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Old 07-25-2014, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,657,858 times
Reputation: 4508

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlando-calrissian View Post
I've said this before, but I think that obesity isn't caused by cars, but increased driving is caused by obesity. There are fit people who drive to work, and during their free time they go to the gym, jog around their neighborhood, or find other ways to stay in shape. Yet every day they drive a car to work. You can also find obese individuals riding public transit as well. I find that blaming the car for the obesity epidemic is a sign of anti-car beliefs. The fault with being obese lies with the person not taking the time to exercise. In several suburban areas, there are several parks, sidewalks, and gyms that people can go to. If you can't afford a gym, then walking around the block or through the park is free. But people who want to be in shape will find a way. People who gain too much weight will find anything to blame but themselves.And once that weight is gained, it becomes harder to move around without using some sort of assistance. That's why you never see obese people walking or riding a bike, but you always see them in cars. Biking does help you stay in shape, driving a car does not make you fat.
Personally, instead of using up my free time and walking nowhere, (although that can be nice, too, if you live in a pleasant neighborhood--I find nothing pleasant about going to a gym, though) I prefer to walk to work, or to/from the transit stop.

IMO, cars are only one of many contributors to the obesity problem in the US.

Finally, I'd like to point out, again, that no one is suggesting that people need to give up their cars completely. What the "anti-car" crowd is suggesting, IMO, is that it's possible to go on a car diet and use the car less. For some people, giving up the car completely is quite feasible. For others, people could decide to use their cars less. And finally, some have put themselves in a position of complete auto-dependency. Unfortunately, for most of the US, transportation policy is based on the assumption that nearly everyone will use the automobile for all of their transportation needs.

 
Old 07-25-2014, 09:43 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,350,485 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Personally, instead of using up my free time and walking nowhere, (although that can be nice, too, if you live in a pleasant neighborhood--I find nothing pleasant about going to a gym, though) I prefer to walk to work, or to/from the transit stop.

IMO, cars are only one of many contributors to the obesity problem in the US.

Finally, I'd like to point out, again, that no one is suggesting that people need to give up their cars completely. What the "anti-car" crowd is suggesting, IMO, is that it's possible to go on a car diet and use the car less. For some people, giving up the car completely is quite feasible. For others, people could decide to use their cars less. And finally, some have put themselves in a position of complete auto-dependency. Unfortunately, for most of the US, transportation policy is based on the assumption that nearly everyone will use the automobile for all of their transportation needs.
What does this have to do with the thread or title of the post?

Why would people that placed themselves in a position of complete public transit dependency be complaining about fuel taxes?

Not clear where there is support for your conclusion. Roads are necessary if even a few use an automobile for even some of their transportation needs. It's not economically feasible (or desirable) to extend public transit throughout the country - it simply cannot service everybody nor is everybody looking for public transit. It's offensive to suggest that people should only be permitted to live in areas served by public transit.

Last edited by IC_deLight; 07-25-2014 at 11:04 AM..
 
Old 07-25-2014, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,657,858 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
What does this have to do with the thread or title of the post?
Quote:
Unfortunately, for most of the US, transportation policy (how transportation funding is spent) is based on the assumption that nearly everyone will use the automobile for all of their
transportation needs.
Quote:
Why would people that placed themselves in a position of complete public transit
dependency be complaining about fuel taxes?
First, how does one become public transit dependent? I'm transit dependent only because I don't have the option of getting a driver's license, due to a disability.

To answer your question: it's a response to the "anti-transit" folks who want to limit--or completely eliminate--public transit, because "it doesn't pay for itself."

Quote:
Not clear where there is support for your conclusion. If even a few use an
automobile for even some of their transportation needs, you will have to have
roads.
What is my unsupported conclusion? It's certainly not that we don't need roads.
 
Old 07-25-2014, 11:03 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
BS. There aren't "increasing forces". Cars and vehicles were bigger in prior years than now. There has been a general decrease in car size. Whatever "new regs" you are referring to are a mystery. Federal and state regulations aimed at getting higher MPG fleet numbers generally resulted in shrinking cars. So whatever your point was here, it was lost.
Prior to the oil embargoes, cars were very big and very heavy. I'm not contending this. But, then, we saw a shrinking of the average, as companies introduced small, relatively efficient compacts. I'm speaking specifically since the rise of the SUV and truck as personal vehicles. We weren't always concerned with safety. Now we are, and we have been increasingly for a few decades. And as vehicle weights and the focus on safety has increased, we have seen an increase in what the regs require. A modern car is a virtual tank vs. a 1994 Accord and the like. A compact from the late '70s? Tinfoil by comparison.

Efficiency regs are a different matter, because that is a function of the EPA and CARB and have, in conjunction with oil prices, acted as a limiter on vehicle weight. If anything, cars might be much, much heavier if gas was $2 and we didn't have fleet averages counteracting the effect of DOT regs.

See also: Car and Driver - Csaba Csere - Why Mileage Hasn't Improved in 25 Years

Quote:
While EPA interior volume has grown from 106 to 112 cubic feet since 1982 an increase of six percent car weight has ballooned almost three times as much, or 17 percent. Blame stricter safety standards and customer requirements for stiffer, more-rattle-free vehicles and ever-increasing demand for creature comforts.
And this is circa 2006.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Uh sure. You might conceivably have an argument with seat belts but air bags? Do you believe people drive differently because they have a 3rd brake light too?
Probably not. But the TBL is an outlier. It is far less effective safety feature than amber turn signals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
"Meme" - the theme of the collectivists.
Groceries are something that even a few hipsters might understand. Some of them might occasionally prepare their own meals instead of relying upon the restaurants and coffee shops in their "mixed use" neighborhood. A bike isn't functionally sufficient for most households - that's why most households use cars. No "dark" economics needed.
If most people use cars, it is because it is most convenient in their (auto-oriented) contexts. If you read my posts, I bring up the idea of context a lot. In the context of, say, a suburban family (parents + kids), a car probably makes the most sense; get all the shopping done in one go with the least fuss over the kids. But, that's not necessarily the case. Contexts differ across neighborhoods, regions, and families. And not everyone has kids. Context is very, very essential to the infrastructure conversation.

Last edited by darkeconomist; 07-25-2014 at 11:12 AM..
 
Old 07-25-2014, 11:22 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,350,485 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
First, how does one become public transit dependent? I'm transit dependent only because I don't have the option of getting a driver's license, due to a disability.
Fine. You can live in a place where transit exists. Others with such disabilities rely on other folks and family to drive for them or run errands for them. Were you complaining about fuel taxes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
To answer your question: it's a response to the "anti-transit" folks who want to limit--or completely eliminate--public transit, because "it doesn't pay for itself."
Actually the entire thread was started by what appears to be an anti-car zealot using faulty mathematics to present an argument. It's not clear whether he was promoting that automobile users be required to pay higher fuel taxes or whether he believed that money that wasn't "subsidizing roads" would somehow automatically belong to and be used for public transit. The only thing that was apparent was some sort of offense taken because fuel taxes did not pay for the full cost of the road. The faulty mathematics, the fact that the same poster didn't take issue with an undeniably much larger subsidy for public transit (and the fact that public transit using the same roads is exempt from property and fuel taxes), the lack of logic as to why a "fuel tax" paid by some should pay for 100% of a road, and the fact that to the extent the remainder of the tab was footed taxes on households 90% of which owned cars illustrated little more than an anti-car rant as support for public transit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
What is my unsupported conclusion? It's certainly not that we don't need roads.
Your conclusion was "Unfortunately, for most of the US, transportation policy is based on the assumption that nearly everyone will use the automobile for all of their transportation needs." On what basis do you make this comment? If even some use the automobile for even some of their transportation needs, then roads are required. Of course interstate commerce, trucking, and even some forms of public transit need roads regardless of what "nearly everyone" else does.

You live in a place where public transit is available. Good for you if that works for you. But your comment indicates you have no choice but to rely on public transit. Maybe you wouldn't want to live there if you didn't have to. Exclusive public transit is not a solution for the vast majority of the U.S. population - and neither are bicycles or scooters.
 
Old 07-25-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,657,858 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Exclusive public transit is not a solution for the vast majority of the U.S. population - and neither are bicycles or scooters.
Maybe I'll respond to the rest of your post later, but who is suggesting that it is, or should be???
 
Old 07-25-2014, 11:50 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,350,485 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Prior to the oil embargoes, cars were very big and very heavy. I'm not contending this. But, then, we saw a shrinking of the average, as companies introduced small, relatively efficient compacts. I'm speaking specifically since the rise of the SUV and truck as personal vehicles. We weren't always concerned with safety. Now we are, and we have been increasingly for a few decades. And as vehicle weights and the focus on safety has increased, we have seen an increase in what the regs require. A modern car is a virtual tank vs. a 1994 Accord and the like. A compact from the late '70s? Tinfoil by comparison.

Efficiency regs are a different matter, because that is a function of the EPA and CARB and have, in conjunction with oil prices, acted as a limiter on vehicle weight. If anything, cars might be much, much heavier if gas was $2 and we didn't have fleet averages counteracting the effect of DOT regs.

See also: Car and Driver - Csaba Csere - Why Mileage Hasn't Improved in 25 Years
In the end, so what?
This thread was from someone whining about fuel taxes not paying for 100% of road costs. Nevermind about the logic as to why a fuel tax should pay for 100% of a road cost, what is your complaint here?

You want a safer car? It looks like some forms of safety improvements are going to add weight. Now you complain about the weight of the safer car?

The original thread dealt with fuel taxes and road subsidies. What is your point here? The more MPG a car gets the fewer taxes collected for the same amount of driving. Is your complaint that cars should be less fuel efficient in order to generate more fuel taxes or that they should be built less safely in order to get higher MPG to collect fewer fuel taxes? What is the point/connection here to this thread and the original post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Probably not. But the TBL is an outlier. It is far less effective safety feature than amber turn signals.
Your comment was with respect to people changing their driving habits due to safety equipment. My point was not really because most of the safety equipment is not tangibly connected to the driver. Fuel tank baffles aren't going to change a driver's behavior. Collapse points on the car body aren't going to change behavior. A third brake light isn't going to cause the driver to drive differently because he feels protected by his third brake light. An amber turn signal on his car isn't going to make him drive any differently either.

Airbags are fairly innocuous and I doubt anyone changes their driving behavior knowing that an airbag is present.

One might argue that someone with a seatbelt would drive differently than someone without because there is a tangible physical presence of a safety device there which is in constant contact with the driver and passengers. However, the wearing of seatbelts has been mandated by law for a few decades and you are not likely to change "with seatbelt" behavior. Some would argue that those driving without seatbelts are more of a problem - to themselves of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
If most people use cars, it is because it is most convenient in their (auto-oriented) contexts. If you read my posts, I bring up the idea of context a lot. In the context of, say, a suburban family (parents + kids), a car probably makes the most sense; get all the shopping done in one go with the least fuss over the kids. But, that's not necessarily the case. Contexts differ across neighborhoods, regions, and families. And not everyone has kids. Context is very, very essential to the infrastructure conversation.
Context has some bearing - so does the reality that households are dynamic not static in makeup and needs. What is often seen on CD is an attempt to promote costly static infrastructure (e.g., public transit) by dictating context such as trying to mandate "density". What was supposed to be a means of "serving" people ends up being a mechanism for inflexibly dictating where people should live and where they should not live, which people should live there, and how people should live. Such folks see objects like the car as the "enemy" because cars gives people freedom, flexibility, and independence.

Last edited by IC_deLight; 07-25-2014 at 11:59 AM..
 
Old 07-25-2014, 02:48 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Context has some bearing - so does the reality that households are dynamic not static in makeup and needs. What is often seen on CD is an attempt to promote costly static infrastructure (e.g., public transit) by dictating context such as trying to mandate "density". What was supposed to be a means of "serving" people ends up being a mechanism for inflexibly dictating where people should live and where they should not live, which people should live there, and how people should live. Such folks see objects like the car as the "enemy" because cars gives people freedom, flexibility, and independence.
Amen. Those hip, dense urban environments that they like were often built for an different purpose. I like dense walk able neighborhoods, but also realize why an building or housing probably should have some parking. Public transit is useful and great and an wonderful idea but it is also limited and limiting and thus public policy favors the automobile. Public transit is offered and an alternative and it does have it's uses but no way will society ever be able to put enough bus stops around that people prefer it over driving. Only in limited instance can it be preferable to car ownership.

As for Car-lite people go car lite all the time for economic reasons. They may have one family car and take the bus to work or they may have the family car and an second economy car for one person to go to work. What people won't do is go car-lite when it does not provide benefit and it can be hard for public transit to provide benefit esp. as density drops.
 
Old 07-25-2014, 03:01 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Amen. Those hip, dense urban environments that they like were often built for an different purpose. I like dense walk able neighborhoods, but also realize why an building or housing probably should have some parking. Public transit is useful and great and an wonderful idea but it is also limited and limiting and thus public policy favors the automobile. Public transit is offered and an alternative and it does have it's uses but no way will society ever be able to put enough bus stops around that people prefer it over driving. Only in limited instance can it be preferable to car ownership.

As for Car-lite people go car lite all the time for economic reasons. They may have one family car and take the bus to work or they may have the family car and an second economy car for one person to go to work. What people won't do is go car-lite when it does not provide benefit and it can be hard for public transit to provide benefit esp. as density drops.
Let's be fair about this. Building for cars above all else can (and does) restrict choice as much as if we built only for buses. And cars are very expensive. PT is expensive. In fact, the only things which aren't expensive are building for bikes and pedestrians. It becomes an inane non-argument to fight over which is more expensive.

The only thing that should matter is what is better for that area at that time.

Take the El Camino Real up the SF peninsula. At one time, it was great for the car, but we've reached a point where the car is not the most effective mode for the area and land given to the car has to be pared back for the benefit of the area. In that setting, at this time, the car as a mobility solution is not the most appropriate option. The car is absolutely a good thing, but relatively not the best thing.
 
Old 07-25-2014, 06:19 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,830,658 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Finally, I'd like to point out, again, that no one is suggesting that people need to give up their cars completely. What the "anti-car" crowd is suggesting, IMO, is that it's possible to go on a car diet and use the car less.
What the anti-car crowd is suggesting is redesigning urban environments so keeping (if you live there) and driving (if you don't) a car is impractical. And some of them add on top of that destroying any suburban environments where this isn't the case. Get rid of parking (both on-street and off-street) for homes and businesses, reduce speed limits to walking speed, narrow and/or close roads to automobiles, implement high auto tolls and taxes -- these are some of the suggestions we've seen. Sometimes this is couched as making the urban environment better with the disruption to auto travel being a side effect, and other times it's frankly presented as a way to prevent car use.
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