[LMB] OT: Cars, independence, and haut bubbles

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sat Sep 4 02:02:39 BST 2021


I've taken many long car trips in the US.  The longest I've ever done (the
big round-the-West trip I took when I went to Sasquan in Spokane) was about
8100 km.

I've traveled on busses, trains (I take the train out to California every
year for Christmas with my brother's family), airplanes and ferries (in
Norway).  All have good and bad points.

Part of my problem with public transportation is that my state (Iowa) just
isn't well-served by public transport.  American domestic airlines operate
on a "hub" system, and no airline hubs out of Des Moines, meaning that
service there is not-so-hot-so.  Passenger trains are a bear to use if you
don't happen to live right close to them, and they don't go through or have
depots in Des Moines or other major Iowa cities.   The railroad companies
much prefer handling freight, for perfectly good reasons.

Buses are, all too often, like a zoo on wheels, and are just as vulnerable
as automobiles are to our winter weather.

One thing I really like about driving (It does get lonely, I admit) is that
I can take side-trips.  I've visited friends who lived near the routes I
was taking (Leslie Fish and L, Neil Smith) several times.  I'm also not
confined to eating airline or railroad food, which is beastly expensive,
and I can sleep at night in a bed in a motel like a civilized person.

On Fri, Sep 3, 2021 at 4:21 PM WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com> wrote:

> Part of the difference is size and attitude. The old saying that in the US
> a hundred years is a long time and a hundred miles is a short distance is
> true. I can’t get out of NM in a hundred miles. In Europe, they might go to
> three countries. Brian’s current job is in Santa Fe. When he can’t work
> from home, he has about a 180 mile round trip.
> The last mile problem may be greater here. I usually buy groceries by the
> week. The store I usually shop at is about a mile and a quarter away,
> walking distance, but I really can’t carry a full weeks worth of groceries.
> I pick up two of my granddaughters after school every day and It’s 8.7
> miles away.
> The bus schedule doesn’t permit commuting except in special cases.
> Albuquerque Rapid Transit even before COVID was years late, many millions
> over budget, and forced many small businesses along its route to close. (As
> I said this was even before COVID.) It only serves a small corridor. I
> doubt people will vote the money for extensions.
>
> William A Wenrich
> Christian, Husband, Father, Granddaddy, Son, & American. Here I am. I can
> do no other. God help me!
> ________________________________
> From: Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of
> Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net>
> Sent: Friday, September 3, 2021 11:00:16 AM
> To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: Cars, independence, and haut bubbles
>
> On Fri, Sep 03, 2021 at 08:50:17AM -0400, Elizabeth Holden wrote:
>
> > > individual choices and the public sphere intersect.
> >
> > tidsel said:
> >
> > > Except in many cases one is dependent on another, and the individual >
> > choice is not really a choice.
> >
> > Yes, exactly. Therein lies one of the problems.
> >
> > Most people have chosen the individual car as a solution, albeit an
>
> Most American people.  Less so in various other countries.  Both choices
> shaped by the political choice to support cars (building wide roads and
> freeways, providing lots of cheap or free car parking, creating
> jaywalking laws, giving cars a free pass on pollution) or alternatives
> (public transit, traffic calming, safe bike paths, high gas taxes,
> market-based parking...)
>
> -xx- Damien X-)
> --
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