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Old 03-31-2014, 03:10 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Aren't those choke points a coastal thing, rather than a western vs. eastern thing? How are coastal cities in the Southeast? Or "western" cities with lots of room to sprawl, like Phoenix, Bakersfield, Salt Lake City, Denver?
Denver and Salt Lake both have a large mountain range as a barrier. They're called "The Rockies".
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:20 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Denver and Salt Lake both have a large mountain range as a barrier. They're called "The Rockies".
For Denver, only in one direction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Aren't those choke points a coastal thing, rather than a western vs. eastern thing? How are coastal cities in the Southeast? Or "western" cities with lots of room to sprawl, like Phoenix, Bakersfield, Salt Lake City, Denver?
Excluding the older parts of Norfolk, which are rather compact, Norfolk/Virginia Beach look more sprawly than say Phoenix. Streets are less connected, and general design makes any transit unworkable. Phoenix is of course low density and not pedestrian oriented much of anywhere, but it's layout isn't quite as transit unfriendly as most southern cities.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Virgi...ginia&t=m&z=12

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Phoen...izona&t=m&z=11

this is a short distance from downtown Atlanta:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Atlan...23.46,,0,-2.28

Atlanta gets some transit ridership because it has a significant downtown, but it's quite spread out.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:06 PM
 
Location: East coast
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Okay, so it's not any later industrialization/urbanization that the South is less transit-heavy than the West (seeing as how some newer Western cities still have more transit).

Part of it may be lack of geographical barriers, which means it can sprawl more, but it still seems the South, or in particular, the Southeast is just less conducive to transit, even in cases with or without barriers.

What else could it be? Southwest/west cities more arid so they developed more centralization of water resources? The Southeast having a stronger history of segregation and negative association with poverty and transit? Opposition to "big government spending"?

I am still puzzling over why the least transit-prone area is the South.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:13 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
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I think weather plays somewhat of a factor. I've had to wait for buses in July in Phoenix... just go ahead and think about that. Imagine waiting thirty minutes (or more) in the sun with no shade when it's 115 for a city bus which most of the time lacks A/C. Talk about a horrible experience. Most of the bus stops here in Phoenix are literally a sign that says "bus stop" along some road on a sidewalk. No bench, no shade, lots of concrete, no trees...

When you're practically melting, waiting for a bus will be the last thing you want to do. Especially if getting to that bus stop is about a half mile or a mile walk because of sprawl. Who knows if there is a gas station nearby to get water or a grocery store. You could actually have health RISKS waiting for the bus if there is no where nearby to get water, or shade to help you out. I doubt standing in the snow, when you are dressed appropriately for it, will give you greater health risks. You could be naked here and still have the health risks. You can layer up for the snow.

People black out here all the time from dehydration. It's a real thing. Businesses have to give a water cup and free water to people as part of the law to help prevent this. I've blacked out and woke up an hour later bleeding out of face because I happened to fall into a pile of rocks while I was walking. I didn't even know where I was when I regained conscious, and it took me a while to figure it out since there wasn't smart phones then. It can be extremely dangerous.

Even in the SE, where water is much more accessible, this can still be an issue. Maybe if we had the density of Manhattan transit could work effectively, but then many a few would still be complaining about the heat outside. Like I said earlier, you can layer up for the snow, but for the heat, you just better hope you have enough water with you for your own health.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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Miami is one of the few cities in the Southeast that is very urbanized & dense. It's transit system carries about 250,000+ bus riders and about 104,000 riders on Metrorail (heavy rail) and Metromover downtown on a daily basis. Perhaps because Miami is unable to sprawl is the reason for decent ridership numbers.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Southern California had the best public transit system in the world, once. Lots of Southern cities had great streetcar systems--New Orleans never stopped using theirs. I don't see how transit use has anything to do with "individualism."
You can thank the automobile companies and local politicians for destroying the street car systems. Basically the idea was back then was everyone should have a car, a driveway, and drive to work on our new highway system. It worked for a time, then the smog rolled in, and as the area spread out all over the place commute times skyrocketed while 10 lanes of traffic doesn't move throughout the day.

I think LA is a cool area, but the traffic and how everything is spread out makes me not want to live there. Also I'm paranoid the big earthquake would happen once I moved there.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Or are there other reasons like more individualism and car culture in the South compared to the West and East (Southern California has famously a reputation for a "car culture" too and it seems like public transit is still more mainstream there than in the South)?

I just perceive public transit to be less available in the South (besides college towns) than elsewhere (even in the Sunbelt areas in the SW). Is this a fair impression?
I want to add one thing that this isn't a South thing, but an America thing. Outside of very populated old cities in the US, like Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, DC, and Chicago most cities rely on cars. Even older cities that suffered with white flight such as Detroit, Cleveland, and St Louis mostly rely on cars. St Louis has a train system, but it's basically one line with a recent spur that added a few more stops, and it isn't super fast nor has many stops in the downtown area outside of the stadiums.

Of course LA has been mention, but even other large cities like San Diego, Seattle, and Denver are limited by public transportation. You have a bus system, but train systems are limited. Honestly bus systems in Seattle are worthless as rush hour traffic is already a nightmare, but your own public option is a bus system that moves slightly faster as they have a devoted closed off lane. Now Seattle's train system is limited as it only has a handful of stops. Compare that to NYC or Chicago's suburban rail system which is very extensive by covering a lot of areas with a lot of trains instead of one per hour or something like that.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:30 PM
 
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There seems to be some confusion over where "the South" is. I consider it the former slave States east of the Mississippi. The Southwest, on the other hand, has been building rail like gangbusters over the last 30 years. LA, San Diego, Albuquerque, Austin, Houston, Salt Lake to name a few. Southeast, not much. Birmingham, Louisville, Charleston? Nothing. I think it is largely because the old South is still in the manufacturing age and not yet sophisticated enough that people demand it.
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