I've been car-free for a few years now, and I come here pretty regularly for information and, mostly, inspiration. I've posted regularly, too. It's sometimes tough being an intentionally car-free person in a car-obsessed culture, and it's been nice to have at least the on-line support of like-minded individuals. Lately, though, I've noticed that the majority of threads on this forum have little to do with car-free life-styles. Rather, it's people ranting about oil and/or car culture, the very thing many of us are trying to avoid. It reminds me of an AA meeting where everyone goes on all day about the evils of vodka. I've also noticed that about a dozen or so people comprise the the vast majority of posts here. Occasionally, new people wander in, but they, with few exceptions, run for the hills when they see what's going on. It's become a sick little club of whiners, as a recent poster mentioned. Not always, of course -there have been many, many very encouraging threads- but enough to be a bit disconcerting to anyone who wanders to this forum unawares. And I've been as guilty of many of the nasty-type posts , which I now regret. I suggest the following to revive the integrity of this forum:
1. Don't rag on car drivers so much; or rather, don't rag on them simply because they're driving.
2. Ban Peak Oil as a topic of conversation.
3. Agree to actually mention bicycles in posts once in a while.
4. Agree to discuss motor vehicles a lot less.
5. When newbies show up, go to some effort to make them to make them feel welcome, even if you don't agree with them.
6. In general, spend more time talking about practicalities and less about ideology. (Yes, there's a utility forum, but all they ever talk about is trailers; it's the context that makes things interesting. Speak about the example of Copenhagen, and then start extolling the advantages of Extracycle.)
If you disagree with me, that's okay. But please do it reasonably.