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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: urbancyclist-uk: Love of the car

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Dear Joel Thanks for the detailed correction. Where did I get that 34 minutes from. Perhaps because it s my house number. Ditto why did I think 10 minutes from
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 2, 2001
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      Dear Joel

      Thanks for the detailed correction. Where did I get that 34 minutes from.
      Perhaps because it's my house number. Ditto why did I think 10 minutes from
      home to a transit stop. Maybe I was thinking there-and-back.

      But can the Rapid Transit beat the 35 minute limit in SF?
      My point was not that the car can achieve this but that it may still be
      better than the tram or train even if the car takes longer if the train or
      tram can't achieve the 35 minutes. The car driver will still prefer other
      features of the car - like its insulation from others, in-car music, status
      etc - unless the capability and smartness of rapid transit including the
      guaranteed 35 minutes cross city maximum makes the car look as naff as I
      already regard it for city travel.

      Bets wishes

      S


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: J.H. Crawford <postmaster@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 5:14 PM
      Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: urbancyclist-uk: Love of the car


      >
      > Minor inaccuracies [corrected here]:
      >
      > >But there is still a crude truth that applies far too widely. Joel has
      made
      > >the calculation that the design reference of a carfree city - to persuade
      > >people carfree is better than not carfree - is:
      >
      > >No more than 10 minutes walk to a transit stop [reference design is 5
      min.]
      > >No more than 4 minutes wait between trams or trains
      > >No more than 34 minutes maximum for a journey from one side of the city
      to
      > >another. [35 minutes]
      >
      > >Use this formula in most cities and the car still wins on most if not all
      > >counts.
      >
      > I don't think so. You'd have a fairly difficult time getting from one
      > side of San Fracisco to the other at 4 in the morning in 35 minutes.
      > I was trying actually to beat the car, door to door. Note also that
      > in the proposed "Auto-Centric Carfree City," it's considerably faster
      > to take public transport than to drive.
    • Simon Baddeley
      I am delighted with your reply (and I am posting it to the group because I value running these reflections in front of that audience). I am also moved that you
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 3, 2001
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        I am delighted with your reply (and I am posting it to the group because I
        value running these reflections in front of that audience). I am also moved
        that you have shared with me the fact that you get downhearted about the way
        the world is. You write with such optimism and curbed passion that I could
        be forgiven for forgetting that you must share the emotions - positive and
        negative - that make your book so exciting and consoling to many of us.

        Thanks for the detailed stuff. It's vital to this dialogue and the learning
        that attends it. I'm taking a break from delivering election leaflets hour
        upon hour for the last few days and getting more insight into the cancerous
        harm the car along with a few other things - like mismanaged and corruptly
        allocated public regeneration money - has done to the fabric of my
        neighbourhood.

        "I find it so strange that so many people regard the isolation of
        > the car as some kind of ideal. It really speaks to the tremendous
        > class-sensitivity of Americans (and nearly everybody else)."

        It's the same here tho' isn't it. I wrote a paper in 1995 published in
        "Human Relations" (my most prestigious journal publication to date) called
        "The Internal Polity". I don't want to burden you with more reading
        especially thinking remote from urban design but I wrote it (along with a
        later chapter on "Governmentality" in a collection of papers on "The
        Governance of Cyberspace"). My theme was that there's been an explosion of
        awareness of the infinite dimensions of inner space - the fabric of
        self-consciousness. I called it "The Internal Polity". These inner spaces
        were explored and mapped as thoroughly as Marx and others mapped society
        during the 19/20th centuries.

        From new age self-improvement books at the airport to lengthy psychoanalysis
        and drug assisted escape from misery, interior space has - for the western
        mind and populations under western influence - become a territory of deep
        and consuming fascination and indulgence (unlike the interior journeys
        conducted within religious discipline).

        The car is par excellence a device that allows this exploration and
        colonisation of the psyche to continue apace. It's one if the best places in
        which to evade the hazardous distractions of the external world while
        offering an all round view of it that avoids the mental discipline of
        monkish isolation. Gorz is good but he doesn't get the whole of our
        fascination with being away from our fellow humans.

        My daughter Amy sat in "silence" with me on a car journey from the
        Gloucestershire countryside yesterday playing her favourite music to herself
        through earphones. She is very bright if her test results are anything to go
        by. I asked her, when an opportunity arose, why she seemed to need to
        listen to music like this so often and especially now when we might be
        chatting. She said talking to a parent was impossible at this stage in her
        life. Surely I understood that.

        Her CD player helped her concentrate on a homework assignment she was
        anxious about. That's what she said. We used to have wonderful conversations
        as we walked or cycled together but that is over for the time being. Is
        there some new developmental transition that goes beyond the 1950s invention
        of adolescence that hasn't been properly named that requires (as with so
        called primitive tribes) a self-guided grand tour of interior space?

        My worry and yours (and indeed of thousands of parents) is that too many
        people get to like their interior space so much they invest in technologies
        and adopt attitudes to ensure they don't come out the other side. Is the car
        one of these. Is this shiny beauty presented by some proud parents on
        graduation day a collusion in their dearest one's temptation to stay
        separated from the exterior world.

        PhD students among the children of my friends reassure me of the one's who
        get out and away. As I write to you my heart swells a little at hearing Amy
        playing Fur Elise on our piano downstairs! For intervals she can put the
        late Kurt Cobain- "I hate life and I want to die" - aside.

        Best wishes

        Simon


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: J.H. Crawford <postmaster@...>
        To: <s.j.baddeley@...>
        Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 11:48 AM
        Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: urbancyclist-uk: Love of the car


        >
        > Hi Simon,
        >
        > I think you meant to send this off-list. I've made that mistake
        > myself--it's very easy to do.
        >
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