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Best way to have fewer trucks on the road?


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Ok, I admit it. I have gotten way too comfortable ordering things from Amazon, especially since the pandemic but honestly, even before then. 
 

But I have guilt. Every time I’m on the highway, and I complain about the number of trucks on the road, I know that I contribute to it. 
 
So in my teeny-tiny-miniscule way, I thought maybe instead of buying things whenever I thought of it, dh and I should choose the Amazon Day option, figuring if they only come to my house once a week, that’s better than 3 or 4 times a week (😞). But now I’m wondering if that option is really meant for people who want to be home when their packages are delivered.

Is there a better way to have fewer deliveries? I’m toying around with the idea of dh and I just putting what we want in the shopping cart but not actually buying until, say the 15th and 30th of month (or until there is a NEED, not just a want). Any suggestions? 
 

PS. We’re not shopaholics and generally these are not large purchases. Hobby stuff like thread for me. New socks for dh. Stuff like that. Trying to avoid stores as much as possible these days. 

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I do bulk amazon orders and choose amazon day for that reason. They offer amazon day to limit the number of boxes used and trips necessary to deliver items.

I would love to shop local more and do curbside pickup but most of the items I order are not easily available locally.

We do grocery pickup at the store weekly. I also try to throw little items that are available into those purchases if I need something urgently and it’s not my mid-month order.

As far as fewer trucks on the road goes...overall, we need to consume less generally. We do utilize public transport here, and relocated to a community that is walkable, bikeable and where we could easily be car less. We used to have to drive an hour one way for shopping or medical....huge shift from our Midwest life.

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Even apart from trucks on the road, I think doing an Amazon delivery just once/week (or twice/month) is still a good idea.  I can't see any negatives doing it that way, if you can manage it.  It's more environmentally friendly in many ways.

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I have been mostly using the once a week "Amazon Day" delivery option. Maybe I could plan ahead better and cut that down to twice a month, but I figure even with weekly deliveries, the few minutes that my delivery adds to the time that truck is on the road is still a lot less than the hour or so my own car would be on the road if I had to drive to several locations every week to do my shopping in person.

 

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43 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

We do utilize public transport here, and relocated to a community that is walkable, bikeable and where we could easily be car less. We used to have to drive an hour one way for shopping or medical....huge shift from our Midwest life.

Oh how I wish we had better public transportation here (and everywhere!). I moved to this small/medium sized city over 40 years ago after growing up in Philadelphia. I thought it was a joke that buses only ran every hour!! And that was 40 years ago. Just last week they announced they’ll probably be stopping Saturday service. 😧 And now we live in the suburbs of this medium sized city and we’ve seen township meetings where people were fighting for sidewalks but more people fighting back and refusing to allow sidewalks. 😭 Maybe some day dh and I will move back to a real city. We toy around with the idea. But more likely to move to the college town where my oldest lives - it’s bikeable and walkable. In the meantime, maybe I’ll try the twice a month Amazon ordering. (Or challenge each other to see how long we can go between orders!)

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51 minutes ago, Amethyst said:

And now we live in the suburbs of this medium sized city and we’ve seen township meetings where people were fighting for sidewalks but more people fighting back and refusing to allow sidewalks. 😭 

Why is not having footpaths so important to them?

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9 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Why is not having footpaths so important to them?

In my town, when a sidewalk is built, that land is taken away from the home's yard (because technically, people's property does not actually extend to the curb of the road, but contain an easement the city can use to build a sidewalk - they're not making the road narrower!). So while I am very much in favor of sidewalk, it will hurt when they take away six feet from what I have grown used to consider "my" lawn and "my" flowers.

Edited by regentrude
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Seeing that a textbook I ordered on January 19 has been scanned in the city 4 hours from me on January 24 and has still not arrived, it feels like amazon delivers only once a month 🙂

Edited by regentrude
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2 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Maybe you need better public transport so there are fewer cars on the road. 

It's better for both the environment and economy that way.

Public transit is not cost effective in a sparsely populated rural area.

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20 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Why is not having footpaths so important to them?

I'm serious....pull up a google map of some of the smaller towns and villages here. They are built for car use.  Most people don't live within a 30 minute walk of a grocery store or the local school.  They likewise drive for work.  So, all of those things that would get them out and going naturally, they don't have. VERY, VERY FEW walk or bike to work.

In addition, the weather in many places of the US isn't conducive to walking.  In my home village, the temperature will be -18C this weekend.  In the summer, it regular reaches 35-38C with high humidity.  So, you are drenched in sweat in the summer and prone to frostbite in the winter.  Why go to the fuss of walking if you have to drive everywhere anyway?

Americans are fat in part because we live in communities not designed for life to be healthy. 

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16 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Public transit is not cost effective in a sparsely populated rural area.

Living in such a place myself, I perfectly understand that. 

I've no idea where the OP lives, though, and was watching something recently that said it is normal in American cities for about 70% of land to be covered in roads and carparks. We found this rather shocking.

[quote] In my town, when a sidewalk is built, that land is taken away from the home's yard (because technically, people's property does not actually extend to the curb of the road, but contain an easement the city can use to build a sidewalk - they're not making the road narrower!). So while I am very much in favor of sidewalk, it will hurt when they take away six feet from what I have grown used to consider "my" lawn and "my" flowers. [/quote]

So this is political? The powers that be won't use the land they own because land owners will vote them out?

(Man, why don't html tags work any more?)

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At home, people don't want sidewalks because the homeowner is then obligated to remove snow from them in the winter.  The concrete itself is prone to cracking because of the weather changes. The soil itself will heave if it has clay content. So, then the cost of repairs is on the homeowner also....and can easily run a couple of thousand dollars.

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4 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

At home, people don't want sidewalks because the homeowner is then obligated to remove snow from them in the winter.  The concrete itself is prone to cracking because of the weather changes. The soil itself will heave if it has clay content. So, then the cost of repairs is on the homeowner also....and can easily run a couple of thousand dollars.

Geez. What do people pay rates/local government taxes for then? And how does that make sense if the land the footpath is on is, like Regentrude said, owned by the local government.

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My local tax bill has it broken down, what the taxes are generally used for.....

local emergency & rescue (note that you still have to pay for the ambulance ride)--a pittance amount

support of the local schools, including the community college (about 1/4 of the bill)

bits to the local government: metro, city, city streets, county (about 1/2 of the bill)

 

bonds (about 1/4 of the bill)--voter approved additional funding:

county for roads

local schools for building upgrades

metro for public transportation initiatives

community college for expansion of programs

 

So, well over half of our taxes go to the local school system. If you homeschool, the benefit you receive is that you have a semi-educated populace around you. There's no direct funding for families.

Of the various states we've lived in, that's pretty typical.


As for the funding of city sidewalks and such (stuff on public property), that's tied to our water bill in part, because that makes sense, right? Sidewalks are paved, and runoff from sidewalks affects groundwater, and groundwater is what we use for drinking water, so sure.... It doesn't require direct approval of the voters, so they just shove fees on and jack up rates right and left. 

The whole system is messed up.

 

ETA: forgot to address....you own the land, so you are responsible for the sidewalk. The easement just allows them to use your land for their purposes....it doesn't confer responsibility for upkeep. You keep all of the liability and expense...because your property is benefited by having a sidewalk.  People purposefully buy houses on one side of the street in the village I grew up in because one side has a sidewalk, and the other does not.  

 

 

 

Edited by prairiewindmomma
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1 hour ago, Rosie_0801 said:I've no idea where the OP lives, though, and was watching something recently that said it is normal in American cities for about 70% of land to be covered in roads and carparks. We found this rather shocking.

OP here. We live in suburbs of medium sized city. Oldish suburb (recently had centennial). This used to be “living out in the country”. But within the past 30 years or so new housing has increased.  The old timers liked the peace and quiet they used to have and never seeing neighbors. “And now you want to make sidewalks so everybody will be traipsing by in front of my house?!!”

So people who do walk, like on Memorial Day to the parade in town where it makes more sense to walk to it, or on game day in the fall where the high school stadium has limited parking, or in the summer when kids are out of school but want to hang with friends but they’re not old enough for cars, those people walk on a road with no sidewalk. Some day, someone will be killed. Maybe then the old-timers will allow sidewalks. But I doubt it. 

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Back to the truck issue. Trucks have so many issues - they wreck the roads, they are highly polluting, and the job itself is very hard - very high suicide rate among truckers. There are a lot of people working on this problem, from having trucks that can carry more (and so fewer needed) to using trains more efficiently. Trains are far safer and less polluting than trucks, but obviously there are places they can't go.

I don't know if there's much you can do personally to reduce trucks on your local roads. The reality is that home parcel delivery, which increased enormously over Covid, is here to stay. I try to avoid using Amazon for ethical reasons, but no matter which company you use, there's a footprint. Reducing consumption in general is a good goal, but real change takes political will and national effort; unfortunately, in our country at least, we are constantly extolled to buy more, consume more, use more . . ..

Edited to add:

https://theconversation.com/trucks-are-destroying-our-roads-and-not-picking-up-the-repair-cost-79670

This is a very good article about how vested interests increase trucks on road. 

Edited by bookbard
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All we can do - is our own small part.   I've also thought I need to fill up an amazon cart before actually buying it.   Save a tree - have a big box that is full of stuff instead of a big box that has ONE tiny ITEM!!!!! and a lot of filler paper. (seriously! what was the fulfillment person thinking?!?)  

Sometimes I do one big order (which can come in three or more separate boxes because they're coming from different places. Thereby defeating the entire concept of lumping the order into one.   But, I also like the "$1 off digital orders if you delay.  works for amazon movie rentals that aren't on prime.).    sometimes i "need" an item sooner.  

I certainly have had my share of returns lately too.   (grrrrr.  doesn't thrill me either.)

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I often feel like it’s a no-win situation, but I do try to combine things when possible.

I know that the Amazon and UPS trucks are going to come down my (small) street just about every day, whether I order or not. It seems wasteful for me to drive 40 minutes each way to Target or other big stores when a truck is already going to be here.  I don’t have local businesses that sell merchandise, just a few little restaurants and a minimart/gas station, and those are 2+ miles away.

I was just talking to ds yesterday about feeling guilty over contributing to the norm of delivery pre-pandemic, but the reality simply IS that it always made more sense than driving in multiple directions to cover all the different categories of family goods.  Unless we were to choose to have everything we own come out of Walmart, and that doesn’t seem all that much better for the overall good.

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I generally order in bulk, but delivery is often broken up by Amazon.

I am still pretty sure that the environmental cost of 1 truck full of packages is less than that of each household's car driving all around to procure all that stuff.  Though I do wonder why they don't better use the transportation algorithm to minimize mileage.  Like why is it that sometimes we get 3 or more Amazon deliveries to our house on the same day?  Why couldn't they all come on one truck?

I have been wanting to reduce my reliance on Amazon though.  They are pretty much a monopoly now, and that's not good imo.  It is convenient to get the big bulky stuff delivered by subscription rather than go buy it, but it has trade-offs.

As for sidewalks ... I am pro.  I like to go for long walks around my city, but there are some busy streets that don't have sidewalks on either side, just muddy ditches.  Even on the road leading to the middle school, library, and rec center.  I don't understand it.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

As for sidewalks ... I am pro.  I like to go for long walks around my city, but there are some busy streets that don't have sidewalks on either side, just muddy ditches.  Even on the road leading to the middle school, library, and rec center.  I don't understand it.

My small hometown put in sidewalks when I was a kid, but they were basically just thick asphalt. The only places to walk through much of the town was to our small schools.  It was a pretty big expense to serve quite a small number of people. A smart and useful one, but still.
Where I live now, we don’t even have state spec roads until about a mile from our house. With nowhere useful to walk, it’d be pretty nonsensical.

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Where I live the quiet suburban roads have no sidewalks but are very walkable.  The streets with more traffic and higher speed limits have sidewalks.  Sometimes they feel less walkable because of the cars and higher speed limits.  Maybe we need to lower speed limits on some roads to make them safer for pedestrians. 
I am usually disappointed by efforts of cities to become more bike friendly.  Where we live they keep making more bike lanes but these lanes are so close to the cars that I would not feel comfortable in them.  Nor are they safe for children.  We have some bike paths and these are very safe and comfortable for everyone but they are mostly in nature and don’t go to stores etc.  I find the biking committees and associations are all composed of young, athletic males and that’s who you see biking in these bike lanes.  So they are fighting for more bike lanes so that people use less cars but they don’t realize that the way they are built, most people cannot use them safely.  

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12 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I'm serious....pull up a google map of some of the smaller towns and villages here. They are built for car use.  Most people don't live within a 30 minute walk of a grocery store or the local school.  They likewise drive for work.  So, all of those things that would get them out and going naturally, they don't have. VERY, VERY FEW walk or bike to work.

In addition, the weather in many places of the US isn't conducive to walking.  In my home village, the temperature will be -18C this weekend.  In the summer, it regular reaches 35-38C with high humidity.  So, you are drenched in sweat in the summer and prone to frostbite in the winter.  Why go to the fuss of walking if you have to drive everywhere anyway?

Americans are fat in part because we live in communities not designed for life to be healthy. 

Perhaps, but keep in mind folks who live rurally  tend to have active lifestyles. Do we jog on the rock roads? Not so much. Do we shovel our long driveway? Yes, indeed. Do we bike? No. Do we have two acres to mow and trim? Yes. Do we use the trails? No, but we garden, dig, plant, have large animal chores... Living rural is a very different life. 
 

I think often in rural communities (small towns) sidewalks can feel like a silly expense. So few people walk and there are fewer cars, so most people reason that folks could walk alongside the road. Also, while cities pay to have sidewalks put in, upkeep and maintenance costs are often the responsibility of the yard owner. 

Edited by BlsdMama
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My cul-de-sac has sidewalks, as do most of the residential roads ... so I don't think it makes sense that the road to the middle school etc lacks a sidewalk.  (It is also a residential road but it gets a lot of traffic as it's between two bigger roads.)

Our city (a suburb) has a population of 12,000, and people do walk.

My folks live in a small, old village (population 3,500) in the middle of a rural county.  It has sidewalks almost everywhere.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

I generally order in bulk, but delivery is often broken up by Amazon.

I am still pretty sure that the environmental cost of 1 truck full of packages is less than that of each household's car driving all around to procure all that stuff.  Though I do wonder why they don't better use the transportation algorithm to minimize mileage.  Like why is it that sometimes we get 3 or more Amazon deliveries to our house on the same day?  Why couldn't they all come on one truck?

I have been wanting to reduce my reliance on Amazon though.  They are pretty much a monopoly now, and that's not good imo.  It is convenient to get the big bulky stuff delivered by subscription rather than go buy it, but it has trade-offs.

As for sidewalks ... I am pro.  I like to go for long walks around my city, but there are some busy streets that don't have sidewalks on either side, just muddy ditches.  Even on the road leading to the middle school, library, and rec center.  I don't understand it.

stuff is put in a pkg at the warehouse where it was ordinally stored.  I'm in amazon country, and there are multiple warehouses.

then you have third party sellers . . . . 

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6 hours ago, SKL said:

I generally order in bulk, but delivery is often broken up by Amazon.

I am still pretty sure that the environmental cost of 1 truck full of packages is less than that of each household's car driving all around to procure all that stuff.  Though I do wonder why they don't better use the transportation algorithm to minimize mileage.  Like why is it that sometimes we get 3 or more Amazon deliveries to our house on the same day?  Why couldn't they all come on one truck?

I have been wanting to reduce my reliance on Amazon though.  They are pretty much a monopoly now, and that's not good imo.  It is convenient to get the big bulky stuff delivered by subscription rather than go buy it, but it has trade-offs.

As for sidewalks ... I am pro.  I like to go for long walks around my city, but there are some busy streets that don't have sidewalks on either side, just muddy ditches.  Even on the road leading to the middle school, library, and rec center.  I don't understand it.

there are other retailers that offer subscription.  I don't remember names - but many supplement suppliers offer subscription -with discount.  Pet stores offer subscriptions - with discount.  many offer far more items online than in their B&M stores.

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2 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

stuff is put in a pkg at the warehouse where it was ordinally stored.  I'm in amazon country, and there are multiple warehouses.

then you have third party sellers . . . . 

Right, but it doesn't come all the way from the warehouse to my house on one truck.  There are various stops along the way where they transfer the packages from one vehicle to another.  Someone who's smart about logistics could come up with a better plan if they had an incentive to do so.  I mean if USPS can do it ....

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

Right, but it doesn't come all the way from the warehouse to my house on one truck.  There are various stops along the way where they transfer the packages from one vehicle to another.  Someone who's smart about logistics could come up with a better plan if they had an incentive to do so.  I mean if USPS can do it ....

but it does come in one pkg from the original warehouse to your house.   to combine pkgs into one would be a waste of time - and require even more packing materials.

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3 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

but it does come in one pkg from the original warehouse to your house.   to combine pkgs into one would be a waste of time - and require even more packing materials.

Well, like I said, some days I get 3 or more separately packed packages in different deliveries in one day (all from Amazon).  I mean they are coming to my house on multiple different trucks on the same day.  I am not talking about how many boxes, I'm talking about how many trips to my house by a truck.

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35 minutes ago, SKL said:

Well, like I said, some days I get 3 or more separately packed packages in different deliveries in one day (all from Amazon).  I mean they are coming to my house on multiple different trucks on the same day.  I am not talking about how many boxes, I'm talking about how many trips to my house by a truck.

my point was, and has been, - you can put everything in one order.  But - because they start out in different warehouses - you will get multiple deliveries.  (re: multiple trucks.)   - if you want fewer trucks, you need to be able to consolidate multiple pkgs into ONE pkg - but because they start in multiple warehouses (and are put into separate pkgs) - consolidation doesn't happen leading to multiple deliveries by multiple trucks.  Even on the same day.

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8 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

my point was, and has been, - you can put everything in one order.  But - because they start out in different warehouses - you will get multiple deliveries.  (re: multiple trucks.)   - if you want fewer trucks, you need to be able to consolidate multiple pkgs into ONE pkg - but because they start in multiple warehouses (and are put into separate pkgs) - consolidation doesn't happen leading to multiple deliveries by multiple trucks.  Even on the same day.

Are you saying that every package comes all the way from the original warehouse to my house in one truck?  Because there is no way that happens as a general rule.  (Sometimes it seems local people pick up a common item and drive it here in their personal vehicle, but the usual bulk stuff, no.)

I'm talking about operations management, where programs are used to optimize deliveries from and to multiple people.  The programs will help the company consolidate all the Friday deliveries on Mulberry street, for example, so only one truck needs to go down that street on Friday.

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25 minutes ago, SKL said:

Are you saying that every package comes all the way from the original warehouse to my house in one truck?  Because there is no way that happens as a general rule.  (Sometimes it seems local people pick up a common item and drive it here in their personal vehicle, but the usual bulk stuff, no.)

I'm talking about operations management, where programs are used to optimize deliveries from and to multiple people.  The programs will help the company consolidate all the Friday deliveries on Mulberry street, for example, so only one truck needs to go down that street on Friday.

There are multiple transfer points.   dh used to work for a start-up that did exactly what you're suggesting.  It's more complex than people often realize.

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35 minutes ago, SKL said:

Are you saying that every package comes all the way from the original warehouse to my house in one truck?  Because there is no way that happens as a general rule.  (Sometimes it seems local people pick up a common item and drive it here in their personal vehicle, but the usual bulk stuff, no.)

I'm talking about operations management, where programs are used to optimize deliveries from and to multiple people.  The programs will help the company consolidate all the Friday deliveries on Mulberry street, for example, so only one truck needs to go down that street on Friday.

 

8 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

There are multiple transfer points.   dh used to work for a start-up that did exactly what you're suggesting.  It's more complex than people often realize.

Let me expound.  (dh's start up was only tracking one means of transport)

 

Items start at points A, B, C, D. . . . . They go to transfer points 1, 2, 3, 4, .  . . (or however many transfer points).   Then they are loaded onto trucks to go to 123 mulberry street.  However, to be on the same truck - they have to be at *the same* transfer point.   You've got stuff going to transfer points via air, via truck, via train.  And their are multiple transfer points.  so - if you have stuff coming by all three of the above means, you have to get them to all the transfer points because it's not just delivering to 123 mulberry street - they're also delivering to 456 Conestoga peak, and 389 Sunshine drive and . . . . you get the picture.  The pkgs on each of those means of transportation are going to different areas too.  It is faster - and even ultimately cheaper to use multiple delivery vehicles and cut out those consolidating steps.

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On 2/4/2021 at 4:19 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

Maybe you need better public transport so there are fewer cars on the road. 

It's better for both the environment and economy that way.

But it is just horrible for COVID transmission.  I am so glad  I do not have to depend on public transport yet./

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22 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I'm serious....pull up a google map of some of the smaller towns and villages here. They are built for car use.  Most people don't live within a 30 minute walk of a grocery store or the local school.  They likewise drive for work.  So, all of those things that would get them out and going naturally, they don't have. VERY, VERY FEW walk or bike to work.

In addition, the weather in many places of the US isn't conducive to walking.  In my home village, the temperature will be -18C this weekend.  In the summer, it regular reaches 35-38C with high humidity.  So, you are drenched in sweat in the summer and prone to frostbite in the winter.  Why go to the fuss of walking if you have to drive everywhere anyway?

Americans are fat in part because we live in communities not designed for life to be healthy. 

In my area, we have very steep hills/mountains too.  Like track teams and jr ROTC teams from a number of schools specially make sure that their teens have to run up my very steep gradient hill that is a third of a mile long and the other way is a slightly longer, less steep but still killer hill to get to my house.  

And there are lots of people like me too=--  I do not have the health to walk the gigantic hills up and down to my closest grocery/pharmacy- where I go a lot-- it is 2.5 miles one way, up another very big hill/mt and a sharp way down too.  

And yes, it is cold in the winter ( usually dropping to -8C at least a few days a year for the cold and hot and humid from May through Sept== with us is the humidity that makes a difference- our  highs are rarely above 34.  But are humidity can be 100% easily with the summer temps of average of 31C in hottest parts of summer.

And for commuters- jobs are in lots of places- I don\'t live in a crowded city.  We do have some public transport but it is at least 1.5 miles away from me.  Where we will be using public transport after COVID is in downtown area or maybe earlier if we get our shots.

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12 hours ago, Teaching3bears said:

 So they are fighting for more bike lanes so that people use less cars but they don’t realize that the way they are built, most people cannot use them safely.  

What is the width of your bike lanes? Here the standard is six feet, four in narrow areas. 
 

Our community offers road bike training here for kids. We live in an area with a lot of commuter bikers. Everyone knows the rules.....car people and bike people. It feels pretty safe—I don’t see reports of accidents in the paper. 
 

It was a bit unnerving the first time I headed out on a bike lane on a four lane road with cars zooming by at 45mph. It’s easier now.

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22 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

My local tax bill has it broken down, what the taxes are generally used for.....

local emergency & rescue (note that you still have to pay for the ambulance ride)--a pittance amount

support of the local schools, including the community college (about 1/4 of the bill)

bits to the local government: metro, city, city streets, county (about 1/2 of the bill)

 

bonds (about 1/4 of the bill)--voter approved additional funding:

county for roads

local schools for building upgrades

metro for public transportation initiatives

community college for expansion of programs

 

So, well over half of our taxes go to the local school system. If you homeschool, the benefit you receive is that you have a semi-educated populace around you. There's no direct funding for families.

Of the various states we've lived in, that's pretty typical.


As for the funding of city sidewalks and such (stuff on public property), that's tied to our water bill in part, because that makes sense, right? Sidewalks are paved, and runoff from sidewalks affects groundwater, and groundwater is what we use for drinking water, so sure.... It doesn't require direct approval of the voters, so they just shove fees on and jack up rates right and left. 

The whole system is messed up.

 

ETA: forgot to address....you own the land, so you are responsible for the sidewalk. The easement just allows them to use your land for their purposes....it doesn't confer responsibility for upkeep. You keep all of the liability and expense...because your property is benefited by having a sidewalk.  People purposefully buy houses on one side of the street in the village I grew up in because one side has a sidewalk, and the other does not.  

 

 

 

A huge portion of our state income, sales and real estate taxes are used for public schools=way too much in my view.  

My city is doing improvements to sidewalks and adding new ones in places.  I wish they would do something about making sure the sidewalks were usable to walk to school.  A very busy road near me has sidewalks almost all the places but not quite all- and the sidewalk changes sides of street too-  okay if walking while school guard is there but not if they aren't since it is on the bottom of a hill that cars naturally go down at 45 to 50 if not breaking.  And then to continue walking down to the even bigger street, it also disappears for a short distance.  

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On 2/4/2021 at 4:51 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

Geez. What do people pay rates/local government taxes for then? And how does that make sense if the land the footpath is on is, like Regentrude said, owned by the local government.

I think who pays for sidewalk repairs varies from place to place. In the small Midwest town where I grew up, the homeowners pay. Here in my PNW city, the city pays. In my experience here, people fight to get sidewalks in their neighborhoods, rather than oppose sidewalk installation. Snow/ice removal in both places is the responsibility of the homeowner, but it’s not much of an issue here as we rarely get either and even then it rarely stays around.

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On 2/4/2021 at 4:53 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

You might find this interesting....https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/

I’ve seen these types of sites before and at least for my neighborhood, they are terrible. I can’t imagine a more walkable neighborhood, yet we never rate higher than a five on any of them. Even pre-pandemic, I regularly went months without driving a car and just walked everywhere.

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On 2/4/2021 at 2:19 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

Maybe you need better public transport so there are fewer cars on the road. 

It's better for both the environment and economy that way.

mass transit works in high density cities - it does not work without the density.  it also does not work if people are going opposite traffic patterns.  Or at different times of day. It is NOT economical to run empty buses, or build rail when they don't have the volume of passengers to pay for them.  

ds finally broke down and got his driver's license because he was starting a job that was a 20 minute drive up the freeway from our house.  But to take mass transit . . . was 2 HOURS - and a transfer, plus walking 3/4 of a mile.  each way.

1dd would drive and park at the hospital where she worked, and take the bus to school - because there was NO BUS to be able to take one home.

dh and I went to a seahawks game - and they had at one time had special buses running to the park-n-rides before and after the game.  which made sense.  for that one, you could take a regular bus TO the game . . .but  we had to take a taxi back to the park-n-ride.  buses weren't running. there were a lot of people who would have filled those buses.  And that was IN  a major metro!

I tried talking a bus from a park-n-ride during the day to go downtown seattle.  there weren't any running - the only run during rush hour.  - I would have to go to my local bus stop, and transfer to another bus.  and take three times as long as driving, and have no flexibility on times.

 - when 1dd was in middle school, the county/bus system decided to teach the kids how "great" the transit system was.   They spent (wasted) THREE MONTHS!!!!!  all students were divided into groups - and sent off on a scavenger hunt.  Six different buses showing where you can go, then meeting at a central point in seattle to be bused back to their respective schools.  It was pouring rain.  All that stupid propaganda op did, was send the kids the message of "you can't get there from here on a bus."

And the politicians and their egos . .  they still think downtown seattle is the center of the universe and all roads lead to seattle.  so - all bus routes lead to seattle . . . except . . . more people commute *from* seattle to go to work on the east side a one of several different employment centers.

 politicos dont' care about "better" they care about toys to feed their egos.

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On 2/4/2021 at 6:47 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

Living in such a place myself, I perfectly understand that. 

I've no idea where the OP lives, though, and was watching something recently that said it is normal in American cities for about 70% of land to be covered in roads and carparks. We found this rather shocking.

[quote] In my town, when a sidewalk is built, that land is taken away from the home's yard (because technically, people's property does not actually extend to the curb of the road, but contain an easement the city can use to build a sidewalk - they're not making the road narrower!). So while I am very much in favor of sidewalk, it will hurt when they take away six feet from what I have grown used to consider "my" lawn and "my" flowers. [/quote]

So this is political? The powers that be won't use the land they own because land owners will vote them out?

(Man, why don't html tags work any more?)

They don't own the land; the homeowners do.   The easement gives them the legal authority to use the part of the land within the easement. 

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On 2/4/2021 at 3:53 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

You might find this interesting....https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/

I laughed at this when I put my town in. It assumed that you had to go downtown of the nearby city to do anything and gave us a big fat zero. I can walk to the orthodontist, library, grocery store. My kids bike to church and nearby trails, taekwondo, and friend's homes. 

 

I understand if you work for a big corporation or the gov't it will be difficult to commute by anything but car. My husband used to commute (pre Covid, before working in the closet) by bike and if snow/ice was too rough he would take the morning commuter bus to the city but we certainly have trails but I don't understand the zero. 

 

 

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On 2/5/2021 at 3:36 AM, Teaching3bears said:

Where I live the quiet suburban roads have no sidewalks but are very walkable.  The streets with more traffic and higher speed limits have sidewalks.  Sometimes they feel less walkable because of the cars and higher speed limits.  Maybe we need to lower speed limits on some roads to make them safer for pedestrians. 
I am usually disappointed by efforts of cities to become more bike friendly.  Where we live they keep making more bike lanes but these lanes are so close to the cars that I would not feel comfortable in them.  Nor are they safe for children.  We have some bike paths and these are very safe and comfortable for everyone but they are mostly in nature and don’t go to stores etc.  I find the biking committees and associations are all composed of young, athletic males and that’s who you see biking in these bike lanes.  So they are fighting for more bike lanes so that people use less cars but they don’t realize that the way they are built, most people cannot use them safely.  

 

I think they realize it. The dream would include a barrier (especially since US drivers aren't required to know how to drive or pay attention to what they are doing) but you have to include costs and access. Everywhere there is a turn in or pull out and if the cyclist works across the street with no stop light how do they get there without being able to move to the left lane to turn in. It is a logistics thing.  I hope creative people can continue to come up with more and better cost effective solutions specific to areas.

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On 2/5/2021 at 7:20 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

What is the width of your bike lanes? Here the standard is six feet, four in narrow areas. 
 

Our community offers road bike training here for kids. We live in an area with a lot of commuter bikers. Everyone knows the rules.....car people and bike people. It feels pretty safe—I don’t see reports of accidents in the paper. 
 

It was a bit unnerving the first time I headed out on a bike lane on a four lane road with cars zooming by at 45mph. It’s easier now.

The cyclists in my community recently opposed plans to add bike lanes in some areas.  They claim that the cyclists were less safe when bike lanes were included because motorists drove at higher speeds--I don't know if there is any evidence to back that claim or not.

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12 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

mass transit works in high density cities - it does not work without the density.  it also does not work if people are going opposite traffic patterns.  Or at different times of day. It is NOT economical to run empty buses, or build rail when they don't have the volume of passengers to pay for them.  

 

I have leaved in two of the 10 largest US cities and have not found the public transportation in those cities (despite density) to be an effective form of transportation for many of my daily tasks.  The scheduling and routes were not logical for general movement around the city.  Routing information was difficult to decipher and timing was not reliable (which would result in missed connections).

Yet, I have been to small villages in Austria and experienced some of the BEST public transportation there is.  It is very easy for someone from a small village an hour outside of a city to get on public transportation, get to the city, and get to a doctor's appointment, for example.  The transportation is reliable and schedules are coordinated between the outlying (low density) areas and the city routes.  

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13 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

mass transit works in high density cities - it does not work without the density.  it also does not work if people are going opposite traffic patterns.  Or at different times of day. It is NOT economical to run empty buses, or build rail when they don't have the volume of passengers to pay for them.  

ds finally broke down and got his driver's license because he was starting a job that was a 20 minute drive up the freeway from our house.  But to take mass transit . . . was 2 HOURS - and a transfer, plus walking 3/4 of a mile.  each way.

1dd would drive and park at the hospital where she worked, and take the bus to school - because there was NO BUS to be able to take one home.

dh and I went to a seahawks game - and they had at one time had special buses running to the park-n-rides before and after the game.  which made sense.  for that one, you could take a regular bus TO the game . . .but  we had to take a taxi back to the park-n-ride.  buses weren't running. there were a lot of people who would have filled those buses.  And that was IN  a major metro!

I tried talking a bus from a park-n-ride during the day to go downtown seattle.  there weren't any running - the only run during rush hour.  - I would have to go to my local bus stop, and transfer to another bus.  and take three times as long as driving, and have no flexibility on times.

 - when 1dd was in middle school, the county/bus system decided to teach the kids how "great" the transit system was.   They spent (wasted) THREE MONTHS!!!!!  all students were divided into groups - and sent off on a scavenger hunt.  Six different buses showing where you can go, then meeting at a central point in seattle to be bused back to their respective schools.  It was pouring rain.  All that stupid propaganda op did, was send the kids the message of "you can't get there from here on a bus."

And the politicians and their egos . .  they still think downtown seattle is the center of the universe and all roads lead to seattle.  so - all bus routes lead to seattle . . . except . . . more people commute *from* seattle to go to work on the east side a one of several different employment centers.

 politicos dont' care about "better" they care about toys to feed their egos.

When I was in middle school, my parents couldn’t afford braces but they were able to get me into the UW dental clinic to get my teeth done. My mom taught me how to ride the bus from downtown Tacoma to the UW for my appointments. I did that every six weeks for two years by myself making multiple connections. I also rode the Tacoma city busses to get to my first high school, to the mall, to the library...pretty much anywhere I needed to go. My cousins who lived on Mt. Baker did the same. When we lived in Magnolia, DS was 2/3, we rode the bus downtown every week so he could ride the monorail, run around the science museum, and attend children’s theater shows. There is always room for improvement but to suggest public transportation has no value b/c it didn’t meet your specific needs is a stretch. Even in my suburban bedroom community, buses run the major thoroughfares. My DD and her bestie got on one two summers ago just to see where they could go. I had to come rescue them, they got lost, but they weren’t more than 10 minutes walk from a bus stop.

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IMO, pushing for safe, reliable, convenient public transportation is one of the best ways to provide for a more egalitarian society.  Have reliable public transportation means that young people can travel for educational opportunities, teens can get jobs, those with disabilities who prevent them from driving can participate fully in society, the elderly can get to medical appointments and the grocery store, etc.  Unfortunately, I think too  many young people in the US get into a trap that they can't get a job because they don't have a car, so they buy a car they can't afford to maintain, then they can't afford to go to continue their education... and it becomes a downward spiral.   And, I think we would reduce the incidence of teen driving fatalities and drunk driving fatalities.  

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1 hour ago, Bootsie said:

I have leaved in two of the 10 largest US cities and have not found the public transportation in those cities (despite density) to be an effective form of transportation for many of my daily tasks.  The scheduling and routes were not logical for general movement around the city.  Routing information was difficult to decipher and timing was not reliable (which would result in missed connections).

Yet, I have been to small villages in Austria and experienced some of the BEST public transportation there is.  It is very easy for someone from a small village an hour outside of a city to get on public transportation, get to the city, and get to a doctor's appointment, for example.  The transportation is reliable and schedules are coordinated between the outlying (low density) areas and the city routes.  

I liked the public transportation in vienna - but we were staying in the 1st bezirk.  We drove everywhere else.  used public transport for some things in Innsbruck.  (we were conveniently located on a main line that ran between hafelekar, right through the altstadt and onto patcherkofel) But we also went places where you couldn't get without a car - or a lot of inconvenience.   (re: Piber)

downtown areas of cities tend to benefit most from transit - outlying areas of those cities (let alone suburbs) not nearly as much. 

we were in Vancouver - and the train was very convenient for going downtown - NOT for anywhere else.

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