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Old 01-15-2014, 07:34 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33082

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
People with access to transit drive less miles than those who don't. Even if they have a car.

Here is a case study from LA:
Residents living near Expo Line stations reduce car use, study shows - Los Angeles Times



Using transit/walking doesn't mean you need to trash your car. You can convert some trips to non-car. Cars have their place, but it is important to have alternatives instead of always having to use your car.
That study proves that people who live near one transit line in one city drive less. And I love this line: "After the Expo Line opened, households living within a half-mile of the stations saw a 30% reduction in their carbon emissions, the study said. Although some people had purchased more fuel-efficient cars, Boarnet said, researchers chalked up the difference to people driving less." That sounds real scientific!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,336,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
That study proves that people who live near one transit line in one city drive less. And I love this line: "After the Expo Line opened, households living within a half-mile of the stations saw a 30% reduction in their carbon emissions, the study said. Although some people had purchased more fuel-efficient cars, Boarnet said, researchers chalked up the difference to people driving less." That sounds real scientific!
So, are you saying that people with access to transit drive as much or more than those who don't have access, on average?
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:11 PM
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 AJNEOA View Post
So, are you saying that people with access to transit drive as much or more than those who don't have access, on average?
I'm saying the researchers did not determine why the households had a reduction in emissions. They assumed. Not exactly the scientific method!
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,686,954 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
That study proves that people who live near one transit line in one city drive less. And I love this line: "After the Expo Line opened, households living within a half-mile of the stations saw a 30% reduction in their carbon emissions, the study said. Although some people had purchased more fuel-efficient cars, Boarnet said, researchers chalked up the difference to people driving less." That sounds real scientific!
The most important thing is the people actually drove 10-12 less miles per day. That is signigicant. That us also data from only the first year. Driving 10 less miles a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year is 2500 miles. That is easily 15% of the average drives total vehicle miles travels.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:26 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,195,701 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Using transit/walking doesn't mean you need to trash your car. You can convert some trips to non-car. Cars have their place, but it is important to have alternatives instead of always having to use your car.
Good point.
Too many of these discussions are perceived as "anti-car" when it is really about more options.

I would add biking to my list options, walking/biking/transit/car.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:33 PM
 
7,936 posts, read 5,048,234 times
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About cars and walkability. Speaking personally, I love cars - driving them, racing them, modifying them, even buying and selling them. Far more than appliances or conveniences, they are a testament to what engineering judgment can produce. They're a kind of art.

But I hate houses. I hate mowing lawns, or repairing toilets, or dealing with leaky roofs. I hate having to heat or cool large spaces, of worrying about mice infestations or termites or shoveling the driveway.

I bought a house in the countryside, with a 4-car garage. I bought it not really to have a house, but to have a place where I could work on cars, unmolested by neighbors or city ordinances. But I bought far more than that for which I bargained. I bought a headache, a depreciating asset, a money-bit and a millstone about my neck. I've worked on cars less as a house owner, than I used to work on them in apartment parking lots, at night, with a flashlight and cordless tools.

So for me, the appeal of urban spaces isn't the "freedom" from cars, but the freedom from single-family detached houses. Now if only such cities could be more car-friendly!


Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
... why is it seems people take it more seriously than things like unemployment rate, median household income, average wages, etc...?
One possibility is that a walkable urban locale is associated with robustness, economic vitality, forward thinking and regeneration. Walkable places are regarded as places where entrepreneurial activity is strong, where affluent and well-educated people congregate. A causal relationship is assumed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv101 View Post
The problem with urban planners is that many of them are too full of themselves to believe that their 'solutions' for combating 'urban sprawl' do nothing except lead to skyrocketing prices for housing, and go 100% against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of us who want a home with a backyard as opposed to an apartment the size of a box of Wheaties.
It took me nearly 13 years of living in a comparatively large house with a huge back yard, to realize that I'd be happier in a studio-apartment with 300 square feet. So maybe I'm in the overwhelmed minority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydoc View Post
I think desnsity and walkability are really indicative of how livable an area is. It's about quality of life for many who are tired of the long distance driving between malls and shopping strips. There is a trend to want to slow down the pace of life; live closer to work and to shopping. Free up drive time. Make choices that feel better, calmer.
I don't mind the long-distance driving, or the wasted time sitting in traffic. Rather, I'd like the faster pace of life and the pluralism associated with large, throbbing cities. In this view, what makes an area livable is things like strong ethnic diversity (lots of neighborhoods with first-generation immigrants), world-class museums and other cultural venues, a truly global airport with direct flights to the principal world capitals, major universities, and a sense of belonging on the international scene.

What's appealing about a place like NYC isn't the capacity to dispense with car ownership (to me, that's actually a strong negative!), but its global significance. More than a place, it is a symbol. And it would be thrilling to be part of that symbol.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:39 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,195,701 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
About cars and walkability. Speaking personally, I love cars - driving them, racing them, modifying them, even buying and selling them. Far more than appliances or conveniences, they are a testament to what engineering judgment can produce. They're a kind of art.

But I hate houses. I hate mowing lawns, or repairing toilets, or dealing with leaky roofs. I hate having to heat or cool large spaces, of worrying about mice infestations or termites or shoveling the driveway.

I bought a house in the countryside, with a 4-car garage. I bought it not really to have a house, but to have a place where I could work on cars, unmolested by neighbors or city ordinances. But I bought far more than that for which I bargained. I bought a headache, a depreciating asset, a money-bit and a millstone about my neck. I've worked on cars less as a house owner, than I used to work on them in apartment parking lots, at night, with a flashlight and cordless tools.

So for me, the appeal of urban spaces isn't the "freedom" from cars, but the freedom from single-family detached houses. Now if only such cities could be more car-friendly!




One possibility is that a walkable urban locale is associated with robustness, economic vitality, forward thinking and regeneration. Walkable places are regarded as places where entrepreneurial activity is strong, where affluent and well-educated people congregate. A causal relationship is assumed.



It took me nearly 13 years of living in a comparatively large house with a huge back yard, to realize that I'd be happier in a studio-apartment with 300 square feet. So maybe I'm in the overwhelmed minority.



I don't mind the long-distance driving, or the wasted time sitting in traffic. Rather, I'd like the faster pace of life and the pluralism associated with large, throbbing cities. In this view, what makes an area livable is things like strong ethnic diversity (lots of neighborhoods with first-generation immigrants), world-class museums and other cultural venues, a truly global airport with direct flights to the principal world capitals, major universities, and a sense of belonging on the international scene.

What's appealing about a place like NYC isn't the capacity to dispense with car ownership (to me, that's actually a strong negative!), but its global significance. More than a place, it is a symbol. And it would be thrilling to be part of that symbol.

Find a small commercial garage downtown, off the beaten path, away from traffic.
Buy it or lease it. Buy a 300 sf RV. Park RV in garage. Live happily ever after.
One thing I love about cities is there is room for all kinds, makes it interesting.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:04 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,797,847 times
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I would have to find the paper that found this, but a recent study from a well known university found what is in hindsight pretty obvious things about higher density housing combined with good, diverse job markets:

1) That people who had ready access to mass transit used it quite a lot more often, reducing roadworks and infrastructure costs. While there is a higher initial investment in say a light rail network, the recurring costs are quite a bit cheaper, not to mention the drivers / conductors of those trains and mass transit get trained, which means a more mobile workforce.

2) When coupled with higher density housing, like townhomes, condos, and apartments, people spent a lot more time in the community both in time (neighborhood building) and money (jobs, diversity, etc).

3) When taken together, the infrastructure demand reduction (tax expenditures decreasing, need less power per person), increase in business activity (tax receipts increasing and income taxes increasing due to increase in jobs), and the general effect of having more people in denser environments means more explosive inventiveness (there are zero rural or suburban areas that produce nearly as many inventions and patents than cities worldwide), the conclusion is simple: it just makes sense.

So why the move to suburbia in the first place?

The answer is simple. America has until quite recently been a nation of frontiersmen. It remained this way until pretty much after WWI. After WWI, it was peoples' dreams to own their own homes, get away from farming, and live "a good life." Little did anyone bank on the Depression and WWII and a sudden and dramatic increase in a skilled workforce with little to no international competition make it a realizable dream for everyone. Thus now EVERYONE could own a home. This extended into the 80s as the Boomers made their own little utopias away from the "crime ridden" city centers to their McMansions. Not to mention that cities dating from the 1800s to the early 20th century were polluted wastelands of factories punctuated by neighborhoods.

Now we're coming to a turning point when we realize we just created different headaches for ourselves and that city life need not be dangerous or dreary or bleak. Not all cities are making the same strides, but I see pictures of the north end of St. Louis compared to when I lived there 10 years ago and it is astounding the changes that are going on. Yes there's still blight and abandoned factories but there's areas where artists, engineers, businessmen, and others have come together to make quite an interesting hodge podge. Much preferable to the whitewash boredom of the outer burbs.

Other cities will have ring cities that will gradually get denser and will necessarily need more mass transit options. I'm thinking cities in Texas, Seattle, etc. San Fran already has it with Oakland and other nearby cities (it's just BART sucks royally, we shouldn't copy that model).
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:13 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
Reputation: 12647
Unfortunately, you forgot to include the higher cost of transit.

Breaking down the economics of bus vs MAX - Portland Transport

For MAX, it costs the tax payer 64 cents per boarding in operating costs plus another 67 cents per boarding in infrastructure costs. This is cheaper than the bus which costs $1.96 per boarding for the tax payer in operating costs plus whatever the infrastructure costs are (buses don't pay anything for road maintenance, fuel taxes for govt vehicles is rebated).

Assuming the average person gets on transit only four times per day, including transfers, and only takes rail, that means they cost $1,650 per year. If the roads got $1,650 per year in funding per routine user we wouldn't even know what to spend on it all. In total, we spend about $80 billion a year on highways and streets per year. Assuming only 200,000,000 people are regular road users (absurdly low), that works out to about $400 per year. And that's total spending. According to Streetblogs, gas taxes and user fees cover only 50% of road costs, so that's now $200 a year.

$200 a year or $1,650 a year. One really has to be bad at math to state that $200 per year is not less than $1,650 per year. So how do you get people to want to spend 800% more subsidizing transit? Well, you make the benefit worth the cost. If it's not, people aren't going to be real excited about it. The most obvious, direct method is because you'd have to drive less. The marginal cost to the user of driving a mile is maybe 20-30 cents. If you can make transit good enough that people drive 6,000 - 8,000 fewer miles a year then they higher additional taxation might make sense. Alternatively, if you can cut one car from a household, the $1,650 looks attractive very quickly. No surprise NYC supports the very high levels of taxation necessary to pay for transit there. Lots of people don't have cars at all or only one car per household. Overhead cost on cars is quite a lot offsetting the higher taxation. Then you have your other advantages. Say parking is $300/month downtown and you can take BART from Dublin to San Francisco (1,600 miles per month plus $300 in parking plus $120 in tolls). Small wonder commuter service into urban areas is popular. Slightly exaggerated since BART, due to its distance, has much higher subsidies per boarding (~$7.50 operating subsidy average). Still the $300 subsidy per month is equal to the parking costs making high taxes an attractive alternative to driving expenses.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:29 AM
 
56,674 posts, read 80,973,859 times
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^What about the aspects of commute times and distance by car, the ability to walk and/or bike to work.

Here's an interesting list with extra information in regards to walking to work: The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides
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