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    Default What if cars went bye bye?

    I was working with my students in our basic physics lessons with momentum and velocity. One train of thought lead to another and we of course were talking about bicycles vs. cars as far as energy in these situations.

    A student posed a question that was kind of interesting.

    "What if all the cars right now, were taken away?"

    Not that they had never been invented, but right now some how all cars would simply vanish.

    So I wanted to pose to the lot of you, what do you educated cats think would happen?

    I want to share some of the answers with my students.

    Thanks.
    Dave Bradley...not the grumpy old Hogwarts caretaker "Mr. Filch" or the star of American Ninja 3 and 4.

    formerly "Mr.President"

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    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.
    La Cheeserie!

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    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.

    Saab, these are 10 & 11 year olds. Humanity vanishing doesn't come up until we study Aliens! :)

    But duly noted. :biggrin:
    Dave Bradley...not the grumpy old Hogwarts caretaker "Mr. Filch" or the star of American Ninja 3 and 4.

    formerly "Mr.President"

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    Does this include 18 wheel trucks?
    life is too short to drink bad wine....

    Stuart Levy

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    Quote Originally Posted by znfdl View Post
    Does this include 18 wheel trucks?
    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.
    La Cheeserie!

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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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    Mass chaos.

    We have come to depend on the shrinking of distance a car affords - We can easily work many miles from our homes, easily carry large loads (like groceries or flat-panel TVs) long distances from stores to our home, and can easily visit far-flung family and friends.

    Other modes of rapid transportation - buses, trains, planes - could be ramped up to fulfill these needs (and some of us are fortunate to live in areas where public transportation can already adequately handle a lot of our needs), but right now they are completely inadequate to meet the needs of the vast majority of the US. It would take decades to roll out the necessary infrastructure.

    There are very few places in the US where people can live easily without a car. NYC is probably one. I personally drive less and less, and could probably get by on a day-to-day basis here in Boston, but it would be inconvenient. Lots of people I know here could not easily live their current lives without a car.

    Bikes only enter the picture when goods & services are available close enough to home to make them practical as shopping/transporting devices.

    We've spent a century creating this dependence. It will take a good long time to change that, if indeed it's the way events are pushing us. Personally, I believe we'll see more efficient, greener personal transportation, but nothing like the death of the automobile.
    GO!

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    There'd be a lot more fast bicycle riders out there.

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    Post Interesting school project!

    Disappearance of cars in the short term would be an unmitigated disaster.
    They facilitate commerce, speed medical care, allow for relatively cost-efficient transport of goods & services, and permit personal travel that would be virtually impossible without their presence.

    As cities and suburbs continue to be planned, expanded, and built, hopefully we will see a decreased reliance on individual automobiles over the decades and centuries to come.
    In the near term they remain very important components in our transportation infrastructure.

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    way back in 1977 my brother and i spent a summer racing and riding around cambridge, england. we had a riding buddy who was in his 60s and rode a SA 3-speed because he didn't trust these new-fangled derailers. george had been too young for the great war, had fought in spain against franco, and had served on the home guard in the uk during ww2.

    he pointed out that during the war, with rubber and petrol severely rationed, automotive traffic was almost non-existent - but the roads were in great shape.

    he said it was like riding in paradise.
    Steve Hampsten
    www.hampsten.blogspot.com
    "Tighten the wingnuts!"

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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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    Last week I was reviewing a proposal for a new low-income housing development which, contrary to agency design standards, did not provide off-street parking. By way of explanation/justification, the applicants pointed out that barely 10% of households in the neighborhood (central Bronx) had cars.

    The site was adjacent to a subway line and bus routes, with shopping within walking distance as well. So well-established, dense neighborhoods like this would do perfectly well without cars. Nearby suburbs (with commuter train and local bus service and established retail centers) would adopt, too. Its the exurbs and beyond that would be SOL.

    The collapse of the long-commute housing market once gas spiked at $4/gall. was a foretaste of what would happen without cheap (i.e. socially subsidized) personal transport.
    Based on a true story.

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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.
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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    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.
    Broad strokes, here.

    I lived car free from the age of 18 to 32, but I was living in populated areas where I could easily ride to the store for groceries 1-2 times per week and commute to work by bike year round. I currently live 25km from the nearest grocery store and about 40km from the feed store. We're not in the delivery zone for any grocery service and I don't know of any bikes that can carry a dozen hay bales, 50# bags of feed, or fencing lumber. In an emergency, I'm also a minimum of 30 minutes from the nearest hospital service or police - that's a long time to wait in an emergency (hour round trip for the ambulance to get here and get me/someone else to a hospital).

    In the right circumstances, especially in an urban environment, I think personal cars should be considered obsolete given proper public transit and access to rapid healthcare and the like. That does not account for a huge swath of the population living rural with needs that can't be fulfilled by bicycle.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

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    Default Re: What if cars went bye bye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    Broad strokes, here.

    I lived car free from the age of 18 to 32, but I was living in populated areas where I could easily ride to the store for groceries 1-2 times per week and commute to work by bike year round. I currently live 25km from the nearest grocery store and about 40km from the feed store. We're not in the delivery zone for any grocery service and I don't know of any bikes that can carry a dozen hay bales, 50# bags of feed, or fencing lumber. In an emergency, I'm also a minimum of 30 minutes from the nearest hospital service or police - that's a long time to wait in an emergency (hour round trip for the ambulance to get here and get me/someone else to a hospital).

    In the right circumstances, especially in an urban environment, I think personal cars should be considered obsolete given proper public transit and access to rapid healthcare and the like. That does not account for a huge swath of the population living rural with needs that can't be fulfilled by bicycle.
    This very same population lived before the cars.

    Back in the days there were more local stores in rural areas. They have been deserted because cars made all the big commercial zone accessible to people living in remote area and they stopped supporting their local community. If we had to live care free you would see more of these poping again in rural areas because they would be profitable again. Delivery service would also adapt, if not to your door at least to a more local commerce nearby.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 03-03-2021 at 11:20 AM.
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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.
    12 months ago, I was commuting on light rail a lot of the time.
    I hung my fixed gear on a hook on the train.
    I got to read books or listen to podcasts or jazz a lot then.
    I got to meet interesting people that I would not have run across otherwise.
    I had to give it up because of Covid, and I drive to work now.
    I hope to get back to the trains before long.
    The people on the train are much more fun to be around than are all the a$$holes on the road who can now drive over 100 mph whenever they want.
    Mark Walberg
    Building bike frames for fun since 1973.

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