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Old 02-18-2014, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
Right, but it does not make sense to run a subway line to rural UK nor rural GA. Transit feasibility is dependent on the area it will serve, not the country side 100 miles away.
Still off topic. But for the record, metro London murders Atlanta's population density. My point was that if Metro Atlanta's population density is lower than that of a nation that's 10 times its size, then that's saying something. It makes no sense to talk about Atlanta geting the type of transit that London and Paris have when Metro Atlanta isn't even as dense as the United Kingdom. LOL.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,352 posts, read 26,373,004 times
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The New York City CSA is 13,318 sq. miles with a density of 1,876 ppsm. Anybody want to see if you can add 37,000 sq. miles and keep the density over 1,000 ppsm?
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
5,745 posts, read 3,229,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv101 View Post
^^^^^I'm not sure what the point of the above photo is,

The post with the large photo of the traffic jam is in response to another poster who suggested that private vehicles save time.

cities with world-class public transit systems including Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco and many other cities have world-class traffic jams just as cities with mediocre-to-abysmal public transit systems such as LA & Phoenix also have world-class traffic jams as well.
That may be true, but just think how much worse those traffic jams in Toronto, Montreal, and SF would be if public transit DIDN'T exist in those cities. (full disclosure: I'm from Toronto).
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:50 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,965,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Much higher population densities in Western Europe make high speed rail possible. A lot of American cities clamor for HSR, but the vast majority of American metros have population densities lower than Britain's and Germany's.
HSR links large, urban centers. The density of the country as a whole is arbitrary.

It's an alternative to flying in the same corridor for trips less than 400 miles and whether or not it's successful HSR is comes down to the total amount of traffic in the corridor and how time/cost competitive the train is with a plane or a car.

You get a lot of busy air/rail corridors in countries/states of wildly divergent densities. Some corridors have had HSR for a long time, some just got it, others are planning it:

Madrid-Barcelona
Paris-Toulouse
Paris - Lyon
Sydney-Melbourne
LA-SF
LA-Vegas
Sao Paulo - Rio
NYC - DC
NYC - Boston
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,352 posts, read 26,373,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
HSR links large, urban centers. The density of the country as a whole is arbitrary.
And what large urban centers are there to link in the U.S. outside of the East Coast and possibly segments of the West Coast? Those corridors are more obvious. I'm talking about cities like Atlanta and Charlotte that are clamoring for HSR. The fact that their metro areas aren't even as dense as significantly larger European countries should give one pause when talking about putting HSR there. A metro area being less dense than a much larger country is like losing the 100 meters to Usain Bolt with a 90 meter head start. No reason that should ever happen.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:09 PM
 
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Bajan - You still don't get it. The lack of population density in US cities is the result of these flawed policies. That is why the US cities were so much denser in 1950 before these policies really took effect in the US.

These policies lead to to a lack of density in US cities. Not vica versa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Still off topic. But for the record, metro London murders Atlanta's population density. My point was that if Metro Atlanta's population density is lower than that of a nation that's 10 times its size, then that's saying something. It makes no sense to talk about Atlanta geting the type of transit that London and Paris have when Metro Atlanta isn't even as dense as the United Kingdom. LOL.
Even London today (3,900 ppsm) is comparable to Atlanta's 6k+ ppsm in 1940.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:14 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,180,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
But the UK is 11 times larger in land area than New Jersey. That's sort of my point. If you could take the densest 8,700 sq. miles of the UK (that's roughly the size of NJ), there would be nowhere in the United States that could possibly come close to that in density.
If you played with boundaries a bit, sure. The NYC urban area has 18.3 million in 3450 square miles. Go up and down (Philadelphia: 5.4 million in 1980 square miles) the Northeast Corridor and you could probably get maybe 30 million in 8700 square miles.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Nobody was thinking about the consequences of suburban sprawl then. Compared to Europe, there was endless land to chew up for development, so why would they? Without population pressure and land constraints to check development, we have a lot of low density suburban sprawl as a result.
This isn't really true. Europe dabbled in sprawl and highway building in the early years and is still in the process of building out a highway network akin to the US interstate system. But since most of Europe was just wrecked in a war that kind of spending in 1950 was deemed non-essential.

There's also the fact that the US population has doubled since then (the same isn't true for the eurozone) and most of that growth was shaped in an era when people were eager to embrace modernity and reject the past

Quote:
In California, metros tend to be denser because of land constraints. Since the East Coast didn't have that, suburban development sprawled more.
California settlements were historically compact because of limited access to year-round water supplies. Other legal constraints came along later because of concerns over seismic activity, steep slopes, and of course state and national parks.

The east coast was never constrained by water and most of it was settled/cleared before national parks were even a thought. Places like Salem,MA, Perth Amboy,NJ Haddonfield, NJ etc. were towns in their own right long before Boston, NYC, or Philly grew to anything resembling their current stature.

Land around east coast cities had been subdivided for 200 years before California was even a US territory and for 300 years before the suburbs as we know them were even a concept. Because of abundant water and a much longer history of settlement and development this meant much smaller farms and a lot more towns. In the 1950s much of Southern California was still ranches and orchards and were easily converted to massive, master-planned communities. With a few exceptions it wasn't possible to build an east coast version of the massive developments one sees in Orange County. There were too many people (read:too many individual landholders) already living there.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:49 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,965,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
And what large urban centers are there to link in the U.S. outside of the East Coast and possibly segments of the West Coast? Those corridors are more obvious. I'm talking about cities like Atlanta and Charlotte that are clamoring for HSR. The fact that their metro areas aren't even as dense as significantly larger European countries should give one pause when talking about putting HSR there. A metro area being less dense than a much larger country is like losing the 100 meters to Usain Bolt with a 90 meter head start. No reason that should ever happen.
I'm not one clamoring for 220mph rail tomorrow (eventually?) but routes that averaged 120-150mph would be a vast improvement. Call me an incrementalist.

I think the emerging HSR corridors (where ridership is climbing as improvements are made and trip times fall) are good candidates for faster rail. Chicago-Detroit, Chicago-St. Louis, etc. Empire Corridor, Southeast, maybe Florida.

I'm not following the density argument. Lots of people fly from LA to Vegas without worrying too much about what's in between or caring too much about how dense the metro area is. What's the difference between getting dropped off at the airport and getting dropped off at a train station?

The DC to Charlotte corridor is already a busy and growing one and the fact that there are so many departure-destination pairs makes it a stronger candidate - not a weaker one - especially when so many of those potential pairs are +4 hour drives and, because of transfers, flying between them often takes longer than driving.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:01 PM
 
12,326 posts, read 15,263,773 times
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Oil has a lot to do with it. Europe never had much of an oil industry and had to import most of it. Since imports were taxed at the time, gas was expensive. Not only was mass transit preferred but European cars were smaller and lighter to get more kilometers per liter. In the US, so much oil was being produced that the price of gasoline plummeted. People had no inkling that cheap gas wouldn't be available. I know these days it seems ludicrous for someone to buy a house in a development far from mass transit and commute to an office park with no mass transit, 50 miles away, and make the trip in a vehicle that gets only 10 mpg. But years ago that seemed pretty normal.
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