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This is clearly backwards

 
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:24 am
Chai Tea wrote:
Yeah, that's kinda my take on it FreeDuck...

In places like NYC it's great. It's usually cheaper and usually as fast if not faster. Plus, living in such a big city, anything you want can be found within a few blocks.

And yes, it is kinda useless to encourage people taking PT if where they life in particular is not set up for it.

In Austin...there is a suburban sprawl...but although I live in a house, it's in a neighborhood that's been established for 50 or more years. Still, even living a mile from the center of downtown, in a neighborhood near well used roads, unless I was actually traveling TO downtown, it would hardly be worth taking a bus.

In all this is the individuals choice of how they'd like to live.

I've had to live WAY out in the country and I absolutely HATED it. On the other hand, if I had to live in the middle of a large city, I'd be miserable as well. On the third hand, living in what my idea of urban sprawl, being 15 miles out, cookie cutter houses, cookie cutter stores, everything too far to walk to, is equally unappealing.

Where I and many other people live one can travel within a 2 or so mile radius to get everything they need, too far to walk in 100 degree weather, and too far if your needing to carry stuff back home.

Cabs? - uses as much gas
Bus? - I can't cart an entire weeks worth of groceries on one, plus with the time difference, food would spoil.

I see people every day who are too poor to own their own transportation, waiting for a bus, and my heart goes out to them. Their entire day is taken up with getting from one place to another.

That's as bad as when I lived way out in the country. I had not washer or dryer, and every week had to travel 45 miles one way to wash clothes and get food. Doing those 2 things basically took up the whole day, and that WITH a car.

Urban sprawl, or even living in what I consider a convenient enough neighborhood is a reality that isn't going to go away. PT, car pooling for most people is just not a realistic goal.

The solution lies in fuel efficiency and individual accountablility.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:25 am
Nevermind. Mispost.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:33 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Nevermind. Mispost.




What didya want to say? This is interesting.


oh and wolf...I didn't mean feeling trapped ON the PT. Laughing ..I meant when you get to where you're going you're STUCK there.

I'm right now literally a 1/4 mile from a busy cross town highway...but to get something to eat, I'd have to walk a mile.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:34 am
...and city planning.

I do think that all of those need to work together -- squinney mentions the place that was planned to be a walkable community but people are still driving their SUV's half a mile. Yet, if the community doesn't have even the option of using some combination of walking/ biking and public transportation, even people who want to are in trouble. (My husband rode his bike to and from work in Pasadena, risked life and limb every day in that particular car culture.)

I currently live in a very walkable community, where most of the essentials are near enough to walk to and the rest is quickly and easily reached by car. I refill my gas tank every 6 weeks or so. The bus system is good (I see commuters on it all the time, people in business clothes and nice briefcases, etc.) and we use it sometimes (not as much as we probably should).

I didn't really like the stuck feeling of taking the train, no, especially because I had a small baby at the time and wanted to be able to get back at a moment's notice; but the trains ran fairly often, and getting to the train station from the building where I had meetings in downtown Chicago was very easy.

Anyway, I came in here contesting Finn's assertion that public transportation is only a viable alternative to private passenger auto use in truly urban centers, not the suburbs.

I've lived in a couple of suburbs, and that was not true for either one, at all. I'm not suggesting that ALL suburbs have such resources, but the claim that "it is a non-starter in the suburbs, where the commuters live," is simply false, stated so generally.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:38 am
Chai Tea wrote:
The solution lies in fuel efficiency and individual accountablility.


I disagree only in the sense that I don't think that's the only place where the solution lies. Public transportation and better planning are still important, even if they aren't successful right this minute. The way things look today isn't how they will look in 10 years. Cities grow. If they grow without an eye towards smart transportation they will feel it when the systems they have in place breakdown under the sheer weight of the populace. I'm thinking LA traffic. We are accountable for our choice of vehicle, no doubt about that, but we are also accountable for our other lifestyle choices, all of which affect and are affected by energy cost.

As for Finn's point about what's good for cities not being what's good for the country, that's true. But if we could reduce miles driven per person in populations of millions, then we can let the country people keep doing what they're doing. Though, I still think there should be some basic forms of public transport everywhere for the very poor and the very old and those who just suck at driving and for the drunks. That's all I have to say about that.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:39 am
Not sure what you're saying Soz...city planning....for instance, how to you relate that to where I live, it's not a new city, there is PT, yet for me it would be counterproductive to use PT.

As far as I'm concerned, Austin has come up with some cacamamy ideas re PT. First I'd like to get C's opinion on this before speaking my mind.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:41 am
Chai Tea wrote:
FreeDuck wrote:
Nevermind. Mispost.




What didya want to say? This is interesting.




I misunderstood your quoted post above. I thought you posted that before I posted my last one and that I hadn't read it before I posted, and... you know, just a misunderstanding.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:42 am
FreeDuck said it, pretty much. :-)

Cities aren't static, they grow and change, and some serious consideration for public transportation can and should be part of that growth and change, IMO.

Then, there are always new suburbs popping up -- they can be planned to be walkable communities (I see that more and more -- I'd rather have them planned that way and then have some people use them as such and some not, then not even having that option).
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:57 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Chai Tea wrote:
FreeDuck wrote:
Nevermind. Mispost.




What didya want to say? This is interesting.




I misunderstood your quoted post above. I thought you posted that before I posted my last one and that I hadn't read it before I posted, and... you know, just a misunderstanding.




Who's on first? Laughing

What you said about lifestyle choices, that's so tied up with our choice of transportation, it's how we get to where we choose to live our life.

Like I said before, I think my city has thrown some really dumb ideas around. Ideas that even in 30 years wouldn't be worth it.

I'd consider taking PT is it didn't take twice as long, and in some cases, needed a car to get to where the public transportation could pick you up.

This is just an idea out of the blue....In our DT there is in addition to buses, little trollys call the 'dillos. It's a wonderful idea for people who want to scoot just a few blocks to a mile quickly within downtown.

The problem is, most people don't work downtown, as a whole. As a matter of fact, I NEVER have a reason to go downtown. I do that once a couple of weeks because that's where the main highway is.

Like I said before, once I'm at work, I'd be stuck if I didn't have a car. However, if the road running through eating establishments, drug stores etc had a 'dillo system that could cart people around the few blocks they'd like to get to in the middle of the day, I'd use that to get errands done. Have several scooting up and down a three or four miles stretch every 5-10 minutes. Make it free, keep more cars off the roads, keep people moving in a little limited area, giving them freedom to move about during the day. I can think of several places this would work in.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 09:01 am
Sounds like a great idea. Write your mayor! :-) (I've contacted my mayor in a "what the heck" kind of way a couple of times now and interesting things happened...)
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 09:03 am
Chai Tea wrote:
However, if the road running through eating establishments, drug stores etc had a 'dillo system that could cart people around the few blocks they'd like to get to in the middle of the day, I'd use that to get errands done. Have several scooting up and down a three or four miles stretch every 5-10 minutes. Make it free, keep more cars off the roads, keep people moving in a little limited area, giving them freedom to move about during the day. I can think of several places this would work in.


Exactly!
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 11:14 am
Chai Tea wrote:
FreeDuck wrote:
Nevermind. Mispost.




What didya want to say? This is interesting.


oh and wolf...I didn't mean feeling trapped ON the PT. Laughing ..I meant when you get to where you're going you're STUCK there.

I'm right now literally a 1/4 mile from a busy cross town highway...but to get something to eat, I'd have to walk a mile.


Now I'm confused. What are you getting again?

Well, technically, the UK is a very small place. It's actually reasonably large. It takes about six hours just to drive from London to Manchester... or was it Nottingham?

Anyway, we have a lack of space. That's the major reason why University students aren't allowed to live in Dorms/Halls after their first year. They're forced to find housing elsewhere.

Once I'm somewhere, I don't feel stuck in the sense that I can't sustain myself. I could easily walk over to a place and get something to eat (not at my last place, I worked at. That was a University that was quite a while aways from civilisation but walking back wasn't so bad. Takes about an hour or so, I guess). I could if necessary, go and sleep in a hotel or what have you.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 11:41 am
When I asked if people who take PT feel "trapped", you answered only when they didn't have enough cars on the train...I figured you meant feeling trapped as in cramped in with a lot of people.

I meant the feeling of being able to go out in the world in the middle of the day, without having to walk a mile or 2 just to get lunch.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 11:42 am
I think she means that the public transportation in her area is so limited that she feels stranded once she gets where she's going. There's no local public transport, and I'm guessing that getting back where she came from is a lesson in patience.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 11:45 am
As well as a lesson in what it feels like to get heat stroke, or hit by a car, or both.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 08:04 am
Interesting Test of miles per gallon claims.

I think my voyager originally claimed 33 mpg in '92. I get pretty close to that even 14 years later. I imagine that's not normal.

Does your car get close to what it claimed on the sticker?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 01:33 am
Re: This is clearly backwards
FreeDuck wrote:
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:

The fact of the matter is that Americans will dump their SUV gas guzzlers before they will substantially cut back on the number of miles they travel, and this is they way we should approach the problem.


I agree. But I don't think we should stop there. Sprawl is a problem and not just for commuters. Better city planning could remove some limitations of public transportation. People have a limit to how much they're willing to spend in time and money on a commute. You see it in every major city. People will move further and further out until the cost of commuting exceeds this limit. Then there is a massive influx of people trying to move closer to their jobs. See Washington DC metropolitan area late 90's to present day. So, just as people will dump their gas guzzlers when the price of gas gets too high, so will they dump their ginormous suburban homes when the price of the commute gets too high.

There are many dimensions to this problem, so I agree that we ought not to take too narrow an approach to solving it -- like a stupid $100 rebate which is equivalent to 1 tank of gas for a SUV.


Suburban Sprawl is not a mindless virus. It occurs because it serves the needs of people.

It is a peculiarly Liberal tendency to sneer at any and all signs of wealth:

SUVs = Evil
Houses in excess of 2500 sq ft = Evil
Families employing illegal aliens = Evil

Etc, etc, etc.

Where does this arise from?

Having given it much thought, I have come to the conclusion that it is the logical assertion of intellectually bright but fundamentally lazy people.

The people who have multiple huge homes, fleets of gas guzzling vehicles and servants galore have no more intellectual horsepower than their critics. What they do have is a willingness to devote whatever portion of their lives is necessary to achieve their gains.

Smart people who don't want to work very hard will, inevitably, succumb to envy.

Arguing that smart people should get rich without working hard has not worked, and since they prefer not working hard to getting rich, they argue that no one should get rich.

This sort of forced equality has never and will never work, but this is a fact which Liberals are unable to accept.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 06:03 am
Excuse me sir, but that is total bull sh!t.

I, for instance, am not a liberal, I am not a conservative. I am a Chai.

Being "rich" does not mean permission to rape the earth.

Frankly, I know or know of more people who make little money but spend it all trying to appear rich.

Wealth does not equal over-consumption.

I grew up in a wealthy family, and believe me, there's nothing to be jealous of.

I'm personally fortunate enough to be middle class, not poor. It just really doesn't matter what your financial status is, it's about taking care of something larger than for 2500 ft house or 500 ft effiecieny.

In addition, I find it incredibly lazy that people give so little thought to how their personal behaviors can effect the situation.

That's what I meant before when I said the people are backwards. It's backwards to always look for someone else to solve the problems, and not take some of the responsibility yourself.

Being responsible for your individual actions does not sound lazy to me.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 07:57 am
I second Chai's bullshit. Suburbs are typically middle class, not wealthy. There is more than one way to meet the housing needs of people. Sprawl occurs because cities grow and builders find cheap land further from cities, and generally the planning and zoning regulations in such places are relaxed or nonexistent. Sprawl occurs, quite simply, because of a lack of planning.

SUVs are not evil -- they serve a purpose. But I would say that driving one when you don't need to (ie. one person with not much stuff) excessively is inefficient. When you have a lot of people doing this, well, you figure it out. They also pose a safety risk to people in regular cars, but that's a whole other topic.

Finn, speaking of intellectual laziness, I'm a bit surprised that you would take a productive discussion about the many ways to address the gas problem and attempt to mold it into one of class warfare. Smart growth has very little to do with "forced equality" and a lot more to do with proper planning and improving the quality of life for everyone -- including the "rich". Do you think that "rich" people would not benefit from or advocate for smarter growth?
0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 08:41 am
Chai Tea wrote:
E
Frankly, I know or know of more people who make little money but spend it all trying to appear rich.

Wealth does not equal over-consumption.

.


And spend more than they have...credit card debt. Why do I get the feeling that your scenario applies to at least one or two posting on this thread?

Somehow these lower middle class Republicans think by being a Republican will make them rich. These morons continually vot e aginst their own best interests. It is mind boggling.

BTW SUVs, hiring illgeals being evil ets is a classic strawman. In fact, many if not most liberals do not even accept the concept of evil.


OK, gotta go, need to shower and get dressed before my undocumented housekeeper shows up.
0 Replies
 
 

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