The Woman Who Stops Traffic

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edmonds59
Participant
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One of the plusses of this weather, I stumbled across some worthwhile tv, a British series about a woman who is trying to reduce car use over there. A very interesting perspective, apparently the Brits are as car addicted as US, hard to believe. Shows how she is able to win some people over, very worthwhile to watch her process, if you’ve got the cable.

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/woman-stops-traffic/


Mick
Participant
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The Brits could be horribly, irrationally addicted to car use and still be better about it than the US.


Nick D
Participant
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If you want insight into their car culture, watch Top Gear.

They are as much, if not more, car crazy. They just aren’t as stupid.


myddrin
Participant
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I’m not sure if its that they aren’t as stupid but just the practicalities of life in either a rural setting or in major old metropolises…

As I’ve posted a couple of times, I spent a week in the UK in September on a cycling tour. The actual tour was in Wales, but I landed at Heathrow, so I got to see a fair bit of London and the rest of England.

In the only “modern” city I visited (Cardiff), the traffic was very similar to that of the US. Too fast, too much and too rude. Since it near destruction in WWII, most of the city center was rebuilt and it very, very car centric.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Cardiff and cycling it was a joy due to the separate bike paths… but where the main roads and bike paths overlapped it was pretty scary.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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What’s the price of fuel over there, compared to the US at any given time? Does that have any effect on their approach to driving, do you think?

Wider but related question, does anyone know of a website where you can do day-by-day comparisons of fuel prices in various countries?


Steven
Participant
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erok
Keymaster
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the number of the beast


edmonds59
Participant
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I think they may actually be worse, because on the show, in this quaint little exurban English town, people were driving their kids 1/4 and 1/2 mile to school, and this woman had a hell of a time getting them to give that up.

In the US we’ve set up our suburbs up so it’s almost impossible to walk anywhere, but that isn’t an individual decision that someone can immediately change, that’s a societal and a policy failure.


Mick
Participant
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A friend of mine with kids came back from living in England for a year. She said that here her kids would bug her for rides and be unresponsive to the argument that “When we lived in England, you’d always walk distances like this.” “…But that was different.”

I suppose it varies a lot from town to town.

I’ve wondered about the “drive-the-kids-everywhere ” culture. I think a lot of parents really like the control. Even (maybe especially) the parents that complain about driving their kids.

When I did the GAP, I realized that kids in the trail towns – like the 12 to 16 year old kids – have a lot of options that kids in small, distant suburb towns usually don’t have.

I’m thinking about towns like Bueno Vista, Sutersville and West Newton.

I’ve never been there, but I understand that england still ahve right-of-ways for walking paths through the country.

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