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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Life Without Cars

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  • Mike Coy
    ... I think your message was a little harsh. I agree that Europe is more supportive of a car-free lifestyle, but even in the USA, one can live car-free safely
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 24, 2008
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      > as a summary there are very few places in america where you can live
      > car-free safely and comfortably, there are virtually no places in asia
      > but there are may places in europe where you can do so.

      I think your message was a little harsh. I agree that Europe is more
      supportive of a car-free lifestyle, but even in the USA, one can live
      car-free safely and comfortably. What we lack is the high-quality,
      low-car public spaces that can make the experience truly delightful.
      That sort of space is in short supply everywhere, but hopefully will
      be more common in the future... Isn't that the point of this list?

      I don't want anyone to think that they have to move to Europe to live
      car-free; there are many of us that do just fine in the USA without a
      car. It is still the thrifty, responsible, and low-stress choice. As
      more people make that choice, we will all be better off... and
      eventually the powers that be will wake up to the unmet demand for
      car-free areas.

      I think a discussion of the benefits of a car-free lifestyle (with or
      without a car-free built environment) is better suited for the CarFree
      list (carfree@yahoogroups.com).

      Mike Coy
      Car-free in Dayton, Ohio
    • manfredstrobl
      harsh??? how can a message be harsh? the climate can be harsh for biking. if you tell me this is harsh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUkiyBVytRQ
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 24, 2008
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        harsh???
        how can a message be harsh?
        the climate can be harsh for biking. if you tell me this is harsh:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUkiyBVytRQ
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LriR6NY_RVE

        i will disagree. it is a crime. crimes like that do not exist anywhere
        in europe. bikers do not get harrassed in europe. in fact what you can
        see on those videos (many thousand more exist) is UNTHINKABLE anywhere
        else in the world (no, maybe in north korea or in iran they do that also)

        why is there no city in the usa on the list of the top 25 cities in
        the world?
        http://www.citymayors.com/features/quality_survey.html

        france is the best country to live in by internationalliving:
        http://www.il-ireland.com/il/qofl2009/

        and in the human development index of the united nations, the usa are
        not even among the top 10 in the world:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

        why do you always talk about the usa? the usa are relatively small and
        unimportant country, accomodating only 2% of the world's population.

        living bike-free is not a topic of the usa. it is a global issue. and
        you are correct, it is also an american issue, in all of america,
        bogota, mexico city, santiago, curitiba etc.

        manfred






        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Coy" <mike.coy@...> wrote:
        >
        > > as a summary there are very few places in america where you can live
        > > car-free safely and comfortably, there are virtually no places in asia
        > > but there are may places in europe where you can do so.
        >
        > I think your message was a little harsh. I agree that Europe is more
        > supportive of a car-free lifestyle, but even in the USA, one can live
        > car-free safely and comfortably. What we lack is the high-quality,
        > low-car public spaces that can make the experience truly delightful.
        > That sort of space is in short supply everywhere, but hopefully will
        > be more common in the future... Isn't that the point of this list?
        >
        > I don't want anyone to think that they have to move to Europe to live
        > car-free; there are many of us that do just fine in the USA without a
        > car. It is still the thrifty, responsible, and low-stress choice. As
        > more people make that choice, we will all be better off... and
        > eventually the powers that be will wake up to the unmet demand for
        > car-free areas.
        >
        > I think a discussion of the benefits of a car-free lifestyle (with or
        > without a car-free built environment) is better suited for the CarFree
        > list (carfree@yahoogroups.com).
        >
        > Mike Coy
        > Car-free in Dayton, Ohio
        >
      • Ron Wolf
        I m concerned, and even offended, regarding the tone of some recent posts. Manfred, you seem really POed. Why? You say that you live in a great place for
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 28, 2008
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          I'm concerned, and even offended, regarding the tone of some recent
          posts.

          Manfred, you seem really POed. Why? You say that you live in a great
          place for biking, the best in North America. Great! I'd be proud and
          happy if I felt that I lived in a place like that. So why the 'tude?
          And then your reply to Mike is simply out of line. Mike says that he
          is car free - in Dayton no less! I'm sure that he understands (on a
          daily basis) the issues regarding coping with threatening car drivers.
          Manfred, you were and are harsh. So, why you are insulted by Mike's
          calling you out on it? Would be far more appropriate (tho probably not
          any more useful) if you directed your anger at those on the other side
          of the issue. From what he says, Mike seems to be one of the good
          guys. BTW, Manfred, you don't bother to tell us where this wonderful
          place that you live is. Maybe we're supposed to guess? Victoria?

          For myself, as much as anyone, I find the dominating and dangerous
          attitude of car drivers to be maddening, more than maddening.... So
          don't go claiming that I don't see the problem.

          And then the blog that started this is also written in a very POed
          tone. Ending with a bunch of vaguely directed cursing. Do I just not
          get it? It seems to be written as a blog praising the many fine places
          in the world that benefit - or once did - from being carless. Isn't
          that something to celebrate, to bring ourselves to in a positive
          manner? But no, here the author is only angry. Well, angry and sexist.
          I found the obsessively repetitive "pretty girls" thing to be just
          plain offensive. Joel, why bring this poor piece of writing to our
          attention?

          Look, I'm not a whimp, strong language and passion are frequently
          appropriate. And we certainly have a huge, and possibly futile, battle
          to fight in getting more of the world to want to be carfree. Passion
          is required. But doesn't it make sense to save the anger for those who
          fight against us? And it simply never makes sense to be offensively
          sexist. I think that these posts have done a dis-service to the cause.

          ____________Ron
        • Matthew Thyer
          Ron, I just caught up on some reading and went through the Manfred posts. I d suggest, not that I m defending anyone here, that there is a certain level of
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 28, 2008
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            Ron,

            I just caught up on some reading and went through the "Manfred" posts. I'd suggest, not that I'm defending anyone here, that there is a certain level of frustration that comes with living a car-free or car-light lifestyle and its possible that Manfred may be experiencing this. I've found it to be a progression of little things that add up over time that make it increasingly difficult to stay optimistic in the face of this growing monster we're all kind of stuck with.

            I'm guessing here, but Manfred's tone appears to me to be one of frustration. Where's the help from government? Why must cars stink up the air in cities? When will it stop raining in Seattle and Portland? Choosing to take your bike, walk, or ride the bus or train is a personal decision that no one will help you with. There are fewer support organization around today for people trying to make the "right" decision than there is aid for those who simply don't care. You and I and everyone else who's ever tried to live in a reduced carbon footprint know that this is the "high road" which is never easier to traverse.

            That said the high road comes with its own rewards not available to those who avoid this path. You can only realize these rewards by continuing to climb.

            Manfred,

            I've lived car-free and car-light in several of the locations you mentioned. I'll say this, any urbanized area in Japan you can get where you're going via human power. There are still plenty of ped/bike communities in lesser developed parts of Asia including Korea and Thai Land. The poorer a nation is the more likely this will be the case. Seattle and Portland may get more than their fair share of rain, but its actually pretty easy to deal with in the grand scheme of things once you understand how to make it work in the saddle. In addition there are great public transit opportunities for those days you really can't bare another ride in the wet (although cost of living is higher). Also, I tele-work to Seattle most days of the week and this mode is catching on in many workplaces (my commute is the shuffle in my slippers down the hall). Anywhere that get's cold in the winter in Northern Europe probably has track setting equipment for the feitspad that crisscross these cities. Bring your bike inside for the winter and break out your xc-skis (or just walk).

            All,

            Maybe I'm missing something here, but I believe that we're our own best resource when it comes to maintaining the self discipline necessary to continue making the right decision. Getting the rest of the world to make this decision still isn't easy. We are examples of how this lifestyle can work and there are people who watch us thinking "maybe I could do that too." -- Matt ThyerEllensburg, WA
            http://www.wonkothesane.net/blog/




            To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.comFrom: ronetele13@...: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 20:06:36 +0000Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Life Without Cars



            I'm concerned, and even offended, regarding the tone of some recentposts. Manfred, you seem really POed. Why? You say that you live in a greatplace for biking, the best in North America. Great! I'd be proud andhappy if I felt that I lived in a place like that. So why the 'tude?And then your reply to Mike is simply out of line. Mike says that heis car free - in Dayton no less! I'm sure that he understands (on adaily basis) the issues regarding coping with threatening car drivers.Manfred, you were and are harsh. So, why you are insulted by Mike'scalling you out on it? Would be far more appropriate (tho probably notany more useful) if you directed your anger at those on the other sideof the issue. From what he says, Mike seems to be one of the goodguys. BTW, Manfred, you don't bother to tell us where this wonderfulplace that you live is. Maybe we're supposed to guess? Victoria?For myself, as much as anyone, I find the dominating and dangerousattitude of car drivers to be maddening, more than maddening.... Sodon't go claiming that I don't see the problem.And then the blog that started this is also written in a very POedtone. Ending with a bunch of vaguely directed cursing. Do I just notget it? It seems to be written as a blog praising the many fine placesin the world that benefit - or once did - from being carless. Isn'tthat something to celebrate, to bring ourselves to in a positivemanner? But no, here the author is only angry. Well, angry and sexist.I found the obsessively repetitive "pretty girls" thing to be justplain offensive. Joel, why bring this poor piece of writing to ourattention?Look, I'm not a whimp, strong language and passion are frequentlyappropriate. And we certainly have a huge, and possibly futile, battleto fight in getting more of the world to want to be carfree. Passionis required. But doesn't it make sense to save the anger for those whofight against us? And it simply never makes sense to be offensivelysexist. I think that these posts have done a dis-service to the cause.____________Ron






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • manfredstrobl
            what kind of drugs are you on?
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 29, 2008
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              what kind of drugs are you on?




              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Wolf" <ronetele13@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm concerned, and even offended, regarding the tone of some recent
              > posts.
              >
              > Manfred, you seem really POed. Why? You say that you live in a great
              > place for biking, the best in North America. Great! I'd be proud and
              > happy if I felt that I lived in a place like that. So why the 'tude?
              > And then your reply to Mike is simply out of line. Mike says that he
              > is car free - in Dayton no less! I'm sure that he understands (on a
              > daily basis) the issues regarding coping with threatening car drivers.
              > Manfred, you were and are harsh. So, why you are insulted by Mike's
              > calling you out on it? Would be far more appropriate (tho probably not
              > any more useful) if you directed your anger at those on the other side
              > of the issue. From what he says, Mike seems to be one of the good
              > guys. BTW, Manfred, you don't bother to tell us where this wonderful
              > place that you live is. Maybe we're supposed to guess? Victoria?
              >
              > For myself, as much as anyone, I find the dominating and dangerous
              > attitude of car drivers to be maddening, more than maddening.... So
              > don't go claiming that I don't see the problem.
              >
              > And then the blog that started this is also written in a very POed
              > tone. Ending with a bunch of vaguely directed cursing. Do I just not
              > get it? It seems to be written as a blog praising the many fine places
              > in the world that benefit - or once did - from being carless. Isn't
              > that something to celebrate, to bring ourselves to in a positive
              > manner? But no, here the author is only angry. Well, angry and sexist.
              > I found the obsessively repetitive "pretty girls" thing to be just
              > plain offensive. Joel, why bring this poor piece of writing to our
              > attention?
              >
              > Look, I'm not a whimp, strong language and passion are frequently
              > appropriate. And we certainly have a huge, and possibly futile, battle
              > to fight in getting more of the world to want to be carfree. Passion
              > is required. But doesn't it make sense to save the anger for those who
              > fight against us? And it simply never makes sense to be offensively
              > sexist. I think that these posts have done a dis-service to the cause.
              >
              > ____________Ron
              >
            • Simon Baddeley
              It took a decade for me to get to the point where I felt able to divorce my car having driven cars since I was 17 in 1959.
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 30, 2008
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                It took a decade for me to get to the point where I felt able to divorce my
                car having driven cars since I was 17 in 1959.

                http://democracystreet.blogspot.com/search?q=amicable+divorce+carfree

                It should have been easier for an academic with all the facilities for
                hot-desking on campus and teleworking from home. I think I had to get the
                car out of my head before I could get it out of my hands. Birmingham UK is
                reasonably well covered by public transport and has a big network of canal
                towpaths. The other big condition is that while I am carfree and glad of it
                - our household is not. My wife still has a car which I borrow ­ rarely ­ to
                carry heavy stuff. I also use it with her driving if we go out to visit.
                Linda does the main shopping. The kind of changes needed to get my family to
                copy me and that Joel has been writing about require transformation of
                settlement patterns, reform of rapid transit and urban re-design - on an
                immense scale. Those things will take much longer and require far greater
                commitment than I needed just to divorce my car. I think that ­ barring some
                crisis like 9/11 which had many NYs getting on bicycles for a while ­ change
                has to come psychologically and through the slow grasp of the way a carfree
                city might be. Asking people to take on the panoply of great theories about
                the character of cities including Joel¹s work that look to reduce or
                eliminate autodependency is a tall order. It raises the question of whether
                you get a kid a bicycle for Christmas (or Eid or Diwali or ...) or that
                great book by Jane Jacobs. Gosh I wish there was a children¹s version of
                that with chapters on cycle maintenance and DVDs of city cycling and walking
                ­ then you could give them the multimedia-book and the bike.

                Happy New Year 2009.

                Simon
                http://democracystreet.blogspot.com
                http://www.inlogov.bham.ac.uk/staff/baddeleys.htm

                On 29/12/08 07:33, "Matthew Thyer" <matt_thyer@...> wrote:

                > Ron,
                >
                > I just caught up on some reading and went through the "Manfred" posts. I'd
                > suggest, not that I'm defending anyone here, that there is a certain level of
                > frustration that comes with living a car-free or car-light lifestyle and its
                > possible that Manfred may be experiencing this. I've found it to be a
                > progression of little things that add up over time that make it increasingly
                > difficult to stay optimistic in the face of this growing monster we're all
                > kind of stuck with.
                >
                > I'm guessing here, but Manfred's tone appears to me to be one of frustration.
                > Where's the help from government? Why must cars stink up the air in cities?
                > When will it stop raining in Seattle and Portland? Choosing to take your
                > bike, walk, or ride the bus or train is a personal decision that no one will
                > help you with. There are fewer support organization around today for people
                > trying to make the "right" decision than there is aid for those who simply
                > don't care. You and I and everyone else who's ever tried to live in a reduced
                > carbon footprint know that this is the "high road" which is never easier to
                > traverse.
                >
                > That said the high road comes with its own rewards not available to those who
                > avoid this path. You can only realize these rewards by continuing to climb.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Richard Risemberg
                ... Good points about civic layout, but we can t really wait for the powers-that-be to change the world for us. We have to change our way of living first, and
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 30, 2008
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                  On Dec 30, 2008, at 3:01 AM, Simon Baddeley wrote:

                  > The other big condition is that while I am carfree and glad of it
                  > - our household is not. My wife still has a car which I borrow
                  > rarely to
                  > carry heavy stuff. I also use it with her driving if we go out to
                  > visit.
                  > Linda does the main shopping.


                  Good points about civic layout, but we can't really wait for the
                  powers-that-be to change the world for us. We have to change our way
                  of living first, and create a demand that they will eventually fill.
                  Government is generally reponsive (if you're lucky) rather than
                  proactive--and then, of course, you have to fight against the big
                  noise of corporate lobbying that usually overwhelms the voice of
                  popular desire.

                  I did all the shopping for a family of three for years on a standard
                  bike. New and relatively cheap bicycle tehcnologies--particularly
                  longtails--are becoming available that are specifically designed to
                  replace cars for families. I am myself considering buying a German-
                  made Yuba Mundo (well below US$1K) for hauling my business inventory
                  around, which i now do rather inconveniently by bus or standard bike,
                  or on foot. This bike can carry up to 400 pounds/180kg. I mention it
                  because it's the cheapest readymade solution (originally designed to
                  provide cheap goods transport to poor African communities). All
                  these longtails were inspired by the Xtracycle attachment which
                  converts a standard bike to a cargo carrier.

                  These have been taking off in Los Angeles, of all places--Ground Zero
                  of Carmageddon--and the burgeoning use of bikes here has made bicycle
                  accommodation a normal part of civic planning discourse. This
                  "softens the target" for eventual carfree districts. We are making
                  our own history here, in effect. Guerilla signs pop up denoting bike
                  crossings at difficult intersections; they are eventually taken down,
                  but then discussion has actively begun on converting certain streets
                  to "bike boulevards," in which car travel is severely restricted
                  while bicycles have through travel rights.

                  At the corner of Heliotrope and Melrose, sings indicate a "bicycle
                  district." They are on commercial rather than public property--
                  several bicycle-oriented businesses are there, including the Bicycle
                  Kitchen--and so they remain. And now, there are suddenly 16 bike
                  parking racks in a 30 meter stretch--installed by the city!

                  Small things, but most beginnings are.

                  Yuba cargo bikes: http://www.yubaride.com/index.html
                  Xtracycle: http://www.xtracycle.com/

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







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