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NYT's Friedman: "take the Subway"

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  • Richard Risemberg
    The link goes to my comment on his article, which is not too bad really: http://tinyurl.com/7uork6g Rick -- Richard Risemberg http://www.bicyclefixation.com
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 4 8:52 AM
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      The link goes to my comment on his article, which is not too bad really:

      http://tinyurl.com/7uork6g

      Rick

      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.bicyclefixation.com
      http://www.SustainableCityNews.com
      http://www.rickrise.com








      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jym Dyer
      ... http://tinyurl.com/7uork6g =v= But ... but ... Newt Gingrich says subway-riders are all highrise-dwelling eeleetists. =v= This is an odd article, with Hal
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 4 10:32 AM
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        > The link goes to my comment on his article, which is not
        > too bad really:
        http://tinyurl.com/7uork6g

        =v= But ... but ... Newt Gingrich says subway-riders are all
        highrise-dwelling eeleetists.

        =v= This is an odd article, with Hal Harvey extolling the
        "efficient natural gas turbine" that, incidentally, supplies
        power in the parts of the Bay Area where he lives and works.
        A truly expert analysis must consider the continent-wide grid,
        which is mostly the coal plants he faults. It's the classic
        problem of not seeing the forest for the trees, which allows
        an elite (the non-subway-riding variety) to feel virtuous
        about recharging plug-in cars in San Francisco even though
        it consumes electricity that could go for other uses. Those
        other uses end up relying on coal, or worse.

        =v= I might be a little oversensitive about this because, until
        very recently, San Francisco actually got its peak-use energy
        from dirty diesel-burning backup generators that were located
        next to the city's African-American neighborhoods (which are
        also right alongside the Interstate, of course). 20 years ago
        I was working with environmental justice groups to shut these
        plants down, and my girlfriend worked for Mr. Harvey, who would
        drive his EV to work and plug it in during peak hours because it
        was so durned important to have it topped-up for demonstration
        purposes.

        =v= Amory Lovins has been invaluable on the energy-efficient
        front for decades, though his group has gotten a bit too
        accommodating towards cars that are supposedly eco-groovy
        in recent years. Honestly, it's the Russian editor who has
        the best energy-efficiency advice in the whole article!
        <_Jym_>
      • Karen Sandness
        Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, is an excessively business-friendly xenophobe, but the last time I was in Japan, I saw him
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 5 8:10 AM
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          Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, is an excessively "business-friendly" xenophobe, but the last time I was in Japan, I saw him give a televised news conference. One of the reporters asked him what he was going to do about traffic congestion in the central part of the city. His suggestion was that more people should take the subway, which is exactly what I would have said.

          At least non-impoverished people in Tokyo do take the subway, the commuter trains, and the buses and by and large don't believe that this is beneath them. In Minneapolis, I find that snobbery is one of the biggest obstacles to improving transit. The suburban right-wingers think of transit as something that only poor people, especially dark-skinned poor people, ride, so in line with their belief that poor people should suffer as much as possible, they are loath to improve it. Regrettably, I can only be car-lite here, not car-free, but people are astonished when I tell them that I fill the gas tank only once every four to six weeks.

          Richard, you may recall that when I was in Los Angeles for a conference in 2001 and we met for dinner, you put me on the bus back to my hotel. When I mentioned this to one of the local attendees the next day, he was horrified that I had taken the bus at night and even seemed surprised that I had survived the adventure. But in fact, the experience was not frightening at all, unless one considers the presence of dark-skinned people to be inherently frightening.

          The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.

          In transit,
          Karen Sandness
        • Richard Risemberg
          ... I myself don t doubt it for a second. I once took a bus home from a party at a friend s house in hyper-liberal Silverlake. I had my arm in a sling, and my
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 5 8:24 AM
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            On Mar 5, 2012, at 8:10 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:

            > Richard, you may recall that when I was in Los Angeles for a
            > conference in 2001 and we met for dinner, you put me on the bus
            > back to my hotel. When I mentioned this to one of the local
            > attendees the next day, he was horrified that I had taken the bus
            > at night and even seemed surprised that I had survived the
            > adventure. But in fact, the experience was not frightening at all,
            > unless one considers the presence of dark-skinned people to be
            > inherently frightening.
            >
            > The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind
            > much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.


            I myself don't doubt it for a second. I once took a bus home from a
            party at a friend's house in hyper-liberal Silverlake. I had my arm
            in a sling, and my friend offered to drive me home to "keep me safe'--
            though he'd had a good bit of booze during the party. he was worried
            about predatory Latino immigrants--apparently forgetting that I am
            one myself, just a pale one.

            Needless to say, the bus ride was convivial, pleasant, and safe.

            I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, and I hear
            racist crap from all of then. Especially as regards travel of public
            transport--which is actually far safer than driving.

            The trains in LA do, however, attract riders from higher economic
            classes. And I have even sat next to a Beverly Hills matron dripping
            with diamonds on the rapid bus through that glittery city. So there's
            some hope.

            Bicycles are really starting to take off here, including with Martha
            Stewart types, another odd but very real reason for hope.

            After all, it's the middle and upper classes who drive the most and
            keep pushing freeways through poor folks' neighborhoods.

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








            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... I m more and more of the opinion that this is true. The only good news here is that it appears that most people in the younger generations have gone beyond
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 5 9:23 AM
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              Karen said:

              >The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.

              I'm more and more of the opinion that this is true. The only good news here is that it appears that most people in the younger generations have gone beyond racism, at least if the behavior of school kids in NJ is any barometer. I often see them in mixed-race groups.

              The decimation of black neighborhoods in the 50's and 60's by "urban renewal" (i.e., the demolition of black neighborhoods) and the construction of urban "interstates" against the will of their leading promoter, Dwight Eisenhower, were acts that were effectively and probably intentionally racist.

              I wish I were not so often ashamed of my nation.

              Best,

              J.




              ----- ### -----
              J.H. Crawford
              mailbox@...
              http://www.carfree.com
              Twitter: http://twitter.com/carfreecities
              Video channels:
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            • Steve Atlas
              I ve lived in Baltimore County, MD for 8 years (and in Columbia, MD for 20 years before that). One big benefit is that I can walk to a local bus that operates
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 5 1:21 PM
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                I've lived in Baltimore County, MD for 8 years (and in Columbia, MD for 20 years before that). One big benefit is that I can walk to a local bus that operates 20 hours most days. Neither my wife nor I have had problems (except once when there was construction and the bus was detoured) People are usually friendly, regardless of their race or ethnicity. We appreciate the convenience and frequency of service. I've found that the fear of doing something new is often worse than the reality. As I research more U.S. cities and vacation spots, I am encouraged that so many of them make it possible for visits to enjoy a weekend without ever having to drive or rent a car.

                Steve

                 
                Steve Atlas
                Resources for Individuals and Families who are concerned about
                America's continued dependence on automobiles
                http://carfreeamerica.org;
                http://www.pubtrantravel.com,
                e-mail: steveatlas45@...;
                (410) 663-0217


                ________________________________
                From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
                To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, March 5, 2012 11:24 AM
                Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: NYT's Friedman: "take the Subway"


                 

                On Mar 5, 2012, at 8:10 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:

                > Richard, you may recall that when I was in Los Angeles for a
                > conference in 2001 and we met for dinner, you put me on the bus
                > back to my hotel. When I mentioned this to one of the local
                > attendees the next day, he was horrified that I had taken the bus
                > at night and even seemed surprised that I had survived the
                > adventure. But in fact, the experience was not frightening at all,
                > unless one considers the presence of dark-skinned people to be
                > inherently frightening.
                >
                > The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind
                > much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.

                I myself don't doubt it for a second. I once took a bus home from a
                party at a friend's house in hyper-liberal Silverlake. I had my arm
                in a sling, and my friend offered to drive me home to "keep me safe'--
                though he'd had a good bit of booze during the party. he was worried
                about predatory Latino immigrants--apparently forgetting that I am
                one myself, just a pale one.

                Needless to say, the bus ride was convivial, pleasant, and safe.

                I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, and I hear
                racist crap from all of then. Especially as regards travel of public
                transport--which is actually far safer than driving.

                The trains in LA do, however, attract riders from higher economic
                classes. And I have even sat next to a Beverly Hills matron dripping
                with diamonds on the rapid bus through that glittery city. So there's
                some hope.

                Bicycles are really starting to take off here, including with Martha
                Stewart types, another odd but very real reason for hope.

                After all, it's the middle and upper classes who drive the most and
                keep pushing freeways through poor folks' neighborhoods.

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

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




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • bruun@seas.upenn.edu
                Hello everyone The racism explanation doesn t get to the core of the problem of people wanting to maintain their separation from people they see as different
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 6 5:25 AM
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                  Hello everyone

                  The racism explanation doesn't get to the core of the problem of
                  people wanting to maintain their separation from people they see as
                  different than themselves.

                  My experience with most people in the US, and the vast majority of
                  people who consider themselves conservatives, is that they don't read
                  too much recent history, virtually no economics or social sciences,
                  and barely even know anything about the US history of legal
                  segregation. So they believe what they hear about the US being a
                  meritocracy, about how it is the land of opportunity, about how in the
                  US markets function very well, how do-gooder governments only make
                  things worse by coddling lazy people, etc.

                  So, since the market is not to blame and everyone has an equal chance,
                  the explanation must lie elsewhere. That explanation then has to be
                  either cultural or genetic, that is, that certain subsections of the
                  population have only themselves to blame. Thus, it is racism by
                  default, not the overt segregation and overt teaching of racist ideas
                  like 50+ years ago.

                  That might explain a lot of the conservative attitude towards public
                  transport, but what is the excuse of so many liberals? They talk the
                  talk, but don't walk the walk (or ride the ride).

                  Eric Bruun


                  Quoting Steve Atlas <steveatlas45@...>:

                  > I've lived in Baltimore County, MD for 8 years (and in Columbia, MD
                  > for 20 years before that). One big benefit is that I can walk to a
                  > local bus that operates 20 hours most days. Neither my wife nor I
                  > have had problems (except once when there was construction and the
                  > bus was detoured) People are usually friendly, regardless of their
                  > race or ethnicity. We appreciate the convenience and frequency of
                  > service. I've found that the fear of doing something new is often
                  > worse than the reality. As I research more U.S. cities and vacation
                  > spots, I am encouraged that so many of them make it possible for
                  > visits to enjoy a weekend without ever having to drive or rent a car.
                  >
                  > Steve
                  >
                  >  
                  > Steve Atlas
                  > Resources for Individuals and Families who are concerned about
                  > America's continued dependence on automobiles
                  > http://carfreeamerica.org;
                  > http://www.pubtrantravel.com,
                  > e-mail: steveatlas45@...;
                  > (410) 663-0217
                  >
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
                  > To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Monday, March 5, 2012 11:24 AM
                  > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: NYT's Friedman: "take the Subway"
                  >
                  >
                  >  
                  >
                  > On Mar 5, 2012, at 8:10 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:
                  >
                  >> Richard, you may recall that when I was in Los Angeles for a
                  >> conference in 2001 and we met for dinner, you put me on the bus
                  >> back to my hotel. When I mentioned this to one of the local
                  >> attendees the next day, he was horrified that I had taken the bus
                  >> at night and even seemed surprised that I had survived the
                  >> adventure. But in fact, the experience was not frightening at all,
                  >> unless one considers the presence of dark-skinned people to be
                  >> inherently frightening.
                  >>
                  >> The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind
                  >> much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.
                  >
                  > I myself don't doubt it for a second. I once took a bus home from a
                  > party at a friend's house in hyper-liberal Silverlake. I had my arm
                  > in a sling, and my friend offered to drive me home to "keep me safe'--
                  > though he'd had a good bit of booze during the party. he was worried
                  > about predatory Latino immigrants--apparently forgetting that I am
                  > one myself, just a pale one.
                  >
                  > Needless to say, the bus ride was convivial, pleasant, and safe.
                  >
                  > I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, and I hear
                  > racist crap from all of then. Especially as regards travel of public
                  > transport--which is actually far safer than driving.
                  >
                  > The trains in LA do, however, attract riders from higher economic
                  > classes. And I have even sat next to a Beverly Hills matron dripping
                  > with diamonds on the rapid bus through that glittery city. So there's
                  > some hope.
                  >
                  > Bicycles are really starting to take off here, including with Martha
                  > Stewart types, another odd but very real reason for hope.
                  >
                  > After all, it's the middle and upper classes who drive the most and
                  > keep pushing freeways through poor folks' neighborhoods.
                  >
                  > Rick
                  > --
                  > Richard Risemberg
                  > http://www.bicyclefixation.com
                  > http://www.SustainableCityNews.com
                  > http://www.rickrise.com
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                • mdh6214
                  I ve noticed this myself too. If you re white and middle-class and dare to use mass transit, even to get between the car repair shop and your office, your
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 6 10:50 AM
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                    I've noticed this myself too. If you're white and middle-class and dare to use mass transit, even to get between the car repair shop and your office, your friends and family will be amazed that you made it out alive and with your wallet, and they'll ask you how the ride went, as if you had just visited a war zone. Also expect to be asked how smelly it was, or if any riders vomited.

                    In Tallahassee, US 90 goes right through the middle of the city as Tennessee St., three lanes each direction for 2.2 miles. There is a plan being floated around to turn the outside lanes into bus and bike lanes, making it only two "regular" lanes each direction. Of course, all the businesses on the street are screaming bloody murder, and comments on the local news website are thinly veiled attacks at the only beneficiaries being bike-riding, freeloading hippies who need to take a bath, get a job, get a car, and start paying taxes. Attacks are also directed at mass transit, which one commenter decried as a massive burden on the City budget (it's 2%).

                    Regarding racism/classism, I feel that the same attitudes are also what make so many people opposed to universal health care. A lot of people (even liberals) insist we "already have" universal health care, since poor people can go to the emergency room or the "free clinic".

                    The reality is that they do not want to be sitting in their dentist's waiting room and watch a woman wearing a McDonald's uniform come in and take a seat. She needs to be at the "free clinic" with her type, not at "my" dentist.

                    Just like mass transit--they don't want to be riding the metro and find themselves face-to-face with a woman wearing a McDonald's uniform.

                    > >The longer I live, the more I'm convinced that racism lies behind much of both the suburbanization and the auto-centricity of America.
                    >
                    > I'm more and more of the opinion that this is true. The only good news here is that it appears that most people in the younger generations have gone beyond racism, at least if the behavior of school kids in NJ is any barometer. I often see them in mixed-race groups.
                    >
                    > The decimation of black neighborhoods in the 50's and 60's by "urban renewal" (i.e., the demolition of black neighborhoods) and the construction of urban "interstates" against the will of their leading promoter, Dwight Eisenhower, were acts that were effectively and probably intentionally racist.
                    >
                    > I wish I were not so often ashamed of my nation.
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