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Speeding records... (shift) attitude of the next generation

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  • Simon Baddeley
    I am delighted to hear of a 16 year old not keen to become a driver despite living in a place where the car is something taken for granted and where settlement
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 23, 2001
      I am delighted to hear of a 16 year old not keen to become a driver despite
      living in a place where the car is something taken for granted and where
      settlement patterns making it difficult to get around without car reliance.
      I keep thinking of the sense of "control" (of my own life?) and "freedom" I
      acquired when I got my driving licence way back in the 1950s and I compare
      it to the limitations on that control and freedom I came to feel during the
      1990s and which finally led to me more or less abandoning my car (not
      entirely) in favour of public transport, cycling and walking. I now feel the
      original pleasure I got from driving from cycling, walking and trains, trams
      and the occasional taxi, and I still save money (even with the car still
      costing me as an item that stays much of the time on the drive.).

      Knowing that drive for control and freedom and feeling personally delighted
      at finding it again in my late 50s I still have little idea how that works
      out for a teenager. For "carfree" cities to work we cannot rely on those who
      give up cars like donning a hairshirt. It must be something people really
      like doing and which feels more exciting than being reliant on a car. I
      wonder if I was indeed getting a hint of that psychology in the account we
      heard from Andrew.

      My children are 15 and 21. Neither shares my enthusiasm for cycling (though
      they did it a lot when younger) but nor are they begging me or their mother
      for driving lessons. I am not sure how this will go. Are there new trends
      among the young of the rich world about where they look to spend their money
      (and their parents' support funding!) when it comes to mobility. I notice -
      in passing - a new breed of cyclists who wear what I regard as far more
      fashionable and stylish clothes and don't feel the need to get dressed up
      for the Tour de France or a mountain bike marathon to get across town,
      though they may want to carry notebook computers and design tubes for plans
      and drawings etc. I also see people not riding knobbly tyred rural track
      bikes - but far more elegant city machines. Unfortunately none of the
      fashionable clothes would suit a near 60 year old so I tend to still look
      like "a cyclist" though I have turned up at meetings in a very smart dark
      suit and tie and looked pretty suave.

      Best wishes

      Simon


      > Louis-Luc wrote:
      >
      > > So eliminating the car-culture will make the average person more fit,
      less
      > > fat, and as time goes by, travel more distance in less time on foot,
      skates
      > > or bike, thus reducing the need of the metal/glass wheelchairs.
      >
      > I agree with you completely. Being only 16 and living with my
      parents, I
      > rarely walk or bike places simply because I live in a car dependent town.
      Next
      > school year I am praying that I will be able to bike to school if a bike
      path link
      > is built between my school and Tammany Trace, the main bike path that runs
      though
      > my the parish and is close to my house (Our parish president has promised
      me that
      > it will be completed but school is less than a month away and I have yet
      to see any
      > progress). I think everybody would be more healthy if they lived in a
      carfree city
      > not only because you would get exercise from walking, but you would be
      healthier
      > because you would not be forced to breath in the emissions of cars.
      > On a side note... walking or exercising can be extremely unpleasant
      here in the
      > south (near New Orleans) during the summer months because of the extreme
      heat. I
      > my small town which claims to have a 50% shade coverage it is much cooler
      than the
      > neighboring town which has very little trees. I have found that the only
      thing I
      > can do to get exercise is to swim daily in the artesian pool in my back
      yard. So
      > hopefully the ideal carfree city should be well landscaped with many trees
      > providing shade cover.
      > --Andrew
      >
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