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Re: [carfree_cities] Carscarscars scars scars scars - understanding the "other point of view".

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  • Martha Torell
    ... In today s paper there was a story that suggests a tip our way. The Federal Highway Administration has refused to shell out the 80% funding for widening
    Message 1 of 2 , May 29, 2000
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      > way or you're wrong. We have to accept that while the oil still flows,
      > we're a minority and all we can do is make some noise and keep asking
      > awkward questions to tip the balance a little. To do that we need to
      > get the majority - car drivers – on our side."

      In today's paper there was a story that suggests a tip our way.

      The Federal Highway Administration has refused to shell out the 80%
      funding for widening two highways to expressway dimension in Michigan.
      All the money allocated for highways spending is earmarked for repair of
      expressways. There will be a lot of dissatisfaction, exacerbated with
      every pot hole voters drive over, if new expressways are built when the
      existing ones are in such need of repair. The Federal Highway
      Administration has not absolutely refused to help out, but it requires
      that alternatives, including mass transit, be examined.

      I guess it is pretty cynical and smirky of me to take pleasure in seeing
      the difficulty of maintaining an expressway system that has led to
      sprawl that I loathe. Maintaining the expressways is thankless. If
      they go bad, which happens very quickly under freeze/ thaw and heavy
      traffic, then they have to be repaired, which requires coning off lanes
      and slowing traffic. If they are not repaired, any politician
      associated with it suffers, regardless of whether he or she could
      improve the situation.

      In short, this is the moment to put a push on for mass transit along the
      routes that need improving. Not just in Michigan. Other states are in
      the same difficulty.

      Part of the argument for widening US 23, is that the small towns in the
      thumb need the transportation to insure their prosperity, but I think
      that a train that stopped at those towns would do as well. In fact,
      there could be car rentals their for people who had to drive. That
      would be increased business. And it would bring business right into
      town, among buildings already built. Though I hate to encourage the
      use of cars, I think bending habits, rather than abruptly breaking them,
      is more effective.

      So, for the US citizens on this board, this is the time to write your
      congress critters and suggest that some form of rail would be the best
      way to avoid the endless expense of maintaining a highway system.

      Besides the expense of maintaining the expressways already built, the
      concerns about sprawl and environment and sprawl are finally coming home
      to people who will, directly or indirectly, depend on the political
      process for their jobs.

      > Prescott has said that doing nothing about traffic congestion
      > is not an option. Many people are hearing that.

      The article I saw this morning, specifies what Prescott said.

      Martha

      Martha
    • Martha Torell
      ... Technology will be the stake in the heart of cars image as icons of personal freedoml. Commercial aircraft have had black boxes for years. Now cars are
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 2, 2000
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        >
        > The "Age of the Car" as an item of increased individual liberty is
        > over. Cars (because they are still viewed erroneously as an icon of
        > personal liberty) will continue to spread and proliferate over the
        > next 10-15 years, especially and for much longer in third world
        > countries, but the cities of the future that survive and thrive will
        > do so because they have tamed the car and indeed rendered their
        > central areas car free and replaced them with other ways of moving
        > goods and people. The cars that are used will have increasingly
        > morphed into electronically monitored units in satellite controlled
        > road traffic systems and drivers will submit route plans prior to
        > journeys as planes do now

        Technology will be the stake in the heart of cars' image as icons of
        personal freedoml.

        Commercial aircraft have had black boxes for years. Now cars are
        getting them. It is quite within a technician's grasp now, to
        stealth-equip an auto, so that the driver/owner does not know, to record
        running GPS, speeds and and stops and their times, as well as to record
        all that is said in the car. To turn on the ignition would be to start
        leaving a record, where you are going, the coordinates at which you
        stopped, which can be mapped to addresses, how many people were in the
        car, approximately how much they weighed.

        I doubt that the possibilities have escaped the dullest lawman.

        Or parent. Just as some trucks bear a sign on their back doors, How do
        you like my driving? followed by an 800 phone number, there is now a
        service for the worried parents of teenage drivers, a numbered bumper
        sticker has a phone number and an invitation to report driving errors.

        I hope some action thriller will soon make use of the car as all purpose
        snitch.

        Martha
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