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Old 01-06-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,156 posts, read 3,668,137 times
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Yay for traffic calming!
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:39 PM
 
449 posts, read 560,030 times
Reputation: 361
Poncho, you are missing the point. You're coming up with "don't tell me where or how to live" argument when I'm trying to point out that current suburban developments, and the way that they are oriented, is not based on any real "choice" on the part of the consumer. Part of it is zoning/the law, part is developers cutting costs where they can, part of it is federal subsidies/subsidies from non-users of roads, and part of it - yes part of it - is your choice to buy a house in a suburban development vs. a less suburban development. Many people don't realize that as ridiculous as it is, in many cases in the U.S. it is against the law to create walkable environments. It is the zoning that primarily dictates that your neighborhood looks the way that it does.

Quote:
You live a couple blocks from a Smiths... How many Smiths will it take to provide
that convenience to 600,000 people? To what extent are you willing to subsidize
the creation and ongoing function of such stores? How much land area are you
willing to convert from parks to "walking malls" so that people don't have to drive?
Jeebus, man. I realize full well that there are only a handfull of neighborhoods in ABQ (University heights, Nob Hill, Ridgecrest, downtown, old town, maybe a couple others) where you can easily walk or bike to achieve all your needs, and some of those are limited by lack of grocery store within a mile. Btw, many folks within about a 2-mile radius bike to my smiths for groceries, some even from downtown - you don't have to be 2 blocks from a grocery store to make use without a car. But, this does get back to the density issue you're correct on that. ABQ needs more dense areas for adequately walkable development.

I'm only suggesting that the form of development in these areas is far more conducive to walking/biking than other areas of ABQ, and should be emulated in new development, to lessen car dependence. Complete car-independance is certainly hard/impossible with a family, I understand this, but the majority of trips (whether with family, or without) can be done without a car in some areas of town, that's the bottom line. Besides man, think of the awesome weather we have! People should have ample opportunity to get out and enjoy it!
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:46 PM
 
1,972 posts, read 2,809,237 times
Reputation: 788
Actually, Burque, you were ranting about the "wasted resources" inherent in living
on the Westside or RR and the point is that there probably is very little difference
between a Nob Hill resident and an RR resident in terms of shopping / social /
entertainment resource expenditures.

Time to revisit some of your assumptions... or not...
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:58 PM
 
449 posts, read 560,030 times
Reputation: 361
^No. There is a difference, and I'll repeat - it lays in the ability to get most or all of your daily needs in a reasonable fashion, without a car. When there is ample opportunity to reach needed destinations easily without a car, people will take advantage. I think you would be surprised at the number of people (an increasing number) who bike/walk to get groceries at the Smiths on Yale, or the Sunflower market on Lomas (arguably not that ped friendly at all, but it's easy to reach from surrounding neighborhoods), and commute to work in the area sans motorized vehicle. I'm not saying everyone should be forced to do so - but the option should be there in all neighborhoods.

It is all about city planning, and the planning can be better in all neighborhoods in ABQ, including Nob Hill. You argued that the decrease in walkability is due to a decrease in family owned businesses, but it's primarily zoning, traffic engineering and the like. Over the last ten years, places like Portland, OR and Phoenix, AZ have developed very differently, and I think you know which extreme each falls under. This is a result of differences in state and local land use regulations. Yet, you can't argue that Phoenix has more "choices" in ways to live than Portland.

The new houses being built on the outskirts of Bernalillo/R.R. are a waste. They are a waste of an opportunity to develop with the residents of the entire city in mind, rather than a mind to the developers and automobile manufacturers. They are a waste of an opportunity for architecture that enriches, rather than deadens the possibility of enjoyable public spaces. They are a waste of resources - but they are far from alone on that count. This is why I rant. But, they do have the law on their side...
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Exit 242
753 posts, read 964,066 times
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If a majority of folks weren't happy with the local zoning and planning, wouldn't they demand change in either the zoning or the officials doing the zoning?

The simple fact is that a majority of folks are satisfied with the current situation. For example, I refuse to live in a place where I share a wall, floor or ceiling with someone else (or, for that matter, in a house where I can reach out my window and touch the place next door). If that means I have to be further out, so be it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:19 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
910 posts, read 1,221,776 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Horrell View Post
Actually, Burque, you were ranting about the "wasted resources" inherent in living
on the Westside or RR and the point is that there probably is very little difference
between a Nob Hill resident and an RR resident in terms of shopping / social /
entertainment resource expenditures.

Time to revisit some of your assumptions... or not...
I live on the west side and within a few blocks to 2 miles I can walk, bike or drive to these places:

Smith's (and smaller stores next to it like Subway, etc..)
Lovelace West Side Hospital
Wal-Mart
Walgreens
CVS Pharmacy
Home Depo
Lowes
Best Buy
Barnes & Noble
Borders
Krispy Kreme
Kohl's
Sam's Club
Sunflower Market
Albertson's
OfficeMax
Staples
Party City
Petsmart
Starbucks
Keva Juice
Cottonwood Mall
Banks: Bank of the West, NM Educators & Sandia FCU, Wells Fargo, Bank of Albuquerque
Costco
Target
Movie theaters (at the mall and the Cinemark dollar theater)
Ross
Hobby Lobby
And a host of restaurants, fast food places, gas stations, furniture stores, dollar stores, a post office, dentists, doctors and too many other places to even list. And this is all in Albuquerque, not Rio Rancho.

You name it. I am not in Nob Hill. I am not near Ridgecrest. I am not downtown. In fact, I'm a little over a mile from the Albuquerque / Rio Rancho border on the edge of Alb., yet I have things closer to me than I would if I did live in Nob Hill. Not the mom & pop shops, but the places I frequent on a daily basis would not be those types of stores anyway.

So living on the outskirts doesn't mean you have to commute to get to where you want to go. I have most everything I need right in my own backyard.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:35 PM
 
1,972 posts, read 2,809,237 times
Reputation: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by lobo View Post
I live on the west side and within a few blocks to 2 miles I can walk, bike or drive to these places:

And a host of restaurants, fast food places, gas stations, furniture stores, dollar stores, a post office, dentists, doctors and too many other places to even list. And this is all in Albuquerque, not Rio Rancho.

You name it. I am not in Nob Hill. I am not near Ridgecrest. I am not downtown. In fact, I'm a little over a mile from the Albuquerque / Rio Rancho border on the edge of Alb., yet I have things closer to me than I would if I did live in Nob Hill. Not the mom & pop shops, but the places I frequent on a daily basis would not be those types of stores anyway.

So living on the outskirts doesn't mean you have to commute to get to where you want to go. I have most everything I need right in my own backyard.
That's good to hear and reinforces what I've been trying to tell Burquebinder;
that his rant that living on the Westside means that you are "wasting resources"
at the expense of those who live elsewhere is nonsense.

In our particular case, we live outside of practical walking distance to stores
so, at least for us, walking (we don't bike) is just for pleasure but in 10 minutes
or less we can reach all those same stores you mentioned.

I hardly consider that "wasting resources".
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:16 PM
 
449 posts, read 560,030 times
Reputation: 361
^lobo, within 2 miles I have a much larger number of potential places to bike or walk, and they are mostly local - thereby contributing a much larger share to the local economy. Every single damn place in your post is a chain that is found in every other similar sized city in America. Why even live in ABQ? Oh, the weather and scenery...

Sure, you can bike or walk to any of those places, but how difficult/dangerous would it be with the wide swaths of parking lots/wide roads, higher speed limits, etc? It's the way the infrastructure is built that makes the difference. How often do people bike or walk to the places you mention. I wouldn't hesitate to say it's less than a fraction of a percent of the number that walk to similar stores in Nob Hill - and they are all local. There are no bike racks at any of the stores you mention, and walking is a wholly unpleasant experience, even if it's possible. This contributes to increased car-trips, and thereby increased waste of resources. It doesn't have to be this way.

Walkscore.com compares walkability by neighborhood. It's an imperfect site IMO, but here you go, Nob Hill scores a 71 (very walkable). For comparison, I chose Enchanted Hills, which scored a 9 (about the lowest score possible. Here are the links:

Nob Hill: http://www.walkscore.com/get-score.php?street=Nob+Hill%2C+Albuquerque&go=Go

Enchanted Hills: http://www.walkscore.com/get-score.php?street=Enchanted+Hills%2C+New+Mexico

Really. Seriously. This isn't debateable.

Jiminnm - You may be correct in that people are satisfied, but that's only because the alternatives largely aren't there to compare - people don't realize how zoning/laws/developers are affecting the livability of their subdivisions. It speaks volumes that you seem to be assuming that what I'm criticizing is the single-family household with a yard. I'm not - nearly all of ABQ, and many newly built walkable suburbs are built primarily on the separate, single-family housing model. You don't have to have row homes to have walkability or bikeability. ABQ's rankings in the percentage of people who bike to work - The Bike Pittsburgh Blog Archives » 2008 City commuting trends are in: How does Pittsburgh stack up nationally? - show that we are 9th in the nation in percentage of bike commuters, despite the fact that we are among the lowest in density - precisely because city leaders have pushed for bike lanes and bike infrastructure. We don't have to build rowhomes to have bikeable/walkable communities. You can read an interesting article (I purposely chose a more conservative source) on the demand for walkable neighborhoods and current trends here: Gas Prices and Walkable Communities: Roundtable: REALTORĀ® Magazine (http://www.realtor.org/rmonews_and_commentary/articles/2008/0811_roundtable_gasprices - broken link)
It's a bit more than a year old but you get the drift.

As for demand to change zoning - it has been done in ABQ - the city is now in the beginning stages of implementing form-based zoning codes (look it up), despite the fact that changing existing zoning is very, very difficult anywhere. Many cities are currently making the switch from euclidean zoning to form based zoning.

In any city (including ABQ), simply compare Vehicle Miles Traveled, % of residents who commute via walking, biking, and public transit between inner city neighborhoods and newly-built outer areas. You'll see a large difference, and that difference adds up to alot of additional resources wasted.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:16 PM
 
449 posts, read 560,030 times
Reputation: 361
After reading through some of my posts, I realize at points I came off as snide and irate. These are issues I care deeply about, and I want to have these discussions, civilly.

I don't mean to criticize lifestyles. I do think there is a better way to develop our cities (specifically the growing edges of our cities), where you can have your cake and eat it too. In the end, I know we have different perspectives, and are likely at different points in our lives. As an example - I also believe that many urban areas are chiefly being developed around 20-somethings, without a mind for parents with children. This is a big mistake, and fixing the problem is an important piece of attaining sustainability which I often so criticize about the suburbs.

Bottom line, I hope we can all find ways to improve the places we care about so much.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:32 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
910 posts, read 1,221,776 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burquebinder View Post
^lobo, within 2 miles I have a much larger number of potential places to bike or walk, and they are mostly local - thereby contributing a much larger share to the local economy. Every single damn place in your post is a chain that is found in every other similar sized city in America. Why even live in ABQ? Oh, the weather and scenery...

Sure, you can bike or walk to any of those places, but how difficult/dangerous would it be with the wide swaths of parking lots/wide roads, higher speed limits, etc? It's the way the infrastructure is built that makes the difference. How often do people bike or walk to the places you mention. I wouldn't hesitate to say it's less than a fraction of a percent of the number that walk to similar stores in Nob Hill - and they are all local. There are no bike racks at any of the stores you mention, and walking is a wholly unpleasant experience, even if it's possible. This contributes to increased car-trips, and thereby increased waste of resources. It doesn't have to be this way.

Walkscore.com compares walkability by neighborhood. It's an imperfect site IMO, but here you go, Nob Hill scores a 71 (very walkable). For comparison, I chose Enchanted Hills, which scored a 9 (about the lowest score possible. Here are the links:

Nob Hill: http://www.walkscore.com/get-score.php?street=Nob+Hill%2C+Albuquerque&go=Go

Enchanted Hills: http://www.walkscore.com/get-score.php?street=Enchanted+Hills%2C+New+Mexico

Really. Seriously. This isn't debateable.

Jiminnm - You may be correct in that people are satisfied, but that's only because the alternatives largely aren't there to compare - people don't realize how zoning/laws/developers are affecting the livability of their subdivisions. It speaks volumes that you seem to be assuming that what I'm criticizing is the single-family household with a yard. I'm not - nearly all of ABQ, and many newly built walkable suburbs are built primarily on the separate, single-family housing model. You don't have to have row homes to have walkability or bikeability. ABQ's rankings in the percentage of people who bike to work - The Bike Pittsburgh Blog Archives » 2008 City commuting trends are in: How does Pittsburgh stack up nationally? - show that we are 9th in the nation in percentage of bike commuters, despite the fact that we are among the lowest in density - precisely because city leaders have pushed for bike lanes and bike infrastructure. We don't have to build rowhomes to have bikeable/walkable communities. You can read an interesting article (I purposely chose a more conservative source) on the demand for walkable neighborhoods and current trends here: Gas Prices and Walkable Communities: Roundtable: REALTORĀ® Magazine (http://www.realtor.org/rmonews_and_commentary/articles/2008/0811_roundtable_gasprices - broken link)
It's a bit more than a year old but you get the drift.

As for demand to change zoning - it has been done in ABQ - the city is now in the beginning stages of implementing form-based zoning codes (look it up), despite the fact that changing existing zoning is very, very difficult anywhere. Many cities are currently making the switch from euclidean zoning to form based zoning.

In any city (including ABQ), simply compare Vehicle Miles Traveled, % of residents who commute via walking, biking, and public transit between inner city neighborhoods and newly-built outer areas. You'll see a large difference, and that difference adds up to alot of additional resources wasted.
OMG, there are soooo many things missing from that map in my area it's not even funny. If I had the druthers about me, I'd update the google map and easily double the score for my area. Right now it's at 48%, but the map has many things missing. The one thing that I'm not within walking distance to very close by that hurt my score and that I can't make up is a library. I have to travel approx. 6 miles to the Taylor Ranch Library or 4 miles to the closest Rio Rancho Library.

I don't have a LaMonita Food Co-op I could walk or bike to, but I do have a Smiths, Albertson's, Sunflower Market, and Wal-Mart all very close by. I'd rather live near parks that are safe that my kids walk or bike to vs me having to go with them to make sure they are safe.

I grew up not far from Nob Hill near Highland HS and would not feel safe raising a family there today. I know a couple of people with kids who live near Ridgecrest and they both utterly refuse to send their kids to the same schools I went to. I don't blame them -- I wouldn't either. They home school instead. The schools out here on the west side are better. These friends say there aren't many kids around for their kids to play with so they have to schedule "play dates" with other home schoolers. My kids can go to the park and join in with others in a Nerf battle shoot out on almost any warm day. Lots of kids and lots of families.

So, to each his own. We all have different tastes. Just because your tastes are different doesn't mean they are better. The businesses I frequent are not places like Martha's Body Bueno on Central in Nob Hill (if it's still there?). I'd have no use for a store like that, but the places I listed in my previous post I do have use for and would rather have those businesses close by.
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