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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    What is the "proper and restrained use of an automobile"?

    This came up in another thread. I believe the term was coined by wahoonc.

    I guess the opinions could range between "anything goes" to "cars are never ok". So let us know what you think proper and restrained use consists of, and tell us about reasons for your opinion.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    With improved infrastructure very few should need to drive a car for distances under 5 miles, distances over that could be served by mass transit. I have observed not one, two or even three... but seven new subdivisions going in a few miles down the road from me, they are STILL building lollipop non connected subdivisions, dumping them onto narrow two lane roads that are already running at or over rated capacity. Until this stops the madness will continue.

    I would like to see car use reduced by 50% in heavy urban areas, taxes on cars, parking, etc brought up to come closer to paying for what the real costs are, this would help reduce use. When I go somewhere like Boston I don't use a car, I go native and use mass transit, walk and ride a bike. Many people don't and complain endlessly about the traffic, cost of parking, ad nauseum. I would like to see mandatory numbers of parking for businesses eliminated or greatly reduced, mandate bicycle parking and pedestrian access.

    Unfortunately it is going to take a major societal shift, I think we are starting to see the glimmer of a beginning in that direction. I hope it sticks.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  3. #3
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I can only speak for myself, but experience has shown that it is generally going between towns where there is not proper public transportation to get you there and it's too far for a bike. For example, there's an event in a city 30 miles from here. The bus only runs one time a day in either direction, there is no train nor airline. I've checked and found no one to car-pool with, so I guess I'm going to have to rent a car and drive. Oddly, I will also be renting a car and driving about 6 hours two days before that. But both events are exceptions to the norm.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Nothing should be indispensable as it’s loss or failure can then be disastrous. If, on the other hand, every system has a back up, it can continue to function. If we give all of our land over to one crop (a monoculture) and it fails, we starve, but if we grow as wide and diverse a range of edible plants as possible (a polyculture), we still get to eat if some of them don’t make it to harvest. Similarly in our day to day lives it makes sense to learn as wide a range of skills as possible- a person who has had only one well paid but specialised job throughout their working life would be far less able to cope with being made redundant than somebody who has several smaller incomes earned from a variety of sources.
    Life Philosophy for me... borrowed from Permaculture ethics. The car has been allowed to become a monoculture in much of the world and we are all poorer (not necessarily in the financial sense) for it.

    I can cite way too many examples of improper use, but the issue at hand is how to change that.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, the "main" restraint on how much a person drives a vehicle is how much they can "afford to drive" the vehicle in todays society... Nothing really to do with should they drive or, take a bus, or take the train, or walk, or ride a bike...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  6. #6
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    Unfortunately, the "main" restraint on how much a person drives a vehicle is how much they can "afford to drive" the vehicle in todays society... Nothing really to do with should they drive or, take a bus, or take the train, or walk, or ride a bike...
    Any thoughts on what additional restraints (if any) there should be?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Any thoughts on what additional restraints (if any) there should be?
    Should be...? Using the law? Using education? Using common sense?
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Any thoughts on what additional restraints (if any) there should be?
    Besides eliminating parking places, I think we should strive to improve non-automotive facilities until they are too good not to use.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
    Fearless Isaiahc72's Avatar
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    Once I move out(I'm only 17), I never want to use a car. The only time I say it's okay right now is if it's a family outing where everyone's going. I'm known for being a bit "anit-car"
    IC

  10. #10
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    I went on a business trip and rented a car at the Kansas City airport while I was there for a week. It was the first time I had driven a car in a couple years. I parked the car at my hotel and let it sit all week till I returned to the airport to fly home to Atlanta. Each day I visited our client, I walked about 3 miles round trip to their office. I found adventure doing that, particularly because of very cold temperatures and lots of snow that week. Actually, I didn't walk all that distance each day because people kept pulling over and offering me a ride.

    The first couple of such offers, I politely declined and told the person I was fine and enjoy walking. But that seemed to generate a negative attitude, aside from being perceived as a nut. So I started accepting rides as a way to get to know the people there better and generate good karma. After all, this was not routine for me and I didn't need to be a dogmatic fitness nut (that week anyway). I got a ride from a snow plow driver that was getting off a 14 hour shift. We had a nice chat.

    All that that to say that I don't have hardly any interest in driving and find it unnecessary almost all the time. I even haul bulk items in my cargo trailer. That's fun and keeps my "touring legs" in condition - like when I pedal a case of wine across town every once in a while.

    Still, I'm just me. Who am I to say what's "proper"? Doesn't the framework of that question put the focus on society instead of just me? If you want to use your car to drive 200 feet to the corner store, I think that's pretty silly. But I'm not going to lose any sleep trying to control you either.

    Everybody needs to find what's right for them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahc72 View Post
    Once I move out(I'm only 17), I never want to use a car. The only time I say it's okay right now is if it's a family outing where everyone's going. I'm known for being a bit "anit-car"
    I find it interesting, all the young people I keep hearing about not wanting to drive. It stands in contrast to my teenage years, when most of us wanted nothing more than a car.

    I wonder what your reasons are? Care to comment?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Any thoughts on what additional restraints (if any) there should be?
    Never drink and drive!

    Other than that... what difference could it possibility make. In the grand scheme of things.... the internal combustion engine will have a relatively short life span.... as did steam and pneumatic powered factory machinery. Like horse manure was a huge burden on humans just six generations ago.... automobile emissions will be a forgotten problem in the near future.


    In order to make an omelet... you have to crack a few eggs. The mess created in the process of living... is just a part of the progress.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Never drink and drive!

    Other than that... what difference could it possibility make. In the grand scheme of things.... the internal combustion engine will have a relatively short life span.... as did steam and pneumatic powered factory machinery. Like horse manure was a huge burden on humans just six generations ago.... automobile emissions will be a forgotten problem in the near future.


    In order to make an omelet... you have to crack a few eggs. The mess created in the process of living... is just a part of the progress.
    In the truly grand scheme of things even human beings are insignificant. Just a tiny blip on the radar. But I may not outlive the internal combustion engine, so it has a really big impact on my personal life, as brief as that is.

  14. #14
    Fearless Isaiahc72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    I find it interesting, all the young people I keep hearing about not wanting to drive. It stands in contrast to my teenage years, when most of us wanted nothing more than a car.

    I wonder what your reasons are? Care to comment?
    It started off as just a temporary transportation. After a bit of research, I found it was more practical than I had ever thought.

    Look at places like Copenhagen, Denmark. They're said to be the happiest people on earth. And most of them ride bikes as transportation.

    At first, riding a bike seemed like a tough physical exercise(I guess it's because I was on a walmart full-suspension, single speed with bent wheels.). But after a while, I kinda just got used to it and realized that it had become fun. I fell in love with the idea of not having to deal with car payments or ever-rising gas prices. People gave me a hard time about not driving. But it only made me more dedicated to being car-free. Having a car is a luxury. Not a necessity. I'm out to prove that point.

    But after my amazing experiences on a bike, I have come to conclude that even if I were a millionaire, I would NOT want a car. I'll admit, like everyone else I know, speed feels good. But it feels a whole lot better when you make it yourself without an engine. I'm about living the simple life. Being able to live on as little as possible. America is one of the most car-dependent countries in the world and it seems they've poisoned people's minds into thinking that they need a car. Truth is, we don't. I see so many people having car problems and having to pay big at the pump. It only makes me more happy for my decision to be car-free. Riding a bicycle feels like freedom. Being out of a cage and seeing the world for what it is. The adventures I've had have been amazing as well.

    As for being anti-car, once you've seen as many cars from as close as I have, you begin to hate them. I also love the bragging rights that come with riding my bike everywhere. Seeing people complain about having to drive in the rain while me, I ride in the rain.

    Thanks for putting me into ranting mode. I could say allot more but I'll just sum it up with that it's not really about the money I save or the exercise I get. It's more about the adventures and experiences.
    IC

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    In the truly grand scheme of things even human beings are insignificant. Just a tiny blip on the radar. But I may not outlive the internal combustion engine, so it has a really big impact on my personal life, as brief as that is.
    I agree. The trick.. IMO is to find the proper perspective. Things can seem to be important even though the genuine impact... is nothing. Life is to be enjoyed! Without the proper perspective we get entangled with worries... about temporary conditions.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahc72 View Post
    It started off as just a temporary transportation. After a bit of research, I found it was more practical than I had ever thought.

    Look at places like Copenhagen, Denmark. They're said to be the happiest people on earth. And most of them ride bikes as transportation.

    At first, riding a bike seemed like a tough physical exercise(I guess it's because I was on a walmart full-suspension, single speed with bent wheels.). But after a while, I kinda just got used to it and realized that it had become fun. I fell in love with the idea of not having to deal with car payments or ever-rising gas prices. People gave me a hard time about not driving. But it only made me more dedicated to being car-free. Having a car is a luxury. Not a necessity. I'm out to prove that point.

    But after my amazing experiences on a bike, I have come to conclude that even if I were a millionaire, I would NOT want a car. I'll admit, like everyone else I know, speed feels good. But it feels a whole lot better when you make it yourself without an engine. I'm about living the simple life. Being able to live on as little as possible. America is one of the most car-dependent countries in the world and it seems they've poisoned people's minds into thinking that they need a car. Truth is, we don't. I see so many people having car problems and having to pay big at the pump. It only makes me more happy for my decision to be car-free. Riding a bicycle feels like freedom. Being out of a cage and seeing the world for what it is. The adventures I've had have been amazing as well.

    As for being anti-car, once you've seen as many cars from as close as I have, you begin to hate them. I also love the bragging rights that come with riding my bike everywhere. Seeing people complain about having to drive in the rain while me, I ride in the rain.

    Thanks for putting me into ranting mode. I could say allot more but I'll just sum it up with that it's not really about the money I save or the exercise I get. It's more about the adventures and experiences.
    Very cool! I can so identify with everything you say. More power to you.

    Enjoy cycling! Fun, strengthening (mental and physical), nearly free. I used to compute by car and I hated it. Especially how boring it was to sit in traffic every day. I love commuting, shopping, vacationing on my bicycle. I sense a kindred spirit in you.

  17. #17
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    I agree with the sentiment that if someone wants to drive from one store at the strip mall to another one right next to it, even when it takes them longer to get their bulk in and out of the car than it would have taken to walk slowly to the other destination and back, there is nothing that I can do about it. I won't lose sleep over that one observed event, but I might heave a sigh over the idea that it is some sort of cultural symptom. There will have to be one hell of a mass transit infrastructure to get that kind of potentially able bodied person to walk over fifty feet voluntarily, much less trips of two to five miles.

    The only standard I am entitled to truly have an opinion on about proper use of a motor vehicle is my own. How much I decide I need to use a vehicle may change over the course of my life time, I could potentially become that person who gets in the car to go forty yards. I doubt it, and hope not, but never say never. For what its worth, I dropped my taxes off today without using my car. Total gasoline expenses was about four hundred dollars, for the year. That drives my tax person crazy, as its apparently not enough compared to other businesses like mine. Don't ask me for particulars on why, she just frets over it every year.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I agree. The trick.. IMO is to find the proper perspective. Things can seem to be important even though the genuine impact... is nothing. Life is to be enjoyed! Without the proper perspective we get entangled with worries... about temporary conditions.
    I get it. Life itself is so temporary, why waste it fretting over what other people are doing? Enjoy a slice of the world while we can. Before long I'll just be dust in the wind and worrying about who's driving will be quite meaningless.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    I agree with the sentiment that if someone wants to drive from one store at the strip mall to another one right next to it, even when it takes them longer to get their bulk in and out of the car than it would have taken to walk slowly to the other destination and back, there is nothing that I can do about it. I won't lose sleep over that one observed event, but I might heave a sigh over the idea that it is some sort of cultural symptom. There will have to be one hell of a mass transit infrastructure to get that kind of potentially able bodied person to walk over fifty feet voluntarily, much less trips of two to five miles.

    The only standard I am entitled to truly have an opinion on about proper use of a motor vehicle is my own. How much I decide I need to use a vehicle may change over the course of my life time, I could potentially become that person who gets in the car to go forty yards. I doubt it, and hope not, but never say never. For what its worth, I dropped my taxes off today without using my car. Total gasoline expenses was about four hundred dollars, for the year. That drives my tax person crazy, as its apparently not enough compared to other businesses like mine. Don't ask me for particulars on why, she just frets over it every year.
    i do hope that my example might inspire at least some people to drive a little less. They might see that it's not so hard, more pleasant, and more interesting. But I'll try to stop there. If I adopt a role of "educator" I think people see it as preaching. It's just not effective.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    I get it. Life itself is so temporary, why waste it fretting over what other people are doing? Enjoy a slice of the world while we can. Before long I'll just be dust in the wind and worrying about who's driving will be quite meaningless.
    You do get it! Life is temporary and precious. Everyone should concern themselves with life... and living. [When making an omelet] Don't worry about the mess created by a few left over egg shells.... turn your efforts first to clean hands and workspaces. First concern yourself with preventing salmonella when making an omelet.

    Every year MILLIONS of humans go hungry... some starve. At the same time... millions of tons of food goes to waste. If we develop, utilize, and make cheaper the means to transport people and food.... millions of people will at lease get enough to eat. Todays technology means transportation requires fuel and trucks. The planet [Earth] will do just fine with the use of internal engines for a brief period. And so will the animals and plants that live on Earth.

    But the very souls of those who can turn a blind eye to the solutions to human suffering.... are eternally harmed.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 04-04-14 at 10:48 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    You do get it! Life is temporary and precious. Everyone should concern themselves with life... and living. [When making an omelet] Don't worry about the mess created by a few left over egg shells.... turn your efforts first to clean hands and workspaces. First concern yourself with preventing salmonella when making an omelet.

    Every year MILLIONS of humans go hungry... some starve. At the same time... millions of tons of food goes to waste. If we develop, utilize, and make cheaper the means to transport people and food.... millions of people will at lease get enough to eat. Todays technology means transportation requires fuel and trucks. The planet [Earth] will do just fine with the use of internal engines for a brief period. And so will the animals and plants that live on Earth.

    But the very souls of those who can turn a blind eye to the solutions to human suffering.... are eternally harmed.
    And of course people keep having babies in a world where death by natural selection is far more rare than population control by that means can be managed. Humans have outsmarted their genes and will now experience the consequences.

    I'm going to make hay while the sun shines and hopefully depart the planet before we run out of fresh water and have way too much salt water. I think I was born at about the right time. Would not want to be a little baby right now.

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    For what its worth, I dropped my taxes off today without using my car.
    I did my Federal tax forms yesterday and sent the return as well as payment to the IRS without ever stepping away from the computer.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    And of course people keep having babies in a world where death by natural selection is far more rare than population control by that means can be managed. Humans have outsmarted their genes and will now experience the consequences.
    Sorry... I have no idea what that means... or how it applies to internal combustion transportation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    I'm going to make hay while the sun shines and hopefully depart the planet before we run out of fresh water and have way too much salt water. I think I was born at about the right time. Would not want to be a little baby right now.
    In rural areas... to make hay while the sun shines.... means to be productive when the time to be productive is right. You do other chords while the dew evaporates from the hay.... then: you make hay while the sun shines. (damp hay grows mold and mildew and can't be used as feed).

    I am old enough to remember dirty water in America (and Europe). Only in recent decades did many people on Earth ever drink clean water. Today.... about half of the humans on Earth live their entire life's without clean water. There has never been a better time on Earth... to be a child.

    Today is a great time to be alive and take real pleasure in living. I know some seem to prefer.... the other side of a joyful life. To each... their own.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 04-04-14 at 11:51 PM.

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Any thoughts on what additional restraints (if any) there should be?
    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    Should be...? Using the law? Using education? Using common sense?
    Should there be restraints to restrict driving ... no.

    Should there be incentives to use alternate transportation ... yes.

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Never drink and drive!

    Other than that... what difference could it possibility make. In the grand scheme of things.... the internal combustion engine will have a relatively short life span.... as did steam and pneumatic powered factory machinery. Like horse manure was a huge burden on humans just six generations ago.... automobile emissions will be a forgotten problem in the near future.


    In order to make an omelet... you have to crack a few eggs. The mess created in the process of living... is just a part of the progress.
    Well actually, carbon dioxide and other emissions will be in the environment for a very long time, whether humans are here to measure it or not. Isn't that a good reason to put some restraints on fossil fuel vehicles?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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