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By LL (registered) - website | Posted April 22, 2009 at 12:08:36
Nice article, David.
45% or so less car trips. Think of how much space that saves. Think of how much space 45% of Hamilton's cars take up and how much potential quality of life they subract.
I have advice for Hamiltonians who are at least reasonably fit. Don't wait for bike utopia. Just ride. If you map your route out in advance and get in a few defensive habits (like going fast and taking a full lane on a main st.), it's usually not very dangerous.
I ride 12 months of the year. With a few essential items of relatively inexpensive equipment, it's not as scary or taxing as people think. Most trips in Hamilton are only slightly longer timewise by bike than they are by car. And you don't have to take yet another car trip and more time out of your day to "do cardio". It's done. And exercising in the winter air boosts immunity and acclimatizes you to the season. Winter is EASIER to deal with physically.
I'll admit I first thought about ditching my car in response to global ecological issues. But a pure cost-benefit is what keeps me going. The financial freedom of not owning a car (or of being a one-car family instead of two) is well worth it.
LL believes that the problems of the city reflect deeper social contradictions
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