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Re: A Republican!!!!!! (was Re: OT: sponge burning!)

On  1 Mar, Steve Lamb wrote:
> Joe Hart wrote:
>> Where I live, it is the _bicycle_ that is the preferred method of
>> transportation.  Not so bad when the weather is nice, but I'm too
>> Americanized to use it for my grocery shopping (although there are a
>> lot of Dutch who do).
>     Which seems foolish all around.  To bike anywhere I would want to
> go would take the better part of an hour one way.  Or, ohhhh, less
> than 10m by my motorcycle.  So a short errand of 35m (10m drive, 5m
> park, 10m shopping, 10m back home) becomes an all-afternoon adventure
> on a bicycle.  Nevermind that the carying capacity on my motorcycle is
> greater than that of a bicycle.  Even buses would take longer to get
> to the store I am thinking of, at least 35m from my house to the store
> since it isn't door-to-door service that the motorcycle provides. 
> Still the better part of the afternoon.

     What's foolish here is your making generalizations based on your
specific situation.  :-)

>     The only cases where public transportation wins is when the roads
> are so poorly designed/maintained that they're a complete impediment
> to the rapid flow of private vehicular traffic.  That is not the case
> in virtually all of America, even Paul's dreaded Los Angeles.  Down
> there I lived in Long Beach, worked in Pasadena and commuted to work
> every day.  It took me just a hair over 45m by motorcycle in the
> "horrible" rush hour traffic.  The one time I looked at public
> transportation it would've been over 2 hours for the same distance.

     The other side of the coin is the quality of the public
transportation design and implementation.  I'm not familiar with LA, but
I can say from experience that in Boston and Montreal, public
transportation is usually the fastest way to get around.  In some cases
a bicycle is even faster; of course, in this region it's not so pleasant
for at least 4 months of the year.  My brother lives in Manhattan, and
owns a car which he only uses when he travels outside the city, since
the public transportation is much quicker there.  I doubt that any road
design could compete with a good public transportation system in areas
with population densities similar to these areas.

    By the way, isn't air travel an example of fairly efficient (and
government subsidized) public transportation, at least long distance


|   Christopher Judd, Ph. D.                                           |
|   Research Scientist III                                             |
|   NYS Dept. of Health                           judd@wadsworth.org   | 
|   Wadsworth Center - ESP                                             |
|   P. O. Box 509                                    518 486-7829      |
|   Albany, NY 12201-0509                                              |

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