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Old 01-23-2015, 06:08 PM
 
12,300 posts, read 15,202,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
Good post, I've excerpted some things I'd like to highlight.

Many people on this forum have this romantic idea that ALL housing built prior to a certain date (1945 often being used) was "better-built" than housing built since then. Of course, housing built before 1945 really means housing built before 1930, as the Depression then WW II caused little housing to be built during that time. Housing for the well off was "better-built" than housing for the masses; it always has been. But still, this housing was built to the technology of the time. Most homes built before 1930 didn't even have a place for a refrigerator, b/c few owned refrigerators back then.
The Great Depression and the Rise of the Refrigerator - The Science of Society - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
What Does the Fridge Say? A Historical Photo Essay | Emily Contois

Back to transit. I don't have much more to say about it right now.
The idea that houses were better built stems from the fact that those that survived were indeed better built. A lot of poorly built housing just collapsed or was torn down due to poor quality. Incidentally, electrical systems in early housing were horrible. Sometimes no switches, no plug ins, single bulb sockets hanging from "rosettes" on the ceiling. OK this is getting off the subject.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:32 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,956,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
^^The problem is, we have discussed this stuff ad nauseum on this board. But newbies always want to start over again.
Concise. I could've save myself a lot of time with that one.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:13 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,956,284 times
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So to get back to the OP - the difference in mode share between US cities and Canadian or Australian cities (culturally similar, developed in a similar fashion and around the same time) isn't about interstates or racism or housing finance because Australia and Canada have a lot of similar mechanisms. In fact, Australia has such a suburban orientation that when I told people I was from Philly they would ask "oh, what suburb?" because "suburb" is more or less synonymous with post code and even people who live a mile or two from the Sydney CBD will claim to live in a "suburb."

What it really comes down to is a lack of planning at the US state level, the slow introduction of federally funded MPOs, municipal balkanization, and the road funding bias at the federal level that is stronger than in those other countries. They're all sort of interrelated issues but the US has a lot of layers of government and overlapping agencies that just don't exist in most other countries. In most US metros you have multiple municipalities competing for a jobs/retail base and undercutting each other for those jobs in most cases. That just doesn't happen on most other OECD countries. There are regional planning bodies with enforcement powers and they more or less dictate where office, where industry, and where retail will be and, surprise, most of them are clustered making them easier to serve with transit.

SEPTA could be wonderfully financed, we could have regional rail service every 15 minutes, and buses on all suburban routes every 15 minutes or less but the mode share wouldn't change much as long as employment remains as diffuse and where transit trips from suburb-to-suburb require time consuming transfers. In most cities there is far more employment outside of downtown than in it and the 'outside of downtown' employment is all over the place.

Americans aren't any more or less transit-phobic than Australians or Canadians. (See recent shenanigans in Toronto with bike lane removal and transit funding) People everywhere complain about their crappy transit and prefer to drive most places because it's often faster and sometimes perceived as cheaper.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:18 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,956,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
The idea that houses were better built stems from the fact that those that survived were indeed better built. A lot of poorly built housing just collapsed or was torn down due to poor quality. Incidentally, electrical systems in early housing were horrible. Sometimes no switches, no plug ins, single bulb sockets hanging from "rosettes" on the ceiling. OK this is getting off the subject.
A lot of people were terrified of early electrical systems, in part because people were getting shocked by them, but also because older houses were often with riddled with gas lines that ran bedroom lamps . . . gas fed house fires (and explosions) were not at all uncommon.

But a lot of people see urban renewal as some vast conspiracy but in most cases it was just trying to get rid of a lot of houses that didn't have much of a future anyway. I still disagree with the process - we should've been using that highway money to stabilize/modernize the housing - but that's just monday morning quarterbacking history.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:18 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,860,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
That is not really an issue in most places. Though in a car you have to watch out for pedestrians, bad drivers, bicycles, traffic lights, stopped traffic, that person who thinks it is a great time to read their text messages, and so on.

So one could find negative things about anything if they really want to.
I had a lot more control or in those situations. I could swerve or press the brakes. I couldn't do much about loonies I have run into on the bus or train besides maybe get off that bus or train and risk being late or losing money due to having used an transfer.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,533,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
I had a lot more control or in those situations. I could swerve or press the brakes. I couldn't do much about loonies I have run into on the bus or train besides maybe get off that bus or train and risk being late or losing money due to having used an transfer.
You can only do so much, there is always that accident you never saw coming. As for loonies on the bus, that is a bit of a myth. And how tickets work vary from city to city, some have better systems than others.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
You can only do so much, there is always that accident you never saw coming. As for loonies on the bus, that is a bit of a myth. And how tickets work vary from city to city, some have better systems than others.
I don't think loonies on the bus are a myth at all. Before September I hadn't owned a car in 16 years and did most of my day-to-day travel on bus, subway, on foot or by bike.

I think the more often you ride transit (especially bus/light rail/subway) off-peak the more likely you are to run into the crazies. I've seen it all from people cursing and yelling at their invisible friend, to junkies on the nod, to quiet dirty people who stunk of urine . . . speaking of which, I even once sat in a urine soaked seat (SEPTA has cloth covered seats on a lot of buses). After that I never again sat on a bus seat without first visually inspecting then testing it with my fingers to make sure it was dry.

Now, probably 97% of my transit trips were crazy free and that other 3% obviously wasn't enough to make me stop riding but I could see how if you were a little on the agoraphobic side it would be enough to swear those people off of transit. There's also that passive-aggressive form of panhandling that seems to be a lot bigger on the east coast where someone will follow you or sit next to you trying to talk to you about your day then ask you for money when it's painfully transparent the whole time that's what's gonna happen . . . but in a big US city that's something you can't really avoid by driving because you'll probably still get hassled walking to your car.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:13 AM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,860,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
You can only do so much, there is always that accident you never saw coming. As for loonies on the bus, that is a bit of a myth. And how tickets work vary from city to city, some have better systems than others.
Myth my foot. I have personally had an woman throw an tape recorder at me after giving the bus an lecture of where no man would touch her. She latter hit another woman boarding an train.

I have seen an young guy who was either on drugs or crazy throw an punch at an ticket both, he was dragged off the train by the cops(lucky he was in his own little world when he got on the train and ignored me.).

Last time around it was an agitated person heading up and down the station repeatedly.

I have seen an woman get her purse stolen, had an person who was high and sweating profusely sit next to me on an train and smelled some really bad odors for the whole trip(such as b.m., urine, as well as just some homeless person who hasn't showed in months).

I have gotten blasted by frigid winds every time the train opened the door, stood exposed to the elements waiting on an train or an bus, stood up for an hour due to lack of seating and somehow people here think than an hour sitting in traffic is worse than an hour crammed in to an bus?!?
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,660,338 times
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I mostly agree with drive carephilly, in that my rides on the bus are fine, probably about 97% of the time. That other 3% of the time, isn't reserved for just crazy people, but also bad smells, obnoxious/threatening people, and being crammed in.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:58 AM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,934,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Myth my foot. I have personally had an woman throw an tape recorder at me after giving the bus an lecture of where no man would touch her. She latter hit another woman boarding an train.

I have seen an young guy who was either on drugs or crazy throw an punch at an ticket both, he was dragged off the train by the cops(lucky he was in his own little world when he got on the train and ignored me.).

Last time around it was an agitated person heading up and down the station repeatedly.

I have seen an woman get her purse stolen, had an person who was high and sweating profusely sit next to me on an train and smelled some really bad odors for the whole trip(such as b.m., urine, as well as just some homeless person who hasn't showed in months).

I have gotten blasted by frigid winds every time the train opened the door, stood exposed to the elements waiting on an train or an bus, stood up for an hour due to lack of seating and somehow people here think than an hour sitting in traffic is worse than an hour crammed in to an bus?!?
Why are you so bothered by the fact that other people have different opinions than you? You are welcome to your opinion and we are welcome to ours. I would much prefer spending an hour on public transit (yes, even a crammed bus) than an hour in traffic because I can read when I'm not driving.
And having taken public transit almost every day in DC for years, yes I have also seen all sorts of loonies and crazies. They don't bother me enough to make me prefer driving.
That is my opinion. It's fine if you find driving more pleasant. Yes, "somehow" I think differently than you. What's the big deal?

Last edited by stateofnature; 01-24-2015 at 10:08 AM..
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