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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 05-05-08, 02:43 PM   #1
xafofo
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graph of american spending

just thought this was an interesting graph --

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...G_GRAPHIC.html

gasoline alone is 5.2% of the average american's spending. transportation is 18%, although that includes public transportation and plane tickets, but the bulk of it is still car related
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Old 05-05-08, 02:50 PM   #2
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Oh I so enjoyed that. Graphs and data are my crack cocaine.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:06 PM   #3
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Hm that is really neat. I'm going to have to hunt around to see if I could see some old ones of those it would be interesting.

Bicycles have their own little blip although it is probably rightly in recreation for how most people view it at least it isn't lumped in with sports equipment or toys.
Wow I never realized these two were so low. I guess taking the train to NYC everyday made me forget how little people use any of these anywere else.
0.2% City Buses, Subways, Taxis
0.2% other innercity transportation
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Old 05-05-08, 04:45 PM   #4
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Just noticed. Spending on gasoline is up 26%. I find it interesting that they made bicycles it's own category... They could've easily just made it part of sporting goods if they thought it wasn't transportation. Perhaps they saw this as a compromise?

Also, for those who are car-free, where does that 18% get divided? That's a lot of "extra" change lying around.
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Old 05-05-08, 05:20 PM   #5
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Just noticed. Spending on gasoline is up 26%. I find it interesting that they made bicycles it's own category... They could've easily just made it part of sporting goods if they thought it wasn't transportation. Perhaps they saw this as a compromise?

Also, for those who are car-free, where does that 18% get divided? That's a lot of "extra" change lying around.
Part of my 18% (not vehicle free...but car free! I own trucks) goes to Amtrak

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Old 05-05-08, 06:17 PM   #6
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The NYtimes graph linked to in post#1 is pretty interesting.

One thing that it ought to remind car-free zealots of is that gasoline (5% of spending) is an important part of Americans' fossil-fuel spending, but so are electricity+natural gas (4% of spending). A big part of a person's water+sewer bill (1%) also ultimately covers fossil fuels that are used to move water here and there (mostly via electric pumps).
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Old 05-05-08, 06:27 PM   #7
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That bicycles are "recreation" in this chart is an interesting but sad editorial choice. IMO, bicycles should be under transport...

I could imagine a series of these charts being very interesting. China's graph. Germany's, South Africa's, Myanmar's, Malawi's. In other countries, Automotive would include 2-stroke motorbike. Transport would include bicycles, foot and much greater train use. Trains are wayyyyy under utilized in the US, sadly. If anything deserves more government subsidy it's trains. The Fact is without better train service to the growing sprawl, our cities will no longer be able to support blue collar workers at minimum wage. Which means our richer and richer city dwellers will balk at hiring expensive voting citizens who can't afford to travel into a city from the outskirts, and may be forced to make laws relaxing the import of foreign workers with no policy voice to scrub the toilets, haul the rubbish, replace a broken window, etc.

"You will live in interesting times." Ancient Chinese proverb.

I also love info-graphics.

Last edited by BrooklynRider; 05-05-08 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:39 PM   #8
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That bicycles are "recreation" in this chart is an interesting but sad editorial choice. IMO, bicycles should be under transport...

I could imagine a series of these charts being very interesting. China's graph. Germany's, South Africa's, Myanmar's, Malawi's. In other countries, Automotive would include 2-stroke motorbike. Transport would include bicycles, foot and much greater train use. Trains are wayyyyy under utilized in the US, sadly. If anything deserves more government subsidy it's trains. The Fact is without better train service to the growing sprawl, our cities will no longer be able to support blue collar workers at minimum wage. Which means our richer and richer city dwellers will balk at hiring expensive voting citizens and import foreign workers with no voice toward policy to scrub toilets, etc.

"You will live in interesting times." Ancient Chinese proverb.

I also love info-graphics.
+ a few million

I love trains as a form of mass transit, I will take one every chance I get. I only hope the infrastructure grows as fuel prices continue to rise.

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Old 05-05-08, 06:57 PM   #9
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I can't help but notice that the entire education catagory is only a slightly higher percentage than gasoline alone. I think that is very telling.
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Old 05-06-08, 01:24 PM   #10
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I can't help but notice that the entire education catagory is only a slightly higher percentage than gasoline alone. I think that is very telling.
That is education/communication, remove phone service and stuff and the education component is smaller than gasoline alone right? So I don't know what it tells, is education inexpensive or heavily subsidized? It means that the money you save by being car-free could pay for an average education?
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Old 05-06-08, 06:44 PM   #11
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They left out a lot of other costs associated with motorcar ownership. I remember paying several hundred dollars a year in parking tickets, tolls, and repairs. In fact, they didn't even take into account depreciation and replacement costs so the actual costs should be closer to 30%-40%
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Old 05-06-08, 10:27 PM   #12
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I loved this graph. I thought a bunch of things were pretty interesting, like the fact that the cost of gasoline went up 26% 2007-2008, but the price of bicycling not at all. Another thing that occurred to me while looking at the graph was that with a 26% increase in fuel prices, it was sort of amazing that other things didn't go up more than they did. Merchants are either eating it right now, and will soon give in and charge much higher prices in the near future, sales figures be damned, or they were charging way more than necessary to begin with. (I'm beginning to suspect that Capitalism isn't as natural a system as I've been instructed to believe...)
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Old 05-06-08, 10:54 PM   #13
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(I'm beginning to suspect that Capitalism isn't as natural a system as I've been instructed to believe...)
You've got capitalism in WA? I wish they'd let that happen in the rest of the states...

*ducks*??
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Old 05-07-08, 11:45 AM   #14
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Transportation = 18 %
Food (incl. restaurants) = 15 %

The chart is already outdated, however. The noon news here said that gas prices went from $3.40 to $3.90, literally overnight.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:47 AM   #15
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That is education/communication, remove phone service and stuff and the education component is smaller than gasoline alone right? So I don't know what it tells, is education inexpensive or heavily subsidized? It means that the money you save by being car-free could pay for an average education?
It means that the US is not spending much on education. It's part of a trend to think only of immediate wants rather than long-term needs. You see this in individuals and at every level of government. It's the decline of an empire, I guess.
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