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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982

    Do not wait to incorporate public transit into your life

    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,663
    I couldn't agree more! Thanks for the reminder, shootingstar.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,142
    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.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    216
    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.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    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
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,204
    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

 

 

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