Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: No end of mileage

258 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 6 7 8 9 10 11 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    However, the danger of cycling is now a major factor for me not riding more. When I was younger, the danger was not a factor, but the cost of owning a car was. Once I starting working, I could afford a car. The push bike has only been used occasionally since.

    Auckland will never be a great city for cycling around.

    I came back from riding everywhere in London (usually in aggressive cycle-courier style) to Auckland, took possession of my bike off the boat -- and hated it.

    I did get back on the bike, and kind of enjoyed getting up Chinaman's Hill, but, for various reasons, it isn't a pushbike town. I was fascinated when I visited Amsterdam again in 2001 and hired a sit-up bike, by how much I enjoyed riding like that, in that lovely town.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    I didn't get my licence till I was 27 and circumstances dictated I grow up. I still hit the Human Powered Vehicle sites all the time.

    Someone mentioned guns earlier.
    Why doesn't the gun licence extend to competence?
    An annual shooting test to ensure the duckies are dispatched in one and not limp along in agony up some sheltered stream.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This behaviour usually carries on until 2 in the morning. Unless you live with this problem you have NO idea of how bad this problem is - these people are not benign ,they are moronic thugs on wheels . As my neighbours often say " we'd rather live next door to a gang than put up with these little shits ".

    Fair enough. But we again come back to the issue from the original Edgeware Road post - is there something different in kind in Christchurch and the regional centres? Is there a certain sort of loutishness?

    Or am I just sheltered in Pt Chev?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r,

    I couldn't believe it when my 18 year old nephew in his final year at secondary school was telling me about his mcjob at Subway . He has to start his shift at 5pm , gotta be there on time ...but when he gets there if its quiet he gets sent home for an hour or 2 and gets a phone call when it gets busy at which time he must return to resume his shift ending at 11pm - WTF . how f*** is that ? Further they are not eligible for a free subway food break until they have worked 5 hours straight .
    It just was not like that when i was a teen working part time.

    No wonder he doesn't really like his part time job , has no loyalty to it, and looks forward to going driving with his mates when work ends - whatever arbitary time that might be .

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Heather, I bet the people who have to drive you around don't see it that way.

    Very bad assumption. When I lived in towns & smaller cities I biked. In Wellington/London/Auckland I've taken public transport and walked. Nights on the town I take a taxi, as will most of my driver friends. All it takes is a little extra planning. I'll gratefully accept an offered lift from friends, but your recalcitrant wife I am not.

    All in all, it was just a throwaway comment I made in jest, although partly driven by my own bugbear of people implying that I'm somehow defective, or terribly selfish, because I don't own a car (none of whom, I might add, are the friends that offer to pick me up or drop me off). The assumption that to be a functional kiwi resident you must have your own transport is wrong.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    See? There you again Tom Beard - "the more chance we'll have of building sustainable cities." You are (now its my turn to use the phrase du jour) conflating sustainability with what sort of transport options work best for a small city, and what people want.

    I've never conflated sustainability and convenience. We all want convenience, but it shouldn't be at the expense of others, or of future generations. That should be more important than "what people want" (such a simple phrase, yet covering up so much complexity about how people come to want what they do), especially when (getting back to the topic) what some people want appears to involve obnoxious and sometimes fatal behaviour.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    One of the reasons why Auckland doesn't have great public transport is because people don't actually NEED great public transport (I'm speaking in general terms not individual cases).

    If we did it might actually start to appear.

    There are some areas that get pretty bad congestion in the mornings and afternoons but buses aren't going to get anybody along these routes any faster aside from the odd bus lane. But then again once you factor in walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus then walking to wherever you are going at the other end and the extra cost of the bus (tickets tending to be significantly more than the fuel costs for an average car) then it's not putting you any better off. The proof is in the fact that people are sitting in their cars and not on the buses.

    In Seoul the public transport options are awesome. Subway stations EVERYWHERE, buses EVERYWHERE going EVERYWHERE, taxis EVERYWHERE and it's all cheap as hell. But the roads are still clogged up all over the place. London was the same. I can remember going about one kilometre in an hour on a few occasions in the wrong times of the day. I also remember seeing a doco on TV about traffic in Singapore several years ago. It took a businessman in his own limo about 4 hours to get to work and often it would be so late he'd just turn around and head home, all the while working from his car.

    On the bike issue, China is an interesting case. Bikes everywhere when I was in Beijing in 2000. In fact the first thing I saw when the plane landed was people cycling down a road near the runway. Bikes, bikes and more bikes. And now what are they doing the second they get enough cash? Buying flamin cars.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • WS,

    I have no idea what its like in other centres, but I did speak to a Cop from Petone one night when we dialled 111 after hearing alarming screaming coming from a gathering of boy racers ( my neighbours are all for Flybuys attached to calls to the Police, we make them so often ) - and he was appalled at the lack of response we were getting from Police down here. A typical call : "hello i'd like to report 200 boy racers have blocked off Road , they have poured deisel across the road , a hedge has been set alight ..." Police : " we're quite busy tonight, we'll see if we can get a car out there , there are boy racers causing problems all over the city".
    having said that, Police I have spoken to here tell me that its too dangerous to send in one or two patrol cars and they often have THEIR cars attacked , I was shown a patrol car that had had its rear window smashed three times by boy racers hurling bottles. If I were a cop i'd be reluctant to head into a situation where I was surrounded by 400-500 of these idiots.
    Yes, its a certain kind of loutishness.. " we're just having fun and F** the rest of you "

    Christchurch • Since May 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    The police lines about "doing what we can" and "always call the police, or "you're right to call" make me cringe a bit.

    Drunk as guy crashes into the ditch in front of my parents place, can't stand up, trying to get back on his bike to hoon off. I call the cops and they say "too busy, call us back if he drives off". Eventually he does and I call back to the answer of "thanks for that". It literally took the guy 20 minutes to get on his feet and all the while abusing the hell out of me and the car that had stopped to offer him a ride home. Their parting line was along the lines of "Fuck you then, go kill yourself".

    And this year mate has called the cops because they have a gang house virtually identical to the one that has just been shut down, street brawls, vandalism, terrorising the neighbourhood for a year type stuff.

    They get called and told about the brawl in the street involving weapons of various description.... and don't bother showing up.

    They are probably too busy with check points or something or other but surely great punchups which often result in death and serious injury in NZ and get dragegd through the news for a week are worthy of a bit of attention.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Finn, your argument can be extended to say that noone should live in NZ.

    I don't think teenagers needs are irrelevant at all. They are exactly as relevant as yours, probably more so because they have to live here longer.

    I don't think any of that stands unless you put words in my mouth in order to argue it. If you can manage that with the first assertion I'd be very surprised.

    I'm arguing that people will make their lives function based on what they have to work with: if cars are available to fifteen-year-olds then some families with kids that age will arrange their affairs such that the option is taken up by necessity.

    An argument over the merits of fifteen-year-old kids driving cars is just that - it doesn't need to discuss whether or not there are some kids in the country who currently need one, it's just about whether they should be allowed. If the option is to be taken away it's because there's a good argument against it being available, not because nobody is using it.

    But as for the "12 is young enough"... how much time do you really spend around teenagers, Ben? They're interesting. In some ways they do a great job of imitating adults, you can talk to them as equals etc etc. But they're not adults, and if you leave them on their own to make decisions then they'll quite often make some pretty stupid ones. The argument over age isn't about physical capability or control, it's about mental ability to make decisions and limiting the damage that making the wrong ones can do.

    At the moment we set legal limits on a bunch of activities at a range of ages, with driving arguably one of the lowest. Yet it's also probably the most dangerous of the lot. What's the rationale?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Simon: I drove around a bit of Bali last year. While crazy, I think the drivers are actually quite skilled at avoiding impact. Plus I guess the cost of a smash in typical hours worked is a great deal more than NZ?

    Also, at Bali speeds I suspect more accidents are survivable.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4362 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I like cars for their form and grace when assembled by mastercrafts people in much the same way I like art, architecture and good food. but i don't care what gets me from A to B (with all due environmental concerns, selah)

    Yeah, I like Top Gear a lot, and the one time I got a car junket (new BMW 3 Series out to the destination; Z-Series Roadster back; Roadster infinitely more fun) I did enjoy it, but it just doesn't seem relevant for me to own a performance car.

    Not that I want to drive shit cars. Just that a 1999 Mazda Capella seems quite adequate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Honest question: What is the Mayors' conference trying to achieve? Stopping 'boy racers' from being involved in so many fatal and serious crashes, or stopping 'boy racers' from annoying law abiding citizens? I can't tell anymore.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Finn, you were on a partially comical point that people with kids shouldn't live in Taranaki because it limits their options and makes it hard for us city folks to legislate against kids driving. I'm saying the argument scales. People shouldn't live in Auckland for the same reason.

    Which is reductio ad absurdum, of course. I'm saying it's a silly argument, although I'm not convinced it wasn't meant to be anyway?

    I still don't get your point saying that it's irrelevant what the country kids need. Just...lost, sorry.

    I spend a fair bit of time with various teen levels, but it's not really relevant to my point. I carefully caveated that with "if we lived in a society that had always been that way". My point is that maturity is driven by responsibility, not the other way around. Obviously there's some age where the mind (and body) is too undeveloped to allow too much responsibility. But I personally think it's a lot younger than the average opinion on the matter appears to be. Our coddling of children and removal of their responsibilities removes their ability to learn responsibility. I absolutely do not think a 20 year old is a child. Most people that age have been physically mature enough to handle a car for about 8 years, and the mental side is basically unknown. If you keep a 20 year old a child then you end up with a dangerous and irresponsible full grown adult.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Not that I want to drive shit cars. Just that a 1999 Mazda Capella seems quite adequate.

    I've always seen cars the same kind of way. As long as it's reliable I really don't give a stuff. A kid that can put their bike chain back on knows about as much as me about mechanics.

    My father on the other hand has an Austin 7 in parts in the garage along with a vintage rugby truck. A decomposing International truck in the rain and another International truck in the shed, a little car for running about in and a great looking red Landrover ute which recently replaced the green one that was identical, which of course replaced the three Toyota utes he had before that.

    All I can see for the next 20 years is a procession of vehicles passing through their property.

    All that aside my car is so awesome. It was bought for 3,700 from some Cambodians at the Ellerslie market 2 years ago.

    It has the device where you push a button and sound is emitted where people are talking, sometimes I put a plastic token into it and I can listen to cooler sounds. It's got 4 extra seats that I can put my bags on and sometimes I let my wife and baby ride in them or else friends.

    And what's more it has a special cooling device and heating device on the inside and a compartment at the back for putting larger items like prams, groceries, bags of potting mix, and bodies into.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I doubt you can pick one thing (not vital to survival like breathing) that all humans love.

    How about ... love?

    Curse you Brown and your keen insight!

    Yeah, I like Top Gear a lot

    The weird thing is, I don't. I find Jeremy wassisname to be the most annoying person to listen to about cars (and probably anything else), I much prefer the other guys. Jeremy seems to be all about power and speed. I see no point in that and much prefer beautiful cars that look nice as they cruise past you (now if they only came with an electric engine....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Yamis, you mix in interesting circles: drunk motorcylists; friends who live in gang streets. By contrast, I have never had opportunity or need to dial 111. Once, in Canada, there was a pretty significant car crash near our place. My room-mate dialled 911 and it was engaged(!?). It took the fire engines about 10 minutes to get there to free one guy, which was interesting because the fire station was about an 8 minute walk down the road.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    I gotta drive home. I will be there in 17 minutes. It will cost me about $3 in gas. By contrast a bus at this time of night would take 50 minutes (+ walking and waiting time) and cost $5.70.

    I mention these grim details, because as from tomorrow, I'm back on the bus!

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It has the device where you push a button and sound is emitted where people are talking, sometimes I put a plastic token into it and I can listen to cooler sounds.

    You're on drugs aren't you?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    RB:

    You're on drugs aren't you?

    For gods sakes, I'm a secondary school teacher. How the hell else do you expect me to get through the day! Actually today I am home suffering from dizzy spells. Is it possible to get lost in cyberspace and never find your way out? Where am I? Who are you?

    Today I had one of my boys who is about to turn 15 and get his license in a month say that he's not going to be one of those "boy racers". I thought that's a sweet relief and a good responsible thing for him to say. He then said "I'm going to drift, it's safer".

    DC_RED:

    Yamis, you mix in interesting circles: drunk motorcylists; friends who live in gang streets.

    Oh your'e just saying that cos you're in my circle. I have to bring up my friends in gang streets though cos I live next to a gang street which doesn't get you the same street cred.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Willco,

    Regarding the observation about driving in Bali, they've had some success in The Netherlands where they've done away with road signs altogether within some urban areas. The uncertainty created puts the onus on all users to be more aware of others using the space.

    The need to establish eye contact and read cues from other motorists means that traffic speeds decrease, the flip side being improvements in overall traffic flow due to their being no down time at intersections while the lights change etc.

    Great idea, but can't see it working in NZ with our aggressive driving culture. (although if you had the same menu choices at your local cafe as the Dutch that might not be such an issue)

    For a glimpse at what it means to be truly car dependant, this post about living in LA is worth a read. (brilliant site, well worth having a look at his other work)

    Phew! 1st ever post on here. Congrats for the awards and cheers for providing such a great site.

    Melbourne • Since May 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Willco,

    Melbourne • Since May 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Finn, you were on a partially comical point that people with kids shouldn't live in Taranaki because it limits their options and makes it hard for us city folks to legislate against kids driving. I'm saying the argument scales. People shouldn't live in Auckland for the same reason.

    Which is reductio ad absurdum, of course. I'm saying it's a silly argument, although I'm not convinced it wasn't meant to be anyway?

    Well, to a degree - some of it is just being bitter on the sheer tedium that is being a teenager in the central North Island, something I thankfully only had to tolerate for a fairly short time. Cars or no cars, it sucks.

    But I didn't say that people shouldn't live in Taranaki because it restricts the ability to legislate, so I feel quite comfortable pointing out that you are, in fact, putting words in my mouth. People are quite welcome to live there and it shouldn't make any difference to whether such legislation is discussed or passed. If they don't like the results they can move somewhere that suits their tastes better - i.e, which has better access to the things their teenagers want to get to.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Victor Chou,

    At the moment we set legal limits on a bunch of activities at a range of ages, with driving arguably one of the lowest. Yet it's also probably the most dangerous of the lot. What's the rationale?

    What about this line of reasoning:

    Given that the majority of roads in this country, due to financial and geographical constraint, require a much higher level of driving skill than that for a city person doing weekend shopping trip @50km/h, those skills can only be learned one way - through experience, and that experience is more easily gained by a teenager than by a person in their mid 20's.

    Of the people I know, the ones who started driving in their teens are generally better drivers not simply by virtue of having a few more years of experience but that some physical tasks are just so much harder to learn later on.

    It is just unfortunate that right now there is a mix of relative economic prosperity, easy credit, and surplus of Japanese vehicles from an era when performance was used as a major marketing point (when every manufacturer had to have some flagship twin-turbo coupe/sports car to proudly proclaim "look what we can produce"), reliable and durable enough to remain for quite a while yet.

    I'd say force everyone to learn driving in a something like a manual MX-5 - one gets to appreciate how the car provides feedback and responds to road conditions, fun but not overpowered, and reduce the number of passengers who would potentially encourage reckless behaviour by 66.67%...

    Since Feb 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Victor, but is your assertion actually backed up? Are countries where people learn to drive earlier actually producing better drivers?

    The mechanical, muscle-memory skills of driving safely within the realm of legality are not particularly hard to learn for somebody at any age. They take some time and experience, but in all honesty not that much. The major problems with road safety arise not in physical control but in mental discipline and plain common sense, and that's something teenagers aren't exactly renowned for having in abundance.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 6 7 8 9 10 11 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.