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Re: [carfree_cities] "Nobody with a choice ever took a bus anyw

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  • tim
    ... well there must be busses and BUSSES rails cannot personalise one train cannot go slower than the next it all runs into similarity and routine a bus can be
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 15, 2000
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      >Everybody hates buses. Theyre slow, they stink, theyre noisy, they take
      >forever to board, they lurch, and the small, hard seats pinch your butt.
      >When the Road Gang set out to kill public transport, their weapon was the
      >bus. Trains, on the other hand, once were glamorous. The food was
      >delicious, the service elegant, the ride comfortable, and the view
      >excellent. For a century, trains were the fleetest, finest transport. No
      >bus ever offered such amenities. No bus was ever glamorous. Nobody with a
      >choice ever took a bus anywhere.

      well there must be busses and BUSSES
      rails cannot personalise
      one train cannot go slower than the next
      it all runs into similarity and routine
      a bus can be fun and friendly
      it could be omn a school run
      picking up kids from their homes
      or taking wedding party to reception
      there are a lot of possibilities
      owner operaters
      busses that are mobile libraries
      or playbusses
      tourists

      slow dawdling ones
      where the journey is important
      not the destination

      whatever

      .......tim
    • EXPORTATION QUEBEC
      ... But buses show many problems in common with cars: pollution, danger to other street users, noise... However these problems are much less serious than cars
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 15, 2000
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: tim [mailto:sohi@...]
        > Sent: 15 avril, 2000 18:01
        > To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] "Nobody with a choice ever took
        > a bus anyw
        >
        >
        >
        > >Everybody hates buses. Theyre slow, they stink, theyre
        > noisy, they take
        > >forever to board, they lurch, and the small, hard seats
        > pinch your butt.
        > >When the Road Gang set out to kill public transport, their
        > weapon was the
        > >bus. Trains, on the other hand, once were glamorous. The food was
        > >delicious, the service elegant, the ride comfortable, and the view
        > >excellent. For a century, trains were the fleetest, finest
        > transport. No
        > >bus ever offered such amenities. No bus was ever glamorous.
        > Nobody with a
        > >choice ever took a bus anywhere.
        >
        > well there must be busses and BUSSES
        > rails cannot personalise
        > one train cannot go slower than the next
        > it all runs into similarity and routine
        > a bus can be fun and friendly
        > it could be omn a school run
        > picking up kids from their homes
        > or taking wedding party to reception
        > there are a lot of possibilities
        > owner operaters
        > busses that are mobile libraries
        > or playbusses
        > tourists
        >
        > slow dawdling ones
        > where the journey is important
        > not the destination
        >
        > whatever
        >
        > .......tim
        >
        But buses show many problems in common with cars: pollution, danger to
        other street users, noise...

        However these problems are much less serious than cars because buses
        exist in lesser numbers and carry many more people for the same
        amount of disadvantages.

        First I prefer the train or the metro, because it also eliminates the
        car/truck/bus problems, and it provides more comfort. However I prefer
        to use the bus otherwise, because if we have a good bus service where
        train/metro is not yet implemented, it is a good way to replace those
        obsolete cars (packs of trouble.).


        Louis-Luc
      • Ronald Dawson
        ... Another thing with Roadgang people was to get rid of electric buses and replace them with diesels. A common trick done to get rid of streetcars, trolley
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 16, 2000
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          Louis-Luc wrote:
          >But buses show many problems in common with cars: pollution, danger to
          >other street users, noise...

          >However these problems are much less serious than cars because buses
          >exist in lesser numbers and carry many more people for the same
          >amount of disadvantages.

          Another thing with Roadgang people was to get rid of electric buses and
          replace them with diesels. A common trick done to get rid of streetcars,
          trolley buses and even diesel buses was to restrict supply/service, then
          claiming the market dried up, to justify discontinuance.

          >First I prefer the train or the metro, because it also eliminates the
          >car/truck/bus problems, and it provides more comfort. However I prefer
          >to use the bus otherwise, because if we have a good bus service where
          >train/metro is not yet implemented, it is a good way to replace those
          >obsolete cars (packs of trouble.).

          Recently here in Montreal the has our provincial government put forward a $4
          billion transport plan for the Montreal area(includes highways & transit).
          One little part of the plan that struck me was $22 million to build a
          busway(right beside an existing rail line) and run a direct/express bus from
          the eastern end of the island to our CBD. To me it would be far easier and
          cheaper to set up a "Centreville en Direct" type bus service by using a
          mixture of time of day buslanes and by setting traffic lights so there is a
          green wave.
          The two main east-west roads in the area are Sherbrooke St. and Rue
          Notre-Dame, these two streets could easily handle such a service and could
          be set up for well under $1 million! On Friday I was riding the 186 bus
          route (Louis-Luc will know of this) along Rue Notre-Dame and the bus driver
          brought the bus up to 90km/h!
          (Also it should be noted that this was 40km over the posted speed limit!)

          A busway here would only be a waste of tax money.

          >Louis-Luc
          Salut, Ron Dawson
        • tim
          ... Pro Motion In the early days of road protests a lot was lost in conflict. A positive road movement with good ideas for roads and transport could use the
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 16, 2000
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            >But buses show many problems in common with cars: pollution, danger to
            >other street users, noise...

            Pro Motion


            In the early days of road protests a lot was lost in conflict. A positive road movement with good ideas for roads and transport could use the media to bring attention to good ideas. Pro and anti roads could have the same aims in the end but with twice the strength of protest, uniting on common causes. Negative attitudes seem naive, everybody needs roads.
            We have been born into a culture of vroom vroom, all this century we have been struggling with the red flag in front of the car, freedom clashes with the need to share and to be responsible. Bad technological practise ruined the dream of pleasure, with accidents, punitive parking controls and spiralling personal costs. Its not just the automobile that is ³one of the Earths most serious threats² but capitalist social relations and a market system based on growth and competition, of which car culture is symptomatic. [1]
            Travelling is one of our real pleasures in life ³Pro Motion² is intended to be a forum and gain some media profile to highlight positive solutions based on sound sustainable practices, art attacks are brilliant but good designs can do better. Imagine the pleasure again, lets go back to the beginning with the benefit of hindsight to look at some of the ideas that worked. Designers employ a methodology which is problem centred rather than knowledge centred, they first tackle solving a problem before discovering why it exists, gaining that knowledge actively. Design is a planning activity, limited to artifacts. Management is based on artifacts, whatever it does with them design is at the heart of management. [2]

            Designers have devoted their effort primarily to endorsing a mental environment. When unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention, design projects urgently require our expertise and help toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part through the visual languages and resources of design. [3] The aim in an educational context must be to start encouraging designers to critically reflect and decide where they stand in their choices. Any designer bent on self determination will be prepared to carve a path of their own, making an ethical contribution to society and culture. Those who choose this kind of work experience high levels of satisfaction from contributing to a cause in which they believe. Design could become a two way street when designers assume responsibility for development of a culture that involves peoples participation [4]

            Cities have spread to the limits of car commuting. The automobile appeared to offer freedom in space and time. The transport engineering and planning models in the car city had to predict the necessary infrastructure to provide for this kind of freedom. Houses and businesses could be placed virtually anywhere as long as they had a car, unfortunately the unfettered car city dream soon becomes a nightmare of traffic [5] Road traffic is a major contributor to air pollution. 24,000 vulnerable people in the UK are estimated to die prematurely each year, and similar numbers are admitted to hospital,because of exposure to air pollution, much of which is due to road traffic [6] The law says exhaust pipes should be at the rear, in someone elses face? They should be in your face! Motorists in traffic and their passengers are at most risk from exhaust fumes. [7]
            Vehicles have right of way, then pedestrians. Clearly there are congested areas where this simply doesn't work and the ideal is pedestrianisation. Priorities should be changed, large areas of pedestrians or cyclists would then be avoided by vehicles unless they were giving way, natural flow should encourage walking. Parking should be encouraged and made easy in congested areas, a lot of traffic is looking for somewhere to stop. Parking problems lead to stress on the road, anger when driving may lead to pain. The way we travel is making us a less healthy.
            Traffic is moving too fast and everyone thinks they need to go faster. How much real time is saved by speed? Not enough to justify the human cost. Driving past cycles and people fast is like pointing a gun at them just to one side and hoping that they can see it coming, -keep out of my way ! - its more about winning the race or feeling powerful, strong and protected. Its wrong that selfish greed is a licence to kill, while eco-conciousness is like suicide. Too many people are still killed or seriously injured on our roads (more than 120 people every day in 1997 in UK) Some in society are more at risk, children are particularly vulnerable

            Electric cars have been with us for 100 years. The first power stations in London were to power electric transport, spare power was soon lighting up local homes! The golden age of EV's was from 1895 to 1905, and a rebirth in the 1960s. [8] Visit London transport museum, where its obvious that transport was more advanced and with more appeal 100 years ago....

            Now to capture the charm and use the technology of these times to build an open top double decker London bus; enclosed seats facing each other on each side in the back, the roof supporting more seats back to back in the middle, a step on the back with spiral stairs. Recreating an icon of London style [9] [10]
            Versatility is an essential part of good design practice,as well as increasing the sustainability, so its to be built in modular fashion. Each part can be easily detached to use in practical combinations, flatbed, van, minibus, or doubledekker.
            All the modules will also fold and fit one inside the other like a nesting table set. Even the spiral staircase detaching and going inside too, so it can be driven or left parked in a safe tamper-proof mode.
            The introduction is coincidentally timed at the new millennium which echoes the Great Exhibition, when the first open top carriages were introduced primarily to bring people to the exhibition. They were so popular that the bus queues often followed them down the road. [11]



            This hybrid of two well proven and popular vehicles is based on milk float for ease and reliability. There are 15,000 floats working in uk mostly with hundreds of thousands of miles on the clock already, whereas there are only 5,000 road going electric vehicles in the whole of Europe if you ignore the milk floats! Whilst milk floats have proved to be a sustainable transport with seemingly endless service lives, and all parts being recycled in their own maintenance areas, [12] most other electric vehicles have lasted a few years and become obsolete.
            Even the new generation electric cars cannot compete with this level of sustainability or life expectancy. There are no dairies looking for newer floats to update their fleet, the old ones have a proven stamina.
            Realistically as a cheap and practical prototype it may have more in common with a rickshaw or an Asian tuk tuk, as long as it works and is appealing It wont take much to encourage people to use electric carriages - the current trend for retro designs in transport is reassuring, along with strong public desires for fun rides and media obsession with cultural identity in fashion. Note how the new London taxi absolutely had to keep all its style and charm identity. Unfortunately it kept most of its noise and pollution. If you take Oxford St as an example, London's premier shopping street is restricted to buses and taxis, but still deafening and choking the shoppers.

            As an example of prioritising impacts, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in the USA did a six-year study on the relative environmental impact of consumer purchases. Their study found that cars and light trucks had highest impact followed by home and household purchases even a small change in one of these areas can have a big impact, such as buying a car that gets even 30 miles per gallon vs. 20.
            The UCS report matches very closely a UK National Consumers Council study, which found that the biggest environmental gains could come from: reducing the fuel consumption of cars by over 60 per cent The NCC report seems to have focused on direct use of energy by far the biggest difference a consumer can make is in the choice of their car. What's interesting about that is this is a decision which happen only once every few years with huge potential for "leverage". What's also interesting is how little information there is on the full lifetime environmental performance of cars and buildings, and how tiny a factor it is in most people's decisions on such things ... [13]

            Electric vehicles are emissions free, quiet, relaxed in traffic. Camden and the west end of Westminster (London) are designated pollution problem areas, its a good feeling cruising along quietly there at the same pace as cyclists, noticing that EV¹s do not encourage the aggressive driving that vroom vroom motor cars do. It needs to grow in the cracks appearing in car culture, and flourish with a new style. Do away with shiny untouchable personal space and actively show community involvement in transport, caring for both the natural and the social environments.
            The school run is a remarkably similar journey to that of a milk round, if a group of parents shared a small slow bus. Because of worries about safety, many parents now shuttle children to school by car when previously they would have made their own way on foot or by bike. The effects on children's physical health and mental development could be serious. [14]

            While useing the float regularly for a year the main problem discovered may be an insight into why electric vehicles have never become in any way popular, despite being by far the cheapest, in terms of maintenance, road tax, fuel, almost everything.-
            The main problem is the councils have no policy or ideas about how members of public are to charge them up, - this after 100 years of available electric cars and coincidentally, electric power cables under every urban street! In this way they have actively discouraged people when they should have been encouraging.

            Camden councils forward planning officer is unconcerned. He dismissed this problem of charging with one sentence; You should have thought of that before you got one! They fill urban streets with parking meters! All our streets have power cables under them for domestic current and street lights etc. If only you could plug into the meters - maybe planners could start using the benefits of hindsight!
            Westminster council are supportive of electric vehicles, providing free parking and will offer charging facilities too if possible. What more encouragement could anyone need ?
            Just about everyone in the country uses domestic electric at home, and leaves their car at home when not using it, so charging from personal renewable or natural sources is possible but there are no ideas, plans or standards for charging from home either. In fact I have never come across any mention of any official concern at any mention of this lack of public infrastructure.
            Support the project and the project supports, in a sympathetic relationship. Float in a promotional campaign for modal shift in transport ideas,
            encourage the idea of...........
            pro motion.



            [1] A London reclaim the streets activist - Car Busters autumn 99
            [2] Future map 99 essay ³Design in the real world² -Peter Gorb professor of London institute
            [3] First things first manifesto 2000
            [4] Rick Poynor - design and democracy, who cares? - future map essay
            [5] Sustainability and cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence, 1999, Detour Publications
            [6] "Quantification of the Effects of Air Pollution on Health in the UK", Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, Department of Health, 1998.
            [7] "Road user exposure to air pollution", a literature review published on behalf of DETR by Environmental Transport Association, 1997. ISBN 1-873906-14-5.
            [8] History of Electric Automobile - Ernest H Wakefield
            [9]Busses and Trolley busses Before 1919 - David Kaye
            [10]Horse Omnibus - Roy Shadwell
            [11] Illustrated London News - 1847
            [12] Fred Colins - Transport Director Unigate Dairies - EVA 1991
            [13] Rachel environment and health weekly #669.
            [14] "Road transport and health", British Medical Association, 1997.




            Tim Timms, 43 B Georgiana St, Camden, London, NW1 OEB. England.
            Tel 01712094163
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... Oh, clearly it s better to have a bus full of people than 40 cars, each with a single occupant. ... That s the point--if you really want to install service
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 16, 2000
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              Louis-Luc said:

              >However these problems are much less serious than cars because buses
              >exist in lesser numbers and carry many more people for the same
              >amount of disadvantages.

              Oh, clearly it's better to have a bus full of people than 40
              cars, each with a single occupant.

              >First I prefer the train or the metro, because it also eliminates the
              >car/truck/bus problems, and it provides more comfort.

              That's the point--if you really want to install service that's
              attractive to a large number of people, it basically needs
              to run on rails. Buses are always less comfortable than trains.

              >However I prefer
              >to use the bus otherwise, because if we have a good bus service where
              >train/metro is not yet implemented, it is a good way to replace those
              >obsolete cars (packs of trouble.).

              They do have their uses, but even in Curitiba, they're considering
              the replacement of some bus routes with trams.



              ###

              J.H. Crawford _Carfree Cities_
              postmaster@... http://www.carfree.com
            • jym@econet.org
              ... =v= The classic problem with electric vehicles is that they are promoted as pollution-free, when in fact they simply displace the emissions to somewhere
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 16, 2000
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                > Camden councils forward planning officer is unconcerned. He
                > dismissed this problem of charging with one sentence; You
                > should have thought of that before you got one! They fill
                > urban streets with parking meters! All our streets have power
                > cables under them for domestic current and street lights etc.
                > If only you could plug into the meters - maybe planners could
                > start using the benefits of hindsight!

                =v= The classic problem with electric vehicles is that they are
                promoted as "pollution-free," when in fact they simply displace
                the emissions to somewhere else. The above seems to advocate
                putting in a bunch of little charging stations wherever people
                might park, so that they can recharge.

                =v= Unfortunately, when people are out driving and parking, they
                mostly do so during what electric utility companies call "peak
                hours," when the demand for electricity is at its highest. Such
                a practice will surely result in an *increase* in emissions.

                =v= A great point was made about exhaust pipes not being in the
                rear, but in this case the exhaust pipe is even further away,
                and the ecological consequences of one's actions become even
                more remote. Here in the U.S. they've even gone so far as to
                call these things "Zero-Emissions Vehicles!"
                <_Jym_>

                Jym Dyer ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: __Q :::
                jym@... ::::::::::::::::: "My other car is :: ==`\(x ::
                http://www.things.org/~jym/ :::: also a bicycle." :: O-/ `O ::

                In the last fifty years, the US has used up more resources
                than all the rest of the world in all previous history.
                -- David Brower, 1996
              • tim
                ... A very misguided bunch of statements apart from ... which, wether you like it or not, is true EV s can cope with changes in power technology they are maybe
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 16, 2000
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                  >=v= The classic problem with electric vehicles is that they are
                  >promoted as "pollution-free," when in fact they simply displace
                  >the emissions to somewhere else. The above seems to advocate
                  >putting in a bunch of little charging stations wherever people
                  >might park, so that they can recharge.
                  >
                  >=v= Unfortunately, when people are out driving and parking, they
                  >mostly do so during what electric utility companies call "peak
                  >hours," when the demand for electricity is at its highest. Such
                  >a practice will surely result in an *increase* in emissions.
                  >
                  >=v= A great point was made about exhaust pipes not being in the
                  >rear, but in this case the exhaust pipe is even further away,
                  >and the ecological consequences of one's actions become even
                  >more remote. Here in the U.S. they've even gone so far as to
                  >call these things "Zero-Emissions Vehicles!"

                  A very misguided bunch of statements
                  apart from
                  >"Zero-Emissions Vehicles!"
                  which, wether you like it or not, is true
                  EV's can cope with changes in power technology
                  they are maybe not a world solution, but they adapt well to new ideas
                  power sources may change but the EV's still work

                  as people may have renewable sources of home energy supply
                  such as solar, wind or whatever
                  the EV's charge ideally from surplus at home
                  possibly even acting as an emergency power reserve for home too

                  as anyone in thier right mind knows
                  most cars are at home at night
                  when there is a surplus of power on the grid

                  >The above seems to advocate
                  >putting in a bunch of little charging stations wherever people
                  >might park, so that they can recharge.
                  most EV's have built in chargers
                  all we need is power
                  same as is used for street lights
                  or parking meters etc

                  a small detail
                  but here in the UK we can now choose to pay our electricity bills
                  to companies that generate the power in the way that we like
                  economy meters also make it cheaper rate at night

                  ..........tim

                  I love bicycles too
                  hoping to explore the electric ones soon
                • jym@econet.org
                  ... =v= How so? As I ve already pointed out, with electric vehicles (EVs) the emissions still happen, they re just happening somewhere else. Why insist that
                  Message 8 of 8 , Apr 16, 2000
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                    > A very misguided bunch of statements apart from
                    > >"Zero-Emissions Vehicles!"
                    > which, [whether] you like it or not, is true.

                    =v= How so? As I've already pointed out, with electric vehicles
                    (EVs) the emissions still happen, they're just happening
                    somewhere else. Why insist that they don't? Ignoring such
                    realities is exactly the kind of thinking that's gotten us into
                    this cars-everywhere mess in the first place!

                    > EV's can cope with changes in power technology they are maybe
                    > not a world solution, but they adapt well to new ideas power
                    > sources may change but the EV's still work.

                    =v= Renewable sources of energy are wonderful, but they do have
                    their limits. As far as I know, there will never be enough to
                    power the current (wasteful) levels of energy consumption, which
                    is why renewable energy advocates have long promoted a "soft
                    path" of the most energy-efficient alternatives.

                    =v= A one-for-one replacement of cars with EVs will simply use
                    up the available renewable sources of electricity. The air
                    quality authority of southern California, in the U.S. -- where
                    there is a lot of windpower -- came up with a scenario in which
                    EVs would be put on the road with no net increase in emissions.
                    In this scenario, emissions started to increase when more than
                    5% of the cars on the road were EVs; and even that's based on
                    the assumption that cars are being recharged at night!

                    =v= (Note that this scenario only targets maintaining the same
                    level of emissions. Actually reducing emissions is, apparently,
                    outside the realm of consideration.)

                    =v= Does it really make sense to waste renewable sources on a
                    5% elite, just so they can share same wasteful and damaging
                    automobile-based transportation infrastructure as the other
                    95% who are using internal combustion (or the somewhat better
                    hybrid) technology?

                    > as anyone in [their] right mind knows most cars are at home
                    > at night when there is a surplus of power on the grid

                    =v= True, but what happens when the car runs out mid-day? Is
                    the elite EV operator really going to suffer an inconvenience
                    that the non-elite car drivers don't have to deal with?

                    =v= I know of a head of a local clean energy foundation who
                    would charge up his car in the middle of the day; the rationale
                    being that it was important to have it fully-charged "because
                    it's a demo," and besides, one car won't make a whole lot of
                    difference. Then I read in a little local paper about EV users
                    who also claimed to be doing the same thing, but when I walked
                    around the neighborhood, I'd see the EVs being charged up in the
                    middle of the day. One time I saw a guy there plugging one in
                    and I asked him about it, and his response was, hey, it's just
                    one car, so it's not going to make a whole lot of difference.
                    (Deja-vu!)

                    > here in the UK we can now choose to pay our electricity bills
                    > to companies that generate the power in the way that we like

                    =v= We have that in the U.S., too. The amount of "clean" energy
                    available is very limited, and basically what's happening is
                    that some of the middle class will pay the higher rates and feel
                    better about themselves, while everyone else still uses the same
                    old "dirty" energy. The good news is that it indicates a demand
                    for clean energy, and a wee bit of the profits are going towards
                    building more clean energy, but so far there's been no reduction
                    in emissions.

                    > I love bicycles too
                    > hoping to explore the electric ones soon

                    =v= Thereby turning a TRUE zero-emission vehicle into something
                    that pollutes. Pfui.

                    =v= We have an "electric bicycle" company in California with the
                    audacity to name themselves ZAP, meaning "Zero Air Pollution."
                    This is, of course, as much a misnomer as ZEV. They have high
                    hopes: They once email-spammed me to try to get me to invest in
                    their mad scheme to put ZAP electric motors on the bicycles in
                    China. (Just *imagine* the environmental consquences of that!)

                    =v= All that said, I must say that I do think there's a place
                    for electric vehicles and electric bikes. If it's envisioned
                    and implemented as a one-by-one replacement of EVs for cars,
                    or electric bikes for human-powered bikes; these technologies
                    will have no environmental advantage whatsoever.
                    <_Jym_>

                    Jym Dyer ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: __Q :::
                    jym@... ::::::::::::::::: "My other car is :: ==`\(x ::
                    http://www.things.org/~jym/ :::: also a bicycle." :: O-/ `O ::

                    "In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're
                    used to it you don't realize that through that car window
                    everything you see is just more TV."
                    -- Robert M. Pirsig,
                    _Zen_and_the_Art_of_Motorcycle_Maintenance_
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