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Old 06-07-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,100 posts, read 99,245,659 times
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All these little retail areas in Denver did not have the type of shopping available as was present downtown. You had the same stuff people have today in the strip malls, e.g. hardware stores, dry cleaners, coffee shops/cafes, drug store, maybe a small dept store, such as the old Eaker's chain. These weren't places you'd go for your "back to school" shopping, for instance. I'm not saying I actually like the strip malls, but in terms of what was being offered to buy, not much difference. Few people could walk to downtown Denver and back, carrying purchases. And I thought we were talking about the rural areas, not Denver.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:48 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,186,386 times
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Well, speaking of small, rural towns--I lived in a few in Colorado before the big boxes showed up. Let's see how the big boxes "improved" things. In one town I lived in for several years (a town of about 4,000 at the time), there were three stores where one could buy boots and shoes, six where one could buy clothes--including a couple that sold men's suits and women's fine dresses, three hardware stores, four pharmacies, over a dozen small independent restaurants and cafés, and numerous other small shops catering to local clientèle. Today? Well, there's Wal-mart. One hardware store left. One very small women's shoe store. No place in town to buy a man's suit. One small women's dress shop left. One sporting goods store that sells a few tennis shoes and workboots. No independent pharmacy left--the one in the grocery store and Wal-mart is it. About a half-dozen independent restaurants left--one of the bigger ones just closed. Most of the small retail businesses left cater to tourists--and are struggling. The town (dumbly) has supported building of a strip mall out by Wal-mart. Most of the businesses in that are struggling, as are the businesses downtown. The downtown used to be walkable. Now, because Wal-mart, et al are on the far outskirts of town, most townspeople now have to drive there. Interestingly, the one independent grocery store that stayed downtown does a very good business--partly because people CAN walk to it. Hooray for him. Aside from Wal-mart and it minions, the business district of the town has actually shrunk, despite the population of the town nearly doubling in the last 30 years.

The town, in its infinite wisdom, also located its recreation center, ball fields, and high school far enough away from the population center of the town so that everyone must drive to get to them. You just have to wonder how much more "progress" like that we can stand in the region, state, and country. I think that gross mismanagement of our land, resources, patterns of commerce, and living arrangement has a whole lot to do with why our economy, government, and society are so screwed up today. Unfortunately, the brainwashed suburbanites will probably never figure that out.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:48 PM
 
857 posts, read 1,353,199 times
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Default Vegetable Gardens In City Limits

[quote=jazzlover;9176477]Tom Lane's arguments are illogical in the extreme. The biggest problem with sprawl is automobile dependency. That is a purely unsustainable living arrangement, and no amount of solar collectors, backyard gardens, and chickens will fix that. What makes more sense is a return to the walkable communities of the past. Those homes, on lots of say, 100'x125' or 125'x150', had sufficient space for a small backyard garden, but were within walking distance of shopping and other necessities. The areas surrounding such communities supported what were then known as "truck farms"--acreages of 40-100 acres or more that were intensively cultivated and managed to produce food. [quote/]

The City of Boulder isn't doing the great suggestions that you have. And I don't see that many truck farms of 40 acres outside the City. In the City Limits, I don't see properties of 100' X 125'. Instead I see dense infilling of townhomes w/o any vegetable gardens. Yes, the biggest problem is heavy automobile traffic. In fact, the City of Boulder has too many commuters who live outside the city, since the City decided to stop growth with an urban growth boundary. As a result, there are about 95,000 Boulder residents, yet 105,000 persons who commute into the City on congested 6 to 8 lane boulevards. Boulder could be 200,000 people w/ cheaper homes and cheaper rents for students + less traffic, IF they eliminated the boundary. Boulder's relationship with its tens of thousands of commuters is unsustainable given peak oil. Boulder is not a model city for peak oil, w/ the exception of its bike path system. You wrote:

"I laugh when he says the Sedona, Flagstaff, Durango, etc. can grow indefinitely. All have some level of serious water issues--including some communities with dependencies on non-renewable aquifers."


Permaculture design principles involve rainwater and greywater harvesting, somewhat eliminating the need for irrigation.

"Southwest Colorado has no air pollution? Dream on. There are very serious issues with air pollution in that region--caused by several very large coal-fired power plants in NE Arizona and NW New Mexico."

Nothing compared to the ozone pollution from Metro Denver / Boulder.
Would you consider nuclear? That's the cleanest source of power.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,462,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lane View Post
Phoenix and many other towns have smart growth meaning they have very small lot sizes.
The limitation on the area available for growth in the Phoenix Metro Area (as well as the Las Vegas Valley) have caused land prices to go up - and causing developers to try to maximize the number of homes that can be built - resulting in smaller lots. There is also a strong movement to have high density by the creation of much larger multi family buildings - condominiums and apartments - including a proposal for a 30 story condo project.

At the same time, there are still MANY larger lot developments - with 1ac, 2.5 acre and 5 acre lots. Not in the central city, but on the outskirts of the city area

Sprawl, as we are seeing it, is much more costly to maintain from a governmental infrastructure position - and in this current economic downturn, you are going to be hard pressed to get the cities, counties to approve developments that will substantially increase their budgetary obligations.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,631,473 times
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Quote:
Would you consider nuclear? That's the cleanest source of power.
No, it's not. It is highly efficient and you can get a lot of use out of the fuel before you have to count it as waste, but it still leaves us with radioactive material that we have to deal with. Wind and Hydro are both far cleaner than Nuclear (though, yes, all forms of power generation have their drawbacks, environmental or otherwise.)

That said, I suspect we may have to build some new nuclear to supplement our power supply in the future. Though without making some serious changes in how we live, it will only allow us to exacerbate a problem caused by a lifestyle of laziness and ignorance.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:13 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,082,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
No, it's not. It is highly efficient and you can get a lot of use out of the fuel before you have to count it as waste, but it still leaves us with radioactive material that we have to deal with. Wind and Hydro are both far cleaner than Nuclear (though, yes, all forms of power generation have their drawbacks, environmental or otherwise.)

That said, I suspect we may have to build some new nuclear to supplement our power supply in the future. Though without making some serious changes in how we live, it will only allow us to exacerbate a problem caused by a lifestyle of laziness and ignorance.
Denmark in times recent has been lauded for it's move to wind power, but now that the figures are in, wind power has been very inefficient and unreliable, not to mention expensive. Costs for electricity have gone up for Danes and all the coal fired plants are still running full blast because sometimes the wind just stops.

Solar too still hasn't come in at cost effective rates and will not work well up north in the winter.

Wind and solar are nice ideas, but will likely for the near future only compliment what we have now.

I let the free market take care of sprawl. When things expand too much people move back into the city and gentrify it. It's happened all over america.

Big Boxes? Well I love em. People were threatening hari kari when Wal Mart was going to build a supercenter in Avon, CO and they predicted doom for local business. Quite the opposite. All the local merchants were catering to the upper crust with expensive goods. I just needed some $1 plates, towels and some bed linens, not skis, designer bake ware or pottery. Hence I loved Wal Mart. Wal mart is no different from the previous 5 and 10 cent stores or the general store in the 1800's. Sometimes you need a central depot for low end goods and a one stop shop.

Peoples Republic of Boulder, what a wacko town. With all their policies they just drive up end costs and make life difficult. But then liberalism isn't about prosperity, it's about creating misery and spreading that misery around.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:27 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,353,199 times
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Default Peoples Republic Of Boulder

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
..........(truncated)..........Peoples Republic of Boulder, what a wacko town. With all their policies they just drive up end costs and make life difficult. But then liberalism isn't about prosperity, it's about creating misery and spreading that misery around.
Great post. Actually liberalism *IS* about prosperity, but as someone in the Communications business, I can't blame anyone for not understanding this -- given pontificaters such as Rush Limbaugh who have twisted the real definition of Liberalism for decades - which actually according to Adam Smith, means unrestricted free market capitalism !
Mike Rosen on Newsradio 850 KOA correctly pointed this out this morning by way of reading a listener's email.

As for Wallmart, they have great grocery prices and I shop there *IF* the city happens to have one (many still don't!). However, I'm very pro-union, so I don't like the fact that Wallmart isn't unionized. Neither is Target, so towns like Boulder, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff that allow Target in but deny Superwallmart are hypocritical. Both stores import just about everything from overseas. Durango allowed Wallmart in, and made them put in very expensive landscaping with grass mounds, and purple leaf plums, along with a forest green pitched roof, very nice.

As for Boulder's policies, the smart growth / urban growth boundary decreases supply, and makes it impossible to rent within the City limits, unless you're a student who wants to put up with signing a 14 month lease in a run down apartment.

I'm a "classic liberal" in the 1700's Adam Smith tradition - favoring no land use regulation, and allowing people to live how and where and with whomever they want to. A classic liberal would also allow workers to unionize -- IF they want to. So there is no political party that represents me right now. Unfortunately, folks like you and I are a dying breed <goodbye>
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:29 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,631,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Denmark in times recent has been lauded for it's move to wind power, but now that the figures are in, wind power has been very inefficient and unreliable, not to mention expensive. Costs for electricity have gone up for Danes and all the coal fired plants are still running full blast because sometimes the wind just stops.
Well that's not entirely fair. Every form of energy generation tends to have quirks restricting it's use and efficiency. Part of the reason for those coal fired plants running full blast is because it's hard to ramp them down. That doesn't mean wind isn't still part of the solution.

Quote:
Solar too still hasn't come in at cost effective rates and will not work well up north in the winter.
1% of Germany's overall electricity is produced by solar. Southern Germany is at a similar lattitude to southern Canada. By contrast, less the 0.1% of American energy comes from solar...despite having large areas in the west (cough, cough, Denver) with over 250 days of sunshine a year. Again, the sun won't shine all the time, but efficient power generation is about more than just production...it's an entire process of regulating supply, demand and distribution. Supplemental power generation gives us more options to handle that.

Quote:
Wind and solar are nice ideas, but will likely for the near future only compliment what we have now.
No offense, but I hope your wrong I'd like to see a whole host of other options in play as far as power production is concerned...each region has it's strengths and weaknesses in terms of different types of energy production and we should be exploiting those. More wind for windy place. More solar for sunny places. More geothermal and wave power.

Tapping several different sources of energy is going to be the long term solution to improved energy production, on both environmental and economic fronts. Diversity in both systems tends to lead to improvements in efficiency as well as a more stable system.

Quote:
Peoples Republic of Boulder, what a wacko town. With all their policies they just drive up end costs and make life difficult. But then liberalism isn't about prosperity, it's about creating misery and spreading that misery around.
I personally hope to spread around as much misery as possible. It simply wouldn't do to have a bunch of successful, legitimately happy people all over the place...that would just be...civilized! Maybe if people weren't always being told how unhappy they are without [insert widget here], the free market could work properly instead of being special interested down our throats by those with the most influence and cash. (No-one ever calls it socialism until the poor might benefit.)

Maybe if we were all a little happier with what we have, we'd have smaller families, waste less, have a smaller environmental footprint, stop trying to own a castle on the outskirts of town and maybe even afford to pay for ice cream every once in while...in cash.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:51 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,861,395 times
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Wink In this

The smartest thing Boulder, CO ever did was establish open space on its periphery. It allows it a beautiful border, makes it a more desirable place to live, and delineates it as a separate community with a unique character. If this space did not exist it would long since have been incorporated into greater metro Denver, CO.

Those pointing to the infill of greater population density that has occurred, to higher real estate prices, to the many commuters from elsewhere, are correct. This doesn't mean permanently defining the borders of Boulder was incorrect, only some of the policies followed since then. The population of Boulder is too large, and in zoning, etc. should be mandated far less. High real estate prices are inevitable in a desirable location in a capitalistic market. But that is not a given, and could be structured differently. If thinking this socialistic, yes, to an extent. But before disagreeing consider next time in the car how many of your fellows help you pay for that road and all that goes with it. Or, for that matter, how much better for a community if such as the police, firefighters and teachers actually can and do live in the communities they work in. And the commuters? There shouldn't be nearly as many of them, and this could be controlled too.

Boulder, in other words, could learn to live within its limits and means. With what it has, any expansion only in improving that which is. Not bigger, but better. It is entirely possible, and Boulder at least part way there.

Which is more than can be said for most other communities. Everything I've suggested runs counter to growth, but not improvement or a better life. America is going to discover very soon that it cannot grow its way into prosperity. Just the opposite, in fact. The historical precedent of growth made a certain sense in another time and place. Unmitigated growth never did, and we are suffering the dire consequences of it. There is no sustainability in such a scenario, and as with any Ponzi scheme it will collapse.

Every single location within Colorado, Boulder included, has a certain carrying capacity. To the extent this is exceeded it comes from somewhere and someone else. Whether extinction of native flora and fauna, of less water someone else has to use, of poverty in China, wars halfway around the world in Afghanistan and elsewhere, there is always a price for imbalance. They pay it, we pay it, as absolutely everything on this earth is interconnected. We are one, on this planet, this one home we love or abuse.

The citizens of Colorado might consider at last exactly what type of state and home they wish to have. Of what degree of open space, of untrammeled wild, of forest and wilderness. Of what size community, and proportion. Of what size and type of house, and how close and convenient to grocery, school, work, friends and all else they value. Of what at last defines their life. If in only shopping because in this at least for a moment they can forget all the rest they might wish to. Or perhaps find in hope that the promise of a new day and new way could really happen. That their children might truly have a future worth living. And themselves content more each day in striving towards this, and living it.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,503,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Peoples Republic of Boulder, what a wacko town. With all their policies they just drive up end costs and make life difficult. But then liberalism isn't about prosperity, it's about creating misery and spreading that misery around.
That's why so many people live in Boulder and want to move there.
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