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antichrist
03-08-2006, 12:54 PM
It is long overdue that we have an environmental thread. Our children's future is at great risk but there is almost no proper political leadership like there was in the seventies.

Industrialisation has greatly changed out environment, overpopulation etc. has inflicted great stresses yet we still drive our cars unnecessary and don't really demand change from our politicans.

We must install elevated level cycleways so that even travel between far off cities is possible over a week or so. Plus a million other measures. How can we look children in the eye if we don't do our best in this regard.

pax
03-08-2006, 01:25 PM
We must install elevated level cycleways so that even travel between far off cities is possible over a week or so. Plus a million other measures. How can we look children in the eye if we don't do our best in this regard.

Never mind elevated cycleways. It would be a good start to have some decent cycle lanes on roads that:
-Are not full of potholes and drains.
-Are clearly marked, and painted more frequently than once in 20 years. Preferably with the whole lane a different colour.
-Are wide, and sensibly placed (e.g not right next to parked cars which are liable to open doors suddenly).
-Include a forward stopping box at traffic lights. So that bikes can start riding on green from a clearly visible position in front of the traffic rather than wedged up the side of a bus in a massive blind spot.

All of this is especially true in the City, where cycling is currently quite hazardous, and where more cycling should be encouraged to reduce the number of motor vehicles on the roads.

Dozy
03-08-2006, 02:54 PM
Daizy and I tried living without a car from 1979 right through the 80s. We went everywhere by bike and along the way had some pretty dodgy experiences. One of the problems, of course, is that motorists don't really perceive cyclists to be serious road users. (Let's face it, a lot of cyclists are so irresponsible they do a lot to create that attitude.)

I remember one morning as I was riding to work (it's 60 km from the Blue Mtns to my job in the city) at least six people tried to kill me. They didn't mean to, of course, they just didn't realise how fast I was pushing that bike along. They thought that as soon as they passed me they were clear to pull over.

It was the only time I ever lost my nerve in heavy traffic. I had the screaming heebie jeebies.

When I was well along Parramatta Road (a popular bicycle slalom course) I caught up to a hearse stopped at the traffic lights at Camperdown. I pulled up alongside and knocked on the driver's window.

He wound it down and said, "What's up?"

I said, "Are you taking reservations, mate?"

We both had a laugh and I was ok after that -- but I needed something to break the tension.

----

The cycle paths Pax and AC are talking about, whether elevated or not, would be great. The biggest problem is the amount of debris that collects in them and never gets cleaned away. Oh, yeah ... and other cyclists.

pax
03-08-2006, 03:28 PM
The cycle paths Pax and AC are talking about, whether elevated or not, would be great. The biggest problem is the amount of debris that collects in them and never gets cleaned away. Oh, yeah ... and other cyclists.

Ya mean the dead ones in the gutter? Yeah, they're really annoying!:D

firegoat7
05-08-2006, 11:55 AM
Cars are an interesting cultural phenomenea.

They have completely re-shaped the way our societies are structured in an undemocratic way.
They have also massively contributed to the idealised fantasy with have in our minds about what it means to be a successful human being in our society.

On the other hand, it could be argued that they have broken down all the old stereotypes asscociated with class difference, especially territorial immobility. Through their mobility they have allowed people to travel to parts of their own country that were previously not possible during a lifetime.

However, I agree with Pax,Dozy and AC about one implicit assumption in their life stories. We need to make space for other forms of mobility and to restrict the scope, in some ways, of cars within our post-industrial epoch.

There are a numerous things we could do. Does anybody have an suggestions?

Lobbying for bike tracks seems a really good idea. For instance, when I visited Holland I noticed that cars were not allowed in some parts of the older cities. So the cities were like protected rings, where everybody could walk on the small cobble streets without worrying about any cars. This was quite nice and very good for bike riders. Maybe we should lobby for such things in Australia.

It is worth remembering that children playing on suburban streets used to be the norm, while nowdays it is an exception. It seems the more cars we have, the less socialability we have. Alot of people blame TV and video games, and in some sense this is possibly true, but it also must be connected to the environment. Streets used to places that were alive with living beings that included people, horses and other animals. Nowdays they are just concrete and steel all designed for the consuming car.

Notice how even if you don't have a car the council spends part of its budget, hence your money, on maintining something that you may not even want. Personally I have never understood why we have two concrete footpaths on both sides of the street, when one would do the job., but that is just me.

On a personal note,
When I was a young boy we had a milkman with a horse and card, that would wake you up in the morning. It was always great to hear that clip clopping on the road. We also used to walk down to the beach on a dirt track and pick blackberries, which was just wonderful fun. We would often take a bucket, fill it up with berries, and just stroll along, with dogs running around chasing rabbits.

Gradually over the years things changed, the milkman was made redundant, so the horses disappeared. The blackberries were sprayed and killed off, to be replaced by lawn and concrete. The road was sealed and people no longer walked on the dirt track. Little bits of life replaced by sameness. A passive sameness designed around consumption. A consumption that seeks to make us into a totalitarian whole, where choice is only exercised through the market place.

Gleefully passive, angst riden but numb, I recline back in my nice Sweedish couch, as the seminal New York punk rock band, the Ramones, blast a tune on my recently acquired brand new Japanese technology " I want to be sedated".

cheers fg7

Kevin Bonham
05-08-2006, 12:22 PM
Cars are an interesting cultural phenomenea.

They have completely re-shaped the way our societies are structured in an undemocratic way.

Please explain (although I don't expect you to, you'll more likely pick some lame excuse about refusing to debate with me.)

It seems to me that you use "undemocratic" as a blanket term of political disapproval for whatever you disagree with, whether it is actually democratic or not, and even when it has little if anything to do with politics. As such it is just a meaningless insult word in your vocabulary.


Notice how even if you don't have a car the council spends part of its budget, hence your money, on maintining something that you may not even want. Personally I have never understood why we have two concrete footpaths on both sides of the street, when one would do the job., but that is just me.

Your seem to be contradicting yourself since you're arguing here for a reduction in public space that isn't given over to cars. Quite obviously if there is only a footpath on one side of the street then it increases the number of times people need to cross the road, which results in a greater risk of accidents.

I support more being done to make cities easily accessible for non-motorised means of transport. I don't see the need for a throw-the-cars-out entirely mentality anywhere in this country ... yet ...


Gleefully passive, angst riden but numb, I recline back in my nice Sweedish couch, as the seminal New York punk rock band, the Ramones, blast a tune on my recently acquired brand new Japanese technology " I want to be sedated".

That's amusing; your post reminded me more of Verdelle Smith's "Tar and Cement". :P

Disclaimer: I don't drive.

antichrist
05-08-2006, 01:05 PM
Chess players should feel guilty when travelling to chess tourneys via private transport.

Dozy
05-08-2006, 02:38 PM
Stirrer! ;)

firegoat7
05-08-2006, 03:36 PM
Please explain (although I don't expect you to, you'll more likely pick some lame excuse about refusing to debate with me.)



Here we have an approach by Bonbot asking me to explain my post to him.:hmm:

Now, it is a given that he may not be interested in the debate (see Phil).

So,
if other people genuinally want to see a debate or explanation I am happy to articulate my position. Otherwise I will just ignore Bonbot as usual. Let us know and place pressure on Bonbot by asking him what it is he wants discussed in a reasonable way.

On the other hand,
If you think Bonbot and myself have already contributed enough to this thread say so and I will be quiet.

cheers fg7