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  1. #1
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    Documentary Explores Politics of Bikes vs Cars

    The director seems to be getting some flack for the divisive title but I appreciate his efforts to shed some light on the political/economic power of the auto industry. Hopefully, this gets done - I`m looking forward to seeing it.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/art...-vs-cars/7177/

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    interesting sig you have there...

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    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    You might think the title is divisive, but I think it is just a reflection of divisions that already exist.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

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    I like the title. The director seems to have a healthy "bring it on - the facts are on our side attitude".

    "To me it's clear. There are forces who invest billion after billion to preserve the Status Quo. The car industry needs to sell cars, the construction industry needs to build more highways, tunnels, shopping malls, the oil industry likes the price for crude to be high so they can drill on Greenland or 6000 meters below the sea outside Brazil. If more cities did like Copenhagen or Amsterdam where 40 per cent commute on bike, it would have a direct climate effect. But it would also mean bad business for the ones thriving on the car model.'
    'The VS in the title is there to make us talk about the power relations.'"

    http://www.bikes-vs-cars.com/why_the...t_the_conflict

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenfinn View Post
    I like the title. The director seems to have a healthy "bring it on - the facts are on our side attitude".

    "To me it's clear. There are forces who invest billion after billion to preserve the Status Quo. The car industry needs to sell cars, the construction industry needs to build more highways, tunnels, shopping malls, the oil industry likes the price for crude to be high so they can drill on Greenland or 6000 meters below the sea outside Brazil. If more cities did like Copenhagen or Amsterdam where 40 per cent commute on bike, it would have a direct climate effect. But it would also mean bad business for the ones thriving on the car model.'
    'The VS in the title is there to make us talk about the power relations.'"

    http://www.bikes-vs-cars.com/why_the...t_the_conflict
    While I somewhat agree that the push for bigger better faster is no doubt the key to a robust economy (growth over anything else)... certainly designing and building for the bicycle would also yield the need for roads (well designed paths) stores (malls) and better bikes... only the oil industry might be left out of the cycle... medicine too might "suffer" as more people exercised...

    I think we should give it a try... who knows what new economy we might find... perhaps an economy that is not centered on a war machine, eh?

  6. #6
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    While I somewhat agree that the push for bigger better faster is no doubt the key to a robust economy (growth over anything else)... certainly designing and building for the bicycle would also yield the need for roads (well designed paths) stores (malls) and better bikes... only the oil industry might be left out of the cycle... medicine too might "suffer" as more people exercised...

    I think we should give it a try... who knows what new economy we might find... perhaps an economy that is not centered on a war machine, eh?
    You are talking major structural changes to the economy, such as the one that replaced livery stables, tack shops and buggy whip manufacturers with the automobile. The equine transportation industry took a big hit, but somehow civilization survived. In the modern case, the motor transportation industry is not under the same threat, but will, hopefully, be forced to adjust. The oil will eventually run out. Fracking and deep sea drilling was not necessary 20 years ago. When that's gone, drilling in the antarctic? Something's gotta give before that happens. I see the potential for nuclear making a comeback, and I say that regardless of whether I think it should.

    My meds have been reduced. (Take that! Pfizer)
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 10-10-13 at 08:30 AM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    While I donít think the majority of people are apathetic, many people lack a number of things that make them more likely to become involved in issues all-around, and I think how we get around, especially because the amount of land developed and the population of metropolitan areas, is rather important:

    1.) Education/knowledge: If people knew the full ramifications of having as large of a population for the earth we live on, with the primary transportation system for a number of industrialized nations being the automobile, even more than just pollution, they might think otherwise. A big one that people fail to realize is the lack of efficiency that automobiles and usage entails; all-around (provision and maintenance of all infrastructure, fuel efficiency, disproportionate size for most commuters of average automobile to # of passengers). Just think about the cost to the person to the amount a person actually uses their automobiles. I personally believe primarily human-induced global warming and the "debate" about it is enough to create doubt that even though most experts agree it is real, I am not educated much at all about it to be dedicated to do much outside of personal choices (commuting to places by walking or riding a bicycle).

    2.) Political philosophy/philosophy: Not worth getting into here, but how people identify their selves and what they identify with, can perhaps create automatic triggers. What would you say is a more important ďfreedomĒ; driving a car or clean air and healthy environment? Thatís where complexity and education and philosophy come in. Some people donít really care what happens to the earth or current or future generations in regards to a number of issues, as long as theyíre doing fine.


    3.) Personal Time, due to a number of variables: Job, family, energy, wanting to have a life to enjoy things outside of their work.


    4.) Complexity: I think itís worth noting how complex a number of issues can be. I find myself wanting to see more transit as options, but the issue of thinking about it myself and how feasible it would to implement more transit becomes an issue, based on some primary variables such as starting points, destinations, land-use and population density.

    Would increased transit in the suburbs be feasible? I am not educated enough on issues to feel confident and passionate enough to become involved with an issue initially and/or long-term.

    I think the lack of basic understanding about power and about the current dynamics, history, ramifications about this issue at hand, is evident in how a person like the mayor of Toronto as shown in the trailer posted, and his standing and words about transportation, specifically automobiles and bicycles, should in part, make this evident: ďRoads are built buses, cars, and trucks. Thatís it, not for people on bikesĒ, confidently, says Rob Ford (not apparent to me if he was mayor at the time or still a councilor).

    Is one possible strategy to employ more transit in central cities that could stand to improve it, by finding a way to initially attract more people via affordable and modest housing and work on a long-term plan to keep them there, build the population, and hope to get financing for transit? Financing is a key issue. Here in Detroit, weíve for the first time developed a regional transit authority. The issue is funding, as the last time I checked, it had no official funding and is the next step.

    Bicycles most definitely fit in, because Iíve not mentioned that, but those would serve best for most people, for those distances between about one mile and five miles (which from when Iíve checked, a considerable percentage of trips are a modest distance, even less than five miles), especially with multiple trips.

    I say that because most people in our society, Iím guessing, donít want to have to top out or really average their speed at more than 10-15 MPH, for a number of reasons; age (young, old) with two being sweating up their clothing and their selves. Bicycles donít need to be the source of the majority of road users, but a considerable percentage, yes.



    Lastly, I only mention all this because itís one thing to talk about a complex issue in a basic way, itís much more to understand it more confidently, enough for example, to be able to examine countering viewpoints of a strong stakeholder, a fellow family member, friend, etc., and point out absurdity, holes, weaknesses, what it may be ignoring, and in turn, actually effect change in it. Whether itís more directly (protests, advocating, etc.) or indirectly (personal choices, voting, donating and so on). Iím not really sure if those factors I mention above, are likely to change anytime soon.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    I say that because most people in our society, Iím guessing, donít want to have to top out or really average their speed at more than 10-15 MPH, for a number of reasons; age (young, old) with two being sweating up their clothing and their selves. Bicycles donít need to be the source of the majority of road users, but a considerable percentage, yes.
    But of course the irony in that statement is this:

    los-angeles-traffic-congestion.jpg

    While car drivers may be able to reach the occasional higher speed, especially if they "get out of town..." the truth is that in-town speeds (commuting, errands, shopping) tend to average out much lower than most drivers will admit.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    1.) Education/knowledge
    2.) Political philosophy/philosophy
    I won’t go into detail on these since it can open a whole can of worms on a forum like this. I will only say that, in general we are in agreement.
    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    3.) Personal Time,
    I am in a unique situation in that “Multi Modal Transit”, combining cycling with public transit, actually works for me time wise. My commute to work is 65 miles each way. Eight miles in the morning are driven with bike in car to a commuter rail station. Fifty five by train (the train cars accommodate bikes, and the afternoon train home has a special bike car that averages ten to fifteen bikes on it), then five miles by bike to work. That whole trip takes me twenty minutes longer than driving in the morning, but in the afternoon, at worst usually takes the same time as driving, and on Friday is often faster than driving. That extra twenty minutes in the AM, is bonus time ont he bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    4.) Complexity:.

    Would increased transit in the suburbs be feasible? I am not educated enough on issues to feel confident and passionate enough to become involved with an issue initially and/or long-term.
    A key concept here is population density. Older cities in the eastern U.S., and San Francisco, California’s “old” city, were developed before the advent of the automobile. They were built to a higher population density due to the transportation needs of a population, who traveled mostly by foot. In those cities most people lived easy walking distance to work and commerce. As the cities grew, horse drawn, or electric trolleys were within easy walking distance.
    In modern cities, and sprawling suburbs, bus lines must be up to a mile apart to serve a corridor with the same number of riders per mile that a line in San Francisco would pass in a corridor only a block or two wide. A one block walk to bus or trolley in San Francisco, is a half mile walk in the San Fernando Valley.
    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post

    Is one possible strategy to employ more transit in central cities that could stand to improve it, by finding a way to initially attract more people via affordable and modest housing and work on a long-term plan to keep them there, build the population, and hope to get financing for transit? .. .
    Long Beach CA grew largely, at least in its core, in the early part of the twentieth century. The population density was low compared to nineteenth century cities, but still higher than areas that would grow after WWII. Whole neighborhoods lined with craftsman bungalows built in the twenties and thirties were raised and replaced with 2-3 story apartment blocks. Narrow streets designed for light automobile traffic, pedestrians and bikes, became parking nightmares and cycling deathtraps. I moved out of Long Beach in ’95 and understand that they have taken some rather interesting and bold pro cycling steps.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 10-10-13 at 09:56 AM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  10. #10
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Regardless of the title, the 'popular' mayor in Canada making it into the documentary, says something, "What I compare bike lanes to is, swimming with the sharks". That documentary almost made me want to move to Copenhagen.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    While I somewhat agree that the push for bigger better faster is no doubt the key to a robust economy (growth over anything else)... certainly designing and building for the bicycle would also yield the need for roads (well designed paths) stores (malls) and better bikes... only the oil industry might be left out of the cycle... medicine too might "suffer" as more people exercised...

    I think we should give it a try... who knows what new economy we might find... perhaps an economy that is not centered on a war machine, eh?
    Right on. Here in Yokohama, they plan to replace the city`s low-cost and efficient bike share system with an "eco-friendly" Nissan car share system. Costly and unnecessary technology for technology`s sake - and for the sake of Nissan rather than the residents of the city.

    Such a shame because I felt that the city was at a tipping point - perhaps just some better bike infrastructure away from becoming a great cycling/walkable/livable/safer city - but can`t have that with an ex-Nissan President as Mayor and their HQ right in the center of town. Gotta feed the machine.
    Last edited by owenfinn; 10-10-13 at 05:58 PM.

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