U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 07-27-2014, 02:26 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
Reputation: 14811

Advertisements

Maybe you mean something else besides High Speed Rail? High Speed Rail is always a niche commuting mode: not enough stops, and too expensive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-27-2014, 06:01 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,677,803 times
Reputation: 1842
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Maybe you mean something else besides High Speed Rail? High Speed Rail is always a niche commuting mode: not enough stops, and too expensive.
High speed rail isn't even for commutes. It's supposed to be for short intercity travel. If you're using HSR for a commute, you live too far out from your job.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2014, 09:15 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,355,297 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
The investment is made by the tax-paying public, with the return going to everyone who feels the pressure of high property prices. As I said before, artificially high property prices are, effectively, a tax on residents and employees. And it is a tax amounting to billions of dollars across the region. And the long-term future viability of the region is in the balance, as other regions/cities are competitive tech centers at a much lower cost.
Yet who says the property taxes are artificially high?
Your comment was "So, yes, outward growth could be a huge ROI, even at relatively low densities." Sounds like you are talking about annexing areas to burden more people with taxes. Those folks aren't making any investment and aren't going to see any return on your scheme. Sounds like taxes will increase in your scheme - certainly for all the people whose property you want to "outwardly grow" to incorporate in this scheme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
To your other point, it frustrates me when people talk about density as if it necessarily means dense (and we all define high density differently), and talks about any kind of densifying infill as if something terrible is being forced upon people. That argument simply doesn't make sense when a low density suburb--we're not even talking about rowhouse neighborhoods at that density, and certainly not San Franciscan or higher densities--is 5-7k ppsm and the region as a whole is way, way down at 1500 ppsm.
A square mile is 640 acres. What else are you trying to cram into that space besides people? Will you have roads, parks, libraries, schools, "greenspace", etc? If so then you don't have the full 640 acres for housing which means you are talking about very small lot sizes for households.

It used to be that 1/4 to 1/3 acre was a fairly standard lot size. Lot sizes have already shrunk to a fraction of those sizes and you want to shrink them more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Tracy, CA, no mecca of urbanity, is only 3700 ppsm. Moving Santa Clara county to a still very low average of 2k ppsm would be hugely valuable to the region by holding down CoL growth and most neighborhoods would hardly notice that anything happened.
What is CoL growth?
You will have to pay for infrastructure to support the expanded permanent population - something that the area doesn't currently have to contend with because of all the commuters. Moreover because of the inequities imposed by Proposition 13 the "new folks" will end up having to pick up the tab for existing taxes plus the taxes they would end up with as a result of Proposition 13 and Mello Roos with all this new housing you are talking about. The new housing will all be disgusting HOA-burdened housing whether condos or "infill mini-homes". I doubt the prospective homeowners would be better off in any sense of the word.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-28-2014, 02:13 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,296,476 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Maybe you mean something else besides High Speed Rail? High Speed Rail is always a niche commuting mode: not enough stops, and too expensive.
HSR is a business travel niche... good for connecting cities 500-100 miles apart. Something like Chicago-Milwaukee- Minneapolis, or the Northeast Corridor comes to mind. It isn't for commuting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-28-2014, 07:41 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,958,688 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
HSR is a business travel niche... good for connecting cities 500-100 miles apart. Something like Chicago-Milwaukee- Minneapolis, or the Northeast Corridor comes to mind. It isn't for commuting.
It's not mass transit but it doesn't stop a few thousand people from doing it everyday on Amtrak in the NEC. Amtrak sells monthly passes for this very purpose. The ride from NYC to Philly is often quicker than a lot of regional rail trips.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-28-2014, 08:31 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
It's not mass transit but it doesn't stop a few thousand people from doing it everyday on Amtrak in the NEC. Amtrak sells monthly passes for this very purpose. The ride from NYC to Philly is often quicker than a lot of regional rail trips.
True, but high speed rail is still a bit of a niche commute mode, minor compared to commuter rail.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2014, 08:16 AM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,296,476 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
It's not mass transit but it doesn't stop a few thousand people from doing it everyday on Amtrak in the NEC. Amtrak sells monthly passes for this very purpose. The ride from NYC to Philly is often quicker than a lot of regional rail trips.
Yep. The NEC is so populated the Metro Areas have overlapped. Baltimore / DC share suburbs. Baltimore's northern suburbs encroach on the far end of Philly Metro. Central New Jersey northward is almost exclusively suburbs and urban sprawl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
True, but high speed rail is still a bit of a niche commute mode, minor compared to commuter rail.
It is a very good niche that this country is silly for not implementing. There are several no brainer corridors in this country that should be using HSR. HSR moves more passengers than airlines between Boston and Washington, DC. As I said before, the corridor of Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago needs to be explored as well. The Great Lakes area (Minnesota to Rochester, NY, and south to Cincinatti / Indianpolis) is even more populated than the East Coast (albeit less dense).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,386,046 times
Reputation: 2388
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
A square mile is 640 acres. What else are you trying to cram into that space besides people? Will you have roads, parks, libraries, schools, "greenspace", etc? If so then you don't have the full 640 acres for housing which means you are talking about very small lot sizes for households.

It used to be that 1/4 to 1/3 acre was a fairly standard lot size. Lot sizes have already shrunk to a fraction of those sizes and you want to shrink them more?
I suppose that you could include a large park, a small school, and a small library in every little square-mile neighborhood, but that would still only come to a fraction of those 640 acres. If all of that takes up half, that leaves 320 acres for households; you could fit 1280 households in that square mile using 1/4 acre lots, or 640 households using 1/2 acre lots. Either would fall in the range of 1500-3000 people per square mile, which is on the light side of normal range for suburban census tracts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
High speed rail isn't even for commutes. It's supposed to be for short intercity travel. If you're using HSR for a commute, you live too far out from your job.
Unless you're commuting to another city, that is, which more and more people are doing. It is true that intra-metro commutes belong in the realm of commuter rail, not high-speed rail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I think congestion plays a role though, or cost to have no congestion, in terms of limiting size of urban areas. I mean for penurbia to work on a metropolitan scale (rather than just having 5% of the metro's population) you'd need high speed roads, and you'd have a low population base to pay for them. The average household might have to pay $5,000-$10,000 per year just in infrastructure costs, on top of the $10,000 per year for gas. Now maybe for some people that's ok, but how about the people working the minimum wage service sector jobs? You'd probably have to hike minimum wage by about $5/hour to cover that. [...]
So now this penurbian city has about $15,000/year in extra costs per household for gas and infrastructure, consumer goods cost 50% more due to higher minimum wage, you have to spend an extra 30+ min per day driving even if commute times are the same, and probably salaries will be lower because the low density makes for smaller labour pool and less competitive companies. Suddenly all that extra space is looking a little expensive... And note this is compared to conventional suburbia, not dense cities.
The same was said for conventional suburbia as opposed to tenement-style living, but higher incomes in 1950 enabled the extra cost for people's preference for further-flung living to be easily absorbed. If income growth kicks back in at for instance a 2% per year increase in income, by 2060 average incomes are approaching $200 000 per year. Suddenly that extra cost doesn't look like much of a problem; it would be even less of a problem if government spending was cut elsewhere to finance infrastructure, keeping net taxation the same as it is now. Also, this is a penurban future, not a disurbanist future - cities still have value as nodes for the amenities you speak of and will still be there. The difference from today is that the effective driving range will expand from 70 miles to 200 miles, including the new penurban ring further out and other nearby cities in the labor-shed and catchment area, so if anything city amenities will be accessed by more people rather than less. It should also be noted that more than one city core (however small) is likely to be within the 200 mile radius of any of the residents of this greatly expanded metro, so the driving distance to some type of concentration for most people would be no more than 100 miles.

Expansion of the range from 70 miles to 200 miles expands the catchment area from 15000 square miles to 125000 square miles, or 8 times the area. Suburban densities could be reduced to 1/8 of current levels with no loss of driving-range population, increase in housing as a percentage of land area, or increase in time required to reach amenities. The current suburban average is 1/4 acre (2600 households per square mile), which in practice ranges from 1/16 to 1 acre. An expansion of lot size by a factor of 8 yields a 2 acre average (320 households per square mile), which would in practice mean a range between 1/2 and 8 acres. The bigger half of lots are essentially rural in form, and we aren't even experiencing any loss in labor-shed population.

The bulk of a metro area's housing also takes up only a fraction of the current 70 mile radius in relatively high density developments. If these infrastructure upgrades enable housing to be spread all over the 200 mile radius rather than in two or three higher-density tentacles near freeways, densities could be reduced even further with no loss of labor-shed population. It's typical for the vast majority of the driving-range population to only take up a quarter or less of the 70 mile radius area. Generously assuming that it is a quarter, densities could be reduced a further 75%, and lot sizes could be increased a further four times. This yields an average lot size of 8 acres (80 households per square mile), in practice ranging from 2 to 32 acres. Now every lot outside the core city is rural in form, we have a rural population density throughout most of the metropolitan area, and there is still no loss of labor-shed population.

Voila! You have a city that functions the same as a current city economically but where the bulk of the residents live in a country environment - urban in function but rural in form, "this penurbian city". It's not too difficult to do at all, and the only two ingredients that are keeping this from happening now is greater per capita wealth and political will. By the end of the century those two problems will likely be overcome, leaving us free to build such a city if we want to, a capability we do not have at the moment.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2014, 04:27 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,007,618 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
The investment is made by the tax-paying public, with the return going to everyone who feels the pressure of high property prices. As I said before, artificially high property prices are, effectively, a tax on residents and employees. And it is a tax amounting to billions of dollars across the region. And the long-term future viability of the region is in the balance, as other regions/cities are competitive tech centers at a much lower cost.
Yet who says the property taxes are artificially high?
Your comment was "So, yes, outward growth could be a huge ROI, even at relatively low densities." Sounds like you are talking about annexing areas to burden more people with taxes. Those folks aren't making any investment and aren't going to see any return on your scheme. Sounds like taxes will increase in your scheme - certainly for all the people whose property you want to "outwardly grow" to incorporate in this scheme.
I haven't brought up property taxes. The CoL is effectively a tax--it acts like a tax. It is a rent taken without necessarily gaining anything in return. It is not, however, an actual tax. I'm sorry that wasn't clear.

Unfortunately, you took a misunderstanding of terminology and ran with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
A square mile is 640 acres. What else are you trying to cram into that space besides people? Will you have roads, parks, libraries, schools, "greenspace", etc? If so then you don't have the full 640 acres for housing which means you are talking about very small lot sizes for households.
Not necessarily "very small lot sizes," though I'm making assumptions about what you mean by that. I've brought up specific figures before to hold as examples for what certain density values actually translate in to as neighborhoods. At 7k ppsm, we're talking suburbia in California. Yes, you have neighbors, but it's by no means "crammed" in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
It used to be that 1/4 to 1/3 acre was a fairly standard lot size. Lot sizes have already shrunk to a fraction of those sizes and you want to shrink them more?
Houses have been getting bigger for at least 40 years, so I'm not sure where that line of argument comes from. Maybe you mean infill projects? Many of those are "townhomes" and, yes, land pressure has shrunk the individual lot, but, again, the house has more square feet, so it's all a wash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
What is CoL growth?
You will have to pay for infrastructure to support the expanded permanent population - something that the area doesn't currently have to contend with because of all the commuters. Moreover because of the inequities imposed by Proposition 13 the "new folks" will end up having to pick up the tab for existing taxes plus the taxes they would end up with as a result of Proposition 13 and Mello Roos with all this new housing you are talking about. The new housing will all be disgusting HOA-burdened housing whether condos or "infill mini-homes". I doubt the prospective homeowners would be better off in any sense of the word.
Well, prices are going up anyway as a result of existing and coming demand, so not building anything isn't a sane option.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-30-2014, 03:43 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,677,803 times
Reputation: 1842
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Unless you're commuting to another city, that is, which more and more people are doing. It is true that intra-metro commutes belong in the realm of commuter rail, not high-speed rail.
You're right. But intra-city commutes only work in places like the BosWash corridor. You wouldn't commute from, say, Indianapolis to Columbus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top