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Old 03-13-2014, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,269 posts, read 26,273,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
and then there's stupid perspectives like this one:

Media coverage of BRT continues to be stellar | City Notes
Why do you find stupid about it? I think the author sums up my sentiments towards urbanism quite concisely.

Quote:
But it also suggests that even when you get people who are trying to construct an egalitarian urbanism, they’re going to have a skewed vision of what needs to be addressed. For example, they might spend an awful lot of time thinking and writing about gentrification, since educated upper-middle-class white people are much more likely to live in gentrifying neighborhoods than other people. They might spend less time thinking about, say, the problems associated with blue-collar inner-ring suburbs, where very few of them live, go to, or come from. Despite the fact that the latter is just as much – if not more – of a problem than the former, and that really they’re both part of the same problem, namely the way current policy encourages income segregation and damaging waves of investment and disinvestment.

Or you might also get people who are more invested in improving bicycling infrastructure – which is, to be fair, worthy in its own right – than bus networks, which carry orders of magnitude more people.
Why is urbanism so white? | City Notes
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,269 posts, read 26,273,936 times
Reputation: 11729
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I disagree, I think they can work, if the rest of the planning/infrastructure goes with it. Putting a rail line in the middle of sprawl isn't a great plan. But adding in rail, when denser development is planned for the stations is good. But plenty of funding should be used to improve it for existing users. Because a good user experience is contagious.
Most American cities are sprawl. The average American city does not look like San Francisco. Add up the populations of SF, Seattle, Oakland, DC, Chicago, Philly and Boston and you come away with a small percentage of people that live in cities across the country. Most American cities do not have a large concentration of jobs or amenities in a small area (2-3 sq. miles) that can support mass transit. Not only do you need employment density, you also need "structural" density to discourage people from driving. Most cities have neither.

So the question becomes whether you want to spend $462 million, as Charlotte did, to move an extra 1,500 people per day. I don't think that's a good investment.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,339,474 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
It's more complicated than that. In a country that's decidedly suburban in nature, and has been so for 80 years now, change is not going to be dramatic. Cities are growing again, transit is being invested in and there's a spark of interest in urban living again. Those, in and of themselves, are very large trends within an American context. The reason those publications broadcast these types of articles is because current interest in urban/transit living has boomed compared to historic interest/investment. It's an exciting time, and while the nation is still decidedly suburban in nature (and will continue to be), there are major changes happening that are different from any other time in the last 60 year at least.
Urban living is great if you're affluent enough, and especially if you're young and/or childless. As your income declines, so does the urban experience. In many cities, even the quality of city services like trash pick up and snowplowing can differ in quality between affluent neighborhoods and poor ones.

The same is true for mass transit. If you're affluent enough to make it optional, then you can use it when it's convenient because you have a car for the "hard stuff". When you're too poor to have a car, you have to spend two hours each way getting your toddler and kindergartener from your home to a doctor's office or clinic.

When you're well off, you can close your windows on a hot sticky July night and crank the A/C to drown out the noise of a party down the street. If the noise still bothers you, you can call the cops and they'll actually respond. Well, poor people might not even have room A/Cs, and the cops have more serious things to deal with in most poor neighborhoods than a loud party, so they never show up.

It's why so many people raised in poor areas of cities, if they get the opportunity, bolt for the 'burbs. The urban life-style that the middle and upper classes lionize isn't the urban life style that most poor and working class people have experienced.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:42 AM
 
4,070 posts, read 3,103,812 times
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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!
On TV and movies our culture romanticizes the use of horses as transportation. Cars are just the next iteration of that and yet they are demonized.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,269 posts, read 26,273,936 times
Reputation: 11729
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
It's why so many people raised in poor areas of cities, if they get the opportunity, bolt for the 'burbs. The urban life-style that the middle and upper classes lionize isn't the urban life style that most poor and working class people have experienced.
You don't even have to grow up in a poor area of a big city. This particular passage from this article resonated with me.

Quote:
I did not grow up in the suburbs. I grew up in Detroit, albeit in a solidly stable, black middle class environment. As a child, I never saw the suburbs as a place of stultifying soullessness or oppressive homogeneity. I guess you have to grow up in them to view them that way. I always viewed the suburbs as the other side of the new Wall, an escape from the messiness of the city. I grew up a half mile from Eight Mile Road, Detroit’s northern boundary, and in the ’70s the differences between my side and the other side were pretty stark. They still are.

In that context, a movement whose premise – whose ticket to membership – is the embrace of all things “urban,” and a corresponding disdain for suburbia, doesn’t make a ton of sense.
When I was growing up, city kids were typically derided by suburban kids. We were called "ghetto" and "urban." And if you told someone you went to public school in the city, they would often give you the look of pity that a paraplegic Iraq War veteran would receive.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,703,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Most American cities are sprawl. The average American city does not look like San Francisco. Add up the populations of SF, Seattle, Oakland, DC, Chicago, Philly and Boston and you come away with a small percentage of people that live in cities across the country. Most American cities do not have a large concentration of jobs or amenities in a small area (2-3 sq. miles) that can support mass transit. Not only do you need employment density, you also need "structural" density to discourage people from driving. Most cities have neither.

So the question becomes whether you want to spend $462 million, as Charlotte did, to move an extra 1,500 people per day. I don't think that's a good investment.
The question is what is on you road map for the next 10-20 years of growth/congestion/etc and what is the best option.

Not sure what the number is, or what Charlotte's plans are, but if they are matching this light rail with denser business/residential/commerical development and reigning in the city limits, then it could work out eventually.

LA is pretty sprawl too, yet they are investing in transit and it is working. And people are switching their travel plans. But LA transit looks like it goes to where people already want/need to go. It sounds like Charlotte needs to build destinations.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:04 PM
 
4,070 posts, read 3,103,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
I get the sense that a lot of people who don't use mass transit are posting based on what they think mass transit is like, rather than their own experience--as they may not have any--or at least not on recent experience.
I can't speak for anyone else but I have three years of MBTA/MBCR torture under my belt. I vividly remember one summertime commute home from Boston to Lowell during a heat wave where one train car had no air conditioning. As I hate crowds, I was one of only a handful of people who tolerated the discomfort of the malfunctioning train car. I stood at the door to the vestibule which was permitted to be left open given the circumstances.

Halfway through the commute a female train conductor came down to join us. At the second to last stop she fainted. There were only two other people in the train car with me at that point and neither of them looked like they knew what to do, so I hustled through the other train cars hollering for a doctor or nurse. I found someone who claimed to be a nurse and by that time the other train conductor was summonsed to the scene. They revived her and she indicated she was fine and the train continued on.

Admittedly public transmit can be interesting at times but it also adds to the inconvenience (not to belittle the concern for someone else's health). Of course this story is tame compared to the mess us commuters endured when a rail worker was struck and killed on the tracks less than two hours prior to the start of rush hour. All I will say about that story today is that it involved shuttle buses and I got the chance to play human GPS because the bus driver was from Boston proper and had no clue where he was.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,703,335 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
When I was growing up, city kids were typically derided by suburban kids. We were called "ghetto" and "urban." And if you told someone you went to public school in the city, they would often give you the look of pity that a paraplegic Iraq War veteran would receive.
Well this happens in the burbs too. I remember my sister telling me about a time when the kids from the neighboring town came to her school for a competition and were worried about their cars getting broken into because they were going to the "hood," as these upper middle class white kids deemed it. (This was 15 years ago)

FYI: the town my sister went to high school in had an median income at the time: $80k
And that neighboring town's was: $110k
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,338,696 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Urban living is great if you're affluent enough, and especially if you're young and/or childless. As your income declines, so does the urban experience. In many cities, even the quality of city services like trash pick up and snowplowing can differ in quality between affluent neighborhoods and poor ones.

The same is true for mass transit. If you're affluent enough to make it optional, then you can use it when it's convenient because you have a car for the "hard stuff". When you're too poor to have a car, you have to spend two hours each way getting your toddler and kindergartener from your home to a doctor's office or clinic.

When you're well off, you can close your windows on a hot sticky July night and crank the A/C to drown out the noise of a party down the street. If the noise still bothers you, you can call the cops and they'll actually respond. Well, poor people might not even have room A/Cs, and the cops have more serious things to deal with in most poor neighborhoods than a loud party, so they never show up.

It's why so many people raised in poor areas of cities, if they get the opportunity, bolt for the 'burbs. The urban life-style that the middle and upper classes lionize isn't the urban life style that most poor and working class people have experienced.
How is it any different from being poor or rich in the suburbs? As poverty increases in suburbs, maybe it will be more at the forefront of people's minds. However, it doesn't invalidate a preference for suburbs over the city just because being poor sucks there.

Poverty is growing twice as fast in the suburbs as in cities

It's also an interesting point in that transit may be wanted more in the suburbs as poverty increases. Perhaps as more investment is made, it will get better in places.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,703,335 times
Reputation: 26671
One thing that is interesting, is that people make some problems "inherent" to transit. Sure sometimes there is a crazy person, or the bus is delayed or something malfunctions. But how many times when you drive is there a car accident, unknown congestion, road construction etc. None of this is seen as a problem inherent to driving. There is always unpredictability for each mode of transit.

This week, I ran into two transportation disasters on my way home. The freeway was super congested, likely because there was a huge fire in SF and it was visible 15 miles away from the bridge I travel to work. As soon as we got past he area where you can see the smoke, things sped up. The train was delayed that day too due to a medical emergency. Life happens.
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