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Old 07-31-02, 01:01 AM   #1
Dutchy
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What do we really want?

I have read through the "Real cost of driving" thread, and one thing I noticed is that we never really nailed the gripe we have with cars.

What is our gripe?

1) cars pollute
2) cars make people lazy and overweight
3) cars pose a serious risk of injury to cyclists
4) cars promote a lifestyle of "I will do what I want, when I want, where I want"
5) cars will turn little ol' granny into a rude a$$hole

From my perspective of the "Real cost of driving" thread, it would seem to me that even if cars had absolutely zero emissions and were solar powered, cyclists would still not be happy, until there is a significant reduction of cars on the roads, mainly because we don't want to get runover by one, which is a good argument.

Personally, I would like to see more people enjoying life outside their cars than being stuck in traffic jams. Lets face it driving is not relaxing, it can be stressful.

I don't want to drag over the old thread again debating driving vs cycling. What I want to know is (as a cycling community) what is it we really want.

CHEERS.

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Old 07-31-02, 01:52 AM   #2
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I guess we all believe in freedom of choice. I would like to be able to ride whenever, wherever. I'd like transportation sytems that makes mass transit and biking compatable to each other, so we could get further on our bikes and abandon the car to the garage, and only use it when we choose.
The car breeds a form of dependence. To many it is the only way to get to work. Car breaks down, you could loose your job..
I want my bike equal in status to the auto as a means of transport. i want bike lanes that will get me anywhere and make biking as safe as possible..
I have nothing against the car, other than I do not want to be dependent upon it, and motoring primates need accept us as equals. That is what I want..
I believe breaking the car culture will make us all less stressed, make us all safer, and if others follow our advice to commute on bike- save the environment and our health..
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Old 07-31-02, 03:57 AM   #3
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To me, it's never really been an issue of 'cars are bad so we better ban them'. I just think it's a question of degree. For some unknown reason, society seems to have put the car on some kind of pedestal where it's considered totally sacrosanct and above any kind of criticism.

It's felt that we need to spend bucket-loads of money and chew up acres of space that could be used for other things to accommodate as many cars as possible. That's one gripe. The car culture has turned a public place (i.e. the road) into a free-for-all where people behave in ways that simply would not be tolerated in any other facet of life.

There also seems to be some kind of dimished value of human life. Deaths on the road are simply accepted as "just one of those things" in the interests of convenience. Again, something that doesn't happen in any other facet of life (not even in the middle of a war).

What do I want?

1. Car drivers to have the same accountability as anyone else in any other facet of life.

2. For the great unwashed to realise that I still have as much right to use the road as anyone else if I happen to be riding a bike.

3. For some serious questions to be asked when people are killed on the road - instead of simply saying "oh, I didn't see him, it was an accident, just one of those things."

4. For governments to make the same effort promoting other forms of transport as they do in promoting the motor car.

See, no mention at all of banning cars (although someone will accuse me of it before this thread dies). In fact, nothing that even seems unreasonable. No doubt I'll be able to add to this list later on, but that would make a good start.
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Old 07-31-02, 05:10 AM   #4
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Personally aside from the pollution issue I have no problem with the way things are as far as number of cyclists.I actually prefer the freedom of usually being the only cyclist on the road enjoying the outside while everone else is trapped inside their cars.If there became a congested number of bikers on the road this would be more of a problem to me.As far as accountability for accidents I don't want to get into a heated debate about it but my opinion is until cyclists can sucessfully promote a more responsible image to the general public (ie who of course are motorists) they are not going to be given the benefit of doubt in an accident situation.Police don't bother to ticket cyclists for traffic infractions but rest assured they remember all the irratating behavior of many cyclists who take advantage of this when a cyclist/auto accident occurs.I recall a number of years ago a cop gave me a ride when my car had broken down and we were discussing the death of a child cyclist trying to cross a major intersection which was in the news at the time.He faulted the parents letting the kid out of the neighborhood(who knows if they even knew where she was) and started defending the drivers and then started on cyclists in general with no prompting from me(I just agreed with whatever he said).My point is realistically if cyclists want autos to be more accountable etc. it is going to have to start on the inside out with cyclists promoting a better image of themselves to the rest of the population and actions tend to speak louder than words.I know there are many responsible cyclists out there and this is why it is so frustrating because with all the young immature cyclists out there it seems almost an insurmountable problem to gain any credibility .I just try to enjoy my ride and avoid confrontations and it generally works for me.
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Old 07-31-02, 05:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L

What do I want?

1. Car drivers to have the same accountability as anyone else in any other facet of life.

2. For the great unwashed to realise that I still have as much right to use the road as anyone else if I happen to be riding a bike.

3. For some serious questions to be asked when people are killed on the road - instead of simply saying "oh, I didn't see him, it was an accident, just one of those things."

4. For governments to make the same effort promoting other forms of transport as they do in promoting the motor car.
Agreed
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Old 07-31-02, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dutchy
I have read through the "Real cost of driving" thread, and one thing I noticed is that we never really nailed the gripe we have with cars.
That's because "the gripe" is really hard to nail down as one single issue. Maybe, for shooting at something as pervasive as the "Real Cost of Driving," instead of a hunting rifle, we need a shotgun.

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Old 07-31-02, 12:42 PM   #7
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hypothetical - Let's say that all cars are eliminated. Don't you think that there is still going to be a whole new set of problems? Do you think that you'll get to pedal along at a rapid pace in bicycle traffic (mostly in cities). Take a look at Asian countries that use bicycles for main transportation ... the streets are clogged with slow moving bicycles and pedestrians.
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Old 07-31-02, 12:43 PM   #8
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Perhaps if each police department had regular rotating tours of duty where officers were required to patrol on bicycles in traffic, there might come a better balance of enforcement between bikes and other vehicles as well as a more balanced attitude about the rights and obligations of both.

Carl
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Old 07-31-02, 01:06 PM   #9
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I have recently returned to biking after a 10 year absence. What do I want?

My primary wish is pretty simple. I want traffic engineers to think of how a bicyclist will use a road as the lay out their traffic patterns.

The rest of it comes as bicyclists use the road.
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Old 07-31-02, 01:20 PM   #10
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Ok, that was a stupid response I made...



What do I really want? I want to be able to ride my bike anytime, anywhere with the same convenience (and hopefully, better safety than) motorists drive their cars. Whatever stands between me and that goal is my gripe.
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Old 07-31-02, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by LittleBigMan
Ok, that was a stupid response I made...



What do I really want? I want to be able to ride my bike anytime, anywhere with the same convenience (and hopefully, better safety than) motorists drive their cars. Whatever stands between me and that goal is my gripe.
Now your talkin'. All this time I thought you were a little more enlightened than the rest and you turn out to be like the rest of us car/bike drivers.
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