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Old 10-05-2017, 09:24 AM
 
5,314 posts, read 5,495,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasurevalley92 View Post
I would like to make the point that before Americans had the car craze, there was the bike craze.

Personally I think they offer the best of all worlds, much faster than walking, and great at filling in the "Last mile" and offer much of the personal freedom of the car.

Most American Cities do not have the population or density to justify rail service, but most would benefit a ton from extra bike infrastructure which is actually pretty cheap to build and maintain.

From a money ball approach to urbanism, I would go for bikes any day of the week.

I'll use my hometown as an example of this: Boise and the greater Treasure Valley has pretty terrible public transit and outside the core it tends to sprawl quite a bit. Back in the 60s they began building the Greenbelt through downtown which runs sort of like a "bike transit line" directly through most of the city. In highschool I could meet my buddies downtown in 30 min (regardless of rush hour or not) and only have to cross one intersection in the process. Driving only took 15 min, but that was provided there was no slowdown. During rush hour biking was about the same if not quicker.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boise_greenbelt

Of course there is alot more the city could do to make cycling safer, and even a small improvement in the terrible bus system would probably boost our bus numbers alot, but even as is, about 5% of people in Boise bike, walk or take the bus to work vs the 4.4% in Dallas,my current city, which has the longest light rail system in the US.

I'm not saying that bikes will fix everything but most mid sized (and even large) cities would be much better off building a safe bike network than buying billion dollar toy trains like they are Mr Rodgers.
Good post. A one-two knockout punch for making big change to transit and accessibility on a budget is: 1) Bus Rapid Transit with bike friendly amenities, and 2) Increased bike infrastructure. The more places you connect safely and conveniently, the more numbers rise and take pressure off the road system.

The challenge I've seen is that getting dedicated funding for bike infrastructure can be tough because people don't take it seriously OR they don't support it because it impacts automobile infrastructure. Those two things have seriously impacted the ability to implement a comprehensive bike and transit infrastructure that can really be enjoyable and effective at moving people. Again, the auto lobby, commercials and culture keep these things from happening. "Kids ride bikes, adults drive cars."
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:46 AM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
3,425 posts, read 1,607,800 times
Reputation: 3772
Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
$121 per month for unlimited bus and subway use. Just earlier this year it was $116/month. And honestly service doesn't seem to have gotten any better. In fact it actually seems to have gotten worse. That's because around the same time as the fare hike our governor cut $65 Million from the MTA budget. One of these things has a much greater effect than the other.
That still seems like a steal to me, that's significantly less than I pay for insurance on my car!

Considering that a "Local" pass for DART costs $80 (regional is $160) for a much inferior system $121 a month for all your transportation needs is a pretty great deal IMHO.

Considering that salaries are much higher in NYC and everything costs more, $121 is probably a pretty small percentage of most folks monthly expenses, no?

I mean that is the beauty of public transit done right, it's pretty cost effective for the consumer.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:59 AM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,670 posts, read 801,853 times
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Default yes indeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Good post. A one-two knockout punch for making big change to transit and accessibility on a budget is: 1) Bus Rapid Transit with bike friendly amenities, and 2) Increased bike infrastructure. The more places you connect safely and conveniently, the more numbers rise and take pressure off the road system.

The challenge I've seen is that getting dedicated funding for bike infrastructure can be tough because people don't take it seriously OR they don't support it because it impacts automobile infrastructure. Those two things have seriously impacted the ability to implement a comprehensive bike and transit infrastructure that can really be enjoyable and effective at moving people. Again, the auto lobby, commercials and culture keep these things from happening. "Kids ride bikes, adults drive cars."
Even where I live -- "liberal" San Francisco -- bike or transit improvements that reduce parking will set off howls from merchants.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:03 AM
 
1,994 posts, read 1,334,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasurevalley92 View Post
That still seems like a steal to me, that's significantly less than I pay for insurance on my car!

Considering that a "Local" pass for DART costs $80 (regional is $160) for a much inferior system $121 a month for all your transportation needs is a pretty great deal IMHO.

Considering that salaries are much higher in NYC and everything costs more, $121 is probably a pretty small percentage of most folks monthly expenses, no?

I mean that is the beauty of public transit done right, it's pretty cost effective for the consumer.
A lot of people don't realize that despite the lower housing costs in the sunbelt, the transportation costs can be pretty high when you factor in car ownership, distance of commute, possible tolls, maintenance, and insurance. The cost of housing is rising in DFW and its COL advantage will continue to diminish if it can't successfully make a dent in the reduction of its car dependency.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:04 AM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
3,425 posts, read 1,607,800 times
Reputation: 3772
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Good post. A one-two knockout punch for making big change to transit and accessibility on a budget is: 1) Bus Rapid Transit with bike friendly amenities, and 2) Increased bike infrastructure. The more places you connect safely and conveniently, the more numbers rise and take pressure off the road system.

The challenge I've seen is that getting dedicated funding for bike infrastructure can be tough because people don't take it seriously OR they don't support it because it impacts automobile infrastructure. Those two things have seriously impacted the ability to implement a comprehensive bike and transit infrastructure that can really be enjoyable and effective at moving people. Again, the auto lobby, commercials and culture keep these things from happening. "Kids ride bikes, adults drive cars."
Yeah, people will only bike if it is safe. There are always those who will do it out of necessity or because they are enthusiasts, and there are always those who will never do it, but there is a big middle sized group that will if they feel safe riding.

Portland used to have bike numbers that were more or less on par with their peer cities until they prioritized bike safety, then they shot through the roof.

Most suburban areas will never benefit from mass transit. Most will benefit from making biking safer.

Most "Streetcar" suburbs (which by the way, make up the majority of what we call "urban America") wouldn't benefit as much from bringing streetcars back as they would from some basic bike infrastructure. I mean, the bones are already there and they are semi dense.

I agree with you that it can be hard to get bike infrastructure funded, but I think we really have to try to use data to show people that we all save money every time someone rides a bike over driving.

Ultimately it is much easier in most places to take an extra 2-3% of people off the road with bikes than with a streetcar since streetcars tend to only go a few miles through touristy areas where people could walk half the time anyway. They don't effect the larger city all that much (see KC and Cincinnati for example).
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:15 AM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
3,425 posts, read 1,607,800 times
Reputation: 3772
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTXman34 View Post
A lot of people don't realize that despite the lower housing costs in the sunbelt, the transportation costs can be pretty high when you factor in car ownership, distance of commute, possible tolls, maintenance, and insurance. The cost of housing is rising in DFW and its COL advantage will continue to diminish if it can't successfully make a dent in the reduction of its car dependency.
Agreed. I drive a little more than average, even for Dallas, but I'm spending $600+ per month on transportation. I don't drive anything fancy and that doesn't count for non-maintenance repairs.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:46 AM
 
2,350 posts, read 1,371,419 times
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I wonder if bicycle infrastructure could be sold as a commuting option for kids.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:24 PM
 
5,314 posts, read 5,495,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasurevalley92 View Post
Yeah, people will only bike if it is safe. There are always those who will do it out of necessity or because they are enthusiasts, and there are always those who will never do it, but there is a big middle sized group that will if they feel safe riding.

Portland used to have bike numbers that were more or less on par with their peer cities until they prioritized bike safety, then they shot through the roof.

Most suburban areas will never benefit from mass transit. Most will benefit from making biking safer.

Most "Streetcar" suburbs (which by the way, make up the majority of what we call "urban America") wouldn't benefit as much from bringing streetcars back as they would from some basic bike infrastructure. I mean, the bones are already there and they are semi dense.

I agree with you that it can be hard to get bike infrastructure funded, but I think we really have to try to use data to show people that we all save money every time someone rides a bike over driving.

Ultimately it is much easier in most places to take an extra 2-3% of people off the road with bikes than with a streetcar since streetcars tend to only go a few miles through touristy areas where people could walk half the time anyway. They don't effect the larger city all that much (see KC and Cincinnati for example).
I'm with you 100%, but the reality is that car ownership and auto-mobility is a thick layer of necessity in America in both perception and reality. To change the reality, perception needs to change. It's like convincing people that Climate Change is real.

But you are on to something: The most effective motivator for humans is MONEY. If a three car suburban house can save $500 per month by ditching one car and riding bikes, the rest will fall into place. That still requires up-front investment to create a safe bikeable network AND forward thinking at the household level.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
14,153 posts, read 5,517,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
I'm with you 100%, but the reality is that car ownership and auto-mobility is a thick layer of necessity in America in both perception and reality. To change the reality, perception needs to change. It's like convincing people that Climate Change is real.

But you are on to something: The most effective motivator for humans is MONEY. If a three car suburban house can save $500 per month by ditching one car and riding bikes, the rest will fall into place. That still requires up-front investment to create a safe bikeable network AND forward thinking at the household level.
Just not reasonable. The US runs off the automobile. You folk are talking big time about under 5% of the population.

And the third car cost no where near $500. My beater truck ran less than $50 a month. You could spend $500 but that would be unusual.

In my case we are a mile or so from the nearest bus line. My max range is about 1/4 mile. And I am one fall from being disabled so a bike is out.

We actually have good express bus service to downtown and the airport. However the only practical way to get to either is by car.

Again you folk should be off at this point figuring how to structure the autonomous vehicles. If I could get a jitney at the house in less than 10 minutes at reasonable cost I would likely use it.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:23 PM
 
5,314 posts, read 5,495,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
Just not reasonable. The US runs off the automobile. You folk are talking big time about under 5% of the population.

And the third car cost no where near $500. My beater truck ran less than $50 a month. You could spend $500 but that would be unusual.

In my case we are a mile or so from the nearest bus line. My max range is about 1/4 mile. And I am one fall from being disabled so a bike is out.

We actually have good express bus service to downtown and the airport. However the only practical way to get to either is by car.

Again you folk should be off at this point figuring how to structure the autonomous vehicles. If I could get a jitney at the house in less than 10 minutes at reasonable cost I would likely use it.
Well, I'm not suggesting we run a subway line to your cabin in the mountains. But for the 70% of the population, the infrastructure is severely lacking and that's because we build around the car. But you may be right in that that will never change for most places in this sprawling country.

Autonomous vehicles will be a big improvement, but they will not fix everything. And they are a ways off from being a public good. A lot has to change, including culture, which is something transit and autonomous vehicles will have in common.
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