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6 months without a car in Detroit

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6 months without a car in Detroit

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Old 02-27-18, 06:16 PM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Funny ... in another thread I suggest that some people might like having an RFID chip in their bikes and you get all offended ... but you have no trouble telling me how I “should” live and think.
I have no problem with the notion that people might want to wear some kind of electronic beacon device while cycling - I just object to the notion that we be required to do it to accommodate the heavily subsidized and hugely profitable auto industry. They should be required to accommodate us. It's public space we have a right to access without having to pay to play. also wasn't offended by you, personally.

As for suggesting you should be concerned about an issue (that affects you greatly - how public money is spent and how transportation infrastructure is designed), I make no apology. Obviously you are free to think and live however you want.

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Old 02-27-18, 06:29 PM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah it was built, and yeah, it didn’t work because n one really wants to walk ... that was in Central Florida, where the weather is perfect for a few weeks in January and February and is miserable all the rest of the time.

Also, the development went into the flood plain by a protected river, so all the fertilizers and other runoff goes right into the river, and when there is rain .... and sooner or later when there is a really big storm the neighborhoods will flood, and the residents will start screaming and everything in their garages and closets and cars and everything will end up in the river ... which is a “protected” river, but it gets unprotected whenever someone proposes a development like this.

No big deal.


How much do you care? What do you care about? What do you do besides “care”?

I have been playing this game for a long time. I have lost a lot, and won a few ... but overall, lost in totality because our massive toxic culture continues on .... and spreads .... and whether we will get ahead of the destruction curve I have no idea. How it might play out, I have no idea.

The impact any individual can have is small .... people either need to organize, gather enormous wealth, or act very, very strategically.

Right now you are doubtless paying for many, many things you would rather not be paying for. Can you live with that?
Good for you for your activism. Although I do participate somewhat in the political/advocacy process I could do more of course. I've tried to make it clear in previous debates in this forum that I am never arguing about any individual's lifestyle, or contributions or trying to portray myself as an example - I'm responding to arguments and addressing principles. In the part I quoted above, you go on a bit about how horrible the new walkable community looked in the planning stages and and then how horrible it turned out to be and then you go on to say "no big deal". Yes it is a big deal, and apparently you thought so too.
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Old 02-28-18, 05:19 AM
  #153  
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I hope I do not come across as combative (I have that tendency at times.) I truly appreciate your rational criticism of my posts. I find it helpful.
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Old 02-28-18, 06:29 AM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
In the part I quoted above, you go on a bit about how horrible the new walkable community looked in the planning stages and and then how horrible it turned out to be and then you go on to say "no big deal". Yes it is a big deal, and apparently you thought so too.
It is all relative to the frame of reference. In terms of what that small community will do and is doing to that part of that river at this period of time ... i cannot think of any benefits. But there are three million children dying every year from diarrhea simply because we cannot provide clean water or cheap filtration.

Over time we are doing massive damage to the rest of the biosphere ... but i doubt we can kill all life on the planet. A shame we kill as much as we do for so little gain.

But ... everything changes, all the time. One death isn't a big thing out of billions of lives. One species lost isn't big deal in a million years. Ten thousand years of humans tearing up the planet won't mater in twenty thousand years ... so one community polluting one stretch of one river isn't a thing.

However, we can only change the stuff around us .... i don't know how to stop disease and starvation. I can fight a hazardous waste incinerator planned for the area, but I can't stop the production of hazardous waste.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is just talk with people around us ... protests and lobbying doesn't always matter, but just talking to people ... they see that rational intelligent people think about things and care about things that are different and in different ways .... strange ideas (like LCF) can come to seem normal ... I don't want to push people. We all have our paths to follow and by following or own paths we do the most good ... IMO.
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Old 02-28-18, 04:07 PM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I was tangentially involved in one of those “walkable community” developments—actually trying to stop it from being built, because it was in exactly the worst place in terms of environmental impact—but the city government and the development community, planning board, construction, real estate communities were all on board. They saw something they could Sell.

That is what it comes down to—a good idea is one that can be sold to the differing interests, an idea which has aspects which appeal to the various factions including the buying public.

Crazy ideas and massive social changes generally start with a few small, not particularly radical steps. My interest is often in seeing rational, sellable first steps, because while we all want to get to the promised land, we all needt o start from right here where we are now…

But, whatever. I am old and I will not be here forever. And I can still ride my bike.
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
You should care about the implementation….

What was the outcome? Did it get built? Did it live up to your fears?

I care, if I'm going to be roped into paying for it and potentially suffering or witnessing harm as a result, just like you cared when you tried to stop what you thought was a bad idea.
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
…Yeah it was built, and yeah, it didn’t work because no one really wants to walk ... that was in Central Florida, where the weather is perfect for a few weeks in January and February and is miserable all the rest of the time.

Also, the development went into the flood plain by a protected river, so all the fertilizers and other runoff goes right into the river, and when there is rain .... and sooner or later when there is a really big storm the neighborhoods will flood, and the residents will start screaming and everything in their garages and closets and cars and everything will end up in the river... which is a “protected” river, but it gets unprotected whenever someone proposes a development like this. No big deal.

How much do you care? What do you care about? What do you do besides “care"?
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Good for you for your activism…

In the part I quoted above, you go on a bit about how horrible the new walkable community looked in the planning stages and and then how horrible it turned out to be and then you go on to say "no big deal". Yes it is a big deal, and apparently you thought so too.
I picked up on this conversation about walkable communities, because I posted previously on an LCF thread, "Car-Free outings for otherwise car-heavies." I grew up in The Motor City, and now live in one of America’s Most Walkable Cities (#3).
Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
People walk a lot more in places where there is somewhere to walk. But in much of the US, housing is relatively far from anywhere people want to go. And if you want to walk from your home to a nearby restaurant and that involves crossing a six lane highway and walking across a large parking lot, the journey is much less appealing.

Some cities are seeing revitalization of urban neighborhoods that allow people to walk to shops and restaurants. But these will never accommodate more than a small percentage of the population. The best way to encourage people to do things without a car is to put those things closer to their homes. But the US has developed in such a way that it's now much harder to do that.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Some cities never lost those neighborhoods, like Boston. It seems to me that in order to be an attractive place to support a variety of restaurants and shops to which to walk (and not drive to visit that neighborhood…the basic premise of this thread) a neighborhood must be a large area with a substantial, dense population living there, likely that evolved in the pre-automotive era.

I think a lot of urban revitalization projects tend to create enclaves as driving destinations to walk around in such large cities like in my native Detroit. One of my greatest complaints about the automotive industry/culture is that by intent, or just popular acceptance, previously vitalized neighborhoods just withered away, and deprived the citizens of the choice to Live Car Free.
To further illustrate the dichotomy in this tale of two cities...
Originally Posted by jonc. View Post
I think setting has a lot to do with that. People don't mind walking in hospitable places in part because other people are walking there as well. It's becomes a communal activity and humans do innately seek community. So walking on a shaded sidewalk or path in your neighborhood is something people are socially comfortable with. And people certainly walk without such issues in trendy urban neighborhoods. Walking is a 'thing' there.

But the psychology is vastly different along the busy highways and vast parking lots that exist in so much of this country. In part because the setting just isn't very pleasant, but also because people don't want to be seen there. They may not even consciously realize it, but I think this is where the class consciousness takes hold.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I often tout Boston as the epitome of LCF/LCL in America, not to brag, but illustrate the possibilities. When I take visitors on a 4-5 mile walking tour of downtown Boston, I introduce it with this explanation:

Several years ago, the architectural critic of the Boston Globe, Robert Campbell, was visiting Southfield, Michigan, a town I know well, and described it as the “City of Towers and Cars” (including “busy highways and vast parking lots" [and tall office buildings, and sprawling office and retail parks]). In his article, he contrasted that that to the “City of Outdoor Rooms” (Boston) which is visited as one would visit a person’s home, passing through the various portals, from room to room, admiring the furnishings within.

That’s the motif I use on my tours as we start in the Back Bay, and pass through the Public Garden, Boston Common, Washington St and Quincy Market, the North End, Beacon Hill and back to Back Bay. The walk becomes the destination.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I really enjoy showing visitors around Boston on informal walking tours, and I would offer that to a fellow BF subscriber, but I'm a pretty busy person, and would need a heads up to see if I'm available at a mutually agreeable time.


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Old 02-28-18, 04:15 PM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I hope I do not come across as combative (I have that tendency at times.) I truly appreciate your rational criticism of my posts. I find it helpful.
It's all done in good will. Cheers.
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Old 03-01-18, 06:52 AM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
However, we can only change the stuff around us .... i don't know how to stop disease and starvation. I can fight a hazardous waste incinerator planned for the area, but I can't stop the production of hazardous waste.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is just talk with people around us ... protests and lobbying doesn't always matter, but just talking to people ... they see that rational intelligent people think about things and care about things that are different and in different ways .... strange ideas (like LCF) can come to seem normal ... I don't want to push people. We all have our paths to follow and by following or own paths we do the most good ... IMO.
Everything that happens at the individual level is linked with ideas that are circulating at the collective level.

If you manage to achieve the ability to understand the link between individual choices/actions and collective effects, and you hone the willpower to direct your own actions toward the goal of harmonizing your conscience with the effects of your actions, you are not only doing all you can to make things better, you are also setting an example for others. Then it's up to them to make the same commitment to awareness and conscience; no one can force them to.
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Old 03-03-18, 06:19 AM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Everything that happens at the individual level is linked with ideas that are circulating at the collective level.

If you manage to achieve the ability to understand the link between individual choices/actions and collective effects, and you hone the will power to direct your own actions toward the goal of harmonizing your conscience with the effects of your actions, you are not only doing all you can to make things better, you are also setting an example for others.

Then it's up to them to make the same commitment to awareness and conscience; no one can force them to.
This esoteric post reminds me of some personal ideation I have occasionally had, that my life is in synch with the zeitgeist
of the times (Merriam Webster – the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era).

For example, I graduated from High School and made the transition to College in the tumultuous year 1968, started my professional training in the summer of 1974 during the climactic events of Watergate, my son was born in 1988 (election of Ronald Reagan), and I had a very active cycling year in 2016, coincident with the turbulent presidential campaign. I posted about that year on the thread “Assess yourself for 2016!”
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Nonetheless, this year was a virtual metamorphosis in my decades long cycling lifestyle
I have a few times reflected about my “curriculum vitae,”
  • I grew up in the 1950’s…President Eisenhower
  • I came of age in the 1960’s….Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
  • I had fun in the 1970’s…Ford and Carter
  • I gained sophistication in the 1980’s…Reagan
  • I matured in the 1990’s…Bush and Clinton
  • I gained wisdom in the 2000’s…Bush and Obama
Think about the national moods in those decades. In this latter part of the 2010-2020 decade (Obama and Trump) I think contentment is the motif. Just sayin’, FWIW.

Coinidentally, it's appropriate to post to this thread, "6 months without a car in Detroit," since that's where I was born, and got my start in a cycling lifestyle.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture.

In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston...
Finally, one other concept I have had, probably since the 1990's, to ground myself into reality is that I probably attained maturity (IMO) when I realized that "modern history did not necessarily begin with the year of my birth." I think of myself as a "recovering solipsist" (Merriam-Webster – holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing).


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Old 03-03-18, 06:38 AM
  #159  
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Well, Mr. Jim from Boston ... I hope you have some much better things in store for us in the next decade.
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Old 03-03-18, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have a few times reflected about my “curriculum vitae,”
  • I grew up in the 1950’s…President Eisenhower
  • I came of age in the 1960’s….Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
  • I had fun in the 1970’s…Ford and Carter
  • I gained sophistication in the 1980’s…Reagan
  • I matured in the 1990’s…Bush and Clinton
  • I gained wisdom in the 2000’s…Bush and Obama
Think about the national moods in those decades. In this latter part of the 2010-2020 decade (Obama and Trump) I think contentment is the motif. Just sayin’, FWIW…
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Well, Mr. Jim from Boston ... I hope you have some much better things in store for us in the next decade.
Hey, @Maelochs,

Thanks for that reply. I think you got the drift of my post. I realize that claiming contentment in the divisive era of Obama and Trump seems incongruous, but I think that an aspect of sophistication / maturity / and wisdom is that one realizes that life is not as simple as it seemed when one was growing up / coming of age / having fun.

Maybe acceptance is/will be the appropriate watchword, though now I’m content.

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