Re: "America's Epidemic of Youth Obesity"--NYT article
- As odd as this sounds, this is one of the things that I am frankly
tired of hearing--that our life will "slow down" if we stop our
current car culture and that the "extra time" spent riding mass
transit is worth it. However, I do agree with the statement--even in
cities with bad mass transit systems, I would rather spend 30 minutes
sitting on a bus or at a bus stop than 15 minutes driving in heavy
If our governments stopped subsidizing transportation, car use would
be much less popular, due to its much higher cost, since not all
taxpayers would be forced to pay for the activities of some. Also,
last I checked, in many big cities, it's faster to use mass transit
than to drive. Even here in small, auto-centric Tallahassee, as a
university student living approximately 6 km from campus, I found the
bus faster than driving if I factored in the time I spend walking to
wherever I happened to park.
Some people refer to car use as a personal choice. That might be true,
but it's a personal choice very heavily influenced by a government
that, judging from its spending habits on roads, wants you to do
nothing but drive. For some of us, it's not a choice. We get jobs in
areas that are accessibe only by freeway, and we have to keep cars,
otherwise, we would not get to work. I want to be presented with a
real free-market choice of how I get somewhere, and see mass transit
as superior because it's cheaper and faster--not because it's the
"right" thing to do.
Now...about the slowing down. While a carfree environment would get us
where we need to go faster, it might *feel* as if it's slower, since
we're not doing any "work" to get there--just sitting in a seat with
no seat belt, waiting for the appropriate stop. This would make things
feel less "urgent" and should curb the need to feel like you must get
somewhere 1-2 minutes faster. Even if we do have an urgency, we will
get there faster. I once had a 15-minute walk to and from work, and in
an urgency, I ran home and got home safely in 8 minutes. If I was a
15-minute drive from work, there's no way I could make it home in 8
minutes without putting my life and others at risk.
Sure, if you stop taking the car for everything, your life will slow
down. But in light of the fact that many of us feel overworked and
overstressed for much of the time, could it be a bad thing to slow
down a bit?
- --- In email@example.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...>
> I see a window of opportunity here. The next year or two are goingShould we be targeting the transportation departments as well as ,
> to be years of budget crises in the USA, especially at the state
> level. ....................
> Are we ready? Can we organize to take adantage of this opportunity?
> Can we start a massive program of writing to legislators and news
> media? Can anyone take responsibilty for coming up with the best
> numbers we've got and working them into some generalized press
> releases? Can others tailor these for local environments and get
> them into the right hands? Lots of work, but some real chance of
> a payback.
maybe even preceding lobbying the legislators? These guys are are the
ones under presure; there's all that federal money, waiting to be
matched, because we are still driving and paying those federal gas tax
dollars, so the federal pile keeps getting bigger, and unused. Won't
the state folks know that as the DIRECT gas taxes go up, the gas usage
goes down. Which I think, if this is in fact so, can be properly
countered with, sure, now you'll have all the money you need to do
what ever people want to pay for.... so trtansit, and most central,
dense building and rebuilding, wil get a fare shake.
To me this is the thing we have to discuss, besides the numbers, and
were it comes from now stuff; that is we need to diccuss what we think
the very astute sense of the xportation administrators to know that if
they raise the gas taxes, revinue, especially in a recovered economy
will be down from what it could be in the current methodology. I
think that the game has in fact changed in that toll roads are now
the previlent building mode.... discussion by more informed