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What, no car for a week?

michaelskis

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This morning on the Radio, the morning people where talking about how Obesity is now the number once preventable cause of death, and now with the increasing gas prices, they are starting to make a connection. People where calling in and saying that they where not going to buy Gas from Mobil or Exxon will the prices hit $1.00, and on April 12 everyone is walking everywhere for the full week… But here, it is going to be hard, just because we have no public transportation, and I live in a sprawl community. I plan on riding my bike, but it made me realize that there are a lot of communities where people do not have an alternative to drive. What is your community like, and can something like this be done? Also what would be a good way from our position to promote the creation of alternative transportation?
 

Budgie

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5,270
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30
My car is parked from Sunday night to Friday night, since I have to travel 2 hours to see my kids. The rest of the week I walk or Segway around town. Everything in town is within my Segway range. It takes a little longer to get places, but with the spring upon us, it a very enjoyable way to get around. For recreation I take 2 to 4 mile walks.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
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24
Giving up the care for a week?? HMMMM, couldn't do it.

I do ride my bike to work when it is nice and when I don't have to travel for meetings. In fact I rode into work just yesterday. The week of April 12 I could limit my driving, but not 100%. My G-friend lives on the other side of town, large hills both ways and with a nasty part of town right between us.

Right now I go through about a tank of gas a week, so higher gas prices don't scare me to bad, atleast not yet.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
I take the loser crusier to work, and walk or ride my crappy Frankenstien bike when it isn't broken. Haven't driven in a while, and when I do its usually for some needed project. I get road rage alot when I do drive :-@
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,689
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53
Lincoln Park and Oak Park: the promised lands

apart from driving the 30 miles (one-way) to work, I don't use my car for anything at home.

As for alternatives to car travel, I live in a place where the car is a bigger hassle than driving. Plus, I have busses, and rapid transit everywhere.

My wife and I will be moving to a first ring suburb by the end of summer, but it is one that is less dense than where we are now, but still has services within wlaking distance and busses and rapid transit and commuter rail.

I feel bad for people that live in sprawl. They're going to have a rude awakening one day, and they're not going to know what hit them.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I don't live in sprawl, but in a small city in a rural area. There is no such thing as public transit. I need to get around as part of my job. I drive.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
I try to practice what I preach, and don't use my car more than I have to. I'm lucky enough to live in a large urban city where there are non-auto options, and driving is sometimes more of a hassle than it's worth.

I'm not so sure that those living in suburban sprawl will one day have to pay the piper so to speak. Governments have a history of picking up the pieces when the market screws up or becomes unworkable. Millions and millions of suburban voters will ensure that someone bails them out.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,038
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23
I live in the fringes of sprawl-land, but it would still be possible to take public transit. Difficult, time-consuming, but possible. Only problem is, between site visits and evening meetings, there aren't many times when it would be practical. Which is a shame because it's hard to read the paper and drink coffee while shifting gears. ;-)
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Couldn't do it currently due to the lengthy of my daily commute and the lack of public transportation options.

I'd love to be able to walk to work again.....
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Nope. Car Addict here.

If I could afford a $750,000 townhouse, I would live in the Bay Area proper (Berkeley or Sana Francisco) and maybe be less car-dependent. Problem is, I am a bit of a wanderer, and I love to drive (although not in the central Bay Area!)

My neighborhood in Vacaville is actually pretty walkable, and I can and do walk to local things like coffee, the gym (when I go too rarely), groceries (sometimes), etc.
 

teshadoh

Cyburbian
Messages
437
Points
13
My wife & I share a Volkswagen, she works 10 miles out of Atlanta in a business park - so she has to drive. Since I'm on the way (2 miles out of downtown) she drops me off. In the evenings I'll either wait for her to pick me up or take the bus or if the weather is nice have a 40 minute walk (nice as long as I'm not mugged or remember what streets have decent sidewalks).
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Promoting the use of alternative transportation is basically what I do in my job (and I have a background in Criminology and Psychology... go figure). I've just done a literature review on planning & designing pedestrian networks and will be putting together a tender to write NZ guidelines on this...so it's close to my heart. And yet I don't where to start with answering your question! Motivation is a key, and you have identified that there are some things happening at the moment that are forcing people to consider alternatives. People will always take the easy option, so make it easy for them.

My city has pretty good public transportation, and 12% of people walk to work which is I think the highest rate for NZ cities. Many others take the bus or train.

How to start? Hmm... will think on this and write more later.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I don't have a car. I drive maybe ten or fifteen times a year when I visit my family. :-D
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
jordanb said:
I don't have a car. I drive maybe ten or fifteen times a year when I visit my family. :-D
I don't have a car either. I ride my bike year-round (and I live in Illinois) or walk. I rarely take a bus as it's less convenient than biking. I'm not from the US. so I don't have the inherent need to own/drive a car. Car-free for life!
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
No can do. My son is in private school so no bus service. Transit here is limited to oddly-scheduled buses that, frankly, I won't go near since I want to get to work on time and don't want to be surrounded by crack-heads.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Forget it. Phoenix area is entirely automobile oriented. Plus walking or biking in 115 degree weather makes a little too much sweat.

Did you know that Phoenix has an average of 89 days a year with temperatures 100 degrees or higher? Holy cow! Why do I love living here?
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
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5,270
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30
ludes98 said:
Forget it. Phoenix area is entirely automobile oriented. Plus walking or biking in 115 degree weather makes a little too much sweat.

Did you know that Phoenix has an average of 89 days a year with temperatures 100 degrees or higher? Holy cow! Why do I love living here?
Get yourself a Segway and flow.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
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44
(In my best George Bush the elder impression): Not gonna do it. You can't make me do it. Wouldn't be prudent. (Or was that Dana Carvey?)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
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25
No problem going without a car for a week. Unless I need to go to the grocery store (I really dislike the one in my neighborhood). On a somewhat related note, I really need to get a new bike. I'll probably be moving to another end of town that's beyond walking distance to work in the next couple of months, and I just don't want to be taking the "loser cruiser"(thanks for that one Rumpy :-D ) twice a day.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,968
Points
49
ludes98 said:
Forget it. Phoenix area is entirely automobile oriented. Plus walking or biking in 115 degree weather makes a little too much sweat.

Did you know that Phoenix has an average of 89 days a year with temperatures 100 degrees or higher? Holy cow! Why do I love living here?
You go from your Air Conditioned Home, to your Air Conditioned Car, to your Air Conditioned Office, to the Air Conditioned Store, to the Air Conditioned EVERYTHING else.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
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1,264
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22
michaelskis said:
You go from your Air Conditioned Home, to your Air Conditioned Car, to your Air Conditioned Office, to the Air Conditioned Store, to the Air Conditioned EVERYTHING else.
Precisely why the car can't be removed from the air conditioned chain. I try to keep sweat on weekends only, but then I usually consume 1-3 gallons of water.

Budgie said:
Get yourself a Segway and flow.
It is on my wish list. It would be marginal for work though since it is about 12-13 mile one way which is a little close on the range.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
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5,270
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30
ludes98 said:
Precisely why the car can't be removed from the air conditioned chain. I try to keep sweat on weekends only, but then I usually consume 1-3 gallons of water.


It is on my wish list. It would be marginal for work though since it is about 12-13 mile one way which is a little close on the range.
This may be a little off topic, but a local bank president told me that if I wanted to open a Segway rental business, he'd be quick to give me financing. I live in a small city with a moderate tourism base, so I envision giving gliding tours of the city and it's attractions. He encouraged me to get a business plan together. Between this opportunity and the College Course Proposal I've been encouraged to work on for a Graduate Planning Program (Adjunct Professor, has an interesting ring to it), opportunities are falling in my lap.
 

ludes98

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1,264
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22
Budgie said:
This may be a little off topic, but a local bank president told me that if I wanted to open a Segway rental business, he'd be quick to give me financing. I live in a small city with a moderate tourism base, so I envision giving gliding tours of the city and it's attractions. He encouraged me to get a business plan together. Between this opportunity and the College Course Proposal I've been encouraged to work on for a Graduate Planning Program (Adjunct Professor, has an interesting ring to it), opportunities are falling in my lap.

I'll stray off-topic with you. Odd that you mention this, because I was bugging my wife with this same crazy idea about Segway rentals. We have an incredible tourism base here. I was also thinking about the Golfing aspect since we have so many courses, which led me to thinking about a battery center and maintenance operation too. Hmmmmm.....
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Car free for 4 years! I rent a car every 6-8 weeks or so to go visit friends or family but usually the train is cheaper.

Has anyone noticed how all of the oil companies are putting out lower production forecasts? A lot of people are saying we've already hit the worldwide production peak and that by the end of 2005 we'll start to see the runaway prices.

Look at a world map. It just furthers my opinion/prediction that Afghanistan and Iraq were just the pincer move on Iran because it's all about the Caspian oil and natural gas . . . another reason why Russia refuses to give up on Chechnya.

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/business/articles/eav121902.shtml

http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=57139

http://www.adb.org/Documents/TARs/REG/tar_stu_36488.pdf

http://www.payvand.com/news/02/jul/1040.html
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Zoning Goddess said:
I want to get to work on time and don't want to be surrounded by crack-heads.

Crack heads?


Quit bashing the bus. It's probably the only option for these "crack heads," who are more than likely just hard working folks with brown skin who live in a sprawling auto-oriented city (somewhere in Florida..?)

Up here in the Metroliner corridor, the attitude is different toward the bus, public transit, and the city in general. I ride the bus daily, as do countless thousands of other middle class professionals. It's just part of our routine. I drive my car mainly on weekends; I could give it up altogether if I wanted to, but I don't.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
In the Bay Area, driving solo to San Francisco is crazy. My brother in law ($150K+, not that income=virtue) takes a train and the bus to work.

Sadly, though, for many sprawlvilles, the bus is looked down upon as a "loser cruiser." But, realistically, which is more likely: to be "robbed" on a bus by crackheads or to be involved in a traffic accident on overcrowded sprawlville roads. Suburbanites have unrealistic expectations about what is really dangerous.

I have no room to talk, of course, as I drive to work.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
ludes98 said:
I'll stray off-topic with you. Odd that you mention this, because I was bugging my wife with this same crazy idea about Segway rentals. We have an incredible tourism base here. I was also thinking about the Golfing aspect since we have so many courses, which led me to thinking about a battery center and maintenance operation too. Hmmmmm.....
You can download a Segway dealership business application at the following link.

http://www.segway.com/general/dealer_application.html

My local banker is adament that it's a business model that will work and he said that if I was serious to give him a call. I gave his wife a demonstration at the school district and she told him. I ran into him at a bar and a week later I gave him a demonstration. He was so impressed he made an offer. Unfortunately with some personal things that are going on, I may not be able to pursue it in the very near future.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
OT

Jresta I think the future trend in US oil interest is in the Atlantic basin.

Back on topic

In the community I live in the bus service uses smaller sized buses and you call the day before to catch a ride to the nearest transit station or perhaps a "curb-to-curb " ride. Some places justdon't have the transit demand as others so they killed the fixed routes, it's a great idea.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
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1,474
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23
The Irish One said:
OT

Jresta I think the future trend in US oil interest is in the Atlantic basin.

Back on topic

In the community I live in the bus service uses smaller sized buses and you call the day before to catch a ride to the nearest transit station or perhaps a "curb-to-curb " ride. Some places justdon't have the transit demand as others so they killed the fixed routes, it's a great idea.
Sorry, i didn't think i was off topic. The opening post points to gas prices in the first sentence. that's ok though.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
Points
35
jresta said:
Sorry, i didn't think i was off topic. The opening post points to gas prices in the first sentence. that's ok though.
I think TIO was referring to himself being off-topic (in terms of strategic oil supply).
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
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28
Until recently I walked to work every day. It was a nice 15 minute stroll. I even could go home for lunch. We bought a house that is twice as far from work. I've thought about getting up earlier and walking to work, but that would mean I would have to give up going home for lunch. So I drive now. Not seeing my wife and son in the middle of the day would be too much of a sacrifice. Especially the little guy. He makes me laugh all the time.
 

sisterceleste

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Messages
1,519
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22
Transit here is limited to oddly-scheduled buses that, frankly, I won't go near...

Hey, you know as well as I do...it's all based on the funding level. There are no "choice riders"...only those that have to use it
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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34
ChevyChaseDC said:
Crack heads?


Quit bashing the bus. It's probably the only option for these "crack heads," who are more than likely just hard working folks with brown skin who live in a sprawling auto-oriented city (somewhere in Florida..?)

Up here in the Metroliner corridor, the attitude is different toward the bus, public transit, and the city in general. I ride the bus daily, as do countless thousands of other middle class professionals. It's just part of our routine. I drive my car mainly on weekends; I could give it up altogether if I wanted to, but I don't.
As some one *not* on the metroliner corridor, I'll be the first to defend ZG. Around here, unless you are taking the express shuttle to a commuity festival with the expectation that you will fill your gullet with beer, buses are for moving crack heads around. I can not rememebr in the last 7 years living in the City the last tiem I saw someone in a suit riding the bus on purpose. (sorry buses).

This is clearly a regional issue. Dont be offended if you're on a bus in a suit in your town.
 

iamme

Cyburbian
Messages
485
Points
14
Zoning Goddess said:
don't want to be surrounded by crack-heads.
:-\

I'm not going to go into an argument and stray too much from the original intent of this thread but that is offensive to me.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
there aren't a whole lot of suited folk riding busses in this city either.
but then again we don't really have a premium bus service. There are a few express busses that you'll find the suits on but that's really about it.

Anyone who can afford it lives within walking distance of a train or subway stop - the real white/pink collar population is on the regional rail. A lot of suburbanites who regularly use regional rail and even the subway to get around center city won't set foot on bus.

having said that - it's far from "crackheads" who use the bus. . It's just not a rolling gap commercial. (read:white, middle-class suburbanites.) and that's really scary to a lot of, well . . . white, middle-class suburbanites.

but even when i lived in SC and had to ride the bus for a week here or a week there (my car was always breaking down) i noticed that the bus was used primarily by a loyal core of riders - nearly all black and latino. They were always surprised to see a white kid on the bus and were very open about it. They were also very conscious of what everyone else thought of people who rode the bus. Taking the bus had a stigma associated with it that i could only describe as waiting in line at a soup kitchen.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Chet said:
As some one *not* on the metroliner corridor, I'll be the first to defend ZG. Around here, unless you are taking the express shuttle to a commuity festival with the expectation that you will fill your gullet with beer, buses are for moving crack heads around. I can not rememebr in the last 7 years living in the City the last tiem I saw someone in a suit riding the bus on purpose. (sorry buses).

This is clearly a regional issue. Dont be offended if you're on a bus in a suit in your town.
I stand by what I said before. Our MetroBus is no more of a premium service, or more reliable, than most other big city bus systems. At least within the District of Columbia proper, the stigma of riding amongst non-whites, whom you refer to as "crack-heads," simply does not exist nearly to the extent it seems to in your community.

Yes, I take the bus out of necessity. However, I specifically chose to live where I do so that I would be able to use the bus conveniently (too expensive to live near Metro Rail). I have the benefits of living in an urban area, and consciously do my part to keep one more car off clogged area roadways during rush hour.

I know full well that I'm an exception, and that most U.S. cities and suburbs are built to suit the automobile. It's perfectly understandable that for most folks, giving up their vehicles, even for a week, is not a practical thing to do. We could leave it at that.

*However* the myth of the "crack-heads" and other degenerates and criminals who ride the bus illustrates something deep within the American psyche.

Would those of you who fear the "crack-heads" use mass transit if the line nearest your home was light rail?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
ChevyChaseDC said:
*However* the myth of the "crack-heads" and other degenerates and criminals who ride the bus illustrates something deep within the American psyche.

Would those of you who fear the "crack-heads" use mass transit if the line nearest your home was light rail?
I grew up in Chicago's northern suburbs, a predominantly white, middle- to upper-income area (think of "Pretty in Pink" or "Ferris Beuller's Day Off"). Many people rode the Metra trains into their office jobs in the city. Busses were accepted as a means of transit from your home to the train station. These same people would be unlikely to ride a bus once they got into the city, though. It was mainly a function of who the other riders might be. People feel most comfortable among those of their own socio-economic group. Bus ridership dominated by poor people, or laborers instead of salaried professionals, or by minority groups is likely to be less appealing to people outside of those groups. As you suggest, it is a psychological issue.

It is interesting to note a recent trend on the train lines north from Chicago. A large number of hispanic and indian people are beginning to ride the train from Chicago into the wealthier communities where they work in housekeeping, landscaping, or similar "labor" jobs. I wonder what kind of impact this may have on white collar ridership.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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3,838
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25
One of the key reasons that people don't like taking the bus around here (and maybe everywhere) is the high school kids. We're a pretty dense metro area with no light rail (except to Boston) so professionals can be seen taking the bus in certain areas. What people ALWAYS complain about isn't so much the general weirdo's but the loud, obnoxious high school students who are coming to and from school, and literally don't know how to act around people. Its an issue on the busses and also at the main bus plaza downtown. I don't know if other transit authorities have dealt successfuly with the issue.
 
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I'm actually giving up my car this week. I'm tired of wasting my gas on going to job that only like because I have a job. With that being said, I'm depending upon the MTA to get me to work. It will be difficult because it will triple the amount of time it takes to get to work even though I'm going the same distance. On Fridays, I'll walk the 2 miles to work.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
There is now enough daylight. Time to start bicycling to work-especially on Fridays.

Only problem: I sweat :( Of course, if and when I get in better shape, I will sweat less :).

If I had known my City Council item was on the Consent Calendar (i.e., don't have to attend) I would have brought my work clothes and ridden to work tomorrow.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
ChevyChaseDC said:
I stand by what I said before. Our MetroBus is no more of a premium service, or more reliable, than most other big city bus systems. At least within the District of Columbia proper, the stigma of riding amongst non-whites, whom you refer to as "crack-heads," simply does not exist nearly to the extent it seems to in your community.
Yes, I take the bus out of necessity. However, I specifically chose to live where I do so that I would be able to use the bus conveniently (too expensive to live near Metro Rail). I have the benefits of living in an urban area, and consciously do my part to keep one more car off clogged area roadways during rush hour.

I know full well that I'm an exception, and that most U.S. cities and suburbs are built to suit the automobile. It's perfectly understandable that for most folks, giving up their vehicles, even for a week, is not a practical thing to do. We could leave it at that.

*However* the myth of the "crack-heads" and other degenerates and criminals who ride the bus illustrates something deep within the American psyche.

Would those of you who fear the "crack-heads" use mass transit if the line nearest your home was light rail?
I don't remember the race card ever being pulled. I rode the bus in Austin while I was a student and although some lines were packed with students the one I was on was not and it was scary to at night alone. The other reason I don't ride the buss is it would take nearly 3 hours to get to my current job from my house because there are no direct lines.
 
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jresta

Cyburbian
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1,474
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23
Cardinal said:
It is interesting to note a recent trend on the train lines north from Chicago. A large number of hispanic and indian people are beginning to ride the train from Chicago into the wealthier communities where they work in housekeeping, landscaping, or similar "labor" jobs. I wonder what kind of impact this may have on white collar ridership.
we have a similar situation on commuter trains during the weekend/off-peak times
and it doesn't really matter b/c the two groups are riding the trains at different times and in different directions.
 

teshadoh

Cyburbian
Messages
437
Points
13
jresta said:
we have a similar situation on commuter trains during the weekend/off-peak times
and it doesn't really matter b/c the two groups are riding the trains at different times and in different directions.
Similar situation in Atlanta - many white commuters do in fact use the commuter bus routes from the northern suburbs to a MARTA rail station along GA 400. Ridership is quite high - due to both directions always carrying large amounts of people. As many white white collar workers get on the bus, mostly black retail workers leave the bus to work at one of the nearby malls.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Habanero said:
I don't remember the race card ever being pulled.
I'm not suggesting that people who won't ride the bus are racist; rather, that people are quite uncomfortable when surrounded by others different from them. It's a subconscious perception thing, and the color of one's skin plays a role, whether we can admit it to ourselves or not.

Habanero said:
The other reason I don't ride the buss is it would take nearly 3 hours to get to my current job from my house because there are no direct lines.
I agree with you 100%, there is no problem in that. Using mass transit in your case, as in many people's cases, is inconvenient.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
ChevyChaseDC said:
I'm not suggesting that people who won't ride the bus are racist; rather, that people are quite uncomfortable when surrounded by others different from them. It's a subconscious perception thing, and the color of one's skin plays a role, whether we can admit it to ourselves or not.



I agree with you 100%, there is no problem in that. Using mass transit in your case, as in many people's cases, is inconvenient.
Yes, I'm uncomfortable around crack heads, but I'd be uncomfortable around any crack head, regardless of age, race, creed, color, etc.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Habanero said:
Yes, I'm uncomfortable around crack heads, but I'd be uncomfortable around any crack head, regardless of age, race, creed, color, etc.
You should see some of the people that ride the buses during different times of the day. They're beautiful;). Most crackheads here don't like to ride the bus, because it puts a dent in their crack budget.

Think about it though, would you want some of these people behind the wheel of a car.
They usually keep to themselves on the bus.

I remember a funny story now because of this.
 
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