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Old 09-18-2013, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Irving, TX
622 posts, read 561,522 times
Reputation: 915

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
Read the whole thread and agree with your posts. I don't disagree with many other comments on the thread, I too spent two years in England and like the walkable communities that aren't as car dependent. But I disdain the attitude of some that suburbs are wastelands and anyone living in them is conributing to the downfall of American society.
I haven't spent much time in England but spent years and years in Hungary where many of the same attitudes are prevalent: if you go to Buda, the difference between "Centrum" and "Rakosborzosto" (lots of suburbs start with "Rakos," and the rest of that phrase means "awful") is pretty common. The difference (the HUGE difference), is that you don't have to be wealthy to live pretty close to the center -- it helps, and your own block flat may look like something out of Bladerunner, but the Opera and all the other goodies are still within a half-hour's walk hopping on and off the tram.

In the US, the dialectic is strongly different, and tends to reflect class bigotry more than actual intelligent urban planning. "Affordable housing" need not be synonymous with Section 8 Wastelands, and much of the suburbs themselves would change character rapidly if zoning were relaxed from "strict residential" to "multi-use." It's overdue, since technological changes mean that the anchor-retail around which many of those places were built no longer fuctions as it used to back in the day when nobody thought twice of spending two hours to go to the bookstore just to see if there was anything you might feel like reading. In this respect, not to reignite the usual, I think Houston is far better poised than DFW to adapt to future land-use trends.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:56 AM
 
3,810 posts, read 3,704,692 times
Reputation: 4106
Quote:
narrow streets are mandatory for the kind of instant neighborhoods he prefers.

Do you think DART should buy new/different busses just for these tight areas? Same for ambulances and fire trucks? Where will these new and different items be kept? Who will maintain them? Who will pay for the maintenance guy's new training for the new vehicle?
Narrow streets does not equal narrow lanes first, so you are putting up a scenario that no one is suggesting. Why on earth would you assume that it meant narrow lanes instead of just fewer lanes?

Second, Dart makes several different sized busses. Third, from an 'economic' perspective, firetrucks, ambulances, maintenance and the like are marginal costs of a city, they are not primary drivers. Do you really think it would cost more to train some guy to maintain your theoretical narrow fire truck or for special training than it would cost to build and maintain a road that costs $1m per mile? How would a smaller fire truck cost more than a larger fire truck? Does a big rig cost less to maintain than a Honda Accord?

BTW, just to discredit your ridiculous scenario, here's your narrow ambulance: I'm pretty sure it can be maintained by any kid who built a go-cart growing up, and can be housed in a....garage.
Lambretta Lambro

Or we could just have fewer lanes that are the same width as our current lanes, and keep our current ambulances. Your economic concerns have been solved.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:03 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,599 posts, read 31,152,740 times
Reputation: 26661
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
Narrow streets does not equal narrow lanes first, so you are putting up a scenario that no one is suggesting. Why on earth would you assume that it meant narrow lanes instead of just fewer lanes?

Second, Dart makes several different sized busses. Third, from an 'economic' perspective, firetrucks, ambulances, maintenance and the like are marginal costs of a city, they are not primary drivers. Do you really think it would cost more to train some guy to maintain your theoretical narrow fire truck or for special training than it would cost to build and maintain a road that costs $1m per mile? How would a smaller fire truck cost more than a larger fire truck? Does a big rig cost less to maintain than a Honda Accord?

BTW, just to discredit your ridiculous scenario, here's your narrow ambulance: I'm pretty sure it can be maintained by any kid who built a go-cart growing up, and can be housed in a....garage.
Lambretta Lambro

Or we could just have fewer lanes that are the same width as our current lanes, and keep our current ambulances. Your economic concerns have been solved.

Would rep you again if I could. + 1000000!
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Maui County, HI
4,131 posts, read 6,065,521 times
Reputation: 3357
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
Narrow streets does not equal narrow lanes first, so you are putting up a scenario that no one is suggesting. Why on earth would you assume that it meant narrow lanes instead of just fewer lanes?

Second, Dart makes several different sized busses. Third, from an 'economic' perspective, firetrucks, ambulances, maintenance and the like are marginal costs of a city, they are not primary drivers. Do you really think it would cost more to train some guy to maintain your theoretical narrow fire truck or for special training than it would cost to build and maintain a road that costs $1m per mile? How would a smaller fire truck cost more than a larger fire truck? Does a big rig cost less to maintain than a Honda Accord?

BTW, just to discredit your ridiculous scenario, here's your narrow ambulance: I'm pretty sure it can be maintained by any kid who built a go-cart growing up, and can be housed in a....garage.
Lambretta Lambro

Or we could just have fewer lanes that are the same width as our current lanes, and keep our current ambulances. Your economic concerns have been solved.

I thought you guys were talking about neighborhood streets, not numbers of lanes. Arterial streets are fine as they are with 2 lanes each way. We don't need to switch to 2 lane roads everywhere. That would create a lot of unnecessary traffic.

Narrower streets do help the walkability etc of neighborhoods by slowing down cars, but it's not like you HAVE to make streets too narrow for emergency vehicles. A lot of people have trucks that are that big anyway, not to mention tradesmen's vans and trucks. The existing urban neighborhoods in Dallas are great with their wide streets that have enough room on both sides for parking. Greenville has some really wide streets.

BTW on street parking also helps walkability because it creates a buffer between the sidewalk and the roadway
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:35 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 35,784,302 times
Reputation: 6264
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
Excellent post Saintmarks. We have too many posters here who are cheerleaders for just where they live, and anything else is a poor substitute and anyone is a fool for thinking otherwise.

I don't get that mentality, at all. It's like they think they founded the town they currently live in or something.

Something to note... There are a variety of magazines and publications that do annual "Best Places to Live" stories, like Kiplinger, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, BusinessWeek, etc. Funny how you never see a large urban city like Chicago, New York, or Dallas win these things.

Nope, it's always the suburbs surrounding the cities. Until cities can compete with suburbs in terms of crime statistics, housing, school systems, traffic and etc... the suburbs will continue to grow.
I don't think responding to this is "cheerleading" but I admit I am an ARDENT cheerleader.

The CNN article I posted pointed out that in Lakewood we have low crime and good schools. We have all sorts of housing, probably a much larger variety than a homogeneous suburb. As far as traffic, we don't have that but I see plenty of it north of LBJ. I don't know how you cope with that.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,599 posts, read 31,152,740 times
Reputation: 26661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
I don't think responding to this is "cheerleading" but I admit I am an ARDENT cheerleader.

The CNN article I posted pointed out that in Lakewood we have low crime and good schools. We have all sorts of housing, probably a much larger variety than a homogeneous suburb. As far as traffic, we don't have that but I see plenty of it north of LBJ. I don't know how you cope with that.
Lakewooder, you are a cheerleader for Lakewood. You think Lakewood is a good fit for everyone and describe it as paradise on Earth. I've been to Lakewood, socialized with people who live there, and I know what you're saying isn't 100% true.

If I ever met you in person I would expect you to be carrying pom poms and a sweater with "LAKEWOOD" emblazoned across it diagonally. And I would expect that outfit to be in Woodrow Wilson's school colors, whatever those are.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,828 posts, read 3,386,407 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Lakewooder, you are a cheerleader for Lakewood. You think Lakewood is a good fit for everyone and describe it as paradise on Earth. I've been to Lakewood, socialized with people who live there, and I know what you're saying isn't 100% true.

If I ever met you in person I would expect you to be carrying pom poms and a sweater with "LAKEWOOD" emblazoned across it diagonally. And I would expect that outfit to be in Woodrow Wilson's school colors, whatever those are.
, I definitely got a good chuckle or two out of that post. I agree with quiet a few things Lakewooder posts. Is her judgement clouded from time to time....sure, everyone's is.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:20 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 35,784,302 times
Reputation: 6264
You'll be pleased to know that I have a large wardrobe of red and gray, Woodrow and Lakewood t-shirts and every official Lakewood 4th of July Parade shirt for 20 years. Also I have an "antique" wWw megaphone!

Hey people give me this stuff all the time. I have also run into others wearing the same shirt at the same time! I really get a kick out of that, although one guy in Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago didn't seem overjoyed about this...
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:52 AM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
Reputation: 5375
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
Narrow streets does not equal narrow lanes first, so you are putting up a scenario that no one is suggesting. Why on earth would you assume that it meant narrow lanes instead of just fewer lanes?

Second, Dart makes several different sized busses. Third, from an 'economic' perspective, firetrucks, ambulances, maintenance and the like are marginal costs of a city, they are not primary drivers. Do you really think it would cost more to train some guy to maintain your theoretical narrow fire truck or for special training than it would cost to build and maintain a road that costs $1m per mile? How would a smaller fire truck cost more than a larger fire truck? Does a big rig cost less to maintain than a Honda Accord?

BTW, just to discredit your ridiculous scenario, here's your narrow ambulance: I'm pretty sure it can be maintained by any kid who built a go-cart growing up, and can be housed in a....garage.
Lambretta Lambro

Or we could just have fewer lanes that are the same width as our current lanes, and keep our current ambulances. Your economic concerns have been solved.

Because fewer lanes means fewer cars per unit of time may pass safely = worse traffic. That's even dumber than narrower lanes. I can't imagine any city is going to go for that in a big way.

DART buys busses of different lengths I don't know for sure but I'd be very surprised if bus width across their fleet varied by more a few percent. Anyway as your new neighborhood will be filled with eager bus riders how will smaller busses work well unless DART buys a lot of them?

And unless your plan is to cut down existing roads - new roads have to be built in either scenario. so that's a push for your argument at best.

The fire truck thing works like this. It does not matter if the new different firetruck costs more or less to maintain than one already on hand. But whatever those costs are they are net new costs to the FD and costs that would be unnecessary without the narrower streets.

Further, how is the developer going to get financing and insurance for any of these dense developments with different streets if say Dallas/Plano/Frisco can't get their biggest pumper trucks or very long ladder trucks inside the development in case of fire? The answer is they are not going to. Next time you drive by the Medical District in Dallas check out 21 Forty at 2140 Medical District Drive. Note the big roads all around and especially the big street/driveway in the back (west side). That driveway is as wide as a normal city two lane road and it has a long area that is three lanes wide the city made them put it there for fire code reasons.


I guess the first step in order to see if the narrow/fewer lanes street thing isn't just a 100% pipe-dream in/around Dallas would be to ask city engineers and fire departments in the various cities if they will yield on current new building and fire codes. My guess is there is zero chance they'd set an appointment for that meeting let alone change anything. The first time someone was hurt and could make any claim that the new fire code or variances caused their problem or made it worse the city would be sued into oblivion.


All that said. If the goal of all this is along the lines of removing old run down buildings or crappy SFHs for and replacing them with nice apartments and/or condos in which the development does not ruin local traffic patterns wait for it...................I think that is a really good idea. Back to the 21 Forty complex in Dallas it's a really nice, although somewhat odd, apartment complex that has maybe 300 units (that's a total guess) and given its footprint if it replaced SFHs no way more than 15 or 20 homes were on that spot. Although obvious it's worth underscoring that the complex also has less road surface area per person than that old area for certain. So from those perspectives the complex is a major land use efficiency upgrade and it has great roads all around. Why not just aim for something like that?

BTW - my wife and I will be empty nesters in less than a year. We are thinking hard about buying a condo in Turtle Creek or close.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,105,445 times
Reputation: 9325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
I don't think responding to this is "cheerleading" but I admit I am an ARDENT cheerleader.

The CNN article I posted pointed out that in Lakewood we have low crime and good schools. We have all sorts of housing, probably a much larger variety than a homogeneous suburb. As far as traffic, we don't have that but I see plenty of it north of LBJ. I don't know how you cope with that.
Wrong. The article you posted points out that Lakewood has low crime and good schools... FOR A NEIGHBORHOOD NEXT TO A BIG CITY. Posting that ridiculous article (which has neighborhoods that can't even be compared to a city suburb), was you cheerleading.

I'll explain again... Every time some publication does a listing of Best Places to Live, it's almost always a suburb. You're never going to see Lakewood listed in there either, because it's NOT a city.

Go look at the address on your mail. Does it say "Lakewood TX, 75214?" No?

Huh. I wonder why.
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