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Old 04-06-2013, 02:09 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
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post

Of course, if we pretend that's 5th Avenue in Manhattan and various passengers want to go to the Bronx Zoo, each of the three major airports, the Hamptons, Times Square, Prospect Park, the Meadowlands, White Plains, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, etc, then suddenly the bus doesn't look so viable :-)
From 5th Avenue, there's frequent public transit to all those destinations. Well, maybe not LaGuardia Airport.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:30 PM
 
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The error is believing that induced demand is a significant phenomenon at all. Roads don't cause cars. What anti-road groups call "induced demand" is really "latent demand"; trips that people would have liked to make but did not because they were too difficult.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
From 5th Avenue, there's frequent public transit to all those destinations. Well, maybe not LaGuardia Airport.
Yes, but a single bus won't get everyone where they want to go.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
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Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
For certain types of trips, alternate modes can make much more sense. However, that picture doesn't quite mean anything to me, because those people using cars can cover a lot more ground and access much more places in less time than putting them all on a bus. Bikes might help out as well, but they're still not going to be able to have the same mobility. More realistic would be taking that group of people and doing a fourth space comparison with 1/3rd of them on the bus, 1/3rd in cars and 1/3rd on a bike, because that makes a lot more sense for the real world. And I don't really buy the whole environmental consequence deal, because modern humans are going to be a "blight" on the environment no matter how we live. Maybe putting more people on bikes or electric rail would improve whatever environmental consequence, but at the expense of peoples broader sense of mobility and I don't find that to be acceptable in my eyes...thankfully I think most people don't either.
I have to agree with that. It makes much more sense to give people more options so they can choose which mode of transport is most efficient for their trip.

The point made earlier by someone else about some types of induced demand being good and others bad doesn't make much sense to me. All transportation systems use energy, and if you beef up buses and subways people will use them more (induced demand!) and more energy will be used versus having nothing beefed up or removing infrastructure. Sure, trains may use less energy per capita than cars, but you're still having an environmental impact, which is my point about the hypocrisy of only railing against induced demand for cars while ignoring it elsewhere. However, I will admit that the increased congestion and inefficiency that would result from removing infrastructure might use more energy than if capacity was beefed up and traffic flowed smoothly - when in gridlock, you get 0 mpg. Mobility and efficiency is and should be paramount.

Quote:
Yes, I do though I don't think every single one of those freeways should have been built, I would definitely say that they should have built more but kept them underground like the current ones. This, combined with an expanded metro system would make for an awesome balanced system where people would be able to take the train or drive, both with relative ease. I think DC should have built more freeways and trains, thrown em underground and it'd have been fine. Only thing that really gets in the way is those pesky costs...lol
Underground freeways connecting every part of the city coupled with a huge subway system and a high-speed rail system would be awesome. As you said, the only problem is those pesky costs.

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Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
In your world, degree does not matter. The aborigine who lives off the land in the middle of the outback has the exact same impact as the fat suburbanite driving his SUV 60 miles to work each day? I have that right?
The fat suburbanite has a much more advanced and superior quality of life than the aborigine, and is also economically more productive by several orders of magnitude. What should be the focus in being "green" is not the impact itself but rather how much productivity you can squeeze out of the same amount of environmental impact. If efficiency was irrelevant as you seem to imply, you would have killed yourself long ago, since a corpse has the least environmental impact of all.

Also, in at least one way the modern suburbanite is greener than the primitive - primitives cut down trees and brush of all sorts to make fires, whereas (strictly speaking) the suburbanite lifestyle renders deforestation unnecessary, and many suburbanites plant more trees and shrubs in their yards.

Of course, the suburbanite could own a Tesla Model S and charge it directly from his solar-paneled roof, and be greener than most who live in urban areas. Is this situation extremely rare? Yes, but my point is that the suburban lifestyle doesn't have to be environmentally unsound. The length of the commute matters less than the means of locomotion you use to get there. The emissions of a 60 mile all-electric or all-hydrogen trip will be less than even a 1 mile trip that uses gas. And even if you use gas, going on a freeway for 60 miles and driving on freeways and other roads where every junction is a roundabout or an interchange will be more fuel efficient than proceeding in a stop-and-go urban boulevard or slower road for the same distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
The error is believing that induced demand is a significant phenomenon at all. Roads don't cause cars. What anti-road groups call "induced demand" is really "latent demand"; trips that people would have liked to make but did not because they were too difficult.
Exactly. It's not as if roads are sending out waves of psychic energy compelling people to use them more (and wouldn't it be a huge nuisance if they were ).
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post

The fat suburbanite has a much more advanced and superior quality of life than the aborigine, and is also economically more productive by several orders of magnitude. What should be the focus in being "green" is not the impact itself but rather how much productivity you can squeeze out of the same amount of environmental impact. If efficiency was irrelevant as you seem to imply, you would have killed yourself long ago, since a corpse has the least environmental impact of all.

Also, in at least one way the modern suburbanite is greener than the primitive - primitives cut down trees and brush of all sorts to make fires, whereas (strictly speaking) the suburbanite lifestyle renders deforestation unnecessary, and many suburbanites plant more trees and shrubs in their yards.

Of course, the suburbanite could own a Tesla Model S and charge it directly from his solar-paneled roof, and be greener than most who live in urban areas. Is this situation extremely rare? Yes, but my point is that the suburban lifestyle doesn't have to be environmentally unsound. The length of the commute matters less than the means of locomotion you use to get there. The emissions of a 60 mile all-electric or all-hydrogen trip will be less than even a 1 mile trip that uses gas. And even if you use gas, going on a freeway for 60 miles and driving on freeways and other roads where every junction is a roundabout or an interchange will be more fuel efficient than proceeding in a stop-and-go urban boulevard or slower road for the same distance.
I bring up the aborigine to make the point that the choices as to how we live do in fact make a difference. It was an admittedly extreme example to make the point. That being said, the least ecologically conscious hipster on the planet that lives in an apartment with shared walls, and walks or bikes to work lives a 1000X more green than the most ecologically minded suburbanite who carefully shifts recyclables and makes a point to buy a mini for their 45 minute round trip commute 5 days a week, not to mention needing a car for every. . .single. . .thing they do in life.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:25 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post

The point made earlier by someone else about some types of induced demand being good and others bad doesn't make much sense to me. All transportation systems use energy, and if you beef up buses and subways people will use them more (induced demand!) and more energy will be used versus having nothing beefed up or removing infrastructure. Sure, trains may use less energy per capita than cars, but you're still having an environmental impact, which is my point about the hypocrisy of only railing against induced demand for cars while ignoring it elsewhere. .
Hypocrisy? The amount of energy used and degree of environmental impact doesn't matter? And what exactly is the energy/impact of cycling?

I'm trying to think about this logic applied to everyday circumstances.

"Hey, I need to go get some lettuce from the store. I could buy one head or 500. I guess there is no difference, just get 500."

"Hey, I need to go to the gym. I could run on the treadmill for 30 minutes or 24 hours. It doesn't matter. They are the same."

"Hey, I need to buy some gravel for my driveway. I could buy 15 yards or 1,500,000 yards. It doesn't matter. I mean I need gravel so there is no difference between these two choices."

There is no hypocrisy. You have presented false equivalencies.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
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Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
It will be expensive and take generations, but the following is a pretty decent roadmap:

1. Infill infill infill: the core cities must be revitalized. This is a painstaking and slow process frought with financial risk, regulatory constraints and political land minds. NIMBYism is ever present and developers who engage in this have to have deep pockets, incredibly patient financiers and and a stomache for years and years of fights. Need to wholesale revamp city landuse codes which have developed into a kafkaesque nightmare over the years and replace most use zoning with form-based codes. Have the fight once, and then let the city evolve naturally.

2. Transit. And by transit I mean high capacity transit. And by high capacity transit I mean fixed rail. And by fixed rail I mean light rail. You will never get a high ridership in most American cities on bus. Never. Touted BRT systems are just as, if not more expensive than light rail and do not have same attraction. Cheap BRT is glorified bus that doesnt offer any real benefits. Light rail pays dividends over time. It spurs incredible development along the transit corridors and stops you never ever ever get with buses. It's expensive up front and cheap on the back end. And single lines don't work...for light rail to flourish it has to be a network taking people where they want to go.

3. Brownfield redevelopment of former industrial sites into dense urban nodes like Stapleton and Mueller.

4. Suburban retrofits. Tear down the dying malls - look at those acres usually well placed on major access points into incredible opportunities for redevelopment into town centers. Stich the grid back together. Engage in Road diets and zone the transit corridors VMU to create vibrant mixed use streets people actually want to be on.

5. Smart greenfield development. Even in the most optimistic scenario above at least 50% of all new development will be greenfield (today a major success would be 70% and in most communities its more like 90-95%). But not all greenfield is terrible. Great new communities can be created with careful and thoughtful planning such as Seaside and Kentlands.

A multi generational effort that our grandchildren's grandchildren will reap huge rewards from.
You cannot fix American cities without developing an American identity and culture that promotes learning, working hard, caring for the environment, and the importance of family structure in the raising of children. Without these cultural beliefs, as well as private and social policy that supports it, the problems of poverty will persist. You will not get critical masses of middle class parents with children who value education to move into the cities where there are unbalanced levels of prosperity.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
You cannot fix American cities without developing an American identity and culture that promotes learning, working hard, caring for the environment, and the importance of family structure in the raising of children. Without these cultural beliefs, as well as private and social policy that supports it, the problems of poverty will persist. You will not get critical masses of middle class parents with children who value education to move into the cities where there are unbalanced levels of prosperity.
You wondered into an Urban Planning forum where city design is discussed - not a flighty sociology forum.

City form matters - it is a fundamental and universal distinction between cities that succeed and cities that do not. If you want to BS with other sociologists and quasi marxists who thing they can change the world by changing culture to suit YOUR vision - then suggest you visit the political forums.

From my perspective, the great thing and most exciting thing about successful cities is the diversity of culture, different social strata, political ideas, ethnic groups, religious groups, etc. Having that diversity makes cities whole and strong. Build attractive places that people want to be in and people will flock to the city.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:12 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
You cannot fix American cities without developing an American identity and culture that promotes learning, working hard, caring for the environment, and the importance of family structure in the raising of children. Without these cultural beliefs, as well as private and social policy that supports it, the problems of poverty will persist. You will not get critical masses of middle class parents with children who value education to move into the cities where there are unbalanced levels of prosperity.
Too true! Unfortunately, the urban advocates, both on this board and IRL, don't think much about the schools at all. I have said before, the best way to get cities to revitalize ("fixed" in other words) is to get the schools back on track. A few generations ago, the city schools were great examples of how to achieve upward mobility. Now, not so much. People on this forum have stated they don't think much about schools when they think of urban issues. I posted a blog a while back written by an urban planner who said he had never given the schools much consideration until his own kids reached school age. What are people thinking? Educated parents want the same for their kids. A few say if the cities gentrify, the school quality will follow. That does not seem to be true across the board. There are some "hipster" neighborhoods in Denver where the school quality is not up to par, to say the least.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
A few say if the cities gentrify, the school quality will follow. That does not seem to be true across the board. There are some "hipster" neighborhoods in Denver where the school quality is not up to par, to say the least.
Well, the jury is still out on most of the "hipster" places; most "hipsters" don't have school-aged kids yet. Presumably when skinny jeans bumps into fashionably ugly glasses while they're riding their fixies, the inevitable will occur and 5-6 years later said hipsters will be looking for top elementary schools.

Hoboken, NJ (more yupster than hipster) has already reached that point, and the school quality has not followed; instead, the families tend to move out to the burbs. But that's just one place.
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