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Old 07-01-2014, 08:16 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I think he might have been referring to paved roads. I know Portland still had lots of dirt roads in the early 1900s.
Oh, we've had this conversation over and over. He means roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with wburg's post, but wburg didn't say that. He said they weren't commonplace.
See above. I disagree that roads weren't common back in say, the 1920s, when these streetcar suburbs were getting going. I belong to a Facebook group about my hometown, and I've seen the old pictures. Granted, the US was settled more recently than say, Rome, but there have always been roads both in towns and between towns.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:20 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,937,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
See above. I disagree that roads weren't common back in say, the 1920s, when these streetcar suburbs were getting going. I belong to a Facebook group about my hometown, and I've seen the old pictures. Granted, the US was settled more recently than say, Rome, but there have always been roads both in towns and between towns.
Still, he didn't say no roads.

They weren't around to anywhere the same extent, far fewer were paved.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:26 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
^^He also linked cars and roads, as if cars begat roads. I know you don't like it when I (but not some others) bring up previous posts on the same discussion, but you know as well as I do that we've had this discussion many times before; that poster argues that there really were few, if any roads in cities and between cities. I can do a Google search and find the links I've used in precious arguments all highlighted for me.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:44 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,558,119 times
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The era of the "streetcar suburb," where a developer generally provided a streetcar line to get from downtown to their suburb (with dirt roads for local access) was a bit earlier--really the 1880s through the 1920s. By the 1920s and 1930s the highway and auto lobby were ascending, convincing the government to provide more paved roads for their automobiles, vs. dirt or cobbled roads more suited to horses or pedestrians. The streetcar and interurban business wasn't "getting going" in the 1920s, they were already starting to decline due to government-supported competition from the automobile.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
I have know people who lived without cars in Chicago. It wasn't an eccentric behavior. It was just an very limited existence being limited to where the CTA can go, when the CTA is wiling to take you and ONE pain in the neck when it comes to grocery shopping and very limited in terms of job prospects as the burbs and parts of the city with less direct public transit are off limits or difficult to get to not to mention very slow taking about twice the amount of time it would have taken to drive.
We need to look at the "class" differences. There are some significant ones, particularly when you live outside of the central city. In the US, having a car is a form of status, and is expected for anyone above middle class. So it is "eccentric" to not have one in most cities in the US. Aka, only people who can't afford a car don't have one.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:46 PM
 
Location: South Hills
632 posts, read 693,502 times
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In Pittsburgh the reason is generally "because I work downtown".

Downtown Pittsburgh is a relatively small triangle of land, hemmed in between the three rivers
and many hills. It contains many tall skyscrapers, and an extremely limited amount of parking.
The parking that is available is quite expensive (a combination of scarcity and extreme taxes imposed
to pay off pension obligations to city workers). As an average office worker it is most likely cost-prohibitive
for you to drive there and park every day. People either ride public transit, or if they live farther out, drive
to a park-and-ride lot and finish the journey into town that way.

The transit system, having it's own issues with over-extended pensions and poor management, maintains
a very inconvenient schedule, which makes most people dread using it. Rush hour cars on the local light rail system are typically packed like sardine cans.

The predictable result being an outflow of office jobs to new suburban office parks that offer acres of free parking.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:57 PM
 
12,291 posts, read 15,187,836 times
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Overlooking the fact that this thread has drifted way off its original subject, we are moving towards a society where fewer people own cars but nearly everyone has access to them. There are cities, not just New York, where it is possible to go for days without driving. Does it make sense to pay for a whole month of car payments, insurance and maybe a parking space for something you use only five days?
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:09 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,044,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Overlooking the fact that this thread has drifted way off its original subject, we are moving towards a society where fewer people own cars but nearly everyone has access to them. There are cities, not just New York, where it is possible to go for days without driving. Does it make sense to pay for a whole month of car payments, insurance and maybe a parking space for something you use only five days?
Don't forget paying for gas, repairs, yet more parking, etc. It isn't worth it to me and I'm blissfully car-free.

I can see how it's a much bigger problem for parents to give up a car, though. They need to drive to pick up the kids from school, day care, take them to soccer practice, drive them to camp, doctor's appointments, trips to the hospital, picking up a big load of groceries... If families with kids could be convinced to do with one car rather than two, and have one parent rely on transit to commute while the other has the car for emergencies and necessities, that would be a major leap forward in people's attitudes towards car life.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:27 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,857,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
We need to look at the "class" differences. There are some significant ones, particularly when you live outside of the central city. In the US, having a car is a form of status, and is expected for anyone above middle class. So it is "eccentric" to not have one in most cities in the US. Aka, only people who can't afford a car don't have one.
No not really. One of my mom's boyfriend didn't because he saw his brother get killed by an auto and so didn't want to drive. One of my grandma's friend's didn't. My grandma lost the ability to drive due to vision. One of my family members was too nervous to drive.

A car is an status symbol but it isn't the only one. There are legitimate reason why people can't or choose not to drive but I find it weird that anyone would ever intentionally choose not to have an car when you could afford one. Public transit is useful but it sure ain't that great. About the only people I know who choose not to drive tend to be people who work downtown but live in Lincoln park or another crowded north side neighborhood that lacks parking. In which case they choose to stay in that area rather than pay the $200 a month that off-street parking could go for and because they work downtown that gets rid of 80% of the reason why you would own an car. If you don't have off the street parking and don't drive your car often between the abandoned vehicle law and monthly street cleaning it is going to cause an lot of hassle for an car you hardly use.

If you work somewhere else in the city even with public transit access the car is almost assuredly an better choice. They also pay dearly for rent. In which case it is more about being close to bars, nightlife and the lake which is it's own status symbol and it is mostly singles or maybe couples not people with kids esp older kids.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:45 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,857,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa2011 View Post
Don't forget paying for gas, repairs, yet more parking, etc. It isn't worth it to me and I'm blissfully car-free.

I can see how it's a much bigger problem for parents to give up a car, though. They need to drive to pick up the kids from school, day care, take them to soccer practice, drive them to camp, doctor's appointments, trips to the hospital, picking up a big load of groceries... If families with kids could be convinced to do with one car rather than two, and have one parent rely on transit to commute while the other has the car for emergencies and necessities, that would be a major leap forward in people's attitudes towards car life.
That was common before the 1970ies but with women entering the workforce then it became less possible. Husband needs to get to work and wife need to get to work at different locations and possibly different times as well as drop off and pick up the kids and so on. Running errands is something public transit is weak on as well as availability. In olden days husband took bus or wife dropped off/picked up husband.

Now days if there may not be an bus available. If there is an bus available it may not be available at the hours needed(need to be at work at 6:00 a.m. bus won't start running till 6:00 a.m!) Not sure when you will be off work or work lets you off after 6:00 p.m., bus stopped running at 6:00 p.m. and you get to see it drive off). In addition for some jobs an car is an must have or an nearly must have.
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