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)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 05-20-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Toronto
2,161 posts, read 2,350,732 times
Reputation: 1148

Advertisements

My suburb is changing. It is was built in the 60's but unless your street is a dead end or crescent to nowhere, it has a sidewalk. It always had a lot of pedestrians as it is a pleasant walk around tree lined streets with nice parks. More traffic lights are going up to slow down traffic and make it more walkable. Rapid bus network has been brought in and is growing. Local and regional government are working towards putting in an LRT. Zoning is going up so the housing and commercial buildings on the main roads are becoming more dense. City council is discussing making meaningful improvements to biking as transportation. Buses now have racks for bikes and planning on putting in bike lockers at stations. Train schedule is increasing. Local transit has joined the regional smart fare card so it's easier to access multiple levels of transit.

We are not an inner ring suburb of Toronto and yet my family has been able to sell our cars and commit to going car free with the changes that have been made. Older suburbs can evolve. Not all are able and/or are willing. But some have the structure to make these changes.

 
Old 05-25-2013, 07:27 PM
 
12,299 posts, read 15,199,676 times
Reputation: 8108
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
They are heavily subsidized in that not all the costs associated with their use are incorporated into their ownership. Extreme example: smog in China. The so-called "brown cloud" is a subsidy by the public. People are "paying for" some of the cost of cars, trucks, factories, and cargo ships with clean air.

As I said, when I drive my car, I'm not paying the full cost of it. Some of it is, yes, subsidized via taxes. Some is also subsidized by the residents of the cities and neighborhoods I transit through, and by other drivers.

Does this also apply to PT? Yes. When I ride the local LRT, my ticket doesn't cover the full cost. Most of the price is picked up by taxpayers, many of whom will never use the service.

In either case, are these necessary realities? At the margins, for a functional society, probably. It would be extremely expensive to have a city without subsidization of transit, private or public. The subsidies, though, could certainly be much, much lower.
No doubt the roads are subsidized by taxpayers, but since just about all goods are delivered by truck everyone benefits even if they don't drive much.
 
Old 05-28-2013, 11:49 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,466 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
No doubt the roads are subsidized by taxpayers, but since just about all goods are delivered by truck everyone benefits even if they don't drive much.
Agreed on the premise, but not on the extent. Currently, the way we "charge" for road use creates massive distortions in the market. Trucks, specifically, are overutilized vs. rail because we, the public, subsidize their use.

Imagine if trucks had to buy right-of-way like rail does. Would trucks be used so extensively? Probably not.

So, while we do gain from their use, their overuse as a direct result of our subsidization leaves us net negative.

This seems a scale above the question of suburban form but, if we didn't have this distortion of the market, suburbs might not have taken the current wide-and-short form wherein everything is spread out. If, say, trucks had to pay, per-mile, for road use, were limited to arterials (or other main streets) and were banned from neighborhood streets, retail might be more centralized in shopping "hubs."
 
Old 05-28-2013, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,762,451 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Agreed on the premise, but not on the extent. Currently, the way we "charge" for road use creates massive distortions in the market. Trucks, specifically, are overutilized vs. rail because we, the public, subsidize their use.

Imagine if trucks had to buy right-of-way like rail does. Would trucks be used so extensively? Probably not.

So, while we do gain from their use, their overuse as a direct result of our subsidization leaves us net negative.

This seems a scale above the question of suburban form but, if we didn't have this distortion of the market, suburbs might not have taken the current wide-and-short form wherein everything is spread out. If, say, trucks had to pay, per-mile, for road use, were limited to arterials (or other main streets) and were banned from neighborhood streets, retail might be more centralized in shopping "hubs."
Trucks are allowed in neighbourhood streets where you live? They're only allowed on arterials here. I'm pretty sure the big semi trailers are also banned from main streets, at least I don't see them there, only smaller delivery trucks.
 
Old 05-28-2013, 08:07 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Agreed on the premise, but not on the extent. Currently, the way we "charge" for road use creates massive distortions in the market. Trucks, specifically, are overutilized vs. rail because we, the public, subsidize their use.

Imagine if trucks had to buy right-of-way like rail does. Would trucks be used so extensively? Probably not.

So, while we do gain from their use, their overuse as a direct result of our subsidization leaves us net negative.

This seems a scale above the question of suburban form but, if we didn't have this distortion of the market, suburbs might not have taken the current wide-and-short form wherein everything is spread out. If, say, trucks had to pay, per-mile, for road use, were limited to arterials (or other main streets) and were banned from neighborhood streets, retail might be more centralized in shopping "hubs."
If you're talking about trucks that deliver goods to businesses, why would they be driving on residential streets? Aren't most businesses in business districts? Aren't most streets in business districts rather main streets? In my neighborhood, I never see a semi-truck, and I have lived here 24 years. Deliveries arrive by UPS or the USPS.
 
Old 05-28-2013, 08:11 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,834,426 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Agreed on the premise, but not on the extent. Currently, the way we "charge" for road use creates massive distortions in the market. Trucks, specifically, are overutilized vs. rail because we, the public, subsidize their use.
No. Trucks are used because rail is absolutely terrible at anything which needs timely performance. Yet rail is still well-used.

Quote:
Imagine if trucks had to buy right-of-way like rail does.
The rights-of-way for rail were not only not bought in many cases (but acquired through eminent domain), but the railroads were given land grants for quite some distance from the tracks.
 
Old 05-29-2013, 12:44 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,466 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
No. Trucks are used because rail is absolutely terrible at anything which needs timely performance. Yet rail is still well-used.


The rights-of-way for rail were not only not bought in many cases (but acquired through eminent domain), but the railroads were given land grants for quite some distance from the tracks.
When I say right-of-way, I don't specifically mean land. I mean right to use the available medium. Trucks don't have to buy road time from CalTrans or "buy" the land itself to build a road.

And, yes, I'm aware rail is still used quite heavily for long distance cargo. But, look at the Port of Long Beach and how heavily trucks are relied upon to carry cargo from ships to the far-off warehouses. Rail could probably do that better.

Katiana, I was being explicit in my point on where trucks could and could not go.

Anyway, my original point was and is that if cargo trucks, like the kind that deliver to grocery and convenience stores, had to pay, per mile, for road use, the form of retail in the suburbs, and the form of the suburbs in general, would look different.

Suburban retail would, I think, be more centralized in to retail "hubs" as a result of retailers minimizing the shipping costs that would be passed on to them by the shipping companies.
 
Old 05-29-2013, 01:39 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
When I say right-of-way, I don't specifically mean land. I mean right to use the available medium. Trucks don't have to buy road time from CalTrans or "buy" the land itself to build a road.

And, yes, I'm aware rail is still used quite heavily for long distance cargo. But, look at the Port of Long Beach and how heavily trucks are relied upon to carry cargo from ships to the far-off warehouses. Rail could probably do that better.

Katiana, I was being explicit in my point on where trucks could and could not go.

Anyway, my original point was and is that if cargo trucks, like the kind that deliver to grocery and convenience stores, had to pay, per mile, for road use, the form of retail in the suburbs, and the form of the suburbs in general, would look different.

Suburban retail would, I think, be more centralized in to retail "hubs" as a result of retailers minimizing the shipping costs that would be passed on to them by the shipping companies.
I'm not really sure what you're referring to. One of the advantages of trucks, rather than rail, is deliveries can be made to the door. If something is shipped by rail, you (the business owner) must go to the RR station to get it, or there has to be another method of delivery, probably truck, from the station to the business.

Trucks do pay per mile driven with gas tax. I know, I know, there are all those studies that show that gas tax doesn't totally pay for roads, but roads are considered a public necessity. Thomas freaking Jefferson proposed a national roadway system. "All roads lead to Rome". The "road to Damascus; the road to Capernaum", etc in the Bible. Trucks also pay a lot of licensing fees, etc.

Where do you think suburban shopping is now? Why should people have to walk, drive, whatever, miles and miles in the suburbs to buy a loaf of bread? Isn't that what suburbs get criticized (unfairly in most cases) for now? Every large city I have ever lived in (all two of them) have shopping in the neighborhoods, outside of the downtown. One big criticism of both Denver and Pittsburgh is that they don't have a full-service grocery store downtown. The grocery stores are in the business districts of the neighborhoods.
 
Old 05-29-2013, 02:19 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,466 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I'm not really sure what you're referring to. One of the advantages of trucks, rather than rail, is deliveries can be made to the door. If something is shipped by rail, you (the business owner) must go to the RR station to get it, or there has to be another method of delivery, probably truck, from the station to the business.

Trucks do pay per mile driven with gas tax. I know, I know, there are all those studies that show that gas tax doesn't totally pay for roads, but roads are considered a public necessity. Thomas freaking Jefferson proposed a national roadway system. "All roads lead to Rome". The "road to Damascus; the road to Capernaum", etc in the Bible. Trucks also pay a lot of licensing fees, etc.

Where do you think suburban shopping is now? Why should people have to walk, drive, whatever, miles and miles in the suburbs to buy a loaf of bread? Isn't that what suburbs get criticized (unfairly in most cases) for now? Every large city I have ever lived in (all two of them) have shopping in the neighborhoods, outside of the downtown. One big criticism of both Denver and Pittsburgh is that they don't have a full-service grocery store downtown. The grocery stores are in the business districts of the neighborhoods.
Let's take a step back because we're clearly not connecting.

I'm going to focus on my one point regarding freight trucking and the suburban form. To avoid confusion, I'm not, in this post, going to discuss rail.

Trucks, and road users in general, do not pay anything close to the fully inclusive cost, to the government or the larger society, per mile traveled. If trucks had to pay a per-mile usage fee, like a toll, the suburban form would be different than it is now.

Right now, freight is cheap, so there's little harm in spreading out retail. Instead, the costs are aligned so that retail is low density and close to the consumer. Even with shopping centers, they are aplenty and not tightly focused.

But if, instead, freight shippers had to pay a toll for each mile traveled within a city or to travel between "zones," the suburban form would change. I think that change would be in to something with fewer, larger, more dense shopping districts.

Here's why: the cost of shipping would be passed on to the retailers. The retailers, to be competitive, cut costs, and improve profit margins, would seek to minimize the shipping cost. To only way to reduce the price of shipping in regards to per-mile tolls is to go fewer miles. This means (a) fewer stores, cutting those with smaller margins, or (b) stores within the same shopping center entering in to agreements to more completely use the capacity of each truck.

Either way, the result would be fewer, larger, denser shopping centers/districts/malls.
 
Old 05-29-2013, 02:56 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
((^^Throws paper wad at computer screen!))

Tell me how you envision shopping in the suburbs now.

Even better, compare and contrast shopping facilities in the city v the suburbs.
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.


Closed Thread

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
Similar Threads
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