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Re: [carfree_cities] transit and the single rider

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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