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Old 03-01-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,145 posts, read 103,022,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Europe is less car dependent than we are in the US simply because they made a conscious choice to make non driving an attractive (or viable) option.
Seriously? Can you document just when and how they made this conscious choice?
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:33 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,879,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Seriously? Can you document just when and how they made this conscious choice?
More likely just lots of older cities that were built around walking/horse vs. newer cities built around street cars. Putting an road in is disruptive both in terms of cost and politics. Not only do you need to tear down houses but you also need to reroute services(transit lines, gas lines, water mains). The denser the area the more expensive it is going to be to put in an expressway.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Seriously? Can you document just when and how they made this conscious choice?
Copenhagen made a choice in the 70s/80s. Here is a quick summary from the Danish govt on what lead to reclaiming cycling.

How Denmark become a cycling nation -The official website of Denmark

Separately, so many cities in Europe decided to close the "center city" to car traffic to encourage other modes of transportation into the city. We don't really do that here. We kinda go "how are the cars going to get here" and then worry about everyone else. Like at the Super Bowl, the NFL severely underestimated the number of people who were going to take transit, assuming more people would drive or take shuttles.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,145 posts, read 103,022,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Copenhagen made a choice in the 70s/80s. Here is a quick summary from the Danish govt on what lead to reclaiming cycling.

How Denmark become a cycling nation -The official website of Denmark

Separately, so many cities in Europe decided to close the "center city" to car traffic to encourage other modes of transportation into the city. We don't really do that here. We kinda go "how are the cars going to get here" and then worry about everyone else. Like at the Super Bowl, the NFL severely underestimated the number of people who were going to take transit, assuming more people would drive or take shuttles.
That was an interesting article. It does point out that Denmark has a long cycling tradition, something most US cities don't have. It's flat there, and their weather is better for cycling than that of many US cities. (Cue nei to tell us about biking in the snow!) I found that picture of "summer girls" a bit sexist, too.

I can't comment on the Super Bowl. When we go to a rare Broncos game, we, along with many others, take the Broncos Ride (RTD).
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:44 AM
 
1,267 posts, read 2,163,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
It's not like cars are non-existent in Europe, nor a practical choice for everyone there. I know a number of people in London that drive to work, public transit wouldn't be time-efficient for most of their commutes.
Right.
Europe is less car dependant tha USA but it is still car dependant. "Less" doesn't mean "not".
Americans mostly know Europe via the town centers but most of the population doesn't live here, comparing american suburbia with european town centers is a good comparison.

In my country, France, Paris is the only metropolitan area where the majority of trip are not made by cars.

In France, 73% of the journey to work are made by car.
Ile de France (approx Paris metro area), 43% of the journey to work are made by car.
In the rest of France, 80% of the journey to work are made by car.

Insee - Territoire - Une illustration des usages du recensement : les dplacements domicile-travail
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,836,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
That was an interesting article. It does point out that Denmark has a long cycling tradition, something most US cities don't have. It's flat there, and their weather is better for cycling than that of many US cities. (Cue nei to tell us about biking in the snow!) I found that picture of "summer girls" a bit sexist, too.
I agree, it does kinda highlight the point that the infrastructure is for everyone, but we don't need to use cute girls for everything. I love that the idea is to make infrastructure that 70 years and 5 year olds feel safe using. Apparently Danish elementary school kids learn bike safety in school, and at age six or so they have a test to see if they can bike to school alone safely. After they pass the kids are off to the races in the bike lanes. I wish we did this more here. Most bike infrastructure is designed for adrenaline junkies (outside of the trails for exercising)

I dissed another story about how they remade their driving rules because of too many pedestrian deaths and car accidents. After a too many kids were killed crossing the road. Hopefully I can find it again. But they really shifted their priorities in road design so pedestrians are at low risk for injury.

[/quote]
I can't comment on the Super Bowl. When we go to a rare Broncos game, we, along with many others, take the Broncos Ride (RTD).[/quote]

Here is a recap on the issues. Basically 2x people took transit than the estimates, so conditions were very crowded.
Super Bowl 2014: NFL executive calls Secaucus Junction jam 'a good lesson learned for all of us' | NJ.com
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:02 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,320,629 times
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Part of it isn't even planning.

If the US wants to be less car dependent, all it has to do is raise the gas tax. Raise it by $2-3 / gallon, and split some of the revenue with the oil companies (just so they go along with it).

People will start biking / buses their a****s to work real quick.

A major problem in the US vs. Europe is that it is simply too cheap to drive in the US. Road costs are half the price as twenty years ago when adjusted for inflation.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,878 posts, read 74,899,594 times
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bek america can continue the illusion of a classless society as long as we can stay in the car and high rent communities.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:15 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
45,993 posts, read 42,256,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
More likely just lots of older cities that were built around walking/horse vs. newer cities built around street cars. Putting an road in is disruptive both in terms of cost and politics. Not only do you need to tear down houses but you also need to reroute services(transit lines, gas lines, water mains). The denser the area the more expensive it is going to be to put in an expressway.
I'm sure that's part of it, but I don't think that's all. The central parts of Boston is pre-streetcar and not really any lower in density than some European cities. But a large expressway was placed through the center of the city, demolishing large old sections. A European city's expressway would have probably went around the very city or just ended a couple miles from the center and spent more rail transit improvements. Considering Boston demolished much of one old neighborhood just as urban renewal, I think the difference was the old part of the city wasn't really considered worth preserving. Ironically, at the same time Boston was placing elevated expressways through the center, it was removing and burying most elevated rapid transit lines as unsightly. Decades later, Boston would bury much of its elevated expressway system...

Constructing expressways through existing neighborhoods lost support in the Boston by the end of the 60s. Europe built its urban expressway system later, closer to the end urban expressways were losing support.

Also, New York City is as dense or denser than most European cities. But a large number of expressways were built through dense parts anyway, though most of the Manhattan ones that involving tear down existing neighborhoods never happened. However, New York City is not only dense but large in area. Many European cities without expressways aren't as big, so the distance you'd have to go to reach an expressway is much smaller. For more similar sized cities, Paris has expressways not that far from the center though probably less per capita than NYC (though the amount lanes may be a bit higher). Only London has long distances without any expressways.

Another difference is on average, existing old European roads and city streets from the pre-automobile era were narrower, so they weren't as good at accommodating lots of traffic. In fact, even in old American neighborhoods, one of the first things European remark is how wide the street. But I don't know how much it matters; Philadelphia has narrower streets than Chicago but I don't think it gets a lot less driving. And some Scandinavian cities might have wider streets than Philly.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:18 PM
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
45,993 posts, read 42,256,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato ku View Post
Right.
Europe is less car dependant tha USA but it is still car dependant. "Less" doesn't mean "not".
Americans mostly know Europe via the town centers but most of the population doesn't live here, comparing american suburbia with european town centers is a good comparison.

In my country, France, Paris is the only metropolitan area where the majority of trip are not made by cars.

In France, 73% of the journey to work are made by car.
Ile de France (approx Paris metro area), 43% of the journey to work are made by car.
In the rest of France, 80% of the journey to work are made by car.

Insee - Territoire - Une illustration des usages du recensement : les dplacements domicile-travail
That's lower public transit use than I expected, if I followed the link right, it looks like 8% of work commutes outside Ile de France are by public transit, not really that much different than the more transit friendly American metros.. The new rail lines in smaller French cities (Strausboug, Lyon) often look they get good ridership, better than most American ones.
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