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Old 03-13-2014, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,098 posts, read 102,857,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
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.
Exactly! In 1920, 51.2% of the population was "urban" meaning as above, and 48.8% of the population was rural. Why, even in 1950, 40.4% of the population was rural.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...62922401,d.aWM
Some urbanists have this idyllic picture of people living in the cities much as hipsters do now, when many people lived in tenements and other sub-standard housing. The suburbs were barely a blip, and nearly half the population lived in rural areas.

30% of the population was engaged in farming in 1920.
American Experience . Troublesome Creek | PBS

Now, it's less than 2%.
Agriculture in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:20 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,149,346 times
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The rural % varied a lot regionally, for example, the south was much more rural then. And rural isn't discussed much on this forum for obvious reasons.

One interesting question this suggests is, if the country was that rural, how much of mid century suburban growth was fueled people from rural areas directly to the suburbs rather than from the city to new suburbs.

Edit: interestingly, missouri and massachusetts have grown at the same rate and with a similar population since the end of the 1800s. But Massachusetts has much older housing stock, oldest in the country. Difference is probably Missouri was rather rural back then and so it built new housing as it urbanized while massachusetts wasn't any more rural back then as today

Last edited by nei; 03-13-2014 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:13 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,597,830 times
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West coast postwar growth was almost entirely suburban, simply because there were only 4 million people in California before World War II, and after the war they needed a huge amount of new housing when the state started filling with people--literally 90% of the housing in California has been built since about 1950. And almost all of it is in suburbs, because that was the subsidized product. Cities all grew in population, unlike eastern cities, because they could annex farmland around them, and even if their little downtowns emptied they still had more population every decade. Except San Francisco, the perennial exception.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,774,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
(One of the latest articles)
You never heard of BRT in the US? Gosh, they're building it here!
U.S. 36 contract approved Wednesday between CDOT, HPTE & Plenary Roads amid protests - 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
BRT literally popped in the US like 5 years ago. It is the new transit buzzword, unfortunately, many cities start out with a BRT vision, and then it gets downgraded and turns into BRT like bus.

There are a few key things required to make it work properly:
1. separate right of way (via a lane or physical infrastructure) and signal timing
2. off--board payment
3. stations with level boarding

When it comes implementation time, a lot of the key features of BRY become optional, because they "take away" road space (particularly 1 and 3) and suddenly you get a slightly faster bus but not BRT.

#1 is holding up my local project. It is supposed to go through 3 cities on about a 15 mile path, but city 3 refuses to continue the dedicated lane.

I hope your Denver project can become true BRT. US projects so far haven't fares so well.

There are new "BRT" projects in NYC and Chicago that are live, but the dedicated lanes have been a hurdle.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:13 AM
 
11,298 posts, read 8,490,785 times
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Depends on where you are. In Hawaii, The Bus is awesome and well used. Commuter trains are popular in CT.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:27 AM
 
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I prefer mass transit when possible as I don't like the hassle of having to find parking or sitting in traffic as a vehicle driver.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:28 AM
 
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I don't use mass transit because the mass transit in my city is laughable.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
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I have taken the Amtrack train on a trip before and although a pleasant way to travel, it is slower than driving. It is a shame that we dismantled our passenger railways in this country for the most part with the advent of the automobile. I hate to fly and would LOVE to travel by train, and would do so frequently, if there were decent railway stations again, more routes available, reliable and timely service, affordable tickets, etc. They have this in other countries, even in the rural areas. I have heard that the airline lobbyists have played a large part in this not happening, but I'm not sure how much.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,101 posts, read 16,155,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The rural % varied a lot regionally, for example, the south was much more rural then. And rural isn't discussed much on this forum for obvious reasons.

One interesting question this suggests is, if the country was that rural, how much of mid century suburban growth was fueled people from rural areas directly to the suburbs rather than from the city to new suburbs.

Edit: interestingly, missouri and massachusetts have grown at the same rate and with a similar population since the end of the 1800s. But Massachusetts has much older housing stock, oldest in the country. Difference is probably Missouri was rather rural back then and so it built new housing as it urbanized while massachusetts wasn't any more rural back then as today
Immigration is another big factor. Immigrants tend to live in cities more often than suburbs. Immigration in the 1950s/60s was the lowest it had been since at least the 1850s. Starting in the '70s and really kicking off in the '80s was the wave of immigration from Latin America. Although that's not entirely true. Highest foreign born population is, of course, Miami (60%), followed by Santa Ana (48), Los Angeles (41), Anaheim (40), and San Francisco (37 percent), NYC (36), Houston (28). California is 27% foreign-born in total, NY 20%, Miami 17%, Texas 16%. Take away immigration, and it looks very different.

So while it's fun to make up fictional pieces about why suburbs since 1950 were what was built because roads are subsidized, that really doesn't explain anything. Urban areas with their expensive transit systems are more subsidized than suburban areas. The fact is most Americans just prefer living in the suburbs. I don't know why that bothers people so they make up fairy tales to justify why people prefer something they don't. But clearly for some people it really does bother them.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,098 posts, read 102,857,992 times
Reputation: 33155
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The rural % varied a lot regionally, for example, the south was much more rural then. And rural isn't discussed much on this forum for obvious reasons.

One interesting question this suggests is, if the country was that rural, how much of mid century suburban growth was fueled people from rural areas directly to the suburbs rather than from the city to new suburbs.

Edit: interestingly, missouri and massachusetts have grown at the same rate and with a similar population since the end of the 1800s. But Massachusetts has much older housing stock, oldest in the country. Difference is probably Missouri was rather rural back then and so it built new housing as it urbanized while massachusetts wasn't any more rural back then as today
Many cities reached their peak populations in 1950, before losing people to the burbs afterward. I think there were lots of movements of people, from farm to city, city to suburb, farm to suburb, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
West coast postwar growth was almost entirely suburban, simply because there were only 4 million people in California before World War II, and after the war they needed a huge amount of new housing when the state started filling with people--literally 90% of the housing in California has been built since about 1950. And almost all of it is in suburbs, because that was the subsidized product. Cities all grew in population, unlike eastern cities, because they could annex farmland around them, and even if their little downtowns emptied they still had more population every decade. Except San Francisco, the perennial exception.
Actually, in 1940, right after the the beginning of WW II in Europe (US did not enter until 1941), CA's population was almost 7 million. By 1950, it was 10 1/2 million. Now, these extra 3 1/2 million people needed somewhere to live. Add to that there was literally NO housing built from the beginning of the depression in late 1929 until after WW II (~1946). (CA's population in 1930 was 5.6 million.) So the population nearly doubled in a time on NO home building. People have to live somewhere. Would you have preferred they lived in cardboard boxes? Certainly, the housing built in the 1950s is of a different style than that of the 1920s. In many cases, that is a good thing. There were a lot of improvements in construction technology, engineering, etc in those 30 years. Kitchen design improved greatly.

There is NO requirement that a VA loan only be used for new construction. That's another one of these "old wives tales". First of all, there have to be homes built for the increasing population, secondly, a house has to pass inspection for a loan to be improved. A lot of these older homes, despite the mantra that "older is better" were/are substandard. Building codes are improving all the time. You don't see houses with dirt floors covered with cardboard any more, thankfully. Bathrooms are an integral part of the house, not some add-on. I read once that in the 1950s, there was a substantial number of houses in Indianapolis that did not have indoor plumbing!

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Last edited by Yac; 03-18-2014 at 08:14 AM..
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