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Old 06-11-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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With all these massive public transportation venues being built, which cities in America will we be able to live in without the aid of a vehicle in 2020, which we can't live in today without our own transportation?

Denver and Charlotte come to mind, with their extensive light rail systems being built. What do you guys think?
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Denver, yes. Charlotte??? Meh, still has some ways to go. One thing is that there is a whole lot more redevelopment and gentrification going on in Denver than there is in Charlotte.

Only a handful will become more walkable. Here are the cities I think that will become more walkable.

Los Angeles
Denver
Atlanta
Houston
Dallas
San Diego
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Are you talking about places that will be totally vehicle-less or places where a majority of people will prefer mass transit for commuting and cross-town transit?

If the latter is what you meant then there are already several cities which fit that bill (NYC being the most obvious)

If you're wondering about the former, that will not happen for a long time, if ever, because you can't really stock stores or deliver industrial supplies via subway. Besides, 2020 is only 11 years of, and it takes almost that long just to build one new rail line.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Thumbs up to Denver.

I would also give Columbus OH the nod too...Ohio State really helps the area of course, but there has been plenty of infill within its core.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:52 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,127 posts, read 35,127,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nature's message View Post
Denver, yes. Charlotte??? Meh, still has some ways to go. One thing is that there is a whole lot more redevelopment and gentrification going on in Denver than there is in Charlotte.

Only a handful will become more walkable. Here are the cities I think that will become more walkable.

Los Angeles
Denver
Atlanta
Houston
Dallas
San Diego
By 2020, hopefully three things will have happened in Atlanta; if they do, the walkability factor will fivefold:

The completion of the Beltline System that will encircle the city with light rail and a chain of parks.
The completion of the Midtown Mile and Streets of Buckhead plans.
The state's relinquishment of control of transporation funds earmarked for MARTA.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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Not to argue with the larger point of your questions, but when talking about medium to big cities much of this is pretty subjective because it is possible to live in places like Denver today without a car. With expanding light rail systems it will be even easier for more people to do, of course. Most medium to big cities have at least acceptable public transit, and depending on choice of neighborhood and location of job you can get around without a car.

I am a major supporter of public transportation and of light rail, but do think that often when people with money, or more specifically, those who can afford to own a car, discuss this topic it's sometimes easy to forget that there are many, many people out there who get around without a car already in cities often thought of as car-mandatory cities. One of the benefits of any form of rail transit is that it does get more middle and upper class people out of their cars and off the streets; buses don't have the same drawing power, and when it comes down to choice between a bus and a car often those with a choice will go with a car. Throw in the option of a train and more and more people will make a different choice.

Still, to get at the root of your question, I think many cities will continue to improve their transportation options, making it easier to convince those who have a choice to stick with public transportation (or walking, or biking, etc.), while also improving the transit opportunities to the residents who are already using the system as it is now. LA's system is actually pretty good, and there are many walkable areas of the city, but it will improve dramatically as new rail and subway lines are added. Minneapolis is dragging its feet (or the metro area is, to be more exact) but it will improve, too, as new light rail lines are added to the one existing line. I've never lived in Houston, but have been on its bus and light rail system. I think it will continue to improve, too, and will be a much easier place to live without a car in the coming decades.

I think car sharing services are a great idea, too, and certainly make it easier for people to make the decision to give up owning a car. I think those will continue to expand, both to new cities and within cities with existing programs. For many of my friends they seem to offer the final "missing link" making it easier to make the final decision to ditch the car altogether. They give you the option of access to a car for those time that bus, train, bike, or foot won't work or aren't practical, but without the expenses and hassles of actually owning a car that you only use a couple of times a month or even week.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:03 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,234 posts, read 23,751,992 times
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Denver sounds about right. Much of LA will also be walkable provided they can actually fund their plans (which is true of all the cities).

I do want to mention that even in cities with a bad rep for public transit, its usually possible to live without private car use in any of the large cities. It really depends more on the neighborhood and where one's job is located. It's a lot of just doing the legwork both figuratively (research and planning) and literally (well, you walk or maybe bike).
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:57 PM
 
13,620 posts, read 22,078,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
By 2020, hopefully three things will have happened in Atlanta; if they do, the walkability factor will fivefold:

The completion of the Beltline System that will encircle the city with light rail and a chain of parks.
The completion of the Midtown Mile and Streets of Buckhead plans.
The state's relinquishment of control of transporation funds earmarked for MARTA.

Completion of the Beltline and the implementation of commuter rail system is a must for Atlanta to achieve "walkable" status.


And they are easily attainable...
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,724,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nature's message View Post
Denver, yes. Charlotte??? Meh, still has some ways to go. One thing is that there is a whole lot more redevelopment and gentrification going on in Denver than there is in Charlotte.

Only a handful will become more walkable. Here are the cities I think that will become more walkable.

Los Angeles
Denver
Atlanta
Houston
Dallas
San Diego
no.....it's going to be take longer than 11 years to make these cities truly walkable.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,305 posts, read 3,097,622 times
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None. We'll all get around with jetpacks by then.
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