Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Car As a Cell Phone

Posted by on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Hybrids and electric cars are not the answer. No cars is the answer. But those who own hybrids and electric cars are at least making an effort...

tempimage-1.jpeg

 

Comments (53) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
wingedkat 1
I'm still not convinced the batteries won't turn out to be a worse environmental problem than the exhaust, but at least it reduces traffic-related air pollution and the need to buy/drill for oil.

Posted by wingedkat on September 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
2
Yes, we should all take public transportation! I love taking an extra 3 hours to get to work. The risk of getting stabbed by the crazy hobo sitting next to me is just a bonus!
Posted by Brandon J. on September 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
3

Cars can be seen as ridiculously excessive. On Saturday I was driving and thinking...everywhere I go, my trunk goes. Yet, 99% of the time I have nothing in my trunk.

Then again, if it takes me 5 minutes to drive to QFC and 20 minutes to bicycle, which am I going to do when I buy ice cream on a summery day?

Or should I not buy a tub of ice cream and bicycle to U-Top-It frozen yogurt in Covington which would be doubly healthy?

And again, what about Straight White Guys..those who buy electric cars and ride bicycles. Shouldn't chicks force us into bed because of these things, and for knowing more than one web-based computer language?

And what about those guys who ride around on motorcycles with a little dog in a plastic crate tied down with bungee cords on the back? No matter how hard they try, they'll never get laid.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on September 17, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Report this
4
Your Prius does not absolve you.
Posted by Don't you think he looks tired? on September 17, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
south downtown 5
"no cars" is only the answer if the density of the city continues to escalate. Lower impact mobility solutions are the answer when density is lower and public transit solutions are not available.

Seattle Council has set the City on a trajectory of 50% more population. They have made the no car choice for many of the citizens.

But parts of Seattle, e.g. wealthy lakeside communities, Magnolia, etc will continue to need and use cars.

So will the hundreds of thousands that commute daily into the City along I-5 and I-90...


Posted by south downtown on September 17, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 6
Fun fact: during a power failure a Volt can provide several days worth of power for charging cell ohones or other USB devices. With a 12v-120v inverter, one could even power some household appliances if needed.

Bailo, you make a good point, in agreement with Charles. Care are wasteful. Bike more, drive less.

But dont get a motorcycle with a dog as an accessory. Get a sportbike. Those guys get laid. A lot.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on September 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
south downtown 7
@1re: batteries. The City's "carbon neutral" plan is a joke. It does not look at externalized carbon emissions. In fact, all that daily traffic, clogging our the freeways and bridges to get to those downtown office towers - don't count it. Building those giant towers? Don't count it. Concrete or millions of truck trips to haul dirt for the DBT? Don't count it. All the concrete into Light Rail? don't count it. All of the iPods and other products we buy? Don't count it.

Just climb back into your carbon neutral apodment, and don't worry about reality as we head towards our carbon neutral city of the future.
Posted by south downtown on September 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 8
@6

Score one for electric cars! Try charging your phone with a regular car, am I right?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on September 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
@ 2, you live too far from your job. Find one close to home.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 10
Good luck to you if you wind up in the ER with a heart attack in the middle of the night waiting for the cardiology on-call team to take the bus to the hospital.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on September 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
11
@1: Good point...e-waste is going to be a fuckin' disaster zone in the near future.
Posted by Calvin&Hobbes on September 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 12
@9 Easy to say, harder to do.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 17, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
@12, you have a point.

@ 2, move closer to work.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
SchmuckyTheCat 14
@9, as long as outlying cities like Bothell and Redmond continue to entice office building and retail development to speculative developers who fill in swamps and lease the space to international megacorps who don't give a fuck about their employees commute times, we will continue to need to commute from non-dense housing to non-dense job sites.

I live in the city, but have to commute to the burbs. My work is only about 30% of my transportation time, the rest of it being evening and social hours in the city. Moving to the burbs would INCREASE how much I drive because I'd start driving for groceries and basic shopping (walk now), drive into the city for clubbing (drive and park, then cab now), and drive to friends (mix of driving and carpooling now).

Seattle has a great general office jobs in all those towers, but MSFT, Nintendo, T-mobile, ATT are all eastside low density offices and huge employers. Boeing and other manufacturers are all south and north. Our freeways are jammed in all directions at almost all hours, not into the city in the AM/out of the city at night. The no-cars, live where you work mantra is foolish for 80% of the people who make living income wages and have a life.
Posted by SchmuckyTheCat on September 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 15
In order for people to switch from cars to public transportation, you have to make public transportation more attractive to them than driving solo.

So far, I've only seen that in one place: Manhattan (and a tiny bit of Brooklyn... but not the rest of NYC).

It has to be more than "if you build it, they will come" it also has to be "we built it, and it's more accessible, convenient, and cheap than driving."
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 16
@10 Yes. You've found one of the examples where a small vehicle is necessary in a city. Delivery cars and trucks also make sense (for longer trips - I love the Specialties hand-carts wheeling around downtown). The rest is luxury.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on September 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
emor 17
@10

No one is suggesting that all cars be banned forever. Obviously, some people have an obvious need for their personal automobiles. But those people are in the minority.
Posted by emor on September 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
All right, all right. @ 12 and 14, you're forcing me to reveal that I'm bein facetious @ 9. Mostly because @2 was being silly (buses from the exurbs, as @2 describes, won't have crazy hobos on them because they don't live out in the sticks.

FWIW, my wife has to drive to work because it's 25 miles away and it would require three transfers (including a private shuttle) to go there via public transportation. As of now, she doesn't believe she'll work there for years, so there's no reason to consider uprooting our family for it. But we would if this was going to be where she wants to stay.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 17, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
19
Always live close to where you work, or acceptably close to a public transit option.

If that means renting because you have to stay mobile, rent. As a homeowner having watched most of my friends transition from renting to owning, I can confidently state that the reality of the costs of home ownership always greatly exceed those of renting, despite what realtors will try to tell you.
Posted by tiktok on September 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
20
@17: Actually, Charles is proposing just that.
Posted by bigyaz on September 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
21
#13, What does a temp do, stay at the holiday inn until the assignment ends?

#14, tell me about it (as one who worked in the burbs for a few years). The region would have to make a serious commitment to expanding right of way public transit to solve the dilemma for a lot of people, which won't happen.

#15, more specifically, I suspect Mass Transit has to be more widespread and run regularly--not every 40 mins or an hour. More like 10-15 minutes, which won't happen if it means simply committing to buses that run on roads with cars. Also Queens is pretty accessible for mass transit--Astoria, LIC, Flushing-CitiField
Posted by neo-realist on September 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
monkey 22
Electric cars are not the answer. Diesels are.
Posted by monkey on September 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
23
I don't understand why it is "progressive" to demand that people be forced to travel only where the government wants them to go, and to travel only when the government wants them to travel.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
24
And isn't it interesting to see just how hostile The Stranger and its readers are to the elderly and disabled who can't use bicycles?
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
25
No one is suggesting that all cars be banned forever. Obviously, some people have an obvious need for their personal automobiles. But those people are in the minority.

Um, 84% of the Seattle population owns a car. This is the same as it was 10 years ago, despite McGinn's recent effort to lie about it.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 26
@21,
RE: Queens mass transit
I dunno... I lived really close to Astoria (East Elmhurst) for a few years and there was really only one bus route within easy walking distance that went to a decent station (the Jackson Heights one). All the other buses and subway stations were actually a pretty far walk.
Queens isn't terrible for mass transit, but since it's so close to Manhattan's fantastic system, it feels shoddy by comparison.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
orino 27
The car in the picture is a Prius plug-in hybrid. Runs on batteries until they're depleted, then switches to its gas engine, which along with braking, will recharge the batteries. Like a regular Prius. But @1, +1...
Posted by orino http://www.scootinoldskool.com on September 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
28
I have a slightly different calculus, may not apply
To you and yours of course.

1) should I bike 20 minutes to get ice cream or
Drive to store and gym? America: We drive 3 miles to walk
One mile on a treadmill.

2) There will come a point I should not be
driving (assuming I live that long) therefor
It's in my interest to encourage decent public
transport....which is very slow to improve.

My only tool to increase the bathed sane
on the buses is to put my sane bathed self
In a seat.

If more people use the public transport,
There will be more public transport and
less need for cars. Maybe most families
will still need a car but maybe fewer will
need 2.

That said: I did/do insist on living near at least
popular bus lines and have a
static work location (so far). That
makes the bus a lot more practical.

Posted by david on September 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
29
Who wants to ride a bicycle in -8 degree weather? Oh, wait, "Move somewhere warmer". Gotcha.
Posted by jzimbert on September 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 30
I can confidently state that the reality of the costs of home ownership always greatly exceed those of renting, despite what realtors will try to tell you


Perhaps, but then you don't have to deal with a landlord anymore.

Seattle is rank with slumlords*; I don't blame people for being desperate to buy a home at increased cost to get away from mold, broken plumbing, and shitty neighbors.

*Unless you're willing to pay a premium for renting, which kind of defeats your reasons for renting.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
emor 31
@25

I am one of those Seattlites who owns a car. I don't actually need it -- I ride my bike to work every day and for most my errands. I just use the car for occasional long trips or Costco hauls. My wife uses it to drive her carpool to week one week a month.

So, smart guy, how many of those people need those cars? Having one is not the same as depending on one.
Posted by emor on September 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
32
Charles, No cars is a nice fantasy but there's no way to get rid of them fully. I'm "lucky" in that I do my whole job in 1 office so I can bus & bike relatively easily (though it's harder in the winter when it's -30 degrees here in MN) but I work with a lot of people in my office who have to go out to all of our customers all day long all over the cities. They could not possibly do their job without a car. On top of that, I love road trips. I like to see the country and stop in small towns an camp in national parks. Without a car I can't do that.

Instead of advocating your purist 'eliminate all cars' philosophy how about we work towards a realistic goal of minimizing car use. Getting people like me to bus and bike and getting people like my coworkers to support investment in public transit by showing them how it brings down gas prices and gets people out of their way on the road reducing traffic.
Posted by Root on September 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
Westlake, son! 33
@3 > Or should I not buy a tub of ice cream and bicycle to U-Top-It frozen yogurt in Covington which would be doubly healthy?

Not only doubly healthy, but FUN. Driving in the city with stop lights sucks. Always idling. Can't chit chat with the person next to you. You'll eat the yogurt outside and enjoy the sun instead of infront of the TV at home. Much more memorable life experience. Your brain will probably wipe clear your boring drive to the grocery store in a matter of hours.
Posted by Westlake, son! on September 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
34
@18
You've never ridden the 358 then have you.
Posted by Senor Guy on September 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
stirwise 35
@23: What the what? I don't have a car and I don't use public transit for my commute or for general day-to-day living. The government doesn't control my feet (or my bicycle, for that matter). Come to think of it, the government controls where all cars go because they control where roads go. If you want to live outside the bounds of governmental control of transportation, your feet are basically your only option.
Posted by stirwise on September 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 36
@ 34, LOL. I rode it for 4 1/2 years. It doesn't serve the exurbs; it serves Seattle and Shoreline.

So, what point were you trying to make?
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
37
My diesel deforests Orangutan habitat for palm oil (biodiesel), gets 50mpg, and blows Prius repellant.
Posted by scandlmgr on September 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
38
@19: Even granting your ridiculously broad assertion (I for one cleared more than $100k selling my last home) some of us want to be part of a community, give our kids a stable home and attend the same schools, and not be beholden to a landlord who may at any time decide to sell the house, or rent it to his nephew, or jack up the rent 20 percent.

I'm guessing you're single. Once you have a family and some roots the prospect of moving regularly is pretty unappealing.
Posted by bigyaz on September 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
39
Hybrids are not the answer. For one thing the price of a hybrid is high enough that you'd have to absolutely drive them into the ground to equal what you'd pay for a "normal" vehicle. Plus which no one has made any great statement about what's going to happen to all the hybrid batteries once they go kaput.
Posted by Weekilter on September 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
40
Someone should point out to the owner of that shiny new Prius Plugin that that little charging unit that's laying on the grass out by the street costs $1100 to replace if someone walks off with it.

Posted by beef rallard on September 17, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
41
#31, so now people are only allowed to have what some obnoxious hipster thinks they "need?" If that's the case, then I'd love to go through your belonging -- all of which cause pollution -- and see what you "need."
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
42
#35, isn't funny how you and the Stranger and the rest of its readers don't give a flying fuck about the elderly or the disabled, who can't ride bicycles? Oh, we put them on ice floes, then?

And good for you that you live in a one-bedroom apartment and don't have a car. But the vast majority of us do have cars, and like going where we want to go, when we want to go, without being dependent on a bus route or schedule.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
43
By the way, there are more people in Seattle who own three cars than who own no cars. Take out the people who are in nursing homes or jail and can't drive, or who are too poor to afford a car, and there really aren't very many voluntary bicycle-only hipsters, regardless of how much attention they get from the Stranger and the other wannabes in this city.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
stirwise 44
@42: I live in a 3-bedroom townhouse and give more of a fuck about the disabled than you could possibly know. Ever heard of the paralympics? Disabled folks can ride bikes, too.
Also, I never said dick about the disabled and the elderly. I said that YOU can use your feet if you don't want the guv'ment having any say in where you travel. Most elderly and/or disabled people I know are quite happy to have public transportation available to them, while fucks like you go around complaining that buses suck.
Also, again, my fucking feet take me everywhere I need to go, whenever I want. I rarely ride the bus, but I like knowing that it exists. Car ownership is a massive waste of energy, money, time and space. I like not spending $16,000 a year on a car (the average car ownership cost for an American). I used to have a car, and the day I sold it was one of the happiest in my life. Nobody is forcing you to not have a car. You can enjoy your miserable money-eating pile of plastic and metal. I'll stick to my two feet.
Posted by stirwise on September 17, 2012 at 5:10 PM · Report this
45
Also, I never said dick about the disabled and the elderly.

You bike nazis never do "say dick about the disabled and the elderly." That's because you really don't give a flying fuck about them. All I ever hear from you assholes is how everyone ought to be on a bicycle. Face it, you'd rather see anyone who can't walk or is too old just die off. Your bike nazi attitude reeks to high heaven, and no amount of obligatory after-"concern" gets you off the hook, hipster phony.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM · Report this
stirwise 46
@Mister G: Who here is a bike nazi? I walk everywhere. I've ridden my bike maybe 6 times in the 3ish years I've lived in Seattle. I repeatedly said I was using my feet to get around, it's not my fault you misread that. Again, you're the one decrying public transit, and yet you say "but what about the elderly?" Hey, dumbass -- they need public transit. You can complain about how much public transit sucks, and how you don't want to operate on THE MAN'S schedule, but what do you expect the disabled and elderly to do? I was arguing in favor of a method of transit (human-powered) that doesn't rely on the government or a car. I can't figure out what your angle is. Are you pro car or pro bus? Are you anti-walking? Because that's just stupid.
And, again, you don't know me, or my attitude towards the elderly and disabled, so please stop making assumptions. I never said for grandma to get on a bike (though I know mine could).
Also, the government can take your car and your driver's license away at any time. It's a privilege, not a right. They can't take away my legs.
Posted by stirwise on September 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
stirwise 47
Also, I'm way too fucking old and lame to be a hipster in anyone's eyes. You don't know me, so stop pretending you've got my number. Shit, you probably even think I'm a man.
Posted by stirwise on September 17, 2012 at 8:28 PM · Report this
48
Nobody is forcing you to not have a car. You can enjoy your miserable money-eating pile of plastic and metal. I'll stick to my two feet.

You and your shithead mayor and your bicycle assholes are doing everything they can to force us not to have a car. I don't care if you want to walk. Hell, I walked 5 miles yesterday, and a couple miles today. I also drove. Guess what? I lived the way I wanted to.

Between the "progressive" jerkoffs who want to tell people how to live, and the wingnut jesus freaks who want to tell people how to live, I'd say it's getting harder and harder just to tell all of you shitheads to mind your own fucking business for a change.

If someone wants to drive a car, stop trying to get in their fucking way or you just might find your sorry ass flattened into the pavement.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 8:43 PM · Report this
stirwise 49
Dude, seriously? You think we're trying to force you not to have a car? (Also, my mayor? I wasn't even here when he was elected.)
Also, I have been hit by a car. While crossing the street, with the right-of-way. It fucking sucked. Maybe you were the asshole who hit me. I'll never know, since he drove off and won't ever get caught. You sure seem like the kind of guy who takes someone else's choices (ie, walking) and runs them over with his fucking car.
You still haven't explained why you hate people who don't have cars.
Posted by stirwise on September 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
Animal 50
"Cars" or at least some form of personal motorized vehicles are never going away because everyone wants to PILOT something. Cars or hover bikes, it doesn't matter. Human beings want to DRIVE.
Posted by Animal on September 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM · Report this
51
Listen, ya hipster fuckup, some people can't walk so well, or ride a bike so well, or carry things so well, so they need a car. And other people just want a car because, well, it's none of your fucking business why they want a car. So mind your own fucking business and stop trying to run everyone else's goddamned life.
Posted by Mister G on September 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM · Report this
LEE. 52
@51

you've effectively swayed my opinion on this issue. for years, I said nothing would make me stop driving (I'm from Orange County...if you didn't own a car, you're screwed. end of story). HOWEVER I will gladly forfeit driving for the rest of my life if it means you don't get to either. so please someone let McGinn know that the time to start the engines of his Automobile Final Solution is now.
Posted by LEE. on September 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
53
#52, you first.
Posted by Mister G on September 18, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy