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World Carfree Day
Monthly Bulletin issue 49 - August 2003
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Edition no. 49 - August 2003 - English version
Dear bulletin readers and supporters,
Car Busters (currently transforming into World Carfree Network) needs your help. To ensure that our office and projects run smoothly in the coming months, we are in great need of your financial support. Funding that we expected to come through has either not materialised or has been delayed. In the month of August, we need to raise an extra 2,000 EUR/USD on top of our normal income.
A little goes a long way in the Czech Republic. By contributing 160 EUR/USD, you would pay our office rent for one month. By giving 375 EUR/USD, you would pay for a full-time staff member's monthly wages. You can also join us at one of three membership levels: 30, 50 or 100 EUR/USD.
Payment options can be found here: . Credit card orders can be made here: (the 'donations' field is towards the bottom).
Thank you very much for your support.
- The Car Busters/World Carfree Network team
BOXERS AND BRIEFS
- HELP SAVE U.S. ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT FUNDING
- CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE CONTINUES
- BRITISH GOVERNMENT DROPS SUPPORT FOR ARUNDEL BYPASS
- EU BEHIND ON KYOTO GOAL, TRANSPORT EMISSIONS TO BLAME
- HORRIFIC TRAFFIC CRASHES IN USA RAISE IMPORTANCE OF CARFREE AREAS
- BLACK STARS ON BOGOTA STREETS
CAR BUSTERS ANNOUNCEMENTS
- WORLD CARFREE DAY 2003
- JOIN THE DISCUSSION
- CAR BUSTERS PRESS: BARGAIN BASEMENT BOOKS
BOXERS AND BRIEFS >>
- The Ford Excursion - the world's largest regular SUV at 19 feet in length (5.8 meters), averaging 10 mpg (16 kpg), carrying nine people, unable to fit into conventional US garages, and requiring two parking spaces on city streets - is rumoured to be discontinued in 2004 as reported by the BBC.
- In contrast to statements made by Bush administration officials, the United States Environmental Protection Agency found that a plan to reduce emissions linked to global warming could be carried out at little cost.
ACTION ALERT >>
HELP SAVE U.S. ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT FUNDING
[compiled from various sources]
On July 24, the US House of Representatives' Committee on Appropriations unveiled its 2004 Transportation & Treasury Spending Bill. If it passes without modification through a number of stages in both houses of Congress, it would:
- cut passenger rail (AMTRAK) to half its minimum operating budget (to $900 million from the $1.8 billion it needs to maintain its skeletal existing services);
- eliminate the popular Transportation Enhancements programme; and
- boost highway spending to $33.8 billion, an increase of $4.5 billion over the President's request and $6.1 billion over the 2003 budget.
The bill would direct AMTRAK to eliminate its national passenger rail system. A few profitable corridors in the Northeast and the West Coast would be maintained but possibly privatised. This would leave the United States as the only industrialised nation without national passenger rail service.
One major problem is that Congress members see support for AMTRAK as a "subsidy" - rail is expected to somehow turn a profit - while the much larger expenditures on highways and air-industry bail-outs are couched in the more neutral or positive language of "expenditures" or "economic investment" and have no profit-making expectations. Another problem is that Congress members still think that more money spent on highways will help solve road congestion. This is no longer a credible argument. As various studies on traffic generation have shown, road building would in most cases have the opposite effect: The more road capacity is increased, the more traffic expands to fill the available space. To solve traffic congestion, we would do better to reduce road capacity than to expand it.
Bare-bones highlights of the bill can be found here: . Analysis regarding the slashing of Transportation Enhancements can be found here: .
Since 1991, the Transportation Enhancements program has built 8,000 bicycle and pedestrian projects in communities large and small across the US.
"Transportation Enhancements account for less than two cents of every Federal surface transportation dollar," says Keith Laughlin, President of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. "For less than two cents per dollar we get a popular program that supports locally-initiated transportation projects in communities across America. Those who would eliminate this program believe that every single Federal penny should be spent on highways. I urge Congress to reject such short-sighted thinking."
If you are a US citizen, please call or write your congressional representatives as soon as possible and urge them to cut highway spending, fund AMTRAK for at least $1.8 billion and preserve and expand the Transportation Enhancements programme. (Congressional Switchboard number: (202) 224-3121; President Bush: (202) 456-1111.) But don't stop there; it's even more important to join organised political efforts to save and expand US alternative transport.
WORLD NEWS >>
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE CONTINUES
[from London Rising Tide]
In the early morning of July 10, Earth First! and other concerned individuals blockaded AMEC's office in Warrington, UK for three hours, demanding that the company pull out of the Baku pipeline project. AMEC has a 200-million-pound contract to build the Georgian part of the pipeline.
The activists mounted a large tripod and a chain of people locked themselves together across the entrance. The action prevented around 250 vehicles from entering the complex, causing deliveries to be cancelled and making company workers climb over locked-on people and a banner proclaiming "Stop Baku Pipeline" to get to work. After three hours and absolutely no action on the part of the three baffled and slightly bored police, the protest packed up and went to the pub, retrieving the materials, with no arrests.
One week before, an AMEC construction site in Manchester mysteriously sprouted slogans all over the hoardings, such as "AMEC Murderers," "AMEC Out of Baku," "Stop the Baku pipeline," as well as the entrance being liquid-metalled shut.
On Monday, July 14, Friends of the Earth and European Green MP Jean Lambert presented a section of pipeline to the Department For International Development covered with over 4,000 letters from members of the public protesting against the Baku Ceyhan pipeline. For background information on the Baku-Ceyhan-Tbilisi Pipeline go to www.baku.org.uk or www.risingtide.org.uk.
BRITISH GOVERNMENT DROPS SUPPORT FOR ARUNDEL BYPASS
[spotted by Richard Lane]
A victory has been won by the campaign to halt the second Arundel Bypass, west of Brighton, UK. At the last minute, and against all expectations, the British Government dropped its support for the environmentally destructive scheme, as well as for the equally disastrous proposed Worthing Bypass across the South Downs behind Cissbury Ring. Arundel and South Downs MP Howard Flight was certainly caught by surprise, having sent out a statement to local press earlier in the week welcoming 'the government announcement to proceed with a bypass for Arundel.'
Early July saw a flurry of media interest in the Arundel protest camp at Tortington Common, with reports everywhere from BBC TV and Meridian to the Evening Argus, The Times and The Guardian. A hint as to the reasons why the government backed down in West Sussex, while ploughing ahead with road plans elsewhere in the country, came in a report on the Evening Standard website. Written before the announcement, and seemingly expecting the Arundel road to be given the green light, it added: "The government will be desperate to avoid clashes with committed activists such as 'Swampy' - so-called 'king of the eco-warriors.' It is still nervous of provoking the kind of confrontations that created ugly scenes at Twyford Down and the Newbury Bypass in the late nineties."
We've said it before and we'll say it again: direct action works!
EU BEHIND ON KYOTO GOAL, TRANSPORT EMISSIONS TO BLAME
[from ITDP's Sustainable Transport e-Update]
The European Environmental Agency found that greenhouse gas emissions rose for the second year in a row, moving the EU further away from meeting its emissions reductions commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. Emissions from the transport sector, paired with a cold winter that led to more electricity use, were blamed for the increase. While the results are certainly disappointing, at least the EU is participating in the Kyoto Protocol and performing yearly monitoring studies that point to the specific areas where emissions targets are not being met.
HORRIFIC TRAFFIC CRASHES IN USA RAISE IMPORTANCE OF CARFREE AREAS
On July 16, an 86-year-old man drove his vehicle into an outdoor market in Santa Monica, USA killing 10 people and injuring 69 others. Eleven days later in Florida, a 79-year-old man drove his vehicle into an outdoor market, sending six people to the hospital.
Instead of these events creating political pressure to redesign communities for people - ensuring independent mobility for all, regardless of age or physical ability - the overwhelming response has been limited to having people take car keys away from their elderly parents and instructing physicians to report to authorities people who should no longer be driving. However, there is now some awareness of the need for making some public spaces carfree.
BLACK STARS ON BOGOTA STREETS
More than 1,500 black stars have been painted on the streets of Bogota, Colombia, as a stark reminder of each pedestrian death caused by car crashes over the last five years. The educational campaign asks Bogota, "We are getting used to this; what's the matter with us?" The campaign aims to reduce the death rate by 10%.
CAR BUSTERS ANNOUNCEMENTS >>
WORLD CARFREE DAY 2003
September 22 is World Carfree Day - less than two months away! We have big plans for local activities in Prague, but we haven't had the resources to provide much infrastructure and global coordination. So we encourage you to organise locally and independently, and to report back with your plans and post-event reports. As for 2004, we have been providing significant input on the direction of the EU and UN carfree day programmes, and we will let you know when we have good news to report. In the meantime, join the listserve below to share carfree day organising ideas with others around the world. All the best and good luck!
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Are you interested in having a say in the transformation of Car Busters into a more decentralised international network? Might your local organisation want to be a part of it all and gain a voice at the international level? If so, you may want to join the discussion at email@example.com. The listserve, rather than a place for general postings, is devoted to discussing/organising current and future projects of the network and the global carfree movement. Those interested in getting more involved in World Carfree Network projects are especially encouraged to join. To subscribe, just send an e-mail to .
CAR BUSTERS PRESS: BARGAIN BASEMENT BOOKS
[bulk discounts on 'CARtoons' and 'Roadkill Bill']
It's Summer Cleaning Time at Car Busters - we are trying to clean up our cluttered office and raise extra money to cover our operating costs. How can you help? Carbusters publishes two books - Andy Singer's 'CARtoons' and Ken Avidor's 'Roadkill Bill' - and these books are piled up in our office - under desks, on top of bookshelves, in every corner, we are even resting our monitors on them. Why not purchase a bunch from us? You could give them to friends as gifts, or your organisation could sell them to your members or to the public at community events. (World Carfree Day is coming in September!)
If you order more than ten copies, we'll let you have them for half-price. That's 5 EUR/USD per book, instead of the normal 10 EUR/USD. You can then sell them at the cover price. And you won't have to pay extra for shipping. A description of the books and more info can be found at . Contact us if you're interested, at .
Despite the existence of the web page, the aforementioned Car Busters Press announcement should in no way be construed as an endorsement of excessive personal consumption. Bulletin recipients who purchase Car Busters Press products are encouraged to distribute and dispense with said products forthwith.
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