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Re: [carfree_cities] A brief introduction

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... Hello and welcome. Our purpose here is to bring carfree cities to realization as quickly as possible. We ve just shifted the focus of this list from a
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 19, 2000
      Roy Preston said:

      >Hopefully, this list will be used for both education, and as a vent for my
      >frustrations?

      Hello and welcome.

      Our purpose here is to bring carfree cities to realization
      as quickly as possible. We've just shifted the focus of this
      list from a rather chatty discussion to a serious consideration
      of what to do next and how. We'll welcome your input on these
      questions.

      Regards,


      ###

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      postmaster@... Carfree.com
    • Louis-Luc Le Guerrier
      ... Good job! The threat caused to pedestrians by bad car drivers is, in my opinion, the worst problem associated with cars, because it s a big injustice and
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 19, 2000
        ...
        > I've been campaigning for 6-years on behalf of pedestrians in our town
        > centre. This is a heavily car-based community in the UK, with
        > a council
        > that does *nothing* to help pedestrians, so I'm fighting on
        > three fronts:
        > the drivers; the council & councillors; and the traders
        > (probably the most
        > vociferous and most influential fraction!).
        > Roy Preston
        Good job!
        The threat caused to pedestrians by bad car drivers is, in my opinion, the
        worst problem associated with cars, because it's a big injustice and danger
        at the same time. In these cases cars are used as a weapon like guns, and we
        must get rules as rigid and as severe as the ones for prohibiting guns.

        I've never driven in my whole life, and didn't really make it a case in the
        past. However since maybe 2 years, I've started to find the no-driving
        attribute as a status of pride for the person as being "self mobile", not
        handicapped.

        I do cycle too, and I watch for pedestrians like gems. When there's one in
        my way, I let the person feel I want to respect him. When an eventual car
        driver wants to pass in our way, I slow down to let the pedestrian pass,
        then I pass myself and watch the driver, letting him know that respecting
        non motorised traffic is a pleasure, not a duty.

        Louis-Luc
      • Roy Preston
        ... Excellent analogy, Louis-Luc, this has often crossed my mind. Cars are virtually cocked guns in the hands of semi-pros. They are allowed free access to
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 19, 2000
          >In these cases cars are used as a weapon like guns,

          Excellent analogy, Louis-Luc, this has often crossed my mind.

          Cars are virtually cocked guns in the hands of semi-pros. They are allowed
          free access to town centres and, apart from a 30 mph speed limit and a few
          parking restrictions, can do as they please.

          Gun owners are governed by extremely strict laws and have their own,
          dedicated shooting ranges.

          I see the motorways and dual-carriageways as the motorist's 'shooting
          ranges' but in residential areas they should be either banned or forced to
          comply to a 5 mph speed limit -- similar to the Home Zones popular in the
          Netherlands (Now, they know what they're doing!).

          Three cheers for your 'cycling' sentiments, too.

          Roy P(edestrian)
        • J.H. Crawford
          You will all recall that Time recently did a special issue on the environment--100% sponsored by Ford Motor Company. In July, I was supposed to have appeared
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 20, 2000
            You will all recall that Time recently did a special
            issue on the environment--100% sponsored by Ford
            Motor Company.

            In July, I was supposed to have appeared on the
            talk show hosted by RonandFez.com, but this appearance
            was cancelled at the last minute, seemingly due to the
            presence of... automobile advertisers in the studio.

            We need to think some about how we're going to get the
            carfree message into the mainstream media--they're going
            to be under the thumb of the auto industry, which, I believe,
            spends $40 BILLION a year on ads.

            You will also recall that Chrysler tried to get all magazines
            in which it advertises to let Chrysler approve the content
            before press time. They had to pull back on this, but I'll
            bet that it was more or less implemented anyway (probably
            by threats to pull ads in future issues).

            Clearly, the carfree idea is going to have to get a foothold
            on the Internet and public radio, where the advertisers do
            not yet rule the roost. (Up to now, my most important media
            appearances have almost all been on public radio stations,
            except in Canada, where a few for-profit stations have had
            me on.)

            Ideas?



            ###

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            postmaster@... Carfree.com
          • Roy Preston
            Whenever I m feeling down, I always turn to the following little gem to buck me up. So I thought I d share it with you all. It s an article from Transport
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 22, 2000
              Whenever I'm feeling down, I always turn to the following little gem to
              buck me up. So I thought I'd share it with you all. It's an article from
              Transport 2000's publication 'Transport Retort' entitled 'People Have
              Rights' by Fred Trott, a campaigner on traffic issues. I'd especially like
              to bring to your attention the second paragraph:

              -------------------

              TRANSPORT reform is an issue of human rights. Everyone can choose whether
              or not to get into a car but even people who never use cars are still
              affected by them. Pedestrians and cyclists have no say over the effects of
              car exhaust fumes on them. Victims of pollution are denied that most basic
              human right of all: the right to enjoy good health and, in severe cases,
              the right to life itself.

              The motoring lobby often meets calls for the restriction of car use by
              appeals to the principles of freedom and choice. The rhetoric is
              self-serving hypocrisy The defenders of car culture do not talk about the
              freedom of people to choose whether or not to breathe air polluted by
              carcinogens and other toxic substances. The links between traffic pollution
              and respiratory problems (including asthma), lung cancer, heart disease and
              leukaemia are well known. People are being sacrificed on the altar of car
              culture.

              Environmental campaigners should emphasise that the problem of pollution
              from traffic is as much a human rights issue as anything. Motorists are
              uncomfortable with this because it points to the irresponsibility of their
              behaviour. Even the most obdurate motorists feel uneasy at the prospect of
              defending the proposition that their convenience or fun is worth someone's
              health or life

              Politicians are embarrassed by the human rights argument because it
              underlines their moral dury to do what is right rather than what is popular
              with the motoring lobby. The very foundation of democracy is that people
              should have the freedom to do what they like as long as they do no harm to
              others. But motoring does do harm to others and a democratic politician's
              first duty is to protect their constituents from harm. Therefore
              politicians have an over-riding moral duty to combat car culture.

              There is nothing controversial in the proposition that the Government
              should intervene in order to protect people from the effects of excessive
              car use, even if this involves restrictions on individual freedom of
              choice. For example, no-one seriously questions the right of the State to
              prevent motorists from drinking and driving. Everyone recognises that the
              preferences of the would-be drink-driver must be subordinate to the rights
              of people not to be mown down in the streets. Shouldn't people have an
              equal right not to he killed by cancer or heart disease caused by vehicle
              exhausts?

              There are draconian measures in place against smokers to protect people
              from the effects of passive smoking, which causes 350 deaths a year
              according to Government figures, yet little is done to protect people
              against the much more serious damage caused by traffic pollution: between
              12,000 and 24,000 deaths a year.

              The hypocrisy of the motoring lobby is evident in all sorts of other ways.
              Motorists call for freedom and choice, but it is motorists themselves who
              restrict the freedom of cyclists and pedestrians, forcing them off the
              roads by making them too dangerous. Similarly how can motorists complain if
              their neighbours play loud music when cars can create devastating noise
              pollution in busy streets? There are health implications here too. The
              British Medical Association blames much of the rise in obesity and related
              problems like diabetes on the decline of cycling and walking. Noise
              pollution from traffic has been linked to depression and stress, with
              knock-on effects on rates of heart disease.

              Nobody likes to think of him or herself as behaving selfishly, but by
              driving unnecessarily that is precisely what he or she is doing.

              The appeal to human rights can make individuals and institutions examine
              their consciences. This can only help to protect the innocent from the
              ravages of car culture.

              -------------------

              Roy P(ass on please!)
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... I m not sure without digging just where you got the quote, but if you ll look over the site more generally, and especially the book, you ll see that I m
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 24, 2000
                L Danish said:

                >> carcinogens and other toxic substances. The links between traffic
                >pollution
                >> and respiratory problems (including asthma), lung cancer, heart
                >disease and
                >> leukaemia are well known. People are being sacrificed on the altar
                >of car
                >> culture.
                >
                >While I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment, it seems to me
                >that dwelling on "the pollution problem" is disingenuous for the
                >simple reason that it will get solved via technological tweaks to our
                >existing car-culture.
                >Much as people now tell me with a straight face that they are
                >environmentally-friendly because they recycle pop containers -- the
                >masses will soon be driving more-and-more since their new vehicles
                >will soon be LEV and ULEV. They will take to heart the message that
                >these vehicles produce 90% less (or whatever) pollution, so by, say,
                >doubling their driving they are putting out less that half the
                >pollution -- right?

                I'm not sure without digging just where you got the quote,
                but if you'll look over the site more generally, and especially
                the book, you'll see that I'm making a whole range of arguments,
                of which pollution is only one, and not, in my opinion, even
                the most important one.

                I think you're right--the pollution problems MAY turn out
                to have a technological solution (although I wouldn't really
                bet on it, for the reasons you mention; after all, pollution
                hasn't gotten that much better, and is in some cases worse,
                despite 30 years of auto-emission technology improvements).

                Regards,


                ###

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                postmaster@... Carfree.com
              • L Danish
                ... pollution ... disease and ... of car ... While I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment, it seems to me that dwelling on the pollution problem is
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 24, 2000
                  > carcinogens and other toxic substances. The links between traffic
                  pollution
                  > and respiratory problems (including asthma), lung cancer, heart
                  disease and
                  > leukaemia are well known. People are being sacrificed on the altar
                  of car
                  > culture.

                  While I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment, it seems to me
                  that dwelling on "the pollution problem" is disingenuous for the
                  simple reason that it will get solved via technological tweaks to our
                  existing car-culture.
                  Much as people now tell me with a straight face that they are
                  environmentally-friendly because they recycle pop containers -- the
                  masses will soon be driving more-and-more since their new vehicles
                  will soon be LEV and ULEV. They will take to heart the message that
                  these vehicles produce 90% less (or whatever) pollution, so by, say,
                  doubling their driving they are putting out less that half the
                  pollution -- right?
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