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Re: Life Without Cars

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  • manfredstrobl
    what kind of drugs are you on?
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 29, 2008
      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 2 of 9 , Dec 30, 2008
        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.



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      • 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 3 of 9 , Dec 30, 2008
          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







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