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Re: [carfree_cities] transit and the single rider

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  • T. J. Binkley
    ... I m always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who don t like to sit next to strangers would do themselves a tremendous service to get out of
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 12, 2004
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      >This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
      >if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
      >It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
      >in large vilage-like groups.
      >
      >...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
      >seats were singles?

      I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
      to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
      out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
      while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
      choose it.

      Reading a book on an empty train car is a delightful experience, but a car
      full of people is usually much more interesting. Those who like to "people
      watch" from a distance are shortchanging themselves.

      -TJB
    • Steve Geller
      ... I ride buses a lot, but I can t say I choose being close to strangers. I just put up with it as part of bus riding. The aversion to strangers is very
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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        > >...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
        > >seats were singles?
        >
        >I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
        >to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
        >out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
        >while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
        >choose it.

        I ride buses a lot, but I can't say I "choose" being close to strangers.
        I just put up with it as part of bus riding.

        The aversion to strangers is very real. You must have seen people who
        will sit in the outer of a pair of seats, making it difficult for
        someone to get into the other seat.

        I do enjoy "people watching". It's one of the big upsides
        of transit riding.
      • Doug Salzmann
        ... Amen. Ditto, etc. I think the stranger avoidance tendency is a behavior based upon learned attitudes and expectations ( people you don t know are
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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          On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, T. J. Binkley wrote:

          >
          > >This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
          > >if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
          > >It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
          > >in large vilage-like groups.
          > >
          > >...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
          > >seats were singles?
          >
          > I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
          > to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
          > out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
          > while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
          > choose it.

          Amen. Ditto, etc.

          I think the "stranger avoidance" tendency is a behavior based upon
          learned attitudes and expectations ("people you don't know are
          dangerous"). It had better be -- six-headed-for-ten billion humans
          are not gonna be able to live in private bubbles.


          -Doug



          ---
          Doug Salzmann
          Kalliergo
          Post Office Box 307
          Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

          <doug@...>
        • gregb88@comcast.net
          ... But aren t we always forced to encounter strangers anyhow? In supermarkets there s people behind you and in front you lined up for the cash register. In
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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            Doug Salzmann wrote:

            >On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, T. J. Binkley wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >>>This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
            >>>if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
            >>>It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
            >>>in large vilage-like groups.
            >>>
            >>>...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
            >>>seats were singles?
            >>>
            >>>
            >>I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
            >>to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
            >>out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
            >>while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
            >>choose it.
            >>
            But aren't we always forced to encounter strangers anyhow? In
            supermarkets there's people
            behind you and in front you lined up for the cash register. In classes
            at school and college, meetings at work, large social functions, it's
            likely you'll have to sit next to a stranger... Not to mention
            restaurants and bars....

            >>
            >>
            >
            >Amen. Ditto, etc.
            >
            >I think the "stranger avoidance" tendency is a behavior based upon
            >learned attitudes and expectations ("people you don't know are
            >dangerous"). It had better be -- six-headed-for-ten billion humans
            >are not gonna be able to live in private bubbles.
            >
            >
            > -Doug
            >
            >
            >
            >---
            > Doug Salzmann
            > Kalliergo
            > Post Office Box 307
            > Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA
            >
            > <doug@...>
            >
            >
            >
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          • Erik Rauch
            That cars are the most inefficient form of transport is hardly disputed, but what is seldom appreciated is how little driving it takes to bring the downsides
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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              That cars are the most inefficient form of transport is hardly disputed,
              but what is seldom appreciated is how little driving it takes to bring the
              downsides of car transport. The statistics on gasoline consumption per
              capita in different countries
              (http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/~rauch/misc/gas_gdp.html) are revealing in
              this regard.

              Hong Kong has the lowest per capita gas consumption among rich countries
              -- a factor of 25 lower than the U.S. Yet Hong Kong is anything but a
              carfree paradise. Residents of have to put up with much of the noise and
              physical degradation that cars cause in urban areas, even though hardly
              any of the residents get around by car -- and Hong Kong has chronic
              traffic congestion.

              http://www.bennenk.com/Maleisie/images/Thumbnails/19960822-28_Hong_Kong_Victoria_small.jpg
              http://desires.com/2.0b3/Travel/Hong_Kong/Images/traffic.gif
              http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mag/2003/02/16/images/2003021600680801.jpg

              Even cities in Bangladesh, which has the lowest level of driving of 122
              countries, have to put up with a significant amount of annoyance from
              cars, even though driving is a factor of 900 (!) lower than the U.S. In
              the capital, Dhaka, only 5.9% of trips are by motorized transport of any
              kind including buses. An aerial photograph of its downtown is revealing
              (http://www.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu/~farooq/dhaka.jpg). It has wide streets
              filled with what look like cars, but on inspection most of the
              "vehicles" turn out to be bicycle rickshaws and pedestrians:

              http://www.pat.hi-ho.ne.jp/paku/tabi/castella/pic/bangladesh/dhaka.jpg

              But still, the bicyclists and pedestrians have to put up with the noise,
              wide streets and lower quality urban design caused by designing for
              universal automobile access.

              And yes, Dhaka has congestion, too:
              http://www.hellobondoo.com/pic/contents/bigjam.htm

              The lesson, of course, is that it is foolhardy to permit cars in dense
              urban areas. You get much of the downside of car transport with almost
              none of the benefit.


              (data on Dhaka from http://www.eng-consult.com/pub/dstar.htm)

              On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, Karen Sandness wrote:

              > Very true. Take Tokyo as an example. At times, the arterial streets and
              > freeways of Tokyo can resemble parking lots, so car fanatics point to
              > the congestion and say, "See, transit does NOT reduce congestion!"
            • hcfdave
              Another aspect of this is that autoholics enter a completely altered state of conciousness when ... behind the wheel ... They can forget about everything
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 15, 2004
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                Another aspect of this is that autoholics enter a completely
                altered state of conciousness when ...'behind the wheel'...
                They can forget about everything except their immediate
                vdeo-game mentakity, which the various fad technologies in
                newer cars accentuates. Often you hear autoholics say. "Yeah,
                my commute is therapeutic!"
                No matter that this ...'therapy'... all too often ends in murder and
                suicide, spews incredible amounts of deadly poisons into the
                air, and makes thae city virtually unlivable for everyone else! (as
                well as causing global warming and sucking the earth dry of
                ever-scarcer resources.
                Cars indeed ...ssssSUCK!! (the lifeblood of the earth, as well
                as ssSPEW!! poisons into it!...)
                DaveS (nocarsdave@...)

                (written in reply to the following and others...:
                > >>>This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid
                riding transit
                > >>>if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to
                strangers.
                > >>>It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't
                live
                > >>>in large vilage-like groups.
                > >>>
                > >>>...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if
                most of the
                > >>>seats were singles?
                > >>>
                > >>>
                > >>I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those
                who "don't like
                > >>to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous
                service to get
                > >>out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other"
                once in a
                > >>while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many
                people
                > >>choose it.
                > >>
                > But aren't we always forced to encounter strangers anyhow? In
                > supermarkets there's people
                > behind you and in front you lined up for the cash register. In
                classes
                > at school and college, meetings at work, large social functions,
                it's
                > likely you'll have to sit next to a stranger... Not to mention
                > restaurants and bars....
                > >
                > >Amen. Ditto, etc.
                > >
                > >I think the "stranger avoidance" tendency is a behavior based
                upon
                > >learned attitudes and expectations ("people you don't know
                are
                > >dangerous"). It had better be -- six-headed-for-ten billion
                humans
                > >are not gonna be able to live in private bubbles.
                > >
                > >
                > > -Doug
                > >---
                > > Doug Salzmann
                > > Kalliergo
                > > Post Office Box 307
                > > Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA
              • T. J. Binkley
                ... Real, yes. Misguided, sad and ultimately pathological too.
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 15, 2004
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                  >The aversion to strangers is very real.

                  Real, yes. Misguided, sad and ultimately pathological too.
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