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Re: What about the weather? again..

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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