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richie
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10 Aug 2008, 6:13 pm

Moving Targets:
Conflicts between cyclists and motorists are increasing as more people are pedaling to get around......
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/fashi ... ewars.html


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sgrannel
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10 Aug 2008, 7:03 pm

The problem isn't bikes or cars, it's people. Need more tigers!

Tony the tiger says: Humans, they're Grrreat!


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iamnotaparakeet
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10 Aug 2008, 9:15 pm

Get rid of cars, the bikes are safer and friendlier to the environment. Also, they help keep people fit, as compared to sitting in a car for the whole journey.



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10 Aug 2008, 9:22 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Get rid of cars, the bikes are safer and friendlier to the environment. Also, they help keep people fit, as compared to sitting in a car for the whole journey.

And what do you do in inclement weather? Have you ever tried biking in an Ohio winter? How about for long trips, or trips where you need to transport things (such as when one goes grocery shopping)? What if there are young children or elderly people who aren't able to keep up?

I'm all for increasing the use of bicycles, but cars have their uses as well, and aren't so easily replaced.


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iamnotaparakeet
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10 Aug 2008, 9:29 pm

Orwell wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Get rid of cars, the bikes are safer and friendlier to the environment. Also, they help keep people fit, as compared to sitting in a car for the whole journey.

And what do you do in inclement weather? Have you ever tried biking in an Ohio winter? How about for long trips, or trips where you need to transport things (such as when one goes grocery shopping)? What if there are young children or elderly people who aren't able to keep up?

I'm all for increasing the use of bicycles, but cars have their uses as well, and aren't so easily replaced.


Bicycles are not the only form of environmentally friendly transportation. Also, why bother with grocery stores? Why not grow your own food? Who says towns and populations have to be spread out so much and require traveling miles to get necessary items? What makes us so dependent on corporate America?



Orwell
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10 Aug 2008, 9:37 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Bicycles are not the only form of environmentally friendly transportation.

Name something that circumvents the problems I listed.

Quote:
Also, why bother with grocery stores? Why not grow your own food?

Because subsistence farming is a terrible way to live.

Quote:
Who says towns and populations have to be spread out so much and require traveling miles to get necessary items?

You still have the problem of what to do when it's frickin' cold, raining, or when you have to transport stuff.

In the end, the automobile is simply the most practical form of transportation in many situations, and I don't see it being displaced.


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sgrannel
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10 Aug 2008, 10:32 pm

Autos offer protection, too. Autos aren't ignored because of the damage penalty if you hit one. If some jerk wants to pick a fight, just roll up the windows and lock the door! Much can be done to improve fuel economy, though, but I know how to handle that. I got my Chevy S-10 up to 29 mpg through lean operation and a modified spark advance map. I probably could improve it further by putting bigger tires on the back end. Bikes are stuck in the middle. They're usually not welcome on the sidewalk, but dangerous among cars. The best overall approach for most situations is to use a car, but get one with good fuel economy! Walking works quite well in familiar areas if there isn't much to carry and the round trip is less than 5 miles. It's time consuming, but I need to be doing that anyway.


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iamnotaparakeet
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10 Aug 2008, 10:42 pm

Orwell wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Bicycles are not the only form of environmentally friendly transportation.

Name something that circumvents the problems I listed.

Quote:
Also, why bother with grocery stores? Why not grow your own food?

Because subsistence farming is a terrible way to live.

Quote:
Who says towns and populations have to be spread out so much and require traveling miles to get necessary items?

You still have the problem of what to do when it's frickin' cold, raining, or when you have to transport stuff.

In the end, the automobile is simply the most practical form of transportation in many situations, and I don't see it being displaced.


Horses; farming doesn't have to be "subsistence", but depends how you manage it; wear clothes and have a wagon or cart; wait until only the rich and the military can afford petrol.



sgrannel
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12 Aug 2008, 11:09 am

sgrannel wrote:
The problem isn't bikes or cars, it's people. Need more tigers!

Tony the tiger says: Humans, they're Grrreat!


Unless they're too old and chewy, or if they've had chemo.


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A boy and a dog can be happy sitting down in the woods on a log
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monty
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12 Aug 2008, 7:03 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Get rid of cars, the bikes are safer and friendlier to the environment. Also, they help keep people fit, as compared to sitting in a car for the whole journey ...

Bicycles are not the only form of environmentally friendly transportation. Also, why bother with grocery stores? Why not grow your own food? Who says towns and populations have to be spread out so much and require traveling miles to get necessary items? What makes us so dependent on corporate America?


Grocery stores I like - malls I could do without. I have a garden, but won't be growing 100% of my food any time soon. I can earn a good deal more with a regular job.

No one says things have to be spread out, but they are. No change is going to occur overnight. But if things aren't spread out, will people have big enough yards to grow more than a token amount of their own food??

Denmark is like China in reverse - about half of people in many Danish cities use bicycles to get to work - used to be like that in China, but no longer.



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12 Aug 2008, 9:37 pm

I'm definitely in the cycle hating camp, Seattle is very bike friendly, and these guys are a menace on all the city streets. On my way into work today there was a cyclist on highway 99 causing traffic to swerve around him in an alarming manner. There was no reason for him to be on the highway, there are many parallel side streets, but he felt the need to create a dangerous situation. My own brother is a cycle advocate, and I still hate cyclists.


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12 Aug 2008, 10:02 pm

I am constantly warning my kids about riding their bikes. I tell them to make sure motorist are looking at them when crossing intersections...stuff like that. It is natural instinct to watch out for other cars when driving, and motorist often just do not *see* pedestrians and cyclist. I confess I also have this problem, having been caught off gaurd by someone on a bike or motercycle.



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13 Aug 2008, 12:00 am

I bike daily to work and back, about five miles both ways. I will admit here that I am not totally safe. well I wear a helmet and whatnot, but still, I ride on sidewalks when there are bike pathways, I have gone through red lights at least once on a sidewalk.

I've also come close to being run over at least.........a dozen or more times, and we're not talking last summer when i started riding to work, count was higher on that I think.

It's safer for me to bike at school, sure there's a lot of traffic, but it's less conjested and at least there are more lanes and such for bikes then there are in Tacoma/Lakewood area.


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Judith
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14 Aug 2008, 4:43 pm

Why not require everyone to use bikes?

1. Some people (like me) are allergic to some forms of ultraviolet light and cannot be outside for any significant periods of time during daylight hours. In my case, because I also have a genetic immune system disorder, heat makes the problem far worse. Riding a bicycle can be downright hazardous for us.
2. Some people have rheumatoid arthritis, which can begin at any age. Becaus of their structure, knees, feet, and hands are particularly vulnerable to this form of arthritis and the pain it causes. Bicycing hurts and in some cases can cause further damage to these joints because of the way the pressure is applied.
3. People who are susceptible to high blood pressure or strokes are not encouraged to take up bike riding in areas with even moderate hills. I am among these, not because I have either condition, but because I have the genetics that will eventually lead to them. When I ride a bike for a period longer than a half hour, regardless of terrain or speed, I wind up with serious briusing on my legs. Last time the bruises were the size of my fists and took weeks to go away. I don't have the sheaths over the blood vessels on my legs that would normally provide them with protection from exertion. If you think mine is bad, though, you should see my brother's. He has permanent ulcers on his legs from it.
4. Some forms of asthma are exacerbated by aerobic exercise, like bicycling.
5. In winter weather, if you find yourself stranded, a car will provide at least a minimum of protection, and you can carry some emergency supplies.
6. A car is more visible in an emergency situation.
7. Usng public transportation encourages improved and extended routes and services, which serves the community better while conserving resources. (This is what I use. We have chosen to remain a 1 car household.)

Subsistence farming?

1. Historical reason: Civilization began when people could produce enough food to provide a surplus that would allow for job specialization. Subsistence farming does not do that.
2. See reason #1 under bicycling.
3. Not everyonne has the space for farming.
4. Not everyone owns their own land, or wants to.
5. Not everyone knows how to farm, or wants to.
6. Organic? Or more phosphates and nitrates into the water system?
7. What if the weather doesn't cooperate? How do we determine who gets to eat?

How about a different solution? Plan communities such that virtually every amenity is within walking distance and people can walk to work, as well. If we can work, shop, play, and entertain ourselves in our own neighborhoods, with green spaces to fill our need for nature, and have public transportation to take us further afield when we have a desire to ramble a bit, then our dependence on cars shoud decrease dramatically. The green zone around the communities could become small community gardens for flowers, vegetables, water features, and the like for the community as a whole to provide some food and beauty for itself, as well as recreation. If shade in the form of pavilions was provided, as well, people like me (remember--can't be in the direct sun?) could enjoy those spaces, too. And would.

One such planned community, and the most successful of them that I know of in the US, is Reston, VA. I love going to visit there, because my daughter and I can walk there without me having as bad an allergic reaction--the trees provide shade. There are walking paths everywhere linking the neighborhoods, and every neighborhood has a small shopping center. The earliest neighborhoods are built around a series of lakes, and people can canoe from their apartment complexes or condos to the centers. My daughter loves to sit on the oocks and feed the turtles, fish, ducks, geese, etc.



iamnotaparakeet
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14 Aug 2008, 5:32 pm

monty wrote:
No one says things have to be spread out, but they are. No change is going to occur overnight. But if things aren't spread out, will people have big enough yards to grow more than a token amount of their own food??


Thing is that we are miles apart from everything but we concentrate in small areas. I calculated that if you divided the amount of arable land amongst the total population, that each individual person could have half an acre to themselves. That's not even desert or forest, that the current farmland area. If people were to increase the space between eachother rather than huddle together as such, there would be plenty of land to work with.