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Old 09-27-2015, 08:34 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Really? Since when is cycling considered inappropriate for children?
How many kids do you have, again, wburg? Last I knew it was zero. nybbler is absolutely right. Car use goes up with kids.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:02 AM
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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
How many kids do you have, again, wburg? Last I knew it was zero. nybbler is absolutely right. Car use goes up with kids.
And neither does nybbler.

I see children bicycle rather frequently; for one thing they can't drive.
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:38 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
That supposes there has to be one best way. Why not leave it up to people to decide what they like best? Just from my anecdotal experience the answering overwhelmingly seems to be the car. The families I personally know in San Francisco all greatly increased their car usage once the children came along. In my experience even in San Francisco when the kids coming along, car usage goes up among those who remain. Most people find it better to leave San Francisco when they have a family so that's a pretty small group with an unusual preference and even among them the car becomes much more important by and large. But yeah, car-centric seems to be the superior choice for most families.
Well, since the advent of zoning, we've never left it up to families to decide what's best for them, and they certainly don't make those decisions in a vacuum. Cities make rules, developers develop based on what's in their best interest based upon those rules, available subsidies, applied fees, and market demand, and consumers react based upon their preferences/biases, supply, and prices.

It is inaccurate to say, then, that, given our disproportionate supply of auto-centric development and resulting high cost of walkable cities (vs. supply of walkable individual neighborhoods, which may be islands of walkability), that we're leaving it up to people to decide what's best for themselves and their family.

Obviously, in many other countries that followed different development models in the 20th century, people choose differently in different contexts. Look at Japan, Spain, or Holland.

So, of course we choose the car more often than not. Look at our cities and how busy our lives are here. Given that context, the car is the path of least resistance for a parent. It is a heated and air-conditioned steel shell that one can leave the kid's seat in semi-permanently and that has storage. Getting kids to a far-flung soccer field by bike in the average American city would be much, much harder.

But I didn't frame the question to include context, only as a comparison between two built forms.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,090,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Well, since the advent of zoning, we've never left it up to families to decide what's best for them, and they certainly don't make those decisions in a vacuum. Cities make rules, developers develop based on what's in their best interest based upon those rules, available subsidies, applied fees, and market demand, and consumers react based upon their preferences/biases, supply, and prices.

It is inaccurate to say, then, that, given our disproportionate supply of auto-centric development and resulting high cost of walkable cities (vs. supply of walkable individual neighborhoods, which may be islands of walkability), that we're leaving it up to people to decide what's best for themselves and their family.

Obviously, in many other countries that followed different development models in the 20th century, people choose differently in different contexts. Look at Japan, Spain, or Holland.

So, of course we choose the car more often than not. Look at our cities and how busy our lives are here. Given that context, the car is the path of least resistance for a parent. It is a heated and air-conditioned steel shell that one can leave the kid's seat in semi-permanently and that has storage. Getting kids to a far-flung soccer field by bike in the average American city would be much, much harder.

But I didn't frame the question to include context, only as a comparison between two built forms.
It's not at all inaccurate. Yes, consumer choice exists within reality and not a fictional utopia. People have complete choice within reality. It's completely true that they don't get to create their fictitious idealized city and live in it, which apparently is the only thing you would consider to be people having a choice.

But yes, like you say of course we choose the car more. For the majority, it's the clear better choice. Since that's overwhelmingly what people prefer, it overwhelmingly is what is supplied. Japan's population density is 10 times greater than the US, and much of that land is difficult to develop. Spain was poorer. In 1960 in Spain, for example, car ownership was very rare. The overwhelming majority of households in 1960 did not own a car. Spain's population in 1960 was 30 million versus the 46 million it is today. Regardless, today if you look at new development it doesn't look all that different. Say Las Lomas, which is a suburb of Madrid. Curvilinear streets and cul-de-sacs. Now, proportionately Spain looks very different as most of it wasn't built when cars were available for most people as they were too poor. We had higher car ownership in 1920 than Spain did in 1960, significantly so. Obviously this looks different. Netherlands is a much better example than Spain of how free choice affects things as they didn't just adopt the car like Spain did once they became affluent enough to afford to.

Just like here, though, people have complete choice in that. I mean, they still live in vastly different conditions where car ownership was not common in 1960, although far more common than in Spain. For example, in the US we subsidize roads with general tax dollars whereas in the Netherlands they don't. Gas tends to run around $7/gallon in the Netherlands due to sin taxes, road taxes, up to 45% VAT on new car sales, and so on. Those are all public policies that result because the Netherlands public made different choices than the US public did. It would be completely untrue for one to claim that in the Netherlands people don't have a choice to live somewhere car-dependent. They make the choice within a given reality. We're both democratic forms of government, however, so in both cases policy was democratically decided even though they look very different. But as I said, you're presupposing there's one best solution and clearly there isn't.

In either case, people are free to decide what is best for them. That doesn't mean someone in the Netherlands has the choice to dictate public policy unilaterally any more than they do here. An individual may want to live in the fictitious utopia version of the Netherlands where instead of heavily taxing car usage it gets subsidized like public transit is. Individuals unilaterally deciding public policy decisions and creating their own fictitious utopias has never been free choice.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's not at all inaccurate. Yes, consumer choice exists within reality and not a fictional utopia. People have complete choice within reality. It's completely true that they don't get to create their fictitious idealized city and live in it, which apparently is the only thing you would consider to be people having a choice.
Clearly we have no middle ground. You accept that people have made a choice and that choice is proof that's what they wanted. I say we're not really giving people a choice except of a few degrees and, as such, their choices aren't proof of anything.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,090,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Clearly we have no middle ground. You accept that people have made a choice and that choice is proof that's what they wanted. I say we're not really giving people a choice except of a few degrees and, as such, their choices aren't proof of anything.
Agreed there. I'll never see Manhattan and say Naperville as just being a few degrees of difference, and we haven't even really left the realm of urban yet and gotten to rural living yet. Proof is in the pudding, as they say. Which is why you've got everything to choose from from a tiny town like Millington, IL, to Napperville, to the Loop all with people happily living in them. And yeah, no middle ground on that. To me that's just not a few degrees of choice all within Chicagoland.

I'm really curious since Millington is just a few degrees different than Manhattan what you'd consider a real choice though, if you'd care to explain that for me.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:38 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,013 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Well, since the advent of zoning, we've never left it up to families to decide what's best for them, and they certainly don't make those decisions in a vacuum. Cities make rules, developers develop based on what's in their best interest based upon those rules, available subsidies, applied fees, and market demand, and consumers react based upon their preferences/biases, supply, and prices.

It is inaccurate to say, then, that, given our disproportionate supply of auto-centric development and resulting high cost of walkable cities (vs. supply of walkable individual neighborhoods, which may be islands of walkability), that we're leaving it up to people to decide what's best for themselves and their family.

Obviously, in many other countries that followed different development models in the 20th century, people choose differently in different contexts. Look at Japan, Spain, or Holland.

So, of course we choose the car more often than not. Look at our cities and how busy our lives are here. Given that context, the car is the path of least resistance for a parent. It is a heated and air-conditioned steel shell that one can leave the kid's seat in semi-permanently and that has storage. Getting kids to a far-flung soccer field by bike in the average American city would be much, much harder.

But I didn't frame the question to include context, only as a comparison between two built forms.
Oh, for pity's sake! We have discussed zoning on this forum many times before! Prior to "de jure" zoning, there was "de facto" zoning, e.g. businesses in the business area, factories off to the edges of town, etc. Even in Pittsburgh at the height of the steel era, there were no steel mills in the central business district. US Steel had its headquarters there, but there were very few mills anywhere in the city. The USSteel Southside Works is about the only one, on the banks of the Monongahela. Most of the mills were in mill towns along the Mon, Ohio, and Beaver Rivers. There were no packing houses in downtown Omaha, either.

In western Europe, cities are anchored by a "cathedral square" which has shops around the cathedral. There may be people living above these shops, but there's no specific housing in these areas or for several blocks around them.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:51 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Oh, for pity's sake! We have discussed zoning on this forum many times before!
Yes, and every discussion of "zoning is excessive" turns into extreme examples such as "factories don't belong in residential neighborhood". One can zone about nusiance businesses while still permitting scattered small business in a residential neighborhood.

Quote:
In western Europe, cities are anchored by a "cathedral square" which has shops around the cathedral. There may be people living above these shops, but there's no specific housing in these areas or for several blocks around them.
There's still housing nearby, then. Not sure why would it make a difference where there's specifically housing. The European central square areas I've seen were all extremely touristy.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,383 posts, read 6,008,841 times
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People want density but they can't afford it. So they end up in Atlanta or Houston, because of quality of life issues. Then they're impressed by spaghetti junctions and other suburban infrastructure. As far as New York, as interesting as that is I would never pay to live there. My money can only afford Pittsburgh. I live in the MidAtlantic and I think its overpriced.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:29 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,013 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yes, and every discussion of "zoning is excessive" turns into extreme examples such as "factories don't belong in residential neighborhood". One can zone about nusiance businesses while still permitting scattered small business in a residential neighborhood.



There's still housing nearby, then. Not sure why would it make a difference where there's specifically housing. The European central square areas I've seen were all extremely touristy.
^^Nevertheless, this meme that zoning is the impediment to everyone living a kumbaya life in a mixed-use area is faulty.
"The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible. In practice, zoning also is used to prevent new development from interfering with existing uses and/or to preserve the "character" of a community."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoning

This means zoning can be used to prevent, say, a massage parlor (and I'm not talking about Massage Envy or other therapeutic massage) setting up shop in a residential area. It can mean not allowing a bar within a certain distance of a school. Lots more examples. Do note that in the article I linked, zoning in other countries, including in Europe and Australia, is discussed.

I agree about the European central squares.
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