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Re: [carfree_cities] Digest Number 689

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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