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Old 01-18-2008, 07:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Self-righteous thoughts on commuting

Ask my partner and she'll tell you I'm a bike nerd, pollution snob, uppity about car usage and a shitty driver, if it weren't already obvious from my signature text. These factors, coupled with the 30 or so miles between my home and place of employment and the availability of decent public transportation in the area, mean that I try hard every day to either ride the local commuter train or commuter bus line from home to work and back again, instead of driving. When I'm especially "well behaved," I walk to the commuter train station downtown a mile from my house instead of driving to the other station four miles outside town for free parking. This past spring, summer and fall I did my best to bicycle to the station outside town every day. My "best" days are when I don't set foot in a car at all.

Of course I drive sometimes, like when I oversleep or when I have something going on after work that I have to stay downtown for; my public transit options are limited by time, and the latest train I can ride home forces me to leave work just shy of 6:30pm.

While I admit it's satisfying to cruise along on board the train across a bridge overlooking the traffic-clogged interstate, I try to keep my snobbishness in check and not judge friends, coworkers and strangers who regularly drive. It was hard not to do so this morning, when I bumped into a colleague who lives eight miles from work and a short walk away from the local subway line and still drives in, often sitting in traffic for an hour in the evenings before getting home. In her situation it seems like a no-brainer to hop on Metro and ride every day, especially when our employer subsidizes the cost of transit fares.

As silly as it may sound, I am saddened by the number of drivers chugging along, alone in their cars, down the highway. I know people want convenience and there's a sense of entitlement among USAmericans that each individual "deserves" his/her own vehicle. I also know that for many, not commuting by car is not an option, but for those where it is a perfectly viable, and by far more sensible, option, come on... why not try? Maybe I just don't get it, but it frustrates me.

What do you all do, and what do you all think?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
it's better if you can ride without having to wonder if the guy in the car behind you is a sociopath, i find.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I walk to and from work from time to time. I ride the bus and subway on a daily basis. I don't give a crap about those drivers that wish to drive into the office and pay upwards of $15 +18% tax every day for the privilige. I've been one before and possibly will be one again. I specifically moved to the city so that I can not worry about getting home when disaster strikes ala 9/11 or the Blackout '03.

It sucked to try to get back home to Long Island. It was quite expensive to take the commuter train in $275pp so our monthly budget was over $500/mo just for commuting. Factor in the waiting time if you missed the train by a minute, and the quality of life diminishes as fast as a penny falling from the Empire State Building.

I could easily drive in for less money as parking and gas would easily make it just as costly and I wouldn't have the inconvience of the train timetable. I'd travel on my time.

I don't see it as a matter of pollution awareness, but a matter of quality of life and convenience.

I also still own a car so that I can get out of the city when I want to.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I feel the same way. In Toronto, I've never needed to drive... just every once in a while to pick up something big. As much as transit fares keep going up, it's still a damn sight cheaper than having a car. It's just easier.

I also don't understand why it's OK for so many deadly tons of metal to be whizzing around the earth.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I live almost three miles from the nearest bus stop, taking the bus to school and work would take 4 to 6 hours, and driving to the train station, parking, catching a train, and getting from the station to where I'm going would take close to two hours instead of a 35-minute drive. If mass transit were to approach the price of gas and time of driving, I would take it. Until then, I will continue to guzzle gas and pollute the air.

I have a car because I saved money, chose one, and bought it. It is my property and therefore I am entitled to it both literally and philosophically.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSD
I live almost three miles from the nearest bus stop, taking the bus to school and work would take 4 to 6 hours, and driving to the train station, parking, catching a train, and getting from the station to where I'm going would take close to two hours instead of a 35-minute drive. If mass transit were to approach the price of gas and time of driving, I would take it. Until then, I will continue to guzzle gas and pollute the air.

I have a car because I saved money, chose one, and bought it. It is my property and therefore I am entitled to it both literally and philosophically.
When I worked odd hours (not rush hours) it could take me up to 3 hours to commute home one way when normally it would be 45 minutes. Being in Penn Station at 3AM is not a nice place to be.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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eh, I commute daily but it's kind of required. Theres really nowhere to park in downtown seattle in the daylight. 6pm or later you have a chance to find some street parking but it's all in use as an extra lane in most cases before then.

and yeah what sucks about my situation is I work 11-8 and the bus timetable is 7:54 and then another one at 8:24 at my stop, so I have to wait around for 24 minutes (more cuz it's always late) and then spend another 45 minutes on the bus to my transit center, and then drive from the park and ride another 15 minutes (not because of distance but just cuz of all the stoplights) and so I wind up home around 9:30 or later sometimes. By then i don't even feel like driving BACK to seattle for anything even though I know it would be more enjoyable than sitting around.

of course optimally i'd just stay in Seattle after work, but the shows and stuff usually don't empty out until 2am, and by then the buses just aren't an option for my particular commute.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinelust
What do you all do, and what do you all think?
Does it not strike you as hypocritical to call other people self righteous and then turn around and tout your way as the best way in a rather smug manner? For you public transportation works, congratulations. However for the vast majority of Americans PT is not an option. Contrary to popular treehugger belief people are not bound by some unspoken law to do what someone else thinks is best, even if they can. Personally I drive ~53 miles round trip to/from work in an old car with no cats, no EGR valves, no modern day emissions controls at all. If anyone tried to take that away from me I'd laugh in their face.

With all that said, if it works for you & makes you feel better about yourself then go for it. Your personal happiness is to important to waste sitting in rush hour traffic.

*edit cause I can't spell
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I used to take the Metra train to chicago for working.

It was great on snow days or other bad weather by comparison to driving.

Otherwise I was a slave to the train schedule and bus schedule, with a LOT of waiting in the cold for various buses.

So we had slower, far less convenient and about the same cost vrs driving.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My office is just down the block from my house, about a 1km walk and i love it! i hated commuting before, as i had a 30 minute drive. Now i can roll out of bed at 730 and still make it to work on time for 8am...ish...

My office is an old cathedral we had renovated in a semi-downtown/residential area. I am very lucky that way....

i am home right now on lunch, in my pj's just chilling waiting to go back. Best thing i ever did moving close to work. I can come home and reset myself for the rest of the day.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Does it not strike you as hypocritical to call other people self righteous and then turn around and tout your way as the best way in a rather smug manner?
I think you missed the point. Try reading it again.

And yea, I can't really use public transportation either. It's a 15 minute drive (13 miles).

If I wanted to use PT, the only option is busses. They just recently put a bus line that makes a stop directly at the front door of my work, which is awesome. Except that there's not a stop anywhere near my house. So I'd have to drive 10 minutes away from my house for the bus and ride it for 25. Overall, my commute would take twice more than twice as long and be much less convenient.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I commute about 20 paces from my bed to my desk each day.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I work in downtown Seattle, live in West Seattle, and I've not yet bothered to own a car. When I was in Michigan, I just bummed one of the two family cars. Now I almost always take the bus, except for the rare times when a friend or coworker offers a ride.

It's a government job, so my commute gets partially subsidized. Ah, government waste, how I love thee in this one particular case.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Omaha has no public transportation, to speak of, save the bus. The buses are never on time. they run either early or late, and the wait times in between are interminable. The routes are confusing as hell, and you have to transfer 3 or 4 times, just to get to the other side of town, which can take 3 hours. There is a bus stop a block away from my house, but the closest one to my work is about 3 miles away. Not really a viable option.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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i am biker.

i get more worked up about people who talk on their fucking cellphones while they drive than anything else, and that mostly because they are a menace to folk like me.

the environmental impact of automobiles is a different matter...from time to time i get cranked up about that, but for the most part there seems no particular connection between the choices i make and those others make. what i mean by this is that i do not ride because i think i am maing a heroic contribution to reversing massive environmental damage: i ride because i enjoy riding. in general, i see the american transportation model as a blunder, not so much in itself, but more in terms of its side-effects--it is something that really should be rethought--but that is a political matter and no solution or reinforcement follows from the fact that i ride a bike.

i do, however, particularly enjoy riding critical mass because i like making the cars and their drivers, on their phones and not, wait.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JinnKai
I think you missed the point. Try reading it again.
What exactly was the point of the rant? He derides people for not choosing public transportation when and if it's a viable option and claims that it makes him sad, but can't seem to understand that most people simply don't like riding buses.

I used to live and work downtown Columbus. The bus stop was two blocks away from my house, my job was about 5 miles away from the bustop. It took me over an hour to get to my job, with what was literally a straight shot down one street. When I moved to the NE side of the city I lived ~25 miles away from work. To get to work using PT would take 4 buses, walking ~2.5-3 miles, and over 2.5 hours.

I get really pissed when people that take PT rag on people that don't just because they think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even when it's convenient it's not always the best choice for some.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My thoughts lie not only in how we commute, but also why. We need to rethink the city. Jane Jacobs still matters.

But, for the record, I walk, and take buses, streetcars, and subway trains. Often all in the same day.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbastid
I commute about 20 paces from my bed to my desk each day.
You lucky bastid.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I was kinda thinking about this just this morning. In the waiting room i was looking at a magazine with nothing more than a blurb about The Smart Car. I couldn't help but think how much of an impact it would make were those who had to commute driving these instead of the SUVs, minivans and even regular passenger cars. I think we Americans for the most part have been so conditioned to love our cars that we are reluctant to see it as only a vehicle.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I walk everywhere. To school, to library, to work, home. Tt walks everywhere. We specifically chose our workplace and home around this lifestyle.

I ride my bike when it's just out of a walkable range. Tt drives us to the grocery store once a week. We could get their by mass transit, but it is less expensive to use his diesel car. Used to go grocery shopping by bike, until I needed to shop for more than just myself.

Tt occasionally chooses to drive me someplace after dark, when he is concerned about my safety.

I own a fuel efficient car. My car is garaged a few hundred miles away from where I live and I only use it on vacations. I like driving it through the mountains, to the beach, and to a nice little church.

I also drive (on vacations) when I go out with a specific friend whose physical disabilities prevent her from walking distances greater than 400 meters.

I hold no frustration nor animosity for those who choose to construct their lives differently. I simply do not have the temperament to live out of a car - I've tried. This works better.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
i am biker.

i get more worked up about people who talk on their fucking cellphones while they drive than anything else, and that mostly because they are a menace to folk like me.

the environmental impact of automobiles is a different matter...from time to time i get cranked up about that, but for the most part there seems no particular connection between the choices i make and those others make. what i mean by this is that i do not ride because i think i am maing a heroic contribution to reversing massive environmental damage: i ride because i enjoy riding. in general, i see the american transportation model as a blunder, not so much in itself, but more in terms of its side-effects--it is something that really should be rethought--but that is a political matter and no solution or reinforcement follows from the fact that i ride a bike.

i do, however, particularly enjoy riding critical mass because i like making the cars and their drivers, on their phones and not, wait.


I enjoy riding as well and have missed it since being asked, for safety's sake, to give it up while the days are short and it gets dark early. I would also say that I ride because I enjoy it, while at the same time enjoying the health benefits, the money saved on gas, and whatever minuscule positive change it may affect for the environment in the larger picture.

I agree that the transportation situation in the US is a mess right now. As conspiratorial as it sounds (and may be), I remember hearing and reading from various sources about the auto and oil industries banding together earlier in the 20th century to derail municipal efforts to expand on intra- and inter-city rail transit options (pun intended, of course). What we're left with is lots of roads, sprawl, pedestrian- and bike-unfriendly communities and impractical and nonsensical public transit systems in dire need of makeovers, public support and customers.

What I wonder is, what could potentially spur a change, and whether/how many people are really open to it? If there eventually are more and better car-free options that don't involve convoluted routes, inconvenient schedules and unreasonable travel times, would that be appealing enough for more current drivers to leave their cars at home? Will it ever be considered a more desirable choice for someone who lives 30 to 40 miles away to commute via public transit if working infrastructure is developed? I would assume the demand needs to be there to jump start efforts toward improving the infrastructure, chicken and egg and all that.

Right now, my train route only runs three trains each day in either direction, and the commuter bus line doesn't offer many more trips. I have to be careful to leave on time, or else I'm stranded and need to call my partner to pick me up and drive me home. There isn't much of an advertising/marketing effort going towards encouraging more people to take the train, and many in the area don't know it exists. With a smaller customer base, obviously the transit administration doesn't see the need to run more trips on our line, but without more trips, will we ever have more customers? Maybe once gas hits $10 a gallon, but even then I wonder.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
it's better if you can ride without having to wonder if the guy in the car behind you is a sociopath, i find.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I sometimes put between 150 - 200 miles on a bike (bicycle) each week. My business requires me to drive or fly to client sites often. I ride for the exercise, solitude and scenery.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randle2I
What exactly was the point of the rant? He derides people for not choosing public transportation when and if it's a viable option and claims that it makes him sad, but can't seem to understand that most people simply don't like riding buses.

I used to live and work downtown Columbus. The bus stop was two blocks away from my house, my job was about 5 miles away from the bustop. It took me over an hour to get to my job, with what was literally a straight shot down one street. When I moved to the NE side of the city I lived ~25 miles away from work. To get to work using PT would take 4 buses, walking ~2.5-3 miles, and over 2.5 hours.

I get really pissed when people that take PT rag on people that don't just because they think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even when it's convenient it's not always the best choice for some.
<i>She</i> derides, actually.

And yes, I think I acknowledged my own self-righteousness in the original post, as well as the fact that there are plenty of people out there for whom public transit isn't a viable option, at least as it currently exists where they live. Local bus routes are notorious for stretching out simple A to B trips with stops every half a block, and believe me, that drives me insane, too. I don't think people need to go out of their way to inconvenience themselves by sitting on a bus for three times as long as it would take them to drive themselves to work. In my mind it would be nicer if better transportation options existed for everyone and that three-hour bus trip were a distant memory; the fact is that they don't.

Suppose your situation were reversed, as is the case with my colleague, and it took you 2.5 hours to travel 25 miles by car, while hopping on the subway/bus/trolley/whatever took half or even two thirds as much time. Would that knowledge possibly prompt you to reconsider your options?

For the record, the colleague in question actually admitted to me that her trip in to work on the train, a ride totaling no more than fifteen minutes, "really isn't bad at all." It remains to be seen whether her positive impression this morning will stick.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
it's better if you can ride without having to wonder if the guy in the car behind you is a sociopath, i find.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:43 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I use the light rail to get to work and most shops. I'd bike, but I tend to sweat wearing jeans and a blazer on a bike and there aren't showers at work. My only real sin is that my gym is a 20 minute drive from my house. I've been thinking about finding something closer.
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I know and appreciate what you're trying to do, but it really does come across as a holier than thou speech. In fact, while reading it, it reminded me of evangelicals speaking of nonbelievers in that they just don't understand why people don't see it their way.

Public transportation only works in extremely condensed cities and only with massive amounts of funding. One thing you're overlooking is the culture of America. The dream of raising the family in the suburbs, with the white picket fence, and the good schools just does not work in the city structure required for realistic public transportation.

Lets say you're 10 years older now, with a steady income and a couple of kids. Do you want your kids only ever seeing grass after a 2 mile walk to the local park? Do you want to give up on a car completely because you're never sure if you'll have parking? Do you want to spend the same in-city for a tiny 3 bedroom apartment then you can get a 5 bedroom house with a pool and a nice tv/game room with a 30min drive everyday?

Sorry, you can fight the good fight if you want. I'll take the pool.
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
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i live too far away from major public transport for that to be an option. that and PT ends before i get out of work.
i often wonder what type of public transport system we could have built for the $14.5 billion spent on the Big Dig.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:04 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotzlid
i live too far away from major public transport for that to be an option. that and PT ends before i get out of work.
i often wonder what type of public transport system we could have built for the $14.5 billion spent on the Big Dig.
I was thinking about this as I went in the Holland Tunnel the other day. Does that mean that most Bostonians GPS in their cars are dark as they drive in the city????
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:21 PM   #27 (permalink)
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lol
wouldn't know. i refuse to drive through the city via the new tunnels. i go around or take surface streets.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:34 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I drive-- the bus system takes forever to get from here to there, while driving takes 10 minutes. I'd love to be able to walk or ride my bike, but I work on the scary side of town.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:03 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
I was thinking about this as I went in the Holland Tunnel the other day. Does that mean that most Bostonians GPS in their cars are dark as they drive in the city????
I drove into Boston over the summer. Cell phones die a quarter mile into the tunnel and GPS is useless as soon as you're in the shadow.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'm a city girl. Grew up in NY and now I go to school in Boston. Public transportation is all I know. I don't even have a driver's license.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:31 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
I know and appreciate what you're trying to do, but it really does come across as a holier than thou speech. In fact, while reading it, it reminded me of evangelicals speaking of nonbelievers in that they just don't understand why people don't see it their way.
Understandable. Because it's my honest opinion in something I care about, I'm going to stand by it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Public transportation only works in extremely condensed cities and only with massive amounts of funding.
It's true that right now public transportation is succeeding much more in certain places than others. I feel that is no reason that other places can't and shouldn't try to make it work, too, and I'm hopeful in thinking that some cities and communities are well on their way already. It's a worthy goal, in my mind, for there to be a renaissance in smart community planning across the country in the next one to two decades that will make it easier for many more people to get around without driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
One thing you're overlooking is the culture of America. The dream of raising the family in the suburbs, with the white picket fence, and the good schools just does not work in the city structure required for realistic public transportation.

Lets say you're 10 years older now, with a steady income and a couple of kids. Do you want your kids only ever seeing grass after a 2 mile walk to the local park? Do you want to give up on a car completely because you're never sure if you'll have parking? Do you want to spend the same in-city for a tiny 3 bedroom apartment then you can get a 5 bedroom house with a pool and a nice tv/game room with a 30min drive everyday?

Sorry, you can fight the good fight if you want. I'll take the pool.
Fortunately that dream isn't out of the reach of people who choose not to be wholly dependent on cars by any means, even now. More challenging, perhaps, but not out of reach.

In 10 years I hope to espouse similar values to these and am committing now to continuing the practices I'm trying to establish in my life today, bringing my family along for the proverbial ride if I can. Yes, I want my kids to see the value in getting on a bike or walking to where they need to go, as opposed to hopping in a car every time they need to travel two miles down the road.

By the same token, I can also see myself being happy living in a small home in a city (much like the home I live in now and plan to stay in for several more years); five bedrooms, three cars and a pool in the suburbs isn't nearly that important to my quality of life now and I don't see it being that important in the future.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
it's better if you can ride without having to wonder if the guy in the car behind you is a sociopath, i find.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:20 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I actually went out and bought a bike last spring because of the rising gas prices. Driving a car like mine is not at all practical around my town, which is rather compact--very much city driving, which we all know lowers mpgs. I save a lot of money riding my bike; it's already paid for itself in savings.

I don't ride it all the time though. I confess to having driven my car to campus a couple of times this week, because it's been freeezing cold out. But I also rode the bus once, and rode my bike the majority of the time.

I've been meaning to take some pictures of my usual bike commute, especially on a day when it's dumping rain. I have a rain suit just for those days, and I look really ridiculous in it, but it's absolutely worth it to stay dry.I'm waiting for it to warm up and dry out so I can really ride my bike again.

I like my town because it has a lot of quality bike paths; most major roads have a bike lane. The town has also not spread out like most, given that it's a) a college town, and b) it's largely run by progressive former hippies who have clearly outlined the city's zero-growth policy (encouraging infill development and mixed-use development). Oregon has a lot of cool land-use planning laws that keep urban sprawl in check (thank you, Tom McCall). It's not that we don't want growth here; we just want it to be smart. Furthermore, public transport is fairly central to life here; regardless of where you live, it's available in one form or another (even if it's Dial-A-Ride). While Oregon has yet to catch up to Washington in terms of support for passenger train service, we beat the pants off of our northern neighbor when it comes to urban areas with practical public transport design (Portland is a public transport mecca for a reason). I know that if I am forced to relocate to the suburbs as an adult, at least they will be the suburbs of Portland, with access to Tri-Met (busses, MAX, streetcar, and tram), which connects me with anywhere I need to go.

Other people in this country are not as fortunate as I am. Not everyone lives in a state where people opened their eyes about our future a long time ago, and started planning accordingly.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:32 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I'm driving at the moment..

The thing was, I used to use train time as reading time. So now, I have around 1.5 hours less reading time per day, which makes it harder to keep abreast of developments or learn new stuff.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:24 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinelust
<i>She</i> derides, actually.

And yes, I think I acknowledged my own self-righteousness in the original post, as well as the fact that there are plenty of people out there for whom public transit isn't a viable option, at least as it currently exists where they live. Local bus routes are notorious for stretching out simple A to B trips with stops every half a block, and believe me, that drives me insane, too. I don't think people need to go out of their way to inconvenience themselves by sitting on a bus for three times as long as it would take them to drive themselves to work. In my mind it would be nicer if better transportation options existed for everyone and that three-hour bus trip were a distant memory; the fact is that they don't.

Suppose your situation were reversed, as is the case with my colleague, and it took you 2.5 hours to travel 25 miles by car, while hopping on the subway/bus/trolley/whatever took half or even two thirds as much time. Would that knowledge possibly prompt you to reconsider your options?

For the record, the colleague in question actually admitted to me that her trip in to work on the train, a ride totaling no more than fifteen minutes, "really isn't bad at all." It remains to be seen whether her positive impression this morning will stick.
Oops, my bad on the whole he/she thing.

I understand what you're saying and how you feel and it makes sense. I grew up being a car guy though, so when someone encroaches on that I get a bit defensive. To me driving, even in stop & go traffic, is a joy. I get in my car and it's mine, all mine. I'm in control of when it shifts, which way I go, what station I listen to if I even listen to one at all. My car is an extension of me, I bought it not because of practical reasons, but because I felt an emotional connection to it. Heck, when I step out of my car I always look back just to check on it.

I understand that for most Americans driving around in their beige 4 cylinder Toyota Camry's what I just described isn't the case. For some of them taking PT would be the wisest choice, but it's just that...a choice. Just like most people choose to eat out instead of cooking a healthier meal, just like many people choose not to vote, just like the majority of Americans choose to believe in a god. All of these choices might not be the same as yours, but one should respect them all the same. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but the righteousness of the first post just rubbed me the wrong way.

*fake edit* If the position was reversed for me I probably would take PT. I have no car payment (unlike most people) so I don't have to justify a $350 expense, the average car payment in America. I also drive a 37 year old car so it would allow me to keep the miles down. My position is rather unique though compared to most.

Anyways, that's it. Carry on .

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinelust
<i>She</i> derides, actually.

And yes, I think I acknowledged my own self-righteousness in the original post, as well as the fact that there are plenty of people out there for whom public transit isn't a viable option, at least as it currently exists where they live. Local bus routes are notorious for stretching out simple A to B trips with stops every half a block, and believe me, that drives me insane, too. I don't think people need to go out of their way to inconvenience themselves by sitting on a bus for three times as long as it would take them to drive themselves to work. In my mind it would be nicer if better transportation options existed for everyone and that three-hour bus trip were a distant memory; the fact is that they don't.

Suppose your situation were reversed, as is the case with my colleague, and it took you 2.5 hours to travel 25 miles by car, while hopping on the subway/bus/trolley/whatever took half or even two thirds as much time. Would that knowledge possibly prompt you to reconsider your options?

For the record, the colleague in question actually admitted to me that her trip in to work on the train, a ride totaling no more than fifteen minutes, "really isn't bad at all." It remains to be seen whether her positive impression this morning will stick.
Oops, my bad on the whole he/she thing.

I understand what you're saying and how you feel and it makes sense. I grew up being a car guy though, so when someone encroaches on that I get a bit defensive. To me driving, even in stop & go traffic, is a joy. I get in my car and it's mine, all mine. I'm in control of when it shifts, which way I go, what station I listen to if I even listen to one at all. My car is an extension of me, I bought it not because of practical reasons, but because I felt an emotional connection to it. Heck, when I step out of my car I always look back just to check on it.

I understand that for most Americans driving around in their beige 4 cylinder Toyota Camry's what I just described isn't the case. For some of them taking PT would be the wisest choice, but it's just that...a choice. Just like most people choose to eat out instead of cooking a healthier meal, just like many people choose not to vote, just like the majority of Americans choose to believe in a god. All of these choices might not be the same as yours, but one should respect them all the same. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but the righteousness of the first post just rubbed me the wrong way.

*fake edit* If the position was reversed for me I probably would take PT. I have no car payment (unlike most people) so I don't have to justify a $350 expense, the average car payment in America. I also drive a 37 year old car so it would allow me to keep the miles down. My position is rather unique though compared to most.

Anyways, that's it. Carry on .

Last edited by Randle2I; 01-19-2008 at 06:24 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:57 AM   #35 (permalink)
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What kind of car do you drive, randle? I've got an Eclipse that makes about 300 hp, but still gets in the area of 28 mpg (which is 5 mpg less than your average Prius).

For me part of being a car guy is being better than the company that made the car. Mitsubishi kinda sucks (or I got the lemon to end all lemons), except for giving me a good platform. You get a car and make all the improvements you could ever want and make it fit what you want. I managed to get a gain of about 100 hp at the cost of only 3 mpg.

Get to the point, Will!

I use less fuel by using the light rail, biking, and only occasionally using a car that gets good gas mileage than I would by using a bus instead.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:19 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I'm concerned about the environment. When I graduate college and have a real job, my current car is going to become a project/weekend machine, and I'll be reducing my emissions and gas consumption by either geting a Mini Cooper S (yes, the 6'8" guy can fit in it,) or finding a used Hummer H1 and running it almost exclusively on vegetable oil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
For me part of being a car guy is being better than the company that made the car. Mitsubishi kinda sucks (or I got the lemon to end all lemons), except for giving me a good platform.
It's a modified DSM, you can't expect it to be reliable. Of course, Mitsubishi has a knack for unsustainable business practices ("Sign now, drive away, and don't make any payments for 150 years! Why pay for your car when your great grandchildren can do it for you?") so there were a few bad years.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:28 PM   #37 (permalink)
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You remind me of this guy MrSelfDestruct I used to know...
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:29 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Location: San Antonio, TX
I'd like to try the treehugger route and do public transportation. However, the public transport from home to work is inconvenient to say the least - 1.5 hours, three busses, and about a total of 25 minutes walking, according to the local public transportation website. I'm not willing to replace a 20 minute commute with that. I'd be willing to do the carpooling thing, but the only guy I know of at the office who lives near me, I can't stand. :-) I checked a couple of the 'carpooling' websites, but no 'hits' so far.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:08 PM   #39 (permalink)
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One nice thing about Chicago is the public transportation. OK, let me revise that: our public transportation blows but is superior to almost all other American cities anyways. I've been using the El, and to a far lesser extent, the buses and Metra, since my earliest high school days and I love not having a car. The ability to get almost anywhere in the city by public transit is a great luxury that I've been taking full advantage of for a very long time. Plus, in 11 years of constant ridership, I've collected a lifetime's worth of weird sights, stories, and experiences. Like the Devil Lady, or the fifty-pound rat, or the time the cops burst in guns drawn...

All that said, nobody should ever get into a conversation with me about the CTA, because I can rant for days on end...
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:28 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I rode my bike when I lived on campus at Texas Tech.
I drove my car the 5 miles there and 5 miles back when I moved off campus.
I drive my car to school now in College Station which is 8 miles there and 8 miles back. I drive a paid off 99' VW Beetle, good mileage. Also the bus is never a sure thing sometimes, if it's full they pass you over and you're late. I'd just rather drive myself, it's easier for me. CS doesn't have much a public transportation system...of course what really big city in Texas does. I know Atlanta has the MARTA system. So far in Fort Worth they have buses but no subways or anything of that nature like in the larger and more condensed cities up north.

I give James credit, he rides his bike to and from work. He's an inspiration.

Last edited by surferlove007; 01-20-2008 at 12:31 AM..
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