sorchakeepers | 4 Jun 01:14 2008
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Positive Change

When I first went car(e)free in May of 2002 most people in the US were
still pro-war and pro-oil guzzling at any cost. My decision to go
carfree was partly based on the blood for oil, partly on our household
bottom line, and partly based on being a tree hugging person who likes
to breath air and not melt our planetary polar ice caps. One of the
memorable things that happened within the month of selling our old
Volvo wagon and buying recumbents occurred at the grocery store. I was
locking up bike and trailer and this old fart came up and started
talking to me about how cool my ride was but within twenty seconds he
was saying how I ought to put an engine on the thing and I'd get
something 'Real American.' I think that 'Real American' ought to be
trade marked or something. The implication was that if I had to pedal
it I was not doing my patriotic duty or something. He thought the big
fat seat was great, as were the chopper style handlebars and stretch
frame (long wheel base), but that the vehicle did not remotely
meet(his)need for SPEEEEED!!!

Six years later I was at the grocery store(again) and I had two
interchanges that show how far peoples perceptions have come. One was
a man who simply smiled as I locked up and said, "that's the way to
go!" A second man stopped to talk as I loaded up the trailer with
groceries. "How many miles a gallon do you get on that thing?" he
asked. I paused a moment and said, "Oh, I guess about forty miles a
burrito." He laughed and then told me where to get the best burritos
in town.

I think that people are still calculating the cost of driving
according to the price of gas not the full social and environmental
costs of driving as laid out in such books as 'Asphalt Nation' and
'Divorce your Car,' But more people are riding public transit as gas
prices soar to $4 a gallon (US.) I overheard some guy on the bus say
he had parked his car and his motorcycle due to gas prices. There
might not be a whole lot of depth to the casual conversation with
people asking me about my weird bike. Instead of explaining peak oil
(which will take forty-five minutes with charts) I usually say "Hey,
oil is going to run out. This is the ride of future!" At least people
are beginning to see that it's not plum crazy to ride a bike; it's a
smart financial decision. Just today a guy asked me where I got my
trailer. He seemed interested in buying or building a trailer for
hauling groceries. Change is in the air.

Keep riding,

Sorcha Keepers
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Steven Schoeffler | 4 Jun 23:09 2008

Re: Positive Change

My car has a transmission problem. It's been parked in my driveway
idle for more than two months. In that time I borrowed a car once to
go grocery shopping, but have been grocery shopping twice on my bike,
with a backpack (I walk to the nearby gas station for milk). I put
the fender on my bike that I bought a long time ago, and now puddles
and rain are of much less concern. I'm kind of excited to be using
the bike as my main transportation as opposed to mostly for sport and
exercise, though I'm annoyed with myself that the price of gasoline
has been part of the motivation because I know the better reasons.

Traffic on eRideShare.com is running about 4x the level that it was
prior to March. Some of that is due to substantial publicity (there
hasn't been a weekday since April that I haven't spoken with a
reporter), but most is, I think, the public focus on gas prices.
There's also a surge in interest among companies in setting up
carpooling groups for employees. Parking space expenses are often
cited as a main reason for companies to be interested in promoting
carpooling, but I think this surge is more related to trying help
employees with the pain of gasoline, and to soothe the grumbling.

$4 gas..... what a sight. It's a good thing in important ways, but it
is definitely causing hardship. My sense is that this is the
beginning of permanent change in how we use energy, not just a flash
in the pan like the surge in carpooling with the gas price spike
after Katrina.

Steven Schoeffler
Edwardsville, IL

On Jun 3, 2008, at 6:14 PM, sorchakeepers wrote:

>
> I think that people are still calculating the cost of driving
> according to the price of gas not the full social and environmental
> costs of driving as laid out in such books as 'Asphalt Nation' and
> 'Divorce your Car,' But more people are riding public transit as gas
> prices soar to $4 a gallon (US.) I overheard some guy on the bus say
> he had parked his car and his motorcycle due to gas prices. There
> might not be a whole lot of depth to the casual conversation with
> people asking me about my weird bike. Instead of explaining peak oil
> (which will take forty-five minutes with charts) I usually say "Hey,
> oil is going to run out. This is the ride of future!" At least people
> are beginning to see that it's not plum crazy to ride a bike; it's a
> smart financial decision. Just today a guy asked me where I got my
> trailer. He seemed interested in buying or building a trailer for
> hauling groceries. Change is in the air.
>
> Keep riding,
>
> Sorcha Keepers
> Minneapolis, Minnesota
>
>
>

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Lee | 6 Jun 01:39 2008
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Re: Positive Change

Thanks for sharing your car-free experience and how some people's
perspectives are beginning to change over the years. It is
encouraging. Thanks

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Jym Dyer | 12 Jun 00:53 2008

Carbon Cost of Shipping Paul McCartney's "Eco-Car"

=v= I just heard about this, though the news is a month old.
My sympathies to Sir Paul. :-|
<_Jym_>

http://www.cnsnews.com/Culture/archive/200805/CUL20080514b.html

Environmentalists Criticize Airlift for Paul McCartney's Hybrid Car
By Gregory Katz
Associated Press | 14-May-2008

London (AP) - Sometimes it seems Paul McCartney can't win for
losing.

The former Beatle has long been an outspoken advocate of
environmental causes and animal rights. He is a vegetarian who
won't even wear leather shoes. But now he's being criticized for
having a hybrid Japanese car flown to him in Britain rather than
having it sent by ship.

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. The car in
question is an $158,000 Lexus LS 600h, a luxury sedan that
offers both high performance and a reassuring "green" patina
because it uses a hybrid system that relies on an electric motor
at low speeds.

Best of all, it was to be a gift from the Lexus car company,
which sponsored McCartney's 2005 tour of the United States.

But environmentalists quickly pointed out that the use of a
cargo plane to deliver the car to England completely offset any
environmental gains resulting from the car's use.

"It's like driving the car 300 times around the world," says
Gary Rumbold, the director of the British branch of co2balance,
which helps businesses and individuals gauge their carbon
emissions footprint. "It seems like somebody at Lexus made an
error in judgment. They wanted to get something to McCartney
promptly, but it backfired. They should have waited a few weeks
and sent it by ship."

He said it would have been far less damaging to the environment
in terms of carbon emitted into the atmosphere to have shipped
the car by sea because so much more cargo can be fitted on a
ship than in the cargo hold of a jet.

Rumbold also questioned whether a high performance car such as
the LS Lexus 600h -- with a powerful 1.3-gallon (5-liter) V-8
engine and a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph) -- is actually the
best use of promising hybrid technology.

It was not clear if McCartney knew the vehicle would be sent to
him via air freight rather than by ship. Rumbold said it seems
likely the singer was an innocent victim of a mistake made by
Lexus executives.

McCartney's spokesman, Stuart Bell, confirmed that the musician
had received the car as a gift and that it had been flown to
Britain, but said he could not comment about the decision to use
a plane until he had all the details.

David Crouch, a spokesman for Lexus in Britain, said the company
also would not comment on the McCartney car delivery.

He did say the LS 600h is a top-of-the-line hybrid designed to
compete against the expensive Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 Series
since its introduction in Britain late last year. Some 227 have
been sold despite the starting price, which rises quickly when
more options are added, he said.

"It's selling very well," he said. "You have a gasoline engine
which works in conjunction with an electric motor. What it means
is the car can run on either power source. At lower speeds it
runs on electric power so there is no fuel consumption and no
emissions, and if you need higher speeds, the petrol works with
the electric motor to give you what you need."

McCartney has had an unusually close relationship with Lexus
in recent years. In addition to the sponsorship deal, the
ex-Beatle -- who shies away from product endorsements --
has publicly praised Lexus for producing environmentally
sensitive cars.

The carmaker also produced a one-of-a-kind McCartney-themed
hybrid SUV that was sold off to benefit an anti-landmine charity
favored by McCartney and gave one of his recent CD releases a
special spot on the company's Web site.

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Robert J. Matter | 12 Jun 20:02 2008
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Re: Carbon Cost of Shipping Paul McCartney's "Eco-Car"

The "green car" trend is troubling. Especially as the cars grow ever
larger and more powerful. They enable the energy-dependent to satisfy
their selfish personal motorized transport desires while allaying the
guilt they should be feeling for doing so. Even more egregious is when
they state they are actually "doing something good for the planet."

I just heard somebody say that on the radio the other day in regards to
their purchase of a hybrid. They said something like "This actually
enables me to start doing something good for the planet." Like
purchasing and driving a hybrid car will start reversing all the
problems their gasoline powered cousins have wrought on us!

Often in Chicago when I am trying to filter forward through a congested
mess of cagers I repeatedly yell loudly, "Watch out you lazy polluting
bastards... bikes coming through!" in order to get cagers' attention who
are yapping on their cell phones, listening to music, watching TV, and a
host of other distractions while they are in the midst of pulling out of
driveways and parking spaces.

More and more now cagers are stick their pathetic heads out the window
and exclaiming smugly, "It's a hybrid!" Even from SUVs. Disgusting.

-Bob Matter
In soggy Indiana

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AnnaLisa Wiley | 18 Jun 23:48 2008
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car free New York

Hope it works. They have these in many large foreign cities. Santa Rosa,
CA does this on 4th Street for Wednesday Night Market. I love it!

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/16/will-summer-streets-work/

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Jym Dyer | 19 Jun 00:07 2008

Re: car free New York

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/16/will-summer-streets-work/

=v= A Latin America-style ciclovia is longer than most street
closures I've encountered. 7 miles through Manhattan, woo hoo!
San Francisco is considering something similar, but not quite
as long. (El Paso already has something they call a "ciclovia,"
but I don't know how long it is.)

=v= Party of Park Avenue used to be carfree. Indeed, Ocean
Parkway, in Brooklyn, was originally essentially a linear park
that implemented the first greenway, then bikeway, in the U.S.
(The word "parkway" has since been corrupted in the U.S. to mean
a highway with cars but no trucks, but its original meaning was
closer to what we would now call a greenway.)
<_Jym_>

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vurt456 | 25 Jun 15:39 2008
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drunk driver sentencing

Two friends of mine were killed by a drunk driver last year. I found
out the sentence for the drunk driver yesterday. She will get 17
years, then when she gets out, she will have her driver's license
revoked for 8 years.

She has been convicted of drunk driving before. Her blood alcohol
level was .24, three times the legal limit. Why don't they revoke her
driver's license for life? I've managed to live my whole life without
driving. I know that she could manage. Since she is such a danger to
society, I don't think she deserves the privilege of driving a motor
vehicle. And it is a privilege, not a right.

My friends are gone forever because she didn't take a cab home that
night.

Michelle

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Simon Norton | 25 Jun 18:29 2008
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drunk driver sentencing

If someone's given a 17 year senence how long will normally actually be spent in
prison ? And is the 8 years licence revocation afterwards dependent on that ?

Simon Norton

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Mari Lea | 25 Jun 23:13 2008
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Re: drunk driver sentencing

Michelle
Sorry for your lost.
Unfortunately too many times I hear of those people still getting behind a wheel even after the law takes every thing away. Amazingly she got one of the toughest sentences I have ever heard of. Recently we had a guy pulled over, after his license was taken away. About the same level of blood alcohol, the cops release him to a family member, He gets picked up an hour later. Driving again. There is no way to keep the chronic drunk drivers off the road, short of making them wear ankle bracelets with a GPS. When they start going faster than 15 miles an hour, the cops could be alerted.
You are right it is a privilege. Many people forget that.

****
You put the EMO in VoledEMOrt

----- Original Message ----
From: vurt456 <mcgiansante <at> gmail.com>
To: CarFree <at> yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:39:14 AM
Subject: [CF] drunk driver sentencing

Two friends of mine were killed by a drunk driver last year. I found
out the sentence for the drunk driver yesterday. She will get 17
years, then when she gets out, she will have her driver's license
revoked for 8 years.

She has been convicted of drunk driving before. Her blood alcohol
level was .24, three times the legal limit. Why don't they revoke her
driver's license for life? I've managed to live my whole life without
driving. I know that she could manage. Since she is such a danger to
society, I don't think she deserves the privilege of driving a motor
vehicle. And it is a privilege, not a right.

My friends are gone forever because she didn't take a cab home that
night.

Michelle

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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