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

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  • 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 1 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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