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Old 03-03-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,098,416 times
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I suppose all that needs to be done now is narrow down exactly what "heavily subsidized" means. Like, for example would you consider 50% to be a heavy subsidy? That's less than the portion of federal highway expenditures that is funded through gas taxes. How about 25%?
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Now there is a danger of building so much parking at the station that you discourage other uses of the land but a Metra Station in the burbs with no Parking would be useless and EL stations with parking attract users. Making no accommodation to cars is dangerous because it limits what kinds of customers you can serve and requires walkability and transit is in place before the train (increasing costs and political opposition). For instance some people don’t feel safe at night on buses. Some bus routes don’t run 24/7. And driving can be faster than the bus.

Here is a good example near me is a Metra line that runs to the Chicago Board of Trade. While it could be cheaper (and much slower) to use CTA for this trip, you could drive to a parking lot, park your car and take the Metra to work if you worked near that stop. This attracts users.
Have you listened to Ian Rasmussen yet?
(The time you spent writing that might have been better employed listening to the ST-Transit podcast.)

Look: the point is NOT to remove all the parking from the stations.

Of course there should be parking to accommodate those who want to drive to the station from their suburban homes. That is an important part of the ridership for the transit system. The point is about: Where is the parking located?, and how it is configured?.

Where?
Parking need not (and should not?) occupy the ground immediately next to the station. That ground should go to new residential and mixed use developments. Multi-stored apartments can be built there, and if attractively designed, they will be successful and fetch good prices, especially amongst those who must commute, using the rail. (Illustration: In HK some of the most expensive property in the city is next to, or above the stations - learn from it!) And those who live near it, and even commute through the station, will patronise good shopping - grocery stories, coffee shops, restaurants. Build something like a small mall at the station - It is an obvious win/ win, and a great alternative to building malls in the middle of nowhere, and then having them fail. (How many American shopping malls have failed in the last 5 years? Stupid, stupid, stupid - I was saying the same thing 5 -10 years ago, and the waste I have seen has been so needless.)



It is completely idiotic - a wasted opportunity - to put Parking lots like this right next to a station. I mentally slap my forehead with my palm when I see it. ("How can these guys be so foolish?" I ask. "Do they WANT to condemn their rail system to continuing subsidies?") It is possible to have both the parking, and some intelligent reasonably-dense, mixed use development at the stations.

Transit Parking - How configured?

Put the Parking on multi-levels, a short walk from the station. But make the walk efficient, and maybe put some well-designed retail along the walk path to the platforms.

"...you could drive to a parking lot, park your car and take the Metra to work"


Bike parking can be at the station too, as this photo from Holland shows. That's a great way to commute for those who live within a mile or two of the station.

This is win/win thinking, don't you agree?

Last edited by Geologic; 03-03-2013 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:15 PM
 
195 posts, read 235,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Of course mass transit with density around it will work in America. It has worked where it is tried. Be it Asia, Europe, or North America.

But we need to change out-of-date zoning laws which favor car-dependent development. It isn't only suburbanites that need to wake up in America, it is the planners too. And I am not the only one saying this. Check it out on the web, and you will find many people talking about crazy zoning laws in America.
I agree. Mass transit works in dense areas, but most cities in America are not that dense, and do not need high capacity transit.

I also agree with your second point. Honestly I like Houston's system of no zoning. It allows commercial and residential areas to blend well. Also mixed use developments can be built almost anywhere.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apm193 View Post
I also agree with your second point. Honestly I like Houston's system of no zoning. It allows commercial and residential areas to blend well. Also mixed use developments can be built almost anywhere.
Houston may work for some, but when I visit there, I do not want to stay for long.
IMHO, the place is a car-dependent mess.

But maybe I have somehow missed the good "walkable" neighborhoods there
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:36 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,862,208 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Have you listened to Ian Rasmussen yet?
(The time you spent writing that might have been better employed listening to the ST-Transit podcast.)

Look: the point is NOT to remove all the parking from the stations.

Of course there should be parking to accommodate those who want to drive to the station from their suburban homes. That is an important part of the ridership for the transit system. The point is about: Where is the parking located?, and how it is configured?.

Where?
Parking need not (and should not?) occupy the ground immediately next to the station. That ground should go to new residential and mixed use developments. Multi-stored apartments can be built there, and if attractively designed, they will be successful and fetch good prices, especially amongst those who must commute, using the rail. (Illustration: In HK some of the most expensive property in the city is next to, or above the stations - learn from it!) And those who live near it, and even commute through the station, will patronise good shopping - grocery stories, coffee shops, restaurants. Build something like a small mall at the station - It is an obvious win/ win, and a great alternative to building malls in the middle of nowhere, and then having them fail. (How many American shopping malls have failed in the last 5 years? Stupid, stupid, stupid - I was saying the same thing 5 -10 years ago, and the waste I have seen has been so needless.)
Why would I live out in the burbs in an apartment when I can get the same thing with less commute in the city? Also the commuter rail system predates the automobile and there are often stores around the Metra station(not allways). The train often runs into the burb's downtown area which can have coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants and the like.

Malls usualy are not built in the middle of nowhere. They are built somewhere with good road acces, commuter rail predates the Highway system. That was why I could ride it into that burb(the nearest expressway ramp was atleast a 20 min drive from the station and the station was within walking distance of employment plus they had a shuttle.). Many malls have some amount of access via bus but shopping really is one of those thing better done with a car.


Quote:
It is completely idiotic - a wasted opportunity - to put Parking lots like this right next to a station. I mentally slap my forehead with my palm when I see it. ("How can these guys be so foolish?" I ask. "Do they WANT to condemn their rail system to continuing subsidies?") It is possible to have both the parking, and some intelligent reasonably-dense, mixed use development at the stations.
Ah, the rail line does not get any payment for anything around the tracks and you have not zommed out across the whole area. I can think of burbs with bigger lots than that which also have retial around the station. There also maybe shopping further away from the station accessable by bus from the station.

Quote:
Bike parking can be at the station too, as this photo from Holland shows. That's a great way to commute for those who live within a mile or two of the station.
Some Metra stations and a few EL stations have bike racks, however bikes are not allow on the train during rush(for good reason..they take up too much space).
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:45 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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Chirack,
Have you every been to Europe or Asia, where many people Travel by rail?
With all due respect, you seem to have not really grasped the concept of Carfree living, walkable neighborhoods, and the creation of "Places" that are attractive to be in, located next to Train stations. Europe and Asia do this sort of development better than the US does it. Which is why they are often better places to live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Why would I live out in the burbs in an apartment when I can get the same thing with less commute in the city? Also the commuter rail system predates the automobile and there are often stores around the Metra station(not allways). The train often runs into the burb's downtown area which can have coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants and the like.
Obviously, because it is CHEAPER to live there than in the Inner City.
And you also have access to whatever else may be in the area.
(Schools? Nature? A local village? Whatever inspired building the station there.)
But the main reason is likely to be a cost savings, since land is more expensive downtown.
???
If you live there, you want a nice walkable "Place" to go to - with "Third rooms."
The very thing you cannot find easily in many of the most the empty and sterile suburbs of America,

Building a station gives architects a chance to create new and attractive "places", if they have not forgotten how to do that. Perhaps many American architects have forgotten, let's give them a chance to learn that lost art again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYqV-PEGHHc
"Streets have become traffic places rather than public spaces."
To get you to watch, he says: "It is really all about sex." (yes, he says that.)
"They have no public spaces in most of the suburbs."


Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Malls usualy are not built in the middle of nowhere. They are built somewhere with good road acces, commuter rail predates the Highway system. That was why I could ride it into that burb (the nearest expressway ramp was at least a 20 min drive from the station and the station was within walking distance of employment plus they had a shuttle.). Many malls have some amount of access via bus but shopping really is one of those thing better done with a car.
???
Highways and expressways ARE a pretty good definition of the middle of nowhere.
Shopping malls are an attempt to create "Place", but they often fail - if they are only about shopping, and not about a "space for living" - and outdoor "room" with multiple uses.

Public Squares are a good model for the space that can be created near a Mall.
Here's one architect's idea of that at Riverwalk, in Rock Hill, SC. It is slowly coming back, thank goodness:


/source: http://www.riverwalkcarolinas.com/site-plan/

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Ah, the rail line does not get any payment for anything around the tracks and you have not zommed out across the whole area. I can think of burbs with bigger lots than that which also have retail around the station. There also maybe shopping further away from the station accessible by bus from the station.
Obviously, that notion needs rethinking. In cities were mass transit really works, the company running the rail can also own the retail space around it, and derive rents from it. The retail space would not have its premium value without the transport, so it makes sense to tie them together, rather than allowing some unaffiliated landlord capture all the upside. This is a critical concept.

Have you seen all the Mall space around Singapore's MRT?
The MRT did a turnaround in its own finances some years ago, by learning to capture the rents from the strategic locations around the station. If this means changing zoning laws, then so be it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Some Metra stations and a few EL stations have bike racks, however bikes are not allow on the train during rush (for good reason..they take up too much space).
Sure, I think that it should make sense to keep bicycles off the trains, especially at rush hours. That is what is done in all countries that I know about. But you need parking for the bikes near the stations. Adding better access for bicycle riders increases the value of the station to a large group of "new" people who may want to use the trains.

Last edited by Geologic; 03-04-2013 at 03:25 AM..
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:33 AM
 
1,458 posts, read 2,226,341 times
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Geologic, I believe that you have excellent points in regard to revamping existing cities to be pedestrian and public transit friendly. If a person is already comfortable living in such an environment - or in a closely built suburb, with 1/4 acre lawns - then frankly, the future of skyrocketing oil prices should mean less dependence on cars.

The problem that I have is how very density centric you are. You dismiss everyone else's preferences as being down to never having experienced those sooper speshul Euro and Asian cities. We are merely rubes, who cannot appreciate the superior beings who adore being crammed cheek by jowl with millions of other people!

I am quite uncomfortable living somewhere that it is impossible for me to produce my own food. I have been living in Philadelphia for several years now, and am positively chomping at the bit to get out and live somewhere that if need be, I could feed my children with the labor of my own hands. You are glorifying an existence where not only are people completely and utterly dependent on the infrastructure (semis delivering food sourced from an incredibly complex system, any element of which could fail) but they can't even get the heck out of dodge if they needed to, because they shun personal transportation.

I get to my new job via bus, then El, then trolley. I could drive, but being as I'm already in the city, I use public transit. I am perfectly aware of its advantages, both short term and long term. But to be happy, I need to wake up and see wide open space, no other houses, and some animals. Can you attempt to understand that there will always be people who do not want to live like you want to live, and not because they are ignorant?
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:34 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
Geologic, I believe that you have excellent points in regard to revamping existing cities to be pedestrian and public transit friendly. If a person is already comfortable living in such an environment - or in a closely built suburb, with 1/4 acre lawns - then frankly, the future of skyrocketing oil prices should mean less dependence on cars.

The problem that I have is how very density centric you are. You dismiss everyone else's preferences as being down to never having experienced those sooper speshul Euro and Asian cities. We are merely rubes, who cannot appreciate the superior beings who adore being crammed cheek by jowl with millions of other people!

I am quite uncomfortable living somewhere that it is impossible for me to produce my own food. I have been living in Philadelphia for several years now, and am positively chomping at the bit to get out and live somewhere that if need be, I could feed my children with the labor of my own hands. You are glorifying an existence where not only are people completely and utterly dependent on the infrastructure (semis delivering food sourced from an incredibly complex system, any element of which could fail) but they can't even get the heck out of dodge if they needed to, because they shun personal transportation.

I get to my new job via bus, then El, then trolley. I could drive, but being as I'm already in the city, I use public transit. I am perfectly aware of its advantages, both short term and long term. But to be happy, I need to wake up and see wide open space, no other houses, and some animals. Can you attempt to understand that there will always be people who do not want to live like you want to live, and not because they are ignorant?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I especially agree with the bold. I've been trying to say this for a while. You said it better than I could have. Even when some of us bring up that cars are becoming more fuel efficient, and less dependent on fossil fuels, that's not OK for some. We have to give up our personal transportation in favor of government-supplied public transit.

I for one am getting tired of almost every single thread being hijacked to talk about this stuff, too.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,851 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I for one am getting tired of almost every single thread being hijacked to talk about this stuff, too.
Agreed 100%.

And it's especially ridiculous how condescending the said thread-jacking can be, with people being told that their desires to live in a certain type of environment are "factually wrong" and that we should be so lucky to be "enlightened" by watching a YouTube video or comparing how much more someone likes the layouts of cities thousands of miles away from places here in the US.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
Geologic, I believe that you have excellent points in regard to revamping existing cities to be pedestrian and public transit friendly. If a person is already comfortable living in such an environment - or in a closely built suburb, with 1/4 acre lawns - then frankly, the future of skyrocketing oil prices should mean less dependence on cars.

The problem that I have is how very density centric you are. You dismiss everyone else's preferences as being down to never having experienced those sooper speshul Euro and Asian cities. We are merely rubes, who cannot appreciate the superior beings who adore being crammed cheek by jowl with millions of other people!

I am quite uncomfortable living somewhere that it is impossible for me to produce my own food. I have been living in Philadelphia for several years now, and am positively chomping at the bit to get out and live somewhere that if need be, I could feed my children with the labor of my own hands...
A brief response would be this:
I have lived as you do (in various American cities and suburbs). Have you lived as I have : in London and Hong Kong? I would expect that those who have, would agree with much of what I say about the DANGER of living the car-dependent lifestyle that so many Americans have.

Why do you suppose so many countries outside America (Canada and Australia) have imposed high gasoline taxes? The main reason is to wean their people away from an extreme dependence on oil. America's (cowardly?) leaders don't even have the nerve to try to introduce such a tax, because they know they would by lynched, or voted out of office.

How do you suppose this drama will end? I don't see a gentle and happy ending, do you?

As far as growing some of your own food: I am all in favor of that. (Have you seen my Urban Agrarian thread ?) If you have found a way to grow your own food, and live in a Car-light or Car-free way, then I am impressed, and wondering HOW and WHERE you are doing that?

Last edited by Geologic; 03-04-2013 at 09:18 AM..
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