The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
A_time_and_a_place
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

There should be an substantial investment in sidewalks and cycle paths in the United States.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 772 times Debate No: 4748
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (7)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

As this debate is inspired by a personal grievance, I would ask my fellow debaters to please forgive my self-indulgence in starting this argument.

The thing is, the nearest bar to my place (in the suburbs of Bradenton, FL) is three and a half miles away* and since I don't want to drink and drive and there is no public transport and there are no local taxis and it is too far to walk (and there are no sidewalks anyway) and I don't have a chauffeur, I have no option other than to cycle to the pub.

However, there are no cycle paths on the route so I have to join the cars and trucks on the busy highway, which can be quite dangerous (especially on the way back when it is dark and I have had a skin-full of beer).

I contend that there should be a major investment in cycle paths and sidewalks to encourage people to walk or cycle instead of drive.

After all, walking and cycling is free and exercise is beneficial health, whereas driving is expensive and pollutes the environment.

Furthermore, by providing pavements for walkers and cyclists, drink-driving offences will be reduced as pub-goers could then safely travel to and from the boozer without taking the car.

* Here is a map of the route to the pub. Notice that I have no choice but to use the highway.

http://maps.google.co.uk...
A_time_and_a_place

Con

It's not cheap, to put in cycle paths or sidewalks where there aren't any would require a economically viable number of people demanding it. You needing a safe route to cycle drunkenly home from the bar probably doesn't meet that requirement I'm afraid.

In general, I think logically you need to create the demand before you make the investment. Making the investment and hoping people (who are naturally lazy for the most part) will use it, wont be cost effective.

That said, that you don't just think f**k it I'll drive back drunk is a good thing and I applaud it.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

Thank you to A time and a place, for taking this debate.

My opponent starts by pointing out that building the infrastructure involved to create sidewalks and cycle paths would be expensive. This is true, but the US is the richest country in the world and, besides, what price can you put on the lives of people killed by drunk drivers?

I believe that walking is not popular in America simply because it is not safe in many places. Where it is, as in Europe, cycling and walking is enormously popular.

http://www.npr.org...

http://www.en.velib.paris.fr...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com...

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

I do, however, take my opponent's point that people, given the chance, will opt for the easy option and use the car. This is especially true in the States, even among young kids. When I look after my cousins (aged 3-14 years) they insist on my driving them from the front door to the front gate (about 200 yards) to meet the school bus like their mom does. I refuse, of course!
A_time_and_a_place

Con

"My opponent starts by pointing out that building the infrastructure involved to create sidewalks and cycle paths would be expensive. This is true, but the US is the richest country in the world and, besides, what price can you put on the lives of people killed by drunk drivers?"
----

In my personal opinion, there is no price on a life. However in reality there is.

Ask yourself, why don't we have cars that cannot be driven by someone who is drunk (the technology has existed for a long time), why don't we dramatically lower the speed limit (it's proved to reduce the road death toll), why don't we outright ban smoking (it kills millions), why don't we remove all asbestos from every building, why don't we ban "bad" foods like MacDonalds, KFC etc, why don't we ban guns, why don't we do a million things we do or accept? Because we don't want to, because either we don't think it effects US, or we think it wont effect US and are prepared to take the risk.

People will reverse all these things when THEY are DIRECTLY effected by it. The world doesn't work that way. So it is expensive to give you a cycle path, it is weighed up by society not by you as an individual. When there are enough people (votes) that want this cycle path, you will get it.

-------------------------------------------------------------
I believe that walking is not popular in America simply because it is not safe in many places. Where it is, as in Europe, cycling and walking is enormously popular.

http://www.npr.org......

http://www.en.velib.paris.fr......

http://farm3.static.flickr.com......

http://news.bbc.co.uk......
----

As someone who is currently living in Europe, and spent several years in the UK, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that a majority of cycle paths aren't used anywhere near as much as you think (bus lanes also).

As I said, I agree with the concept, but it has to be driven by peoples desire, you cannot just spend the money and hope people will use it. Oil prices are something that will stimulate this kind of infrastructure (to an extent and until an alt fuel is found).
-------------------------------------------------------------------

"I do, however, take my opponent's point that people, given the chance, will opt for the easy option and use the car. This is especially true in the States, even among young kids. When I look after my cousins (aged 3-14 years) they insist on my driving them from the front door to the front gate (about 200 yards) to meet the school bus like their mom does. I refuse, of course!"
----

lol Kids.

The human mind naturally wants to make life as easy as possible, unless it has a personal interest, the only reason you cycle I would suggest, is that you enjoy it (personal interest). Your position is that of someone who expects a majority of the population to do the same, unfortunately, the majority of the population are far more interested in Playstation, Big Brother and Internet debates.

If you were to contend that firstly money should be spent on motivating people into a healthier lifestyle (such as cycling) then I will support you 100%.
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by A_time_and_a_place 8 years ago
A_time_and_a_place
Xera, if you want a better answer to the money issue, then how about that there are other causes that would use less money and yet save more people (could feed a lot of people in the third world for the price of a sidewalk).

There is a finite amount of money and motivation in the world. I said, if it is economically viable (enough people demand it) then I would agree.

I think this is pretty reasonable, and personal bias is coming into play.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Is it legal to cycle on the footpaths [sidewalks] in the USA?

It does look as though you could avoid much of the motorway by turning off earlier.

This kind of thing does make it particularly difficult to reduce reliance on cars/foreign oil.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
Living in a rural community lacking any sidewalks or cycle paths at all, I agree with the sentiment, IF it were made part and parcell of an overall effort to encourage children to play outdoors more. I know that I am afraid to let my 6 year old ride his bicycle because the only place he can ride is in the street! wonder why these kids are lazy? exersice begets energy, and parents don't feel safe letting thier kids exercise these days.

That rant over with now, I'm voting Con because the argument of cost was not sufficiently rebutted. There are so many things that could prevent drunk driving accidents that would not cost as much money. (I.E. requiring that all patrons 'check' their keys at the door, and only get them back if they pass a breathalyser test, the total cost is absorbed by the business, not the people)
Posted by A_time_and_a_place 8 years ago
A_time_and_a_place
lol Well, I'm assuming (rightly I think) that he was just using him coming home from a bar as an example, and that he meant cycle paths in general.
Posted by KGhost 8 years ago
KGhost
I can't be one hundred percent sure, but I am pretty sure that there are countries that that have large oil deposits and actually use them for profit purposes. These countries might be slightly richer than the US, i.e. Saudi Arabia. Not to mention the US is more concerned with the needs of foriegn countries than the safety of the people in our great nation. Perhaps you should write a letter to congress and tell them that instead of sending an incredible amout of money to help the AIDS epidemic in Africa to invest that money to rural sidewalks in Bradenton, Fl, so that drunken bar patrons can safely walk home from there local bar.

I'm really not trying to be mean. This debate just poses an easy target for ridicule, and it is fun to poke fun.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
lmao at previous comment.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
I live in Orlando and there are sidewalks everywhere.
Posted by KGhost 8 years ago
KGhost
Brother I think maybe that there are better reasons to have sidewalks and bike paths than to get to the local bar. I gave about a half a thought to debating you on this but I then realized that I agree with you in a sense. I live in Tampa so I don't so much run into the sidewalk problem. I don't really think that you are going to have a whole lot of people debate on this issue though.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by LandonWalsh 8 years ago
LandonWalsh
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by KGhost 8 years ago
KGhost
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Josh 8 years ago
Josh
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by kato0291 8 years ago
kato0291
brian_egglestonA_time_and_a_placeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30