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Re: [carfree_cities] Frequently Asked Questions

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, Thanks to TJ for this. I ve organized the questions below as I think they might be listed. I ve also sketched out some of the answers as I see them.
    Message 1 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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      Hi All,

      Thanks to TJ for this. I've organized the questions below as I think they
      might be listed. I've also sketched out some of the answers as I see them.
      What's next? Where does this go? I think it goes on the Carfree Institute
      web site.

      Regards,


      GENERAL

      I know cars pollute the environment but is that enough to justify carfree cities?
      it's not just the pollution, it's energy, safety, social networks, aesthetics,
      independence for children and the elderly...

      Isn't pressuring people to use cars less an infringement on their individual wants?
      forcing people to accept other people's car usage is an infringement on their
      quality of life

      If streets are pedestrianized, how will businesses receive their goods?
      depends on the situation; in the ideal case, a dedicated freight system will
      be built to deliver freight in containers directly to major freight consumers.
      freight bikes can be used for small, local freight

      How can I move goods without a truck?
      small freight goes on carts which you can take with you in the metro/tram. larger
      freight will be handled by a variety of means depending on the size/weight of
      the cargo and the distance to be moved.

      Won't it take longer to travel by metro instead of by car?
      if the system is designed right, it should be faster

      How would the carfree city deal with crime that is common to higher density cities?
      crime is not related to density. puttin people on the street is the #1 way to reduce crime.

      Carfree development---Will it work? Will it create better quality of life? How does it get measured?
      we have existing large carfree areas that work. visit Venice for quality-of-life answer. some of
      it cannot be measure numerically, but that doesn't make it any less real.

      For most people, the idea of even slightly REDUCING the amount of driving they do is incomprehensible. How do you expect many people to give up driving altogether?
      giving up driving entirely is not required, only giving up urban driving. cars
      will still be used in the countryside. excellent public transport within the
      city can meet local transport needs.

      We have a pedestrian mall in a city neighborhood that died when the cars were removed, some decades ago. Now, removal of cars seems to mean the death of a neighborhood. It was done poorly then. Why will it be better now?
      most of these areas were actually "transit malls," another name for an outdoor bus station. these
      were low-quality environments. some other failures related to poor accessibility by alternative means.

      How to navigate the suburbs, should it be necessary?
      cars will be available in the peripheral garage and can be used outside the city.

      TRANSPORT

      In a carfree city what will the over-all pubic transit experience encompass? (Here, conceptions of public transit as third rate could be dealt with)
      must be first-class system, preferable based on metros/trams; frequent service, simple
      routes, easy transfers, high speeds

      What are some of the lesser known externalized costs of the automobile? Could better awareness of these costs (such as the noise, bad architecture and ugly public spaces which result from automobile-oriented development) help build
      support for carfree development?
      ....list them... there are a bunch in the book

      What should I do when elderly/infirmed relatives visit?
      access for those in wheelchairs is better in the carfree city than anywhere else

      CONVERSION

      Can suburbs and other low density areas function using only rail transportation?
      no; rail can only provide links to downtown. it will be difficult/impossible
      to remove cars from suburbs unless their density is increased to the levels
      required to support good public transport.

      When are we going to get organized, pick a site, and get building/rebuilding?
      today!

      Where can I find a local (& active) group that is interested in carfree development?
      ....list......


      LIVING WITHOUT A CAR TODAY

      I think we don't want to get into maintaining this. It's a huge task. We might
      have links to other resources, however.

      Chicago:

      How do I get around Chicago on a bike?

      How do I make best use of the CTA/Metra?

      What should I expect to pay for a cab?

      What are the best neigborhoods for a car-free person.

      What if I need to get to Schamburg/Naperville/etc..?


      San Francisco:

      How do I get around San Francisco on a bike?

      What are some tips for using MUNI/BART/Caltrain?

      Where the heck is a taxicab when you need one?

      What if I need to go somewhere on the
      peninsula/Marin/etc...?


      Repeat for NYC, and other cities, and for the various
      college towns...




      -- ### --

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... Carfree.com
    • Rob Hines
      I think these questions cover a lot of the bases but we should try to come up with more to make sure they cover all of the basic concepts outlined in Joel s
      Message 2 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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        I think these questions cover a lot of the bases but we should try to
        come up with more to make sure they cover all of the basic concepts
        outlined in Joel's book. They could even be divided into sections that
        correspond to sections of the book.

        On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 11:12 PM, T. J. Binkley wrote:

        > Hi All,
        >
        > The responses have ceased trickling in, so forthwith a report:
        >
        > I sent out a request a couple of weeks ago for everyone to send in
        > questions that you'd like to see included on a forth-coming FAQ list for
        > the carfree cities site.
        >
        > I have received four responses, which included the following questions:
        >
        > 1. Can suburbs and other low density areas function using only rail
        > transportation?
        > 2. If streets are pedestrianized, how will businesses attain their
        > goods?
        > 3. Isn't pressuring people to use cars less an infringement on their
        > individual wants?
        > 4. Won't it take longer to travel by metro instead of by car?
        > 5. How would the carfree city deal with crime that is common to higher
        > density cities?
        > 6. In a carfree city what will the over-all pubic transit experience
        > encompass? (Here, conceptions of public transit as third rate could be
        > dealt with)
        > 7. I know cars pollute the environment but is that enough to justify
        > carfree cities?
        > 8. Carfree development---Will it work? Will it create better quality of
        > life? How does it get
        > measured?
        > 9. We have a pedestrian mall in a city neighborhood that died when the
        > cars were removed,
        > some decades ago. Now, removal of cars seems to mean the death of a
        > neighborhood. It was done poorly then. Why will it be better now?
        > 10. What are some of the lesser known externalized costs of the
        > automobile? Could better awareness of these costs (such as the noise,
        > bad
        > architecture and ugly public
        > spaces which result from automobile-oriented development) help build
        > support for carfree development?
        > 11. When are we going to get organized, pick a site, and get
        > building/rebuilding?
        > 12. For most people, the idea of even slightly REDUCING the amount of
        > driving they do is incomprehensible. How do you expect many people to
        > give
        > up driving altogether?
        > 13. Where can I find a local (& active) group that is interested in
        > carfree development?
        >
        > Who would like to begin writing the answers to these questions?
        >
        > What other questions should be included? Surely more of you have some
        > thoughts on this: Simon? Will? Mike? Karen?
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > T.J.
        >
        >
        > 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/
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • Andras Toth
        Hello, I would add the following question to the FAQ: Some people say we should cycle instead of driving a car in town. That sounds like nonsense. Cycling is
        Message 3 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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          Hello,

          I would add the following question to the FAQ:

          "Some people say we should cycle instead of driving a car in town. That
          sounds like nonsense. Cycling is dangerous for your health because you
          breathe in exhaust fumes from cars directly and more intensely, and also
          because it does not shield you if there is an accident. In addition, the
          bicycle requires effort, is slow, does not take you far, gets you sweaty
          and dirty, cannot be safely parked, cannot transport your shopping and
          children, and does not offer any protection against weather! How could it
          be a realistic alternative?"

          I realize the answer requires a whole essay but most people really think
          that way about cycling, and need to be informed.

          Andras Toth
        • Henning Mortensen
          ... I know Andras is possing questions which may be asked by others. Take these answers as being to some other, and not to Andras. ... I believe there is a
          Message 4 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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            >From: Andras Toth <toth_andras@...>

            I know Andras is possing questions which may be asked by others. Take these
            answers as being to some other, and not to Andras.

            >" Cycling is dangerous for your health because you
            >breathe in exhaust fumes from cars directly and more intensely, and also
            >because it does not shield you if there is an accident.


            I believe there is a study somewhere on carfree.com which contradicts the
            health issue quite clearly indicating that people in cars actually suffer
            more from car fumes. I believe the hypothesis is that because you are
            breathing deeper and more vigorously the crud does not settle in your lungs.
            Anyone have the citation? And of course, in a car free city, exhaust fumes
            would be limited to carbon dioxide exhaled by others.

            As for the safety with regards to accidents, it must be noted that a bicycle
            is a very safe vehicle. The statistics bear this out. Simply remove
            accidents involving bikes where such accident is a collision with a car, and
            all of a sudden it becomes clear that short of the very rare head trauma
            death sustained from falling at high speeds, a bike is far safer then a car.
            In my local area, we had a death rate of 1:5000 people, due to car
            accidents. In my country, the national average is 1:10000. This is people
            killed in a single year in motor vehicle accidents. Surely bikes are much
            safer then this, especially in a car free environment. (actual stats on bike
            deaths here would help)

            >bicycle requires effort, is slow, does not take you far, gets you sweaty
            >and dirty, cannot be safely parked, cannot transport your shopping and
            >children,

            That it takes effort to bike I can not argue. It requires effort to breath
            also. Skyrocketing obesity rates not withstanding, all of us would do well
            to expend more effort.

            As for range, sweat, and dirt it must be noted that in a carfree city all
            distances would be remarkably reduced, transit would augment longer rides,
            and of course a city with more inhabitants outside, would presumably be
            cleaner.

            A set of pannier bags will easily carry home your groceries, and children
            can be transported in trailers, in bike seats, with one wheeled bike
            trailers or on their own bikes. Biking as a family can be both enjoyable and
            efficient.


            >and does not offer any protection against weather!

            Here I agree, weather can be a pain, but so is traffic.

            >How could it be a realistic alternative?

            Many people are already doing it with-out major hardship, give it a try you
            will love the freedom and community you feel.

            >
            >I realize the answer requires a whole essay but most people really think
            >that way about cycling, and need to be informed.

            agreed!
            Henning Mortensen




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          • J.H. Crawford
            ... Bicycling is actually not required in a carfree city. Walking is, and public transport usage is, for longer distances, but a carfree city can exist without
            Message 5 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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              Andras Toth said:


              >"Some people say we should cycle instead of driving a car in town. That
              >sounds like nonsense. Cycling is dangerous for your health because you
              >breathe in exhaust fumes from cars directly and more intensely, and also
              >because it does not shield you if there is an accident. In addition, the
              >bicycle requires effort, is slow, does not take you far, gets you sweaty
              >and dirty, cannot be safely parked, cannot transport your shopping and
              >children, and does not offer any protection against weather! How could it
              >be a realistic alternative?"

              Bicycling is actually not required in a carfree city. Walking is, and
              public transport usage is, for longer distances, but a carfree city
              can exist without bicycles, as does Venice.


              I'm keeping a list of this stuff so far, but I can't take on the
              long-term management of a FAQ. I've just got too much else to do,
              including finishing work on the book-length City Design section of
              Carfree.com. So, we need a volunteer.



              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... Carfree.com
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... This appears to be because exhaust fumes somehow tend to concentrate in cars--the actual interior air quality is appreciably worse than the outside air.
              Message 6 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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                Henning Mortensen replied:

                >>From: Andras Toth <toth_andras@...>

                >>" Cycling is dangerous for your health because you
                >>breathe in exhaust fumes from cars directly and more intensely, and also
                >>because it does not shield you if there is an accident.
                >
                >
                >I believe there is a study somewhere on carfree.com which contradicts the
                >health issue quite clearly indicating that people in cars actually suffer
                >more from car fumes.

                This appears to be because exhaust fumes somehow tend to concentrate
                in cars--the actual interior air quality is appreciably worse than
                the outside air.

                >As for the safety with regards to accidents, it must be noted that a bicycle
                >is a very safe vehicle.

                Not really. When forced to ride in traffic, biking is statistically
                considerably much more dangerous than driving (walking is worse still).
                This is, of course, because of vehicular traffic. (The statistics
                are on the basis of distance travelled, not years.)

                The Dutch have determined, however, that biking is a net pubilc health
                gain, because the extra exercize is so healthy. This is, of course,
                in a society where the air is generally fairly good (when the wind
                isn't blowing out of the Ruhr Valley), car traffic in cities is
                moderate, and there is a long tradition of biking, with virtually
                every family owning and using bikes regularly.




                -- ### --

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                mailbox@... Carfree.com
              • Mark Rauterkus
                Housekeeping @ FAQ Hi All, As to the FAQ, please make it FAQ & As. The questions are a start, but we need the answers.
                Message 7 of 11 , May 4, 2002
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                  Housekeeping @ FAQ


                  Hi All,

                  As to the FAQ, please make it FAQ & As. The questions are a start, but we
                  need the answers. <;O

                  The FAQ & A could be put into the public domain -- or put under a most
                  liberal copyright and reuse license, such as the Design Science License
                  (www.dsl.org). Then others can freely repost and make modifications.

                  A WEB DAV or CVS tree can be established so others can be trusted users to
                  add and adjust the contributions. Distributed editing and updates. A
                  threaded discussion board may work less well as would a "moderated"
                  NEWSGROUP.

                  The email discussion group (this) could have a policy that folks working on
                  the FAQ content make the sumbission with the Subject line: SUMMARY.

                  We might be able to organize / maintain the publi FAQ & A with a new venture
                  I'm pitching in my area -- a Community Learning Outreach Hub (
                  http://CLOH.Org ). But, that hand-off won't come about until Sept-Oct 2003.

                  Thanks for all you do!

                  Ta.

                  Mark Rauterkus
                  mark@... http://Rauterkus.com
                • J.H. Crawford
                  ... Let s just call it the FAQ, since that s the normal name. It always comes with answers! ... I agree, I don t think it should be copyrighted at all. ... I
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 5, 2002
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                    Mark Rauterkus said:

                    >As to the FAQ, please make it FAQ & As. The questions are a start, but we
                    >need the answers. <;O

                    Let's just call it the FAQ, since that's the normal name. It always
                    comes with answers!

                    >The FAQ & A could be put into the public domain.

                    I agree, I don't think it should be copyrighted at all.

                    >A WEB DAV or CVS tree can be established so others can be trusted users to
                    >add and adjust the contributions. Distributed editing and updates. A
                    >threaded discussion board may work less well as would a "moderated"
                    >NEWSGROUP.

                    I don't know how this works.

                    >The email discussion group (this) could have a policy that folks working on
                    >the FAQ content make the sumbission with the Subject line: SUMMARY.

                    That's a big ambiguous, let's just use "FAQ", which is not.

                    >We might be able to organize / maintain the publi FAQ & A with a new venture
                    >I'm pitching in my area -- a Community Learning Outreach Hub (
                    >http://CLOH.Org ). But, that hand-off won't come about until Sept-Oct 2003.

                    Keep us posted. I think for now it should be fairly simple, not more
                    than 20 questions, and as far as I'm concerned, it could go on the
                    new Carfree Institute site. Carfree.com would host it, of course, if
                    need be.

                    Regards,



                    -- ### --

                    J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                    mailbox@... Carfree.com
                  • T. J. Binkley
                    ... Yes. It has been demonstrated that exhaust fumes get concentrated in a car s interior---therefore a pedestrian standing outside the car may be breathing
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 5, 2002
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                      >
                      >
                      >I believe there is a study somewhere on carfree.com which contradicts the
                      >health issue quite clearly indicating that people in cars actually suffer
                      >more from car fumes.

                      Yes. It has been demonstrated that exhaust fumes get concentrated in a
                      car's interior---therefore a pedestrian standing outside the car may be
                      breathing in less toxic air. Not so sure about a vigorously breathing
                      cyclist or jogger though...

                      >I believe the hypothesis is that because you are
                      >breathing deeper and more vigorously the crud does not settle in your lungs.

                      ...actually breathing deeper and more vigorously DOES cause more of the
                      crud to irritate your lungs. This was demonstrated by recent studies
                      linking increased asthma incidence in urban children, and even higher
                      incidence in urban children who participate in lots of outdoor sports.

                      >Anyone have the citation?

                      Data on air quality inside cars:
                      Gee I.L. and Raper D.W., 'Commuter exposure to respirable particles inside
                      buses and by bicycle', The Science of the Total Environment, 235, 403-405
                      (1999)
                      Kingham S., Meaton J., Sheard A. and Lawrenson O., 'Assessment of exposure to
                      traffic-related fumes during the journey to work', Transpn Res.-D, vol 3 no
                      4, 271-274 (1998)
                      Lawryk, N. J. and Weisel, C. P., 'Concentrations of volatile organic
                      compounds in
                      passenger compartments of automobiles', Environmental Science Technology
                      30, 810-816 (1996)
                      Van Wijnen, J. H., Verhoeff, A. P., Jans, H. W. A. and van Bruggen, M.,
                      'The exposure of cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians to traffic-related
                      air pollutants', International Archives of
                      Environmental Health 67, 187-193 (1995)
                      --
                      Dr Adrian Croucher
                      Department of Engineering Science
                      University of Auckland
                      New Zealand
                      tel 64-9-373-7599 ext 4611


                      A. Exclusive Official study shows that air pollution causes the
                      disease affecting 5m Britons
                      By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
                      Pollution from car exhausts causes asthma, dramatic new official research
                      shows.
                      A massive study, backed by the Californian and US governments, has
                      demonstrated for the first time that ozone, the main component of smog, can
                      cause healthy children to develop the life-threatening condition. Top
                      British scientists believe it has provided the "smoking gun" that finally
                      links pollution to the disease.
                      The conclusion - which vindicates an Independent on Sunday campaign that
                      began more than eight years ago - is likely to have an explosive effect on
                      transport and health policy in Britain, which suffers from the highest
                      incidence of asthma in Europe.
                      It comes as the Government's own chief scientific adviser, Professor David
                      King, calls for a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel, a measure that
                      would drastically reduce the pollutants that cause asthma and global
                      warming. He says announcing a ban to take effect some years in the future
                      would force companies to develop "green" cars running on electricity and
                      hydrogen.
                      More than one in every seven children in the country now suffers from
                      asthma - six times as many as 25 years ago - and, in all, five million
                      Britons have the disease: 18,000 new cases are diagnosed each week, and
                      1,500 people die from it every year.
                      Yet the Government has done little to tackle the pollution now being
                      identified as one of the causes of the epidemic. Ozone is excluded from
                      national measures being implemented by local authorities to tackle
                      contaminated air.
                      Scientists have long agreed that ozone exacerbates the disease in those who
                      have it, and many have suspected that it causes it in the first place. But
                      in the absence of proof there has been little political interest in
                      tackling it. The new study breaks the impasse.
                      "We have known for some time that smog can trigger attacks in asthmatics,"
                      says Alan C Lloyd, California's top air pollution official. "This study
                      has shown that ozone can cause asthma as well."
                      Professor Rob McConnell of the University of Southern California, the
                      leading author of the study, and his colleagues made the connection by
                      mounting the first study of its kind into the disease in children. They
                      identified 3,535 children aged nine and over, with no history of asthma,
                      living in both smoggy and relatively unpolluted towns and suburbs, and
                      recorded what happen to them over the next five years.
                      Uniquely, they took particular notice of how much sport the children
                      played. Sporty children are exposed to more air pollution, both because
                      they spend more time outdoors and because vigorous exercise makes them
                      breathe 17 times faster, and draws air deeper into the lungs.
                      They found that children who played three or more sports in smoggy areas
                      were more than three times more likely to get asthma than equally active
                      children in relatively unpolluted ones. Less sporty children in polluted
                      towns and suburbs were also more likely to get the disease, though not to
                      the same extent.
                      Top British experts last week hailed the study as a breakthrough. "It is
                      very, very important - the first paper I know of that suggests that
                      pollution may cause asthma," said Dr John Ayres, professor of respiratory
                      medicine at the University of Birmingham.
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