@straphanger@urbanists.social
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straphanger

@straphanger@urbanists.social

Nulla dies sine linea.

Author of Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile. Advocate for bicycles, transit, walking, alternatives to the car...and great cities.

Words in The New York Times, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian, L'actualité, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal.

The Lost Supper: Searching for the Future of Food in the Flavors of the Past now out from Greystone. www.lostsupper.blog

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straphanger, to brasilia
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"Motorized vehicles create remoteness which they alone can shrink. They create distances for all, and shrink them for only a few."
—Ivan Illich
(photo: )
🚗🧵

straphanger,
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"The world has become inaccessible because we drive there." (Illich again)

straphanger,
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Much of the global landscape has been altered—paved, filled with parking and freeways—to accommodate the needs of 1.3 billion cars (rather than 8 billion humans).

This makes life very convenient for the privileged with access to private cars...and hell for everyone else.

straphanger,
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The neatest trick motordom pulled off was convincing people—mostly in developed economies—that widespread car ownership was a triumph for the "working people" of the world.

straphanger,
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"The road has been degraded from a commons to a simple resource for the circulation of vehicles."
-Ivan Illich on Mexico City. Photo:

straphanger,
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There's a name for this: Motonormativity. I explain the idea in this blog post:

https://www.straphanger.blog/motonormativity-2/

straphanger, to transit
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You may have already known that #transit was free everywhere in #Luxembourg.

Now all of the country's buses, trams, and train stations are going to get free wi-fi, too.

https://www.virgule.lu/luxembourg/quand-le-wifi-sera-t-il-disponible-dans-tous-les-transports-publics-au-luxembourg/10047070.html

straphanger, to Belgium
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Best of both worlds: a city where people use both trams (streetcars) and bicycles.

One problem: the tracks can be a real hazard, esp. for bikes with thin tires.

Now, in is reducing...
🚋🚲🧵

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straphanger, to Quebec
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I rode the new train from #Quebec City to #Montreal on Saturday—and I liked what I saw!

Here's hoping the new Siemens Venture trainsets on @via_rail are a taste of a faster, smoother (and one day electric) future for Canada's passenger rail.

#ICYMI , here's the thread... 🚄🧵

straphanger, to Quebec
@straphanger@urbanists.social avatar

Hey, I finally scored!

First time on a new Siemens Venture train, leaving from #Quebec City, destination #Ottawa.

First impression… 🚅🧵

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straphanger,
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…it’s astonishingly spacious inside. But feels a bit more like a plane than a good ol’ @VIA_Rail train. (Mostly b/c of the jetliner-style seats).

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straphanger,
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Second impression: how can I be on a European-style train à grande vitesse while I’m still in Canada? (I mean, a couple of days in #Québec is disorienting enough. Feels like waking up in St-Malo.)

video/mp4

straphanger,
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They really went to town on the toilets! Sliding doors, screens, enough space to swing a bobcat.

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straphanger,
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As for true high-speed—well, you can’t have everything. Especially since the passenger trainsets are running on tracks they share with freights. So far our max has been 146 km/h (91 mph)

straphanger,
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One thing I find odd: in both directions, my boarding card was scanned in the station, then again on the train. But in neither case was I asked for ID. Not complaining, just observing…

straphanger,
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Business Class has 3 seats across instead of 4, and a 4-seat meeting section. Only one passenger in the whole car today…

straphanger,
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And this feature is a big advance! Fresh water dispensers. (Water on the old trains always tastes stale.)

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straphanger,
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That’s what I like to see! 153 km/h (95 mph). See ya later, driver-suckas!

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straphanger,
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The sight of Farine Five Roses neon means we’re back in #Montreal.

straphanger,
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And right on time! 3 hrs 11 minutes to cover 269 km (167 miles) at avg of 85 km/h (53 mph). Good show, Via Rail, back home relaxed and rested!

straphanger,
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This was by far the best Canadian train travel experience I've had in the last year or so.

My trip on Via Rail Train 65 to #Toronto was far more typical. In the link, I write about why new trains, and better service, can't come soon enough to #Canada:

https://www.straphanger.blog/a-ride-on-via-rail-train-65/

straphanger, to Quebec
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The atmospheric signs of #Québec. More than other places, Quebec City still has one foot planted in the 1950s—around the time Hitchcock shot I Confess here. (Aggravating or comforting, I suppose, for those that live here.)

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straphanger, to Quebec
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The many outdoor staircases of City. Essential if you need to “gravir la roche” (climb the cliff to the Upper Town). An unsung part of the public transport network—without them, members of the public would find it much harder to transport themselves.

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straphanger, to Quebec
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I don’t feel like I’ve really visited #Quebec City until I’ve said hello to the funiculaire from the Basse-Ville up to the Château Frontenac. 🧵

video/mp4

straphanger,
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As you know, I love any form of transit that pops out of a building. This one emerges from the Maison Louis Jolliet, built in 1683. He was one of the “discoverers” of the Mississippi according to the pamphlets in the shop.

straphanger,
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I suspect a few indigenous people might have been aware of the Mississippi before M. Jolliet!

The first funicular ran on steam, and the cost in 1879 was 3 sous. Now it's 5 bucks, cash only. 45 degree angle, rises 195 feet.

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