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Thread: Car free day?

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Car free day?

    So today is Car Free Day. The M&G is running an article on it

    "To make a change, you would have to equate as much of the flexibility, reliability and safety of private transport in the public-transport arena. Obviously you can't do that 100%, but you would have to close the gap very, very considerably to make public transport first choice," said Tony Twine, an economist with Econometrix.
    I remember Car-Free-Day from last year and I'm not sure if anything has changed in the past year. I'm quite keen to see fewer cars on the road (mainly from a pollution perspective), but realistically most people aspire to get off public transport, as raised in the article.

    "There are no public transport links to speak of," Twine said. "The informal transport sector is just that -- and most people who can afford a car, the first thing they do is abandon the informal transport system."
    So what practical ways do you think we (as individual's) can employ to use our own vehicles less? Couple of good reasons for this, (1) reduce pollution, (2) less congestion (bonus when you do use your car), (3) potential savings (less fuel, maintenance etc.)

    I live close to work (whoohoo - I work from home ). We also chose a house close to where my wife does here assesments from - that's one way (not always practical especially if you work at a factory though )
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Car Free Day is just not realistic. The major problem is, without doubt, the inadequacies of public transport in many parts of South Africa.

    One of the things I've noticed is how much quieter morning peak hour traffic is during school holidays. In Durban North we also see a sharp increase in traffic at the end of the school day - around 2.30pm.

    Many parents aren't comfortable having their children use public transport, or even walking home for that matter
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    That's for sure, and it presents us with a bit of a crisis.

    There is certainly not much of an alternative to using a car at the moment, but the reality is that with 700000 new cars on the road in the last year (I think that was the number - please correct me if I'm wrong) we're facing a traffic jam crisis (along with an ageing fleet of cars with a low possibility of maintenance).

    Practically I don't see public transport as an alternative, but there are ways to reduce the load on the system - car pooling, living closer to work, driving in non-peak times. Not all are applicable for everyone.

    Different jobs have different needs, but I'm sure with a small amount of sacrifice (I got a lift to work for two years and managed to come right) a LOT of people would be able to adjust. This could easily halve the load, which saves time, money, and the environment.

    So back to my original question - what practical ways can you think of to reduce your own car usage?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I see they are trying the HOV lane system on the Ben Scoeman Highway. Too early to tell how it'll go, I guess.

    I've seen this before in Dallas, Texas. It seemed to work there according to locals but apparently it caused chaos when it was first introduced.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Full Member lynette's Avatar
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    People could phone in to the Jacaranda 94.2 radio station here in Gauteng this morning and according to the amount of swear words, it was chaos on the Ben Schoeman highway. There was not one positive comment and people are very frustrated. Maybe in time things will go better, but with the traffic congestion as it is already, my guess is it won't be too soon!
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I'll take a bet those frustrated callers had less than 3 people in the vehicle.

    Personally, I think they should have set it at two. At least for the trial. I think it only starts working once people start car pooling - and that's not going to happen overnight.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Personally, I think they should have set it at two. At least for the trial. I think it only starts working once people start car pooling - and that's not going to happen overnight.
    It is a big paradigm shift, I think it is even bigger for Gautengers. My experience is that your car is really seen to reflect something about you (in GP) - so loosing your car is tantamount to losing your status symbol.
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    I travel on the N1 North every morning and I tried my best this morning to get some sort of idea of whether people are obeying this new rule. It is astonishing that many drivers are simply ignoring this, despite the fact that metro police are very very visible all along the route. We have a culture of lawlessness in SA. Evryone blames the taxis and I agree they do drive like thugs, but that is no excuse for others to break the law as well.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Personally, I blame the trucks that don't keep to the left hand lane more than the taxis. From personal experience this is a problem on the N1 through Midrand and the N3 through Johannesburg and applies at all times of the day.

    The problem is these sections are relatively hilly, and the truck drivers don't have the patience to keep one behind the other through these sections (or anywhere for that matter). Cars easily keep going at 100km +, but the trucks are all over the road at 80km or less. The ripple effect of one truck slowing down a lane of cars is incredible.

    I remember talking to a friend about his experiences in Europe, particularly in Germany. Trucks keep to the slow lane - period. And it does not significantly affect their arrival time.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Junior Member Entity's Avatar
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    The irony kills

    How ironic, car free day and most of us drove our cars, me included
    Its the trucks, the public transport and the idiots on the road who dunno how to drive. one thing is for sure. if we all rode motorbikes things would go faster on the road. more lanes, more space and only one truck lane or vehicle lane. Either someones thinks they are as amart as a plank by changing the way the road works or they haven't a clue on what a terrible disaster everything is going to be

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