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Old 06-09-2014, 10:28 AM
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
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
It only starts at when the MAX first started, and not before. Also, while the percentage hasn't increased the number of people living in the Portland metro have, which means more people are riding transit, but everything else has seen an increase too, especially biking.
If the increase has been in outer less transit friendly areas, this makes sense and might not contradict an increase in ridership. And suggests ridership by % would have decreased without MAX.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
If the increase has been in outer less transit friendly areas, this makes sense and might not contradict an increase in ridership. And suggests ridership by % would have decreased without MAX.
I am hoping Portland begins splitting the lines once the Southwest line is built that would allow each line to extend to multiple locations to give more rail coverage to the outer metro.
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:40 PM
 
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Very interesting that you call the CNU a cult - I once got a PM from an urbanist poster on this forum that sounded exactly like a response I'd get from a local urbanist advocate. They would both belittle my comments with the exact derisive tone, implying that I was completely making thing up. The CD poster accused me of believing in unicorns and UFOs though - it was very wierd but felt like they were getting their talking points from the same playbook.

Quote:
Or maybe you are one of those that wish ...... never changed, but that is impossible for a ...... to do without becoming stagnant and run-down.
OMG I have heard the exact same words from local urbanists. Exact. Never mind that I could point them to a dozen attractive stable neighborhoods. Or cities for that matter.

Someone is indoctrinating these people.
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Regarding Buffalo and urban triage... I can understand where they're coming from. I think it makes sense to consider return on investment, and that potential might be greater in some neighbourhoods. Downtowns, considering how much wealth they generate, are a definite example, both because of the taxes they generate directly, and for the jobs they provide for residents. If fixing up sidewalks and cleaning up trash downtown increases the value/productivity of downtown by 5%, and doing the same thing at the same cost also boosts a run down neighbourhood by 5%, I can see how it would make sense to invest in downtown. Maybe that 5% boost would allow the city to fix the sidewalks in the run down neighbourhood, and many more.

Anyways, that doesn't mean investing in just downtowns and wealthy neighbourhoods. I think dense lower income neighbourhoods would have potential too, even if the lower income population doesn't become displaced. I stopped in Cincinnati for a day on my way back home. After looking around downtown, I was curious to check out the Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood. We started up on Vine, and for a few blocks, it seemed like the area was doing quite well, but many parts of the neighbourhood seemed quite ghetto, with loads of boarded up buildings and a fair bit of vacant lots. So that would be an example of a low income neighbourhood that I thing would be worth investing in. Even if the low income population were to stay, at least reoccupying those boarded up buildings, and eventually filling in the vacant lots, I think would be a good plus for the city. And then we got another stark contrast when we checked out Mt Adams, just across the highway from OTR.

Over-the-Rhine is denser than Buffalo's East end, about 2-3x denser. And it has more vacant buildings, which I suspect are easier to make inhabitable (on average) than building new from scratch (as would have to be done in East Buffalo) and therefore would be easier to increase the density even more. Of course upward mobility is important among the poor, you don't want the poor to stay poor forever, even from an economic POV. Honestly I have no idea how much hope there is for a place like Buffalo's East end, is it past the point of no return or is there still hope? I don't have any personal experience with a place like that, there's nothing like that around here.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Regarding Buffalo and urban triage... I can understand where they're coming from. I think it makes sense to consider return on investment, and that potential might be greater in some neighbourhoods. Downtowns, considering how much wealth they generate, are a definite example, both because of the taxes they generate directly, and for the jobs they provide for residents. If fixing up sidewalks and cleaning up trash downtown increases the value/productivity of downtown by 5%, and doing the same thing at the same cost also boosts a run down neighbourhood by 5%, I can see how it would make sense to invest in downtown. Maybe that 5% boost would allow the city to fix the sidewalks in the run down neighbourhood, and many more.

Anyways, that doesn't mean investing in just downtowns and wealthy neighbourhoods. I think dense lower income neighbourhoods would have potential too, even if the lower income population doesn't become displaced. I stopped in Cincinnati for a day on my way back home. After looking around downtown, I was curious to check out the Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood. We started up on Vine, and for a few blocks, it seemed like the area was doing quite well, but many parts of the neighbourhood seemed quite ghetto, with loads of boarded up buildings and a fair bit of vacant lots. So that would be an example of a low income neighbourhood that I thing would be worth investing in. Even if the low income population were to stay, at least reoccupying those boarded up buildings, and eventually filling in the vacant lots, I think would be a good plus for the city. And then we got another stark contrast when we checked out Mt Adams, just across the highway from OTR.

Over-the-Rhine is denser than Buffalo's East end, about 2-3x denser. And it has more vacant buildings, which I suspect are easier to make inhabitable (on average) than building new from scratch (as would have to be done in East Buffalo) and therefore would be easier to increase the density even more. Of course upward mobility is important among the poor, you don't want the poor to stay poor forever, even from an economic POV. Honestly I have no idea how much hope there is for a place like Buffalo's East end, is it past the point of no return or is there still hope? I don't have any personal experience with a place like that, there's nothing like that around here.
Buffalo would probably get a lot of good out of learning what Pittsburgh did with a number of their renovated old buildings throughout the city that took rundown areas of the city and turned them into active urban neighborhoods.

Sometimes you can't just look at the direct cost of investing in a city, you have to look at the overall effect that it has and see if it had a positive return that can sustain itself and grow for decades.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:18 PM
 
2,970 posts, read 2,752,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
I shouldn't have to explain to any frequenter of this forum what that is, should I? Anyway, CNU 22 was quite disappointing. It reminded me of when I sold knives for Cutco, which is a multilevel marketing company. Very cultish. My biggest complaint with society at the moment is the lack of original intellectual voices. Their coopting and trotting out James Howard Kunstler counts for nothing; Duany's speech this past Wednesday (which I attended, free of charge, amongst the VIPs) had some merit but left a lot to be desired in terms of specifics. "Towards a theory of new urbanism"--forever subjective, forever unresolvable. Much like life itself.

I also like this article, quite a lot in fact:

An open letter to the New Urbanist movement - City & Region - The Buffalo News
Overall good article. The comment by James Kistner is apt. Certain aspects of new urbanism are on target and really just getting to basic spatial relationships espoused for centuries going back to Vitruvius, then there's this other strange aspect of being decoupled from reality of socio economic conditions of many in urban neighborhoods and what other variables (the whole social psychographic mindset) make a community livable beyond simply the spatial dimensions of the built environment.

An example of what I refer to is in the inner city projects of Cleveland a massive effort to rebuild low income housing under Hope VI (?) program. As with any attempt at improving a multivariate laden problem with building new nicer structures, the structures are reduced and destroyed to nearly the same level of the previous housing developments. Perhaps that's a whole different topic - but I think it is necessary for the New Urbanist mantra to grasp and (perhaps they do) and that is where the elitism enters due to PC. Let's skirt the difficult issues and focus on the cosmetic.

It's almost as if they have this mindset of - if you build a main street USA like Disney you'll get the fictional Medfield, USA like the Disney movies starring Kurt Russell at Medfield University in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes / World's Strongest Man" etc... because no one wants to address the other fundamental non aesthetic issues, be they socio economic, various urban populations cultural values systems et al.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:01 PM
 
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Wow that is a lot to put at the feet of new urbanism, which is almost wholly a design group, and not a social construct. I think the group would agree that it's main goal concerning socio-economic issues is to address proximity (to friends, to jobs, to goods & services) and lower transportation costs (vis a vis car ownership being an option not a requirement).

A side effect is that infrastructure might cost less as it is allocated appropriately to areas that can actually pay for it as opposed to kicking costs into the future, but what a city choses to do with those excess funds (give them back to taxpayers, address socio-economic issues, make new urbanist roads even fancier) is not up to the new urbanism design group.

It makes no real promises that the poor won't be forced out of neighborhoods, that funds will be allocated fairly even in an urban environment, etc. NYC and SF both are pretty darned urban and are probably the goals for non-urban places to look something like - they both still have plenty of economic disparity.

And I think you can certainly look at many aspects of our current building code as socialist - think sidewalks that no one actually walks on because there is no where to walk to and because they are driving by in private cars - is that capitalist? So yeah, some of the captialistic aspects and theories being applied to New Urbanism like 'trickle down theory' and 'economic triage' might be a little half-baked and not turn out to be as true in real life as they are in theory. But those are small points.

But is the 'build where land is cheapest and sprawl as much as possible, with the poors on the other side of the tracks where they can't even get to the nice side of town' model really better from an economics perspective? No.

Last edited by TheOverdog; 06-10-2014 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:31 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Buffalo would probably get a lot of good out of learning what Pittsburgh did with a number of their renovated old buildings throughout the city that took rundown areas of the city and turned them into active urban neighborhoods.

Sometimes you can't just look at the direct cost of investing in a city, you have to look at the overall effect that it has and see if it had a positive return that can sustain itself and grow for decades.
Pittsburgh has a lot of abandoned housing, and the city certainly didn't renovate the buildings.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Pittsburgh has a lot of abandoned housing, and the city certainly didn't renovate the buildings.
I never said all of Pittsburgh has been renovated, but there have been a number of grassroot renovating going on there. I have seen a number of great renovation jobs done in that city.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:16 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I never said all of Pittsburgh has been renovated, but there have been a number of grassroot renovating going on there. I have seen a number of great renovation jobs done in that city.
And I never said that's what YOU said! I don't really think Pittsburgh is the "gold standard" of urban renewal or whatever the fashionable term is these days.
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