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Re: What about the weather? again..

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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