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Re: [carfree_cities] Crash Adds Urgency, Emotion to Debate Over Elderly Drivers

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Is this not a conversation that at some time or another should be surfaced among all families and between generations? At present we don t seem to know how to
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
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      Is this not a conversation that at some time or another should be surfaced
      among all families and between generations? At present we don't seem to know
      how to have such a talk/negotiation - call it whatever - but I refer
      to the inventory of conversations between those close to one another by
      which civil duty is negotiated at the level of the family.

      We may discuss future domestic arrangements and care with our parents (if
      young) or younger relatives (if old) - but when it comes to when it's
      appropriate to
      give up the keys of the car and refigure transport arrangements to ensure
      dignity, convenience and safety .... a silence.

      There could - among other things - be public service ads showing this
      conversation being assayed - with failed and successful examples and their
      good or fatal consequence.

      Simon

      Simon Baddeley
      Birmingham UK

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <rickrise@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2003 12:39 AM
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Crash Adds Urgency, Emotion to Debate Over Elderly
      Drivers
      Crash Adds Urgency, Emotion to Debate Over Elderly Drivers
      Santa Monica tragedy brings an agonizing topic out in the open. Adult
      children switch roles with parents who once seized their keys.> Mary Louise
      Nelson, 82, and her daughter, Wendy Winningham, make each other laugh and
      finish each other's sentences. But when their conversation Thursday turned
      to the 86-year-old man who drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market,
      there was awkwardness.
    • look384
      Although denying citizens who cannot operate a motor vehicle safely (elderly, handicapped, etc) the privelege to drive is important, it does little to address
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
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        Although denying citizens who cannot operate a motor vehicle safely
        (elderly, handicapped, etc) the privelege to drive is important, it
        does little to address the fundamental problem, which is in the US
        you must drive if you want to fully participate in life. I believe a
        better long-term solution is to create an environment where people
        can be active and fully involved in society without having to drive
        or depend on others to drive for them. This means walking, handicap
        access and public transportation need to be provided as a real
        option, which will require very different city development than
        currently exists in the US.

        This tragedy was as much a result of our built-in dependence on the
        automobile as the way society deals with those not able to drive
        safely. Failure to deal with the fundamental problem will at best
        change one problem (unsafe elderly drivers) to another (lonely,
        isolated and dependent citizens). Creating an environment where
        people can move about without depending on cars has a much greater
        chance of solving the problem of unfit drivers without contributing
        to another major problem.

        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Simon Baddeley"
        <s.j.baddeley@b...> wrote:
        > Is this not a conversation that at some time or another should be
        surfaced
        > among all families and between generations? At present we don't
        seem to know
        > how to have such a talk/negotiation - call it whatever - but I refer
        > to the inventory of conversations between those close to one
        another by
        > which civil duty is negotiated at the level of the family.
        >
        > We may discuss future domestic arrangements and care with our
        parents (if
        > young) or younger relatives (if old) - but when it comes to when
        it's
        > appropriate to
        > give up the keys of the car and refigure transport arrangements to
        ensure
        > dignity, convenience and safety .... a silence.
        >
        > There could - among other things - be public service ads showing
        this
        > conversation being assayed - with failed and successful examples
        and their
        > good or fatal consequence.
        >
        > Simon
        >
        > Simon Baddeley
        > Birmingham UK
        >
      • Simon Baddeley
        Quite right. I took my eye off the ball there. Simon ... From: look384 To: Sent: Saturday, July
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
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          Quite right. I took my eye off the ball there.

          Simon


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "look384" <kevin.barton@...>
          To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2003 6:54 PM
          Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Crash Adds Urgency, Emotion to Debate Over
          Elderly Drivers


          > Although denying citizens who cannot operate a motor vehicle safely
          > (elderly, handicapped, etc) the privelege to drive is important, it
          > does little to address the fundamental problem, which is in the US
          > you must drive if you want to fully participate in life.
        • Louis-Luc
          You have the solution. That s what I feel as well. Most cities in Canada and U.S. are badly designed. If you can t access to all essential services within a
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
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            You have the solution. That's what I feel as well. Most
            cities in Canada and U.S. are badly designed. If you
            can't access to all essential services within a maximum
            of 10 minutes, assuming you're a slow walker, that
            city has the status of "badly designed".

            Low vision or blind people have NO handicap if they
            can walk everywhere without more hazards than the
            elements and normal non-moving obstacles. Provided they
            make it with aids if necessary like telescopes, white
            canes and/or guide dogs. Elderly keep their youth and
            autonomy if they can walk everywhere without any
            hazards, no matter their speed or aids they use.
            Wheelchair users have NO handicap if they can roll
            everywhere and money is spent on access ramps rather
            than gas vehicles they depend on.

            A person with at best no eye, ear, leg, aging or
            mental problem still HAS a handicap if that person
            cannot do everything on foot, on bike or using
            transit.

            Therefore, using a car as a crutch shows much more the
            weakness of the person, if he/she lives in a place
            where it's possible to live carfree, otherwise using
            a car shows the weakness of the city design and
            infrastructures.

            Are most governments and industries creating a world
            of handicapped people?
            I guess so :-( Unless some open minded people do
            something to override this car-centric development
            by a human-scaled city design¸


            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: look384 [mailto:kevin.barton@...]
            > Sent: 19 juillet, 2003 13:55
            > To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Crash Adds Urgency, Emotion to Debate Over
            > Elderly Drivers
            >
            >
            > Although denying citizens who cannot operate a motor vehicle safely
            > (elderly, handicapped, etc) the privelege to drive is important, it
            > does little to address the fundamental problem, which is in the US
            > you must drive if you want to fully participate in life. I believe a
            > better long-term solution is to create an environment where people
            > can be active and fully involved in society without having to drive
            > or depend on others to drive for them. This means walking, handicap
            > access and public transportation need to be provided as a real
            > option, which will require very different city development than
            > currently exists in the US.
            >
            > This tragedy was as much a result of our built-in dependence on the
            > automobile as the way society deals with those not able to drive
            > safely. Failure to deal with the fundamental problem will at best
            > change one problem (unsafe elderly drivers) to another (lonely,
            > isolated and dependent citizens). Creating an environment where
            > people can move about without depending on cars has a much greater
            > chance of solving the problem of unfit drivers without contributing
            > to another major problem.
          • dubluth
            The fundamental problem exists in large part because people haven t recognized the advantages of doing something about it. I don t know if people simply
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
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              The fundamental problem exists in large part because people haven't
              recognized the advantages of doing something about it. I don't know
              if people simply aren't considering that in the future they may
              experience advanced age or some condition that makes them unable to
              competently drive. (Clearly some people don't consider this. I
              really don't know of elderly people turning in their car keys without
              already having repeatedly demonstrating their incompetence at driving
              by crashing into things. It will be worth asking my folks what they
              know about this.) These conversations will reasonably be among those
              that proceed more pedestrian oriented development. Who knows. Maybe
              we will learn from those conversations that some of our parents and
              older friends have actually thought this through.

              By the way, I just heard a plug for the NPR radio program _To the
              Point_. The question posed in the next broadcast is something like
              "should the US change to being less car reliant before much of its
              population reaches advanced age?"


              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Simon Baddeley" <s.j.
              baddeley@b...> wrote:
              > Quite right. I took my eye off the ball there.
              >
              > Simon
              >
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "look384" <kevin.barton@t...>
              > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2003 6:54 PM
              > Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Crash Adds Urgency, Emotion to Debate
              Over
              > Elderly Drivers
              >
              >
              > > Although denying citizens who cannot operate a motor vehicle
              safely
              > > (elderly, handicapped, etc) the privelege to drive is important,
              it
              > > does little to address the fundamental problem, which is in the US
              > > you must drive if you want to fully participate in life.
            • look384
              ... Finding and convincing enough people with the authority to change car- centric development is probably our most significant obstacle to a better future.
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
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                --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Louis-Luc" <exqmtl@a...>
                wrote:
                > Are most governments and industries creating a world
                > of handicapped people?
                > I guess so :-( Unless some open minded people do
                > something to override this car-centric development
                > by a human-scaled city design¸

                Finding and convincing enough people with the authority to change car-
                centric development is probably our most significant obstacle to a
                better future. For me personally, I'm nearing retirement from the
                Air Force and beginning to plan for a second career. I'm focusing on
                city and regional planning. I concede I have no training or
                expertise to qualify for such a career, but I do have one
                qualification most planners don't have, personal experience with
                development schemes that are much closer to human scale than anywhere
                I've been in the US. One interesting observation I have from years
                of living in Japan and Europe is that long ago I knew there was
                something about these places I truly appreciated, but it wasn't until
                I started reading books such as Carfree Cities and others related to
                carfree development that it was the human scale I appreciated so
                much. That's the kind of awakening city, state and to some degree
                federal leaders need. So, even if my plans for a second career in
                planning don't bare fruit, I will spend time stalking and harassing
                those with this responsibility until they realize what's needed to
                turn our cities around. And, that's simply human-scaled, mixed use
                development.

                From a civic responsibility perspective, we are the open minded
                people who must do something to change car-centric development. We
                can either attempt to get into the leadership positions that direct
                the development, or we can attempt to influence those with that
                responsibility. Attempting to influence these leaders means we must
                contact the planning office, the mayor, our representatives in city
                and state govt, etc, and do our best to educate them. Make them
                realize their development schemes are the core of many of our
                problems, including budget woes, crime, traffic deaths, and
                freedom/independence of many of our citizens. If we fail, the
                greatest penalty for trying will be a little ridicule and
                humiliation, the greatest penalty for not trying will be the status-
                quo. However, if we suceed the reward could be greater than even
                most of us expect.

                One other path I've been mulling over is finding and supporting "open
                minded people" for our elected offices. From what I've read,
                Portland, OR has made some of the best progress in the country, and
                to my understanding this progress has by in large come from the
                mayor's leadership. Finding mayor's like those in Portland for every
                city could make for major progress.

                Kevin
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