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Old 05-11-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,653,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think what helps Lakewood is that with many former streetcar suburbs, they are essentially an extension of the center city fabric in terms of built environment.

Also, the claim of being the most dense municipality between NYC and Chicago isn't correct. I know that Kenmore, NY next to Buffalo has around 15,000 people within 1.4 square miles and there may be some others in say NJ that have a higher density.
If it was ever true, it's probably based on old information. At its peak, in 1970, the city of Lakewood had 70,173 people living in 5.53 square miles. (there were 70,509 in 1930, but I don't know what the incorporated area of the city was, at that time)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Having worked with (not for) the schools for many years, that is actually true. Each building first needs to be built to the tune of millions of dollars. Then they all need to be staffed. Each building needs a principal.That's what costs the big bucks in schools, personnel. It's harder to be flexible with class assignments in a small, 1-2 round per grade level school than in a larger one. Many issues here.
Although there may be fewer administrators and custodial staff in a bigger building, the state's biggest concerns are costs associated with building, maintenance, and utilities.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:02 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
If it was ever true, it's probably based on old information. At its peak, in 1970, the city of Lakewood had 70,173 people living in 5.53 square miles. (there were 70,509 in 1930, but I don't know what the incorporated area of the city was, at that time)



Although there may be fewer administrators and custodial staff in a bigger building, the state's biggest concerns are costs associated with building, maintenance, and utilities.
The biggest part of any school district's budget is personnel, e.g. wages, salaries and benefits. That takes up about 80% of the budget. I know every state does things a little differently, does Ohio build the schools for the districts?

Salaries are largest part of district budget - GreenwichTime
From a random Google search (above). Note 55% for teachers alone! That doesn't even count the parapros, the administrators, the custodians, bus drivers, lunchroom personnel, etc.

My kids went to an elementary school of ~600 kids, about 100 per grade level. The gym, music room and library were always busy. If you have a school 1/4 that size (1 rnd per grade level) those spaces sit empty much of the day.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:36 AM
 
Location: The Northeast - hoping one day the Northwest!
1,107 posts, read 1,128,608 times
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If a town can lay out a design like that - that is pretty cool. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. One high school, one middle and three elementary. Besides, the elementary schools being close to one side of town, the middle and high school were pretty much in the center.

Although, the town is a nice one, too far of a commute to walk. Especially in the winter time. 4 miles one way to either the HS or middle. My elementary school wasn't far, about a mile but my mom wanted me to take the bus. Once I got to middle school & high school too far to walk... so I ended up taking the bus my entire K-12.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I wonder how many actually do walk or bike to school? My school committee did a little observation, and even at "neighborhood schools" with no transportation provided by the school, few walk, most are driven.

And walkable suburbs are everywhere.
A burb will have a hard time doing that. Walking, using the school bus or public transit is normal for city schools, but for a burb much harder. Smaller population and in some cases more than one burb shares the same school means very few children maybe within walking distance of the school. Even Chicago’s public schools are becoming less walkable due to school closings(fewer children).
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I partially grew up in the most sprawly city ever, and many middle and elementary schools were walkable. They didn't have buses at my school until they wanted to "diversify" and bused in poorer kids from a different part of town.

Schools are about the only walkable thing in San Jose.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:31 PM
 
2,575 posts, read 4,688,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Saw this awesome video about Lakewood OH. Apparently schools were placed so they didn't need to provide buses. Everyone is in walking distance. They save a million dollars a year on transit costs since they don't need to provide buses.

How One Suburb Made School Buses Obsolete - Sarah Goodyear - The Atlantic Cities

And it builds community.

Look at that, it is a walkable suburb!
My son attended junior high and high school in Davis, CA, which has no school buses (though that was originally because of Prop 13 gutting the school budgets). Almost all the kids bike to school, which is made possible by the town's extensive network of bike paths, which it's famous for. There are literally hundreds of bicycles parked in front of every school in the town.

"Davis is still the only city in America to attain the very prestigious Platinum status for overall bicycle friendliness in a city."

Streetfilms | In Davis’ Platinum City Even the Munchkins Ride Bikes
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:55 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
When I lived within walking distance, everybody, 100% walked. Many families only had one car at the time, and the Dad took it to work. But yeah, times have changed.
And now, often families have two cars, both Mom and Dad take it to work.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:02 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Also, the claim of being the most dense municipality between NYC and Chicago isn't correct. I know that Kenmore, NY next to Buffalo has around 15,000 people within 1.4 square miles and there may be some others in say NJ that have a higher density.
Hoboken, NJ has 50,000 people in 1.2 square miles. It's across the river from Manhattan, and not really a fair comparison to Lakewood. Perhaps the statement meant to exclude any municipality within the NYC and Chicago metros. Long Island municipalities are set up differently than Ohio ones, but one could find an area the same as Lakewood (5.5 square miles) with at least as many people. For example, Valley Stream + Lynbrook.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:16 PM
 
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The neighboring suburbs to the west had a high school and adjacent junior high centrally located, and at one time four elementary schools which were geographically strategically placed. The problem the other suburbs have from a viability perspective is the decline in average household size over the past four decades has made the school enrollment number not require the number of facilities (K-6). In the one I grew up, two of the four were demolished while a third is used for admin purposes, preschool, and overflow as needed. One new centrally located K-6 facility was built. A good percent of kids can still walk but I think a lot of parents still drop them off if they don't take the bus.

Lakewood as prior commenter noted was planned during the Garden City movement, (and prior to predominance of auto centric transportation) it has three evenly spaced major east west arterials that were streetcar or interurban based, thus its overall design density is supportive of the bus lines that currently serve the general population (and school students as necessary). It now, through its demographic evolution, has the benefit of the immigrant populations with larger household size as well as made concerted efforts to create density optimizing infill compatible with the existing fabric (in most cases). Its peak census populations in 1930 and 1970 it had over 70,000 population.

Other inner rings suburbs do not have the 'numbers' to do so as they were mostly developed post WW2. The suburb I grew up in did not start using buses for elementary school age children until about mid 1970s. prior to that it was considered quite OK for children to be able to walk about a mile and quarter at furthest to get to school. Yes, some parents would drive their kids to school, but it wasn't as much of an issue in psyche to worry about predators et al, all the kids from the neighborhood sort of walked in groups as they met up with friends along the way.

I agree with a prior commenter too, that the physical activity of walking / bicycling to school helps get the children exercise and lets them be calmer and ready in classroom setting. As my parents would often admonish us as children on off aschool days "Go outside and run around". This also (along with over prescribed medication/ poor nutrition) may be why there did not seem to be as much of an ADD type symptoms so prevalent in todays youth - but perhaps that's best part of another thread.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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I walked to school - twice a day, since my suburban elementary school didn't have a cafeteria, and neither did the high school. About a third of the kids in my district, who lived more than a mile from the schools, were bused, twice a day. Until ...

The district merged with another small suburban district, and built a new high school in my suburb; high school kids from the second suburb were bused to the new school, and both old high schools were turned into elementary schools, replacing three smaller schools. A few years ago, because of shrinking enrollment, both 1920s-era elementary schools were bulldozed and replaced with one new school - with a cafeteria - so now less than half of the kids in the district walk to school. Five schools were replaced with two.

Where my sister lives, so many of the elementary schools were placed in the middle of residential neighborhoods built from 1950 and on so that kids could walk easily. My niece walks/bikes to her junior high, and my nephew hops the city bus to his high school. Most of the high schools are new and were built on the edges of town.

Where I live now, elementary kids and one junior high walk, another junior high and high school kids are bused; they're isolated from residential areas on former farmland.

School administrators will say it's cheaper to build a new school than it is to modernize an old one. I'm not sure I buy that, but it's the prevailing thinking. Couple that with district and subdistrict consolidations and continued dropping enrollments - and charter schools - and public schools will continue to be farther and farther apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
The exception, not the rule
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think what helps Lakewood is that with many former streetcar suburbs, they are essentially an extension of the center city fabric in terms of built environment.
Not bad - two "but ... but ... " posts in the first 10.
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