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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: What about the weather? again..

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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



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                • 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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