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Re: [carfree_cities] Hi, Im back

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  • Roy Preston
    ... Ha ha ha. Like a rapist in a nunnery! Roy P
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 7 12:57 PM
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      Mateus threw open the doors with a flourish and pronounced:
      >Hi, Im back!

      Ha ha ha. Like a rapist in a nunnery!

      Roy P
    • Guy Berliner
      I object to your juxtaposing North Korea or Cuba as the only alternatives to the US (none other than Henry Kissinger defined globalization as another word
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 8 3:47 AM
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        I object to your juxtaposing North Korea or Cuba as the only
        alternatives to the US (none other than Henry Kissinger defined
        "globalization" as "another word for the dominant role of the US
        in the post Cold War world order.") I doubt most people on this
        list would favor replacing one kind of antidemocratic regime with
        another. And surely that is what we have in my country, sadly. As
        to "choice," where is it my country? The choice is sorely lacking.
        There may exist an artificial choice of different brands of
        consumer goods. But try to find so much as one city, or even
        one neighborhood in one city, in this country where you can
        walk without the constant menace of high speed auto traffic.
        What is so natural about being subjected to such an ever present
        danger against your will? How come we get some choices (a thousand
        brands of toothpaste), and not others (a choice of affordable
        neighborhoods at least some of which are free of the more egregious
        effects of automotive tyranny)? I suggest that the choices we are
        faced with by our economy are not an act of God, but of men. And any
        act of men can be changed by them.

        On 8 Apr 2001 Mateus de Oliveira Fechino" <fechino@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello everyone who remembers me ( and who doesnt !). I used to
        > participate in this group some months ago and expressed some of my
        > opinions on the issue (carfree cities). I was pretty sure about what
        > was right at the time and to me Joel Crawford's site was a bible .
        > Cars should be off the streets imediately and so.
        > But since then Ive been thinking a lot about it and got to a
        > conclusion to myself, which may not and most probably will not be
        > suitable to most of this groups' participants.
        > I will tell what I think. Lots of people in Brazil ( where I live )
        > used to say some years ago ,when the country was beginning to open
        > its boundaries to imported products of all kind ( that was in the
        > beginning of the 90's ), that they were AGAINST that phenomenon that
        > was being called "globalization" and that was said to cause
        > unemployment and so . As time went by and people got to know a little
        > bit what was that to live in a more open economy ( and that includes
        > the pros and the cons ), such complaint about globalization began to
        > vanish from the press , and the focus since then is much more over
        > how the government deals with globalization, and not with the
        > phenomenon itself.
        > Well , my point is : globalization is there whether you want it or
        > not. Youve got lots of ways to deal with it, from keeping your
        > country shutdown to foreign investments to the slowly( or fast if you
        > wish ) opening of your boarders to make commerce flow naturaly,
        > helping everyone grow.
        > So what do cars have to do with it? Its the same story ! Cars are
        > there and there's actually very little that you can do about it. To
        > my humble point of view , forcing the close of a city to car traffic
        > would be like closing a country's boarders to trades . Cars are there
        > and they've got pros and cons just as globalization. What we gotta to
        > is make the best use of its pros, and try to minimize the cons .
        > Im not a new urbanistic( because Im not even an urbanist or
        > architect , Im a economics college student ) , nor do I live in a
        > fairy tale where global business help all everytime . What I think is
        > that dreaming about an ideal carfree world is a little bit a waste of
        > time when even Cuba , North Corea and China are already aware that
        > some freedom of choice may be of more use to all.
        > To finish, Ill tell you that, people must have options, and cars ,
        > like buses, subway , cycling or walking , is certainly one of them .
        > One behalf of what people might have saw me posting in this egroup
        > before , that is my true point of view.
        >
        > What do you think of that ? Ill be looking forward to comments from
        > all :)
        >
        > its only the first of many I hope
        >
        > Mateus O. Fechino
      • Mateus de Oliveira Fechino
        Hi, Guy You mentioned lots of negative points about cars in the city. I ll tell you, I agree with all of them . I also have to pay high attention at every
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 8 11:00 AM
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          Hi, Guy

          You mentioned lots of negative points about cars in the city.
          I'll tell you, I agree with all of them . I also have to pay high
          attention at every corner not to be knocked down by a car. I have to
          live with noise all day long too . When I go downtown this beautiful
          500.000 inhabitants city I live in, I have to hold my breath not to
          inhale that *&ยจ%$ smoke that trucks leave behind.

          But on the other hand , look at me, I dont know about you, but I have
          ever been completely dependent on cars ( and that includes buses I
          believe, according to Joel Crawford's model of a carfree city ) .
          Wherever I go, I go by car or bus. That is the point about freedom of
          choice I was refering to . I wish I could live in downtown
          Amsterdam , or Venice, or wherever place where I could hear the birds
          and people's footsteps and walk relaxed( I really do ) . And you know
          why I keep living here in this town where youve got a car for every
          two people ?? Because I cant afford living in Venice ! Id have to
          begin a hole new life , leave college and my family and friends, get
          a job as a clown at Piazza San Marco , become an italian citizen and
          so .

          Would you do that ? Why not if youre up to all those challenges ? I
          wouldnt, thats a high price to pay for me. I chose to battle to
          concentrate on study against noise from cars, and to watch out every
          street corner not to die at 18 on the streets. In the other hand I
          can live in a big city and still have relatively fast access to all
          different different parts of it ( even by bus ). Maybe when I retire
          I can hopelly buy a small apartment and spend my last days in Venice.
          Or I could just ( once again , if I could afford ) buy a house on
          these new suburbs and go even to the grocery store three blocks away
          by car, I dont know, and then having very little traffic to deal with
          near home ( which I agree would be quite a paradox). But thats the
          problem , Guy, I cant, today.

          Should we make it a law that no car is no longer allowed in this
          world of ours ( which I think is not Joel's idea at all ) ? Well, if
          we could do that...anyone has got an idea of how ?

          Look Guy, in a society I believe we all struggle to live together in
          harmony , right? Think about car drivers: wouldnt it be better if
          they could wipe out all pedestrians and all other car traffic from
          the streets , the same way pedestrians want to get rid of all cars ?
          Thats social life, right ? You really cant get all you want.Thats my
          opinion.

          Mateus Fechino

          --- In carfree_cities@y..., Guy Berliner <guy@s...> wrote:
          > I object to your juxtaposing North Korea or Cuba as the only
          > alternatives to the US (none other than Henry Kissinger defined
          > "globalization" as "another word for the dominant role of the US
          > in the post Cold War world order.") I doubt most people on this
          > list would favor replacing one kind of antidemocratic regime with
          > another. And surely that is what we have in my country, sadly. As
          > to "choice," where is it my country? The choice is sorely lacking.
          > There may exist an artificial choice of different brands of
          > consumer goods. But try to find so much as one city, or even
          > one neighborhood in one city, in this country where you can
          > walk without the constant menace of high speed auto traffic.
          > What is so natural about being subjected to such an ever present
          > danger against your will? How come we get some choices (a thousand
          > brands of toothpaste), and not others (a choice of affordable
          > neighborhoods at least some of which are free of the more egregious
          > effects of automotive tyranny)? I suggest that the choices we are
          > faced with by our economy are not an act of God, but of men. And any
          > act of men can be changed by them.
          >
          > On 8 Apr 2001 Mateus de Oliveira Fechino" <fechino@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hello everyone who remembers me ( and who doesnt !). I used to
          > > participate in this group some months ago and expressed some of
          my
          > > opinions on the issue (carfree cities). I was pretty sure about
          what
          > > was right at the time and to me Joel Crawford's site was a
          bible .
          > > Cars should be off the streets imediately and so.
          > > But since then Ive been thinking a lot about it and got to a
          > > conclusion to myself, which may not and most probably will not be
          > > suitable to most of this groups' participants.
          > > I will tell what I think. Lots of people in Brazil ( where I
          live )
          > > used to say some years ago ,when the country was beginning to
          open
          > > its boundaries to imported products of all kind ( that was in the
          > > beginning of the 90's ), that they were AGAINST that phenomenon
          that
          > > was being called "globalization" and that was said to cause
          > > unemployment and so . As time went by and people got to know a
          little
          > > bit what was that to live in a more open economy ( and that
          includes
          > > the pros and the cons ), such complaint about globalization began
          to
          > > vanish from the press , and the focus since then is much more
          over
          > > how the government deals with globalization, and not with the
          > > phenomenon itself.
          > > Well , my point is : globalization is there whether you want it
          or
          > > not. Youve got lots of ways to deal with it, from keeping your
          > > country shutdown to foreign investments to the slowly( or fast if
          you
          > > wish ) opening of your boarders to make commerce flow naturaly,
          > > helping everyone grow.
          > > So what do cars have to do with it? Its the same story ! Cars are
          > > there and there's actually very little that you can do about it.
          To
          > > my humble point of view , forcing the close of a city to car
          traffic
          > > would be like closing a country's boarders to trades . Cars are
          there
          > > and they've got pros and cons just as globalization. What we
          gotta to
          > > is make the best use of its pros, and try to minimize the cons .
          > > Im not a new urbanistic( because Im not even an urbanist or
          > > architect , Im a economics college student ) , nor do I live in a
          > > fairy tale where global business help all everytime . What I
          think is
          > > that dreaming about an ideal carfree world is a little bit a
          waste of
          > > time when even Cuba , North Corea and China are already aware
          that
          > > some freedom of choice may be of more use to all.
          > > To finish, Ill tell you that, people must have options, and
          cars ,
          > > like buses, subway , cycling or walking , is certainly one of
          them .
          > > One behalf of what people might have saw me posting in this
          egroup
          > > before , that is my true point of view.
          > >
          > > What do you think of that ? Ill be looking forward to comments
          from
          > > all :)
          > >
          > > its only the first of many I hope
          > >
          > > Mateus O. Fechino
        • Philip D Riggs
          On Sun, 08 Apr 2001 18:00:50 -0000 Mateus de Oliveira Fechino ... If we used your logic we would still be under a feudal system of goverment. Times change,
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 8 11:46 AM
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            On Sun, 08 Apr 2001 18:00:50 -0000 "Mateus de Oliveira Fechino"
            <fechino@...> writes:
            >
            > Should we make it a law that no car is no longer allowed in this
            > world of ours ( which I think is not Joel's idea at all ) ? Well, if
            > we could do that...anyone has got an idea of how ?
            >
            > Look Guy, in a society I believe we all struggle to live together in
            > harmony , right? Think about car drivers: wouldnt it be better if
            > they could wipe out all pedestrians and all other car traffic from
            > the streets , the same way pedestrians want to get rid of all cars ?
            >
            > Thats social life, right ? You really cant get all you want.Thats my
            > opinion.

            If we used your logic we would still be under a feudal system of
            goverment. Times change, values change, and social norms, laws, etc. also
            change. Environmentalists are overcoming these problems through education
            and demonstrating the positive advantages of change. Pollution once was
            thought of as a normal byproduct of industrial production. Now we know
            better. Change does come with a cost, but the benefits far outweigh
            thoses costs in my opinion. How can you place a price on a human life and
            their health? And for what reason? Profits and stock values? As for
            societal harmony, by the very nature of imposition it is up to those who
            cause problems and harms to relinquish (hopefully voluntarily) the cause
            of imposition, in this case the automobile, for the greater societal
            good. Pedestrians don't kill people by hitting other people, drivers do.
            The cost of the automobile in road construction and maintenance is a huge
            drain on economies. Its cost in pollution and health degradation is
            enormous. For all the attention at least cigarette health related
            problems are for the most part voluntary. Auto exhaust affects everybody
            and there is no getting away from it. In my opinion it is
            incomprehensible that the transportation industry is so heavily
            subsidized, but we can't afford even a minimum government supported
            health care provision. You are right, we can't get all we want. But Guy
            is right, we are denied a basic choice in life when an industry imposes a
            destructive force in society and we are forced to live with it. If a
            person kills with a gun it is murder. We accept the fact a gun is a
            dangerous and hold people accountable for proper careful use. An
            automobile is treated differently. If somebody dies it is an "accident"
            generally nobody is held accountable as seen by minimum punishment of
            most people involved in the most dangerous or horrendous acts involving
            the auto. You don't have the right to endanger my life and health.

            *******************************
            Philip Riggs
            Colorado State University
            Fort Collins, Colorado
          • Chris Bradshaw
            Mateus, Your turnaround in your opinion suggests that further flip-flops are probably just around the corner. However, you do raise some serious challenge to
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 8 12:23 PM
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              Mateus,

              Your turnaround in your opinion suggests that further flip-flops are
              probably just
              around the corner.

              However, you do raise some serious challenge to the premise of this
              list.

              Globalism and car-use are both "choices" that reduce choice for those
              who try to
              use their "alternatives."

              Globalism is not just about adding more choice to your daily shopping,
              but about
              reducing local alternatives, as large companies tap official subsidies
              for
              petroleum for the transportation of its goods, and skewing zoning bylaws
              and
              property tax laws to favour their large big-box retail outlets, while
              soaking
              traditional shops on main streets that have a much smaller
              municipal-service
              footprint than their global "competitors."

              And the use of the automobile is, as another subscriber pointed out,
              fraught with
              open intimidation (and other deteriorations of non-car alternatives) of
              non-car
              travelers, not to mention the aforementioned subsidies and other
              sanctions.
              Car-use is a form of addiction, or at least dependence. The "hard
              drive" article
              is a good example of the kind of thinking it stimulates.

              Chris Bradshaw
            • Ronald Dawson
              ... Welcome back to the list. ... That s fine. ... A lot of Canadians had the same thoughts as well over NAFTA and some times it s hard to tell what has really
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 8 5:20 PM
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                Mateus de Oliveira Fechino wrote:
                >Hello everyone who remembers me ( and who doesnt !).

                Welcome back to the list.

                >I used to
                >participate in this group some months ago and expressed some of my
                >opinions on the issue (carfree cities). I was pretty sure about what
                >was right at the time and to me Joel Crawford's site was a bible .
                >Cars should be off the streets imediately and so.
                >But since then Ive been thinking a lot about it and got to a
                >conclusion to myself, which may not and most probably will not be
                >suitable to most of this groups' participants.

                That's fine.

                >I will tell what I think. Lots of people in Brazil ( where I live )
                >used to say some years ago ,when the country was beginning to open
                >its boundaries to imported products of all kind ( that was in the
                >beginning of the 90's ), that they were AGAINST that phenomenon that
                >was being called "globalization" and that was said to cause
                >unemployment and so . As time went by and people got to know a little
                >bit what was that to live in a more open economy ( and that includes
                >the pros and the cons ), such complaint about globalization began to
                >vanish from the press , and the focus since then is much more over
                >how the government deals with globalization, and not with the
                >phenomenon itself.

                A lot of Canadians had the same thoughts as well over NAFTA and some times
                it's hard to tell what has really changed.
                Though there are situations where it has failed, like a Canadian company
                suing a US state (California) over the banning of MBTE (a gasoline
                additive), because it was contaminating ground water.

                >Well , my point is : globalization is there whether you want it or
                >not. You've got lots of ways to deal with it, from keeping your
                >country shutdown to foreign investments to the slowly( or fast if you
                >wish ) opening of your boarders to make commerce flow naturaly,
                >helping everyone grow.

                Also, remember Canada and Brazil almost started a trade war over aircraft
                and beef not to long ago. It was petty, but so what else is new.

                >So what do cars have to do with it? Its the same story ! Cars are
                >there and there's actually very little that you can do about it. To
                >my humble point of view , forcing the close of a city to car traffic
                >would be like closing a country's boarders to trades . Cars are there
                >and they've got pros and cons just as globalization. What we gotta to
                >is make the best use of its pros, and try to minimize the cons .
                >Im not a new urbanistic( because Im not even an urbanist or
                >architect , Im a economics college student ) , nor do I live in a
                >fairy tale where global business help all everytime . What I think is
                >that dreaming about an ideal carfree world is a little bit a waste of
                >time when even Cuba , North Korea and China are already aware that
                >some freedom of choice may be of more use to all.

                A friend of mine once said "Being free only means choosing whose chains you
                want to wear". Dawson
              • 3L
                ... Welcome back, Mateus. First point is freedom. Freedom of movement means mobility. And mobility means moving your body using your own energy to go where you
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 8 8:54 PM
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                  > Should we make it a law that no car is no longer allowed in this
                  > world of ours ( which I think is not Joel's idea at all ) ? Well, if
                  > we could do that...anyone has got an idea of how ?
                  >
                  > Look Guy, in a society I believe we all struggle to live together in
                  > harmony , right? Think about car drivers: wouldnt it be better if
                  > they could wipe out all pedestrians and all other car traffic from
                  > the streets , the same way pedestrians want to get rid of all cars ?
                  > Thats social life, right ? You really cant get all you want.Thats my
                  > opinion.
                  >
                  > Mateus Fechino
                  Welcome back, Mateus.

                  First point is freedom. Freedom of movement means mobility. And mobility
                  means moving your body using your own energy to go where you want to go
                  WITHOUT any excessive danger. If you feel threatened at every street corner,
                  than the danger frequency is way too high. Imagine someone aims a gun at you
                  at each street corner, and shoots if you move the way the shooter doesn't
                  want you to. Cars show the same problem, and create a social injustice,
                  that's unacceptable because they threaten the overall public security if not
                  driven properly. There are 2 ways to fix that.

                  1. Make sure all (say at least 99.9%) of motor vehicle are driven properly.
                  That means all rules are followed and no one is threatened at any street
                  corner at any time. That is if a driver violates a rule, then his license is
                  immediately suspended for a significantly long period of time, and/or the
                  vehicle is taken back by the police. The result is that if people really
                  love their car, they will drive it correctly not to lose access to it.

                  2. Make some or all parts of a city carfree. There can still be car traffic
                  in the surroundings, except that to gain access to a carfree place drivers
                  must park their vehicle in a garage and access the carfree area by various
                  other modes Joel talks about in his book.

                  All of this to say that the basic needs of human beings is to breathe
                  without being tubed to an oxygen tank, eat by ourself, grasp objects with
                  our natural hands, and move (or pedal) around with our legs. Look at
                  yourself in the mirror and you'll feel if you can't perform all of these
                  activities peacefully, alone or with others, and with no stress or danger,
                  then you have a handicap you want to eliminate (Well, I feel this way when I
                  look in the mirror). And it's truly possible to eliminate this handicap if
                  your body can perform the actions. Bad car drivers create a handicap to
                  everyone (motorists or not) in the community, and we don't need medical
                  research to eliminate them.

                  Some friends of mine drive sometimes or often, and they tell me they dislike
                  driving because they have to drive for bad drivers, and some of them would
                  sacrifice their driving if it would also eliminate bad drivers from their
                  way.

                  Louis-Luc
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