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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 02-14-08, 11:34 PM   #1
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The Velorution

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Old 02-15-08, 06:51 AM   #2
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Good for them! It might be amusing to see the protests that will undoubtedly result from this. Is this new?
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Old 02-15-08, 07:19 AM   #3
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Good for them! It might be amusing to see the protests that will undoubtedly result from this. Is this new?
I know of several other college campuses that have done similar things. UNCG is one that comes to mind. They haven't gone to the extent that Ripon has in closing off the entire campus, but they did close several of the smaller roads the crossed the campus. I like the concept of giving all incoming freshmen a bicycle if they sign an agreement. Wonder what kind of bike

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Old 02-15-08, 03:27 PM   #4
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Wonder what kind of bike?

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Old 02-15-08, 03:46 PM   #5
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"Students who sign the Velorution Project pledge will receive a brand new 2007 model Trek 820 mountain bike."
The only thing I'd change about the bike would be to have it come equipped with fenders and racks.
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Old 02-15-08, 04:14 PM   #6
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I think it's a wonderful idea to close off the campus to car traffic, and an even more wonderful idea to bribe incoming freshmen with bikes. Who's paying for the bikes, though?

(BTW, haven't most college campuses been at least partially unfriendly to car use for a couple of decades now? I can remember when I was at the U of CO in the late 1980's, hardly any students used cars to get to and from school because it was too expensive, too slow compared to other types of transport, and nearly impossible to find a place to park. )
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Old 02-15-08, 06:24 PM   #7
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(BTW, haven't most college campuses been at least partially unfriendly to car use for a couple of decades now?
The university in my town consist almost entirely of wealthy kids who's parents bought them a brand new car as a high school graduation present, and as a result the campus is more parking lot than school. And from what I've seen most of them think a 15 mph speed limit means you're not allowed to go under 15 mph. It's a dangerous place to ride or walk when class is in session.
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Old 02-16-08, 08:42 AM   #8
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EVERYONE at my school had a car. The student population was about 75% commuters, yet most residents had cars on campus as well, until a few years ago when they stopped allowing freshmen resident students to bring cars to campus.

EVERYONE complained about parking; our student newspaper probably got a half dozen letters to the editor each week from motorists who were tired of having to walk a half-mile to class.

The best part: there's a commuter rail stop on campus.
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Old 02-16-08, 09:21 AM   #9
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Sounds like a great idea.

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Old 02-17-08, 08:19 PM   #10
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The school where I did my undergraduate work had a rule that if you were on financial aid you were not allowed to have a car on campus unless you could come up with a good reason for it.
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Old 02-18-08, 02:50 PM   #11
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I always thought campuses were the stupidest places to have a lot of cars.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:15 PM   #12
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I always thought campuses were the stupidest places to have a lot of cars.
Especially residential campuses where most of the students were full-time. A commuter campus with lots of part-time students is another matter, although such a school should be well-served by the local public transit system.

Now, the poster who thought that there would be protests--why? The program is voluntary.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:19 PM   #13
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The university in my town consist almost entirely of wealthy kids who's parents bought them a brand new car as a high school graduation present, and as a result the campus is more parking lot than school. And from what I've seen most of them think a 15 mph speed limit means you're not allowed to go under 15 mph. It's a dangerous place to ride or walk when class is in session.
Reason 548 why you should think of moving...it sounds like you live in the least bike friendly town in America.

Hell...come to Canada and we can build bikes.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:48 PM   #14
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i'm trying to get people on my campus to embrace riding bikes. but this is texas folks, we drive from building to building. it's a challenge, but one bike at a time. i sent the ripon website to my dean, i've been pushing for a bike co-op here for a while now. we're in a small town, everyone could and should be on a bike here. but the campus plan is for more parking lots near campus...what we need is solar panels and green spaces... ah, the life of the mind...
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Old 02-19-08, 12:31 PM   #15
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. we're in a small town, everyone could and should be on a bike here.
Everyone? Even the elderly and handicapped? Even people who have to carry a lot of supplies/equipment? Even those who have to transport animals and/or small children?
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Old 02-20-08, 10:56 PM   #16
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Everyone? Even the elderly and handicapped? Even people who have to carry a lot of supplies/equipment? Even those who have to transport animals and/or small children?
okay elkhound, not everyone. not the blind, not people who are missing both legs, missing both legs and an arm. or two. but most people elkhound, most. sorry for the excessive enthusiasm. the majority of able-bodied men and women who drive cars less than 5 miles to work or school could and should ride a bike. in my opinion. biking should be the first choice when it comes to riding less than five miles to work, here, in my little town. in my opinion many people can and should ride instead of drive. maybe then even the elderly would be in better shape, men and women in their eighties can and should ride if they can, and my guess is that if they do it when they're young they'll stay younger longer and be in better shape when they're older.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:01 AM   #17
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okay elkhound, not everyone. not the blind, not people who are missing both legs, missing both legs and an arm. or two. but most people elkhound, most. sorry for the excessive enthusiasm. the majority of able-bodied men and women who drive cars less than 5 miles to work or school could and should ride a bike. in my opinion. biking should be the first choice when it comes to riding less than five miles to work, here, in my little town. in my opinion many people can and should ride instead of drive. maybe then even the elderly would be in better shape, men and women in their eighties can and should ride if they can, and my guess is that if they do it when they're young they'll stay younger longer and be in better shape when they're older.
I'd also put in those who must transport bulky or heavy items. There are things too large or heavy to transport by cycle unless one has a very specialized machine, and some things are too large even to transport any sort of distance by human power. (For example, I recently had a cast iron woodstove delivered to my house. By truck. How could one transport that by bike? Perhaps with a Bikes-at-Work trailer or a Cycles Maximus cargo trike, but even those would have been hard! And, when I moved in, one of the things I moved was a grand piano; how do you propose that I have moved that by bicycle?)

And what about people with babies and small children? Child seats and trailers are only for babies who are old enough to hold their heads up. And even if the children are older, there are only so many one can put on one bike.

The last couple of years of my late father's life, the main thing I used the car for was to take him to the doctor and on other errands. He never learned how to ride a bike, and even if he had the last few years he would have been incapable of doing so. If you think I would have put an Altzheimer's patient with a fractured pelvis and a bad heart on the snapdeck of my Xtracycle, you've got another think coming! Moreover, for certain services he had to go to the VA Hospital in Huntington, which is about 50 miles away.

I'm lucky that the veterenarian's office is within walking distance, so I can use one of these (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...0&pcatid=16180), but if it were farther away, I don't know how I'd get the cat there without a car. I know that there are pet trailers, but I think that the experience would be very stressful for him, particularly if he were already sick or injured.

Finally, there are parts of town which are simply inaccessible by bicycle. Charleston is located in a narrow, deep river valley; while much of the town is down on the flats, a great deal of the residential neighborhoods--and no few of the business districts--are perched up on the hillsides, hills so steep that some cars labor on them. I have several friends who, if I visit them, I must either take a cab or beg a ride from someone else who is going there too.

I agree that many people could use the bicycle for more errands than do, and that by all means they should be urged and encouraged to do so. I would welcome the construction of infrastructure that would make transportational cycling more convenient. Cars and trucks, however, will realistically be the mainstays of our transportational system for the forseeable future.

For there are some transportational situations for which bicycles are unsuited. Before cars were invented horses, mules, and oxen pulled carts and wagons; there were so many of these that when cars and trucks were introduced it was thought to be a boon to the environment as many cities were literally drowning in manure, a problem which cars and trucks at first reduced, and later eliminated.
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Old 02-21-08, 01:51 AM   #18
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ah yes, cast iron woodstove transporters should be exempt as well. especially blind, elderly people transporting their cast iron stoves.

oh, nevermind...
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Old 02-21-08, 03:45 PM   #19
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ah yes, cast iron woodstove transporters should be exempt as well. especially blind, elderly people transporting their cast iron stoves.

oh, nevermind
...


I guess elkhound thinks it's educational to think of reasons not to ride, when most of us are trying to find ways to ride more. You'll soon be ignoring these smartass posts, roseskunk.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:49 PM   #20
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Reason 548 why you should think of moving...it sounds like you live in the least bike friendly town in America.

Hell...come to Canada and we can build bikes.
You know, I do live in a pretty bike un-friendly town, but compared to other towns near mine, it's considerably better. My town is basically a very nice old center portion which is great for cycling and walking, surrounded by a cycling/pedestrian Hell. Many towns in this area consist entirely of the worst from my town, and I can't even imagine trying to ride in any of them. I complain a lot about this place, because it seems terrible when I read about so many other places on Bikeforums that seem to be so much better. Of course when it comes down to it, the worst thing about this town is the people. I'll just leave it at that before I go on an endless rant.
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Old 02-22-08, 12:07 AM   #21
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I'd also put in those who must transport bulky or heavy items. There are things too large or heavy to transport by cycle unless one has a very specialized machine, and some things are too large even to transport any sort of distance by human power. (For example, I recently had a cast iron woodstove delivered to my house. By truck. How could one transport that by bike? Perhaps with a Bikes-at-Work trailer or a Cycles Maximus cargo trike, but even those would have been hard! And, when I moved in, one of the things I moved was a grand piano; how do you propose that I have moved that by bicycle?)

And what about people with babies and small children? Child seats and trailers are only for babies who are old enough to hold their heads up. And even if the children are older, there are only so many one can put on one bike.

The last couple of years of my late father's life, the main thing I used the car for was to take him to the doctor and on other errands. He never learned how to ride a bike, and even if he had the last few years he would have been incapable of doing so. If you think I would have put an Altzheimer's patient with a fractured pelvis and a bad heart on the snapdeck of my Xtracycle, you've got another think coming! Moreover, for certain services he had to go to the VA Hospital in Huntington, which is about 50 miles away.

I'm lucky that the veterenarian's office is within walking distance, so I can use one of these (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...0&pcatid=16180), but if it were farther away, I don't know how I'd get the cat there without a car. I know that there are pet trailers, but I think that the experience would be very stressful for him, particularly if he were already sick or injured.

Finally, there are parts of town which are simply inaccessible by bicycle. Charleston is located in a narrow, deep river valley; while much of the town is down on the flats, a great deal of the residential neighborhoods--and no few of the business districts--are perched up on the hillsides, hills so steep that some cars labor on them. I have several friends who, if I visit them, I must either take a cab or beg a ride from someone else who is going there too.

I agree that many people could use the bicycle for more errands than do, and that by all means they should be urged and encouraged to do so. I would welcome the construction of infrastructure that would make transportational cycling more convenient. Cars and trucks, however, will realistically be the mainstays of our transportational system for the forseeable future.

For there are some transportational situations for which bicycles are unsuited. Before cars were invented horses, mules, and oxen pulled carts and wagons; there were so many of these that when cars and trucks were introduced it was thought to be a boon to the environment as many cities were literally drowning in manure, a problem which cars and trucks at first reduced, and later eliminated.
I agree with you that cars and trucks, in many instances, are needed. But not nearly so much as people imagine. Most trips that people take are two miles or less (unless you live in a rural area), and don't involve transporting grand pianos. Many trips that involve modest cargoes can be easily accomplished by bike; last summer, I used a bike trailer to transport an 8hp outboard motor from Seattle to Edmonds, WA and back by bike with little difficulty, and I'm not an especially strong rider. While I don't advocate that every family across North America become totally car-free, I do think that car-lite is entirely possible and even desirable for virtually everyone. If every family reduced the number of cars it had to only one, and used that car only when actually necessary, it would go a long way to making families more solvent financially, and would do wonders for quality of life and for the environment. Personally, I'm in a much better situation financially by not owning a car, and riding everywhere I go leaves me in a much better mood than driving ever did.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:19 AM   #22
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I agree with you that cars and trucks, in many instances, are needed. But not nearly so much as people imagine. Most trips that people take are two miles or less (unless you live in a rural area), and don't involve transporting grand pianos. Many trips that involve modest cargoes can be easily accomplished by bike; last summer, I used a bike trailer to transport an 8hp outboard motor from Seattle to Edmonds, WA and back by bike with little difficulty, and I'm not an especially strong rider. While I don't advocate that every family across North America become totally car-free, I do think that car-lite is entirely possible and even desirable for virtually everyone. If every family reduced the number of cars it had to only one, and used that car only when actually necessary, it would go a long way to making families more solvent financially, and would do wonders for quality of life and for the environment. Personally, I'm in a much better situation financially by not owning a car, and riding everywhere I go leaves me in a much better mood than driving ever did.
I think we agree, mostly. I, too, am car-free, and I do think that more people can be car-lite than are, but it is not possible for everyone, and we who are car-free or -lite shouldn't look down our noses at those who are unwilling or unable to do so.
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Old 02-22-08, 01:02 PM   #23
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I think we agree, mostly. I, too, am car-free, and I do think that more people can be car-lite than are, but it is not possible for everyone, and we who are car-free or -lite shouldn't look down our noses at those who are unwilling or unable to do so.
Unable I don't have a problem with, unwilling is another story...

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Old 02-22-08, 01:44 PM   #24
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look, all you have to do is sit in a parking lot and count the number of cars puling in to a campus. of those count the number of people that are hauling cast iron stoves, are infirm, are legless, ETC. also even include those that are coming from more than five miles away. exclude them. the rest however, should at least consider riding a bike. i'm not saying it should be required, i'm saying it should be made easier for them, that a bike should be the first thing they think or when they have to get somewhere. i'm saying that bikes should be welcome on campus and in corporate offices or in protected parking areas. i don't think anyone is advocating pedaling an 18 wheeler.
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Old 02-22-08, 03:20 PM   #25
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Unable I don't have a problem with, unwilling is another story...

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Then you would force the "unwilling"? We are still a free country, last time I checked.
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