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Old 03-12-2014, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,703 posts, read 4,675,323 times
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For me it's simple- convenience. I live in a suburb and work in a suburban outer area of Seattle proper. To drive to work takes me 25-30 minutes. If I were to take a bus from my neighborhood or nearby my area, it would involve two bus transfers and over 90 minutes of total commute time each way. And on top of that you have to work your schedule around the bus- if you get stuck at work a little late and miss your bus, you have to wait for the next one and then do the same at all the transfers, whereas when driving you can hop in the car and just go directly home. You can also make unexpected side trips on the way home that you couldn't do on the bus. And then there is the matter of taking my baby and his stroller out when we go shopping- it would be a serious pain to have to take him and his stroller and all of his other "stuff" with us on a bus and then work around bus schedules to go to the stores we go to for our weekend errands.

To me it's a matter of being too restricted- if you only used mass transit you have to live your life by what routes are offered to you and what schedules are available.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
You have about 1,000 points. Alvin Ailey, VH1 Soul, Love Jones and Esperanza Spalding sealed the deal. That's the equivalent of a SWPL sitting in a Nob Hill coffeeshop typing away furiously on the latest MacBook Air while enjoying a nice cup of chai.

VH1 Soul is Open for Business -- re> NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire/ --
I don't know if it is still on my cable plan. I did watch it when it came out though. Considering Vh1 and MTV no longer play videos it was the only choice. Hahahah.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,074 posts, read 16,102,108 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I believe there has been some experimentation with that in DC, with the federal workforce, anyway. It seems to have just spread out rush hour.
Seattle as well. The big manufacturers for Boeing (Boeing, Fluke, etc) have crazy shift times. My girlfriend's mom worked for Fluke and her shift started at either 3 or 4 a.m. and went until noon or 1 p.m. In my office, you could choose your start time, anywhere from 5 a.m. until 9. Sizeable chunk of business was on the East Coast, so it helped. A lot of the East Side guys came in really early (5-6) because that meant the traffic wasn't nearly as bad either way. It also helped if you had kids since if you came in at 5 you could take off in time to pick the kids up from school.

I'd hate to see Seattle if everyone started at 8-9. It'd be a zoo.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,269 posts, read 26,269,309 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I don't know if it is still on my cable plan. I did watch it when it came out though. Considering Vh1 and MTV no longer play videos it was the only choice. Hahahah.
That's what MTV Jams is for. There you can get your daily dose of Lil' Wayne, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:54 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
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
IME, in Pittsburgh, Denver, Champaign, even little Beaver Falls, PA where I grew up, there was no housing right downtown. I supposed it depends on what one means by "downtown", as yes, I suppose some say they live in d/t Beaver Falls, meaning a particular part of the city (built on several hills as it is), but they didn't live in the main shopping area, which comprised several square blocks, when I was a kid anyway. Denver has some hip condos in d/t now (on the edges, I will add), but didn't 30 years ago when we moved here. Pittsburgh is the same I believe, with new condos d/t, but nothing in what one would really consider downtown when I went to college there, which is before most posters on here were even born!
As to the bolded, true, downtown in a general sense is a bit ill-defined, sometimes meaning just the general center city.

I haven't visited any of the locations mentioned. In most towns I've seen, there's housing right on the main street. For example, this town near me is a bit larger than Beaver Falls has housing above the store on Main St:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Main+...35.83,,0,-3.76

Some of the above store space is offices, but there is housing. On the side streets, there's housing and some non-residential, eventually becoming almost all housing as you go further out from the commercial streets. Other towns in the area are similar though maybe a bit different in size. Upstate NY doesn't seem too different, including Ithaca. As for Europe, the shopping streets usually have people living in them. For example in this medium sized French city, stores above the street, mostly housing a block away:

https://www.google.com/maps?q=France...,0,-11.08&z=16

But London has a square mile of the center city (corresponding to the old medieval walled city) that's nearly devoid of residents and nearly given over to finance. Not that much shopping there, most of it is further west, which is mostly commercial but has residents, too. As for larger American cities, the oldest cities in the US (say, Boston, New York City or Philadelphia) have an area where the population density goes way down in the center city because it's mainly offices. But that area isn't all that large, and you don't have to walk far to get to a more residential area (less than a 5 minute walk for Times Square). Also shopping isn't as concentrated as offices are. More of the skyscrapers are concentrated in a single-use area, while center city shopping is spread in a larger area. In any case downtown specifically, if by a narrow definition may have been rather empty of people, but

The 1950 density maps I posted give a hint on how empty of people downtowns were back then.

Quote:
Agree that in one car households, or any household where the number of cars is less than the number of members, that access is diminished if some are off somewhere with their cars. My mom used to take my dad to work on special days when she wanted/needed the car for something. My brother, mom and I then all shared a second car after we kids were driving and we worked it out. (Mom had priority, natch!) As I said earlier, the Denver version of Zipcar (I think e-go) states in their literature that one should have some backup plans for times when a car is needed immediately.
I know a few who take transit to workbecause their spouses/ SOs use the car. Maybe transit is a bit slower for them, but they'd rather save money and only have one car.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,396 posts, read 59,890,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Perpetually dissatisfied people are easier to convince that more stuff will make them happy--and to hold all that stuff, they'll need a big house with a garage. Of course, the house is also stuff.
You're so funny.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:08 PM
 
1,112 posts, read 910,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gureentree View Post
Phoenix,AZ. Hot as hell during the summer, nothing is central. People avoid downtown besides basketball and baseball games. Even the football and soccer games are in the middle of no where. I ride my bicycle, but come July, it will be a weird choice. Either ride 15 min in 115 - 120 degree summer and stink when you get there or drive the car for 5 min in 115-120 degree. Obviously the choice is clear.

I am sure many more people would take public transit if cities were planned better with a central entertainment district, central business district, and central living district. You could easily design a city like this without involving any specific city in an area, but make it a neutral area. But noooo, let's cluster F everything in randomness.
Personally, I didn't find Phoenix to be randomized when I visited twice. But I think the main reason why everything is so decentralized is because of how much cheaper it is to develop out instead of up. Fortunately, some of that is starting to change as the city seems to investing more downtown and along Central Ave.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,703 posts, read 4,675,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
It isn't necessary to build rail everywhere to provide good and comprehensive service! Generally, stops about every half-mile or so mean a quarter-mile walk from front door to transit station is sufficient. Buses have their role, but it isn't necessary to be "bus heavy" or even all that desirable.

I never saw a car as "freedom," even when I lived in the suburbs. I saw it as a ball and chain--I had to pay to own it and maintain it, feed it and care for it, sit for extra hours at work with the car parked in the parking lot instead of using my time as I saw fit. Like the song says, "freedom" isn't free, and the "freedom" provided by a car is a lot like the "freedom" provided by heroin addiction--it's a harmful, dangerous habit that encourages dependency, saps our strength, and costs lives.
Wow, this is a way over the top extreme view of car ownership. It is none of those things- it is simply another option. Remember in the old days, lots of people traveled by horse or horse and buggy? Cars are just the modern version- lots of people prefer personal independent transportation options. It doesn't mean they are addicted, it doesn't mean they are miserable, depressed people because of it, it doesn't sap any strength- it's simply a mode of transportation that lots of us LIKE because it is the most convenient and least restrictive way to get around!
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:03 PM
 
3,098 posts, read 3,198,497 times
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One thing I don't see mentioned is the rising theft of personal electronics on Mass Transit. The snatch, grab and run of smartphones, tablets, etc is becoming a problem on commuter systems.

Early in this thread someone debunked Mass Transit being used to commit crimes in outlying areas and made a rather funny scenario where the thief would time the burglary soo he could take the bus/train back to 'the hood' The person got it half right. The standard criminal commuter takes Mass Transit out to the suburban area then steals a car commits the crime and drives back to 'the hood'

And another question -- what is SWPL?
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
That's what MTV Jams is for. There you can get your daily dose of Lil' Wayne, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill.
I am too old for those guys. I also think the cable plan that adds MTV Jams is expensive heheh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
Wow, this is a way over the top extreme view of car ownership. It is none of those things- it is simply another option. Remember in the old days, lots of people traveled by horse or horse and buggy? Cars are just the modern version- lots of people prefer personal independent transportation options. It doesn't mean they are addicted, it doesn't mean they are miserable, depressed people because of it, it doesn't sap any strength- it's simply a mode of transportation that lots of us LIKE because it is the most convenient and least restrictive way to get around!
The problem is, cars were "freedom" when you got to choose to use it. Now, in too many places, it is the only option to get around. Driving/car ownership isn't bad, and could even be pleasurable, if you didn't always have to do it in order to get everywhere. Cars went from the whole fun identity-building item to an appliance in short order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidValleyDad View Post
One thing I don't see mentioned is the rising theft of personal electronics on Mass Transit. The snatch, grab and run of smartphones, tablets, etc is becoming a problem on commuter systems.
That has little to do with transit and a lot to do with the ubiquity of the devices. So-called "apple-picking" happens on the sidewalk, in coffeeshops, at the library, on transit....anywhere people with those devices are. I mean, let's think about it. It is a lot easier to grab (and sell) a $400 smart phone than break into a house and grab a TV.
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