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Re: List of carfree areas - a caveat

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  • Mike Lacey
    Happy New Year (etc.) everyone Just a cautionary note. Assuming that the aim of the carfree movement is to foster development of communities without reliance
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 2, 2001
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      Happy New Year (etc.) everyone

      Just a cautionary note. Assuming that the aim of the carfree movement
      is to foster development of communities without reliance on the motor
      car (seem reasonable Joel?), I would suggest that we make an effort
      to identify those cities, districts etc. which hold up well to that
      principal.

      A car free neighborhood is not (in my opinion) a single use
      development that bans cars. Thus I think that a car free shopping
      street in Ottawa or Tokyo, while a good thing, is no more a car free
      neighborhood than a suburban shopping mall or airport, especially if
      these streets rely on nearby parking garages to service them. Zermat
      is primarily a tourist centre where patrons park in the next village
      and get shuttled in. Again a good thing, but is this really
      subverting the dominance of the auto-paradigm?

      Venice on the other hand is a living breathing, fully functioning
      city where car-free living is deeply rooted and fully evolved. I know
      that if I hold up Manhattan as an example I am on shaky ground. But
      in so much as 90% of the population go about their daily lives
      without worrying that they do not own a car, and this in the
      Financial Capital of the World, is this not closer to the car free
      ideal we are working for?

      Mike

      --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@c...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Thanks to everyone who suggested additional carfree places.
      > The in-progress listing is located at:
      >
      > http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
      >
      > Please keep the suggestions coming, including any ideas
      > for a final home for this page.
      >
      >
      >
      > ###
      >
      > J.H. Crawford Carfree
      Cities
      > postmaster@c... Carfree.com
    • J.H. Crawford
      ... I agree in principle but think that in practice any area that is highly car-moderated or is, as a matter of policy, headed in that direction is worthy of
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 3, 2001
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        Mike Lacey said:

        >Just a cautionary note. Assuming that the aim of the carfree movement
        >is to foster development of communities without reliance on the motor
        >car (seem reasonable Joel?), I would suggest that we make an effort
        >to identify those cities, districts etc. which hold up well to that
        >principal.

        I agree in principle but think that in practice any area that is
        highly car-moderated or is, as a matter of policy, headed in that
        direction is worthy of mention. We should be careful, of course,
        to distinguish between those areas that really are carfree and
        those that are not.

        >A car free neighborhood is not (in my opinion) a single use
        >development that bans cars. Thus I think that a car free shopping
        >street in Ottawa or Tokyo, while a good thing, is no more a car free
        >neighborhood than a suburban shopping mall or airport, especially if
        >these streets rely on nearby parking garages to service them.

        In Europe, there are so many examples of this kind of thing
        that I have dealt with them as a class on the page:

        http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html

        In the rest of the world, carfree streets are unusual enough
        that individual cases may be worthy of specific mention.

        >Zermat
        >is primarily a tourist centre where patrons park in the next village
        >and get shuttled in. Again a good thing, but is this really
        >subverting the dominance of the auto-paradigm?

        No, I don't think so in this case. Many people arrive by train
        from the valley floor (and beyond); only residents are allowed
        to drive to Zermatt itself, and they must park their cars in
        what I consider to be a prototype "utility area" at the edge
        of town. It's true that many visitors arrive by car at the
        next village down towards the valley from Zermatt, where they
        change to a train for the final run into Zermatt. I agree that
        it would be better if everyone would take the train to Zermatt,
        but I don't think this is a very realistic expectation. Indeed,
        I don't see the end of car usage (assuming the energy can be
        found to continue their use), and the reference design provides
        for large parking lots in the utility areas on the outskirts
        of town. So I see Zermatt as a prototypical carfree city. It's
        just a lot smaller than the city proposed in the reference design.

        >Venice on the other hand is a living breathing, fully functioning
        >city where car-free living is deeply rooted and fully evolved.

        Absolutely, although it, too, has a large parking facility at the
        edge of the city.

        >I know
        >that if I hold up Manhattan as an example I am on shaky ground. But
        >in so much as 90% of the population go about their daily lives
        >without worrying that they do not own a car, and this in the
        >Financial Capital of the World, is this not closer to the car free
        >ideal we are working for?

        Well, in a sense yes and in another sense no. Cars truly dominate
        the streets of Manhattan, despite their use to provide a relatively
        small proportion of mobility on the island. So Manhattan is in no
        way carfree, by my lights. At the same time, it would be easy to
        convert it to the carfree model, because it has such excellent
        transport systems in place. A carfree Manhattan would be a truly
        wonderful place, and the scale is, of course, large.

        Further discussion on this?


        ###

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        postmaster@... Carfree.com
      • Boileau,Pierre [NCR]
        Mike, I am in agreement and would put Paris forward as another model of a city where car-free living is a reality (having lived there for 2 years car-free).
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 5, 2001
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          Mike,

          I am in agreement and would put Paris forward as another model of a city
          where car-free living is a reality (having lived there for 2 years
          car-free). However, there are still hours of traffic jams in Paris and
          proposals to make areas of Paris car-free have been rejected up to now.
          Finally, there is no way that the public transit system in Paris could
          handle the flow of people if the city were car-free. This was highlighted
          by the two most recent 'journée sans voitures' in Paris.

          I'm not sure how best to handle those issues, since it appears that
          multi-modal cities are currently the best solutions.

          Cheers

          Pierre.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Mike Lacey [mailto:firefly956@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2001 4:17 PM
          To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
          Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: List of carfree areas - a caveat


          Happy New Year (etc.) everyone

          Just a cautionary note. Assuming that the aim of the carfree movement
          is to foster development of communities without reliance on the motor
          car (seem reasonable Joel?), I would suggest that we make an effort
          to identify those cities, districts etc. which hold up well to that
          principal.

          A car free neighborhood is not (in my opinion) a single use
          development that bans cars. Thus I think that a car free shopping
          street in Ottawa or Tokyo, while a good thing, is no more a car free
          neighborhood than a suburban shopping mall or airport, especially if
          these streets rely on nearby parking garages to service them. Zermat
          is primarily a tourist centre where patrons park in the next village
          and get shuttled in. Again a good thing, but is this really
          subverting the dominance of the auto-paradigm?

          Venice on the other hand is a living breathing, fully functioning
          city where car-free living is deeply rooted and fully evolved. I know
          that if I hold up Manhattan as an example I am on shaky ground. But
          in so much as 90% of the population go about their daily lives
          without worrying that they do not own a car, and this in the
          Financial Capital of the World, is this not closer to the car free
          ideal we are working for?

          Mike

          --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@c...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Thanks to everyone who suggested additional carfree places.
          > The in-progress listing is located at:
          >
          > http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
          >
          > Please keep the suggestions coming, including any ideas
          > for a final home for this page.
          >
          >
          >
          > ###
          >
          > J.H. Crawford Carfree
          Cities
          > postmaster@c... Carfree.com


          To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
          To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Mike Lacey
          Pierre You hit the nail squarely on the head. Paris, New York or San Francisco are not car free, but it is much easier to live car free in these cities than it
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 5, 2001
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            Pierre

            You hit the nail squarely on the head. Paris, New York or San
            Francisco are not car free, but it is much easier to live car free in
            these cities than it is on a nominally carfree street in an otherwise
            car oriented city

            Mike

            --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "Boileau,Pierre [NCR]"
            <Pierre.Boileau@E...> wrote:
            > Mike,
            >
            > I am in agreement and would put Paris forward as another model of a
            city
            > where car-free living is a reality (having lived there for 2 years
            > car-free). However, there are still hours of traffic jams in Paris
            and
            > proposals to make areas of Paris car-free have been rejected up to
            now.
            > Finally, there is no way that the public transit system in Paris
            could
            > handle the flow of people if the city were car-free. This was
            highlighted
            > by the two most recent 'journée sans voitures' in Paris.
            >
            > I'm not sure how best to handle those issues, since it appears that
            > multi-modal cities are currently the best solutions.
            >
            > Cheers
            >
            > Pierre.
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Mike Lacey [mailto:firefly956@h...]
            > Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2001 4:17 PM
            > To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
            > Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: List of carfree areas - a caveat
            >
            >
            > Happy New Year (etc.) everyone
            >
            > Just a cautionary note. Assuming that the aim of the carfree
            movement
            > is to foster development of communities without reliance on the
            motor
            > car (seem reasonable Joel?), I would suggest that we make an effort
            > to identify those cities, districts etc. which hold up well to that
            > principal.
            >
            > A car free neighborhood is not (in my opinion) a single use
            > development that bans cars. Thus I think that a car free shopping
            > street in Ottawa or Tokyo, while a good thing, is no more a car
            free
            > neighborhood than a suburban shopping mall or airport, especially
            if
            > these streets rely on nearby parking garages to service them.
            Zermat
            > is primarily a tourist centre where patrons park in the next
            village
            > and get shuttled in. Again a good thing, but is this really
            > subverting the dominance of the auto-paradigm?
            >
            > Venice on the other hand is a living breathing, fully functioning
            > city where car-free living is deeply rooted and fully evolved. I
            know
            > that if I hold up Manhattan as an example I am on shaky ground. But
            > in so much as 90% of the population go about their daily lives
            > without worrying that they do not own a car, and this in the
            > Financial Capital of the World, is this not closer to the car free
            > ideal we are working for?
            >
            > Mike
            >
            > --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "J.H. Crawford"
            <postmaster@c...>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Thanks to everyone who suggested additional carfree places.
            > > The in-progress listing is located at:
            > >
            > > http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
            > >
            > > Please keep the suggestions coming, including any ideas
            > > for a final home for this page.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ###
            > >
            > > J.H. Crawford Carfree
            > Cities
            > > postmaster@c... Carfree.com
            >
            >
            > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@e...
            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@e...
            > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • J.H. Crawford
            I think we need to focus on carfree cities in the listing we re making, not on cities where it s easy/possible to live without a car. There are, after all,
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 5, 2001
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              I think we need to focus on carfree cities in the
              listing we're making, not on cities where it's
              easy/possible to live without a car. There are,
              after all, plenty of cities, even in the USA,
              where you can live without a car. What's rare and
              important is cities where you can live without
              your car, or anybody else's.

              The point that Randall Hunt made about the one
              small area in Venice being an unpleasant place
              should serve as a reminder to us: it's all the
              trouble that cars bring in their wake that we're
              trying to eliminate. That means, of course, keeping
              the cars out of urban areas.


              ###

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              postmaster@... Carfree.com
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... I really don t think we should include an area unless it substantially passes the test of being able to walk down the middle of the street without worrying
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 5, 2001
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                Pierre said:

                >I am in agreement and would put Paris forward as another model of a city
                >where car-free living is a reality (having lived there for 2 years
                >car-free). However, there are still hours of traffic jams in Paris and
                >proposals to make areas of Paris car-free have been rejected up to now.
                >Finally, there is no way that the public transit system in Paris could
                >handle the flow of people if the city were car-free. This was highlighted
                >by the two most recent 'journée sans voitures' in Paris.

                I really don't think we should include an area unless it substantially
                passes the test of being able to walk down the middle of the street
                without worrying about cars bearing down on you. New York, London,
                and Paris emphatically do not meet this test.

                It's not the ability to LIVE carfree that we are trying to document
                here, IMHO. It's the possibility to experience street life without cars.

                ###

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                postmaster@... Carfree.com
              • 3L
                ... Making a city carfree implies of course increasing the frequency of transit until it can handle the whole flow of people. If on a Journée sans voiture
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 5, 2001
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                  > Mike,
                  >
                  > I am in agreement and would put Paris forward as another model of a city
                  > where car-free living is a reality (having lived there for 2 years
                  > car-free). However, there are still hours of traffic jams in Paris and
                  > proposals to make areas of Paris car-free have been rejected up to now.
                  > Finally, there is no way that the public transit system in Paris could
                  > handle the flow of people if the city were car-free. This was highlighted
                  > by the two most recent 'journée sans voitures' in Paris.
                  >
                  Making a city carfree implies of course increasing the frequency of transit
                  until it can handle the whole flow of people. If on a "Journée sans voiture"
                  they didn't increase (enough) the frequency of transit, then it's certain
                  that it couldn't handle the flow of people.

                  > Pierre.
                  >
                  Louis-Luc
                • Boileau,Pierre [NCR]
                  Hi All, I would suggest however that there are many smaller areas within Paris which are car-free (le Marais, walking malls off St. Germain, etc.) and that
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 7, 2001
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                    Hi All,

                    I would suggest however that there are many smaller areas within Paris which
                    are car-free (le Marais, walking malls off St. Germain, etc.) and that
                    car-free living is a reality in these cities. There are fairly large and
                    growing communities of car-less people in these urban centres and the
                    movement to make more areas car-free starts with those folks.

                    If a major part of a politicians constituency is car-less, and happy about,
                    it makes the political process move towards creating more car-free spaces.
                    Clearly, there are many reasons to make more areas of these historically
                    important cities car-free, not the least of which is the damage that air
                    pollution can have on these historically significant sights. Politicians
                    will move towards this goal if their constituents point the way, IMHO.

                    Cheers

                    Pierre.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: J.H. Crawford [mailto:postmaster@...]

                    It's not the ability to LIVE carfree that we are trying to document
                    here, IMHO. It's the possibility to experience street life without cars.



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... I d really like to have relatively detailed info about each of these areas, so that it can be included in carfree_places.html. ... IMHO, it s not so much
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 8, 2001
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                      Pierre said:

                      >I would suggest however that there are many smaller areas within Paris which
                      >are car-free (le Marais, walking malls off St. Germain, etc.)

                      I'd really like to have relatively detailed info about each of
                      these areas, so that it can be included in carfree_places.html.

                      >.....and that
                      >car-free living is a reality in these cities. There are fairly large and
                      >growing communities of car-less people in these urban centres and the
                      >movement to make more areas car-free starts with those folks.

                      IMHO, it's not so much carfree life as carfree places that is of
                      interest. Everywhere in the world (even LA!) there are many
                      people living without a car, so that's old news. (What may be
                      new news is just how many of these people there are!)

                      I'd like, in the page we are developing, to concentrate on places
                      that are carfree, not on places where it's easy to live without
                      a car (not that this isn't interesting data in itself; it's just
                      not so relevant to what we're doing, I think).

                      >If a major part of a politicians constituency is car-less, and happy about,
                      >it makes the political process move towards creating more car-free spaces.

                      Unfortunately, not always. New York City has huge numbers of families
                      living without cars, probably even a majority. Mayor Giuliani nevertheless
                      puts the interests of drivers ahead of pedestrians. Don't know how he
                      gets away with it.

                      >Clearly, there are many reasons to make more areas of these historically
                      >important cities car-free, not the least of which is the damage that air
                      >pollution can have on these historically significant sights. Politicians
                      >will move towards this goal if their constituents point the way, IMHO.

                      I do thiink that this is a grassroots issue and that not that much will
                      happen until people start to demand it.



                      ###

                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      postmaster@... Carfree.com
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