How much time, REALLY, does it take to drive somewhere?
13 years ago
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Clark) Date: Feb 18 2005 14:34:02 According to authors Ivan Illich and Paul Hawken (The Ecology of Commerce), the average American is involved with his or her automobile for sixteen hundred hours a year. I'm referring to all the hours of work it takes to buy the car; pay for repairs, insurance & gasoline; and all the hours spent actually driving it, including trips to and from the repair shop, car wash etc. This means that when all the MILES the car is driven in a year is divided by ALL the _HOURS_ spent supporting the car in these various ways, the car owner is essentially traveling at a speed (MILES/HOUR) of five miles per hour! This means that instead of spending so many extra hours at work, to pay these various automobile expenses, one could spend those very hours riding a bicycle wherever one wishes to go. One would then be spending approximately the same amount of time, IN TOTAL, achieving transportation to all the places one wished to go, but instead of spending the time at work, one would be spending it riding the bike. Yes each _trip_ would take quite a bit longer, but hours spent at work would, BY THE SAME AMOUNT, be much less. Looking at the big picture: To attain the speed of a bicycle, but travel in style, we are devastating our cities, air, lungs and lives, necessitating oil wars and massive bloodshed in the Mideast, and are all the while helping in a major way to increase global warming. So imagine cities that were physically beautiful, with plenty of nice parks, green belts and bike paths through these green belts. Imagine electric trains that connected every city, town and national park in the country, as once existed -- and realize how much richer our lives would be if we could just load our bikes and napsacks on the trains. How to pay for such beautiful cities, parks, bike paths and electric trains? Answer: Spend on them just a fraction of what we now spend on cars.