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Old 01-29-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,094 posts, read 16,138,912 times
Reputation: 12696

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Funny that this thread is kind of blending into the other thread on grocery stores. But access to grocery stores is relevant to the issue of car independence, right?

I can only speak from experience, but the few examples of easy access to large, urban grocery stores I can think of all come along with substantial price tags.

If you lived here, you could easily walk to the Safeway. Unless you're willing to live in someone's basement hovel, you're spending at least 2K to live here.
Yeah. I think the essentials for me are inexpensive restuarants, coffee shop, lowkey neighborhood bar, and a grocery store. Movie theaters, bookstores, random shopping, farmers markets, night clubs, are optional. The trick is to find a neighborhood that's gentrifying and not fully gentrified. So DuPont Circle may be out. In another 20 years the whole Belltown-South Lake Union-Capitol Hill area might be. It's not now, you can still find apartments for under $1000. More expensive than housing in the suburbs, but not prohibitively expensive. At least not yet. Some of the new buildings are... Aspira the 1bd apartments are over $2000 right across from an old building where yo can get one for $800 or so (maybe $1000 now).
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,328,326 times
Reputation: 11779
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I do have one question though... If you cannot live near a grocery store in NYC unless you are rich, and bodegas don't get it done... how do people in NYC eat???
LOL. It's called having a drawer full of menus from places that deliver.

Bodegas work for some people. They just don't work for me. If I'm inclined to cook, which happens two to three times per year, I'll go to Trader Joe's or a Fairway. But most days I order delivery or pick up burgers or something.

My wife cooks periodically and our refrigerator sometimes magically populates itself with groceries. I'll have to ask her where they come from.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,144,198 times
Reputation: 3985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breeon_RM View Post
So this raises the question: is the country or city lifestyle better/cheaper? While I cannot assume every older person (50+) is like this, what I see most commonly where I am from (Deep South) is that many older people here do not want to live in a city, or anywhere that would (I think) be best suited for the first forays into public transit such as a rail system (there is a bus system, but it does not go many places), largely because they have an aversion to densely-populated areas...and they pass on this opinion to their children. What I hear from a lot of folks is that it's cheaper to live out in the country and get a car (nothing fancy necessarily) than to move to the city and ditch the car. I don't know which is correct...I have heard plausible arguments from both sides. I do know that where I live, which is a pretty walkable neighborhood, everything. costs. more. The groceries, gas, etc.... so, I end up doing most of my shopping when visiting family and/or friends out in the suburbs and exurbs, which is where 90 percent of the people I know live. And ironically, my job is in the suburbs so I have a reverse commute (which is fine, I sail pass the backed up lanes on the other side of the freeway every morning).

But, take my dad, for instance, who is in his late fifties. As long as he is able to scratch, claw, and kick in resistance, you will not get him to move to a Manhattan, Chicago, or San Francisco-like metropolitan area. He is a self-proclaimed country boy and if he didn't have something to go hauling chickens/furniture/car parts in, I don't think he would know what to do with himself. I guess you would say he is car-dependent....because he likes to be 40-50 miles away from anything resembling civilization and most of our friends and family are spread out pretty far apart. But, he keeps his tools, he can fix transmissions, drop engines, repair brakes, fuel lines, hoses, etc... So he gets a relatively cheap used car and/or truck (mostly trucks) and maintains it for 5, 10, even 15 more years...but there were always at least two cars in the yard growing up, though, in case one went out of commission.

Soo...what gives?
Different strokes....
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,328,326 times
Reputation: 11779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Yeah. I think the essentials for me are inexpensive restuarants, coffee shop, lowkey neighborhood bar, and a grocery store.
I think the big essential for me is living off the right subway line. That's first and foremost. Everything else is a luxury. I don't need to go grocery shopping every day, but I do need to ride the train every day. I think where you work and the train you need to take dictates where you live more than anything else. Since I hardly ever go to the grocery store, that's something I've never really considered when making a decision about where to live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
The trick is to find a neighborhood that's gentrifying and not fully gentrified.
That's what I did when I bought. But you come at things from a different perspective if you're a buyer rather than a renter.

And you still encounter a bit of problem using that strategy because other people are likely thinking the same way. It's kind of like going for Jessica Alba instead of Scarlett Johansson because she's less hot (but hot nonetheless) and you figure there will be less competition. But it's not that easy. Other guys will see her value and throw their hat in the ring.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,722,260 times
Reputation: 35455
Quote:
Originally Posted by weteath View Post
That is your opinion, I think the opposite of you and that is my opinion as well.
I agree with you. I live a block from a large Safeway. I pay $768 a month for a nice one bedroom apartment. The going rate in my nieghborhood for a one bedroom aparmtment is approx $950 on up. New studio and one bedroom apartments are being built which I believe will be in the $700-$800 range all within two blocks from the Safeway. They will be small but the idea is for them to be affordable. Unfortunately, they will crowd the neighborhood but it is hoped that people will take advantage of the bus service and will not bring cars into the area but I think that is doubtful.

We are also within walking distance from two major buslines, shops and restaraunts yet we are in between enough so our neighborhood is quiet, tree lined and nice. We used to be very affordable and a bit shabby but have become gentrified. Present housing is considered to be expensive but by today's standards of many cities we are not as expensive as some. There are nice houses here as well as apartments. You don't need a car and many don't have one.

There are several opportunities to rent zip cars for those who want them and as I mentioned, there are two major bus lines.

It seems to me that some people who drive are stating what they think it is like not to drive. Some of the problems they mention have never been problems to me as a non driver but then to each his or her own.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,328,326 times
Reputation: 11779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
It seems to me that some people who drive are stating what they think it is like not to drive. Some of the problems they mention have never been problems to me as a non driver but then to each his or her own.
But I've done both in the two top transit cities in the country. I mean, the tradeoff for not having to deal with a car (in the example I used upthread) is an additional 1 hour and 49 minutes of travel time. I guess you may not see that as a "problem," but I'd personally rather get errands done in an hour rather than three.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Here's an exercise.


Let's say you live on Capitol Hill in DC. You need to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a wedding gift (wedding starts at 4:00 pm). The closest one is in Chinatown, which takes 22 minutes on Metrorail, not accounting for the wait on a Saturday morning. Seeing that there will likely be track work on the weekends, we can go ahead and build in a 15 minute delay. So that puts your total travel time at 37 minutes. The same trip in your car would have taken 8 minutes. We'll throw in an extra five for parking.


So far, we've lost 24 minutes.


Once you get to BBB, you discover that the person working in the registry was a moron (likely) and was wrong about all the items he said were in stock. He calls over to the Friendship Heights location, which has everything you need. That's a 22 minute ride on the dreadfully notorious Red Line, which really means 40 minutes. Driving takes 19 minutes and we'll add an extra 3 minutes for parking in the garage (validation).


So far, we've lost 42 minutes.


While you're out, you decide to pick up the first season of Homeland since everybody's been talking about it. You call ahead to the closest location in Tenleytown, which confirms that it's in stock. The 32 bus takes 7 minutes, but you have to wait 10 minutes for it to arrive. The drive is 3 minutes, but we'll toss in 3 minutes to find parking.


So far we've lost 53 minutes.


Well, it turns out that Best Buy Tenleytown only has Homeland on Blu Ray and you have DVD. But you really want to see it when you get home, so you decide it's worth the trek to Best Buy Columbia Heights. It takes 27 minutes by bus (assuming it's right there), but that rarely happens in any city. So you wait 15 minutes for the bus to arrive. That's a 42 minute trip. It takes 15 minutes to drive there from Tenleytown and 2 minutes to find parking in the garage.


So far we've lost 1 hour and 18 minutes.


You grab the last Homeland DVD set! Now you're ready to head home. That's a 34 minute Metro ride. But train service is considerably slower on the weekend, so we'll build in a 15 minute delay. It takes 18 minutes to drive back home to Capitol Hill.


So far we've lost 1 hour and 49 minutes.


How can you not see the beauty of a car here?
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti
389 posts, read 401,520 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
But I've done both in the two top transit cities in the country. I mean, the tradeoff for not having to deal with a car (in the example I used upthread) is an additional 1 hour and 49 minutes of travel time. I guess you may not see that as a "problem," but I'd personally rather get errands done in an hour rather than three.
Question, is everyone going to use your travel routes?

It is not so cut and dry like that man, my mom drives one hour to work each day and another hour on the trip back. What if she lived even just a half an hour closer to her job? That'd be an hour saved. Does everyone live an hour from their job in the suburbs? no. However, many of my moms coworkers also have commutes north of 40 minutes.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,144,198 times
Reputation: 3985
Quote:
Originally Posted by weteath View Post
Question, is everyone going to use your travel routes?
Well it's just a hypothetical. I could create unique hypotheticals to counter it, i.e. I already shopped online, I chose a different store to purchase from off-registry, etc.

I guess the point is valid that not having a car is definitely going to affect behavior, and makes you have to plan ahead a lot more as transit is less versatile and dynamic than a car usually is (unless of course you are driving in Manhattan or Central LA traffic ).

Last edited by munchitup; 01-29-2013 at 04:11 PM.. Reason: not "weird", wrong word to use
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,328,326 times
Reputation: 11779
Quote:
Originally Posted by weteath View Post
Question, is everyone going to use your travel routes?
Those are the fastest routes. It's not like there's a faster way to do it. You can't just call WMATA and say, "Hey, I want the bus to come to my house now!" And this is the second most transit-friendly city in America. So I already know transit is a huge time suck in other cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weteath View Post
It is not so cut and dry like that man, my mom drives one hour to work each day and another hour on the trip back. What if she lived even just a half an hour closer to her job? That'd be an hour saved. Does everyone live an hour from their job in the suburbs? no. However, many of my moms coworkers also have commutes north of 40 minutes.
That's not an apples-to-apples comparison. An apples-to-apples comparison is travel time in a car vs. transit from the same location. I don't care how many bus stops you can walk to, I can get there in half the time in my own car (Manhattan excepted).

That's a powerful advantage.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,328,326 times
Reputation: 11779
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Well it's just a hypothetical. I could create unique hypotheticals to counter it, i.e. I already shopped online, I chose a different store to purchase from off-registry, etc.
Shopping at home has nothing to do with transit. I mean, you could technically live in the middle of the woods, shop online, have food delivered, thus never having to travel anywhere. But that doesn't really tell us anything about the potential benefits/costs of cars compared to transit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I guess the point is valid that not having a car is definitely going to affect behavior, and makes you have to plan ahead a lot more as transit is less versatile and dynamic than a car usually is (unless of course you are driving in Manhattan or Central LA traffic ).
I actually think DC and Boston traffic is far worse than LA traffic. Few highways and too many one way streets. Outside of Manhattan, there's really no place where transit is faster than a car.

The drive from Koreatown to the L.A. Historic Core is currently 18 minutes in traffic. The same trip is 28 minutes via transit. Koreatown to Santa Monica is 31 minutes by car in current traffic and 1 hour and 20 minutes by transit. So yeah, I'd say the car is kicking transit's butt on that one.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 01-29-2013 at 04:28 PM..
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