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Old 06-24-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: VA
241 posts, read 905,569 times
Reputation: 108

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VRE332 View Post
No it's not, it's because they hate the Russians. Use less imported energy and nobody can bully you around.
Therefore, they're energy conscious due to a reason other than less sprawl, i.e. Hatred, NOT because of the lack of "sprawl". Thank you for proving my point
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:23 PM
 
131 posts, read 371,597 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samara11 View Post
Europeans are much much more energy consumption conscious than Americans, thats why they use less energy.... and that is because its expensive for them plus they have energy production & distribution issues (heard about the recent gas crisis?). So basically, they will not leave the whole house lighted all day and forget to switch off the lights/air conditioning, they do not take their resources for granted (as they're hard to come by) while we do. It is not due to sprawl's lack or abundance. We, the Americans just waste too much energy, maybe because we're lazy or we just don't care or better yet, we get it easily so we like wasting it.

Yes, I agree that sprawl has negative effects on natural resources, agricultural land, city resources, etc. It harms mother nature.... thats why its considered not good. But then, like I said.... its very natural for sprawl to occur when your population grows. Its human nature to consume what we can and to move on and spread out in search of better things.

I'm not too familiar with what our European counterparts are getting for living efficiently. Care to enlighten me?

P.S. I agree with you on a lot of points, but to blame it all on "sprawl" is something I totally do not agree with.
I think the point is the government policies in the US promoted/promote sprawl, while in Europe, not so much. It's true its not all caused by the government - there are geographical differences - for example the US has much more land and produces a lot more oil then Europe.

you say what are you "getting for living efficiently". I don't get that. Why do you have to get something? Shouldn't efficiency be natural? Do you waste just because you can?
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,514,804 times
Reputation: 448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samara11 View Post
Europeans are much much more energy consumption conscious than Americans, thats why they use less energy.... and that is because its expensive for them plus they have energy production & distribution issues (heard about the recent gas crisis?).
There might be some truth to this, but the vast difference in "energy consumption" mostly comes from the use of oil. Electric power usage is more comparable.

I think Americans have been somewhat brainwashed into believing they are radically different than Europeans (or any other human beings for that matter). The Europeans adapt to their environment and we adapt to ours. It's just that ours is a bit different because of different policies.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:33 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,353,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwertman View Post
Do you waste just because you can?
No, we waste because we have big bombs. Nukes to be more precise.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:13 PM
 
Location: VA
241 posts, read 905,569 times
Reputation: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwertman View Post
you say what are you "getting for living efficiently". I don't get that. Why do you have to get something? Shouldn't efficiency be natural? Do you waste just because you can?
I was asking JakilaTheHun the question, as he/she said, and I quote:
"My main argument here is that the Federal and state governments have essentially distorted the market and passed on the negative costs affected with this sprawl onto the taxpayers, which is one reason why it might seem like we have a high tax burden but get very little when compared to our European counterparts (I'm not ignoring the military and social security; there are issues there, as well, but state and local taxation is more directly affected by sprawl)."
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:38 PM
 
907 posts, read 2,917,975 times
Reputation: 666
Default I think the hikes are great

Punishing the drivers (as opposed to the savvy metro riders ) as one poster put it, is well, right on.

When I lived in Japan 15 years ago, some tolls were the equivelant of $25. You couldn't buy a car unless you could veify that you had a parking spot for it. There is/was a greater sense of your impact on the environment there. Here, in the states, it's all about "ME." Doesn't it show??

Last edited by Skatergirl; 06-24-2009 at 05:39 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,133 posts, read 67,240,082 times
Reputation: 15769
I may be the one who posted a rant on here not long ago complaining abuot the outrageous tolls on the Dulles "GreedWay," but if the tolls will be hiked on the remaining stretch of Route 267 between Dulles and the Beltway to $1.50 then I'm all for it, as I think that's a REASONABLE price to charge. I complained about the "GreedWay" because it is unconscionable to expect me to pay $3.90 each way (nearly $8 round-trip) just to get from Reston to Brambleton because NoVA's urban planners didn't think too intelligently a decade or two ago about how to build more east/west arteries to link NW Fairfax County to Eastern Loudoun County, both of which are very rapidly growing areas (saying "There's a big airport in the way" is a stupid excuse, as you can still find ways to pave roads around it to help relieve congestion on the 7, the 50, and the 267).

As far as the "sprawl" issue is concerned, you ought to be well aware that 99.9% of people on this sub-forum think plowing over vast hectares of historic farmlands, verdant meadows, and dense foliage for taupe or beige vinyl-sided McMansions (which they can't afford to fully furnish) with oversized garages large enough to cater to their Hummers and Escalades (in which they drive solo to work while tailgating people like me in our small cars) is "awesome!" Drink that Kool-Aid of conspicuous consumption! Conservation is for losers! Yeah!!! The only "good" sprawl I've found in Loudoun County is Brambleton, cdmurphy's neighborhood, because it gives people the option of a suburban atmosphere while their children can still bike or run to play in a park, their teens can hang out at the movies or Johnny Rocket's, they can go shopping at Harris Teeter, they can go as a family to see small concerts, etc. all without having to detrimentally impact our environment by hopping into their Hummers. I'm not familiar with Normie's neighborhood of Cascades, but from what I hear it is similar in composition to Brambleton, and, as such, is acceptable in my book. I fail to see how places like Loudoun Valley Estates or much of South Riding improve the quality-of-life of existing people in Loudoun County over having open space and parklands whereas Brambleton meets the need to house people efficiently, attractively, and conveniently, but then again what do I know---I've been told time after time that I'm not allowed to have an opinion on this forum because people times often disagree with it. (CRY ME A RIVER!)

I already know I'll be butting heads REGULARLY with numerous people here in Reston in regards to the land usage issue because while I promote dense transit-oriented development (so we can accommodate many new residents in Reston with minimal vehicular traffic congestion impact on our roads) numerous others want it to stay the same way it was in the 1960s, completely oblivious to all of the population projections that show NoVA continuing to explode in growth, including Reston, and how we need to EMBRACE the impending arrival of our much-needed Metrorail line instead of condemning it. People in Reston have already bastardized the Metro, claiming that it will "Arlingtonize" Reston. So what? Been to Arlington lately? I have, and it's a MUCH nicer place to walk/bike around than Reston because that community was laid out keeping pedestrians in mind whereas Reston (while founded upon that same principle by a brilliant man) has now horribly failed to adhere to those original plans by selling out to developers over the years (hence why I also wonder why we're making a new master plan NOW if, like our founder Bob Simon's original master plans, they'll just be overlooked by this ineptly-governed county?!)

Look, folks. NoVA is going to continue to grow like a hungry, hungry hippo. There's PLENTY of jobs here at a time when most of the rest of the nation is reeling from a severe recession (that is thankfully just starting to abate under a new presidential administration). Our public schools, overall, are EXCELLENT (despite some of the snobs calling many schools "awful")---I would have killed for the PRIVILEGE of attending a NoVA-quality school in NEPA growing up, and yet you all take that for granted. One of the prime reasons I love living here though is our proximity to both Washington, DC AND natural scenic beauty and rural retreats. I'm sure many others (perhaps not Normie since she has made it clear where she stands on saying, to paraphrase "landowners should be able to do whatever they want whoever they want; it's a free country") would want to keep that intact. I like being able to drive thirty minutes east and go clubbing in NW DC. I also like being able to drive thirty minutes west and be immersed in nature. If some of you had your way all of Loudoun County would be a giant sprawling wasteland---replete with Wal-Marts, parking lots, eight-lane roadways, bland office parks, unoriginal tract-housing, and perhaps even a Macaroni Grill next-door to a Wal-Mart for good touch.

People now commute to work in DC from FOUR STATES, not including the District. We already have the second-worst traffic congestion in the nation due to the indifference/hostility many here have towards long-range planning to accommodate growth. How much further out are we going to commercialize before we put our feet down so that our posterity can enjoy the very same natural beauty that we so often take for granted? Samara, while I highly revere you on this forum, you have to realize where I come from in my position. You live in Leesburg and are currently able to drive just ten minutes outside of town to enjoy equestrian retreats, winding backroads, farms, meadows, hiking, wineries, antiquing, etc. Do you want your children to be able to grow up in Leesburg and enjoy the same, or do you want that to be replaced by Wal-Marts and Macaroni Grills?

DC is royally damned in the planning aspect because due to the height restrictions in our nation's capital, coupled with the exorbitant cost for office space, there isn't one centralized "core" in our area. Instead even Fairfax County doesn't even know where it's true "heart" is (it claims to now have identified Tyson's as the "downtown" of Fairfax County, but Reston is also making that claim, as are other areas of the county, leading to even MORE competition and confusion). Major employers exist all over NoVA, Maryland, AND DC alike, meaning mass transit can't really effectively service all areas it should be able to. Someone brought up Atlanta in this thread, and while its sprawl is inarguably WORSE than that here in NoVA (although we're catching up to them), they still have the right idea in that they are now heavily investing and "infilling" Atlanta proper as the entire region's only "core," with well-defined inner and outer suburbs. Someday Atlanta's three distinctive skylines will all merge to form one mega-skyline that will rival that of Chicago or NYC (in 50-75 years' time, most likely). MARTA will continue to expand, improving traffic flow between Atlanta's primarily residential suburbs and its uber-dense employment/nightlife/commercial hub of the city proper. In DC we can't have that---it's too late. Now we have people living in West Virginia and commuting to Tyson's along with people living in Brambleton and commuting to Bethesda along with people living in Rockville and commuting to Reston. It's just God-awful how decentralized this area's shopping, nightlife, employment, and other centers are, and, as such, I can't possibly envision things getting any better---they'll only get worse (much worse) in the coming decades as scores of more people move here and horribly congest our outdated roadways.

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 06-24-2009 at 06:04 PM.. Reason: Typographical Error
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:26 PM
 
786 posts, read 923,462 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Why should people who want to drive have to pay for those who want to ride a subway?
Less pollution, less global warming, less dependence on foreign oil, less traffic congestion.

I know the toll increases are a pain in the a$$, but the money has to come from somewhere.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,044 posts, read 19,880,473 times
Reputation: 7652
One factor missing from this discussiion, and becoming apparent during the crash investigation, is that Metro can't afford to fund it's existing service. When things keep getting worse, people are not going to use it as much as expected, especially on the Silver Line. In addition to that, the trains are running at 35 MPH today and stopping for up to 5 minutes at each station on the way. Imagine riding it at that speed from Loudon county to DC. Metro has to get funding and be maintained properly before we will ever see it take cars off of the Toll road.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:07 AM
 
240 posts, read 172,122 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
One factor missing from this discussiion, and becoming apparent during the crash investigation, is that Metro can't afford to fund it's existing service. When things keep getting worse, people are not going to use it as much as expected, especially on the Silver Line. In addition to that, the trains are running at 35 MPH today and stopping for up to 5 minutes at each station on the way. Imagine riding it at that speed from Loudon county to DC. Metro has to get funding and be maintained properly before we will ever see it take cars off of the Toll road.
Exactly, Metro has been underfunded for years. Why does it not surprise anyone that those series 1000 trains are still in service? Metro being tight for funds did anything they could to keep them running and put off replacing them as long as necessary.

Until Metro gets funded properly, it will never be a really excellent system. The expansion to Dulles will just put further dollar constraints on the system once up and running. It's going to cost even more money to mantain those tracks and trains. I can see things getting worse for Metro once the Silver line is in service, unless Metro gets more funding. All of Metro's problems stem from one basic thing, lack of properly funding it. Now it is expanding and I don't think anyone is thinking about the higher annual maintenance costs once the new line is up and running. If Metro can't properly fund and mantain it's existing service, I don't know why anyone thinks it is going to magically be able to mantain the new line either. The bucket of money required in the annual maintenance budget is going to need to grow more, and as it isn't being filled enough right now, that's not good.

In regards to another post by another contributor to this foum - as far as people driving Hummers, etc. - very nice to make such sweeping generalizations as in "you ought to be well aware that 99.9% of people on this sub-forum think plowing over vast hectares of historic farmlands, verdant meadows, and dense foliage for taupe or beige vinyl-sided McMansions (which they can't afford to fully furnish) with oversized garages large enough to cater to their Hummers and Escalades". 99.9% of people in this sub-forum? Get real. And here's a clue - most houses have 2 car garages and are pretty much standard size - 420 or 440 square feet. Enough of all the exaggerations and generalizations - and I don't think there's piles of people commuting from West Virginia to Tyson's Corner either - do you even realize how many miles that is each way, or how long a commute that would be? Good grief.
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