Friday, January 31, 2003
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Things I'd like to change #2:
2. Car insurance by the trip, not by the year. Along the lines of keeping the vehicle tax low and the gas tax high, how about car insurance by the mile, or by the trip? My car (yes, I own one) sits parked on the street unused most days. Yet, when I still need it, I still need it. Why should I have to pay to insure it for the 3 days out of 4 that it doesn't go anywhere?
Monday, January 27, 2003
1. Make automobiles that can magnetically "click" together to achieve greater fuel economy and reduce traffic conflicts.
2. Provide auto-sense overrides in vehicles that implement collision detection and avoidance. Please, don't use Windows software!
3. Provided that the first two conditions are met, then and only then give drivers the ability to take their eyes off the road so they can use all the gadgets they're now carrying around with them. Otherwise, sound alarms if the drivers' eyes are wandering down to their passenger seats or dashboards.
I'm not anti-car. I'm anti-personal-mobility-that-kills-pedestrians-and-bicyclists by design of the vehicle and the roadway. There's a big difference.
1. No more public money to sports teams. The Oakland Raiders go all the way to the Super Bowl, then lose (ugly). Persons from somewhere congregate in East Oakland and trash businesses along International Boulevard and cause other mayhem. "It's the Raiders' fault -- blame it on the Raiders," Akela Thomas, 19, shouted. "If they would've won, we wouldn't be doing this." And yet, the city of Oakland and Alameda County (where I pay property taxes) are forking over (so I heard) $20 million a year to the Raiders, plus the Raiders are suing said entities for more than $1 billion because the Raiders had been promised sold-out games and haven't gotten them. Think of what that $20 million could buy to help East Oakland each year. Instead, we have streets in flames.
Sunday, January 26, 2003
I grew up in Sunnyvale, California at a time when the orchards there were being bulldozed for mile after mile of tract homes. My father sold those tract homes for a living for more than 25 years. When the builders and he were done, the orchards were gone and Silicon Valley was there in their place. Now, the Central Valley is being bulldozed and turned into suburban sprawl. I remain utterly committed to living in the San Francisco Bay Area. But somewhere along the way, a terrible price has been paid. One example: My entire family moved away from the region, largely because traffic was getting so bad. But I'm determined to stay and see the miles of sprawl transformed into a sustainable urban area. I see little hope of this happening, but that isn't going to stop me from trying. I've done a few good things for bicycle advocacy, but after I remarried in 1999 and became a father in 2000, I became increasingly disillusioned with the narrow tunnel vision of bicycle, pedestrian and transit advocates, who sometimes spend more time fighting each other than their common foes. So I grope for a unified solution that somehow kowtows to none of these constituencies and yet gives us all hope for a sustainable urban future here in California. This will be my public diary of my journey.
Scott Mace, Berkeley, California