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Old 11-29-2014, 09:00 AM
 
2,923 posts, read 3,118,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Turning first-ring suburbs into job centers is, generally speaking, a bad idea. Someone on the forum from northern New Jersey has discussed this in the past. The local municipal system there is even more fragmented than the Connecticut town system, with hundreds of municipalities only a few square miles in size. They all want to compete for non-residential development, because it increases the tax base without actually raising taxes (or increasing the biggest cost drivers for smaller municipalities). But this results in a polycentric model where people commute from suburb to suburb for work, resulting in traffic congestion everywhere which no mass transit system could ever address.

Regarding Hartford in particular (I'm originally from Connecticut, albeit not the Hartford area) the main thing you need to turn Downtown into a 24-hour neighborhood is more residents in and around Downtown. New Downtown apartment units are filling up easily, but it's still a drop in the bucket. Worse, Downtown is surrounded by a moat of highways and non-residential neighborhoods - you have to walk through some very pedestrian unfriendly areas to get to the nearest residential areas (none of which are very nice current, outside of the West End, although I think some of the classic apartment blocks south of Downtown have potential).

Still, in contrast to Hartford, look at New Haven. With Yale right next to (even bordering) Downtown, along with two middle-class neighborhoods right next to it (East Rock and Wooster Square) Downtown New Haven has long had a great nightlife and restaurant scene, and has only been getting better since I moved away ten years ago. There's two different grocery stores downtown now, for example. All of this despite New Haven having many of the same issues in pockets (high crime, mostly bad neighborhood schools, concentrated urban poverty) that Hartford has.
Granted I have three children but I place zero emphasis on 24 hour communities or night life. I am confident that my views (as well as my many neighbors) will not change once my children are grown.

What most of us desire are safe, clean, quiet neighborhoods of professionals that have a sense of pride in maintaining their homes. I still fail to realize the benefits of high density (and consequently stress) in this internet age.
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Old 11-29-2014, 09:58 AM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,933,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Granted I have three children but I place zero emphasis on 24 hour communities or night life. I am confident that my views (as well as my many neighbors) will not change once my children are grown.

What most of us desire are safe, clean, quiet neighborhoods of professionals that have a sense of pride in maintaining their homes. I still fail to realize the benefits of high density (and consequently stress) in this internet age.
I personally know several people who never go out for any nightlife and yet enjoy high density communities because they like to be able to get around through walking rather than driving. If you don't care about that, that's fine. But just because there aren't benefits for you from high density doesn't mean other people don't see benefits.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:34 AM
 
2,923 posts, read 3,118,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
I personally know several people who never go out for any nightlife and yet enjoy high density communities because they like to be able to get around through walking rather than driving. If you don't care about that, that's fine. But just because there aren't benefits for you from high density doesn't mean other people don't see benefits.
We walk extensively across several acres. Walking to stores is not feasible- I'm not sure you can walk a mile with 12-15 grocery bags.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: bend oregon
929 posts, read 844,064 times
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the future for the west coast will be suburbs or nothing there because of the eathquake.

i think cars will decrease and the sburbs wont be so bad because theres new electric bikes and enclosed motorcycles.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:56 AM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,933,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
We walk extensively across several acres. Walking to stores is not feasible- I'm not sure you can walk a mile with 12-15 grocery bags.
Right--which is why a benefit of high-density living to people who prefer to walk rather than drive is that they don't have to walk a mile to the nearest store. I have multiple stores within a half mile or less of where I live. I walk to them all the time. If I want to buy heavy loads of things, then I drive, but it's never more than once a week that I need to buy so much stuff that walking is not feasible. For the many people in my neighborhood who don't own a car, they use Zipcar or taxis for heavy loads. Renting a zipcar or taking a mile-long Uber trip a few times a month is far cheaper than gas, insurance and maintenance on owning a car.

Of course you can walk as much as you want wherever you live. But I'm talking about walking as an alternative to driving for running errands and transportation, not walking purely for pleasure and exercise.

Again, if you don't mind driving for basic errands, then this is all irrelevant to you. But the reason some people prefer high-density living is because they prefer walking to driving.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Austin
29,546 posts, read 16,487,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Granted I have three children but I place zero emphasis on 24 hour communities or night life. I am confident that my views (as well as my many neighbors) will not change once my children are grown.

What most of us desire are safe, clean, quiet neighborhoods of professionals that have a sense of pride in maintaining their homes. I still fail to realize the benefits of high density (and consequently stress) in this internet age.
Exactly. I love my space and my cars give me pleasure and freedom. I have no children at home but would never consider living downtown. In fact, if I moved anywhere it would be further out, not in.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Granted I have three children but I place zero emphasis on 24 hour communities or night life. I am confident that my views (as well as my many neighbors) will not change once my children are grown.

What most of us desire are safe, clean, quiet neighborhoods of professionals that have a sense of pride in maintaining their homes. I still fail to realize the benefits of high density (and consequently stress) in this internet age.
That's fine that that's what you desire. But if you want the cities to be nice places to visit, you should be cheering for the return of people with different priorities to you into urban residential neighborhoods. Cities need to have a strong middle-and-upper-income contingent for many reasons, varying from simple budgetary matters (higher income+property taxes= more city income) to lower crime and greater social cohesion.

Regardless, I'm a father of two, and although we relocated from a dense rowhouse neighborhood to a slightly less dense "streetcar suburb" within the city, this was more because we couldn't afford a family-sized house within a dense, walkable neighborhood than anything. I certainly value all the things you mentioned, but I also greatly value the bus stop right outside (literally) my front door. And at my old house, I valued being able to walk to a bakery, movie theater, restaurants, a bike repair shop, etc. I hope my local business districts get more utilized, but as they are around a 15-minute walk from me, they'll never be as convenient as my old one was. I am not sure what was inherently "stressful" about higher-density living at all - getting in snips with your next-door neighbors isn't too different no matter if there's two feet of brick or 30+ feet of open space between you and them.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:35 AM
 
2,923 posts, read 3,118,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
That's fine that that's what you desire. But if you want the cities to be nice places to visit, you should be cheering for the return of people with different priorities to you into urban residential neighborhoods. Cities need to have a strong middle-and-upper-income contingent for many reasons, varying from simple budgetary matters (higher income+property taxes= more city income) to lower crime and greater social cohesion.

Regardless, I'm a father of two, and although we relocated from a dense rowhouse neighborhood to a slightly less dense "streetcar suburb" within the city, this was more because we couldn't afford a family-sized house within a dense, walkable neighborhood than anything. I certainly value all the things you mentioned, but I also greatly value the bus stop right outside (literally) my front door. And at my old house, I valued being able to walk to a bakery, movie theater, restaurants, a bike repair shop, etc. I hope my local business districts get more utilized, but as they are around a 15-minute walk from me, they'll never be as convenient as my old one was. I am not sure what was inherently "stressful" about higher-density living at all - getting in snips with your next-door neighbors isn't too different no matter if there's two feet of brick or 30+ feet of open space between you and them.
The stress stems from noise, density induced "claustrophobia", traffic, lack of privacy et al. Distance does seem to literally put distance between you and neighbors that you don't get along with. Reduces tension.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
Reputation: 10539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
The stress stems from noise, density induced "claustrophobia", traffic, lack of privacy et al. Distance does seem to literally put distance between you and neighbors that you don't get along with. Reduces tension.
Again, I was raised mostly in suburban Connecticut, and I just don't get this claustrophobia thing you're talking about.

Maybe it's because I grew up along the Main Street (as in the literal name) of our municipality. Although there wasn't any businesses around worth walking to, it was a highly-trafficked road with a high speed limit. I got used to road noise at night, and I find it relaxing. I cannot go to bed in an area which is totally quiet - if there isn't outside noise I need to have a fan running or something.

And, in my experience, density and privacy have little to do with one another. I've been to tiny houses with high fences where the yards feel totally private. On the other hand, modern subdivisions tend to be treeless, which means even if they have a fair-size chunk of land, the lawn is totally open and exposed to the neighbors - not somewhere I'd feel comfortable with at all.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:03 PM
 
2,923 posts, read 3,118,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Again, I was raised mostly in suburban Connecticut, and I just don't get this claustrophobia thing you're talking about.

Maybe it's because I grew up along the Main Street (as in the literal name) of our municipality. Although there wasn't any businesses around worth walking to, it was a highly-trafficked road with a high speed limit. I got used to road noise at night, and I find it relaxing. I cannot go to bed in an area which is totally quiet - if there isn't outside noise I need to have a fan running or something.

And, in my experience, density and privacy have little to do with one another. I've been to tiny houses with high fences where the yards feel totally private. On the other hand, modern subdivisions tend to be treeless, which means even if they have a fair-size chunk of land, the lawn is totally open and exposed to the neighbors - not somewhere I'd feel comfortable with at all.
We are anything but treeless--- cookie cutter subdivisions don't really exist in lower (particularly in SW) CT. Lots are 2-4 acres, and privacy is paramount.
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