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Land of the Free... or NOT!

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Dwarfer, 27 Jul 2011.

  1. Dwarfer

    Dwarfer New Member

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    lol

    Just heard on the news, ppl in America will be fined $50 if they are caught walking and texting wtf!! :wallbash:
     
  2. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    Sauce?
     
  3. Dwarfer

    Dwarfer New Member

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  4. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Americans have always been weird about crossing streets. I mean, it's a country where you can get a fine because you don't track down a traffic light and wait for it to turn red before going from one side of a road to another.
     
  5. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    It always seemed they are a bit weird about people not driving tbh.
     
  6. andrew8200m

    andrew8200m Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear...
     
  7. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    I'm inclined to agree. Bikes seem to be looked at as children's toys or something for people who're weird use.
     
  8. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Just to clarify for everyone, the $50 fine for texting while walking was introduced in Rexburg, Idaho. So this fine applies to a single small town, not the entire country.

    I do agree that taken as a whole, this country is far behind the rest of the world in its attitude toward bicycling. On the other hand, our cities tend to be more spread out than many other places, so bicycling often is not an option.

    I bike to work on occasion, but only the spare few days when the temperature and humidity aren't both above 90. I also have to build up the courage to compete for road space. I stay on the sidewalk whenever possible - even though it's illegal - and there are some parts of the trip where sidewalks don't exist. Narrow roads plus a a public that texts while driving equals an unfriendly bicycling experience.
     
  9. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Americans so often make this claim when providing a reason that bikes are unpopular. But seriously, what do you think, that European cities had bike lanes in the 14th century? You have to build the infrastructure to make these things workable. Now it's true that a much higher proportion of US cities are built using superblocks connected by motorway instead of compact high density normal block design, but really, build bike lanes all over the place and people will use them to travel long distances. I know that you as an individual can't just go out and start building bike lanes, but as a nation you can't keep saying "we need our cars because our cities aren't bike friendly and we're spread out". That's like saying that I can't paint my walls because I don't have a paintbrush when there's a DIY store nearby.

    The US is hugely focussed on motor transport right now, but with the age of near free energy seemingly coming to an end, you're all going to have to start somewhere. You live in Texas Supermonkey, a state the size of France with 1/3rd the population, so I get why biking can be less convenient than say, the Netherlands (you can bike the entire country, easily). Still though, on the whole the majority of the US seems to make zero effort, and I think that largely stems from the cultural thing (cars = freedom for grownups, bikes = toys for kids) more than a genuine infrastructural problem.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    But everyone can own a gun. :hehe:
     
  11. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    I'd want to shoot things if I got fined for being treated like a baby when it comes to crossing the road. Takes the term "Nanny state" to a whole new level of literalism.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    A nanny state is what most people want. They just don't want a nanny who sets boundaries. ;)
     
  13. FuzzyOne

    FuzzyOne

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  14. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Small town near a BYU campus? Reminds me of the BYU honor code thread. The beauty of the American government: a small town is free to enact their own laws if the people want to. And on the flip side, the rest of us are free to make sure such silly laws don't end up in our towns.

    Texas is actually in the middle ground as the 26th most dense state, with Washington at 25th. It gets worse, get down towards the bottom with Idaho at 44th and you're looking at a quarter of the density even compared to big ol' Texas. Low population density isn't just a slight hurdle making things "less convenient", it's a major problem made even worse by urban planning methodologies implemented in the 1950s. Following the widespread adoption of automobiles the basic structure of cities changed, the majority of new development for the last 60 years has been to place housing 10-40 miles away from large sources of employment such as a city. America, still physically growing and developing undeveloped land, is the most prominent example of this.

    Trying to push bikes on people is looking at the situation from the wrong direction. Those living and working within larger urban centers already have lower automobile ownership and usage along with higher public transportation usage, the people driving live 20+ miles away and commute to work every day. They live in communities specifically designed with vehicular travel in mind, they're positioned at a comfortable driving distance away from typical employers. The area between the suburb and the city is likely mostly undeveloped land, a buffer of sorts. Building bike lanes isn't a simple matter of getting people to pedal from their apartment up in the Heights over to their job downtown, we're talking ~20 miles following routes which normally demand a state highway.

    The easiest yet most difficult answer to any transportation problem is: cut out the need for transportation. Break away from the suburb infrastructure, get people to live within biking distance where there likely are existing bike lanes and accommodations. The problem with that, of course, is that not everyone wants to live in a city and, with enough wealth and cheap enough autombiles, they simply don't have to. And they won't, until you either make living in suburbs prohibitively expensive or make living in urban centers persuasively cheap.
     
  15. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    No, I'm sure cities in the 14th century didn't have bike lanes. But they were also much more compact owing to the relative limitations in travel at the time. Perhaps I over-generalized a bit when I talked about the US being more spread out. The northeast tends to be more densely packed than the central and western states - again owing largely to transportation limitations at the time the cities were founded, as well as the cultural norms and world views of the European settlers who built cities based on what they knew back home.

    You're absolutely right, though, that the infrastructure needs to be built. As older roads are torn up and repaired, I have noticed an increase in dedicated bike lanes. It's a good start, but for a country that was built on an infrastructure based on trains and automobiles, we've got a long way to go.
     
  16. D3s3rt_F0x

    D3s3rt_F0x New Member

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    Don't think its quite as bad as this though.
     
  17. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    WTF?
     
  18. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Yeah, that is pretty ridiculous. Then again in a country of 310 million people if you go for isolated incidents you're going to find horrific miscarriages of justice on a regular basis.
     
  19. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    sloth nailed it.

    im part of the large majority of americans that commute to work every day. i live exactly 20 miles from my place of employment with the only connecting road being a 4 lane highway. it takes me 20 minutes to get to work driving. it would take me that plus an hour biking. i have better things to do with almost 3 hours a day than to spend it getting to and from work. like spending time with my loved ones and/or sleeping. add to that the fact that my profession is physically demanding and i think id have a hard time biking up the blacks hills after 8 hours of work, and im a pretty fit and active individual.

    i could move into the city where i work, but i would go from a small but nice house on its own lot to a small apartment with lousy neighbors for the same monthly rent. the community i live in now is also much safer and quieter than the city.

    for me, living in a small city and commuting to work in a larger one is a no-brainer. i suppose that makes me part of the problem though. am i expected to sacrifice personal safety and comfort for the greater good of society?
     
  20. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    I think you'll find that in the next 5 or so years it'll not be a matter of personal safety or comfort it'll be the choice between food on the table or fuel in the car. The houses out of town start to fall in value whilst those in mass transit or active travel range increase as the price of oil and there for petrol moves once again towards $200.

    The irony is of course this hits one of the worlds largest producers of oil the hardest.
     

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