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RE: [carfree_cities] Car Free Cities

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  • Richard Moseley
    Thanks for your responses, hopefully you can keep them coming as it is great to hear from people of like-minded views. I have a few comments regarding the
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 24, 2001
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      Thanks for your responses, hopefully you can keep them coming as it is great
      to hear from people of like-minded views.

      I have a few comments regarding the points made. A lot of these 'small
      towns' that could not be serviced by such an expensive system might suddenly
      become a lot larger if there is the consequence of displaced population
      which would surely ensue if the 'compact city' could be created. Also my
      original point which was strongly rebutted about rural areas possesing a
      smaller scale system, the point that I was trying to make is that we need to
      encourage the fully-fledged ruralist instead of the partially reformed
      townie that many rural areas hold. The only way to do this is to also remove
      cars from rural areas so the farmer that lives there does not need to travel
      twenty miles to the nearest set of services. I don't think that anyone can
      question the relationship between the breakdown of rural communities and the
      growth in automobile use, and I hope that you can appreciate this point. I
      do accept that it would be a very tough challenge to create this or even to
      devise a plan but in theory, I hope that you can agree with it.

      Also I am looking for advice. Here in the UK there does not appear to be the
      people to put across these views. I was interested if anyone knew of any
      such organisation or research taking place on these shores as currently I am
      trying to find ways of getting involved in such research when I graduate
      from university. It cheers me up to read the positive responses that people
      have given to the suggestion of a car-free city and that car dependency
      isn't as deep for as many people as I first thought. I just hope that there
      is some way of getting this across here in the UK,

      Cheers,

      RM
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    • Andy Morris
      A couple of points about how people perceive car free environments. In the UK and Europe there are increasing number of holiday parks such as Center-Parcs. One
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 7, 2001
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        A couple of points about how people perceive car free environments.

        In the UK and Europe there are increasing number of holiday parks such as
        Center-Parcs. One of the main features of these resorts is their car-free
        nature. People go there ( by car, I know) and enjoy a weekend or a week with
        their families getting around by foot or bike, a lot of people seam to come
        away with a different view of their car, for a while at least.

        The most expensive housing in the country is in central London, one of the
        major features of living there is that you don't need a car. Not having to
        drive to work is becoming a status symbol in itself.

        Most people don't enjoy driving, most of the time, they feel, that as
        individuals, they cannot rid themselves of their cars without risking major
        disruption to their work and their families.

        As I see it the major barriers to car free existence are:

        The critical mass. Being a car-free individual in a car-addicted city is
        hard. Once you own a car, the perceived incremental cost per journey is
        lower than public transport.

        The right of passage. Driving, car use and ownership are a major right of
        passage, indicator of status and access point to adult culture for
        adolescent males. To be flippant, without wheels you can't pull, young men
        are going to continue to become car addicted if they feel it is necessary to
        social and sexual popularity.

        The sporting analogy. There are times when driving a car is great fun, an
        empty, dry country road, it feels great, we get great satisfaction from
        taking a corner, just on the edge of the envelope. We dip into an addictive
        fantasy.

        The first point is well covered in Car Free Cities. The 2nd would be helped
        by decent public transport and cites designed for people.

        The 3rd needs a rethink of the link between cars and motor sport. I like the
        idea of hardware speed limits. To take it further with the development of
        Global Positioning Systems and a better understanding of traffic behaviour
        a case could be made for the 'farty car', top speed (except on uncrowded
        motorways) of 50, 25 in towns, limits on cornering 'g' and acceleration.

        Such a vehicle would get there just as fast, we all sit in traffic, we all
        go the same speed, it would consume fewer resources, would be far safer to
        occupants and everyone else, but most importantly it would be pleasant but
        dull to drive.

        A few months back I went on a works outing to a go-kart track, we racing
        karts with 100c ( maybe less) engines on an indoor track, with an top speed
        of around 20 mph, sounds dull, but it was the most thrilling thing I've done
        in years, it feels incredibly fast, you can drive with total aggression,
        corner up to and beyond the edge. After one hour I was exhausted and was
        stiff for a week. After that you realise that driving at all aggressively is
        just a silly fantasy, its not the real thing.

        People get great pleasure from playing racing driver, let them, but not on
        public highways.


        One last point, if someone its me at speed, in a car that exceeds the 'farty
        car' spec, can we not make the manufacturer and retailer take some
        responsibility? They sold a machine that was dangerously over powered and
        encouraged an irresponsible attitude in the driver.

        Andy M


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Richard Moseley" <nuneatonrich@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@egroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 5:27 PM
        Subject: RE: [carfree_cities] Car Free Cities


        >
        >
        >
        > Thanks for your responses, hopefully you can keep them coming as it is
        great
        > to hear from people of like-minded views.
        >
        > I have a few comments regarding the points made. A lot of these 'small
        > towns' that could not be serviced by such an expensive system might
        suddenly
        > become a lot larger if there is the consequence of displaced population
        > which would surely ensue if the 'compact city' could be created. Also my
        > original point which was strongly rebutted about rural areas possesing a
        > smaller scale system, the point that I was trying to make is that we need
        to
        > encourage the fully-fledged ruralist instead of the partially reformed
        > townie that many rural areas hold. The only way to do this is to also
        remove
        > cars from rural areas so the farmer that lives there does not need to
        travel
        > twenty miles to the nearest set of services. I don't think that anyone can
        > question the relationship between the breakdown of rural communities and
        the
        > growth in automobile use, and I hope that you can appreciate this point. I
        > do accept that it would be a very tough challenge to create this or even
        to
        > devise a plan but in theory, I hope that you can agree with it.
        >
        > Also I am looking for advice. Here in the UK there does not appear to be
        the
        > people to put across these views. I was interested if anyone knew of any
        > such organisation or research taking place on these shores as currently I
        am
        > trying to find ways of getting involved in such research when I graduate
        > from university. It cheers me up to read the positive responses that
        people
        > have given to the suggestion of a car-free city and that car dependency
        > isn't as deep for as many people as I first thought. I just hope that
        there
        > is some way of getting this across here in the UK,
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > RM
        > _________________________________________________________________________
        > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        >
        >
        >
      • Andrew Preble
        ... cost on life, it is definitely cheaper to take public transportation, especially when every 40 seconds somebody dies from an automobile (American Public
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 7, 2001
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          Andy Morris wrote:

          > The most expensive housing in the country is in central London, one of the
          > major features of living there is that you don't need a car. Not having to
          > drive to work is becoming a status symbol in itself.

          >> This is also true in New Orleans, Louisiana.

          > As I see it the major barriers to car free existence are:
          >
          > The critical mass. Being a car-free individual in a car-addicted city is
          > hard. Once you own a car, the perceived incremental cost per journey is
          > lower than public transport.

          >> This is not true- the car is still very expensive to maintain and if you put a
          cost on life, it is definitely cheaper to take public transportation, especially
          when every 40 seconds somebody dies from an automobile (American Public
          Transportation Association).

          > A few months back I went on a works outing to a go-kart track, we racing
          > karts with 100c ( maybe less) engines on an indoor track, with an top speed
          > of around 20 mph, sounds dull, but it was the most thrilling thing I've done
          > in years, it feels incredibly fast, you can drive with total aggression,
          > corner up to and beyond the edge. After one hour I was exhausted and was
          > stiff for a week. After that you realise that driving at all aggressively is
          > just a silly fantasy, its not the real thing.
          >
          > People get great pleasure from playing racing driver, let them, but not on
          > public highways.

          >> I agree completely, and I think that you have made a good point. Most people
          only enjoy driving when they are pretending to be race car driver on highways,
          causing danger to all around them.

          --Andrew
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... I ve often wondered why the manufacturers are not routinely sued in any case in which speeds in excess of the posted 65 mph (in the USA) are involved. It
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 8, 2001
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            Andy Morris said:

            >One last point, if someone its me at speed, in a car that exceeds the 'farty
            >car' spec, can we not make the manufacturer and retailer take some
            >responsibility? They sold a machine that was dangerously over powered and
            >encouraged an irresponsible attitude in the driver.

            I've often wondered why the manufacturers are not routinely
            sued in any case in which speeds in excess of the posted
            65 mph (in the USA) are involved. It would be simple to prove
            in court that the manufacturers are encouraging illegal
            behavior. Take this quote (from the book):


            Distant thunder, cold as stone,
            a V8 screams down from its throne.
            One by one, each car succumbs.
            Something wicked
            this way comes.

            Naught-to-sixty in 5.7 seconds: Once a figment of the
            imagination, now a fixture of intimidation. All courtesy of
            the 300-horsepower, 32-valve V8 which seethes within
            this, the fiercest automatic sedan in the world.

            The new GS
            Faster. Sleeker. Meaner.

            and my comment:

            Full text of a Lexus advertisement. The car is shown hurtling through
            a burned-out forest. What an odd way to sell a car.
            The New Yorker Magazine
            2 February 1998, inside cover


            ###

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            postmaster@... Carfree.com
          • Doug Salzmann
            ... Hi, Andrew. I don t think Andy meant that the per-journey cost of auto operation is lower than public transit. He was reminding us that, once a car owner
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 8, 2001
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              At 06:07 PM 2/7/2001, Andrew wrote in part:

              >Andy Morris wrote:
              >
              > > Being a car-free individual in a car-addicted city is
              > > hard. Once you own a car, the perceived incremental cost per journey is
              > > lower than public transport.
              >
              > >> This is not true- the car is still very expensive to maintain and if
              > you put a
              >cost on life, it is definitely cheaper to take public transportation,
              >especially
              >when every 40 seconds somebody dies from an automobile (American Public
              >Transportation Association).

              Hi, Andrew.

              I don't think Andy meant that the per-journey cost of auto operation is
              lower than public transit. He was reminding us that, once a car owner is
              paying all of the other costs of ownership, it may *seem* to that owner
              that the additional (incremental) cost of hopping into the car for a trip
              to the store is very low, perhaps even cheaper than taking the tram or bus.

              This problem of perceived cost is a major barrier to discussing the
              relative economies of auto operation vs. public transit. So many of the
              costs of automobility are either hidden or paid by society as a whole that
              it often seems much cheaper than it really is.

              -Doug
            • Ronald Dawson
              ... farty ... Do you think speed governors or photo radar would help? Dawson
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 8, 2001
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                J.H. Crawford wrote:




                >>One last point, if someone its me at speed, in a car that exceeds the
                'farty
                >>car' spec, can we not make the manufacturer and retailer take some
                >>responsibility? They sold a machine that was dangerously over powered and
                >>encouraged an irresponsible attitude in the driver.

                >I've often wondered why the manufacturers are not routinely
                >sued in any case in which speeds in excess of the posted
                >65 mph (in the USA) are involved. It would be simple to prove
                >in court that the manufacturers are encouraging illegal
                >behaviour. Take this quote (from the book):

                Do you think speed governors or photo radar would help? Dawson
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