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Re: [carfree_cities] Digest Number 689

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... I go for many months at a time without driving--I only drive in North America. Whenever I get back, I inevitably end up doing at least some driving, and I
    Message 1 of 10 , May 5, 2002
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      Tom said:

      >My own experience is that the first week of being car free (I bike for
      >most errands; I still have a car but I use it less than once a week)
      >came as a big revelation. In particular the next time I drove was
      >eye-opening -- I had never before realized how tense driving made me
      >feel. Just sitting behind the wheel was a noticeable emotional event.
      >
      >I think this doesn't happen to the same degree for everyone.

      I go for many months at a time without driving--I only drive in
      North America. Whenever I get back, I inevitably end up doing
      at least some driving, and I find it exhausting. Two hourse behind
      the wheel leaves me feeling like I've just gone 15 rounds with
      Mohhamed Ali.




      -- ### --

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... Carfree.com
    • James Rombough
      ... Considering how anti-smoking the State of California is, I would say the two are actually inversely related. ;) Besides, smoking is an individual choice
      Message 2 of 10 , May 5, 2002
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        --- Daren Scot Wilson <darenw@...> wrote:
        > (Late night thoughts)
        >
        > Does car-driving resemble smoking? Is it as hard to
        > "quit"? Car
        > driving may be practical while smoking isn't, but
        > otherwise I wonder if
        > the same psychological process is behind it -
        > thinking especially of
        > short trips where one could walk, not needing to
        > carry anything.
        >
        > Suppose we want to reduce car driving by, oh, say
        > 90%. Has any anti-
        > smoking campaign ever made that big a dent in
        > smoking stats? Is this
        > an interesting or fair comparison?
        >
        > --
        > Daren Scot Wilson
        > darenw@...
        > darenw.home.pipeline.com

        Considering how anti-smoking the State of California
        is, I would say the two are actually inversely
        related. ;)

        Besides, smoking is an individual choice that has no
        effect on other people. The same cannot be said of
        cars in cities.

        I don't like cars in cities because they pollute the
        atmosphere, crash into people, and consume large
        amounts of natural resources, such as oil and land.
        It has nothing to do with the personal health of the driver.

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! Health - your guide to health and wellness
        http://health.yahoo.com
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... But that s not so--that s why smoking got banned from so many places--the health effects of secondary smoking were found to be serious. And that implies
        Message 3 of 10 , May 5, 2002
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          James Rombough replied:

          >Besides, smoking is an individual choice that has no
          >effect on other people. The same cannot be said of
          >cars in cities.

          But that's not so--that's why smoking got banned from
          so many places--the health effects of secondary smoking
          were found to be serious. And that implies that once the
          case has been put on a sound footing, the same approach
          logically ought to work with cars--like smoking, they're
          bad for your health AND bad for the health of those to
          don't indulge.

          The question will turn on this point: smokers were only
          about 1/3 of the population at the start of the
          anti-smoking crusade. Drivers in California must account
          for about 80-90% of the adult population. Thus, will the
          same tactics work for driving as worked for smoking?
          I tend to doubt it.




          -- ### --

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... Carfree.com
        • Richard Risemberg
          ... An important issue ehre is that the *aesthetic* effects of smoking were more important at the time--people didn t want to semll the damn things. Cars =
          Message 4 of 10 , May 6, 2002
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            "J.H. Crawford" wrote:
            >
            > James Rombough replied:
            >
            > >Besides, smoking is an individual choice that has no
            > >effect on other people. The same cannot be said of
            > >cars in cities.
            >
            > But that's not so--that's why smoking got banned from
            > so many places--the health effects of secondary smoking
            > were found to be serious. And that implies that once the
            > case has been put on a sound footing, the same approach
            > logically ought to work with cars--like smoking, they're
            > bad for your health AND bad for the health of those to
            > don't indulge.

            An important issue ehre is that the *aesthetic* effects of smoking were
            more important at the time--people didn't want to semll the damn
            things.

            Cars = noise, smoke, frenzy, disturbance, as well as direct health
            effects. Quality of life. Not readily quantifiable, so often shorted
            in the US, but it is and has been a factor.

            Rick
            --
            Richard Risemberg
            http://www.living-room.org
            http://www.newcolonist.com

            "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
            just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
            to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

            Lu Hsun
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... I have lost track of this thread. I think the sense of it was more, why do people LIKE to drive. If that s the question, then I think my reply has some
            Message 5 of 10 , May 13, 2002
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              turpin replied:

              >--- In carfree_cities@y..., "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...> wrote:
              >> To be maintained, a habituated behavior has to
              >> offer some reward. In the case of cars, I think
              >> it's the only time a great many Americans have to
              >> themselves.
              >
              >Maybe that is part of it. But I think you're missing
              >the simpler and more important fact: where and how
              >most people now live, driving is their fastest
              >commute to work.

              I have lost track of this thread. I think the sense of
              it was more, "why do people LIKE to drive." If that's
              the question, then I think my reply has some validity.

              >Let me use myself as an example. I purposely live
              >inside the city, partly because I prefer walking to
              >all other modes of getting around. The last two
              >places I worked were 3 miles and 4 miles from home,
              >and I either walked or took the bus. Alas, my
              >current client's office is out in the burbs -- too
              >far to walk. Sometimes I have bicycled, but it
              >takes 45 minutes, and one of my knees doesn't like
              >that much bicycling. Driving takes 10 to 15 minutes.
              >Maybe 20, if the freeway is jammed. So I usually
              >drive. The pay-off is obvious: an hour saved each
              >day.

              As long as the car is by far the best way to get
              somewhere, people will use it, and when I'm the
              USA, I use it a fair bit myself, as there is no
              practical alternative for many trips.

              >My bad? Maybe. But I don't view it as a moral
              >choice. While I disapprove the way America
              >subsidizes sprawl, and the kind of urban
              >architecture generated by that, I'm going to make
              >my personal choices based purely on the costs and
              >benefits that the resulting economic and urban
              >environment presents to me. And so will most
              >people. People's driving habits will not be
              >changed by massive persuasion. They will change
              >only when the economic and urban environments
              >present different options.

              And that's the nut of it--we have to offer those
              different alterntives.




              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... Carfree.com
            • turpin
              ... Maybe that is part of it. But I think you re missing the simpler and more important fact: where and how most people now live, driving is their fastest
              Message 6 of 10 , May 13, 2002
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                --- In carfree_cities@y..., "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...> wrote:
                > To be maintained, a habituated behavior has to
                > offer some reward. In the case of cars, I think
                > it's the only time a great many Americans have to
                > themselves.

                Maybe that is part of it. But I think you're missing
                the simpler and more important fact: where and how
                most people now live, driving is their fastest
                commute to work.

                Let me use myself as an example. I purposely live
                inside the city, partly because I prefer walking to
                all other modes of getting around. The last two
                places I worked were 3 miles and 4 miles from home,
                and I either walked or took the bus. Alas, my
                current client's office is out in the burbs -- too
                far to walk. Sometimes I have bicycled, but it
                takes 45 minutes, and one of my knees doesn't like
                that much bicycling. Driving takes 10 to 15 minutes.
                Maybe 20, if the freeway is jammed. So I usually
                drive. The pay-off is obvious: an hour saved each
                day.

                My bad? Maybe. But I don't view it as a moral
                choice. While I disapprove the way America
                subsidizes sprawl, and the kind of urban
                architecture generated by that, I'm going to make
                my personal choices based purely on the costs and
                benefits that the resulting economic and urban
                environment presents to me. And so will most
                people. People's driving habits will not be
                changed by massive persuasion. They will change
                only when the economic and urban environments
                present different options.
              • powerwalker
                Maybe that is part of it. But I think you re missing ... ... I know this is a problem caused by the car culture. In the centuries before the car exist, people
                Message 7 of 10 , May 13, 2002
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                  Maybe that is part of it. But I think you're missing
                  > the simpler and more important fact: where and how
                  > most people now live, driving is their fastest
                  > commute to work.
                  >
                  > Let me use myself as an example. I purposely live
                  > inside the city, partly because I prefer walking to
                  > all other modes of getting around. The last two
                  > places I worked were 3 miles and 4 miles from home,
                  > and I either walked or took the bus. Alas, my
                  > current client's office is out in the burbs -- too
                  ...
                  I know this is a problem caused by the car culture. In the centuries before
                  the car exist, people were working at a distance they could travel to and
                  from each day (if they travelled). Now that's not always true. If it's not
                  risky for your job, you may require clients to be at a distance you can
                  travel yourself, or at least near a transit stop.

                  It was better, even in the early 20th century. If we take for example my
                  town: a 40km suburban area outside Montreal. 50 to 75 years ago,
                  Vaudreuil-Dorion was a small town. People living there were working there,
                  there were more shops on the main street. The neighbourhood near the train
                  station was made of weekend-summer cottages (houses not meant for living
                  year-round during the winter). They were owned by people living in Montreal
                  during the week, who were going to the cottage during vacation/weekends,
                  mostly by train. Those people presumably were working in Montreal. So for
                  most people then, travelling from Vaudreuil to Montreal was seen as a long
                  distance trip, a commute too far to be done each day, unless perhaps you're
                  living next to the train, of if you're the trainman. Even within Montreal,
                  distances were seen far. There was no metro, just trams downtown and in the
                  surroundings, some people living at the edges if Montreal island were like
                  in another town and most of them were working at a distance they could walk.
                  And a walkable distance was maybe 30 minutes or more for a single trip. The
                  economy regionalised, not centralised into "mega cities" like it is today.

                  Today, yes, there is more transit, but still too few people use it even
                  though it is full at rush hours. The rest of people are in their metal/glass
                  shells morning and end-afternoon. We start losing green spaces and woods,
                  even in Vaudreuil, because new housings are built each year. Many people
                  find Vaudreuil to Montreal is not far even if it is in reality. If people
                  want to retire to nature in a weekend/summer cottage, now they have to go
                  even farther to enjoy the "same" amount of quietness they had 50 years ago
                  closer to the metropolis, thus again, requiring a car because some of our
                  few train and long distance bus lines died in the last decades. The
                  scarceness of local shops and those "mega stores" selling packages so heavy
                  you can't carry more than one at once don't help the case. They are too much
                  concentrated, therefore too few of them exist, and you're more likely to be
                  too far from any of these "depot" stores to think about shopping there.

                  I guess the best is to search a job downtown, shop downtown, live downtown
                  or close to a transit stop. I hope we'll build new suburban housings close
                  to transit, and not let all the land next to transit stops be invaded by
                  parking lots.

                  Today's thought is good for any North American city. Some changes have to be
                  done to correct serious mistakes done in the past 50 years.


                  For my job, I could afford searching 1 year (while on welfare with low
                  income), and refusing some opportunities until I found one I can accept and
                  continue to live carfree. Today I find a better life quality, and feel
                  rewarded for my patience, so if you can afford to do the same, I suggest it
                  strongly.


                  > far to walk. Sometimes I have bicycled, but it
                  > takes 45 minutes, and one of my knees doesn't like
                  > that much bicycling. Driving takes 10 to 15 minutes.
                  > Maybe 20, if the freeway is jammed. So I usually
                  > drive. The pay-off is obvious: an hour saved each
                  > day.
                  I hope your knee gets better, do your best to solve the problem. You should
                  try daily quadricep (thigh muscle) and hamstring (back of knee) stretches. I
                  do this quite often to keep the muscles stretched, especially before long
                  bike rides or downhill hikes. I started to do this after my knee badly
                  flamed during a downhill hike. I had a hard time walking home that night.
                  But keep fast walking (soft for knees), if you can't cycle much for now.
                  This is good for health and keeping activities will help curing health
                  problems faster, as long as you don't do the activity that hurts you, for
                  now. A sports doctor will give you good advice on what to do next.

                  Louis-Luc
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