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Old 10-01-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
7,909 posts, read 12,161,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infamous92 View Post
Lol, I don't know how true my post is though, I read it on some other website (I forgot what it was).
Haha. Alright, we'll have to find out.

One thing is for sure though, the reason why nothing had been built before is because that part of Queens is relatively newly populated. My father grew up in the area south of Jamaica Center along Merrick. I've seen pictures from when he was a kid of the Apple orchards and horse stables that used to be in that area. Amazing when you think it was just 50 years ago.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Long Island/NYC
11,334 posts, read 17,085,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
Haha. Alright, we'll have to find out.

One thing is for sure though, the reason why nothing had been built before is because that part of Queens is relatively newly populated. My father grew up in the area south of Jamaica Center along Merrick. I've seen pictures from when he was a kid of the Apple orchards and horse stables that used to be in that area. Amazing when you think it was just 50 years ago.
Wow I never knew there were Apple Orchards and Horse Stables only 50 years ago, I knew there were farms and things like that but I thought it was like at least 100 years ago. It's crazy how time really flies, it's a major downtown area now and the area southeast of Jamaica Center (along Merrick) has a lot of car washes/gas stations, an MTA bus depot, storage, construction materials, etc. once you get about a block away from Merrick it's houses.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
7,909 posts, read 12,161,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infamous92 View Post
Wow I never knew there were Apple Orchards and Horse Stables only 50 years ago, I knew there were farms and things like that but I thought it was like at least 100 years ago. It's crazy how time really flies, it's a major downtown area now and the area southeast of Jamaica Center (along Merrick) has a lot of car washes/gas stations, an MTA bus depot, storage, construction materials, etc. once you get about a block away from Merrick it's houses.
Yup. I spent just about every summer and christmas in that neighborhood and most of my extended family lives there.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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What about Honolulu if you lived downtown? Everything is close since the island is small.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:55 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 7 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
Ugh! Why is it that somebody always has to do a book report to prove a point about Atlanta.

Contrary to popular belief, Atlanta does have a robust public transportation system. MARTA serves 1.8 million people in Fulton and Dekalb counties. About 300,000 people use the system each day, or a little less than 1/4 of it's service area's population. Most people in the service area will use it at least several times a year.



The MARTA train system covers the City of Atlanta along a North/South and East/West access. Additional, the East train line cover's central Dekalb county and the North and South lines cover the inner burbs of East Point, College Park, and Sandy Springs (which has 3 train stations). It doesn't stop there however:



MARTA also has an extensive bus network of 131 bus routes that covers the majority of Fulton and Dekalb counties. Where ever the train doesn't go, the bus does. Most neighborhoods are serviced by at least 1 bus, while major neighborhoods can have as many as 5 intersecting routes.

Now you might say that this isn't as great as having more subway service and more polluting. I'd mostly agree on the first point, but not on the second. Most of Atlanta's neighborhoods and inner suburbs were designed as street car suburbs. What seems like an tangled mess of unplanned streets is a by product of the fact that the City of Atlanta originally was confined to the area of Downtown Atlanta and then a few years later Midtown. That is why when you look at a map of the City of Atlanta, Downtown and Midtown are laid out on a grid plan but the rest of the city isn't for the most part. Those areas were tied to the central city by Street car and were individually designed by developers before they were annexed into the city over the years.

Secondly, 450 of MARTA's 600 buses run on compressed natural gas, reducing emissions of diesel run buses by 95%.

In addition to this system, MARTA operates a Paratransit system of shuttles that disabled and elderly people can utilize for door step service. The shuttle will drive them directly to the train and once they get off at their stop they can either walk, transfer to a bus, or arrange for another paratransit pickup.

But transit in Atlanta still doesn't end here.

The outlying counties of Cobb, Gwinnett, and Clayton counties run their own bus systems. Unfortunately their systems aren't as well developed, but they do connect directly to the MARTA train system. The State of Georgia also operates and express bus service directly into the city center from several other counties in the Metropolitan Atlanta Area.

You might ask though, why don't those counties have MARTA service. It isn't because of bad planning.



The area in the map in the central loop shows how far the train lines were supposed to go. The MARTA planners had the foresight back in the 1960s to know that the biggest population gains would be in the suburbs. Unfortunately, due to NIMBYism and the race politics of the time, the plan was killed and only Fulton and Dekalb counties decided to fund MARTA.

Going back the MARTA service area though, living without a car here is very simple. Sure, it has it's draw backs. Some very heavily populated areas of the city are not serviced by the train (a problem that Atlanta's future light rail and Street car system will mostly remedy) and have sporadic bus service. If for instance someone wanted to go from Downtown to the middle of Ponce De Leon Avenue in eastern Atlanta, the trip would take a little longer than expect. But here is the key to this equation: WANT.

In the city of Atlanta proper, people only will have a WANT to go to the another neighborhood and rarely will have an serious NEED to go to another neighborhood. Within walking distance of my house, and every other neighborhood in the CIty that I have lived in, i can buy groceries, shop for clothes, watch a movie or several other forms of entertainment.

The big difference with Atlanta however is that people also have the option of driving easily too. Parking is abundant in most neighborhoods (except for Midtown and Downtown where it's down right expensive). Gas is also cheap too. A gallon of premium is averaging $2.50. Incidentally, last year when gas prices skyrocketed, MARTA usage jumped 50%. How is that possible if MARTA is crappy and doesn't serve any area of need?

So go ahead Atlanta haters. Ignore facts and figures and maps and stuff. I know you all will find a way to move the goal posts once again.
The bus systems in the suburbs are not enough. A rail is needed to connect those suburbs directly to Atlanta. It takes too long to take a bus from Busbee Pkwy in Kennesaw to the Civic Center station because you still have traffic to deal with. A rail going directly to Atlanta is necessary.

The suburban counties using the racialised attitudes and NIMBY attitude, well, they didn't want to fund it for those reasons. This would have been the better solution: Make MARTA a privately run company. Getting a private company to set up a rail line would be better. The suburban counties wouldn't have to say they wouldn't fund it because it wouldn't be their money going into it. Someone else would be taking care of that.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:03 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,263,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
The bus systems in the suburbs are not enough. A rail is needed to connect those suburbs directly to Atlanta. It takes too long to take a bus from Busbee Pkwy in Kennesaw to the Civic Center station because you still have traffic to deal with. A rail going directly to Atlanta is necessary.

The suburban counties using the racialised attitudes and NIMBY attitude, well, they didn't want to fund it for those reasons. This would have been the better solution: Make MARTA a privately run company. Getting a private company to set up a rail line would be better. The suburban counties wouldn't have to say they wouldn't fund it because it wouldn't be their money going into it. Someone else would be taking care of that.
The thread topic was about cities that are livable without a car...you are pointing to suburbs, which I agree with you that more of them should be connected by rail (a decent number of them are - Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Decatur, East Point, College Park, Stone Mountain, Doraville, Chamblee) - especially Cobb, Douglas, Clayton, and Gwinnett.
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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It's interesting that the cities often mentioned as livable without cars tend to be compact--such as Boston and San Francisco.

I've lived in both and having a car in either city seemed a hardship rather than convenient...narrow streets in Boston laid out for horse, and in SF, a lack of parking and the geography and towing laws make for happy walking and unhappy driving.

NYC was always fun to visit and the lively street scene made for many long walks--and being flat helped a lot, too.

Long walks in SF's hilly terrain were quite a work-out--but the vistas of the Bay, the architecture of the Victorians and the cool weather made walking ever interesting and delightful...and if you ever got tired, you could rest by 'leaning against a hill.'
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:59 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,406,006 times
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I don't think it matters if the city itself is compact, as long as you, personally, aren't living a life that requires a great amount of travel; I lived in LA without driving, and LA is certainly a huge and sprawling city, yet it was very easy for me to get around. We lived in SF without a car, too, and there were still parts of the city we rarely visited because it was too far (not in distance, but because muni could be such a big hassle, and made getting to, say, Bernal Heights from the Richmond such a painfully slow experience). Our life in SF was -- for most daily purposes -- lived in a fairly compact area (mostly between the Richmond and downtown, with most of my days spent within a two-mile range of our apartment). I think the key is looking for compact parts of the city where it's possible to do that (where everything you need is within walking distance, and you're connected to everything else you need or want through good public transportation options), and not to get distracted by actual city limits.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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Good points above. Yes, it's wise to think in terms of neighborhood amenities and how close they are..are they walkable? Most people will walk to things within a 1/4 mile of their home and not too much beyond that if they've things to tote/carry.

I've lived in very walkable city neighborhoods and now live in a very walkable (and bike-able) small town where living without a car would be very easy even though there's no public transit. I can walk/bike to everything I need.

I lived once in the suburbs and having a car was mandatory, no neighborhood shopping, had to drive to box box stores. This didn't work for me, I like to walk and bike. I love real neighborhoods with locally-owned stores and shops.

The planning part of where to settle is crucial is one desires a car-free life...
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: STL
1,124 posts, read 3,225,044 times
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Pretty much all of the central corridor in St. Louis is at least somewhat walkable (Downtown, Midtown (especially SLU campus), Central West End, Delmar Loop, and parts of Clayton, MO)

Also, the South Grand area and Tower Grove South on the southside are pretty walkable depending on where ya are.
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