29 votes

Climate change won't stop while America hates trains and walking

64 comments

  1. smeg
    Link
    I was recently remarking on the fact that my child arrives home from school at the same time, whether we pick him up in a car or he takes the bus home (due to the line and congestion for car...

    I was recently remarking on the fact that my child arrives home from school at the same time, whether we pick him up in a car or he takes the bus home (due to the line and congestion for car pickup).

    When I lived in South Korea, I relished not driving. Walking and subway trains, the occasional bus. It was so much more efficient, and less costly.

    23 votes
  2. [3]
    ICN
    Link
    I find this article suspicious. To me, it feels like the latest iteration of the 'fight climate change through Personal Responsibility' scam. Is it a good thing to do what you can on an individual...

    I find this article suspicious. To me, it feels like the latest iteration of the 'fight climate change through Personal Responsibility' scam. Is it a good thing to do what you can on an individual level to fight climate change? Absolutely, yes. But we're well past the point where that could make the difference. We need large scale systemic action, and we need it fast. This article completely ignores the split between private and commercial pollution, instead lumping it all together. It just seems set up for a corporate line of 'well, we'd love to invest in greener transportation, but Americans just don't want it', completely ignoring the shipping infrastructure they control.

    22 votes
    1. NoblePath
      Link Parent
      It’s a little different than that. The issue is less about individual choices than inertia and mass preference. As long as such an extreme majority can’t or won’t reconsider options, the issue...

      It’s a little different than that. The issue is less about individual choices than inertia and mass preference. As long as such an extreme majority can’t or won’t reconsider options, the issue persists.

      My favorite story along these lines is the time I went to a Bill McKibbon lecture. Of over 1000 in attendance in a super progressive town, like 5 people rode bikes. A significant percentage lived within a mile of the venue. That’s when I realized we were probably toast.

      I don’t stop caring and doing what I can. My life is enhanced now by continuing to press for a better tomorrow even if tomorrow never gets better.

      23 votes
    2. EgoEimi
      Link Parent
      "Don't hate the player, hate the game." I think that mass consumer preference for better, cheaper goods—outside of small liberal niches that are willing to buy $6 soap bars that'll plant a tree in...

      "Don't hate the player, hate the game."

      I think that mass consumer preference for better, cheaper goods—outside of small liberal niches that are willing to buy $6 soap bars that'll plant a tree in Africa or whatever—with indifference to how and where they're made ultimately makes the rules of the game.

      Startups don't become corporations by trying to do good. I was at one that tried. Outside of a small circle of liberal do-gooders, the masses don't care.

      There's Fairphone, the semi-sustainable (they're trying!) and easy-to-repair smartphone that's meant to last. Their sales figures amount to a rounding error to Apple, Samsung, or Xiaomi's.

      9 votes
  3. [24]
    skybrian
    Link
    It’s a bit odd that bikes aren’t mentioned. Nor do they talk about the transition to electric cars.

    It’s a bit odd that bikes aren’t mentioned. Nor do they talk about the transition to electric cars.

    16 votes
    1. [22]
      Seven
      Link Parent
      While I definitely agree that it's weird that bikes aren't mentioned, electric cars ultimately won't be super helpful in solving the problem of cars. At the end of the day, electric cars are still...

      While I definitely agree that it's weird that bikes aren't mentioned, electric cars ultimately won't be super helpful in solving the problem of cars. At the end of the day, electric cars are still cars, and they still fall into many of the environmental pitfalls of ICE cars. They still require lots of space to operate compared to buses or bikes, and they take much more raw materials to construct a car for everyone rather than having hundreds of people share a bus. While electric cars are certainly better than gas-powered cars, they aren't a solution to the problem of a car-based transportation system.

      21 votes
      1. [15]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        That’s a city-dweller’s perspective. Space for vehicles isn’t really a problem outside cities. An electric car seems like a fine solution for someone living in Vermont, for example. (Or will be...

        That’s a city-dweller’s perspective. Space for vehicles isn’t really a problem outside cities. An electric car seems like a fine solution for someone living in Vermont, for example. (Or will be once there are enough chargers.)

        14 votes
        1. [12]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          This is another way of saying that it is a problem for 84% of Americans.

          Space for vehicles isn’t really a problem outside cities.

          This is another way of saying that it is a problem for 84% of Americans.

          16 votes
          1. [11]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            The way these things get discussed in terms of nebulous groups tends to hide a lot of diversity. Talk of "a solution to the the problem of a car-based transportation system" implies there is a...

            The way these things get discussed in terms of nebulous groups tends to hide a lot of diversity. Talk of "a solution to the the problem of a car-based transportation system" implies there is a single problem and a single solution. Instead maybe there are different solutions, depending on who you are and how you live. Electric cars might work well for some people?

            This graph hides a lot of diversity. There is no group of 84% of Americans who have similar transportation needs. If you're going to divide people up into only two groups as that graph does, "urban" is going to cover a lot of different living situations. Cities aren't all the same. Suburbs (which don't even get their own category on the graph) aren't all the same.

            My neighborhood probably counts as an inner suburb. Every house has a one-car garage. (Or at least started out that way.) There is definitely too much traffic around here (severe traffic jams), but I'm pretty sure we do have enough room for one car per household? And I think if we got down to one car per household and that car was electric, we'd be doing well. That would probably mean reducing or eliminating many car trips somehow, and finding alternatives to commuting by car, but not eliminating cars or having lots of people living a car-free lifestyle.

            9 votes
            1. [10]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              Suburbs are tied to an urban core. The whole suburban lifestyle is underwritten by an urban economy it’s attached to. That’s what differentiates suburbs from exurbs. And exurbs are also urban,...

              Suburbs are tied to an urban core. The whole suburban lifestyle is underwritten by an urban economy it’s attached to. That’s what differentiates suburbs from exurbs. And exurbs are also urban, they’re just examples of god awful urban planning (or lack thereof).

              And I think if we got down to one car per household and that car was electric, we'd be doing well.

              Not really. The core issue with cars is geometry, not what’s powering them. Literally nobody says you need to delete all cars from existence, just that you need to not make it the preferred model of transportation for people to get around. Designing for cars last makes built environments look very different than designing only for cars with everything else as an afterthought.

              If you design for cars last many people do default to a car free lifestyle because cars are expensive. If you can’t have lots of people being car free that implies there is some failure of infrastructure planning that is necessitating car ownership. There is no solution to the traffic problem with this pathway.

              11 votes
              1. [9]
                skybrian
                Link Parent
                There are always going to be many places in the US where you need a car, and that's not a failure, it's just geography. The question is, can we build more places where you don't need a car? It...

                There are always going to be many places in the US where you need a car, and that's not a failure, it's just geography. The question is, can we build more places where you don't need a car? It doesn't have to be everywhere.

                6 votes
                1. [2]
                  NaraVara
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  Most of these places existed before the invention of cars and it’s not as if most poor yeoman were able to afford horses and buggies. Saying you need a car is evincing a lack of imagination. You...

                  Most of these places existed before the invention of cars and it’s not as if most poor yeoman were able to afford horses and buggies. Saying you need a car is evincing a lack of imagination. You need a car because the built environment is designed to force one on you.

                  11 votes
                  1. skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    This is getting silly. I just meant that most of the land in the US is rural and most of the places where you could live don’t have anything within walking distance. “Walkable” places are a tiny...

                    This is getting silly. I just meant that most of the land in the US is rural and most of the places where you could live don’t have anything within walking distance. “Walkable” places are a tiny part of the country, geographically.

                    If we go back in time, the people who didn’t live in town lived on farms and grew their own food, which isn’t a lifestyle relevant to modern times, other than the Amish.

                    9 votes
                2. [6]
                  Seven
                  Link Parent
                  That's only because car manufacturers made sure that the US built infrastructure that catered to cars exclusively. We had trains and trams and more public transit options that were destroyed by...

                  There are always going to be many places in the US where you need a car

                  That's only because car manufacturers made sure that the US built infrastructure that catered to cars exclusively. We had trains and trams and more public transit options that were destroyed by the automobile industry. The US is only car-centric because it was designed to be that way. It didn't happen as a function of its existence, it happened because someone, somewhere, made a decision that it should be that way.

                  7 votes
                  1. [5]
                    skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    We did have more passenger trains in the past, but only to towns, not to every farm in the country, or even to every town. There aren't former train stations everywhere. You have always needed a...

                    We did have more passenger trains in the past, but only to towns, not to every farm in the country, or even to every town. There aren't former train stations everywhere.

                    You have always needed a way to get to the train station if you're not living in town. Today, a car is a good way to do that.

                    Sheesh, it's like people never leave the city and don't know what it's like.

                    8 votes
                    1. [4]
                      GoingMerry
                      Link Parent
                      There are options other than cars to get from house to train in rural areas. There are also ways to reduce the amount of trips you need to take to the train station. The mindset of “we needs cars...

                      There are options other than cars to get from house to train in rural areas. There are also ways to reduce the amount of trips you need to take to the train station.

                      The mindset of “we needs cars so let’s figure out how to make them environmentally friendly” severely limits the solution set. We cab both make cars better AND reduce use cases for cars, it doesn’t have to one or the other.

                      2 votes
                      1. [3]
                        skybrian
                        Link Parent
                        I agree that there are other options and they should be considered. I don’t think anyone is claiming that electric cars are the only option for all trips. But it’s not hard to think of trips where...

                        I agree that there are other options and they should be considered. I don’t think anyone is claiming that electric cars are the only option for all trips. But it’s not hard to think of trips where driving is more practical than other ways of getting there, at least for part of the way.

                        1 vote
                        1. [2]
                          GoingMerry
                          Link Parent
                          It’s not hard to think of trips like that, and many of those use cases could be flipped to other modes of transit if society really cared to do so - that’s the point I’m trying to make. Use case:...

                          It’s not hard to think of trips like that, and many of those use cases could be flipped to other modes of transit if society really cared to do so - that’s the point I’m trying to make.

                          • Use case: it takes 15 mins to drive but 1.5 hours on transit.
                          • Use case: I need to take my car to the grocery store so I can carry everything home.
                          • Use case: the daycare is in the opposite direction of the school, so I need to take my car.

                          In all of these cases, we could use electric cars in the short term, but because of climate change/congestion/growing population/etc, this won’t work long term. Long term solutions include improving transit ridership and coverage, improving cycling infrastructure, making neighborhoods more walkable, beefing up delivery services, etc.

                          Balancing the short with the long term goals is the heart of sustainability.

                          2 votes
                          1. skybrian
                            Link Parent
                            I think that, even if the country were strongly behind it, it would be impractical to make every existing residence in the US suitable for car-free living, or anywhere close to it. Fortunately we...

                            I think that, even if the country were strongly behind it, it would be impractical to make every existing residence in the US suitable for car-free living, or anywhere close to it. Fortunately we don’t have to do that. A more realistic goal would be to increase the number of places where it’s practical, so people who are looking to do without a car have more and better choices in most cities and can make most trips without having to call a cab or ride-share.

                            So I agree with the usual ideas about having more mixed-use and transit-friendly housing and improving transit. It’s just that the anti-car rhetoric gets a bit much sometimes.

        2. [2]
          Grzmot
          Link Parent
          Just because the space isn't available doesn't mean that the smartest utilization of that space is parking space. Parking space is one of the worst ways to use public space. You flatten and...

          Just because the space isn't available doesn't mean that the smartest utilization of that space is parking space. Parking space is one of the worst ways to use public space. You flatten and asphalt greenery into a grey landscape that, for most of the time, is pretty empty. You can't really do anything with it because the space needs to be empty so cars can move in if they need it.

          In my country rural communities often have a problem with more parking space, because even though they are rural, it's not endless, and people want to use it for something better.

          6 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            Sure, I was thinking more about parking not normally being a problem near private homes when they are on large lots. Then it’s up to the owner how they want to allocate space. But space may be...

            Sure, I was thinking more about parking not normally being a problem near private homes when they are on large lots. Then it’s up to the owner how they want to allocate space. But space may be limited in town (near work or shopping).

            5 votes
      2. [6]
        vektor
        Link Parent
        Yup. I think self-driving will change this up a lot, once it arrives. It frees you up from owning your own car. You can do your daily commute using public transit, do a grocery run using a compact...

        Yup. I think self-driving will change this up a lot, once it arrives. It frees you up from owning your own car. You can do your daily commute using public transit, do a grocery run using a compact car, buy furniture in a small truck, all without maintaining your driving skills. The car just comes to you from a lot somewhere nearby once you order it, picks you up, takes you somewhere, picks up the next person. Hell, this can even be somewhat expensive. I pay several bucks per hour I use the electric car sharing service here. It's worth it compared to owning my own, because I don't use it a lot. Only downside is I don't get a lot of practice driving.

        If everyone here was operating like me, we'd save a lot of space and infrastructure.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          Seven
          Link Parent
          Self-driving technology is only a band-aid on the real problem, which is car-based infrastructure. Self-driving cars are ultimately a subpar solution when we could expand our public transit...

          Self-driving technology is only a band-aid on the real problem, which is car-based infrastructure. Self-driving cars are ultimately a subpar solution when we could expand our public transit infrastructure. Filling our streets with self-driving cars is a vastly worse idea than just investing in buses and trains and bikes. This is what silicon valley has always done: create tech-y solutions to problems that already have better solutions to them. Just look at Musk's hyperloop. He made an expensive, dangerous, and less convenient version of a subway system. And people everywhere are eating it up simply because it's "new".

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            vektor
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Oh, I hoped my above examples made it clear what I was going for: Aggressively replace cars. But because there always will be some needs we can't do without personal transport (usually carting...

            Oh, I hoped my above examples made it clear what I was going for: Aggressively replace cars. But because there always will be some needs we can't do without personal transport (usually carting around heavy stuff), we will need small amounts of cars. Look, I can use that car sharing service for a few hours per week for free. I use about 10% or less of that. But I don't. I use it for buying furniture and doing the once-a-blue-moon super-heavy grocery run. Maybe the occasional trip that would be too cumbersome otherwise. I agree that our infrastructure needs to change, but so long as people keep an ICE vehicle handy "for those few occasions when you really need it", nothing will change. And Self-driving is the band-aid that makes car sharing really viable, which reduces the overall utilization of cars (because if you own it, you gotta use it to make it a worthwhile investment, sunk cost and such)

            The number of cars and overall traffic would be vastly reduced, I think. And yes, also because of more use of walking, bikes, public transit. The amount of surface area you'd have to allot to traffic would diminish. (But not go to zero. I don't see a version of the future where buildings don't have road access that isn't very far fetched.)

            [Someone tell me, because I'm confused: Was my previous post that unclear?]

            5 votes
            1. [3]
              Seven
              Link Parent
              Okay I understand what you're getting at. My one question though is: why do the cars have to be self-driving? Like, if I wanted to move, why would a self-driving car be any better than me just...

              Okay I understand what you're getting at. My one question though is: why do the cars have to be self-driving? Like, if I wanted to move, why would a self-driving car be any better than me just renting a u-haul?

              1 vote
              1. monarda
                Link Parent
                Using renting a u-haul as an example: I still need to get to the u-haul, either by having someone drive me, or taking two people in my car to pick it up. Either way that's a round trip for the...

                Using renting a u-haul as an example: I still need to get to the u-haul, either by having someone drive me, or taking two people in my car to pick it up. Either way that's a round trip for the car, twice - once to get the u-haul and once to drop off the u-haul. If it were self driving it would just come to me. I don't even need a car or know how to drive one. Heck, if the u-haul was self driving, I could pack it up and send it on it's way without me if I had someone on the destination side to unpack.

                9 votes
              2. vektor
                Link Parent
                Oh, I can tell you that from personal experience: Driving experience, or the lack thereof. I barely trust myself behind the wheel with how much time I'm putting in, I wouldn't trust any of these...

                Oh, I can tell you that from personal experience: Driving experience, or the lack thereof. I barely trust myself behind the wheel with how much time I'm putting in, I wouldn't trust any of these other maniacs if they were less practiced.

                But there's a few other reasons: Usually, car sharing will be on a per-hour pricing scheme. So if you want to do a return trip with a long stay at the destination (vacation e.g.), you'll either have to find a place to return the car at your destination, pay out the nose, or look for another option. Self-driving cars makes shared cars less like personal vehicles and more like taxis: You don't really care that much where they are when you don't use them, because they're just there when you need them. So you'll call it, go on your trip, arrive, the car will perform various fares for whomever, and a differnt car will be dispatched to you once you want to go back. Granted, that's not a impossibility with current vehicles, but if the dispatching algorithm can just send you a car instead of finding you the next parked car, that's going to increase availability by a lot and basically completely eliminate redundant parked cars: A car is either being used, on the way to someone who needs it, charging or it is currently not used because there are not enough customers e.g. at night.

                In my vision here, you basically have no parking spaces. Almost every road is just wide enough to squeeze two vehicles past each other, and that only if there's no pedestrians nearby. There might be charging spaces for the shared cars reasonably close, depending on if utilization demands charging during the day. But for the most part, the cars that are still being used for personal use: they can be parked way out of the way, because for the most part they're barely ever parked. And all that space that you just freed up, you use it to increase density and improve public and unmotorized transport.

                6 votes
    2. azulez
      Link Parent
      I picked up an AT electric longboard and it's pretty great. Did 15 miles with virtually no effort on my part. But I will never EVER ride it anywhere near traffic, so it remains a toy for bike...

      I picked up an AT electric longboard and it's pretty great. Did 15 miles with virtually no effort on my part.

      But I will never EVER ride it anywhere near traffic, so it remains a toy for bike paths parking lots, and empty neighborhoods.

      1 vote
  4. [6]
    eladnarra
    Link
    Usual "eladnarra bringing up disability perspectives" post: I would love it if we funded public transit more on my town, so it didn't take 1.5 hours to go somewhere that's 15 minutes by car. And...

    Usual "eladnarra bringing up disability perspectives" post:

    I would love it if we funded public transit more on my town, so it didn't take 1.5 hours to go somewhere that's 15 minutes by car. And it'd be cool if more things were a walkable distance. But as a disabled person with fatigue, I still wouldn't take public transit or walk places, because the physical toll would make my life significantly harder. I tried doing 30 minutes to and from classes back in college, but by the end of my time there I had to be driven by my mum because I'd been slowly worn down over the semesters. (And I couldn't live closer in dorms because of my chronic illness and need for sleep. Which is why I will probably never live in an apartment with a bedroom wall against someone else's unit, unless they have amazing sound proofing.)

    Barriers for public transit, even when it's considered good by abled folks include: sensory overload, broken bus ramps/lifts, lack of room for another wheelchair (sorry, wait for the next one), broken elevators, no elevator, stops or stations several blocks from the destination, having to wait for an attendant to get a ramp (and being stranded if they don't have one), nowhere to sit at the stop, poor weather, COVID risk, etc.

    Barriers for walking/biking, assuming you can physically do one or both: weather again (I can't walk in Florida summer heat), distance, uneven sidewalks, things on the sidewalk (including bikes and scooters), etc.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      monarda
      Link Parent
      Thank you for doing so! I briefly had to use a wheelchair when I was in Washington DC. I couldn't believe how many Metro stations had non working elevators. Of all the places in the US, I thought...

      Usual "eladnarra bringing up disability perspectives" post:

      Thank you for doing so!

      I briefly had to use a wheelchair when I was in Washington DC. I couldn't believe how many Metro stations had non working elevators. Of all the places in the US, I thought for sure our capital would be beyond reproach in access. It was exhausting and infuriating. I can't imagine having to deal with that sort of crap as a daily part of my life.

      7 votes
      1. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        That's so disappointing to hear, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that! I'd heard decently good things about DC transit accessibility, but "we have elevators" is only good if they actually work.

        That's so disappointing to hear, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that! I'd heard decently good things about DC transit accessibility, but "we have elevators" is only good if they actually work.

        4 votes
    2. eladnarra
      Link Parent
      As an example: very briefly, before COVID, I considered applying to a computational biology thing in NYC. It was a long shot, but before applying I tried to figure out if I could get there easily...

      As an example: very briefly, before COVID, I considered applying to a computational biology thing in NYC. It was a long shot, but before applying I tried to figure out if I could get there easily by subway.

      The closest station was basically right next door to their building, but the station didn't have an elevator, so I'd have to choose between a shorter distance vs using a wheelchair to reduce fatigue. That depended on where I'd live, but a place near a subway line that wasn't too far away would have been too expensive. So... I'd need a wheelchair to get to the station nearest my house, but then wouldn't be able to go to the station nearest work, and might need to change trains (increasing mental load and fatigue).

      6 votes
    3. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      Where in the world do you live? I don't think it's actually legal in the US for a bus to be in operation without a way to accommodate people in wheelchairs. I used to ride the bus quite frequently...

      Where in the world do you live? I don't think it's actually legal in the US for a bus to be in operation without a way to accommodate people in wheelchairs.

      I used to ride the bus quite frequently and it was fairly common for the bus to take some extra time for the loading and unloading of disabled passengers, and I can't say that I've ever seen a disabled person being turned down for any reason. In fact, most (but not all) of the busses I've been on have had spaces to secure two wheelchairs.

      That being said, I've also seen this process enough time to know that it sucks. People get upset if the driver waits an extra 15 seconds for someone running from a distance to get onboard, and it takes a lot more time to load a wheelchair passenger; I can imagine the feeling of having all of those eyes burning holes into you. And you can get sensory overload on public transportation quite easily regardless of neurotype, especially if you're riding a bus when school gets out.

      But I would also like to note that most of the problems here are specifically due to a lack of budget for public transit systems that are largely being caused by the prioritization of car infrastructure.

      Edit: Maybe forget the first half of this comment. I realize that even though it may violate ADA, there's not quite as much enforcement as there aught to be.

      2 votes
      1. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        Yeah, basically your edit - things can be technically compliant but still not accessible, or they can normally be accessible but broken, etc. If you hang around disability spaces, it's a pretty...

        I don't think it's actually legal in the US for a bus to be in operation without a way to accommodate people in wheelchairs.

        Yeah, basically your edit - things can be technically compliant but still not accessible, or they can normally be accessible but broken, etc. If you hang around disability spaces, it's a pretty regular occurrence to hear folks talking about how a bus had a broken lift so they had to wait for the next one, or they wanted to get on a bus but there were already wheelchair users in that space.

        Some if it can be fixed by increased budget, sure, but things can still break down. There's a lot of... unpredictability in being disabled, and the risk of something like a broken elevator when you're on your way to something important can be too much. As @monarda mentions, it is exhausting to deal with regularly.

        6 votes
  5. meff
    Link
    I've talked about this before and I'll say it again. The problem is that no American taste-makers are trying to show a vision of a transit-positive or urban-friendly future. Characters of Marvel...

    I've talked about this before and I'll say it again. The problem is that no American taste-makers are trying to show a vision of a transit-positive or urban-friendly future. Characters of Marvel movies retire to huge ranches, drive massive cars, and even in NYC they mostly just get chauffeured around. TV heroes still drive their car to work and home. Young people watch these things and see the world the way Hollywood wants them to see it: pastoral suburban homes with large lot sizes and big cars. In order to get people interested in walking or trains we need to show protagonists riding a bike, taking the bus, riding a train, gardening on a community plot of land, that kind of thing.

    10 votes
  6. [18]
    Akir
    Link
    We are all well aware of this. This kind of article has been popular and pretty much every reputable news outlet has covered this. But nothing will ever be done about it for a couple of reasons:...

    We are all well aware of this. This kind of article has been popular and pretty much every reputable news outlet has covered this. But nothing will ever be done about it for a couple of reasons:

    • it doesn’t inconvenience the rich

    • people have become addicted to their cars

    • there isn’t enough social will to get anything done. We can’t even get people to agree that COVID is a life threatening disease even though we have a body count to prove it.

    • it would require major changes is construction laws that nobody ever seems to like.

    7 votes
    1. [14]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Yes, many articles like this one have been written, but I’m struck by their lack of empathy. There is a big divide between urban and rural life, and sometimes it’s like people can’t imagine what...

      Yes, many articles like this one have been written, but I’m struck by their lack of empathy. There is a big divide between urban and rural life, and sometimes it’s like people can’t imagine what it’s like to live somewhere outside the city or inner suburbs.

      Consider the threat from wildfires in the western US. The people evacuating South Lake Tahoe aren’t “addicted” to cars, they’d be nuts to live where they live without one. It wouldn’t be practical or safe.

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        NoblePath
        Link Parent
        Leaving aside whether the people fleeing disaster struck areas should have been living there in the first place, the issue is not about eradicating cars altogether. It’s about greatly improving...

        Leaving aside whether the people fleeing disaster struck areas should have been living there in the first place, the issue is not about eradicating cars altogether. It’s about greatly improving walkability and public transit so that we can use cars only when it makes sense, and not rely on them for basic day to day.

        16 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          I agree with reducing car trips but I'm not sure that corresponds to increasing "walkability" as defined in the article. They are focused on a specific urban lifestyle. In particular, the survey...

          I agree with reducing car trips but I'm not sure that corresponds to increasing "walkability" as defined in the article. They are focused on a specific urban lifestyle.

          In particular, the survey didn't ask about commutes, which is what generates the most traffic.

          6 votes
      2. [11]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        You're misconstruing my meaning; it's the people living in urban/suburban areas that I consider to be addicted to cars. I'm not blaming people who are reliant on owning a vehicle just to be able...

        You're misconstruing my meaning; it's the people living in urban/suburban areas that I consider to be addicted to cars. I'm not blaming people who are reliant on owning a vehicle just to be able to have real human contact.

        But the status quo of unwalkable streets, vast distances between destinations seperated in part by vast parking lots, and other things that deter walkability are all exacerbated by the desire to be able to drive anywhere and have ample parking nearby.

        In the area that I live in, life is made drammatically worse without access to a car. Let me describe what it's like to go to Wal Mart. First off, you literally can't go there without the bus, because the closest houses to them are a minimum of 30 minutes of walking away. If you are lucky enough to live on the same street, you will need to wait 15-45 minutes just to get on that bus, since most busses are going to arrive roughly every 30-60 minutes - or they would except it's extremely common for these buses to break down because public transit doesn't tend to get a lot of funding. The bus is slow because not only is it constantly stopping to let people on or off, they're also subject to traffic; if it's more than a mile or two, you can realistically stay on that bus for an hour. When you do get there, the bus station is seperated from the door by a parking lot so large that it takes another 5-10 minutes. You can add another 5-10 minutes if you have to cross the busy street at an intersection.

        Take all of this, double it for the trip back, and add your 15-30 minutes of shopping time. The same trip by car that takes maybe an hour can easily become a 2-4 hour slog. If you are working an 8 hour day, that takes most of what you have left. This is what articles like this are trying to put an end to.

        8 votes
        1. [10]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Yes, there are plenty of places in the US where living without a car is very inconvenient. I don't think that's a realistic or desirable goal, except for certain parts of some cities. Maybe...

          Yes, there are plenty of places in the US where living without a car is very inconvenient. I don't think that's a realistic or desirable goal, except for certain parts of some cities. Maybe getting down to one car per household (in congested places) would be more reasonable, if daily commutes can be done some other way.

          I found it a bit odd that the survey asked about the importance of living within walking distance of "schools, stores and restaurants." Someone who places great importance on all these things is looking for a very specific urban lifestyle. And a big problem with surveys is that you don't get a chance to ask people what they really meant when they answered a question a certain way. Instead someone takes the survey result and projects whatever they want onto to the survey results.

          Suppose we could actually ask people what they meant? We might find the results interesting. Here's what I would say:

          Schools: Well, I'm not in school. But I grew up in a rural school district where almost everyone took the school bus, and it was... fine? Why aren't school buses the answer?

          Shopping: how often do you need to go to Walmart? People who live further away from stores tend to go shopping less often and load up the car with more stuff than they could reasonably carry, so that's getting more done in fewer car trips and taking a bus wouldn't work well anyway. I suspect the closer you live to stores, the less efficient you are about shopping. We also have very good delivery nowadays. So, living within walking distance of stores doesn't seem all that important to me.

          Restaurants: we do enjoy eating out, but as we've discovered during the pandemic, this is a luxury we can give up, mostly.

          Other people would answer these differently. Maybe they would care about living closer to friends and family, or closer to work? The survey didn't ask about that.

          4 votes
          1. NaraVara
            Link Parent
            My dad's village, in rural India with a population of under 1,000 people, was about as rural as one gets and the schools and stores were all within walking distance. (There were no restaurants...

            I found it a bit odd that the survey asked about the importance of living within walking distance of "schools, stores and restaurants." Someone who places great importance on all these things is looking for a very specific urban lifestyle.

            My dad's village, in rural India with a population of under 1,000 people, was about as rural as one gets and the schools and stores were all within walking distance. (There were no restaurants though). There is a pattern to develop rural areas that can make it walkable to reach most daily necessities and do away with the need for car trips unless it's a special occasion or you need to haul something heavy. Kids in all sorts of living environments have gone to friends' houses, run small errands, and walked themselves to school since time immemorial.

            Now there are tradeoffs. To have schools so accessible you get smaller, one or two-room schoolhouses instead of the giant schools with hundreds of students. The stores are smaller shops with pretty limited selections so you need to make longer trips for a lot of things since they're not massive, fully-stocked supermarkets. But that's fine since the point isn't to forbid the existence of cars, but to make it possible to live and fully participate in society without having to own one.

            11 votes
          2. [6]
            HoolaBoola
            Link Parent
            It's only very specific for most of North America and other places, where the zoning laws have created an environment hostile towards walking and bicycling. The separation of residential and...

            Someone who places great importance on all these things is looking for a very specific urban lifestyle.

            It's only very specific for most of North America and other places, where the zoning laws have created an environment hostile towards walking and bicycling. The separation of residential and business zones into their own districts means that distances are long and you need a car to do even the most basic shopping. This, in turn, has encouraged the development of so-called "stroads", multi-lane streets with relatively high speed limits which makes traveling by foot often even dangerous. Which then makes you even more dependent on cars.

            All the dependency on cars then ends up creating the need for lots of huge parking lots, which causes the distances to grown even more. And all this requires a buttload of roads, the maintenance of which causes cities to go broke. The "American" style suburbs are not a sustainable living solution.

            The situation in much of Europe is very different (though there are plenty of suburbs similar to the above)

            Take my neighbourhood in Helsinki, Finland, with buildings ranging from houses to apartment buildings. Streets here have low speed limits and usually only one lane for each direction. This might sound like it would lead to a lot of congestion and slower travel, but it's not actually a problem - as it is, increasing road capacity actually makes traffic worse, while reducing road capacity might even ease traffic. The phenomenon is called "induced traffic".

            Lower speeds and smaller streets in turn makes it safer and more comfortable to walk on sidewalks, meaning it's easy for me to walk even long distances without having to carefully plan a route where I can cross the streets.

            Our different zoning laws make it possible to have small businesses basically everywhere. The grocery store closest to my home is located a two-minute walk away, and there's a couple restaurants, hairdressers and even a library all within a walking distance. And, as our neighbourhood is actually relatively empty of businesses, it's easy for me to take a bus to the city center or other area whenever I need to get something not available nearby.

            Such zoning also does not mean you can only live in an apartment building - while I do live in one, only a couple blocks away there are smaller houses with smallish yards and other kinds of buildings. It's a mix of different kinds of infrastructure, and by no means a "very specific lifestyle".

            9 votes
            1. [5]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              Yes, I’ve read Strong Towns too and I agree with a lot of it. However, you have described in detail a specific vision of how things should be. I think it’s an attractive vision, but there are...

              Yes, I’ve read Strong Towns too and I agree with a lot of it. However, you have described in detail a specific vision of how things should be. I think it’s an attractive vision, but there are others.

              Rural areas are different.

              6 votes
              1. [4]
                HoolaBoola
                Link Parent
                That's incorrect - I have described how it is where I live. It's not a possibility, it's reality. I have not mentioned rural areas once in my comment. The article doesn't talk about rural areas....

                However, you have described in detail a specific vision of how things should be.

                That's incorrect - I have described how it is where I live. It's not a possibility, it's reality.

                Rural areas are different.

                I have not mentioned rural areas once in my comment. The article doesn't talk about rural areas. Suburbs are not rural areas, and bringing them up in discussions like this is unproductive.

                Personally, I believe living in the countryside in most cases is dumb, but that doesn't have anything to do with suburbs.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  It seems like you’ve still saying that the way your community is organized is how everyone should live? If that’s not the case, I have no objection. The article was talking about a survey of...

                  It seems like you’ve still saying that the way your community is organized is how everyone should live? If that’s not the case, I have no objection.

                  The article was talking about a survey of Americans, which implicitly includes the entire country.

                  4 votes
                  1. [2]
                    HoolaBoola
                    Link Parent
                    I'm not saying my area is how it should be everywhere. I do think it's way better here than in most places, but there's lots to improve here as well. I brought my neighbourhood up only because you...

                    It seems like you’ve still saying that the way your community is organized is how everyone should live? If that’s not the case, I have no objection.

                    I'm not saying my area is how it should be everywhere. I do think it's way better here than in most places, but there's lots to improve here as well. I brought my neighbourhood up only because you seemed to imply this kind of zoning would limit people's freedom to choose etc. etc. That's not the case, though - mixed-use building and less car-centric architecture has over and over again been shown to increase life quality in multiple aspects, such as obesity and reduced traffic

                    I'm not saying my neighbourhood is the best for living. What I am saying is that suburbs are awful for that.


                    And as for your last sentence:

                    The article is literally about suburbs.

                    From the opening paragraph:

                    [...] 60 percent of Americans want to live in communities where “houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away.” That’s an increase over the last two years and leaves only 39 percent who say they’d rather live “closer to each other, but schools, stores and restaurants are within walking distance.”

                    That's comparing the American suburbs, with huge yards and unwalkable streets, to dense cities with shorter distances. It's not about the countryside.

                    The desire for a wide, sweeping plot of land [...]. [...] why our culture latched onto cars [...].The post-WWII economic boom that made car ownership cheaper and more accessible was the engine of the suburb [...]

                    Rural areas have their own share of problems when it comes to climate change, but 1) the countryside is not as "American" as the suburbs have come to be and 2) the article discusses suburbs' problems, nothing else.

                    But that level density [...] have spent decades trying to prevent. Zoning laws [...] keep population density artificially low. [...]. Also, the lack of mixed-use buildings that can, for example, house businesses on a ground floor, prevent the build-up of commercial areas for residents to easily access.

                    Directly from the article. Again, suburbs (low population density etc.) vs. cities (mixed-use buildings)

                    3 votes
                    1. skybrian
                      Link Parent
                      The article is about the results of a survey, and when interpreting survey results, instead of going by what we think the question means, we should think about what the people who answered the...

                      The article is about the results of a survey, and when interpreting survey results, instead of going by what we think the question means, we should think about what the people who answered the survey might have meant. The press release from Pew Research center is clear that they surveyed people in urban, suburban, and rural areas. But they only gave people two choices:

                      • Larger and farther apart, but schools, stores, and restaurants are several miles away
                      • Smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores, and restaurants are within walking distance

                      Let's say 20% of the people surveyed live in rural areas, and many of them like where they live. Which choice would they pick? They're going to have to pick the first one, even though, if you asked, maybe they wouldn't want to live in a suburb. If we take the first choice to mean "suburb" then we've erased the opinions of people who prefer rural areas, by lumping them in with suburbs.

                      But it's not at all clear that either choice maps neatly to what we'd call a suburb. Where I live now, the houses are relatively small and closer together and there are a few stores and restaurants in easy walking distance. That seems like the second choice, but it's definitely a suburb. (And neither choice describes Manhattan, or a cabin in the woods.)

                      This is one way surveys mislead: they pigeon-hole people into answering a question a certain way (because the other choices are worse), then they get some numbers out of it, and then other people interpret the survey results in a different way. Unfortunately we can't ask the survey respondents what they meant.

                      So sure, I guess if you just want to talk about suburbs go ahead, but the survey is less useful for understanding what people think about suburbs than you might guess from reading the article. The article's author is making broad claims about what Americans want that aren't supported by the survey.

                      4 votes
          3. NoblePath
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Urban, or exurban. A small town with a decent train to commercial centers also solves this problem. Edit: it existed at one time. Behold the Illinois interurban....

            I found it a bit odd that the survey asked about the importance of living within walking distance of "schools, stores and restaurants." Someone who places great importance on all these things is looking for a very specific urban lifestyle.

            Urban, or exurban. A small town with a decent train to commercial centers also solves this problem.

            Edit: it existed at one time. Behold the Illinois interurban. https://www.illinoistimes.com/springfield/a-ride-through-time/Content?oid=11454534&media=AMP+HTML

            6 votes
          4. wervenyt
            Link Parent
            The ability to just hop down to the shop for a couple ingredients, batteries, or other staples is really wonderful. We in the suburbs or low density cities have learned to make big, infrequent...

            The ability to just hop down to the shop for a couple ingredients, batteries, or other staples is really wonderful. We in the suburbs or low density cities have learned to make big, infrequent grocery trips, but having that flexibility to stop in on foot for 15 minutes is vastly underestimated when you're used to stocking up a week at a time. It leads to less food waste, a more varied diet, and reduced stress when you realize you're out of something. If you hate shopping, you can bring a cart and still stock up once a week.

            Otherwise, I agree about the failings of the survey. Just wanted to share a bit.

            5 votes
    2. [3]
      papasquat
      Link Parent
      It's strange to say people are addicted to their cars. You could say the same thing about any modern convenience. You could say that people are addicted to their refrigerators, air conditioning,...

      It's strange to say people are addicted to their cars. You could say the same thing about any modern convenience. You could say that people are addicted to their refrigerators, air conditioning, and modern medical services also.

      They use cars frequently because they're convenient and make their lives easier. Even if I lived in a place with robust public transport, it's easier to just walk to my driveway, get in my car, and be anywhere I want in my city within an hour, while listening to what I want, in a comfortable seat, without the possibility of random weirdos or drug addicts accosting me. If some alternative to cars that provided all of those conveniences sprang up, you might be able to convince people to adopt them. Fleets of self driving taxis perhaps?

      You're not going to convince many people who live in a nice, large suburban house with a lawn and backyard, and a comfortable late model car to move to a loud, crowded, city and ride the bus everywhere.

      4 votes
      1. EgoEimi
        Link Parent
        I think that this is the crux of the problem. Many people only know of crowded, loud cities and comfortable, quiet suburbs in the US. But other cityscapes exist! I think it's very possible to get...

        You're not going to convince many people who live in a nice, large suburban house with a lawn and backyard, and a comfortable late model car to move to a loud, crowded, city and ride the bus everywhere.

        I think that this is the crux of the problem. Many people only know of crowded, loud cities and comfortable, quiet suburbs in the US. But other cityscapes exist!

        I think it's very possible to get the best of suburban and village living and the best of city living through good urban design.

        Even if I lived in a place with robust public transport, it's easier to just walk to my driveway, get in my car, and be anywhere I want in my city within an hour, while listening to what I want, in a comfortable seat, without the possibility of random weirdos or drug addicts accosting me.

        In Amsterdam, I got to most places between 0–20 minutes by bike or walking. Most of my trips—to buy groceries, go to cafes or bars, or go to the gym—were under 5 minutes by walking. The city was quiet, beautiful, lush with greenery and many parks, squeaky clean. Everyone is in great physical shape from all the biking.

        Half of my work commute was through a big park with many old trees. This video follows my exact commute through the park.

        Because nearly everyone rode bikes and few people drove, the streets were quieter than the American suburbs I've been in before.

        While biking I'd run into friends and acquaintances nearly everyday. Usually we'd just wave hello and go on our way. Sometimes we'd casually pull our bikes over and have a little chitchat, maybe agree to a coffee or beer later.

        Parking is easy: I'd just pull my bike over on the sidewalk and lock just the back wheel. Takes 5 seconds. No endless hunting for a parking spot.

        There's barely any road rage. Everyone is relaxed. You make eye contact and smile. Children ride with mom and dad. You'll see newly minted lovers riding side by side, hand in hand. You'll see pets in bike baskets.

        It was all very serene and stress-free.

        13 votes
      2. Akir
        Link Parent
        Of course, when I say that, I'm being purposefully reductive; if I wanted to talk in depth about any of these issues, I'd be here writing for hours. That being said, it certainly seems to match...

        Of course, when I say that, I'm being purposefully reductive; if I wanted to talk in depth about any of these issues, I'd be here writing for hours. That being said, it certainly seems to match how people react to it. Nobody's talking about the prohibition of owning a car, but if you ever talk about the downsides they have brought society people tend to come out of the woodwork as if they are a threat. Note the only two people to respond to me here have been in defense of cars - if we were in a larger forum there would be a great many more, I guarantee it.

        The thing is that car ownership - even the very ability to drive - is very much a privilege, and we are building our world in a way that leaves out the unprivileged in ways that are far worse than inconveniences. Even for people who are privileged, building cities for cars makes things worse in a number of ways that are so numerous that I'm not willing to go in that direction right now. Worse, it makes life considerably more dangerous for people who either cannot access that privilege, chooses not to, or simply chooses an alternative form of transportation (bikes, scooters, etc.). I'm sure you can see how backwards that all is.

        4 votes
  7. [3]
    Octofox
    Link
    The US could do with some kind of “premium” train system where you pay extra and you get a separate cart without the people who didn’t pay extra. It seems like most Americans are willing to pay a...

    The US could do with some kind of “premium” train system where you pay extra and you get a separate cart without the people who didn’t pay extra. It seems like most Americans are willing to pay a lot extra for their cars because they don’t want to risk being assaulted, being cramped, being in a cart full of litter, etc.

    From the videos that come out on a daily basis of US trains, I wouldn’t want to get in one either.

    7 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      This is basically the case for most Amtrak trains (which is basically the only interstate passenger train system in the US). Even on the most basic trains, there's a choice of buying a coach...

      This is basically the case for most Amtrak trains (which is basically the only interstate passenger train system in the US). Even on the most basic trains, there's a choice of buying a coach ticket for a base price, or a Business class that has roomier seats and some minor accomodations like snacks or drinks; mainly it's just less filled because there's not much reason to spend the extra cost. The long-distance routes will even have private cabins.

      And then there are short-distance train systems like Southern California's Metrolink and the Bay area's BART that are supposed to be commuter trains; they basically act like glorified busses, and they generally don't have a nicer cabin available; it's just one fair for everyone. And yeah, they aren't fun.

      But the real problem with your idea is that we already have the infrastructure in place to allow people to spend extra to get a nicer experience, and that nicer experience is a car, and there's no easy way to change this because almost everyone is already happy with this arrangement.

      5 votes
    2. skybrian
      Link Parent
      There are some startups offering premium bus service. Also, there is Google’s fleet of buses for their employees.

      There are some startups offering premium bus service. Also, there is Google’s fleet of buses for their employees.

  8. sron
    (edited )
    Link
    I'll admit I haven't read the article, but I'll share this video for a bit more on the topic - watch it from about 3:45. In short, Americans drive short journeys instead of using less polluting...

    I'll admit I haven't read the article, but I'll share this video for a bit more on the topic - watch it from about 3:45.

    In short, Americans drive short journeys instead of using less polluting alternatives like walking, cycling or public transport because those are not viable alternatives there - often, as much space as possible is dedicated to the movement and storage of cars with little consideration of more efficient forms of transport.

    If walking and cycling were safe, and if public transport was reliable and didn't get stuck in the same traffic as cars, it might be a slightly better situation over there. Even living in the UK I am jealous of what the Dutch have - to live in America seems horrible in this regard.

    But it is not irreversible. Amsterdam was wide roads and big car parks in recent decades - a shift in the priorites of city design will be beneficial for everyone. Taking away capacity for cars and turning it over to pedestrians, bikes and buses would actually reduce congestion for those still using cars, not increase it, as it would take cars off the road.

    It is no silver bullet for solving climate change but it's a big part of the solution.


    If you're interested, I recently watched this podcast featuring the person behind the YouTube channel I linked above. Among other things, he says most Dutch people live within 500 metres of a shop. Suburb planning and zoning is an issue too - many US suburbs are houses only for miles. In one example it would take 2 hours to walk door to door between two houses that shared a fence with each other. It has to change.

    5 votes
  9. DrStone
    Link
    I spent most of my life in US surburbs, traveling somewhat regularly into cities (but not commuting), and have now lived for a few years in a small, densely populated city/country with a very...

    I spent most of my life in US surburbs, traveling somewhat regularly into cities (but not commuting), and have now lived for a few years in a small, densely populated city/country with a very well-funded public transport system that is consistently ranked among the top in the world (i.e. ticks all of the boxes). While better funding can improve public transport up to a point (and the US has a lot of room to improve), I am unconvinced that it can ever be great.

    Even well funded and under the best conditions:
    It's still slower (anywhere from a bit more to multiples of a private car travel time), less comfortable (crowds, often no open seat, inconsiderate others, no control over climage), possible transfers required and they might not be at the exact same location, usually still requires walking to and from transport endpoints and destinations, runs on a fixed schedule (be prepared to wait if you miss one or your transfers don't line up with enough buffer or its full already), almost zero stuff capacity (only what you can reasonably carry while walking, navigating gantries, and fighting crowds). Then add children for a difficulty multiplier. The only things I've found public transport has going for it are cost, not having to find a place to park (though here there's plenty of parking decks), and (for me) avoiding the anxiety of driving in a city.

    There's a lot within walking distance too, but that has many of the same problems (slow, carry capacity, comfort), plus dealing with rain, sweat, comfortable walking clothes/shoes vs what's appropriate where you're going, a fair bit of luck and money required in finding and getting a place with what you personally want/need within walking distance, etc. That last one is big; for example there's some small grocery stores closer to me, but the selection is so limited that I need to walk 15-20min to the nearest supermarket.

    There's a reason why Uber-equivalents are doing very well and car ownership is still high despite high walkability and ridiculous car prices (plus an going through a lottery system with additional govt fee of tens of thousands of dollars to be allowed to purchase)

    4 votes
  10. babypuncher
    Link
    It's a chicken and egg scenario. I won't use public transit instead of my car for my daily commute until my public transit options can get me to and from work in a reasonable amount of time. Right...

    It's a chicken and egg scenario. I won't use public transit instead of my car for my daily commute until my public transit options can get me to and from work in a reasonable amount of time.

    Right now, my options are over an hours worth of bus rides with no less than three transfers, or a 10-15 minute car drive on the freeway. If I want to add in a stop to pick up groceries or run other errands, the math gets even worse.

    Part of the problem is that it's hard to justify building mass transit when the perceived demand is low (hence the chicken and egg comparison). But the other part of the problem is that way too many of our population centers, particularly younger ones further west, were laid out assuming everyone would want to drive a car. Housing isn't built within walking distance of essential amenities like grocery stores. Retrofitting these communities with convenient and fast public transit is an extremely complicated task.

    4 votes
  11. [4]
    moocow1452
    Link
    My friend supposed that the best thing that one could do for climate and oil dependence would to work on energy efficient solutions to giant shipping haulers, as they use the most petrol fuel by a...

    My friend supposed that the best thing that one could do for climate and oil dependence would to work on energy efficient solutions to giant shipping haulers, as they use the most petrol fuel by a wide margin. Supposedly there is a design that uses a sea water power cell that is charged by solar and wind during the day and keeps the boat running at night that's not as fast as a standard hauler, but much more cost effective.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      spctrvl
      Link Parent
      Ships don't use the most petrol though, by proportion they hardly use any at all. Maritime shipping is ludicrously efficient, it's under 3% of global emissions, road transport is over 15%.

      Ships don't use the most petrol though, by proportion they hardly use any at all. Maritime shipping is ludicrously efficient, it's under 3% of global emissions, road transport is over 15%.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Moving the ships are only part of the shipping supply chain. You also gotta truck things to and from the ships, load/unload the ships, and support all the logistical infrastructure for maintaining...

        Moving the ships are only part of the shipping supply chain. You also gotta truck things to and from the ships, load/unload the ships, and support all the logistical infrastructure for maintaining the ships (fueling, cleaning, maintenance, etc.)

        Even that together I suspect is probably still pretty efficient though. But we could probably make it more efficient if we had more and better freight rail to facilitate getting things to and from the ports.

        5 votes
        1. spctrvl
          Link Parent
          Ah, I read the comment as being about just ships. But yes, we certainly need to improve, expand, and electrify our cargo rail network. There should be limits, and annually decreasing ones, on the...

          Ah, I read the comment as being about just ships. But yes, we certainly need to improve, expand, and electrify our cargo rail network. There should be limits, and annually decreasing ones, on the number of large trucks on the roads to help push things to rail. Semis should be a stopgap or last resort, not the standard way of shipping products for distribution.

          4 votes