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Old 11-02-2015, 04:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think subways are a little overrated. I don't enjoy being underground traveling in a dark tunnel for long periods of time. Its really noisy and dark down there (and claustrophobic), though some subways are better than others but I wouldn't put NY, El and DC systems in the better category. The noise of the train is magnified several fold when traveling underground in a tunnel, so it can get extremely noisy and headache inducing. Unlike more modern systems overseas they don't have sound insulation on the tunnel walls, rail cars, etc. The crumbling delapidated stations in NYC are dark, dirty, poorly maintained. Even the train cars are not pleasant to look at and appear as if they were built in the 19th century. This is supposed to be the best example of a subway system in N. America? They might want to try something better because this is terrible.
This is a conversation about the convenience and efficiency of having a subway system and somehow you have turned it into a melodrama about your likes and dislikes. Try living in a city with no subway system and having to wait hours at a time for a bus.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:01 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,007,618 times
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Originally Posted by chirack View Post
an highway can be driven to, can carry cargo and can attract business to the area.
That really speaks to the perception of PT, not just subways, as being only or mostly for the poor and the marginal, and being very low value-adding, but freeways being for everyone and highly value-adding. This is a mixed bag. Good PT is high value-adding, but high cost of "good" PT can swamp the RoI; freeways can be a good value for the money, but do encourage a built form that offers a low tax value for government and, often, requires lower land values for businesses.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:12 PM
 
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Probably because labour costs are so much higher now than they were a hundred years ago. We have safety standards for construction work that didn't exist years ago. It takes a lot of people to dig tunnels that stretch for miles. I found some info online that says the NYC subway construction resulted in 16 deaths up to 1904... can you imagine if that were the case today?

Also, the engineering equipment that's required today is massive... huge tunnel borers have to be built and shipped in. Lots of technical expertise is used. Huge investment.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:25 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,864,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
That really speaks to the perception of PT, not just subways, as being only or mostly for the poor and the marginal, and being very low value-adding, but freeways being for everyone and highly value-adding. This is a mixed bag. Good PT is high value-adding, but high cost of "good" PT can swamp the RoI; freeways can be a good value for the money, but do encourage a built form that offers a low tax value for government and, often, requires lower land values for businesses.
Business require low land values for the most part period. Only retail can cope with high land values by passing the prices on to consumers in the area. And it really works best when said consumers are trapped by inability to travel or carry stuff(and there ain't nothing as good at doing that as public transit).

Manufacturing really can not. It's products get shipped far and wide and if some competing manufacturing plant has cheaper prices due to cheaper land values then there is an problem.


And tax rates in the burbs are often higher than in the city. An densely populated area might generate more tax revue, but that same density requires more services. (i.e. Chicago needs the CTA just to function, small burbs do not. Chicago needs multiple school buildings, police stations and fire houses due to it's size/density. Small burbs often economize by sharing services.).

And no public transit is not just for the poor, but public transit is expensive and can have an poor ROI.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:21 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,007,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Business require low land values for the most part period. Only retail can cope with high land values by passing the prices on to consumers in the area. And it really works best when said consumers are trapped by inability to travel or carry stuff(and there ain't nothing as good at doing that as public transit).

Manufacturing really can not. It's products get shipped far and wide and if some competing manufacturing plant has cheaper prices due to cheaper land values then there is an problem.


And tax rates in the burbs are often higher than in the city. An densely populated area might generate more tax revue, but that same density requires more services. (i.e. Chicago needs the CTA just to function, small burbs do not. Chicago needs multiple school buildings, police stations and fire houses due to it's size/density. Small burbs often economize by sharing services.).

And no public transit is not just for the poor, but public transit is expensive and can have an poor ROI.
Let's start at the end. PT isn't always expensive. A high-frequency express bus route can be very cheap to implement, for example, but be very popular. Once you account for subsidies, both direct and indirect, PT may not be expensive relative to highways. Both freeways and PT can have poor RoI if implemented inefficiently. For instance, urban freeway expansions may have a poor RoI. By the same token, rail projects can have lower RoI if they are absolutely expensive, regardless of ridership, or produce low ridership, regardless of cost.

Next up, I'm not about to participate in an urban-suburban tangent except to say: yes, there are decreasing returns to scale for cities, but the marginal benefits of going from low to moderate density are, generally, high; yes, costs go up with scale, but there is a floor below which, until you get to rural densities, you're providing a minimum amount of services per person and, as such, low-density suburbs may have a lot of infrastructure and services per resident and often face higher costs, per resident, than a moderately dense city.

Businesses do not "require" low land values. What they require is that income is greater than expenses, and that means either low land costs or high inflows. And low land values does not necessarily mean low expenses as the suburban built form comes with its own set of costs. At the same time, increasing density =! increasing land costs; they are only in lock-step when development does not or can not keep up with demand.

Finally, manufacturing does do best when land values are low-er, but this does not necessarily require an auto-centric form. We only have to look at our own past to see how workers got to factories by mass transit, either public or private. And it is only because of the massive subsidies of freeways that trucking is so cheap and, thus, gets used well outside its last-mile best-use case; at the same time, it is only by the lack of investment in our freight rail infrastructure that it is not a flexible, reliable system good for modern JIT inventories.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,085,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Within a mile? ROTFL. About half of Short Hills, NJ is within a mile of US 24 (a 4-lane limited access highway), as is much of Chatham, NJ and Madison, NJ. These are some of the most desirable places to live in northern NJ. Much of Gladwyne, PA (rich as hell) is within a mile of Interstate 76.
I'm not familiar with northern NJ, but from Google Maps it looks like in the case of Chatham, a good portion of that "half" is a school and parks and various other non-residential use. So some cases may be a quarter mile, some may be a mile, so you are right in that respect. It's also a function of how busy a highway is--four lanes in the exurbs is way different than 8-12 lanes in the city. Fact is in many cities the areas adjacent to expressways are industrial or commercial or low income residential in part because it is a form of blight and people don't want to live there (but businesses can benefit from the easy access). Homeless folks hang out beneath expressway bridges. So you live a mile or so off the expressway because it's easy to drive that mile. Even suburban developments don't tend to be right up against the expressway unless you're running out of space (think LA). Why else would cities put up walls around expressways? Not saying expressways are not necessary, but let's be real, they are ugly, and they do come with various social costs including traffic fatalities.

And all other things equal, do you really want to live within earshot of a 10 lane urban expressway?

P.S. I am ROTFL because in fact I do often drive, yet apparently I have a particular hatred for the very cars that make such a convenience possible...go figure, gotta love CD You do realize many subway riders also drive, right?
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,079 posts, read 16,109,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Let's start at the end. PT isn't always expensive. A high-frequency express bus route can be very cheap to implement, for example, but be very popular. Once you account for subsidies, both direct and indirect, PT may not be expensive relative to highways. Both freeways and PT can have poor RoI if implemented inefficiently. For instance, urban freeway expansions may have a poor RoI. By the same token, rail projects can have lower RoI if they are absolutely expensive, regardless of ridership, or produce low ridership, regardless of cost.

Next up, I'm not about to participate in an urban-suburban tangent except to say: yes, there are decreasing returns to scale for cities, but the marginal benefits of going from low to moderate density are, generally, high; yes, costs go up with scale, but there is a floor below which, until you get to rural densities, you're providing a minimum amount of services per person and, as such, low-density suburbs may have a lot of infrastructure and services per resident and often face higher costs, per resident, than a moderately dense city.

Businesses do not "require" low land values. What they require is that income is greater than expenses, and that means either low land costs or high inflows. And low land values does not necessarily mean low expenses as the suburban built form comes with its own set of costs. At the same time, increasing density =! increasing land costs; they are only in lock-step when development does not or can not keep up with demand.

Finally, manufacturing does do best when land values are low-er, but this does not necessarily require an auto-centric form. We only have to look at our own past to see how workers got to factories by mass transit, either public or private. And it is only because of the massive subsidies of freeways that trucking is so cheap and, thus, gets used well outside its last-mile best-use case; at the same time, it is only by the lack of investment in our freight rail infrastructure that it is not a flexible, reliable system good for modern JIT inventories.
You do realize we have about the best freight rail system in the world? If you're just looking at long-haul, rail moves more freight than trucks. If you throw 2 axle trucks in which is mostly your bread trucks used for local deliveries where no one really expects rail to operate it's less but still a significant share, 29.3% of total freight miles for rail versus for 44.8% for trucks. Again, a lot of that rail just isn't going to play at. Rail accounts for a negligible share for distances less than 100 miles. That's your bread truck distribution. While JIT is hard for rail, JIT was the 20th century. We're now in the 21st century. The ninth largest retailer doesn't have physical stores and that's where the growth is. Doesn't mean rail is going away, but it's not where the growth is. Delivering Amazon packages via train? Yeah, not so practical. VW does ship the majority of its cars from their TN plant by rail though.

As far the federal subsidies, yeah, also not really there. Even today when gas taxes (which is where almost all the money comes from) haven't been raised since 1993, the Highway Trust Fund would be only running a $1 billion deficit instead of $13 billion if we just stopped siphoning off the user fees for non-highway expenses. If they charged a fee per ton-mile to ship on rail and used that to invest in rail infrastructure that'd basically be what how highways are subsidized at the federal level. Federal gas taxes do need to be raised though, or at least indexed to inflation going forward.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,079 posts, read 16,109,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
I'm not familiar with northern NJ, but from Google Maps it looks like in the case of Chatham, a good portion of that "half" is a school and parks and various other non-residential use. So some cases may be a quarter mile, some may be a mile, so you are right in that respect. It's also a function of how busy a highway is--four lanes in the exurbs is way different than 8-12 lanes in the city. Fact is in many cities the areas adjacent to expressways are industrial or commercial or low income residential in part because it is a form of blight and people don't want to live there (but businesses can benefit from the easy access). Homeless folks hang out beneath expressway bridges. So you live a mile or so off the expressway because it's easy to drive that mile. Even suburban developments don't tend to be right up against the expressway unless you're running out of space (think LA). Why else would cities put up walls around expressways? Not saying expressways are not necessary, but let's be real, they are ugly, and they do come with various social costs including traffic fatalities.

And all other things equal, do you really want to live within earshot of a 10 lane urban expressway?

P.S. I am ROTFL because in fact I do often drive, yet apparently I have a particular hatred for the very cars that make such a convenience possible...go figure, gotta love CD You do realize many subway riders also drive, right?
Lot of million dollar homes a lot closer to I-95 in Miama. All things equal, do you want to live next to an elevated train that's even louder? I was having lunch at Ed Hardy Pizza in Sacramento and every time the light rail rolled by we had to stop talking and wait until it past it's so loud. It's not like they're moving fast through downtown Sac and trains are still very loud. They've opened it up to auto traffic again and we didn't have to stop talking every time a car drove by. Most transit infrastructure is ugly and loud. BART is the second loudest noise polluter in the City of Alemeda behind Hesperian Blvd. People drive way too fast on Hesperian as it's basically a six-lane expresssway, so cars are often going 50-60 mph. Light rail in Seattle where it is moving faster has recorded decibels in the high 80s range, well more than double the sound from 50 ft away from a freeway, and in Seattle's case those measurements were taken over 130 feet from the track. Even at 130 feet away they likened it the sound you'd get from your garbage disposal while you're washing dishes. That's pretty damn noisy. BART in the transbay tube gets up around there in the Transbay tube. It's not fun at all.

Last edited by Malloric; 11-04-2015 at 12:18 AM..
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:15 AM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,857,889 times
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Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Let's start at the end. PT isn't always expensive. A high-frequency express bus route can be very cheap to implement, for example, but be very popular. Once you account for subsidies, both direct and indirect, PT may not be expensive relative to highways.
That bus requires every bit as much highway as a car does. More, in fact; bus routes need to be suited for heavy, wide vehicles. The bus does more damage to the road than an equivalent number of cars does. Then the bus requires the transit agency pay for the vehicles themselves, plus maintenance, fuel, driver, etc. Farebox recovery typically covers only a fraction of the operating costs of the buses (none of the capital cost, none of the shared infrastructure cost), so yes, the bus will be very expensive compared to highways.

Quote:
Next up, I'm not about to participate in an urban-suburban tangent except to say: yes, there are decreasing returns to scale for cities, but the marginal benefits of going from low to moderate density are, generally, high; yes, costs go up with scale, but there is a floor below which, until you get to rural densities, you're providing a minimum amount of services per person and, as such, low-density suburbs may have a lot of infrastructure and services per resident and often face higher costs, per resident, than a moderately dense city.
I agree there is a minimum-cost density above and below which infrastructure costs increase, but I think it's considerably lower than what you seem to think it is, probably somewhere in the suburban range in most of the country.

Quote:
Businesses do not "require" low land values. What they require is that income is greater than expenses, and that means either low land costs or high inflows. And low land values does not necessarily mean low expenses as the suburban built form comes with its own set of costs. At the same time, increasing density =! increasing land costs; they are only in lock-step when development does not or can not keep up with demand.
At least at the moment, if a piece of land is desirable for residential use, that's the most profitable use which can be made of it. Things get knocked down to build housing; no one knocks down housing to build factories or warehouses or even retail.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:19 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,007,618 times
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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
You do realize we have about the best freight rail system in the world? If you're just looking at long-haul, rail moves more freight than trucks. If you throw 2 axle trucks in which is mostly your bread trucks used for local deliveries where no one really expects rail to operate it's less but still a significant share, 29.3% of total freight miles for rail versus for 44.8% for trucks. Again, a lot of that rail just isn't going to play at. Rail accounts for a negligible share for distances less than 100 miles. That's your bread truck distribution. While JIT is hard for rail, JIT was the 20th century. We're now in the 21st century. The ninth largest retailer doesn't have physical stores and that's where the growth is. Doesn't mean rail is going away, but it's not where the growth is. Delivering Amazon packages via train? Yeah, not so practical. VW does ship the majority of its cars from their TN plant by rail though.
I realize we do have the best, but it is also woefully underfunded with many lines being at capacity or trying to operate above its capacity. And, frankly, the fact that "last leg" means 100 miles instead of 25 or 50 is a sign of that underfunding. I'm not saying trucks don't have advantages over rail, only that each has its own best use case and also that best use is influenced by context like ROW capacity and use cost. The current usage of trucks is heavily reliant on free access to highways and interstates.

While this is interesting and I'd like to keep going, this is getting aside from the original topic, so I'll just say that JIT isn't going away for manufacturing because holding oversized inventories is expensive (albeit JIT comes with its own set of risks).
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