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Old 03-13-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,258,197 times
Reputation: 11726

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
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.
Destinations that will have housing that's out of reach to the vast majority of the 2.2 million people in the metropolitan area. This is another well-articulated point here.

Quote:
If, on the one hand, the new urban ideology is applied in a limited, targeted way – if public transit investment goes mainly to pretty-looking but functionally useless streetcars in gentrifying downtown districts, rather than improving regional bus networks (and maybe trains in some metro areas); if politicians’ commitment to urban design is limited to sexy mixed-use development only in those same central areas they want to gentrify, rather than a complete overhaul of zoning and design standards across the region; if a few center-city bike lanes aren’t accompanied by a broader change in road construction guidelines to make walking and accessing public transit viable and safe; then early 21st century urbanism will have the same anti-egalitarian legacy as mid-20th century urbanism.
Yuppie Urbanism v. Egalitarian Urbanism | City Notes

This is essentially what we're seeing in most American cities. Urbanism in America is not "egalitarian urbanism." It's a brand of urbanism that prioritizes the desires of a thin slice of society that has a disproportionate share of wealth and power.

You're not going to realistically build enough housing around light rail anytime in the near or distant future to address the mobility concerns of all of the millions of people that inhabit the area. This is not 1910 when land development and transit were coupled together. When many of our densest cities were built out along transit lines, trains/streetcars were the fastest mode of transportation at the time (or at least the fastest mode available to most people). But that's not true in 2014. Cars will continue to generate more dispersed, auto-centric development. So even if you get some people moving into denser areas, it will be nothing like what most urbanists hope for.

So, in essence, we need transportation solutions that address people where they are. And in most places, expensive rail projects ain't it.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:39 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,860,722 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
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.
That is because with a car you can control your time of departure and route. With Public transit, you have no control over either. You have some control over breakdowns via purchasing a good car and maintaining it. If you expect your car may be unreliable you can make plans such as leave in time that you can take the bus, keep a second car, or call a cab. With a bus you are stuck. You can sometimes reroute around problems like accidents and construction. With an bus they may not reroute it or the reroute could make it more inconvenient to you.

With public transit you have little control. If the bus is late, you can't speed it up(drive faster). You can only depart earlier if the schedule allows it(and it may not or it may cause you to leave much earlier. instead of just 5-10 mins earlier.). You can not exclude crazy people from the bus, but you can from your car.

When using public transit(at least where I live) you have to plan to arrive 30 mins early just in case something happens like an missed transfer. When driving you can aim for 15.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:39 PM
 
50 posts, read 85,871 times
Reputation: 73
Since cutting a few bus lines and the increase of the extension of others, metro still not reaching the entire city (and its expansion limited to long-term basis), and the increase in the cost of the pass, more people are trading public transport for... bike riding.

Yes, it's clean, fast, no waiting time and cost only the maintainance. Here's a good example of how the crisis is changing some people's habits. The city itself has a fast growing bike network. And i'm talking about Lisbon, that most foreigners think is very hilly and very hard to walk and unthinkable to ride. Well, it's not really.

The future of Lisbon is biking. I feel that will change some perspectives. For start, changing mentalities of kids since kindergarden; second, changing mentalities of adults: instead of going to work with one car-one person (!), people should either choose one car-several workers OR bike.

Despite some controversial over the necessity of the project, here's the latest urban mobility expansion over the city: a pedestrian bridge, for walkers and bicycles.


From texcoat.pt
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:16 PM
 
2,639 posts, read 5,219,898 times
Reputation: 2352
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
But this still suffers from the same problems as traditional rail (finding RoW for construction) while having much, much higher construction and operation costs.
Right-of-way should be determined by one thing: money.

In San Diego/Spring Valley, there used to be a line of decrepit houses with people still living in them along the corridor where K-Mart, etc. used to be. The city bought those houses and the land so they could revitalize the corridor. Same thing they did with the land near Plaza Bonita Mall - I remember when that used to be literally nothing but open space and torn-down houses.

Both areas are now booming with commerce and people, and the home values skyrocketed. It's best for business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Not to mention, the speed advantage that Maglevs have would only maximize over longer distances, probably distances longer than suburb-to-city commutes.
I don't agree. The whole point of a maglev system is not to have a single point-to-point commute. If you did a maglev system that took you around all of the major cities - Olympia, Tacoma, Renton, Redmond, Bellevue, Seattle, Lynnwood, Everett, then cut across to the Tri-Cities, then straight shot to Spokane, and then parallel that run, you'd have WAY more advancement out here, because then people could get from Spokane to Seattle and back within less time than it would take for flying, the Tri-Cities could have more residential due to a 30-40 minute commute time, and the suburbs of King County wouldn't be the scattered mess that they are now.

Traffic would also improve, because it'd be way more efficient to take the maglev than to drive for most people in King and Snohomish Counties.

Again, best for business.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,333,167 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
Yes, I am not sure what the poster was referring to- LOTS of people traveled by horse or horse and buggy back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Maybe not those who lived in already dense areas like New York, but large, large swaths of the country were very rural and wide open back then and unless people wanted to be stuck in their little corner of "nowhere", they had to have a mode of transportation other than walking- and for many that was a horse. That's why all of the towns back then had rows of places to tie up a horse all along the roads in front of the storefronts, similar to the rows of parking spaces you see in front of storefronts today. People often had to travel miles, and without cars they had to use their horses- after all, walking that far would take forever!
My family was in the Midwest and west back at those times, some were farmers and others lived in town- all of them used horses to get around. Farmers did not just walk to where they needed to go- I mean sure if they were just going out to the field for their chores each day they would walk but farmers needed to go into town very often for business, and that usually was miles away- they all had horses to do that traveling before cars were invented or became common.
When you live in Amish country, you understand how true this is. Old Order Amish live a life-style that's much closer to the life-style of most rural, small town Americans in the 1890s. The farmers have numerous horses from multiple teams of draft horses to buggy horses to ponies for the kids to ride. Even Amish who don't farm but have businesses, keep several buggy horses.

Keep in mind, too, that until about 1920, most Americans lived in rural places NOT urban places (and urban places until relatively recently were defined as incorporated areas of at least 2500 people)

Furthermore, people of modest means who lived in cities and towns had access to horses for occasional riding or driving by renting from livery stables. Sometimes people who had need of personal transportation but not the facilities to keep a horse, boarded their animals at livery stables as well.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,681,041 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Destinations that will have housing that's out of reach to the vast majority of the 2.2 million people in the metropolitan area. This is another well-articulated point here.



Yuppie Urbanism v. Egalitarian Urbanism | City Notes

This is essentially what we're seeing in most American cities. Urbanism in America is not "egalitarian urbanism." It's a brand of urbanism that prioritizes the desires of a thin slice of society that has a disproportionate share of wealth and power.

You're not going to realistically build enough housing around light rail anytime in the near or distant future to address the mobility concerns of all of the millions of people that inhabit the area. This is not 1910 when land development and transit were coupled together. When many of our densest cities were built out along transit lines, trains/streetcars were the fastest mode of transportation at the time (or at least the fastest mode available to most people). But that's not true in 2014. Cars will continue to generate more dispersed, auto-centric development. So even if you get some people moving into denser areas, it will be nothing like what most urbanists hope for.

So, in essence, we need transportation solutions that address people where they are. And in most places, expensive rail projects ain't it.
Well you know I am in a place that has a lot of problems. We don't have enough stuff around existing transit (I am looking at you Mountain View, Cupertino, Menlo Park, Santa Clara with new office parks not by transit). Lots of job sprawl, with no housing near these new jobs. And we have a both quantity and affordability problem (those things are connected). And a land use problem: NIMBYs opposing logical projects because of "neighborhood character."

We need to build a lot, to help us with our problems. And we need to build smartly. And improve the infrastructure we do have. And stop with the vanity projects like BART to San Jose. And get on the logical projects like BRT in SF and Oakland. But it takes way more political will than i realized to get these things done. I started becoming an urbanist because I was sick of NIMBYs. The city, developers, transit officials etc need to hear different voices. Of course, although I am more "Buppie" I read as less privileged since I live in Oakland and I am black, and that can be an asset, as long as I choose my words wisely.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,757,545 times
Reputation: 10164
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
But buggies were often too expensive for the working class, and horses required an extensive amount of care that was too time-consuming and expensive for anyone but the upper echelons of society. Were horses and buggies used for transport? Absolutely! But they weren't used by the average individual on a regular basis.
But now the working class can afford cars. That's good.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,335,456 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Destinations that will have housing that's out of reach to the vast majority of the 2.2 million people in the metropolitan area. This is another well-articulated point here.



Yuppie Urbanism v. Egalitarian Urbanism | City Notes

This is essentially what we're seeing in most American cities. Urbanism in America is not "egalitarian urbanism." It's a brand of urbanism that prioritizes the desires of a thin slice of society that has a disproportionate share of wealth and power.

You're not going to realistically build enough housing around light rail anytime in the near or distant future to address the mobility concerns of all of the millions of people that inhabit the area. This is not 1910 when land development and transit were coupled together. When many of our densest cities were built out along transit lines, trains/streetcars were the fastest mode of transportation at the time (or at least the fastest mode available to most people). But that's not true in 2014. Cars will continue to generate more dispersed, auto-centric development. So even if you get some people moving into denser areas, it will be nothing like what most urbanists hope for.

So, in essence, we need transportation solutions that address people where they are. And in most places, expensive rail projects ain't it.
To some extent, I'm not sure this is just a transportation issue either. Richmond VA just got a Washington Redskins camp rammed down the throats of people living in the city instead of using the property to channel money into city schools (which they agreed to compensate...but less than they would have made). Then there's the "ballpark in the Bottom (Shockoe Bottom)", which is another glory project to make the city look glamorous, but will pave over slave trails (which are historic sites that should be respected with proper acknowledgement IMO) and put a lot of money in developers' pockets. So many better ways to use taxpayer money.

A lot of times, it seems that politicians and developers are the only stakeholders to these glamour projects, whether it be transportation or other projects.

http://wtvr.com/2014/02/18/what-money-richmond-schools-havent-seen-any-in-westhamptonredskins-deal/

Opponents: Richmond ballpark would be built on slave-trading site | News
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,681,041 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
But now the working class can afford cars. That's good.
But they can't afford the ongoing cost.

Transportation represents 20% of a working class person's overall budget

How The Poor, The Middle Class And The Rich Spend Their Money : Planet Money : NPR

Between housing and transportation, 50% of the budget is gone. And what happens when the working class person can't afford the car repair, or insurance premiums go up or.....
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,258,197 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
To some extent, I'm not sure this is just a transportation issue either. Richmond VA just got a Washington Redskins camp rammed down the throats of people living in the city instead of using the property to channel money into city schools (which they agreed to compensate...but less than they would have made). Then there's the "ballpark in the Bottom (Shockoe Bottom)", which is another glory project to make the city look glamorous, but will pave over slave trails (which are historic sites that should be respected with proper acknowledgement IMO) and put a lot of money in developers' pockets. So many better ways to use taxpayer money.

A lot of times, it seems that politicians and developers are the only stakeholders to these glamour projects, whether it be transportation or other projects.

http://wtvr.com/2014/02/18/what-money-richmond-schools-havent-seen-any-in-westhamptonredskins-deal/

Opponents: Richmond ballpark would be built on slave-trading site | News
Let's be clear that things like bike lanes, dog parks and streetcars just didn't "happen." It's not like tyrannical councilmembers and aldermen imposed these things on the urban gentry: "They forced these things down our throats. Honest! It just so happens we like all of the things they've forced down our throats." A lot of urbanists put these things front and center, and when public money is needed to fund their pet projects, tensions naturally flare.

As I see it, if so-called urbanists are really concerned about the environment and social justice, then they'd start putting projects front and center that directly impact the lives of the people they claim to be advocating for. And I'm talking about real transportation solutions, not BS trickle-down urbanism where the masses supposedly benefit from a bunch of liberal arts-degree holding yuppies surfing from one bar to the next on the latest technology from Prague.
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