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Cars are not People

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Cars are not People

Old 05-24-22, 05:08 PM
  #76  
TeaTimeTwins
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I can only speak from my own experience, but I think sometimes when people defend cars, itís because they feel that it isnít actually cars being attacked, but them/their choices judged.

I personally donít really like cars. I would much rather walk or bike places, I feel more free when I can get somewhere on my own power, not restricted by traffic or gas prices or parking. I thought, because I was a substitute teacher and sometimes wouldnít get a call about a job until school was already starting, or would have to be at two different schools across town in one day, that not having a car just wasnít an option if I wanted to work enough to pay my bills. But my life changed for the better when I decided that I would consider anywhere I could get within an hour Ďwalking distanceí and I discovered that while I did get fewer jobs at first, I got to know the people in the schools that I was closest to and they started to call me first. It worked out ok but it was a risk. I only did it after I knew Iíd worked enough teaching days already that month to cover my minimums, and that eventually expanded to all the time.

But then I had kids. Everyone told me I needed a car. I did baby wearing, and transit, and walked pushing my stroller all over town. It took planning but it was also ok, until I had to go back to work. It wasnít compatible with getting a child to the only daycare spot I could find, and then a teaching day in some unknown place possibly anywhere in town. There were too many hills for me to manage even on a bike with a bike trailer. Eventually I found a daycare spot a few blocks from home and I could go back to getting just about anywhere, because thatís pretty easy when itís just you needing transport.

I moved to the lower mainland for a full time permanent job. I found an apartment and daycare all within a few blocks of my school. And then I was well and truly foiled by getting pregnant again, this time with twins. They were born premature. I had to be transferred from the local hospital to a larger one 30 km away. That was the closest hospital with a NICU capable of keeping my babies alive. I had to have a C-section because my smaller baby couldnít tolerate the contractions and his heart rate kept dropping. I was left with two babies hospitalized for 3 months, 30km by highway away from my home, having had major abdominal surgery, and with a 4 year old at home. There werenít public transit options to get to the hospital. 30 km away was ďtoo closeĒ to qualify for hospital accommodations, or even assistance with making the trip once I was medically able to drive again.

So, yes, when people talk about how cars are only about convenience or are ďunnecessary if you plan your life accordinglyĒ I have to call ********. And yes, if we as a society had not created and allowed and even encouraged such car dependence, I wouldnít have been in that situation. That doesnít change that I was, and there was nothing I could do except drive to that hospital every day. Individuals can do their best to free themselves from car culture but we canít individually solve the systemic problems of car dependence. I was extremely lucky that I did have access to a car, or my most affordable next option would have been taxi rides for $80 each way, or not seeing my babies.

And I havenít even gotten to the problems with trying to transport twins with additional medical concerns to all the various specialists they had to see, who were of course in the community where the hospital was, not where I lived. Transporting twins in general is just a real challenge. If we really want to address car dependence, there needs to be more and better advocacy for accessibility issues like sidewalks that stay level, with ramps on the curb not in the sidewalk. And ramps onto the sidewalk at all parts of a corner, and at all pedestrian walkways. Transit buses with wide enough entry ramps. Sidewalks that are wide enough. I have a new appreciation for the challenges that wheelchair users face when it comes to getting anywhere - into any building, through a parking lot, down a street. My accessibility challenges are temporary but no less real - you canít just leave one baby on the street while you carry one up a set of stairs in a building with no elevator or one that is out of service.

I would love to return to a life of less/no car dependence but my ability to do that under my current circumstances just isnít entirely up to me. I think most people donít try to poke holes in my situation but I hear a lot of the proposed solutions to car dependence as heavy taxes on car use and large vehicles - and once again, I bristle because guess who has to drive a ridiculously enormous SUV because accommodating 3 car seats for 3 kids under 5 canít be done in just any vehicle. Especially when two have to be rear facing.

Anyway, sometimes people defend cars because they really donít have other choices that will meet their needs - even when they donít especially like cars. And I would love to see a world where a parent can easily and safely get everywhere they and their children need to go, without a car, and still be able to accomplish whatever the task of their trip was, but that is just not a simple problem with simple solutions. It is complex and multifaceted and highly specific to individual situations and would require a major overhaul to both building and road infrastructure as well as societal expectations and demands.

Cars are not people, but itís people who drive them.

Last edited by TeaTimeTwins; 05-24-22 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-26-22, 12:56 AM
  #77  
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I guess it all depends on the individual.
Whatís their personal reason for LCF?
Financial? To save money on insurance, maintenance, car payments, fuel?
To help the environment?
For simplicity?


Originally Posted by cooker View Post
But when you (the generic you, not you specifically) drive, it does affect me - I have to breathe your exhaustÖ I have to live with the strife caused by oil conflicts and the damage to the environment. So I have no objection to you driving per se, I'm just objecting to the part that harms me, or other people or the environment. Get rid of that and I won't say a word about you driving all you want.
Ah yes, our moral and ethical ďvirtueĒ.
Sure, a car might hit you by accident, but you might hit a pedestrian on your bike, someone might assault you with a knife, a plane might fall out of the sky. Whats the point? Lessen the risk? Stay indoors? Cross contamination might kill you, donít eat? Eliminate all risks? Maybe.

Btw itís interesting to observe how even our beloved bicycle has itís own impact on the environment, of course, perhaps to a lesser degree than cars but cars less than trucks, and trucks less than planes, etc etc.
The factories that produce the rubber for the inner tubes, tires, gripsÖ the aluminum, steel, or carbon, the components. Shipping bikes/products on trucks, ships, and planes.
Unless we find a way to construct a 100% ďgreenĒ bike out of natural products, the ultimate planet- friendly mode of transportation are your own two feet (attached to legs ofc)Ö but then you need shoes. Ugh.

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Old 05-26-22, 12:59 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by TeaTimeTwins View Post
I can only speak from my own experience, but I think sometimes when people defend cars, itís because they feel that it isnít actually cars being attacked, but them/their choices judged.
Cars are not people, but itís people who drive them.
Very well said.

This topic, like many things in life, are very complexÖ and there is no clear right or wrong, left or right, black & white choice.

Last edited by Yune_Garage; 05-26-22 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 05-26-22, 10:38 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Yune_Garage View Post
Btw itís interesting to observe how even our beloved bicycle has itís own impact on the environment, of course, perhaps to a lesser degree than cars but..
"perhaps"? lol
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Old 05-26-22, 11:07 PM
  #80  
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TeaTimeTwins

https://humofthecity.com/2012/08/27/...d-it-bakfiets/

There is even e-bike versions. I've seen them carrying as many as 7 children. Thought you might find this bit-o-info useful.

Last edited by base2; 05-27-22 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 05-27-22, 01:41 AM
  #81  
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SMH. What part of "if we don't get seriously disinvested in car culture we are all going to DIE and SOON don't you all (most of you) understand? This isn't some idle conundrum that is being debated. Cars are an existential threat to humanity. You don't NEED something that will kill you. If there were no cars, humanity would find another way to accomplish transportation. As long as there are cars it will not. It's that simple. Cars could have been electric out of the gate, and typewriters (and later, computers) could have had more efficient key layouts, but for Capitalism. It really will be the death of us. I had twins too ... I just love it when people overlay their own personal limitations on the entire human race. I don't do that. I have 20/500 uncorrected eyesight. With 23diopter lenses I can get 20/70 on a good day 20/100 is more the usual. My wife is totally blind. When we met 12 years ago I could still drive. About the only time I ever did was when her mother came over from the UK we would rent a car for the week. Other blind people we both know insist that their partner drive. One left her spouse when his sight went. Mine has never put the slightest pressure on me to own a car because we live WAY better without one. I'm not saying people shouldn't drive! I don't but that's me. What I say is that in 2022 no one should still be driving an ICE vehicle! Every time some idiot blasts through town at 2:00am winding his unmuffled Acura to 7,000rpm 10,000 people are awakened. Two will die from a heart attack.

Really, I am over telling people about Climate Change and Human Infertility and the loss of fish and reptiles from the toxins in tires ... truth is ... it's too late. Even if we BANNED all forms of motorized transportation tommorow ... it's too late. 30 years of temperature rise is baked into the atmosphere. We've just begun and have 30 years to go! Civilization will be on life support by year 15. Humanity will be on life support by year 20. Like I said earlier, we live car free not to save the planet. The planet is doomed. However, there is this: in the first six months of the Covid outbreak unreasonable, unconstitutional and totally uncalled for lockdowns were perpetrated on freedom loving Americans. There wasn't any point in driving so 2/3 of Americans didn't.

The effect was immediate. The air got cleaner. Trees and plants were healthier. THE ATMOSPHERE STOPPED WARMING. I put that in caps because there are still those who don't think that cars are responsible for AGW. But the minute freedom loving Americans took their cojones back and demanded an end to the lockdowns and went back in their cars ... ... oh, but my point was ... if you are doing it right your car has insurance, real insurance, and it cost more than $10K. And you get new tires for it every four or five years ... if you did not have A car (many have more than one) with its expenses and upkeep, to budget for ... what would you do with the extra $5K to $10+ a year? Keeping in mind that you only have 15 years left, wouldn't you want to live your best life?
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Old 05-28-22, 01:09 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
"perhaps"? lol
Glad thatís youíre take away lol
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Old 05-28-22, 03:09 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I had twins too ... I just love it when people overlay their own personal limitations on the entire human race. I don't do that.
Thatís exactly what you are doing, and this is exactly what Iím talking about. Iím glad you managed to have twins without driving. I really am. In MY specific situation, I couldnít, because multiple factors came together that made it impossible for me, while my babies were hospitalized and while they require specialist care. If any one of those multiple factors had been different, my experience might have been totally different. Iím a single parent of premature twins with additional medical concerns and a 5 year old. My own personal medical history made bike riding impossible for basically until now. Again, thatís only my experience, itís not meant to be applied to anyone else. But my experience is as valid as yours or anyone elseís, and my point was simply that if we want to ditch cars, we need to meet the needs of every experience. If (and Iím in no way saying this is what you were implying) someone wanted to convince me that I should leave my babies in hospital alone or let them die just to avoid motorized transportation to extend my own life a few years, thatís just never going to be considered an acceptable trade off. Again, Iím not saying thatís what you are suggesting, but when certain legitimate reasons for using cars are dismissed or left unacknowledged, thatís what it feels like. Sure, I could have chosen to stay at my local hospital to avoid riding in an ambulance and then having to travel, but certainly both my babies would have died, and so would I in all likelihood. Itís absolutely true we need to cut as much vehicle use as possible as soon as possible, but eliminating it entirely for every situation is not going to be humane either. Solutions come from acknowledging the complexity of problems, not shaming people into trying harder.
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Old 05-28-22, 03:21 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
TeaTimeTwins

There is even e-bike versions. I've seen them carrying as many as 7 children. Thought you might find this bit-o-info useful.
Thank you! I wonder if someone local to me carries them. I still have one baby who needs body support and not just a harness, but maybe that can be accommodated somehow, Iíd have to see one in person. At any rate Iím glad someone had thought about how to transport more than 2 small children, because itís a real problem!
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Old 05-28-22, 06:17 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by TeaTimeTwins View Post
Thatís exactly what you are doing, and this is exactly what Iím talking about. Iím glad you managed to have twins without driving. I really am. In MY specific situation, I couldnít, because multiple factors came together that made it impossible for me,
You entered this thread very defensive about your NEED to drive. I'm not arguing this. I specifically said I'm not questioning anyone's need to drive. I am questioning why it needs to be with an internal combustion vehicle. And that's not entirely on you. In 2022 a driver simply should not have to think about it. There should not be any ICE vehicles that are legal for them to drive. The prices for plug in electric would DROP. The precious children that we care so much about are not going to have quality lives if we don't leave them some oil! They are not going to have quality lives if we so pollute the planet that all the life in and on it is deformed and diseased. As much as you think we NEED cars, we do not. We need to share what cars there are and they ALL need to be electric. Yesterday. I am being a hard@$$ about it because we've tried it the 'reasonable' way for too long. The personal exception way only leads to more delay and really there is no more delay possible.
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Old 05-28-22, 09:10 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You entered this thread very defensive about your NEED to drive. I'm not arguing this. I specifically said I'm not questioning anyone's need to drive. I am questioning why it needs to be with an internal combustion vehicle. And that's not entirely on you. In 2022 a driver simply should not have to think about it. There should not be any ICE vehicles that are legal for them to drive. The prices for plug in electric would DROP. The precious children that we care so much about are not going to have quality lives if we don't leave them some oil! They are not going to have quality lives if we so pollute the planet that all the life in and on it is deformed and diseased. As much as you think we NEED cars, we do not. We need to share what cars there are and they ALL need to be electric. Yesterday. I am being a hard@$$ about it because we've tried it the 'reasonable' way for too long. The personal exception way only leads to more delay and really there is no more delay possible.
My point wasnít that I need a personal exemption. Itís that in order for everyone to really be able to not drive a car, we need to restructure a lot of things for people who currently have legitimate needs to be driving. I agree, thereís no good reason for ICE vehicles to still be on the road. I donít have an EV because they arenít available - there are long waiting lists - and I have specific needs to be able to accommodate my car seats. Thatís a solvable problem, because there isnít a lack of demand, but there doesnít seem to be urgency about increasing supply and encouraging the switch. Affordability is also a problem, but thatís really only a short term problem because it doesnít take long for maintenance and fuel costs to surpass the purchase price of an EV. Obviously EVs dont fully solve the problem because the electricity is not always generated without fossil fuels, but that is also true for many other parts of our lives, like heating our homes. For me personally, right now itís easier for me to curb my fossil due use by living in a smaller home and keeping the house a bit cooler in winter and opening windows instead of using AC in summer, than it is for me to curb fossil fuel use for the trips I need to take in a car.

Iím really not trying to be whiny. Iím simply saying if we want real solutions, they are going to be more complicated than simply saying ďdrive lessĒ or ďswitch your car for a bikeĒ because there really are times where those arenít good solutions. It doesnít mean we throw up our hands, it just means we have to look at the root of where the problem comes from and come up with solutions for the Ďexceptions.í

Last edited by TeaTimeTwins; 05-28-22 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 05-29-22, 10:08 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Yune_Garage View Post
Glad thatís youíre take away lol
Yes, that was my takeaway. When you say "perhaps" bikes have less negative effects than cars, you are trivializing the immense harm cars cause. I mean perhaps a light offshore breeze is not as harmful as a tornado, but they're not that different really - they're both just wind, right?
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