2017 Spring April 2 Sunday

52 degrees this morning, foggy and rain, no walk, still have cough etc.

Some rain, foggy. Couldn’t walk anyway until I am feeling better from the coughing and head cold. Feeling a lot better yesterday, but still could feel the effects.

Reading a book about how the role of cars in cities is changing. Haven’t read enough yet to really develop an idea of where the author is going, but I do have some strong feelings about it.

While of course I grew up and am still in a car dominated culture, I have always felt that other forms of transportation were neglected, while the car was emphasized

Even while I was a child, i walked a lot, rather than being driven by my parents. I (this is not an exaggeration), walked 2 miles (each way) to a friends house when I was a child and sometimes we’d walk another 4 miles to see other friends.

Seems strange they were dirt roads when I was child and several years ago I visited “the farm” I grew up on and the roads were still dirt.

In fact, it had rained, and I gave up on driving on them, I didn’t want to end up in the ditch. No wonder my dad had an old army jeep!

Even in college I walked almost everywhere, regardless of the weather.

My first experience with public transportation of any real sort was in Denver when I worked several summers when I was in college. I rode the bus every place or walked, and I quickly learned the limitations of bus service, even though the bus service there was actually reasonably good.

I always thought all new streets and highways ought to be required to have a dedicated pedestrian/bicycle lane of some sort.

The city I live in now has a “free” bus service (literally free to the riders) which I feel is a good idea. I’ve never ridden it and don’t even know the route, but maybe I ought to learn more about it.

Apparently the economics of it make it actually cheaper for the city to use federal grants and advertising to provide free bus service. The city also is emphasizing bicycle routes that are logical and actually take you somewhere.

As I may have mentioned earlier, the problem is the “last few feet”, where there are good bicycle routes, and then suddenly nothing but very dangerous routes for the last mile or 1/2 mile of where you actually want to go!

Of course, the bicycle is a very logical mode of transportation if adequate facilities could ever be built for them where it was safe to ride them. Many bike lanes are literally a joke and probably worse then nothing, but it is improving a lot.

Of course the concepts of “walkable cities or neighborhoods” is a concept that could be developed if adequate public transportation could be developed for the times when people need to travel.

I thought maybe the “uber car” concept would at some point substitute for some the missing public transportation. When you consider the costs of maintaining a car, if you could avoid buying a car, you could afford to take a lot of trips!

Anyway, I am looking forward to reading the book. At least alternatives to the car (and I am not a car basher, I just think other types of transportation such as bike lanes, public transportation etc. should receive as much consideration as car transportation, with the realization that car transportation will always be primary in some areas) are now being emphasized.

That’s it for now, Sunday, April 2, 2017.


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