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Old 02-20-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26646

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
Otherwise, creating affordable downtown living areas is very difficult and most cities just don't create reasonable access for cars. Doing grocery shopping by bus/rail/bike sucks if you have a family to feed, and the downtown stores tend to have much worse pricing.

How would you, urban planning people, recommend developing a more walkable downtown area with access to grocery shopping? Or would you simply expect the families to be able to afford eating out frequently?
I am just going to discuss this grocery store sentence for now. People end up shopping differently when the grocery store is walkable (conveniently walkable) to home. They buy less stuff and shop more often.

I live in a metro with more disposable income, and I also know more and more people with families that only have one car or no car. People work differently. The car-free people order the big stuff, that is annoying to carry online. They shop amazon or safeway.com and get it delivered at home. They stop for smaller stuff more regularly, and stop a few times a week. To pick up bread, produce etc.

I also live in a neighborhood with lots of people who "bike for transportation." So many people have trailers and the like at my local Trader Joes and Whole Foods, loaded up with bags of groceries and kids. Bike parking is always full and there are a lot of cargo bikes:


That bikes cargo area is probably bigger than the Fiat 500 trunk.

We don't have a chain grocery store downtown. Whole Foods is at the edge of downtown, and then their is Chinatown. and Koreatown. And just north of downtown we have Grocery Outlet. The "normal stores" are about 2 miles from downtown in either direction.

We have lots of car-share users downtown and the denser downtown adjacent neighborhoods.

Once your neighborhood is more walkable, you indirectly use your car less, and some people even give up on full time car ownership.

You don't need to build downtown housing assuming every person is going to bring one car and need one parking space. People who are attracted to downtown living tend to want to drive around town less than other people. I know people who live in neighborhoods more impacted by limited parking, and they only take their car when they want to leave town or take the occasional trip to Costco. It sits in the garage 75% of the time.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,802 posts, read 5,461,266 times
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The #1 culprit for the lack of affordable housing are local governments in many instances, certainly here in LA as well as SF and elsewhere, which not surprisingly results in a housing shortage, much to the consternation of urban planners and other social engineers who are dumbfounded when their ideas which they learned in college turn out to be useless or preposterous when they meet the real world outside.

Local governments are notorious for mandating how so-called affordable housing can be built, who can build such housing, in many instances local unionized civil service employees and the PLAs (prevailing labor agreements) which guarantee nosebleed-inducing prices (wiping out the 'affordability' aspect before the first shovelful of dirt is turned) and reams of regulations which make 'affordable housing' all but impossible in many cities.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv101 View Post
The #1 culprit for the lack of affordable housing are local governments in many instances, certainly here in LA as well as SF and elsewhere.

Local governments are notorious for mandating how so-called affordable housing can be built, who can build such housing, in many instances local unionized civil service employees and the PLAs (prevailing labor agreements) which guarantee nosebleed-inducing prices (wiping out the 'affordability' aspect before the first shovelful of dirt is turned) and reams of regulations which make 'affordable housing' all but impossible in many cities.
Often times if a city is mandating how a development is being built for affordable housing, they are also mandating the prices that can be charged so that those developments stay affordable. Without government involvement, housing would always go to the highest bidder rather than those in need of affordable housing.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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The problem in CA is we keep letting developers put money in an affordable housing fund instead of building it onsite and then the actual build gets delayed increasing cost and decreasing availability. There is also a big gap between affordable housing and market rate housing. In Oakland, there are some affordable projects that are applicable to people making $75-80k as a single and $100k as a family of 4. But a new 1 bedroom condo is $350-400k. And an old one in my neighborhood is $280k.
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