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

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Quite right. I took my eye off the ball there. Simon ... From: look384 To: Sent: Saturday, July
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
      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 2 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
        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 3 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
          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 4 of 7 , Jul 19, 2003
            --- 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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