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zenstyle

rhetorical question

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Today I hauled our Radio Flyer wagon up Carlton SE to buy groceries at Fulton Heights. (Yeah, I know, everyone in the neighborhood still calls it that.) My bike can only hold two bags of groceries, the Vespa holds three bags, maybe four in a pinch. So the wagon was the better choice. Plus, it makes a satisfying metallic rattley-rumble on the sidewalks.

My question: how long will it be before such an action will be Standard Operating Procedure in G.R.? I'm still seeing large vehicles by the dozens housing one lone person, the driver. Which will happen first: getting a ZipCar service in Grand Rapids (or similar service) or $7.00-per-gallon gasoline? Ask your collective 8-balls and get back to me, please.

On a happy note: On my scooter today, I encountered bicycles galore, 3 other scooters and countless motorcycles! :thumbsup:

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Today I hauled our Radio Flyer wagon up Carlton SE to buy groceries at Fulton Heights. (Yeah, I know, everyone in the neighborhood still calls it that.) My bike can only hold two bags of groceries, the Vespa holds three bags, maybe four in a pinch. So the wagon was the better choice. Plus, it makes a satisfying metallic rattley-rumble on the sidewalks.

My question: how long will it be before such an action will be Standard Operating Procedure in G.R.? I'm still seeing large vehicles by the dozens housing one lone person, the driver. Which will happen first: getting a ZipCar service in Grand Rapids (or similar service) or $7.00-per-gallon gasoline? Ask your collective 8-balls and get back to me, please.

On a happy note: On my scooter today, I encountered bicycles galore, 3 other scooters and countless motorcycles! :thumbsup:

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I think that the city's plan is to eventually make every neighborhood self-sufficient and within walking distance, thus eliminating cars. People have been working towards this for years.

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I think that the city's plan is to eventually make every neighborhood self-sufficient and within walking distance, thus eliminating cars. People have been working towards this for years.

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I would say that a more realistic idea would be stores that deliver, so you could send them your order and they show up an hour later with bags full of groceries.

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Cars will never go away because of one word - convenience. As gas prices go up, the only thing that will change is the method of powering cars.

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Zip Car is a long ways off for GR. We don't have near the yuppie presence that Ann Arbor or the other Zip Car outlets have. This is somewhat sarcastic, but not totally ;)

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In a big, gas guzzling delivery truck, no doubt....

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Here is a snippet from an article I was reading on Yahoo yesterday. ARTICLE HERE

Gasoline consumption in this country has been rising even faster than normal, around 2.5 percent annually over the last couple of months, despite average prices over $3 a gallon, close to an all-time record.

Apparently, the rising price of gas hasn't changed many people's lifestyle yet. Maybe someday but not someday soon I'm afraid.

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Probably, but one big gaz guzzling delivery truck is better than a bunch people in their cars, isnt it? And think of the parking spaces that could be eliminated!

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I can't tell if this topic is serious or not. :dontknow:

I don't EVER see a day when pulling our radio flyer wagons to the grocery store is standard operating procedure in GR or anywhere. Not at $3.50 a gallon, not at $10.00 a gallon. Especially when 2/3's of Americans and Grand Rapidians live in the suburbs where they're not even built to provide safe passage for radio flyers (or plain ol walking). Just think, most of the past 2 - 3 generations haven't had to walk anywhere for anything.

You're still going to see single-occupant vehicles too for a long time. As someone else said, cars will just be made more fuel efficient if something drastic happens to the world oil markets. They now have the technology that you can retrofit virtually any vehicle into a hybrid. It's still pretty expensive now, but people will do that before they start walking everywhere. And as the technology advances, it will get cheaper.

Plus, gas is $.75 more than 6 months ago. For the average person, that probably means an extra $10.00 a week in gas. I know people who spend more than that on lunch, EVERY DAY. They're crazy, but still..

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Here is the problem: I have an idea in my mind which quickly jumps from "this ought to happen" to "when is this going to happen" to looking at my watch and tapping my foot. My "leaps" don't have enough steps to them.

~~~Zenstyle, making no sense whatsoever, and doomed to be a Whistlestop seemingly forever...

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Well that seems a tad unrealistic to me. Walking distance is defined as quarter to a half mile. Does anyone think a store every half mile is going to survive? Talk about saturation, sheesh! I would say that a more realistic idea would be stores that deliver, so you could send them your order and they show up an hour later with bags full of groceries.

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Here is the problem: I have an idea in my mind which quickly jumps from "this ought to happen" to "when is this going to happen" to looking at my watch and tapping my foot. My "leaps" don't have enough steps to them.

~~~Zenstyle, making no sense whatsoever, and doomed to be a Whistlestop seemingly forever...

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I can't really answer your question reagarding GR, but here in Oak Park, IL (first ring Chicago suburb), my preferred method for grocery shopping is walking with my granny cart ot the full service grocery store 3 blocks away.

Move to Oak Park and you'll be able to do it anytime.

Sorry to intrude as an outsideer, but one of my personal hates is having to drive to the grocery store. It is actually a big inconvenience.

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This article appeared in the Detroit News yesterday, regarding Barack Obama's comments about the big three domestic automakers. Parts of the article are as follows:

"Barack Obama took a big risk Monday in his first trip to Michigan as a candidate for president: He told the leaders of a region heavily dependent upon the auto industry that the Big Three should increase fuel mileage by 4 percent -- about a mile per gallon -- each year."

"Today, there are two kinds of car companies: those that mass produce fuel-efficient cars and those that will," the Illinois Democrat said. "The American auto industry can no longer afford to be one of those that will, Obama said."

"How do you impose that cost on an industry that's going through this right now?" said General Motors Corp. spokesman Greg Martin. "(Our) position is that 4 percent is simply not achievable without great consequence to the industry and consumers."

The comment from General Motors is the best. They are hemorraging jobs and not selling their vehicles and yet they refuse to change. And on top of that, Obama's plan would pay them incentives (subsidies) to off-set their high benefit costs!!

America uses 20.4 million barrels per day of oil (2004 figures).

Raising these CAFE standards by 5% annually until 2012 and by 3% per year thereafter could save 1.5 million barrels of oil per day (MBD) by 2010, 4.7 MBD by 2020, and 67 billion barrels of oil over the next 40 years. This is 10

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Was that you yesterday afternoon with your radio flyer that i scooted past at Fulton Heights?? If not, somebody else out there is copying your idea.

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Well that seems a tad unrealistic to me.

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What is "realistic"? By what standard, what time frame?

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What I mean is that, given the nature of GR neighorhoods, I don't think there is anywhere near the density to make each neighborhood "self-sufficient" in terms of essential services like groceries. Sure, it's a nice idea for everyone to have a cute little corner grocer three blocks away to which you can walk, where everyone knows everyone and you can leave your spare keys with the shopkeep, like Jane Jacobs described in "Death and Life", but the real world doesn't work that way. Its too utopian for me. Or maybe I'm too cynical. :P

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What I don't understand is why gas is so expensive. Why are the prices up so high. If the oil companies are making record profits, why don't they lower prices. If the means to produce or buy the gas were higher they wouldn't have such profits. Why are they so high? What justifies the price? I put $10 in my truck when it was red lined, and when I pulled out of the gas station my gas light was still on.

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The short answer: Explosive growth in oil consumption in China paired with an extremely weak dollar.

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There's no sidewalk in my neighborhood. I'm told that if I want one, I have to get my neighbors together to agree to it, and then we have to pay several thousand dollars for it. The 400 miles I currently drive per month works out cheaper.

Doesn't sound like the city's that interested in me - or anyone - walking past my house.

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The approximately 9-11 mpg my Explorer gets in the city is getting really old. So is $276-$300/mo in gas. My wife and I are looking to replace the beast and mpg is DEFINITELY a factor. I know when i bought it 5 years ago I couldn't have cared less what the mileage was. I wish used Prius's (Prii?) were not so pricey.

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The approximately 9-11 mpg my Explorer gets in the city is getting really old. So is $276-$300/mo in gas. My wife and I are looking to replace the beast and mpg is DEFINITELY a factor. I know when i bought it 5 years ago I couldn't have cared less what the mileage was. I wish used Prius's (Prii?) were not so pricey.

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