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  1. #1
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    Do not wait to incorporate public transit into your life

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    Just had a long coffee chat with a friend, who has been long time cyclist and local cycling advocate until a few years ago. She's probably 79 but now having problems with shoulder and can't cycle safely far.
    She is noticing for friends in her age bracket and older, who now can no longer drive and are trying to use public transit. She felt it was endless unnecessarily long discussions and too much worry how to plan local transit trip planning when some friends don't live far from transit nor do they have to switch buses.

    The lesson here is: Integrate use of public transit into your life NOW when you're still mobile, healthy. Learning to use transit when you're disabled /frail is not the time to learn.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #2
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    I couldn't agree more! Thanks for the reminder, shootingstar.
    Emily

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  3. #3
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    Have a good friend who loves her car (14 yrs. old) and enjoys driving. Now the car is problematic..something wrong with internal wiring that's causing a noxious smell. She wasn't happy that she will have buy a better car now rather than later. Yes, she knows all about transit (used to be a commuter cyclist..her route is much further out with 1 long hill). In fact her job is on liveable communities for nearby accessibility to alternative transportation. Right now, her life is complicated probably but most likely driving a car on loan out of necessity related to her job, life, etc. until she replaces her car with a new/used one. She is single and doesn't have children.

    At work, a guy and his wife hope to find a bungalow somewhere close to hospital and to heck with transit. She has a mysterious disease that makes her dizzy unexpectedly. They don't have children. His family lives in another province.
    Here's what I think but don't plan to say to him: they should find a home that does both: to meet her needs AND also close to transit.

    To be so car-dependent due to unwalkable /cycleable routes or no transit, becomes a problem when later one shouldn't be driving at all but not enough personal friends to be driven around. He started to complain to me about car congestion in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver is deliberately changing infrastructure to get more people to use transit, bike or walk instead dealing with more car congestion.

    I've decided a long time ago, I can't assume that a friend will be around at MY convenience to drive me around for shopping, appointments. Same for my partner. ..and he has an adult daughter who lives 8 kms away who doesn't have a car but she doesn't visit him often enough. He now has to be careful with his knee alignment but at least parks, services and shops are just 10 min. walk away.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-27-2017 at 11:52 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  4. #4
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    I hear what you are saying, Shooting Star, but I don't know if I could be car free. To really be close enough to food stores and be able to get to my basic medical appointments, I'd need to live in a slightly more urban area. Or, I'd have to adjust my lifestyle even more than I have. I do live walking distance to a large grocery store (1/3 mile), but I hate that store and only go there to run for something I forgot in my weekly shopping. My appointments are normally within a 4-5 mile radius. Totally rideable in nice weather, but not in the winter. I live 2 miles from public transportation, a commuter rail into Cambridge and Boston, not to local places. Unless you are handicapped or elderly, nothing to take me locally.
    Yet, I drive way less than any one of my friends. I work 3-4 days a week, 2.3 miles away. From March-November I try to ride there 1-2X a week. I may try walking this summer, but I would need 40-45 minutes of extra time and I would not like that at the end of the day. Everything I do, is within 5-6 miles. My car gets driven about 500 miles a year, as opposed to 10,000. Yes, we do use DH's car for trips, weekends, but it's a hybrid. But, i feel like my world has become very constricted, despite the travel I do. I used to drive all over, not necessarily for work, but it just gets on my nerves and makes me a bit anxious. I don't necessarily like this, but, it's economical. I never zip down to the Cape for a day at the beach, or out to western MA anymore, unless it's for a weekend. I don't even like to drive far for my weekly rides, and some of them (not all) I like, but when I think about it, it's not worth it. I live in a beautiful area to ride. We were just talking about how we could live with one car when we both stop working. I don't know if I'd want to be totally dependent on DH or do so much planning about when I was going out.
    I know how to use public transportation, did that when I was 12 years old!
    I drove 10 miles to catch a train when I was going to grad school. The commuter rail also went right to where my school was, but the schedule didn't match mine. I'd end up waiting an hour to go home and spending money on dinner. So, after the first year, I spent the $ on the parking garage and could get home in 30 minutes by a combo of driving and a 3 stop train ride. I really got sick of the dirty, packed trains by the end of my program, but it worked. Personally, I think this is the closest to car free I will ever be, and while it's nothing compared to you, it's way more than any of my friends.
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  5. #5
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    I agree with what you are saying, but I suspect in the next 10-20 years if not sooner, transportation as we know it will be very different particularly in urban areas. Even though the automotive industry has stayed pretty much the same the last 100 or so years, it is one of the next areas that will experience some major disruption.

    There are a number of things happening in this area:





    I expect this all to cause some major disruption in transportation particularly in urban areas and I would think some potential impact for public transportation as well.
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  6. #6
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    Self-driving cars without their own dedicated lane, is darn scary. So we know of cases where some drivers blindly trusted their GPS and ended up in an accident..in a river, into another lane.

    People have to remember that programming a car....is done ..by human beings who are supposed to think of every single permutation of movement by other objects around a moving car.... We're so imperfect as human beings to even think of every possible permutation to protect others (cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles).

    I agree that uber offers something. But I'm talking about the ability of no longer able to drive safely at all....no matter if it's an electric car or car share.

    Anyway, in my city the municipality is piloting a driverless van between 2 public builidngs beside one another....kinda sad since people can't walk? Wheelchair access is fine..because the entrances are on flat surfaces and gentle slopes. Great for schlepping deliveries.. not sure what since 1 building is a zoo and the other is a science public education building.

    In the north, some of the big oil companies were using driverless trucks for hauling materials across a field. Makes sense there.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  7. #7
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    There will always be auto accidents whether the car is driven by an actual person or even if it is not. And I don't want to sound impersonal or unfeeling when I say that, but I do believe a certain number of accidents will happen regardless of who is driving simply because cars do pose a certain level of danger. And certainly the current state of the art in autonomous driving is not at complete autonomy (level 5). So yeah I wouldn't completely trust it yet either.

    Not long ago, there was a well publicized tragic accident involving a Tesla car that the NHTSA got involved in and investigated. In their report they mention that crash rates have dropped almost 40% since the introduction of their autopilot. As the state of the art in self driving cars continues to get better, I expect it will continue to get safer.

    There is a lot of money going into this right now, and I think it is going to happen quicker than most people realize.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I suspect in the next 10-20 years if not sooner, transportation as we know it will be very different particularly in urban areas. Even though the automotive industry has stayed pretty much the same the last 100 or so years, it is one of the next areas that will experience some major disruption.
    +1

    Lots of research and now application of infrared light to detect the shape of objects and there range around a car no matter the light or weather. We are just at the beginnings of the technology and it will get much better in a shorter rather than longer time. The development of small solid state sensors is being done now. That will bring the price down and make it more affordable for automakers/buyers and make it easy to place the sensors inconspicuously around a car. It’s a different mindset for people especially those who enjoy driving a car. I think it will get more focused on the positives of helping to eliminate the problems with drivers using alcohol/drugs, speeding, aggressive driving, over-compensation, inexperience, slow reaction time, inattentiveness, and ignoring road conditions etc. Once optimized it will save lives and lessen accidents. Personally I look forward to the progress.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Agreed on the importance of exploring different types of alternative transportation. With my 2 upcoming surgeries - and the aftermath of the second one will mean I won't be able to drive for some time - next week I'm parking my car from Monday - Saturday. I already know how to take transit to work, but how to do other things, not so much. Indianapolis is notorious for our lengthy bus headways. While we're working to change that, let's just say I don't live along a route with desirable headways. Better to figure out the logistics now while I've leisure to do so.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2007
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    +1 on having a backup plan or an alternative. And this applies not just to cars but to all aspect of life. It's self evident.

    And to Catrin, I wish you well on your upcoming surgeries. Have you considered ways of managing surgery pain so that you don't have to be totally dependent on pills? Self-hypnosis and meditation will help you with pain management. google search on "training your body to ignore pain" I've shattered both of my clavicles (collar bone) and each time, I only took the pain pill at the hospital. Meditation/self hypnosis made it tolerable without any pills.

    As for autonomous cars...
    1. Looks like I will be ordering Tesla model 3. Model S is way too big and don't care for model X, besides its too expensive.
    2. total number of EV sold in 2016 in California alone? was around 15,000 vehicles. Tesla is scheduled to deliver over 500,000 by end of 2018 just for model 3. And it will have level 2 autonomous driving and maybe level 3.
    3. Autonomous cars, its coming sooner than you might think. Much of the autonomous ability comes from AI (artificial intelligence). Tesla model S is sporting a supercomputer from NVIDIA. It's said to be equivalent to 150 macbooks. Tesla thinks it has enough computing power to do level 5 while Nvidia thinks its only good to level 4 autonomous driving and Nvidia thinks it needs two of these to do level 5 autonomous driving. Do we still need a driver license at that point? I think I'll just enjoy the ride from the back seat and enjoy the finer things in life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_pGT8Q_tjk
    4. gasoline/diesel engine cars will be phasing out over next twenty years. New battery technology such as solid state glass battery patented by Prof Goodenough (this is real) who also happens to be father of Lithium Ion battery. The new battery will be 1/5 to 1/10 the size of Lithium Ion battery. If it makes it to mass market, then model S can have a range of 1250 miles per charge to over 2000 miles per charge. Still want to drive gas/diesel powered car?
    5. Tesla, Nikola, Mercedes are testing out fully autonomous EV semi-truck NOW!! Okay Nikola is hydrogen-electric hybrid with 1000+ mile range.
    6. If you think autonomous driving is less capable than a human being, then you might want to know that US Airforce tested out a AI piloted fighter plane in simulated dog fight. It won every engagement against an aerial dog fight instructor-pilot. It even managed to beat human flying in less capable jet. yes this is in past tense. I think managing a car is far easier... me thinketh.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    total number of EV sold in 2016 in California alone? was around 15,000 vehicles.
    I assume you mean that is Tesla’s (actually17,000+) BEV share of the 70,000+ PEV’s sold in Ca last year (1/4 million in the last 6 years).

    The advantage here is California’s developing of a good infrastructure for them, building the largest network of nonresidential charging stations in the nation, the ongoing building of a green electrical grid, car pool lane access, free city parking in my area and others, state rebates etc. I feel blessed to live in a state with the political will and a strong people/business willingness to bear the beginning costs to put social constraints on the Ayn Rand style capitalism that can do harm to the very earth that helps to sustain us.


    One reason 48 of the condominium owners in my building have at least one PEV is our HOA at no cost because of California grants/rebates installed (or just wired for) the chargers for each units 2 parking spaces for those who wanted them. Most, like me, had at least the wiring done for the resale value of our condominiums. If we stay in the U.S. we’ll go one BEV, probably Tesla, next year. For just urban areas like where we live there is no real need for a 2/300 mile range though. The buying market here could easily support a 75-100 mile range which opens this market to more car makers.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  12. #12
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    Feb 2005
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    This discussion scares me. Self driving cars sounds dystopian to me! Our condo neighbor has an EV. He states it really does not have a lot of mileage range. However, I like to call this guy the cellar dweller, because I rarely see him come out of his home, so it probably doesn't matter. His partner has a hybrid and they use that a lot more.
    My DH would probably get an EV when he retires; the plan is that I will get the hybrid Rav 4 as a hand me down and he will get something cheaper; I was pissed when he bought this car, as it's the only car I had considered as my next car. I don't mind taking his hand me down, but I do not like the cars he is talking about for himself. Oh well, it will be 2-3 years. I always say I don't care about cars, but I've had 2 German cars since 2003 and I have become kind of used to the luxury factor. Since I rarely drive, it's a moot point.
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  13. #13
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    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    I assume you mean that is Tesla’s (actually17,000+) BEV share of the 70,000+ PEV’s sold in Ca last year (1/4 million in the last 6 years).

    The advantage here is California’s developing of a good infrastructure for them, building the largest network of nonresidential charging stations in the nation, the ongoing building of a green electrical grid, car pool lane access, free city parking in my area and others, state rebates etc. I feel blessed to live in a state with the political will and a strong people/business willingness to bear the beginning costs to put social constraints on the Ayn Rand style capitalism that can do harm to the very earth that helps to sustain us.


    One reason 48 of the condominium owners in my building have at least one PEV is our HOA at no cost because of California grants/rebates installed (or just wired for) the chargers for each units 2 parking spaces for those who wanted them. Most, like me, had at least the wiring done for the resale value of our condominiums. If we stay in the U.S. we’ll go one BEV, probably Tesla, next year. For just urban areas like where we live there is no real need for a 2/300 mile range though. The buying market here could easily support a 75-100 mile range which opens this market to more car makers.
    I don't see how an EV car would work for me without major changes. I can only afford to have one car, which means I need it for shorter distances (work and running errands) as well as longer trips such as the 300 miles I drive to visit family. More importantly, there's no place for me to recharge the battery. I live on the second floor in an apartment that does not have reserved parking. Sometimes I park near my building, sometimes farther away, depending on what spaces are empty when I get home. In order to charge a car I would have to run a very very very long extension cord out my window.

    As for mass transit, I used to use it all the time but since I moved to the DC area it has not been a practical mode of transportation. Sometimes I will take Metro (the subway system) but it rarely goes where I need it to go and it is not reliable due to an abysmal history of deferred maintenance.

    I actually enjoy driving most of the time. I don't know what I would do if I had to use a self-driving car -- I can't read in a moving car and would be bored looking out the window at the same scenery every day. To me the biggest problem is a lack of alternative ways to get to and from my office. The area where I work is not accessible with mass transit -- it was built to be a car-centric suburb. It is too far to bike to work and there is no safe route, thanks to too much traffic on the roads and too many assaults on the trails.

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  14. #14
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    Nov 2007
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    I gave up my driver's license when I was around 21 yrs. I simply was not comfortable driving fast on highways. It took me extra lessons and 2 attempt to pass testing for my driver's license.
    I know a woman who got her driver's license when in her 30's. She is not comfortable driving on highways, etc. She told me. She shouldn't have a driver's license. I contrast her to the friend in my lst comment that started this topic thread: a confident driver parks with ease, but she herself doesn't speed and comments on other drivers that speed pass us on the road. We are always amazed why on earth people have to speed, deeking in and out. What for? Are they EMS responding to an emergency, etc.? She works for the Transportation Dept. and a job directly on liveable streets as it relates to transportation planning, design. This includes increasing pedestrian walkability, safety. Cycling is covered by other employees.

    https://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com...eighbourhoods/ I don't have children and can't plan my life going forward, expecting someone drive me around on my convenience. So for the past...35 years I've lived within 15 min. of transit, shops, core services, a park....living close to bike routes, only came into my horizon in last 25 years. So cost of taxi will be abit cheaper since I won't have to go far....when mobility much later gets difficult.

    I only trust driverless cars in their own lanes. Vancouver has had driverless overhead light transit rail for past 15 years and more.. started with Sky Train. These trains run every 5 min. at peak hrs...and less during off-loads. There's no one sitting at the front of the train. I don't worry because it runs on its own dedicated track either elevated or underground.

    By the way, car-share (Car to Go) is quite popular in our prairie city. I think there is a fleet of 400 cars all over the city. There is a 2nd firm that will offer their service.

    Ny- I can appreciate inaccessible workplaces. I worked at construction site out in the suburbs for 3 years. I lived downtown: https://thirdwavecyclingblog.wordpre...ed-work-areas/

    I don't regret the decisions I've made. It is rather interesting since car-bound folks who don't experience cycling believe my life is less richer for not being flexible enough whenever and wherever. Yes and no.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I don't see how an EV car would work for me without major changes.
    NY…In some cities it is more difficult when you don’t have good funding, planning and infrastructure. Some areas just have better support for mass transit and electric cars, which is important in establishing its efficiency. Our mass transit has some problems….just one being end-point to home for many, especially those using light rail. Lyft/Uber shuttles/ride sharing (and bike share for some) are being integrated into it here though. Personal EV’s can work into it easily with charging stations at Metro link stations, a public self-driving system would be even easier. For EV use China and Europe, with what happened today to the Paris Climate Accord, perhaps are going to be the best leaders for awhile….Norway has integrated it with good planning and is and will be a good model for others to study, especially with the pubic awareness/support issues. Using green energy, Norway’s being Hydro, is another big help in the awareness process.

    The east coast has been doing work on EV infrastructure for a few years now but nowhere near what we’ve been doing on the west coast. The midwest and areas where electricity tends to come from coal just makes it less environmentally beneficial. The south, well, is the south…….

    The Wa/Or/Ca West Coast Green Highway project has opened the ability to drive the entire length of the west coast with an Ev. Rapid charging stations now at and with more being established at places like hotels, restaurants etc. etc. and with more also being solar powered in some area’s, has the beginnings of a well thought out support system.

    How can someone not want a environment emision friendly car with accident avoidance benefits and paint with nano-particles that helps to charge it’s energy system

    safe summer rides for you !!!!!!!!

    Shootingstar…..I’ve been using mass transit more the last year especially the last few months. I can get to a light rail station with a reasonable walk. That can take me to a number of different places that I enjoy walking and photographing. I would prefer bicycling to them or take my bike on the train like a few times before but walking is just more of my exercise for a while. I’m just open to the experience even with its minor problems and actually see that method of transportation as a positive adventure. No bike also makes it easier to Uber/Lyft home when I need to.
    eta...a good friend who lives in San Francisco does a commute from her place downtown on a wifi equipped Caltrain to Menlo Park and a quick shuttle directly to her office...a 40 minute express train ride leaving every 30 minutes both ways
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 06-02-2017 at 06:06 PM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

 

 

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