First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46986
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Mick F » 12 Apr 2012, 4:53pm

Combining the previous posts and the Segway argument ......

NEED a car?
What about getting to work?
No busses, too far to walk, too hilly to cycle, no-one else nearby to car-share with?

A Segway would be a good idea ..................... so long as you don't go on the cliffs with them.
Mick F. Cornwall

karlt
Posts: 2244
Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby karlt » 12 Apr 2012, 5:06pm

JohnW wrote:
karlt wrote:...............Yeah, but sometimes .............. you get the impression on here that some people think that no-one needs a car and all private driving is somehow unjustifiably indulgent. I can only imagine that the people promoting such a view have neither elderly relatives nor children. And rather limited horizons; for example, Mrs KarlT intends to visit her sister 35 miles away this evening. Impossible without a car to get there and back.


Well Karlt - I suppose I'm guilty as charged.

Although not quite and not really. Some drivers and occupations do need a vehicle, but they're only a small proportion of those who do drive about, and the lives of those who need - I mean really need - a vehicle would be made much easier if those who don't actually need to drive about chose some other, less harmful way of travelling.

Those who are able bodied and with an awareness, do not need to drive about, or even have a car. I've proved that along the years of my life - but with respect to you, I've only proved it to myself.

I've told my story on these threads so many times that it's boring beyond belief, but before starting my own little practice, I rode a hilly route to and from work, 10 miles each way, every working day for 27 years - honestly I never missed, whatever the weather. I'm not big and strong, I'm not super fit, I'm not special in any way - in fact at best I'm about average. All I did was to identify my own opinions and my ethics, and make my decision. I never had a car, and even when I was working for myself, my clients were understanding - they thought me eccentric but respected me (respect a cyclist!!!!!! - words of heresy?) - and I saw my family through university and into professional occupations.

So many of my colleagues couldn't understand - they didn't want to cycle, they wanted to drive, not to have a car would threaten their perception of their social status - not having a car made their legs tired, they didn't actually know that there was an alternative - they made their choice, just as we all have a right to do.

But honestly, and being realistic, for most of them (and in fact, most of them thought that cycling/walking/public transport was ok for others, but they were all a special case - particularly when someone else had the audacity to drive into a parking space that they'd earmarked for them selves), they simply made the choice that all of us in a free country have a right to make - in the best interests of their ease and self-interest.


It's a definition of "need", I suppose. You might be happy without the sort of excursion Mrs Karlt plans for this evening - she wouldn't. Public transport would not work for this trip.

Nor am I physically capable of cycling to and from work every day. Again, public transport won't do the trip and I can't afford housing closer to where I work. I've been looking for a job closer for about five years, but until one comes up, I need the car, and I don't think I'm particularly remarkable. If you've always been able to live within reasonable public transport/bike/walk of work, then you're quite lucky. I haven't.

Nothing to do with social status, a fear my legs would hurt or anything else - just a rational examination of the reality in which I find myself.

I notice that your screed doesn't address Mrs Karlt's plans, as an example? I suppose your answer is "don't go"? It would just be one example of how our quality of life would be much decreased without the car. I'm glad a car free existence works for you, but I think you presume too much to assume that if it works for you it should work for most other people.

kwackers
Posts: 13808
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby kwackers » 12 Apr 2012, 5:19pm

karlt wrote:I notice that your screed doesn't address Mrs Karlt's plans, as an example? I suppose your answer is "don't go"? It would just be one example of how our quality of life would be much decreased without the car. I'm glad a car free existence works for you, but I think you presume too much to assume that if it works for you it should work for most other people.

Looking at this from the outside I suspect you need to take all of his post into consideration, in particular this section:-
JohnW wrote:Some drivers and occupations do need a vehicle, but they're only a small proportion of those who do drive about, and the lives of those who need - I mean really need - a vehicle would be made much easier if those who don't actually need to drive about chose some other, less harmful way of travelling.

If you *really* need a vehicle (and who would anyone on here be to say you didn't) then he has a point, most people don't need one and an even greater proportion could use the one they've got a lot less.
At some point the odds are that you'll be priced off the road and what then? If all the people who didn't need one didn't use one then that time would be much further off and the price of using your car now somewhat less.

Seems a fair point to me.

JohnW
Posts: 6242
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby JohnW » 12 Apr 2012, 5:33pm

kwackers wrote:Segway's are great fun. There are a few places now that do 'Segway Tours'.


Well - I'm sure they are - it was just the vision of serious overweight Americans having serious "fun" with serious expressions on their faces and taking serious photographs of themselves for publication in "Segway Weekly" or some serious publication like that.

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7853
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Cully
Contact:

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby al_yrpal » 12 Apr 2012, 5:37pm

JohnW wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:Image
shared_photo.jpg by Alyrpal, on Flickr

Segways outside Congress in Washington D C

Al


Flippin' 'eck!


This was a Segway Tour, that's why they are all wearing H**ts!

Shortly after, we just went into Congress and the Supreme Court on a tour. We hadn't booked, we had no passports, or identification. Our accents got us in.

Imagine foreigners being conducted around Westminster like that?

Anyway, I couldn't live without a car and I wouldn't want to either. Bikes are fun, but so are cars. I shall enjoy the Brands Hatch vintage raceday and the Goodwood Revival this summer. Respect to those who can arrange their lives without 4 wheels.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

reohn2
Posts: 36704
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 12 Apr 2012, 5:37pm

Mick F wrote:We were in Pisa or Florence - I forget which - ..........


:shock: :shock: :shock:
Ermm there is a difference!

Did you go to Lucca?
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

JohnW
Posts: 6242
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby JohnW » 12 Apr 2012, 5:56pm

al_yrpal wrote:[

...............Anyway, I couldn't live without a car and I wouldn't want to either. Bikes are fun, but so are cars. I shall enjoy the Brands Hatch vintage raceday and the Goodwood Revival this summer. Respect to those who can arrange their lives without 4 wheels.

Al


OK then Al - you direct your exhaust pipe into your car and breath the poison yourself - don't inflict it upon others.

karlt
Posts: 2244
Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby karlt » 12 Apr 2012, 6:59pm

kwackers wrote:
karlt wrote:I notice that your screed doesn't address Mrs Karlt's plans, as an example? I suppose your answer is "don't go"? It would just be one example of how our quality of life would be much decreased without the car. I'm glad a car free existence works for you, but I think you presume too much to assume that if it works for you it should work for most other people.

Looking at this from the outside I suspect you need to take all of his post into consideration, in particular this section:-
JohnW wrote:Some drivers and occupations do need a vehicle, but they're only a small proportion of those who do drive about, and the lives of those who need - I mean really need - a vehicle would be made much easier if those who don't actually need to drive about chose some other, less harmful way of travelling.

If you *really* need a vehicle (and who would anyone on here be to say you didn't) then he has a point, most people don't need one and an even greater proportion could use the one they've got a lot less.
At some point the odds are that you'll be priced off the road and what then? If all the people who didn't need one didn't use one then that time would be much further off and the price of using your car now somewhat less.

Seems a fair point to me.


I think the term "need" is a bit meaningless without a final clause "in order to...". I don't need a bike, computer, guitar, telly or loads of other things in the "would die without" sense. But they're nice to have and enhance my lifestyle. The question about cars is what does person need it for, and is going without that in order not to have a car a valid option?

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby snibgo » 12 Apr 2012, 7:33pm

I found the quality of my life improved when I became car-free. In a sense, I needed not to have a car. Yes, it means that I can't do 70-mile round trips in an evening. For me, that's good. People no longer expect me to.

Society and individuals have adjusted so cars seem necessary. Families move apart, people live a long distance from employers, shops, leisure facilities etc and everyone expects that such trips will be by car. If cars magically vanished, society would adjust again.

kwackers
Posts: 13808
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby kwackers » 12 Apr 2012, 7:33pm

karlt wrote:I think the term "need" is a bit meaningless without a final clause "in order to...". I don't need a bike, computer, guitar, telly or loads of other things in the "would die without" sense. But they're nice to have and enhance my lifestyle. The question about cars is what does person need it for, and is going without that in order not to have a car a valid option?

In terms of the discussion it seems fairly obvious to me that need is implied as "couldn't manage any other way".
For most that's just not true.

I'd also take issue with the idea that cars improve quality of life. That's only true today because we've built a society that depends on them.
In reality they've torn villages and neighbourhoods apart by separating and segregating people. Folk don't see their neighbours since most simply drive past. Drivers are for the most part pretty miserable since driving itself is a stressful thing to do. They've encouraged us to build shops and jobs miles from where people live. Kill over a million people worldwide every year and seriously injure many tens of millions. Reduce air quality to the point whereby every one of us shows some signs of their effects. Made a decent public transport system impossible to achieve. Increased the chance of social meltdown to a near certainty. The list goes on and on...
Whilst impossible to prove I can't help but think things would be better if they'd never been invented.

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7853
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Cully
Contact:

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby al_yrpal » 12 Apr 2012, 7:37pm

JohnW wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:[

...............Anyway, I couldn't live without a car and I wouldn't want to either. Bikes are fun, but so are cars. I shall enjoy the Brands Hatch vintage raceday and the Goodwood Revival this summer. Respect to those who can arrange their lives without 4 wheels.

Al


OK then Al - you direct your exhaust pipe into your car and breath the poison yourself - don't inflict it upon others.


I am really grateful to people like you John, it reduces congestion and makes the world a greener place. :D Returning from Beijing and Singapore recently both places limit car licences because the roads are so overcrowded. Something to suggest as a policy to your MP? As the organiser and a regular driver of our local community bus, i see many old people trapped in remote rural homes unable to get out anywhere without our help. Think I will suggest they all get bikes.... Realism is one thing often in short supply when one spends a lifetime in acedemia.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 12 Apr 2012, 8:09pm

al_yrpal wrote:
JohnW wrote:OK then Al - you direct your exhaust pipe into your car and breath the poison yourself - don't inflict it upon others.


I am really grateful to people like you John, it reduces congestion and makes the world a greener place. :D Returning from Beijing and Singapore recently both places limit car licences because the roads are so overcrowded. Something to suggest as a policy to your MP? As the organiser and a regular driver of our local community bus, i see many old people trapped in remote rural homes unable to get out anywhere without our help. Think I will suggest they all get bikes.... Realism is one thing often in short supply when one spends a lifetime in acedemia.

Al

Surely what they need is more frequent bus journeys as older people do know that sooner or later they will cease being fit to drive, then what? These people are on buses now and not part of the car driving masses pleading necessity.
Yma o Hyd

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17388
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Vorpal » 12 Apr 2012, 8:47pm

meic wrote:Surely what they need is more frequent bus journeys as older people do know that sooner or later they will cease being fit to drive, then what? These people are on buses now and not part of the car driving masses pleading necessity.


Or any bus journeys. Or bus journeys at reasonable times of the day. The buses stop running to my village at 17.30 ish. So pensioners' passes will take them shopping, but not out for an evening meal or to the cinema.

Of course, anyone else who doesn't drive is in the same predicament. So the teens who can't get out of the village hang around the shops and intimdate the pensioners who can't get out of the village. :(
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

JohnW
Posts: 6242
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby JohnW » 12 Apr 2012, 8:50pm

meic wrote:.............Surely what they need is more frequent bus journeys as older people do know that sooner or later they will cease being fit to drive, then what? These people are on buses now and not part of the car driving masses pleading necessity.


Meic - you have expressed what I would like to say in a far better way than I could say it.

I'm old enough to remember this country before motorism became the established religion. In those olden days, there was public transport that most younger people wouldn't be able to believe, and planners, highway engineers, councils etc. provided for people who travelled by public transport, on foot and (yes, I'll say it, by bike).

Councils, governments, planners et al say the words for sustainable travel, but in fact the only provision that they make (with a few exceptions) is for motorists, to the extent of planning and designing dangerous features for pedestrians into their schemes. They don't understand anything else - indeed they don't understand that there can be anything else - and so - in a world where only motor vehicles are catered for, it is not surprising that there are those who think that they cannot live - exist even - without their car.

JohnW
Posts: 6242
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby JohnW » 12 Apr 2012, 8:53pm

Vorpal wrote:................So the teens who can't get out of the village hang around the shops and intimdate the pensioners who can't get out of the village..................


Where are their parents?