U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-21-2013, 02:59 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,856,291 times
Reputation: 1439

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Either way, in any of those cities listed, a teenager could not drive without much inconvenience. In some of the cities you listed, the dense portions have much lower rate of car ownership compared to further out. For New York City outside of Manhattan (can't say about others) those I knew who grew up there didn't drive as teenagers. One took driver's ed (when she was 20?) in Manhattan.
Ah most teenagers in Chicago learn how to drive but the issuse of car insurance and cost of an auto are the things that many parents may have problems with. IMHO not teaching your kid how to drive is not a good thing. Driving is a life skill that you can use to get to employment more quickly than with public transit and have more options about where and when you can work.

In Chicago driving is a useful skill, however it isn't the only option(or best one). In some burbs it is the only option even to go a short distance due to the lack of tranist and configuration of the streets(i.e. No side walk).

In Chicago a car is often something you would borrow from parents, most people won't have their own car till they are like 19-20, where as in the burbs having teenager can mean needing a 3rd car.

Also depends on teenager how much they clamour to drive at age 16.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-21-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
Reputation: 10533
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Ah most teenagers in Chicago learn how to drive but the issuse of car insurance and cost of an auto are the things that many parents may have problems with.
This is a good point.

I grew up in a highly automotive-dependent area of Connecticut. I didn't drive as a teenager, but most of my friends did. However, most had a deal with their parents - they could only drive if they got a job and paid for the insurance - if not also the cost of the car itself. Most kids took the deal, because even with a part-time job on the evenings and weekends, they still had free time, and free money, to exercise their freedom.

It's different in many urban areas though. First, the cost of insurance itself is often much higher Second, there are all sorts of possibilities to utilize mass transit to meet up with your friends. In some cities (I know it's the case in Pittsburgh) high school students get free passes for public transit, which they can use more than the twice-a-day back and forth to school. Depending upon how well transited your neighborhood is, paying for a car may not be worth it, given you could always just take that after-school job and pocket even more money for other things.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 07:36 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,980 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
This argument for large yards in the suburbs is interesting. I suppose for a short period from the ages of 6-10, a larger yard may be a bit of a benefit. But our smaller yards here tend to be fine, especially with 5 park/playgrounds within a 15 minute walk. As the kids reach their teen years, the yard is hardly used, and proximity/walk-ability to friends homes and amenities becomes more important. The freedom and independence these young teens experience at a young age is an invaluable experience.

Oh and regarding cars - i would say more than 50% of resident here have a car, they just use them far less frequently. It's also much easier to tell your kids they can't drive even if they want to when they can walk to so much.
First of all, how do you know what teens do? Your oldest is about 5 years old, IIRC. My teens used the above ground pool and tramp we had in our yard.

Secondly, I don't know where you get the idea that suburban teens don't have freedom and independence. They can walk/ride bikes to their friends' homes. They can take the bus places. There are few mass transit districts these days that don't serve the suburbs.

nei posted some stats on lot sizes of sf homes in various cities, Boston has some of the biggest, if not THE biggest. Denver has the smallest. So maybe these huge lots aren't necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
This is a good point.

I grew up in a highly automotive-dependent area of Connecticut. I didn't drive as a teenager, but most of my friends did. However, most had a deal with their parents - they could only drive if they got a job and paid for the insurance - if not also the cost of the car itself. Most kids took the deal, because even with a part-time job on the evenings and weekends, they still had free time, and free money, to exercise their freedom.

It's different in many urban areas though. First, the cost of insurance itself is often much higher Second, there are all sorts of possibilities to utilize mass transit to meet up with your friends. In some cities (I know it's the case in Pittsburgh) high school students get free passes for public transit, which they can use more than the twice-a-day back and forth to school. Depending upon how well transited your neighborhood is, paying for a car may not be worth it, given you could always just take that after-school job and pocket even more money for other things.
Insurance for girls in Colorado is not *that* high. My kids having cars saved us so much time, it was well worth it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 07:52 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
45,983 posts, read 41,921,149 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Secondly, I don't know where you get the idea that suburban teens don't have freedom and independence. They can walk/ride bikes to their friends' homes. They can take the bus places. There are few mass transit districts these days that don't serve the suburbs.
I got the idea from being a teenager in a suburb*. Yes, I could walk to some friend's houses, but it was often very difficult to get around. I never heard anyone using the bus in my area, and it was too far from where most people lived. Some were walking distance to the train station, though wasn't really useful for local trips.

*And no, I'm not saying all suburbs were like mine. But plenty are, and plenty aren't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
First of all, how do you know what teens do? Your oldest is about 5 years old, IIRC. My teens used the above ground pool and tramp we had in our yard.
I remember not using back yards all that much, mainly when some people had other (teen) guests over. Or just a place to lay out on longer days.

Quote:
nei posted some stats on lot sizes of sf homes in various cities, Boston has some of the biggest, if not THE biggest. Denver has the smallest. So maybe these huge lots aren't necessary.
I skimmed a few other metros besides the ones I posted. Both San Francisco and Los Angeles are a bit smaller than Denver, though difference isn't huge (1/6 vs 1/5 acre). Chicago was about the same as Denver, though the bungalows of the outer parts of Chicago probably lower the numbers down. I'm guessing Atlanta, and maybe a few smaller metros might have larger lots than Boston.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,267 times
Reputation: 1616
I definitely liked how I had several friends within a stone's throw of my doorstep living in a townhouse in the suburb of Brampton. Lots were about 20ft wide so at one point there were 9 kids living closer to me than my closest neighbour in Oakville (suburb of my teens). There were 3 kids across the street, 1 teenaged girl next door, two younger girls 2 houses down, 2 next door on the other side who later moved out, 1 girl 3 houses down with 2 teenage siblings, and then there were 2 more kids 5 houses away... which would still be only about 120 feet, 1 toddler 6 houses away and 2 more kids 8 houses away. Even the kids 8 houses away were still only about 200ft from my front door. Within 200 feet in Oakville, I had zero neighbours under the age of 25. My neighbours in Oakville were older on average, but even so, I had 18 neighbours within 200 feet vs maybe 80 in Brampton, and unlike in Oakville, the Brampton townhouse backed onto a big ravine/park so I didn't have neighbours at the back. When you consider that not all kids make appropriate friends because they're either not the right age, or as a kid you're at the age when girls and boys don't mix much, or some kids are just not friendly or into the same kind of things, I definitely really liked having a lot of neighbours in Brampton.

The backyard was small but that didn't bother me. Most kids don't need a 1/2 acre backyard to run laps in alone. Having space only makes sense if you have friends to play soccer or tag with, but we just played tag across front yards, basketball in driveways, tree forts in the ravine, or soccer and bike rides in the park with parents. In the backyard I mostly built snowmen, played in the sandbox, looked for bugs, etc... none of which require much space. I played quite a few games on driveways too, like 4 square, drawing with chalk, crazy bones (some 90s fad), a lot of children's games (and sports) are meant for hard surfaces.

As a teenager in Oakville, the only kids on my street were 4 girls that were 3-7 years younger and a couple boys that weren't around much, so I mostly played with my sister or played basketball alone, or read in the backyard. At around 10-12 years old I played in the creek a bit, building dams and looking for crayfish, but after that it was kind of boring. Most of my school friends lived in a subdivision 2-3 miles away across some busy roads, there were a few kids who lived closer, but I wasn't as close friends with them. Even for the ones who lived closer, it was still several blocks away, which is not the same as living down the street. Living down the street from friends makes spontaneous meet ups a lot easier, in Brampton I would just run 20 seconds to my friends' door, ring the bell, and if they're not there try the next friend. Or maybe see them playing outside and join them. If they live several blocks away, you're not going to walk over not knowing if they're available, so it has to be arranged. I still walked home to friends' houses around age 10-13, but in high school, my circle of friends changed and few of them lived in my neighbourhood.

As for what we used backyards for as teenagers, pools were definitely a draw. Being guys meant a lot of videogames... I wasn't really into them but almost all my friends were, and sometimes trampolines. Still, the pool is a lot more fun with friends, they're too small for swimming lengths and the diving board isn't much fun if there's no one to show off to or compete against. Around here, you can only drive alone when you're 17 (need to have an adult with you for a year since you start learning to drive), most kids got their licenses as soon as they could but a lot of them didn't have their own cars and had to borrow their parents'.

By the way, Brampton was still suburban, just at a higher density. We were lucky to live a 5-10 minute walk from a rec centre, library, shopping plaza, large park/ravine and several playgrounds which was a big plus, although there was still not that much exciting to do if I had continued to live there as a teenager.

Last edited by memph; 02-21-2013 at 10:25 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 11:17 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,856,291 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
*And no, I'm not saying all suburbs were like mine. But plenty are, and plenty aren't.



I remember not using back yards all that much, mainly when some people had other (teen) guests over. Or just a place to lay out on longer days.
Ages past, I was a city boy. As teenagers we didn't use the back yard much too small for sports and nothing really in it to keep you there(i.e. no pools). Instead it was out in the alley for things like basket ball, Touch foot ball, sports.

As older kids(say 7-11) wondering around the neighboorhood with hide and seek. And just hanging over somebodie's house(usually the basement often playing video games and also in winter when besides snowball fights and snowmen it is too cold to be outside. )

The parks were a bit too far to go to use for play but older children who lived near them used them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,786,111 times
Reputation: 4768
I grew up in the suburbs and had a great childhood.No way would I have wanted to move into the city. Before my son was born we moved to semi rural lower Delaware. We live close to beach areas and have quite a few people around during the summer. School Districts cover large areas offering good education plus plenty of activities. Off season it is quiet. My son graduated high school and is now in local Community College. Recently there was a major family function in the burbs where I used to live. My son could not wait to get back to our quiet slower'lower Delaware.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 12:03 PM
 
1,207 posts, read 883,828 times
Reputation: 1107
Katiana, I don't have older kids but there are plenty in the neighborhood.

longnecker, I grew op in a rural area, and I actually value rural ideals quite a bit. The laid back, bohemian vibe (at least in VT), mountains and rivers in the back yard, living in a town where the people that live in the town actually work in that town (which is generally the opposite of a suburb).

For me it's urban as first choice, rural as second, suburbia as last.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,786,111 times
Reputation: 4768
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
Katiana, I don't have older kids but there are plenty in the neighborhood.

longnecker, I grew op in a rural area, and I actually value rural ideals quite a bit. The laid back, bohemian vibe (at least in VT), mountains and rivers in the back yard, living in a town where the people that live in the town actually work in that town (which is generally the opposite of a suburb).

For me it's urban as first choice, rural as second, suburbia as last.
With our closeness to the beaches and the OUTLETS there are plenty of jobs for the young ones. The problem is they are not good jobs as they get older and have a family to support.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,247 posts, read 26,214,003 times
Reputation: 11701
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
While I applaud the OP for having an insightful post, I think the way the title is worded is wrong.

As someone else stated, kids are adaptable, and for the most part, they will become accustomed to current locale as being "normal." This is doubly the case if they don't go to school with many kids who live in an appreciably different physical setting, and it's highly unlikely that "suburban" and "urban" kids will end up at the same school. So, for example, if almost none of their friends drive, and they all take mass transit, they won't clamor to drive either with the same fervor as a suburban kid when they hit 16. Or, to show a silly example, my daughter was initially scared to walk in fields when we took her on a trip to Vermont, because there were no sidewalks, and grownups tell you not to walk on the grass.

The better question isn't "what's best for your kids," because as long as you don't actually locate in a ghetto (urban or suburban), they'll likely be fine. The question should be what do you want? I think it's okay to be somewhat selfish in terms of this, because, as I stated above, children will think of their neighborhood as being absolutely typical, whereas adults have distinctive preferences in terms of where they want to live. Maybe they'll rebel as teenagers and want to move to the suburbs when they grow up in response, but that's their problem, not yours.
Good post.

I don't think I can put it any better than you just did. For some people, I think city life is what they wanted as kids and they assume their kids will want the same thing. So in that sense, they are being somewhat self-centered, even if they are well-meaning in their intentions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top