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Thread: What if cars went bye bye?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    I've happily made it to 40 without a car. Obviously, not everyone is prepared to do it,
    and I just wonder if it even occurs to people that it's possible.

    Anyone have an idea what their car expenses add up to over 24 years?

    -g
    major props to you Grant!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rphetteplace View Post
    major props to you Grant!
    funny story...

    My grandfather (on my dad's side) moved to Canada from Scotland when he was a boy.
    He went back to school at 40 to become a minister, and at about 60 he decided to get
    his drivers licence!

    My sister's husband grew up in NYC, and moved to Toronto to go to University. He still
    doesn't have his licence either.... we're a strange bunch!

    -g

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    short of death, people will adapt to their environment and do so better than a c.ockroach. i'd like to think that removing cars would encourage people to live without them, encourage the use of public transpo etc. etc. i think what would really happen is a a time of invention and creativity as replacements came onto the scene. assuming that people could not just create cars again in this example, maybe personal hovercrafts or helicopters would become popular or motorcycles with sidecars or wickydoodles ... but i highly doubt we as a society are ready to give up individualized transportation. so, i think it would be business as ussual with a different device.

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    Default I was curious myself

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    I've happily made it to 40 without a car. Obviously, not everyone is prepared to do it,
    and I just wonder if it even occurs to people that it's possible.

    Anyone have an idea what their car expenses add up to over 24 years?

    -g
    check this out.

    http://www.commutesolutions.org/calc.htm

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    First my heart would go out to the disadvantaged, elderly and infirmed who without cars will be harshly impacted. OK that's my first thought.

    We'd see an immediate and diverse cottage industry in delivery and services by human power.

    The price of housing near city centers will go thru the roof.

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    It would be even more impossible to sign up for a CAT 5 race.
    we are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God!

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    Living in places like Houston (where I live) would be near impossible. The sprawl is gigantic. I persoanlly drive 70 miles round trip per day for work. (that is normal for most folks) I have ridden it, but with cars. The only rail car goes between downtown and the medical center. Having lived up north, i think mass tranisit in the form of rail would do well here. Unfortunatley not too many agree. Car/SUV/Truck is king here.

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    I am pretty sure things would look like this:


    Except on Mountain Bikes.

    Kellog would have an Eye Patch and Ti hook for his left hand.

    [I have no idea why George Clinton is so angry in this video. I think its because Tu-Pac stole one of his tied-up bitches.]
    Last edited by acotts; 12-01-2008 at 07:37 PM.
    we are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God!

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    GM would be fixed because they'd build replacements people would be grateful to have.

    If no more cars were allowed to be built, buses of various types would become a national priority (faster and cheaper than building a rail system) and telecommuting would be used by all those for whom physical presence at the work site was not necessary.

    Real estate in the burbs would be devastated and we'd have a nightmare depression as factory utilization went to 20% for lack of workers, though perhaps we'd see house swapping (until the buses were built) so people would have shelter near their place of work.

    Nobody would buy anything expensive because it could magically disappear.

    Apartment rents would skyrocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    That'd be actually worse than if cars went away. No food or goods would get to market.

    If cars or easy transportation actually ceased to exist there would be starvation on a large scale in the US and a breakdown of society would take place.

    For better or worse, automobiles have allowed massive modernization of the world.
    We don't need food shipped across the country to eat well. See food thread

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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt6267a View Post
    ... but i highly doubt we as a society are ready to give up individualized transportation. so, i think it would be business as ussual with a different device.
    True. I won't give up my bike.

    But... To respond to the original question.
    I can't even say "bike" to my students without them laughing a little (My 953 Crown Jewel Single Speed is locked up on the grate in my window. Yup, I teach in the basement.) I think a quick lesson of History should answer your students question. Look at the Industrial Revolution. The world became a better place, more open, without the need to travel singularly at high-speeds until basically after WWI. Cars are an escapists tool. In the past they may have just traveled, joined the army, become a recluse, or write a book. Instead now they travel 90 miles an hour, alone, but for their in car DVD player, GPS, and talk radio; unaware of the cyclist that they just ran off the road.

    The world would be just fine without cars, maybe we would talk to our neighbors, say hi to people on the street, and go for more bike rides.

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    Personally, I hope that trains would return to take up the slack. Trains and barges.

    In fact, I hope they return anyway.
    Michael Maddox
    Tallahassee, FL
    http://oldfartcycling.org/

    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder. (Mr. Tom, BikeForums 2008)

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    It's an interesting question, but I do think it's one we need to confront. I think the more important question is how we should prioritize automobile use in a world of limited resources?

    1. Things that supply civilization with basic needs, eg food, energy, shelter

    2. Things that get multiple human beings from point A to point B for work or basic needs

    and then ....

    3. Individual motorcars

    Cheap oil and the reliance on automobiles for individual transport have distorted a lot of things in Western society (it ain't just the US, although that's where it's probably at its worst), most notably urban design and development. It will take us a century or more to unwind from the era of cheap oil. I'm not even sure we've begun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1centaur View Post


    Nobody would buy anything expensive because it could magically disappear.
    a great point.

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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    A more interesting question would be what if humanity simply vanished from the planet, say due to a catastrophic epidemic.

    But if cars went away right now there'd be pandemonium for a while and then the world would figure it out. Cars have only been a part of the lives of most of the modern world for about 90 years.

    My former mother-in-law doesn't have a drivers license. But in Europe living without a car is not only possible it's actually desirable and easy.
    Thirteen years on, I happen upon this thread, and this more interesting question.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    I'm just here to add a like for Jonathan's 2008 post of my favorite Rush song.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    This is an interesting thread to bring up considering 12 months ago nearly all car traffic stopped immediately (country by country).
    So in a way we know what can happen, how people are impacted, and what changes have needed to happen.

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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bewheels View Post
    This is an interesting thread to bring up considering 12 months ago nearly all car traffic stopped immediately (country by country).
    So in a way we know what can happen, how people are impacted, and what changes have needed to happen.
    And the Cannonball record fell three times in rapid succession to a time of 25h 15m that will most likely never fall.

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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    As long as you aren't disabled and can ride a bicycle It is quite easy to live without a personnal car actually. This is mostly a motivation and anticipation thing and accepting losing a bit of comfort notably in term of improvisation. Most things end up being ordered online and you can't just decide to rush to the grocery store at the last minute if you are not living in a urban area. You rent a vehicle only when you need it, around here there are even apps to rent other people's cars so you just have to find one in your neighborhood, some will even drive to your place if you need it.

    If you can't accept that, you'd live miserably. Otherwise it is fine. I ditched my car 2 years ago and don't regret it. I rent a car once in a while and I don't have to think about maintenance, depreciation, insurance or even just cleaning it. Having said that I still have a motorbike but even that would be the first thing I would ditch if I had to get rid of one thing.

    Now living in a society that do not allow ajn kind of motorized vehicule, be it rented ones, transport of good or mass transit would be very different. A personnal car ? This is just a luxury.
    --
    T h o m a s

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