Originally Posted by veyrongatti
Well in Australia insurance cost more then an arm and an leg if you are under 25 not to mention you have to be on a P plate for 4 years I think? and on your P plates they have a terrible system of not letting you drive certain cars that has 8 cylinders and above or if it uses forced induction. However you are allowed to drive this..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsZQX2tzNhI
since it only has 4 cylinders.........
That...sucks. Really bad. I will enjoy driving my big V8 monster this morning even more, knowing that there are children in other parts of the world who would be grateful to have it.
Originally Posted by proton007
I've been wondering about this issue for a while and the thread has kind of stirred my thoughts, so let me put this question to you.
Is the current design trend related to a decrease in the desire for personal mobility? I mean personally, I would like to own a good car, but it just doesn't seem to be worth the hassle, with all the insurance, repairs and traffic. So I rely on the public transport. Most of the drivers I see out there are mostly alone, in a 4-5 seater car.
I'm alone in a 3 seater car.
But yeah I can see what you're saying to some extent - I've lived in a few metro areas in the last few years, with varying quality of mass-transit. By and large I like mass transit, but still maintain a car for the weekends, getting TO a transit terminal, and other "I want it now" things (like grocery shopping - can't really do that via bus or train where I am (before I moved, I used to take the train to shop weekly - it was actually really nice), and walking 6-7 miles is just obscene with a lot of groceries). The biggest issue is not that Americans aren't interested in doing mass transit right, it's that the design paradigm for urban sprawl and suburban/exurban planning is antithetical to not owning a car. For example, I take a combination of bus and commuter rail in the mornings - it's roughly a ~26 mile trip one way (and it takes about 30 minutes, and is faster than driving, because the bus runs in its own lane, and the train obviously doesn't wait for traffic (to a fault - I think we're up to six pedestrian strikes this year alone! not quite as bad as Dallas, but still)); I have to drive around four miles from my home to the nearest transit terminal though! How is that effective? Or getting groceries - the nearest store is again, around 5 miles off. And I'm not "in the sticks" here, I'm in one of the wealthiest suburbs of one of the most populous metro areas in the western US.
But if you look at truly planned cities (like Salt Lake, where I used to live), the pre-suburb/exurb sections especially, you really can walk or bike everywhere. And their addition of commuter rail just makes everything much faster - you can EASILY go from home to work, and back again, and do all of your shopping, entertainment, etc just on the train. And yes I've gone on dates using the train. And shopping. And so on and so on. And it is just "normal." But there is a reason Salt Lake is used in a lot of urban/city planning courses as a case study today - it stands out. It's also much smaller than most cities (total population for the city itself is under 200,000), so that contributes too.
Contrast this to DC, where you have relatively good public transit in the CBD (the "disneyland effect"), but when you start getting into the suburbs, exurbs, or if you want to be mean, consider the entire MSA - mass transit is a joke. And really it's the same story here. Sure, we're spending something like three billion dollars (it's doubled our taxes over the last 7 years, we have like the second highest salestax in the US because of it, and it's still not finished) to add more rail lines, and it still will be barely worthwile by and large. Because again, the way suburbs and exurbs and so on are designed they don't lend themselves to mass transit (mass transit is actually a similar logical problem as doing laundry, if that helps you conceptualize it as a data flow easier).
Honestly, I like my car, but I don't like needing it. That's what annoys me - that it's kind of a forced choice.