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Re: [carfree_cities] Too Much Driving -- Any Thought on my Proposal?

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  • Mike Harrington
    Mass transit uses fossil fuel, but not as much. That s how the US was able to reduce domestic gasoline consumption to practically nothing in WWII. In an
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2003
      Mass transit uses fossil fuel, but not as much. That's how the US was able
      to reduce domestic gasoline consumption to practically nothing in WWII. In
      an autombile, you've got to move one passenger and two tons of vehicle. In
      a bus or a streetcar, you're moving three hundred pounds of vehicle per
      passenger. This is so obvious I'm surprised it even needs to be mentioned.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <mtneuman@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 7:27 AM
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Too Much Driving -- Any Thought on my Proposal?

      > On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 20:46:34 -0500 (CDT) Richard <rickrise@...>
      > writes:
      > >
      > > This article from the Star Tribune has been sent to you by Richard.
      > >
      > > Richard wrote these comments: A Quote:
      > > "The bottom line is this: Only 24 percent of the cost of St. Paul's
      > > roads is borne by driver-generated taxes and fees. The other 76
      > > percent is a subsidy from general revenues and property assessments.
      > > There's no reason to believe that St. Paul's situation is atypical
      > > for cities and older suburbs."
      > On Sun, 28 Sep 2003 06:12:09 -0500 "Mike Harrington" <mike@...>
      > writes:
      > > Let's dump this relic of the twentieth century and reorient our
      > > transportation systems to collective transportation, walking and
      > > cycling.
      > > It's now too late for a soft landing, but the only moral thing to do
      > > is try
      > > to save as many people as possible.
      > And from DL, this:
      > > of course we should build cites that are not
      > > automobile dependant. But the automobile will never
      > > completely disappear, and we need to make it as
      > > environmentally friendly as possible.
      > >
      > But there is little to believe that can be done in time. We need to
      > reduce fossil fuel burning now. Our actions of the past and now have
      > already produced one gigantic problem in the atmosphere already, one that
      > is getting worse and worse, by everyday that goes by that we do not
      > drastically reduce injections of even more potent greenhouse gases into
      > the atmosphere. This is not fiction, either. It's happening. The
      > problem is that the gases are invisible for the most part, and the
      > consequences of their building up in the atmosphere are latent, meaning
      > they don't materialize in the form of increasingly warmer (and more
      > humid) temperatures until there's little that can be done to reduce them.
      > We are beginning to reach that point now.
      > We may think we "need" both mass transit systems and automobiles, but we
      > must remember that we live in a finite world. The atmosphere is only so
      > big. Seventy percent of the electricity produced in the U.S. is
      > produced by burning fossil fuels (mainly coal); therefore, transit
      > systems that are run on electricity are not a panacea either.
      > If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we are doing now, we are
      > choosing to destroy the climate, a climate that has sustained life for
      > eons, but a climate which is now being severely threatened.
      > ....
      > Less driving is a great boon to the environment. By driving less, we
      > mitigate our impact on the climate, improve air quality, reduce toxic
      > runoff from roads, and reduce the need to build expensive new road
      > capacity.
      > A 10% reduction in driving is estimated to result in a 17% reduction in
      > crashes.. This will benefit lower-income families, who tend to drive less
      > than middle- and upper-income families.
      > http://www.orcouncil.org/Pollution/PAYD.htm
      > http://smartgrowth.net/Home/sg_Home_Main.html
      > ---------
      > Far-out school locations contributing to more sprawl
      > Building new schools further away from neighborhoods is leading to more
      > urban sprawl, according to a recent Winston-Salem Journal article that
      > reported on a North Carolina planning conference. Two planning experts,
      > David Salvesen, the director of the Smart Growth and the New Economy
      > Program
      > at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies in Chapel Hill and Erica
      > McArthur, a planning consultant, completed a report entitled "Good
      > Schools -
      > Good Neighborhoods" that evaluates the necessity of more neighborhood
      > schools. The report showed that while 1 in 2 students walked to school
      > during the 1960s, now only 1 in 10 do and those who take the bus face
      > rides
      > as long as 90 minutes. It also revealed that while building two smaller
      > schools costs more than one larger school, students in the smaller
      > schools
      > have higher graduation rates. If costs were measured per graduate, the
      > costs
      > would be the same, said the article.
      > http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWS
      > J_B
      > asicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031770992845&path=!localnews!education&s=103
      > 764
      > 5509111
      > If the price of gas were twice what it is now, and people got rewarded
      > for less driving, you wouldn't need to worry about this kind of
      > development. It wouldn't happen, because nobody would choose a school
      > that would require them to drive so much every day. Those who do would at
      > least car pool. (Few bother with doing that now because gas is too cheap
      > to make it worth the inconvenience.)
      > Thus, seldom would people have to wait in traffic for hours on end.
      > But you wouldn't get many takers by offering only peanuts. Big money
      > would need to be exchanged, and re-distributed.
      > See:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/229
      > http://www.jsonline.com/news/Metro/nov99/hiway30112999a.asp
      > Any thoughts on Conserve, NOW!? (the 1st URL, above). It may be way "out
      > of the box", but then so is "the problem".
      > Mike
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