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Old 05-02-2013, 09:52 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082


Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I can't imagine how the parking lots fill up, then :-)
It was just an idea. Why do the parking lots fill up if they have these vans?

Old 05-02-2013, 09:55 PM
9,520 posts, read 14,838,412 times
Reputation: 9769
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
It was just an idea. Why do the parking lots fill up if they have these vans?
Well, if 30% take the shuttles, that leaves 70%, most of whom drive.
Old 05-02-2013, 10:00 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Well, if 30% take the shuttles, that leaves 70%, most of whom drive.
So maybe that 30% doesn't have time to go buy a car, b/c they're so busy choosing which 16 hours of the day to work.
Old 05-02-2013, 10:35 PM
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
Reputation: 217
A "SOFT" WAR ? - between the Car Dependent, and the Car-free ?

Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Link: Jalopnik.com Article

When I talk to people who aren't from the area, those who want to move to NYC or be closer to it have their own reasons but the most common that I hear are:
a) jobs
b) being near "everything"
c) fun and culture of the city.
Most people don't want to do without having a car, and will likely go without it because it's just an expense that they cannot handle ...
I'll bite

(BTW: I thought this was settled months ago, by various threads I started here.
It's good to see that a few journos are catching up with a changing reality.

Sure, it often starts off being about the money - who wants to waste $5000-$8000* per annum on something they do not need. And there are various other car-related headaches that people want to live without (shall I list them?).

But then after a while of being carfree, if someone lives in the right location, the other advantages may kick in:

b) being near "everything"
c) fun and culture of the city.

Eventually, many folks may become wedded to the idea of avoiding a car-dependent lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

Here's the key thing: You need to find a good location, where Carfree Living really makes sense. And Sadly, too little of American is designed for life without cars.

As the number of people living carfree rises, I think many urban areas will gradually change too. (And all the while, the savings on car expense, oil imports, and less environment damage will be there in the background, making such a life make economic sense in the long term sense too.)

If you want to quote someone other that JHK, how about Nikta Kruschev: "We will bury you!" - but I don't think he was taking about a Carfree Revolution - or maybe he was? (haha - it is a sort of "soft war" don't you think, because American society cannot afford to keep all of its frightfully pricey car grid going, whilst building expensive infrastructure for many new walkable neighborhoods. Soon, decisions will need to be made, since there is limited capita. Someone is going to have to lose. I think by now, car owners realise they may one day be an endangered species.)

Last edited by Geologic; 05-02-2013 at 11:22 PM..
Old 05-03-2013, 12:17 AM
2,388 posts, read 2,956,284 times
Reputation: 1953
Why do people love to paint these grand, false dichotomies?

People either have to use a car for every single trip away from their house or they move to NYC where they're herded on to cattle cars and not allowed to own a private vehicle.

People live in a 4000 s/f house on 2 acres or they live in a 400 s/f studio in a 30 story high rise.

Maybe there are places in between?

I'm old enough to have been driving for 20+ years and I've owned or have had a car in my household (on and off) for about half of those years. When I lived in North Charleston damn straight I owned a car. When I lived in Philly it just didn't make any economic sense. I never used it. At one point I lived in a very walkable neighborhood and either rode my bicycle to work or took a 15 minute subway ride. Then I changed jobs to a place where the bus ride took way too long to go 5 miles so I bought a 150cc scooter and only took the bus when it rained.

Most of my friends back in Philly who own cars (~40%) are part of a couple who share one car. I think for most people who don't own cars it's a fairly rational, economic decision. Cars are seen as a convenience - and when the math makes sense they buy one. When it doesn't, they get rid of it. I've known plenty of people who have kept a car around because it was paid for. When it died they didn't replace it.
Old 05-03-2013, 12:31 AM
2,388 posts, read 2,956,284 times
Reputation: 1953
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Also, not sure why reverse commuting got brought up, but it is relatively common with kids my age (by common I mean it is not out-of-the-ordinary, not that most people my age do that).
Same here.

In Philly the Paoli/Thorndale line gets a good crowd leaving the city in the morning. It's not because there has been a lot of recent growth out there but because a lot of the office parks out now have free shuttles to/from the train stations.

I hear it's the same in SF on Caltrain and in NYC on the New Haven and Trenton lines.

Most jobs in most cities in the developed world are not located downtown - and it would be physically impossible for them to all move there. Most jobs and most people live in the suburbs.
Old 05-03-2013, 05:46 AM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,513,144 times
Reputation: 15950
I don't doubt for a moment that there's a general movement away from the auto-dominant culture that probably peaked around 1975-1980; I make use of transit myself in those situations where it's suitable and convenient, like a trip into New York or Philly on the weekend. And I used to spend a lot of my vacations on long trips using unlimited-travel Greyhound passes.

Unfortunately, those are about the only times when the advantages outweigh the obstacles. My current address has no bus service at all. Of the previous two, one involved a transfer with a long detour; the other had one run a day. My job doesn't mandate schedule flexibility, but it encourages it from time to time, with a financial incentive.

Still, I know that the opportunities for use of transit have been growing, and I think it's a fine idea for those who can plan their day around it. But I see a lot of naivete' among many younger and more-fervent transit advocates, and the responsibilities which develop during the life-cycle might change their thinking someday in the not-too-distant future.
Old 05-03-2013, 07:29 AM
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,810 posts, read 10,717,818 times
Reputation: 2523
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Why do people love to paint these grand, false dichotomies?
Planners, govts, etc come up with policies that make it easier to A. Life in carfree (as in dont own a car but make occasional trips using Zipcar) B. Be carlite (less than one car per licensed driver) C. just drive fewer miles. These polices range from transit subsidies, to bike/ped infrastructure, to traffic calming, to changes in parking rules, to more "walkable" development patterns.

Some people, for reasons rational and otherwise, oppose those policies. One rhetorical strategy to oppose them is to claim that they only achieve their goals if they get people to be "carfree" in the sense of using non auto means for ALL trips. Its then very simple, in most places other than NYC, to demonstrate that hardly anyone can do that, and those who do will live very constrained lives. Ergo, the policies make no sense. Once you accept that the point of the programs is more broad than a rigid "carfree" life (one that even lacks zipcars) this rhetorical strategy falls apart.

The strategy is not logically defensible (there is simply no way to refute the point that there is a middle ground lifestyle) but if its repeated often enough, people will hear it without hearing the counter, and it will subtly influence the discussion.
Old 05-03-2013, 08:03 AM
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,258,197 times
Reputation: 11726
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
True. However, some urbanists are committed enough to city living they do the reverse commute. When I lived in DC, I worked in suburban Maryland, but lived in Capitol Hill. There was no way that I was going to move to a major metropolis and live in the suburbs, because I knew I would be lazy and not go out to shows in the city because I didn't want the hassle of driving. I drove every day for work, but work was the only reason I ever used my car, as mass transit + bike handled all of my shopping and socializing needs.
Yeah, I know a couple of people who did the same. Of my friends in DC, here's what their car/work situation looks like:

Friend lives in Takoma. Works Downtown. Owns a car.
Friend and wife live in SW. Friend works Downtown and wife works in MD. Both have cars.
Friend lives in Dupont Circle. Works Downtown. Car.
Friend lives on U Street. Works Downtown. Car.
Friend lives in Logan Circle in front of Whole Foods. Works Downtown. Car.
Another friend lives in Logan Circle. Works Downtown. No car (I think, but not sure).
Friend lives in Jenkins Row on Cap Hill. Works Downtown. Car.
Friend lives on Georgia and Arkansas. Works in NE. Car.
Next door neighbor friend and roommate. Both have cars.
Married friends used to live on Capitol Hill. Both work Downtown. Cars.
Friend lives off H Street. Works Downtown. No car.

So the "car-lite" thing really sounds more like it in most cities. New York is the only place I've ever lived where I've known a whole bunch of people that didn't have a car.
Old 05-03-2013, 08:13 AM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,436 posts, read 11,933,106 times
Reputation: 10542
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
So the "car-lite" thing really sounds more like it in most cities. New York is the only place I've ever lived where I've known a whole bunch of people that didn't have a car.
The large amount of "car-light" people in cities are one reason why I've argued in the past that once autonomous cars are perfected, they are going to first and foremost destroy car ownership in the city. If you can push a button on your cell phone and have a car at your doorstep in 15 minutes, it will remove most of the hassle of even services like zipcar. And since people who use cars for occasional errands a few times a week drive at "off-peak" hours (essentially random times in the evening and weekend, for the most part), it will be much easier to provide enough volume to satisfy them as opposed to rush-hour commuters.
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