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Old 10-09-2017, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,112 posts, read 1,304,477 times
Reputation: 1825

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
It's always funny that you can visit a "small city of 200,000" in Europe, yet it has an incredible footprint of vibrant urban, walkable area serviced by strong transportation. You come in by train, walk, take the subway, take a cab, and you say "wow, look at this big urban city." And then you take a trip to a "big American city" with millions in the metro and show up at an empty tower in the garden downtown and wonder where all the people are hiding. A couple of strips have some nightlife and the rest has crickets. And then you find all the people when you get in the car and run onto the highway.
It is really crazy. I went to Galway in Ireland, which is a city of only 79,000 but felt a lot larger to me as an American. Tons of activity and people always out walking around, and a very decently sized walkable area to explore compared to most American cities much larger. I like those kinds of cities a lot better. It’s so much more fun IMO to explore a city by foot with the occasional transit ride to farther areas than it is to just be driving on highways all the time. You see way more of the actual city too.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:27 PM
 
2,289 posts, read 1,294,216 times
Reputation: 1520
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
You can't stop it, you can only slow it and eat up some of the crumbs.
The culture has a strong preference for a suburban lifestyle, and business is set up to cater to this preference.

How could it be otherwise, in a country that doesn't value city living?

Last edited by Tim Randal Walker; 10-09-2017 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,327,543 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Randal Walker View Post
The culture has a strong preference for a suburban lifestyle, and business is set up to cater to this preference.

How could it be otherwise, in a country that doesn't value city living?
Nothing in what you wrote is incorrect IMO. But, I do believe that there is a greater machine sustaining this: easy credit/automobiles/newly built suburban roads and housing/keeping the economy afloat. How can anything change when the country, from politics to businesses to individuals, is completely dedicated to a spiral of sustaining sales for cars and housing? Loans for expensive vehicles and housing in the form of suburbanization and the promised dream keeps things very much tilted. We measure our whole country's financial health on these things...

I'm not saying some people don't prefer a yard, but it's not an even playing field at all. And city real estate will become the next thing that the machine gobbles up (if not already), especially as city living becomes more mainstream. But because the profits aren't there as much for transit, that's why you see people living a suburban life when they move into cities. It's why Philly has so many garage-fronted row homes. Or so many cars parked on its streets. It's also why public projects don't happen as much as they should. If it's a piece of land, someone wants to make money on it. Few consider the larger picture of public life here and how we interact with one another.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,327,543 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
Really? What makes you say that? Iím just curious. Donít get me wrong, I love a good skyline but I think actual urbanness is way more important.
It was sarcasm.
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:00 PM
 
2,289 posts, read 1,294,216 times
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Default reply to That_one_guy

The topic of sky lines was discussed in another thread. I recall posting that, if given a choice between between a sky line or urbanity, I would go with urbanity.
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Cbus
1,720 posts, read 1,400,204 times
Reputation: 2089
Why public transportation in America generally sucks?

In no particular order...

1. We (our government) physically shaped our country around the automobile e.g. "urban renewal", surface lots, the highway act, Levittown etc.

2. Americans value individuality and independence. Western Europe for example has a much more "collective" mindset. Our preferences for transportation reflect this value system.

3. Funding. I don't know the exact % but I can assure you that the (vast) majority of transportation funding goes to higway construction, maintenance and related autocentric project e.g. bridges.

4. The U.S. is vast and spread out besides a few dense urban clusters. Those dense urban clusters do have adequate to above adequate public transportation e.g. Chicago, NY, D.C., Boston, Seattle, SF, Philadelphia etc.

Population density

Japan: 319 per sq. mile
U.K: 702 per sq. mile
France: 319 per sq. mile
Germany: 601 per sq. mile
U.S.: 86 per sq. mile
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:58 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,886 times
Reputation: 1810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye614 View Post
Why public transportation in America generally sucks?

In no particular order...

1. We (our government) physically shaped our country around the automobile e.g. "urban renewal", surface lots, the highway act, Levittown etc.

2. Americans value individuality and independence. Western Europe for example has a much more "collective" mindset. Our preferences for transportation reflect this value system.

3. Funding. I don't know the exact % but I can assure you that the (vast) majority of transportation funding goes to higway construction, maintenance and related autocentric project e.g. bridges.

4. The U.S. is vast and spread out besides a few dense urban clusters. Those dense urban clusters do have adequate to above adequate public transportation e.g. Chicago, NY, D.C., Boston, Seattle, SF, Philadelphia etc.

Population density

Japan: 319 per sq. mile
U.K: 702 per sq. mile
France: 319 per sq. mile
Germany: 601 per sq. mile
U.S.: 86 per sq. mile
Agree with all your points except using population density to justify why we don't have good public transit in this country. And to be completely objective, even the larger cities you've mentioned - Chicago, DC, Boston, Seattle, SF - have transit that are far below global standards of similarly sized cities with similar amounts of economic activity and wealth.

Also, highly developed countries like Sweden and Canada have far lower population densities than the U.S. - 57/sqmile for Sweden and barely 3.7/sqmile for Canada, yet both countries' major urban centers boast far more developed and well-maintained public transit (and with much higher transit adoption as a % of urban population), with public transit investment frequently cited as one of the high priority policies by both national governments.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,327,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
Agree with all your points except using population density to justify why we don't have good public transit in this country. And to be completely objective, even the larger cities you've mentioned - Chicago, DC, Boston, Seattle, SF - have transit that are far below global standards of similarly sized cities with similar amounts of economic activity and wealth.

Also, highly developed countries like Sweden and Canada have far lower population densities than the U.S. - 57/sqmile for Sweden and barely 3.7/sqmile for Canada, yet both countries' major urban centers boast far more developed and well-maintained public transit (and with much higher transit adoption as a % of urban population), with public transit investment frequently cited as one of the high priority policies by both national governments.
Couldn't agree more. The US has so much undeveloped land, even with all the sprawl we develop, and the country's population density has no bearing whatsoever. It's our development patterns that matter and expose our priorities.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:49 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
Reputation: 7737
PlanPhilly | Analysis: How SEPTA can turn Regional Rail in Philly into high-frequency rapid transit
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:12 AM
 
2,473 posts, read 2,854,415 times
Reputation: 2064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye614 View Post
Why public transportation in America generally sucks?

In no particular order...

1. We (our government) physically shaped our country around the automobile e.g. "urban renewal", surface lots, the highway act, Levittown etc.

2. Americans value individuality and independence. Western Europe for example has a much more "collective" mindset. Our preferences for transportation reflect this value system.

3. Funding. I don't know the exact % but I can assure you that the (vast) majority of transportation funding goes to higway construction, maintenance and related autocentric project e.g. bridges.

4. The U.S. is vast and spread out besides a few dense urban clusters. Those dense urban clusters do have adequate to above adequate public transportation e.g. Chicago, NY, D.C., Boston, Seattle, SF, Philadelphia etc.

Population density

Japan: 319 per sq. mile
U.K: 702 per sq. mile
France: 319 per sq. mile
Germany: 601 per sq. mile
U.S.: 86 per sq. mile
Some of what you say is true, albeit disturbing. The individuality/libertarian mindset of the US has led to an 'every man/woman for his/herself mentality where public institutions and infrastructure suffer because so many people don't want to ante-up for the good of the community <--- Republicans/Libertarians have obfuscated the discussion to tar individuals speaking of this as socialists or, worse, communists. 'If I can afford a home away from the city and all it's problems and live with people who look and think like me, why should I support those poor folks in the city who are different by paying taxes for such things as public transit when I have my car, my malls, my freeways, schools, etc...' Fortunately there are some communities in the South and west (LA, Denver, ... even Salt Lake City) who are correcting their past error/sprawl-y ways by taxing themselves to build significant rapid transit/commuter rail systems. So all is not lost.

However, your comments about the USA's lack of density hampering transit growth is way off the mark. Canada has a land mass significantly larger than ours but only has 1/10th our population and, yet, all of their cities over 500K have quality mass transit systems ... and these systems are growing. So overall nation density has nothing to do with it. In this case, however, political mentality means everything... And when you look at land usage around a some of Canada's big cities, like Montreal, you see tight, dense urban areas surrounded by open, untouched rural land. Obviously, they have much tighter zoning control. Here in the USA, cities sprawl not only with low density cul de sac development, but also light industrial uses that would be better served, and more convenient, to a greater number people, if these were inside the city or close in suburbs with quality transit. In the United States, open land = a potential gold mine.

Again, everyone for themselves. Not a conducive environment for mass transit growth, which is why our mass transit, overall, is the worst in the industrialized world. Even a number of less developed countries have superior transit than the U.S., which is frustrating.

Last edited by TheProf; 10-17-2017 at 09:32 AM..
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