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Old 01-22-2013, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,561,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Which really aren't properly characterized as suburbs at all now and in most instances are for intents and purposes, central city neighborhoods now. They we're frequently built on grids, with interconnected streets, most houses in narrow lots, mixed use and all-in-all quite urban.

They bare almost no resemblance to the modern post war automobile oriented suburbs, built on dendritic pattern of roads on large lots, in pod-like separation and not urban at all.

Frequently on these discussions someone invariable points to a streetcar suburb as evidence suburbs aren't terrible places. Streetcar suburbs are not the same animal as modern suburbs and not properly characterized as such.
Many people have chosen to live in suburbs due to want or need.

[that's all the defense that is necessary]

 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:03 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33058
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Hipster these days generally used as a negative; it's describing yourself as 1-D stereotype, not something anyone would want to describe themselves.

As to "urbanista" I found it slightly offensive but didn't mind enough to complain much. But thanks for stopping. And unlike "sprawlites" urbanista was aimed at particular people on the forum. It's hard to figure out who counts as "hard-core" by your definition, I assumed I might count. In any case, I'll present a "hard-core urbanista" view. If one's looking for an urban, non-car reliant neighborhood, one has to look at something more urban than (most) but not all streetcar suburbs.

Old Urbanist: Downtown is for People

It could be said that Detroit was a city built around the automobile before the automobile existed. Low-density, use-segregated, single-family detached homes on wide streets lent themselves to motorized personal transport much more than mass transit. And once the car had arrived, why not simply move the department store, the supermarket, and even the workplace itself closer to one's residence?
I don't think I referred to any specific person on this forum as a "hipster"; none of the posters fit my mental picture of same. I never thought of you, nei, as an "urbanista", you don't even live in a large city or environs, though you are from the "Big Apple". Nor did I ever think of Hands as an "urbanista", if anything he seems to have a better grasp of reality than a lot of people on this forum. And, he drives a truck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I will desist. In most cities with good transit, however, it wouldn't be an issue.




Which ones were designed with the dominant mode of transport something other than auto? I'm not aware of any, personally.
The early suburbs, immediately post-war, were designed at a time when many households did not own even one car, and few owned two. If they had a car, dad went off to work in it, and mom stayed home and took the bus.

Society in The 1950s

Statistics are hard to find when you're looking for them, this link (above) says that by 1960 80% of families had one car and 15% had two. I couldn't find a stat for how many had them in 1945; substantially less though.

I recently heard on the History Channel that in the post war period, 80% of homes were built in the suburbs. So they must have had some sort of bus service. The suburban area where I lived as a kid in the 50s/60s had bus service. My own area was old, but there were newer homes being built nearby.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,099,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post
ITYM not inflammatory enough, and just as ignorant as referring to urbanites as "roach herders."



It funny you mention this. I have a friend who used to take the subway from Scarborough to downtown Toronto to work. She said this used to take 90 minutes on average. Since moving to Oshawa (aka "the subburbs") her commute has been reduced to 75 minutes, which is directly in line with my commute from Oshawa to Toronto as well.

Yep... City living sure has its benefits!
Except Scarborough only became part of "the city" in 1998, by annexation. This anecdote doesn't exactly make your point, IMO.

Anyway, there are usually cases where the furthest reaches of a subway line are further, timewise, from the center of the city than a suburb on a commuter rail line. I could think of a few examples of this in NYC and its surroundings.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,099,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Nor did I ever think of Hands as an "urbanista", if anything he seems to have a better grasp of reality than a lot of people on this forum. .
*beams*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
And, he drives a truck!.
Just like Scott Brown!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The early suburbs, immediately post-war, ..
The early suburbs were pre-war, but ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
were designed at a time when many households did not own even one car, and few owned two. If they had a car, dad went off to work in it, and mom stayed home and took the bus..
One car was the minimum for the 1950s suburbs, and 99% of people moving to places like a Levittown either had one or purchased one upon arrival (I'd be willing to bet there were package deals). Overall car ownership percentages won't really satisfy this point, but what we think of as post-war, veterans' preference, tract housing suburban development ABSOLUTELY was designed around familes owning A car. Just look at the brochures and magazines from the era.



Note the carport.





^ Not a lot of 0 car households in development of this shape.



^note the carport

Yes it was not common for more than one car for several years, but many women didn't work, and many more didn't drive. My grandparents had one car when they moved from NYC to a 'burb in the mid 50s. My grandmother didn't ever learn to drive, though the car was at her disposal all day because my grandfather also drove a truck (professionally) that he took home. Interestingly, a lot of HOAs probably would not permit parking of such a work vehicle these days.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:29 PM
bg7
 
7,697 posts, read 8,163,628 times
Reputation: 15093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Which really aren't properly characterized as suburbs at all now and in most instances are for intents and purposes, central city neighborhoods now. They we're frequently built on grids, with interconnected streets, most houses in narrow lots, mixed use and all-in-all quite urban.

They bare almost no resemblance to the modern post war automobile oriented suburbs, built on dendritic pattern of roads on large lots, in pod-like separation and not urban at all.

Frequently on these discussions someone invariable points to a streetcar suburb as evidence suburbs aren't terrible places. Streetcar suburbs are not the same animal as modern suburbs and not properly characterized as such.
Actually it is your problem, and your ilk that unthinkingly use the word suburb (usually when its an anathema to them of course) when they actually mean "auto-centric modern suburb", or even exurb. I live in an NYC suburb. The town was founded in the 1600s, it has a small walkable main street, a 35 min railroad ride to Grand Central terminal, bus service, sidewalks galore, small lot sizes, a bakers, a butchers .. the list goes on. You try telling anyone living in Manhattan that I don't live in a suburb. They'll laugh you out of the room. And they are correct, because I do live in a suburb. So when YOU talk about "suburbs" be more nuanced in your description, lest you appear ignorant.

You can ghold onto some 1950s defintion, but it isn't the 1950s. Its like someone using the word ghetto then getting frustrated that people don't realize he really means 16th century Venice. Its not their problem.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:32 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,099,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
You try telling anyone living in Manhattan that I don't live in a suburb. They'll laugh you out of the room. And they are correct, because I do live in a suburb. So when YOU talk about "suburbs" be more nuanced in your description, lest you appear ignorant.
You do live in the suburb, though as you say, it's very difficult to get people (both urbanites and suburbanites) to understand that they are not all created equal. However, the reason for your troubles is that the type of development your Manhattan friends imagine is overwhelmingly more common that the type in which you reside.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:36 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The early suburbs, immediately post-war, were designed at a time when many households did not own even one car, and few owned two. If they had a car, dad went off to work in it, and mom stayed home and took the bus.
True, though I'd suspect those who moved to the newer homes tended to be more likely to own a car than average. I'd assume there was bus service, that doesn't mean it was particularly convenient but usable for those with lots of time on their hands (such as a housewife). Plenty of auto-centric suburbs have bus service today, but it often has low ridership and is impractical for most.

Take Levittown, NY built around 1948. It is auto-centric in many ways and appears built in a way that assumes car would be the primary mode of transport though there is bus service. Here's a major commercial street:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Levit...2.81,,0,-16.79

Intersections are few and the road is wide, making crossings difficult. If you X and look at the street grid, you can see it's not a convenient walk to the commercial road (Hempstead Turnpike) for many of the residences nearby, a circuitous walk is required due to the ungridded shape. And anyone who wanted to take a bus would be required to walk to one of the major roads. Today, Hempstead Turnpike has a bus every 15 minutes (10 minutes at a few points) at rush hour. Another commercial road, Jersalum Avenue, is less frequent.


Here's an older Long Island suburb, built around a train station:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Rockv...,-4.74&start=0

The stores are flush against the street, suggesting they weren't built with cars in mind. Stores appear close together and easier to walk to. There are also more intersections and the street layout doesn't have similar convoluted walks as the Levittown one. There's a cluster of apartment buildings by the neighborhood center in the Rockville Centre one but otherwise like Levittown, they're both mostly detached single family homes.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,099,778 times
Reputation: 3117
NEI's post accurately makes the points that BG7 and I attempt to make.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 02:44 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Anyway, there are usually cases where the furthest reaches of a subway line are further, timewise, from the center of the city than a suburb on a commuter rail line. I could think of a few examples of this in NYC and its surroundings.
There's a number. But the time benefit is often lost if your workplace isn't close enough to the commuter rail station, requiring a long walk or subway. Also is more expensive. Living walking distance to a closer-in commuter station and a job very close to the terminal station is the best situation.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 03:05 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,031 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
No he's not! Anyone who doesn't live in a city, according to him, is a "sprawlite".

Here are some of his statements:


(Emphasis mine)



( Again, emphasis mine)



I will add, let Komeht explain which suburbs he feels are sprawl suburbs. It sounds like he means all post-war suburbs. Am I right, K?

Been out all day on business, had to go through some of the worst, soul killing sprawl imaginable - big box stores, carl's junior's, subdivisions full of ticky-tack. . .it was dreadful. Thankfully, I'm back in the city where I belong - looking forward to responding.

It might be sprawl if its:

Low density
Auto-centric, car dependent
mostly single use zoning
greenfield development
dendritic roads
largely developed as pods

common elements in sprawl are: housing subdivisions, strip malls, office parks, fast food chains, shopping malls, and big box stores

You might be a sprawlite if you live in sprawl or support the land use policies, zoning and other regulations that makes sprawl possible.

Last edited by Komeht; 01-22-2013 at 03:26 PM..
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