Walking, Driving and Gripes.

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I love to walk when I can. I do it for fun, health, and to get stuff I need or want when possible. I also drive...

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lorne
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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When it is not monsoon season as it was in May here in Oregon, the bicycle works very well. Walking is greatly under-rated, but it works best where they keep the cars out of town unless you are out for a rural or woodsy hike.

When we get off oil, walking near the roads will be much better.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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stwo
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I like to walk to my Harley....and ride.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am

Don't make me go on a rant about Harley's or Smart Cars. But at least on a Harley your not pretending to be protected.

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lorne
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I like to drive and text at the same time.

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PeeWee Returns
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote PeeWee Returns:

I like to drive and text at the same time.

That's nice.

Since people do like to text, if they had better public transportation they could without endangering everybody else.

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lorne
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I walk to work... across the hall from my bedroom. California is built around autos. To get to the nearby grocery store I would have to walk up a steep hill which does not provide any sidewalks so not only is it steep but unsafe to walk. I don't like taking my walks around here because there aren't much of any sidewalks and again the streets harrow and winding so its dangerous.

So I have to drive to trail parks a couple of miles away. I would love a electric vehicle for that but they're too expensive. When we can buy them for under $10K or better yet $5K then great! The now defunct nearby Chrysler dealer was selling GEM cars but they weren't very popular because they're too slow and people didn't like having a bunch of angry drivers following them down the streets. The city still has a few but they're mainly to run errands between the downtown offices where their slowness won't matter. And yes they were relatively inexpensive but really just glorified golf carts.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I understand why we like or "need" to drive at times, and I would like a clean sane system for driving. At the same time, I believe most people have a disconnect with their environment due to the driving paradigm we have in our society. Unless you walk along the streets, you don't notice the smells of exhaust which gets in your car as bad or worse. I tend to look for streets with less traffic and get annoyed walking by traffic jams smogging up the air. The noise pollution is pretty annoying as well and I'm glad I don't live on a busy street. I feel sorry for people with kids who have to play next to the busy streets when they go outside.

People have lost touch with nature, they live by the watch and their work schedule, and often a tv schedule. Life becomes getting from point a to point b as fast as possible. What people have lost is enjoyment of the journy no matter how long it takes. Driving to me becomes a chore not only because it cost a lot of work hours to own, maintain, and fule a car, besides all the taxes we pay for roads, but because roads are meaningless to my connection with nature. I'm not paralyzed and I'm sure someone who is would rather walk than ride in a 4 wheeled chair everywhere they go. I want to hear the birds, pet the cats, say high to people, see the gardens, feel the air, know and be a part of my neighborhood.

Our cities, towns and it's vast amenities are centered around the car and road system which is very inefficient for our resources. Why did this happen? I'd argue those who sell oil propagated it. People need to demand more from their cities and towns in the way of sidewalks, bike trails, better crosswalks and more zoning for stores and amenities in their neighborhoods. Nonetheless, the people I wish I could reach are the people who live in areas great for walking yet they don't do it. If you live within a couple of miles from work, walking is one of the best ways you can start and end your day. If you live a mile from a grocery store, you can buy and carry home a lot of supplies or just a fun snack.

I walk at least 2 miles a day and sometimes 15 miles except when the weather is exceptionally sucky. I'm just saying from experience you don't know what you are missing if you don't do it.

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lorne
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I go for a daily walk (probably a couple miles) but I don't listen to the birds or the wind rustle. I'm listening to Thom on that walk and via my Android phone since the local Green960 is too low powered for good walkman reception. Oh but I do say hello to people though many are probably listening to Rush though. I've been waiting all these years for one of them to ask with silly grin, "are ya listening to Rush?" so I can say no, I'm listening to Thom Hartmann to see what happens from there. ;)

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The three months we lived in Siena were carfree. Buses and trains went where we needed to go beyond the city, and walking was what everyone did.

In addition to being good for you, when lots of people go for a walk after work and before dinner, the community meets and greets instead of passing each other inside metal casings. We say hi instead of flipping the bird.

I ride my bike to get downtown, but then I like to walk instead of take it everywhere.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

One problem reducing walking is the walking environment. On some of my walks, I have to cross streets with heavy traffic. With painted cross walks some people stop for me. Without paint cross walks but corner to corner crossings, people are supposed to stop for me but 99% of the time they whizz on by even if I'm part way in the street. I've contacted my city to try and get some lines painted for my usual routes.

I have to admit, that I don't always stop for corner to corner crossing, though I stop every time for cross walks unless I could see someone due to other cars. With this admittance, I have some reasoning, one is that I don't always notice the person without the painted lines in the street, other times, I think it is too dangerous for the person because I expect cars will zoom around me not knowing why I stopped, and other times I think I'll pass the crossing soon enough for the person to cross without any other traffic to interfere. Regardless, I guess I'm guilty of not stopping, but I try. Knowing this and knowing I'm probably not alone, this raises a question. How do we lift the barriers for the walking or biking populous.

It's basic question when it comes to traffic hazards, compared with all the other limitations we face as a society that probably would like to walk more. Ultimately I can't walk everywhere for time constants and people do have time limitations. If I had it my way, buses would be available every 15 minutes on a grid north to south east about every half mile or so. Buses or trains would run every 15 minutes on every freeway, highway and interstate- in populated areas during waking hours, and public/private rental cars would be mandated easily available for sparse areas like the zip car. I would love the day, I would walk to a bus, ride 20 minutes to downtown Seattle, take a high speed train to Tacoma, rent some sort of electric car and drive to Mount Rainier to go hiking. If this sort of thing existed, I would hardly need or want to own a car. All the money I saved on a car would could go toward a more energy efficient transportation system, considering all the externalities saved on top of that, we could get around a lot cheaper. Look down a crowded car to car stop and go highway and think about how many miles of this exists at one time in the US during rush hour. I've traveled to every state in the US by car except for Hawaii of course, and until you see all the roads and cars you can't necessarily understand how crazy it is what we are doing. Car to car is a lot like a train, but with too many engines expelling wasted heat, co2 and other gasses. With a proper design, support and funding, public transportation and a little walking would make life so much better.

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lorne
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

In the late 1970s when I lived in Seattle's University district and had a temp job downtown I could walk across the street from my apartment and take a bus to get downtown in 45 minutes. Then I learned that if I walked just two blocks there was a stop for express bus which jumped on the freeway express lane entrance in the U District and got me to work in 15 minutes. Parking even in those days was expensive downtown and there was no way I could have driven there in 15 minutes. When I was asked to work weekends I drove though as traffic was light enough and free parking available. Has Seattle gotten worse in recent years.

At least much of Washington state's communities are laid out in grids. California has a lot of winding roads which were probably established even before it was a state. That makes it difficult other than the political haggling that goes on to have good mass transit.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I meant to reply to the crosswalk thing. This suburb I live in has narrow streets and not a lot of traffic. They've installed solar powered crosswalk lights that someone who wants to cross on one of the busiest streets can activate if they want to cross. OTOH many of us if there is no traffic behind a car coming down the street when we want to cross as a courtesy wave them through. In fact downtown has such narrow streets I have never seen a cop write up anyone for jaywalking.

Also I've noticed a trend over the last couple of years of people taking aggressive dogs on walks with them in parks. After one attacked me one day I began carrying pepper spray with me and more recently an electronic dog whistle which I haven't gotten to use much because it acted like a talisman and haven't encountered as many people walking aggressive dogs. And when I have those owners were more responsible and took their dog off trail while I passed.

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captbebops
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