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Thread Box:
Bikes WIN!
Thread started by Girl Power at 06.27.11 - 10:36 am

The New York Times

Europe favors stifles cars in favor of bicycles.

reply


TYPO: EUROPE STIFLES CARS IN FAVOR OF BICYCLES! :o)



Girl Power
06.27.11 - 10:37 am

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"Urban planners generally agree that a rise in car commuting is not desirable for cities anywhere."



Girl Power
06.27.11 - 10:42 am

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In Zurich, one of the most expensive places to live, in the world.



chaos
06.27.11 - 10:43 am

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"While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has generated controversy in New York by “pedestrianizing” a few areas like Times Square, many European cities have already closed vast areas to car traffic. Store owners in Zurich had worried that the closings would mean a drop in business, but that fear has proved unfounded, Mr. Fellmann said, because pedestrian traffic increased 30 to 40 percent where cars were banned."



Girl Power
06.27.11 - 10:47 am

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So what? That's a good thing considering that most affluent Western cities favor cars over other transportation.

Good grief. If it was in a poor town in India then no doubt you would have complained that it's the poorest city on Earth.

In fact, this is a very positive step since the Federal Reserve functions from Zurich and takes it cues from them.



Girl Power
responding to a comment by chaos
06.27.11 - 10:56 am

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Not only bikes win, public transportation and pedestrians win too.

Great take away I wish more of our politicians would realize here:

"“We would never synchronize green lights for cars with our philosophy,” said Pio Marzolini, a city official. “When I’m in other cities, I feel like I’m always waiting to cross a street. I can’t get used to the idea that I am worth less than a car.”"



sack or crack you choose
06.27.11 - 11:21 am

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this is all wrong. if we don't do everything we can to keep cars a priority, millions of jobs in auto manufacturing, auto repair and highway construction! not to mention the trillions that military contractors and personnel make fighting oil wars and bombing broke brown people. THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION!



Roadblock
responding to a comment by sack or crack you choose
06.27.11 - 12:24 pm

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KUDEN HANNEL ET!



gado_gado
06.27.11 - 1:47 pm

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I like riding a bike but I also like my car. In a city like ours, a car is a necessity rather than a luxury(unless you can afford something other than an appliance). Having said that, If you like the way they do things in all these places most americans have no freaking idea where they are(ask them to point them on a map), I offer you this solution:
Move your precious self and chinese made bicycle there, I for one, will not even try to stop you.




ericduville
06.27.11 - 3:13 pm

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Nice straw man argument, but have you been to Zurich. It is quite lovely. Car as a necessity is a fallacy. There are many car free people that are quite happy with their choice.



sack or crack you choose
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 3:22 pm

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I have not had the pleasure of visiting Zurich but believe in your assertion of it being a lovely place, I will say this though; If it is anything like other old world European cities, I'm willing to imagine it's not so big, has a kick ass PT system, streets are very narrow, there is not much parking available, in other words, it was not designed and built for cars. Our city is the complete opposite of all the previously mentioned. I honestly find it not only Utopian but rather ridiculous to pretend that you can live and subsist in this town(I include all adjacent counties because a lot of people drive up to 2 hours to come work in L.A) with a bicycle as your only form of transportation, Let's face it.




ericduville
responding to a comment by sack or crack you choose
06.27.11 - 3:38 pm

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gado_gado
06.27.11 - 4:02 pm

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serially though.



gado_gado
06.27.11 - 4:06 pm

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" I honestly find it not only Utopian but rather ridiculous to pretend that you can live and subsist in this town(I include all adjacent counties because a lot of people drive up to 2 hours to come work in L.A) with a bicycle as your only form of transportation, Let's face it."

-Well, this is the first time I've thought myself to be living utopian dream. Not only is the bicycle my only form of transit (including bus/ rail sometimes), but I do so with a child, as do some others.

Maybe you need to really work on that Utopia thing; you kind of have the bar set low.



markd
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 4:23 pm

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While ridiculous and utopian are probably both apt descriptions of my life, this is not due to the fact that I live car-free in L.A.



theroyalacademy
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 4:24 pm

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Ive been to Zurich its awsome. You're right great PT though not as many cyclists that i can remember.... Small cars though and lots of walking.

By the same token that you ask people to move if they dont like LA's car centric traffic gridlock... You can also ask why people are dumb enough to live 2 hours (or even 1 hour) from their jobs. These people need to get over their silly utopian desire to live in oversized suburban housing and live closer to their jobs and the city. They also need to get over the idea that having a kid or two mean they need a giant suv or a minivan.

LA county is roughly the same population and size as the netherlands. If the population here wasnt so clueless we could manage land use much better, had denser townships with lots of local farmland in the valleys. Instead everyone bought into your kind of "if you dont like it move" kind of thinking and that happened was they got cheaper bigger stuff and moved further from their jobs. Silly. Greedy and miserable. Spend 1/3 of your life in traffic. Pretty dumb.





Roadblock
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 4:27 pm

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Yes. #1 way to avoid having a car: live in a sensible location. You may pay more, but you'll save SO MUCH MORE not having a car.

I live within walking distance from a grocery store, a branch of my bank, two post offices, and a short (~3 miles) bus/bike ride away from where I work.



theroyalacademy
responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.27.11 - 4:31 pm

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Sadly, for some people, the thought of not owning a car is sort of like a fantasy world.

I thinks it's really a North American thing to be so detached from the structure of society and your lifestyle.

Who makes sure you have electricity, water, traffic infrastructure, etc? It's a such a privilege lifestyle purely on this basic necessity level. Some people walk to get their water, rather than turn a knob on their faucet. Some people have to raise hell to fight their gov for food, water, etc.

We drive to a supermarket to buy a gallon of milk that we put in plastic bag (though it has a handle) to put in an SUV to drive it back home. Not to mention, how the hell did that gallon of milk and plastic bag get to the market and into your hands, just so you can waste so many resources to throw half of it away because you let it spoil in the fridge?

But shit, not owning a car = a fucking god damn, utopia.

Soon, asking people to drive their cars with a sense of responsibility and safety for others is going to seem like we're asking them to walk on water (oh, wait)/.



markd
responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.27.11 - 4:41 pm

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Switzerland as a whole is the only place I'd live in the EU if given the opportunity for the above and other reasons.





bentstrider
responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.27.11 - 4:56 pm

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I live 45 minutes away from my job(on my bike) My wife and I fortunate enough to have found a house that at least for the time being is close to both our jobs(she can actually walk to work if she so desires) If you guys decide to not have a car, by all means continue to live without it but by the same token, acknowledge the fact that, in Los Angeles, you do need a car, I have read previous posts from you Roadblock, asking what the best choice is(I think you were considering two brands of trucks at the time), those of you who go to The Salton Sea trips, a lot of you drove there right? so you see, sometimes a car is necessary, I don't even want to imagine what would happen if my son gets seriously sick in the middle of the night if I'm to rely on my bike or our transportation system(since ambulances are motorized vehicles and are out of the question).
Please consider all the possibilities and don't let your idealism take over entirely.




ericduville
responding to a comment by markd
06.27.11 - 4:59 pm

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Even the Amish accept rides in other people's cars. It is not about being 100% one mode or another. It is about overcoming the idea that one MUST personally own a car and any other option is madness (or utopian).



theroyalacademy
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 5:12 pm

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You work a lot of hours putting money into a 4000 pound machine that pollutes the air and destroys the roads. Then the potholes destroy your car so you pay money to fix your car. Then you pay more taxes to fix the roads which never seems to be enough. Then you pay more taxes to pay for more bombs to drop on the broke brown people who had the rotten luck of living on top of the oil resources. With the "cheap" gas you can now live farther from your work and spend more time in your car which means spending more money on healthcare and healthclub because your waistline is bulging from all the innactivity. Then you make fun of europeans for taking 2 months of yearly vacation and 36 hour work weeks and claim to be the free-est country on earth.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by markd
06.27.11 - 5:17 pm

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The last time i bought a car was in 1999 so i think you got the wrong guy. But i do own a car. I do drive. Though not much. I live about 5 blocks from my work. Sure, it can be difficult to get along in LA without a car but its possible especially if you are smart. Like royal academy said, theres nothing wrong with using cars when they are needed.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 5:24 pm

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"those of you who go to The Salton Sea trips, a lot of you drove there right? so you see, sometimes a car is necessary"

-Salton Sea is hardly necessary (though i'm in a minority on that one).


"I don't even want to imagine what would happen if my son gets seriously sick in the middle of the night if I'm to rely on my bike or our transportation system(since ambulances are motorized vehicles and are out of the question)."


-how many of these hypothetical emergencies have you experienced? Did you really spend thousands of dollars on a car, to ease this worry? Are you suggesting that you "only" use your car in the event your son needs to be rushed to the hospital? If so, I wonder why you don't understand our stance a bit more.

I have a kid and if he get's sick, yes, I pray for him and ask the Lord to heal him, in which case my mega faith triggers the power of Jesus to heal his pain, or I just turn on the TV so an evangelical preacher can heal him through the TV screen (but make sure the volume is turned up loud enough for God to hear).

If you haven't noticed, WE'RE very dependent on a lot of institutions, structures, etc, that if they all came crashing down (and interestingly enough don't exist in other parts of the world) -- WHAT WOULD YOU and for that matter Jesus DO? yeah, some of y'all would drop to your knees and pray.

Don't sleep on the Zombies.



markd
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 5:26 pm

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I'm sorry guys, I never realized you were that unhappy, I apologize and acknowledge defeat.
Bike collective 1, Eric 0.



ericduville
responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.27.11 - 5:27 pm

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But to the bigger point, all it takes is for people to wake up and realize that car ownership is only really necessary if you dont plan your city or your life well. Whats wrong with car sharing or simply renting a car the few times you need one.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 5:29 pm

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Im pretty content not having to spend tons on a car. Im also confident enough not to attach my self esteem to having a super awesome car. I just keep my car in decent shape by driving less and driving slower. I hope it lasts another 15-20 years. Means i can spend more money on other things.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 5:33 pm

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Bikes WIN!
+
Bike Collective WIN!


I'm happy today (like AA, one day at a time).






markd
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 5:34 pm

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softie!



gado_gado
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.27.11 - 6:13 pm

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Woops!

I mistakenly posted page 2 in the OT...here is page 1 of the article. Enjoy!

The New York Times page 1



Girl Power
06.27.11 - 6:48 pm

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How awesome would it be if we could have just one street permanently closed off from cars and open to cyclists and other man powered vehicles? Perhaps a street that goes east to west. Anybody thinks this could be a possibility during our life time?



Nadia_is_Russian
06.27.11 - 10:49 pm

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I think it's possible. But it would have to be raised at multiple points. Cars would have to intersect all over, or make intersections with signals designated for bike traffic as well as cars.

Of course, the more ideal approach is that more people choose to ride over driving, much like we see in European cities. Separating bikes from the traffic doesn't seem ideal in the way this and many other US cities are laid out.

However, I do like the idea of bike-ways across town. I think it could happen with the right amount of influence and motivation. That motivation would have to be spawned by an abundance of riders already commuting regularly to prove the need for it to be worthy.

More bikes on the streets is the key to all of this.



gado_gado
responding to a comment by Nadia_is_Russian
06.27.11 - 11:31 pm

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Honestly, it is not that hard. People adjust when they have to. Just close the roads to motorized vehicles with no ability to pass over, and they would have to find an alternate route, or ride a bike.

Sometimes the best way to change something is to simply change it and let folks adjust, that is more efficient than causing slow and painful inconveniences. We all adjusted to gas hikes ten years ago and more recently, drivers seem willing to sit in traffic longer and longer with each passing year.

If some of the large East/West and North/South commuter roads were simply shut down then people would get on their bikes and ride.



Girl Power
responding to a comment by gado_gado
06.29.11 - 3:24 pm

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I don't quite see how that applies to what I said which has been repeated over and over, but okey dokey.



gado_gado
responding to a comment by Girl Power
06.29.11 - 3:33 pm

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"If some of the large East/West and North/South commuter roads were simply shut down then people would get on their bikes and ride."

Or far more likely, they would just take other large East/West and North/South commuter roads and put up with the extra couple minutes it will take them to get to their destination. Meanwhile, all the business owners who can no longer receive deliveries (or for that matter, the majority of their customers) due to the road closures are storming your palace (because I assume you live in a palace in this fantasy world of yours) demanding your head on a pike. Oh, the perils of autocracy...



nathansnider
responding to a comment by Girl Power
06.29.11 - 5:05 pm

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I just now read that article. FUCKING GREAT ARTICLE.

I was expecting a ton of hate in the comments section but was surprised to find a lot of good comments.

Hey ya'll.... The United States isn't going to "get it" for another 20 years. let's all move to europe!



Roadblock
06.29.11 - 5:30 pm

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Page 2 of article:

"Store owners in Zurich had worried that the closings would mean a drop in business, but that fear has proved unfounded, Mr. Fellmann said, because pedestrian traffic increased 30 to 40 percent where cars were banned."

Additionally, in CicLAVia, businesses reported a 30% increase in business.

Don't be a naysayer. :0)



Girl Power
responding to a comment by nathansnider
06.29.11 - 8:19 pm

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Being 2% of the world's population while consuming 25% of the world's market of petroleum makes me more embarrassed than unhappy. I guess being clueless does have it's appeal though. You rock on with ur happy self!



DArK ENERgY
responding to a comment by ericduville
06.29.11 - 8:50 pm

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LOL!



gado_gado
responding to a comment by Girl Power
06.29.11 - 9:12 pm

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"People adjust when they have to"

True, true, I've figured out how to deal with your posts :)



markd
responding to a comment by Girl Power
06.29.11 - 11:20 pm

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Girl Power makes Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann seem sane.



sack or crack you choose
responding to a comment by markd
06.30.11 - 9:17 am

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Don't you mean the New York Times make them seem sane? I'm simply reiterating what was said in the article. :o)

Don't be lazy, read the ARTICLE. You're just glancing by posts making false assumptions....

As far as the negative posts on this thread, it's interesting to see how brainwashed our society has become to the idea that free commerce needs cars. Businesses do 305 to 40% better in bicycle and pedestrian only areas.

Lift your damn finger and click on the article links before you judge. :)



Girl Power
responding to a comment by sack or crack you choose
06.30.11 - 3:04 pm

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Perhaps you should read the article in a less lazy fashion? In particular, you seem to have missed the parts that emphasized how on just about every front, American culture continues to favor driving over walking and biking. I think most of us here agree that artificially cheap gas and mortgages have created a transportation nightmare for Los Angeles, but simply closing a few streets will not get rid of the structural and cultural pressures that have built up over generations to create the system we have now.

"Businesses do 30[%] to 40% better in bicycle and pedestrian only areas."

That is not what the article said. It said that pedestrian traffic increased by 30-40% when the streets were closed. The implication we are left with is that these extra pedestrians made up for any business that might have been lost from motorists, not that business increased by 30-40%.

But consider that on most major arterial streets in LA, a 30-40% increase in pedestrian traffic would mean fully dozens of new people per hour crowding their way into the streets. Dozens! There are almost no pedestrians out begin with, and it's not just because they can't walk in the traffic lanes. It's because everything is built to a scale that is designed to attract cars and exclude people.

Simply closing the streets to cars will not magically turn a road like, say, Western Ave. into a bike and pedestrian paradise. All the existing infrastructure has been designed on the scale of cars, to attract the attention of and be accessed by people arriving in cars. It's built into the architecture. Who wants to go for a walk past one boring stripmall after another?

Making a place pedestrian friendly means first of all giving people a reason to be out walking on the street. Yes, clearly, we should densify the city, widen the sidewalks, plant some trees, remove some traffic lanes in favor of bike lanes and start building a culture that counteracts the attitude that "nobody walks [or bikes] in LA." But you definitely shouldn't expect any of this to be easy. Even ignoring the inevitable resistance from grumbling commuters and entrenched business interests, if you think that selling LADOT on any plan that might lower their pwecious, pwecious vehicular throughput is "not that hard," you clearly need to get out of that fairy tale palace of yours a little more often.



nathansnider
responding to a comment by Girl Power
06.30.11 - 9:26 pm

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"I just now read that article. FUCKING GREAT ARTICLE."

Thanks! And I agree with you 100% on your post about the vicious circle of car ownership.



Girl Power
responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.30.11 - 10:15 pm

reply


You are the one who needs to read, and UNDERSTAND, the article.

"Store owners in Zurich had worried that the closings would mean a drop in business, but that fear has proved unfounded, Mr. Fellmann said, because pedestrian traffic increased 30 to 40 percent where cars were banned."

This says that "store owners...had worried...but fears proved unfounded..." therefore, it's *implied* indirectly that 1) businesses did not suffer and 2) they made more money than usual.

This falls under Reading Comprehension" whereby the reader may extrapolate facts based on logical interpretation of the text regardless if every single fact is spelled out for the reader.

The *obvious implication* was that businesses did not suffer money losses, and that in fact they made more money. How much more money? Probably between 30% to 40%. as per the increase in pedestrian traffic as stated in the article *in relationship* to business suffering losses, ergo pedestrian traffic is the basic marker for profit in curbside commercial interests such as cafe's, eateries, shops, movie theaters, etc.

Finally, I also pointed out that at CicLAvia businesses reported a 30% increase in business. This number coincidently correlates with the number of 30 to 40 % increase in pedestrian traffic in Zurich.



Girl Power
responding to a comment by nathansnider
06.30.11 - 10:27 pm

reply




T H E E N D





gado_gado
06.30.11 - 11:41 pm

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i wonder what her rent is like.



markd
responding to a comment by gado_gado
06.30.11 - 11:49 pm

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