Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

EU laws to put brake on bikers (motorcyclists) BUT BUT BUT

Expand Messages
  • Todd Edelman
    EU laws to put brake on bikers http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html Relevant excerpts to our discussion: ...The first, which comes into
    Message 1 of 6 , May 13, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      EU laws to put brake on bikers

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html

      Relevant excerpts to our discussion:

      "...The first, which comes into force in two years, will see riders who
      want to obtain a full licence complete a new 'break and swerve' course in
      which they perform high-speed manoeuvres, including an emergency stop at
      50mph..."

      "...A second directive - due to come into force by 2012 - will deal the
      industry another blow. The directive, which has yet to be rubber-stamped
      by the EU, proposes to raise the minimum age for riding motorcycles over
      125cc from 17 to 19. Novices who want a licence to ride any bike will have
      to be over 24..."

      ***

      How come an 18 year-old new driver is allowed to drive any normal car with
      an engine far exceeding 125cc in size?

      I imagine motorcyclists are involved in crashes and collisions in higher
      proportion to their kilometres driven than car drivers... but isnt most of
      the damage to the motorcyclists themselves?

      Of course motorcycles are noisy, polluting and create road chaos - as
      opposed to pedestrians, bicycles and guided-vehicles (rail and BRT) - but
      these new laws are part of a trend to go after the "little guy", when it
      is private cars that doing the most damage and killing the most people
      over all:

      In the Czech Republic a law was passed recently to require helmets for
      bicyclists up to age 18. The law was formerly for up to age 15. This will
      probably turn away some from riding at all, keeping in mind how "uncool"
      helmets might be for teenagers. (Another interesting aside is that a 15
      year-old is allowed to have sex with anyone their age or older than them
      here, so... a 15 year-old needs to put on a helmet to to visit their adult
      boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.)

      At the same time children and adults are being encouraged to wear things
      like reflective vests and bright clothing, which are not required by law.
      Children are given vests by their parents. To take this another step... EU
      would probably like it to be the law that European children have
      flourescent skin, huh?

      In the Czech Republic there are some new laws coming into effect regarding
      enforcement (point penalty system, etc) BUT nothing about reducing 50km/h
      speed limit to 30km/h in built-up areas, which is the standard in many
      European cities.

      It seems to me logical to reduce car use with tougher restictions for
      drivers, just as is being done for motorcylists. THAT is the very least
      Brussels can do. (EU wants to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2010... BUT
      Czechia wont meet the goal (not close) and if you tell me that only one of
      my friends died rather than two... I wont exactly be happy!

      I admit I am a little confused about what EU can regulate and what it
      cant. Licenses for motorcyclists: YES, maybe because motorcyclists can go
      everywhere in the EU. BUT 30km/h speedlimits in built-up areas? No. Why
      not? Because the built-up areas themselves cant cross borders? Dont EU
      citizens deserve as similar traffic conditions as possible in all the
      countries of the EU they visit or reside in?

      If governments (and people) REALLY want to reduce road deaths, they need to:
      * Remove as many cars as possible from the streets
      * Slow down as much as possible many cars as possible which are still allowed
      * Start teaching drivers that they are problematic guests in shared public
      space between buildings....

      ... in addition to increasing public transport and railway funding (in
      Germany funds for regional rail are being cut even as fuel prices go up:
      This is the wrong way to decrease mobility.)...

      ... and of course ALSO setting a goal of perhaps 50% more carfree urban
      areas (hectares) by 2010!!!

      - T

      ------------------------------------------------------

      Todd Edelman
      International Coordinator
      On the Train Towards the Future!

      Green Idea Factory
      Laubova 5
      CZ-13000 Praha 3

      ++420 605 915 970

      edelman@...
      http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain

      Green Idea Factory,
      a member of World Carfree Network
    • ktsourl
      Motorcycles may be little guy in Czechia, but Czechia (or perhaps North America) is not the whole world. In many South European and Asian cities (and in an
      Message 2 of 6 , May 17, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Motorcycles may be "little guy" in Czechia, but Czechia (or perhaps
        North America) is not the whole world. In many South European and
        Asian cities (and in an ever growing number of African countries)
        motorcycle traffic is an important part of motorised traffic (and in
        many cases - e.g China or Vietnam- a first step towards car motorisation).

        In Athens for instance, 1 million motorcycles pollute freely the city,
        besides 2 million automobiles - without any (unlike cars) exhaust gas
        and noise controls. Motorcycling is deliberately promoted (instead of
        biking - Athens lacks even 1 km of bike lane) in order to maximize
        motorised traffic. The corrupt administration favours motorcycling
        because they don't compete cars, but use mostly pedestrian spaces and
        other free spaces (parks, squares etc) - they have also recently
        granted them legally free access to dedicated bus lanes. They use
        under police immunity sidewalks and other pedestrian spaces and act
        more aggressively than cars, being a major component of the violence
        and oppression pedestrians experience in Athens in everyday life, and
        an important (although unrecognised) part of the pollution of the most
        polluted capital in Europe.

        You are not right: they don't only cause damage to the motorcyclists
        themselves, but they also kill pedestrians and bicyclists. Even the
        damage they bring about to themselves shouldn't be confronted with
        indifference, given the efforts the motorcycle lobby makes to lure
        inexperienced and aggression inclined people to the motorcycle
        ideology. However I agree with you that fines and efforts should
        concentrate more to the damage they cause to others (like speeding or
        pedestrian rights violations) than the harm they cause to themselves
        (like helmet use - advising rather than penalties are more appropriate
        in this case).

        Although carfree cities is a worthy prospect, perhaps a completely
        carfree world is still far away, but a motorcycle free world is
        already feasible (and may become a first step towards the carfree
        vision). For a more thorough discussion about motorcycles look at

        http://www.geocities.com/pezosgr/motocbust.rtf
        or
        http://www.geocities.com/pezosgr/motocbust.htm



        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...> wrote:
        >
        > EU laws to put brake on bikers
        >
        > http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html
        >
        > Relevant excerpts to our discussion:
        >
        > "...The first, which comes into force in two years, will see riders who
        > want to obtain a full licence complete a new 'break and swerve'
        course in
        > which they perform high-speed manoeuvres, including an emergency stop at
        > 50mph..."
        >
        > "...A second directive - due to come into force by 2012 - will deal the
        > industry another blow. The directive, which has yet to be rubber-stamped
        > by the EU, proposes to raise the minimum age for riding motorcycles over
        > 125cc from 17 to 19. Novices who want a licence to ride any bike
        will have
        > to be over 24..."
        >
        > ***
        >
        > How come an 18 year-old new driver is allowed to drive any normal
        car with
        > an engine far exceeding 125cc in size?
        >
        > I imagine motorcyclists are involved in crashes and collisions in higher
        > proportion to their kilometres driven than car drivers... but isnt
        most of
        > the damage to the motorcyclists themselves?
        >
        > Of course motorcycles are noisy, polluting and create road chaos - as
        > opposed to pedestrians, bicycles and guided-vehicles (rail and BRT)
        - but
        > these new laws are part of a trend to go after the "little guy", when it
        > is private cars that doing the most damage and killing the most people
        > over all:
        >
        > In the Czech Republic a law was passed recently to require helmets for
        > bicyclists up to age 18. The law was formerly for up to age 15. This
        will
        > probably turn away some from riding at all, keeping in mind how "uncool"
        > helmets might be for teenagers. (Another interesting aside is that a 15
        > year-old is allowed to have sex with anyone their age or older than them
        > here, so... a 15 year-old needs to put on a helmet to to visit their
        adult
        > boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.)
        >
        > At the same time children and adults are being encouraged to wear things
        > like reflective vests and bright clothing, which are not required by
        law.
        > Children are given vests by their parents. To take this another
        step... EU
        > would probably like it to be the law that European children have
        > flourescent skin, huh?
        >
        > In the Czech Republic there are some new laws coming into effect
        regarding
        > enforcement (point penalty system, etc) BUT nothing about reducing
        50km/h
        > speed limit to 30km/h in built-up areas, which is the standard in many
        > European cities.
        >
        > It seems to me logical to reduce car use with tougher restictions for
        > drivers, just as is being done for motorcylists. THAT is the very least
        > Brussels can do. (EU wants to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2010... BUT
        > Czechia wont meet the goal (not close) and if you tell me that only
        one of
        > my friends died rather than two... I wont exactly be happy!
        >
        > I admit I am a little confused about what EU can regulate and what it
        > cant. Licenses for motorcyclists: YES, maybe because motorcyclists
        can go
        > everywhere in the EU. BUT 30km/h speedlimits in built-up areas? No. Why
        > not? Because the built-up areas themselves cant cross borders? Dont EU
        > citizens deserve as similar traffic conditions as possible in all the
        > countries of the EU they visit or reside in?
        >
        > If governments (and people) REALLY want to reduce road deaths, they
        need to:
        > * Remove as many cars as possible from the streets
        > * Slow down as much as possible many cars as possible which are
        still allowed
        > * Start teaching drivers that they are problematic guests in shared
        public
        > space between buildings....
        >
        > ... in addition to increasing public transport and railway funding (in
        > Germany funds for regional rail are being cut even as fuel prices go up:
        > This is the wrong way to decrease mobility.)...
        >
        > ... and of course ALSO setting a goal of perhaps 50% more carfree urban
        > areas (hectares) by 2010!!!
        >
        > - T
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > Todd Edelman
        > International Coordinator
        > On the Train Towards the Future!
        >
        > Green Idea Factory
        > Laubova 5
        > CZ-13000 Praha 3
        >
        > ++420 605 915 970
        >
        > edelman@...
        > http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain
        >
        > Green Idea Factory,
        > a member of World Carfree Network
        >
      • Todd Edelman
        re: http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html also, interesting information on MOTORCYCLES IN ATHENS at these links:
        Message 3 of 6 , May 17, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          re: http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html

          also, interesting information on MOTORCYCLES IN ATHENS at these links:
          http://www.geocities.com/pezosgr/motocbust.rtf
          or
          http://www.geocities.com/pezosgr/motocbust.htm

          and below...as well as original email.

          I suggest we move this discussion off the Carfree Cities as it is my
          understanding that carfree definately means motorcycle-free in the view of
          the owner of the Carfree Cities list, with no discussion possible. I just
          wanted to respond to your points.

          Todd

          ---

          Hi KT!

          Thanks for your comments and criticism!
          >
          > Motorcycles may be "little guy" in Czechia, but Czechia (or perhaps
          > North America) is not the whole world. In many South European and
          > Asian cities (and in an ever growing number of African countries)
          > motorcycle traffic is an important part of motorised traffic (and in
          > many cases - e.g China or Vietnam- a first step towards car motorisation).

          I CERTAINLY dont think that Czechia or the EU or North America is the
          whole world! I should add that I sent blind copies of the original email
          to a few members of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European
          Commission who I thought might be or I know are sympathetic to my point of
          view.

          Good laws in the EU can certainly be good examples for elsewhere.

          Motorised two-wheelers represent a very small part of the transport mix in
          most of the northern countries of the EU, and I think most if not all of
          the new EU states. I realise that Italy, and perhaps France (and Spain?)
          are different.

          To summarize my opinion on your points below and in the linked page you
          provided: I absolutely agree that motorcycles are worse than many people
          think, and as bad as you claim. I just wanted to say that the restrictions
          on driving age etc should apply to both, and things like a top speed of
          30km/h should apply to all motorised vehicles (except for trams) in
          built-up areas. Again, this - if enforced by police (active) and design
          (passive) - will slow down all vehicles, and reduce some of the advantage
          of motorcycles.

          I dont think motorcycles resemble bicycles in any way.

          So, lets focus on Athens, as you suggest:
          >
          > In Athens for instance, 1 million motorcycles pollute freely the city,
          > besides 2 million automobiles - without any (unlike cars) exhaust gas
          > and noise controls. Motorcycling is deliberately promoted (instead of
          > biking - Athens lacks even 1 km of bike lane) in order to maximize
          > motorised traffic. The corrupt administration favours motorcycling
          > because they don't compete cars, but use mostly pedestrian spaces and
          > other free spaces (parks, squares etc) - they have also recently
          > granted them legally free access to dedicated bus lanes. They use
          > under police immunity sidewalks and other pedestrian spaces and act
          > more aggressively than cars, being a major component of the violence
          > and oppression pedestrians experience in Athens in everyday life, and
          > an important (although unrecognised) part of the pollution of the most
          > polluted capital in Europe.

          WELL, this certainly seems like hell. A main point of my first email was
          to question why all countries dont have the same regulations for both
          motorcycles and cars. I also understand that two-stroke-powered have been
          made illegal, and while this means they will eventually dissappear, it
          would certainly be great to get them off the streets sooner. And I
          understand your point that four-stroke is not much of an advantage (In
          Prague and other cities of the new EU especially, a HUGE problem is all
          the old Diesel trucks and service vehicles... and I have not yet found out
          how to get them off of the road or when/if laws might force it.
          >
          > You are not right: they don't only cause damage to the motorcyclists
          > themselves, but they also kill pedestrians and bicyclists. Even the
          > damage they bring about to themselves shouldn't be confronted with
          > indifference, given the efforts the motorcycle lobby makes to lure
          > inexperienced and aggression inclined people to the motorcycle
          > ideology. However I agree with you that fines and efforts should
          > concentrate more to the damage they cause to others (like speeding or
          > pedestrian rights violations) than the harm they cause to themselves
          > (like helmet use - advising rather than penalties are more appropriate
          > in this case).

          YES, you are right, in Athens, some other southern EU cities, and in many
          parts of the developing world. In sum, many many more people than who are
          in the EU.

          Reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of the EU will not make a big
          difference. (Brussels, too, I think!). So, that is why I mention the
          "little guy": I mean this as the easiest target, not necessarily the cause
          of the least problems. (To say it another way, there is big push for
          people to unplug their computers when they are not at home, but many of
          these people leave home by car!)
          >
          > Although carfree cities is a worthy prospect, perhaps a completely
          > carfree world is still far away, but a motorcycle free world is
          > already feasible (and may become a first step towards the carfree
          > vision).

          AGAIN, making Prague and other parts of the EU motorcycle-free will not
          make a big difference. It is much fairer to treat all private motorised
          transport with strict rules regarding emissions and speed... OR to really
          take them seriously - for a change - and to ban all of it immediately when
          city design/public transport can replace it via proximity and replacment
          mobility... and to start redesigning cities and improving PT so no one
          needs cars and motorcycles and no one needs them either.

          Four wheels bad, two wheels bad (if you have a motor), two wheels good if
          you have no motor, and pedestrians always come first.

          And European Commission really needs to take a look at what is happening
          in Athens and see if they are violating laws (I imagine they are regarding
          emissions) and do something to help.

          There are two Greeks on the Committee for Transport and Tourism: One seems
          to be very active on Womens Issues, and since women (and children) are
          known as vulnerable road users, maybe she will have an ear for your
          points. I am forwarding this email to her...

          See:
          http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/expert/committees/presentation.do?committee=1242&language=EN

          Thanks,
          T

          Original email:

          EU laws to put brake on bikers

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html

          Relevant excerpts to our discussion:

          "...The first, which comes into force in two years, will see riders who
          want to obtain a full licence complete a new 'break and swerve' course in
          which they perform high-speed manoeuvres, including an emergency stop at
          50mph..."

          "...A second directive - due to come into force by 2012 - will deal the
          industry another blow. The directive, which has yet to be rubber-stamped
          by the EU, proposes to raise the minimum age for riding motorcycles over
          125cc from 17 to 19. Novices who want a licence to ride any bike will have
          to be over 24..."

          ***

          How come an 18 year-old new driver is allowed to drive any normal car with
          an engine far exceeding 125cc in size?

          I imagine motorcyclists are involved in crashes and collisions in higher
          proportion to their kilometres driven than car drivers... but isnt most of
          the damage to the motorcyclists themselves?

          Of course motorcycles are noisy, polluting and create road chaos - as
          opposed to pedestrians, bicycles and guided-vehicles (rail and BRT) - but
          these new laws are part of a trend to go after the "little guy", when it
          is private cars that doing the most damage and killing the most people
          over all:

          In the Czech Republic a law was passed recently to require helmets for
          bicyclists up to age 18. The law was formerly for up to age 15. This will
          probably turn away some from riding at all, keeping in mind how "uncool"
          helmets might be for teenagers. (Another interesting aside is that a 15
          year-old is allowed to have sex with anyone their age or older than them
          here, so... a 15 year-old needs to put on a helmet to to visit their adult
          boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.)

          At the same time children and adults are being encouraged to wear things
          like reflective vests and bright clothing, which are not required by law.
          Children are given vests by their parents. To take this another step... EU
          would probably like it to be the law that European children have
          flourescent skin, huh?

          In the Czech Republic there are some new laws coming into effect regarding
          enforcement (point penalty system, etc) BUT nothing about reducing 50km/h
          speed limit to 30km/h in built-up areas, which is the standard in many
          European cities.

          It seems to me logical to reduce car use with tougher restictions for
          drivers, just as is being done for motorcylists. THAT is the very least
          Brussels can do. (EU wants to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2010... BUT
          Czechia wont meet the goal (not close) and if you tell me that only one of
          my friends died rather than two... I wont exactly be happy!

          I admit I am a little confused about what EU can regulate and what it
          cant. Licenses for motorcyclists: YES, maybe because motorcyclists can go
          everywhere in the EU. BUT 30km/h speedlimits in built-up areas? No. Why
          not? Because the built-up areas themselves cant cross borders? Dont EU
          citizens deserve as similar traffic conditions as possible in all the
          countries of the EU they visit or reside in?

          If governments (and people) REALLY want to reduce road deaths, they need to:
          * Remove as many cars as possible from the streets
          * Slow down as much as possible many cars as possible which are still allowed
          * Start teaching drivers that they are problematic guests in shared public
          space between buildings....

          ... in addition to increasing public transport and railway funding (in
          Germany funds for regional rail are being cut even as fuel prices go up:
          This is the wrong way to decrease mobility.)...

          ... and of course ALSO setting a goal of perhaps 50% more carfree urban
          areas (hectares) by 2010!!!

          - T
          ------------------------------------------------------

          Todd Edelman
          International Coordinator
          On the Train Towards the Future!

          Green Idea Factory
          Laubova 5
          CZ-13000 Praha 3

          ++420 605 915 970

          edelman@...
          http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain

          Green Idea Factory,
          a member of World Carfree Network
        • ktsourl
          You may be thinking that reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of the EU will not make a big difference, but you must realize that in those cities where
          Message 4 of 6 , May 19, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            You may be thinking that reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of
            the EU will not make a big difference, but you must realize that in
            those cities where motorcycles are a significant part of the traffic
            it will make a huge difference. I am not sure if you also imply that
            people living there are worth less attention, but in any case don't
            expect your arguments to sound them very persuasive.

            I don't find logical the position, either to ban all forms of
            motorized traffic immediately, or leave them all. Some of them may be
            easier to be banned. Why not start from them? Even if this is
            considered by some as a small victory, it is still a victory. When
            environmental and living conditions start to improve, this will
            certainly create an incentive to follow further the carfree path,
            which will improve also the totality of the cities of Europe and tha
            whole world.

            Certainly it will be nice if European Commission makes something on
            this point, although they are frequently accused for involving
            unnecessarily in local matters. But of course, not only motorcycles
            can cross the borders, but also pollution, mentalities and prospective
            road victims.

            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...> wrote:
            >
            > re: http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html
            >
            > also, interesting information on MOTORCYCLES IN ATHENS at these links:
            > http://www.geocities.com/pezosgr/motocbust.rtf
            > or
            > http://www.geocities.com/pezosgr/motocbust.htm
            >
            > and below...as well as original email.
            >
            > I suggest we move this discussion off the Carfree Cities as it is my
            > understanding that carfree definately means motorcycle-free in the
            view of
            > the owner of the Carfree Cities list, with no discussion possible. I
            just
            > wanted to respond to your points.
            >
            > Todd
            >
            > ---
            >
            > Hi KT!
            >
            > Thanks for your comments and criticism!
            > >
            > > Motorcycles may be "little guy" in Czechia, but Czechia (or perhaps
            > > North America) is not the whole world. In many South European and
            > > Asian cities (and in an ever growing number of African countries)
            > > motorcycle traffic is an important part of motorised traffic (and in
            > > many cases - e.g China or Vietnam- a first step towards car
            motorisation).
            >
            > I CERTAINLY dont think that Czechia or the EU or North America is the
            > whole world! I should add that I sent blind copies of the original email
            > to a few members of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the
            European
            > Commission who I thought might be or I know are sympathetic to my
            point of
            > view.
            >
            > Good laws in the EU can certainly be good examples for elsewhere.
            >
            > Motorised two-wheelers represent a very small part of the transport
            mix in
            > most of the northern countries of the EU, and I think most if not all of
            > the new EU states. I realise that Italy, and perhaps France (and Spain?)
            > are different.
            >
            > To summarize my opinion on your points below and in the linked page you
            > provided: I absolutely agree that motorcycles are worse than many people
            > think, and as bad as you claim. I just wanted to say that the
            restrictions
            > on driving age etc should apply to both, and things like a top speed of
            > 30km/h should apply to all motorised vehicles (except for trams) in
            > built-up areas. Again, this - if enforced by police (active) and design
            > (passive) - will slow down all vehicles, and reduce some of the
            advantage
            > of motorcycles.
            >
            > I dont think motorcycles resemble bicycles in any way.
            >
            > So, lets focus on Athens, as you suggest:
            > >
            > > In Athens for instance, 1 million motorcycles pollute freely the city,
            > > besides 2 million automobiles - without any (unlike cars) exhaust gas
            > > and noise controls. Motorcycling is deliberately promoted (instead of
            > > biking - Athens lacks even 1 km of bike lane) in order to maximize
            > > motorised traffic. The corrupt administration favours motorcycling
            > > because they don't compete cars, but use mostly pedestrian spaces and
            > > other free spaces (parks, squares etc) - they have also recently
            > > granted them legally free access to dedicated bus lanes. They use
            > > under police immunity sidewalks and other pedestrian spaces and act
            > > more aggressively than cars, being a major component of the violence
            > > and oppression pedestrians experience in Athens in everyday life, and
            > > an important (although unrecognised) part of the pollution of the most
            > > polluted capital in Europe.
            >
            > WELL, this certainly seems like hell. A main point of my first email was
            > to question why all countries dont have the same regulations for both
            > motorcycles and cars. I also understand that two-stroke-powered have
            been
            > made illegal, and while this means they will eventually dissappear, it
            > would certainly be great to get them off the streets sooner. And I
            > understand your point that four-stroke is not much of an advantage (In
            > Prague and other cities of the new EU especially, a HUGE problem is all
            > the old Diesel trucks and service vehicles... and I have not yet
            found out
            > how to get them off of the road or when/if laws might force it.
            > >
            > > You are not right: they don't only cause damage to the motorcyclists
            > > themselves, but they also kill pedestrians and bicyclists. Even the
            > > damage they bring about to themselves shouldn't be confronted with
            > > indifference, given the efforts the motorcycle lobby makes to lure
            > > inexperienced and aggression inclined people to the motorcycle
            > > ideology. However I agree with you that fines and efforts should
            > > concentrate more to the damage they cause to others (like speeding or
            > > pedestrian rights violations) than the harm they cause to themselves
            > > (like helmet use - advising rather than penalties are more appropriate
            > > in this case).
            >
            > YES, you are right, in Athens, some other southern EU cities, and in
            many
            > parts of the developing world. In sum, many many more people than
            who are
            > in the EU.
            >
            > Reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of the EU will not make a big
            > difference. (Brussels, too, I think!). So, that is why I mention the
            > "little guy": I mean this as the easiest target, not necessarily the
            cause
            > of the least problems. (To say it another way, there is big push for
            > people to unplug their computers when they are not at home, but many of
            > these people leave home by car!)
            > >
            > > Although carfree cities is a worthy prospect, perhaps a completely
            > > carfree world is still far away, but a motorcycle free world is
            > > already feasible (and may become a first step towards the carfree
            > > vision).
            >
            > AGAIN, making Prague and other parts of the EU motorcycle-free will not
            > make a big difference. It is much fairer to treat all private motorised
            > transport with strict rules regarding emissions and speed... OR to
            really
            > take them seriously - for a change - and to ban all of it
            immediately when
            > city design/public transport can replace it via proximity and replacment
            > mobility... and to start redesigning cities and improving PT so no one
            > needs cars and motorcycles and no one needs them either.
            >
            > Four wheels bad, two wheels bad (if you have a motor), two wheels
            good if
            > you have no motor, and pedestrians always come first.
            >
            > And European Commission really needs to take a look at what is happening
            > in Athens and see if they are violating laws (I imagine they are
            regarding
            > emissions) and do something to help.
            >
            > There are two Greeks on the Committee for Transport and Tourism: One
            seems
            > to be very active on Womens Issues, and since women (and children) are
            > known as vulnerable road users, maybe she will have an ear for your
            > points. I am forwarding this email to her...
            >
            > See:
            >
            http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/expert/committees/presentation.do?committee=1242&language=EN
            >
            > Thanks,
            > T
            >
            > Original email:
            >
            > EU laws to put brake on bikers
            >
            > http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329473814-103630,00.html
            >
            > Relevant excerpts to our discussion:
            >
            > "...The first, which comes into force in two years, will see riders who
            > want to obtain a full licence complete a new 'break and swerve'
            course in
            > which they perform high-speed manoeuvres, including an emergency stop at
            > 50mph..."
            >
            > "...A second directive - due to come into force by 2012 - will deal the
            > industry another blow. The directive, which has yet to be rubber-stamped
            > by the EU, proposes to raise the minimum age for riding motorcycles over
            > 125cc from 17 to 19. Novices who want a licence to ride any bike
            will have
            > to be over 24..."
            >
            > ***
            >
            > How come an 18 year-old new driver is allowed to drive any normal
            car with
            > an engine far exceeding 125cc in size?
            >
            > I imagine motorcyclists are involved in crashes and collisions in higher
            > proportion to their kilometres driven than car drivers... but isnt
            most of
            > the damage to the motorcyclists themselves?
            >
            > Of course motorcycles are noisy, polluting and create road chaos - as
            > opposed to pedestrians, bicycles and guided-vehicles (rail and BRT)
            - but
            > these new laws are part of a trend to go after the "little guy", when it
            > is private cars that doing the most damage and killing the most people
            > over all:
            >
            > In the Czech Republic a law was passed recently to require helmets for
            > bicyclists up to age 18. The law was formerly for up to age 15. This
            will
            > probably turn away some from riding at all, keeping in mind how "uncool"
            > helmets might be for teenagers. (Another interesting aside is that a 15
            > year-old is allowed to have sex with anyone their age or older than them
            > here, so... a 15 year-old needs to put on a helmet to to visit their
            adult
            > boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.)
            >
            > At the same time children and adults are being encouraged to wear things
            > like reflective vests and bright clothing, which are not required by
            law.
            > Children are given vests by their parents. To take this another
            step... EU
            > would probably like it to be the law that European children have
            > flourescent skin, huh?
            >
            > In the Czech Republic there are some new laws coming into effect
            regarding
            > enforcement (point penalty system, etc) BUT nothing about reducing
            50km/h
            > speed limit to 30km/h in built-up areas, which is the standard in many
            > European cities.
            >
            > It seems to me logical to reduce car use with tougher restictions for
            > drivers, just as is being done for motorcylists. THAT is the very least
            > Brussels can do. (EU wants to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2010... BUT
            > Czechia wont meet the goal (not close) and if you tell me that only
            one of
            > my friends died rather than two... I wont exactly be happy!
            >
            > I admit I am a little confused about what EU can regulate and what it
            > cant. Licenses for motorcyclists: YES, maybe because motorcyclists
            can go
            > everywhere in the EU. BUT 30km/h speedlimits in built-up areas? No. Why
            > not? Because the built-up areas themselves cant cross borders? Dont EU
            > citizens deserve as similar traffic conditions as possible in all the
            > countries of the EU they visit or reside in?
            >
            > If governments (and people) REALLY want to reduce road deaths, they
            need to:
            > * Remove as many cars as possible from the streets
            > * Slow down as much as possible many cars as possible which are
            still allowed
            > * Start teaching drivers that they are problematic guests in shared
            public
            > space between buildings....
            >
            > ... in addition to increasing public transport and railway funding (in
            > Germany funds for regional rail are being cut even as fuel prices go up:
            > This is the wrong way to decrease mobility.)...
            >
            > ... and of course ALSO setting a goal of perhaps 50% more carfree urban
            > areas (hectares) by 2010!!!
            >
            > - T
            > ------------------------------------------------------
            >
            > Todd Edelman
            > International Coordinator
            > On the Train Towards the Future!
            >
            > Green Idea Factory
            > Laubova 5
            > CZ-13000 Praha 3
            >
            > ++420 605 915 970
            >
            > edelman@...
            > http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain
            >
            > Green Idea Factory,
            > a member of World Carfree Network
            >
          • Todd Edelman
            ... KT, I dont think that is what I said. I agree that in cities like Athens and perhaps some other southern EU cities reducing the number/danger of
            Message 5 of 6 , May 19, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              KT wrote:
              >
              > You may be thinking that reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of
              > the EU will not make a big difference, but you must realize that in
              > those cities where motorcycles are a significant part of the traffic
              > it will make a huge difference. I am not sure if you also imply that
              > people living there are worth less attention, but in any case don't
              > expect your arguments to sound them very persuasive.

              KT, I dont think that is what I said. I agree that in cities like Athens
              and perhaps some other southern EU cities reducing the number/danger of
              motorcycles will make a difference because they represent a significant
              part of the transport mix.

              ---
              >
              > I don't find logical the position, either to ban all forms of
              > motorized traffic immediately, or leave them all. Some of them may be
              > easier to be banned. Why not start from them? Even if this is
              > considered by some as a small victory, it is still a victory. When
              > environmental and living conditions start to improve, this will
              > certainly create an incentive to follow further the carfree path,
              > which will improve also the totality of the cities of Europe and tha
              > whole world.

              I am pretty sure I didnt say to leave them all. My point was that things
              like reasonable and enforced speed limits will affect ALL vehicles on the
              streets, including cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles. This will
              reduce the damage caused by all of them, as we start to equip, re-equip,
              re-design and design cities for full functionality without individual
              motorised vehicles.

              Also, if only motorcycles are targeted it lets the cars off easy: This
              solves little in many places and gives the motorcyclists a political
              advantage, in comparison to all individual motorcized forms being
              targeted. This has I suppose some similarities to the kind of funny
              argument by many drivers of "normal-sized" cars to get SUVs out of the
              cities. I am for getting SUVs and motorcycles out, but the reality is that
              "normal" cars do more damage.

              A city in Belgium gave free transport passes to people/families who gave
              up their cars, and I strongly suggest something similar is done in Athens
              regarding motorcycles. (Maybe there can be former-motorcyclist only
              sections of PT with black leather seats, and simulated motorcycle sounds
              and vibrations ;-))

              ---
              >
              > Certainly it will be nice if European Commission makes something on
              > this point, although they are frequently accused for involving
              > unnecessarily in local matters. But of course, not only motorcycles
              > can cross the borders, but also pollution, mentalities and prospective
              > road victims.

              YES, transport is in no way a local matter, as I am sure you agree. Some
              things are more important than others but my understanding is that the
              entire territory of the EU needs to be reasonably safe and homogeneous in
              regards to conditions. So Athens and perhaps other places need serious
              action on motorcycles, and many cities need serious action on speed limits
              and also emissions from Diesel vehicles.

              I hope you also appreciate that I forwarded your points about motorcycles
              in Athens to the one of the Greek MEPs on the Transport and Tourism
              committee.

              - T


              ------------------------------------------------------

              Todd Edelman
              International Coordinator
              On the Train Towards the Future!

              Green Idea Factory
              Laubova 5
              CZ-13000 Praha 3

              ++420 605 915 970

              edelman@...
              http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain

              Green Idea Factory,
              a member of World Carfree Network
            • ktsourl
              The problem is not to target only at motorcycles, but not to leave them out of scope e.g. labelling them as little guys . For instance, the official policy of
              Message 6 of 6 , May 22, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                The problem is not to target only at motorcycles, but not to leave
                them out of scope e.g. labelling them as "little guys". For instance,
                the official policy of the greek government is currently against
                private automobiles and in favour of public transit, bicycles and
                motorcycles (of course this is the _declared_ policy, not the
                _implemented_ - actually Athens is unwalkable, lacks even 1 km of bike
                lanes, while motorcyclists gain always new privileges and car space is
                meticulously preserved, e.g. when tramways are designed).

                I consider the SUV ban would be a positive measure, despite the
                dangers you mention (i.e. to be used as a substitute for more
                effective actions - this danger is always present in any positive
                measure), because it sends the correct message to the general public.

                You have also to take into consideration the imminent danger lying in
                the spread of motorcycles, for places where their use is now marginal.
                Athens and other motorcycle plagued cities are a vivid paradigm on how
                these places may become.

                Yes, I do appreciate your interest in forwarding my posting, but if
                they are greeks they are certainly aware of the situation in Athens.
                In fact it is more those who are not greek, who should be notified on
                where their slackness towards motorcycles can lead a city (if you
                think they would care about)



                >Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 16:07:41 +0200 (CEST)
                >From: "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...>
                >Subject: [sustran] Born to be wild! (Just not in our cities, thanks!)
                > was: motorcycles, Athens..
                >To: sustran-discuss@...
                >Message-ID: <2097.62.245.95.24.1148047661.squirrel@...>
                >Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-2
                >
                >KT wrote:
                >
                >>>
                >>> You may be thinking that reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of
                >>> the EU will not make a big difference, but you must realize that in
                >>> those cities where motorcycles are a significant part of the traffic
                >>> it will make a huge difference. I am not sure if you also imply that
                >>> people living there are worth less attention, but in any case don't
                >>> expect your arguments to sound them very persuasive.
                >
                >
                >KT, I dont think that is what I said. I agree that in cities like Athens
                >and perhaps some other southern EU cities reducing the number/danger of
                >motorcycles will make a difference because they represent a significant
                >part of the transport mix.
                >
                >---
                >
                >>>
                >>> I don't find logical the position, either to ban all forms of
                >>> motorized traffic immediately, or leave them all. Some of them may be
                >>> easier to be banned. Why not start from them? Even if this is
                >>> considered by some as a small victory, it is still a victory. When
                >>> environmental and living conditions start to improve, this will
                >>> certainly create an incentive to follow further the carfree path,
                >>> which will improve also the totality of the cities of Europe and tha
                >>> whole world.
                >
                >
                >I am pretty sure I didnt say to leave them all. My point was that things
                >like reasonable and enforced speed limits will affect ALL vehicles on the
                >streets, including cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles. This will
                >reduce the damage caused by all of them, as we start to equip, re-equip,
                >re-design and design cities for full functionality without individual
                >motorised vehicles.
                >
                >Also, if only motorcycles are targeted it lets the cars off easy: This
                >solves little in many places and gives the motorcyclists a political
                >advantage, in comparison to all individual motorcized forms being
                >targeted. This has I suppose some similarities to the kind of funny
                >argument by many drivers of "normal-sized" cars to get SUVs out of the
                >cities. I am for getting SUVs and motorcycles out, but the reality is
                that
                >"normal" cars do more damage.
                >
                >A city in Belgium gave free transport passes to people/families who gave
                >up their cars, and I strongly suggest something similar is done in Athens
                >regarding motorcycles. (Maybe there can be former-motorcyclist only
                >sections of PT with black leather seats, and simulated motorcycle sounds
                >and vibrations ;-))
                >
                >---
                >
                >>>
                >>> Certainly it will be nice if European Commission makes something on
                >>> this point, although they are frequently accused for involving
                >>> unnecessarily in local matters. But of course, not only motorcycles
                >>> can cross the borders, but also pollution, mentalities and prospective
                >>> road victims.
                >
                >
                >YES, transport is in no way a local matter, as I am sure you agree. Some
                >things are more important than others but my understanding is that the
                >entire territory of the EU needs to be reasonably safe and homogeneous in
                >regards to conditions. So Athens and perhaps other places need serious
                >action on motorcycles, and many cities need serious action on speed
                limits
                >and also emissions from Diesel vehicles.
                >
                >I hope you also appreciate that I forwarded your points about motorcycles
                >in Athens to the one of the Greek MEPs on the Transport and Tourism
                >committee.
                >
                >- T
                >
                >
                >------------------------------------------------------
                >
                >Todd Edelman
                >International Coordinator
                >On the Train Towards the Future!
                >
                >Green Idea Factory
                >Laubova 5
                >CZ-13000 Praha 3
                >
                >++420 605 915 970
                >
                >edelman@...
                >http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain
                >
                >Green Idea Factory,
                >a member of World Carfree Network
                >


                --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...> wrote:
                >
                > KT wrote:
                > >
                > > You may be thinking that reducing motorcycle traffic in many parts of
                > > the EU will not make a big difference, but you must realize that in
                > > those cities where motorcycles are a significant part of the traffic
                > > it will make a huge difference. I am not sure if you also imply that
                > > people living there are worth less attention, but in any case don't
                > > expect your arguments to sound them very persuasive.
                >
                > KT, I dont think that is what I said. I agree that in cities like Athens
                > and perhaps some other southern EU cities reducing the number/danger of
                > motorcycles will make a difference because they represent a significant
                > part of the transport mix.
                >
                > ---
                > >
                > > I don't find logical the position, either to ban all forms of
                > > motorized traffic immediately, or leave them all. Some of them may be
                > > easier to be banned. Why not start from them? Even if this is
                > > considered by some as a small victory, it is still a victory. When
                > > environmental and living conditions start to improve, this will
                > > certainly create an incentive to follow further the carfree path,
                > > which will improve also the totality of the cities of Europe and tha
                > > whole world.
                >
                > I am pretty sure I didnt say to leave them all. My point was that things
                > like reasonable and enforced speed limits will affect ALL vehicles
                on the
                > streets, including cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles. This will
                > reduce the damage caused by all of them, as we start to equip, re-equip,
                > re-design and design cities for full functionality without individual
                > motorised vehicles.
                >
                > Also, if only motorcycles are targeted it lets the cars off easy: This
                > solves little in many places and gives the motorcyclists a political
                > advantage, in comparison to all individual motorcized forms being
                > targeted. This has I suppose some similarities to the kind of funny
                > argument by many drivers of "normal-sized" cars to get SUVs out of the
                > cities. I am for getting SUVs and motorcycles out, but the reality
                is that
                > "normal" cars do more damage.
                >
                > A city in Belgium gave free transport passes to people/families who gave
                > up their cars, and I strongly suggest something similar is done in
                Athens
                > regarding motorcycles. (Maybe there can be former-motorcyclist only
                > sections of PT with black leather seats, and simulated motorcycle sounds
                > and vibrations ;-))
                >
                > ---
                > >
                > > Certainly it will be nice if European Commission makes something on
                > > this point, although they are frequently accused for involving
                > > unnecessarily in local matters. But of course, not only motorcycles
                > > can cross the borders, but also pollution, mentalities and prospective
                > > road victims.
                >
                > YES, transport is in no way a local matter, as I am sure you agree. Some
                > things are more important than others but my understanding is that the
                > entire territory of the EU needs to be reasonably safe and
                homogeneous in
                > regards to conditions. So Athens and perhaps other places need serious
                > action on motorcycles, and many cities need serious action on speed
                limits
                > and also emissions from Diesel vehicles.
                >
                > I hope you also appreciate that I forwarded your points about
                motorcycles
                > in Athens to the one of the Greek MEPs on the Transport and Tourism
                > committee.
                >
                > - T
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------------------------
                >
                > Todd Edelman
                > International Coordinator
                > On the Train Towards the Future!
                >
                > Green Idea Factory
                > Laubova 5
                > CZ-13000 Praha 3
                >
                > ++420 605 915 970
                >
                > edelman@...
                > http://www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain
                >
                > Green Idea Factory,
                > a member of World Carfree Network
                >
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.