link to the (PDF) report from Copenhagen's city government:
              > http://www.sfbike.org/download/copenhagen/bicycle_account_2006.pdf
              >
              > There is a tram system there; does anyone on this list know
              whether
              > they have a metro?


              They have a lovely new driverless metro, and you can even take bikes
              on it! Full size, non-folding, perfectly normal bikes: Pictures:

              http://eriksandblom.blogspot.com/2007/12/kbenhavn-2.html
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_Metro

              Erik Sandblom
            • Erik Sandblom
              ... upon ... This is news to me. Where can I read more about it? Not having read the studies you refer to, I suspect this thinking is part of a mentality which
              Message 6 of 30 , Feb 7, 2008
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                --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Doug Salzmann <doug@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Folks, we need to get back to the real world, here.
                >
                > In the real world, some 30% to 40% of the population (depending
                upon
                > what studies you accept) is at least partially disabled
                > (mobility-impaired) for some period of time during an average year.



                This is news to me. Where can I read more about it?

                Not having read the studies you refer to, I suspect this thinking is
                part of a mentality which says that self-locomotion like walking,
                cycling or skiing is terribly strenuous and tiring. I find I can do
                15-30 minutes of gentle walking or cycling per day, even if I have a
                fever. It makes me more tired than when I'm not sick, but what
                doesn't? If I can't even do that, I don't have the energy to leave
                the apartment anyway.

                Cycling along a bike path with little or no car traffic is hardly
                more strenuous than riding a crowded, noisy subway train and having
                to stand and hold on.

                Another suspicion I have is that people might not connect/listen to
                their bodies to determine how much effort they can afford while sick.
                I can see lying down for five minutes at work if you cycled there
                with a fever. That's a good way to check that you don't overextend
                yourself. If you fall asleep deeply, you probably needed to sleep :-)

                Skiing to work is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In Ottawa, Canada,
                the canal freezes and people can skate to work.
                http://www.ottawakiosk.com/skating.html
                http://www.google.com/search?q=ottawa+skate+to+work


                > Cycling, skiing, small-wheeled transport -- all are fine for those
                who
                > desire to, and are able to, use them (provided they don't threaten
                or
                > intrude upon pedestrian movement), but they cannot be relied upon
                by an
                > entire population.
                >
                > The answers to the carfree mobility problem are in the design of
                the
                > built environment and the design and operation of the transit
                system.
                > Both are covered rather comprehensively in Joel's book.


                As I recall, the book doesn't mention people who are sick. Or does it
                mention electric wheelchairs? It does mention the 760m diametre of
                each district and that going anywhere will require 5-10 minutes of
                walking plus up to 25 minutes of riding the subway. I believe this is
                comparable to 10-20 minutes of walking, cycling or skiing. 20 minutes
                of sedate cycling will get you about five km or three miles. 40% of
                urban travel in the USA is shorter than two miles.
                http://www.2milechallenge.com/home.html

                So I believe cycling, walking and skiing has potential even when you
                are sick with a fever.

                Erik Sandblom
              • Don
                ... . I want to clarify that I didn t intend for this discussion to apply only to places without mass transit. Not at all. That is just one of the many
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 9, 2008
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                  >
                  > Agreed. However, I think the original poster was referring to a
                  > human-powered city, which would indicate no mass transit either. Not
                  > practical, except for fairly small villages.
                  .
                  I want to clarify that I didn't intend for this discussion to apply
                  only to places without mass transit. Not at all. That is just one of
                  the many destinations that must be reachable by walking/biking.


                  > Cycling, skiing, small-wheeled transport -- all are fine for those
                  > who desire to, and are able to, use them (provided they don't
                  > threaten or intrude upon pedestrian movement), but they cannot be
                  > relied upon by an entire population.

                  This is right to my point and the crux of my question. All that
                  everyone here has said about the ability to bike in weather, the
                  benefits to general health, the percentage of this or that in whatever
                  city, are all very true and very important. But Doug gets the
                  question. What about everyone else, no matter what percentage they
                  are? Everyone lives here (wherever we are), and, again, I wonder
                  about what accommodations have been considered for times when, by
                  choice or necessity, walking/biking is not the mode of choice.. I am
                  really fishing for alternatives for inescapable hinderances like
                  weather or disability or age. I wanted to pose the question and throw
                  my ideas out there to invite others' creative thoughts and
                  discoveries, not just rationale for ped/bike use, which needs no
                  justification.

                  > Here's a link to the (PDF) report from Copenhagen's city government:
                  > http://www.sfbike.org/download/copenhagen/bicycle_account_2006.pdf
                  .
                  .
                  > They have a lovely new driverless metro, and you can even take bikes
                  > on it! Full size, non-folding, perfectly normal bikes: Pictures:
                  >
                  > http://eriksandblom.blogspot.com/2007/12/kbenhavn-2.html
                  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_Metro

                  Thanks for the links. The Copenhagen bike pdf is very interesting.
                  Great metro idea! (Copenhagen seems to really have its sh*t together
                  on this!) Light rail is a key element in the granularity of
                  transportation infrastructure. I have seen other references to 'people
                  movers', an even more fine grained mass transit solution, but possibly
                  too expensive in many cases.

                  Another weather interdiction strategy I saw recently, right out of
                  antiquity (duh), was to include arcades along pedestrian ways.

                  Don
                • Richard Risemberg
                  ... That s what community and family are for, and social and government structures that value help given to the incapacitated--and values it not only in
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 10, 2008
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                    On Feb 9, 2008, at 8:27 PM, Don wrote:

                    > But Doug gets the
                    > question. What about everyone else, no matter what percentage they
                    > are? Everyone lives here (wherever we are), and, again, I wonder
                    > about what accommodations have been considered for times when, by
                    > choice or necessity, walking/biking is not the mode of choice


                    That's what community and family are for, and social and government
                    structures that value help given to the incapacitated--and values it
                    not only in speeches but in hard cash, say, in payments to family
                    members who are helping an aged relative or disabled child, or to
                    caregivers who can push a wheelchair (perhaps a wheelchair that
                    doubles as a bicycle trailer), without the air of disparagement
                    towards such helpers, whether voluntary or paid, that the present
                    competitive society imposes.

                    Anyway, it's way easier to get a wheelchair onto any metro train here
                    in LA than it is to get it into a car. In fact, it's easier to get it
                    onto a bus equipped with the (required) lift than to jockey it into a
                    car, and then get your disabled self in to drive it.

                    And as a motorcyclist throughout my twenties, I've done crutch time too.

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







                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • kyle3054
                    ... I was recently told by a person that public transport will never be widely accepted because it can never be door-to-door. I said, it can never be
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 16, 2008
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                      "Erik Sandblom" <eriksandblom@...> wrote:

                      > Not having read the studies you refer to, I suspect this thinking is
                      > part of a mentality which says that self-locomotion like walking,
                      > cycling or skiing is terribly strenuous and tiring.

                      I was recently told by a person that public transport will never be
                      widely accepted because "it can never be door-to-door." I said, "it
                      can never be door-to-door, but in most of a city it should be able to
                      get you within 1km of where you want to go, 15 minutes' walk is not
                      going to cause you great suffering."

                      Cheers,
                      Kyle
                      http://greenwithagun.blogspot.com/
                    • Christopher Miller
                      When you really think about door to door transport, it really turns out to be something of a canard. Sure, we endlessly hear from those who fervently believe
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 16, 2008
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                        When you really think about "door to door" transport, it really turns
                        out to be something of a canard.

                        Sure, we endlessly hear from those who fervently believe in the
                        advantages of private automobiles that they are so much more
                        "convenient" and get you from door to door etc. Fact is, in most
                        cases, the only door you are more or less assured of getting to
                        directly with a car is either your suburban detached home or your in-
                        town duplex or triplex. If you live iin an apartment building you
                        have to travel between your door and either the parking garage or
                        where it is sitting out there in the parking lot or somewhere most
                        likely down the street. And when it comes to directions, whether you
                        are shopping at a mall, going to work or visiting someone, most of
                        the time you have to park it way away from the "door" in question and
                        walk for a minute or two between the car and said entrance, or if you
                        are in town, you have to park somewhere down the road, away on
                        another nearby street, or in a parking lot some way away and -- again
                        -- walk the distance to the door at the end of your itinerary. Which
                        is more enjoyable/taxing, I wonder, a three or four minute walk
                        between the bus/tram/metro stop and your house/shopping/work/school,
                        or a probably equivalent walk between your car and a similar
                        destination?

                        To look briefly at the flip side of the coin, public transit does not
                        necessarily entail long walks to or from the stop: in many cases, you
                        do end up pretty close to your destination door the way most bus
                        stops are spaced (at least in more built up areas). And of course, by
                        bicycle or other human powered transport modes, you have a way better
                        chance of starting from the origin door and ending up pretty close to
                        the destination door, and in where you can combine this with public
                        transit, the advantage gets even better for longer distances.

                        There certainly is a "by the door" advantage for drivers living in
                        relatively low density housing, but I would venture to say that the
                        "by the door" advantage is probably with public transit users once in
                        town...



                        Anyone seeing weaknesses in my viewpoint is of course welcome to
                        challenge them, but I think this contrary viewpoint is worth
                        following up: has anyone actually done studies of relative "door to
                        door" convenience of different transportation modes, taking into
                        account the nature of the home base and the destination?


                        On 16-Feb-08, at 6:29 AM, kyle3054 wrote:

                        > "Erik Sandblom" <eriksandblom@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Not having read the studies you refer to, I suspect this thinking is
                        > > part of a mentality which says that self-locomotion like walking,
                        > > cycling or skiing is terribly strenuous and tiring.
                        >
                        > I was recently told by a person that public transport will never be
                        > widely accepted because "it can never be door-to-door." I said, "it
                        > can never be door-to-door, but in most of a city it should be able to
                        > get you within 1km of where you want to go, 15 minutes' walk is not
                        > going to cause you great suffering."
                        >
                        > Cheers,
                        > Kyle
                        > http://greenwithagun.blogspot.com/
                        >


                        Christopher Miller
                        Montreal QC Canada



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • manfrommars_43
                        ... Except when you are transporting things such as groceries, furniture, clothing and so on. The car is not just a people transport, it s a truck for bringing
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 16, 2008
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                          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "kyle3054" <KyleSchuant@...> wrote:

                          > as recently told by a person that public transport will never be
                          > widely accepted because "it can never be door-to-door." I said, "it
                          > can never be door-to-door, but in most of a city it should be able to
                          > get you within 1km of where you want to go, 15 minutes' walk is not
                          > going to cause you great suffering."

                          Except when you are transporting things such as groceries, furniture,
                          clothing and so on.

                          The car is not just a people transport, it's a truck for bringing in
                          the goods to the home.

                          That's one of the big omissions in thinking in carfree design, they
                          are not accounting for the vast economic efficiencies of letting
                          individuals make the last mile transport of goods to the home. This
                          has lead to very efficient constructs such as the warehouse store.
                        • J.H. Crawford
                          ... A week spent in Manhattan would reveal that most people don t use cars to transport groceries and clothing. (Most people don t even have cars.) Small carts
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 16, 2008
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                            A recent posting says, regarding public transport convenience:

                            >Except when you are transporting things such as groceries, furniture,
                            >clothing and so on.

                            A week spent in Manhattan would reveal that most people
                            don't use cars to transport groceries and clothing. (Most
                            people don't even have cars.) Small carts are used for heavy
                            loads of groceries, and furniture is delivered.

                            >The car is not just a people transport, it's a truck for bringing in
                            >the goods to the home.

                            It's one way to do it, yes.

                            >That's one of the big omissions in thinking in carfree design, they
                            >are not accounting for the vast economic efficiencies of letting
                            >individuals make the last mile transport of goods to the home. This
                            >has lead to very efficient constructs such as the warehouse store.

                            Actually, the big box stores are very INefficient, because they
                            require people to drive vast distances to use them. (They cannot
                            survive without huge catchment areas.) So, they offer very low
                            prices, but at the cost of externalizing huge transport costs
                            to the larger society. WalMart's "greening" is just window dressing.
                            The only way to green WalMart is to close it.

                            Best,

                            Joel




                            ----- ### -----
                            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                          • Richard Risemberg
                            ... Last year we got a large armoire from my wife s sister. Between my wife, her sister, and the sister s boyfriend, they own I think 5 cars, two of which are
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 16, 2008
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                              On Feb 16, 2008, at 2:00 PM, manfrommars_43 wrote:

                              > Except when you are transporting things such as groceries, furniture,
                              > clothing and so on.
                              >
                              > The car is not just a people transport, it's a truck for bringing in
                              > the goods to the home.
                              >
                              > That's one of the big omissions in thinking in carfree design, they
                              > are not accounting for the vast economic efficiencies of letting
                              > individuals make the last mile transport of goods to the home. This
                              > has lead to very efficient constructs such as the warehouse store.


                              Last year we got a large armoire from my wife's sister. Between my
                              wife, her sister, and the sister's boyfriend, they own I think 5
                              cars, two of which are SUVs. None of them could carry the armoire,
                              so we rented a van.

                              I shopped for groceries for a family of three for years on a standard
                              bicycles with dedicated grocery carryalls attached to the rack. An
                              Xtracycle (cheap attachments to stretch a standard mountain bike)can
                              carry six bags of groceries. A Dutch bakfiets ("box bike") can carry
                              three kids and two adults, or a few bags of cement; a longjohn cargo
                              bike can carry a washing machine.

                              Bikes at Work in Iowa runs a year-round haulage service using their
                              own design of bicycle cargo trailers to carry loads approaching 1,000
                              pounds.

                              Okay, you can't ride a bicycle at all--your religion prohibits it.
                              Okay,ka s Joel has pointed out in his book, you have cheap electric
                              pallet jack rentals at Metro stops for precisely that purpose. Bring
                              'em back the next day, or pass the rental on to someone else, using
                              the management systems developed for the Paris VeloLib bike rental
                              system.

                              Quit making excuses to drive. And don't forget that Metro-to-home
                              carry distances will be far shorter in a Crawfordian carfree city
                              than in a autocentric city where the need for wide roads and lots of
                              parking forces everything to be spread out.

                              Quote from an English fellow living in the Dutch town of Assen: "We
                              recently employed an electrician to work on our house. Much to my
                              surprise, he turned up on a bike. When he needed assistance, a second
                              electrician turned up - also on his bike."

                              Read the whole article here:
                              http://www.citycycling.co.uk/issue31/issue31page33.html

                              We can't let ourselves be trapped by old assumptions.

                              Rick
                              --
                              Richard Risemberg
                              http://www.bicyclefixation.com
                              http://www.newcolonist.com
                              http://www.rickrise.com
                            • Erik Sandblom
                              ... Not just to society, but to their very own customers as well. If your only real reason to own a car is to go to warehouses, than that s a very expensive
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 17, 2008
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                                --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                                wrote:
                                > >
                                > >That's one of the big omissions in thinking in carfree design, they
                                > >are not accounting for the vast economic efficiencies of letting
                                > >individuals make the last mile transport of goods to the home. This
                                > >has lead to very efficient constructs such as the warehouse store.
                                >
                                > Actually, the big box stores are very INefficient, because they
                                > require people to drive vast distances to use them. (They cannot
                                > survive without huge catchment areas.) So, they offer very low
                                > prices, but at the cost of externalizing huge transport costs
                                > to the larger society.


                                Not just to society, but to their very own customers as well. If your
                                only real reason to own a car is to go to warehouses, than that's a
                                very expensive way to go to warehouses. And as others have pointed
                                out, cars are too small and delicate to take things like furniture
                                anyway, which is why warehouses offer delivery.

                                Erik Sandblom
                              • Don
                                ... wrote:. ... Firstly I want to say I had no idea when I started this thread that such a fantastic discussion would follow. Glad I
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 17, 2008
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                                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Erik Sandblom"
                                  <eriksandblom@...> wrote:.
                                  > >
                                  > > Actually, the big box stores are very INefficient, because they
                                  > > require people to drive vast distances to use them. (They cannot
                                  > > survive without huge catchment areas.) So, they offer very low
                                  > > prices, but at the cost of externalizing huge transport costs
                                  > > to the larger society.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Not just to society, but to their very own customers as well. If your
                                  > only real reason to own a car is to go to warehouses, than that's a
                                  > very expensive way to go to warehouses. And as others have pointed
                                  > out, cars are too small and delicate to take things like furniture
                                  > anyway, which is why warehouses offer delivery.
                                  >
                                  > Erik Sandblom
                                  >
                                  Firstly I want to say I had no idea when I started this thread that
                                  such a fantastic discussion would follow. Glad I brought it up!

                                  I've come to this site as a result of doing a research paper on
                                  sustainability as part of my architectural studies (Univesity of Maine
                                  at Augusta, pass it on..). J.H. Crawford's book was a great resource,
                                  and I have thought about much of it quite often recently, with this
                                  site spurring me on.

                                  Of the many obvious but invisible things JC pointed out was this very
                                  fact that we as individuals are providing a dispersed distribution
                                  network for the big box warehouses. That these stores are warehouses
                                  is the revelation. Duh. And that it is necessary to walk across acres
                                  of pavement after burning gas at $3/gal is just as telling. If only
                                  the mindset of the masses could be tweaked to see the obvious (as I was).

                                  As a student of architecture, still able to deal with the essence of
                                  design before having to deal with the complexities of real practice, I
                                  am able to see that it is the importance and loss of human scale that
                                  is one of the worst aspects of this. My research paper focused on the
                                  aspects of carfree v carfull neighborhoods on the
                                  individual/family/neighborhood psychologically and culturally. It is
                                  human contact at human scale, without intervening miles of pavement
                                  (that doesn't seem that big from within a car at 70mph) that is lost
                                  to us and our families and friends (or future friends we may never meet).
                                • manfrommars_43
                                  ... Yes, but look at how much energy it takes to bring goods in and out of Manhattan. You can postulate that, oh yes, see how dense population is and how
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 17, 2008
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                                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                                    wrote:

                                    > A week spent in Manhattan would reveal that most people
                                    > don't use cars to transport groceries and clothing.

                                    Yes, but look at how much energy it takes to bring goods in and out of
                                    Manhattan. You can postulate that, oh yes, see how dense population
                                    is and how people can walk down to the corner grocery and get their
                                    tomatoes and they all walk everywhere...but what did it take to get
                                    those tomatoes through the bridges and tunnels and streets so that a
                                    few apartment dwellers can walk to get that tomato.

                                    My point (which, yes, I know I have made before) is that I worry that
                                    these plans merely shift or reallocate one efficiency for another.

                                    The other thing that really worries me is that inefficient systems,
                                    however distasteful, also provide a measure of freedom, redundancy and
                                    remove dependence on single points of failure. For example, when the
                                    bus union goes on strike, do people then starve? Does the corner
                                    grocery, seeing that people can only walk there, mark up prices sky
                                    high, because he knows he has a captive audience?

                                    Another thing: cars are not just transportation...they are powerful
                                    tools. We talk about Americans having guns so they can never be
                                    subverted by the government, but a car is a two ton machine that each
                                    and every family can have that can transport goods, people. The car
                                    can shape the land by letting people choose where they want to go.

                                    The proclivity of planners to create a Habitrail environment, assuming
                                    that humans will want to take the same path now and forever, shopping
                                    at the same store...well...something's missing.
                                  • Richard Risemberg
                                    ... it s been computed, my lad, and it s far FAR more efficient to have a even trucks bring large quantities of tomatoes into a neighborhood for people to pick
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Feb 17, 2008
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                                      On Feb 17, 2008, at 2:52 PM, manfrommars_43 wrote:

                                      > Yes, but look at how much energy it takes to bring goods in and out of
                                      > Manhattan. You can postulate that, oh yes, see how dense population
                                      > is and how people can walk down to the corner grocery and get their
                                      > tomatoes and they all walk everywhere...but what did it take to get
                                      > those tomatoes through the bridges and tunnels and streets so that a
                                      > few apartment dwellers can walk to get that tomato.


                                      it's been computed, my lad, and it's far FAR more efficient to have a
                                      even trucks bring large quantities of tomatoes into a neighborhood
                                      for people to pick up on foot, than for those same trucks to stop a
                                      little short, at some land-grabbing bigbox, and require people to
                                      make hundreds or car trips to pick up said tomatoes.

                                      As far as the car as a tool, yes, it's become a tool for isolation,
                                      for mindless self-aggrandizement, for destruction of both culture and
                                      the earth itself. Cars are inimical to community, and lead to an
                                      atomized population that never knows its neighbors or where it stands
                                      on the earth.

                                      As for your "habitrail" bullshit, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and
                                      many other delightful cities with a real culture and a light
                                      footprint on the earth are built around transit and walking,
                                      accommodating very few cars per capita. They are the places everyone
                                      loves to visit and would live in if they could. Paris has TWICE the
                                      population density of New York and was not a robotic hell last time I
                                      visited.

                                      Get real.

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







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