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Old 03-31-2015, 07:38 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,351,950 times
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Article is a far-left crock. "Statistics" of Kings County, NY (pop. 2.6 million) compared to select statistics of Miami County, KS (pop. 33,000) and other similar stories. The pretext for density is "loss of farms", etc. Yet there are more farms in Miami County, KS than there are in Kings County, NY. Median time to get to work is about 29 minutes in Miami County. That epitome of density, Kings County NY - median getting to work time is 41 minutes.

For those playing percentages in lieu of raw numbers, your dense environment sucks on both counts. The poverty rate in Kings County, NY is over 23%. That's nearly 6 million people below the poverty level in just one county. By comparison, the poverty rate in Miami County, KS is 9% or less than 3,000 people. Miami County extends its positive attributes over 576 square miles. Kings County squeezes all its misery into 70 sq miles. Why would anyone want to use Kings County, NY as a model for anything beyond its existing area is a mystery.

Homeownership in KC, NY is under 30% compared to the nearly 80% in MC, KS. Compare the crime and violent crime rates of the two areas. Hey KC, NY excels in poverty and violent crime rates by having much higher numbers for both.

The author struggles to come up with really lame arguments as to some basis for rating dense locations over areas the author derides as sprawl. Perhaps when one takes a closer look at these dense areas the argument becomes what should be done to reduce the density in order to achieve results like the areas the author derides. The chart referring to dense areas as "smartest growth" while labeling other areas as "sprawl" is not exactly objective reporting. I would question the intelligence of anyone promoting KC, NY as a model of "smart growth". What's so "smart" about areas with high poverty, high crime, and unaffordable housing? Don't think you'll find too many farmlands and increased agricultural productivity in Brooklyn (the author points to "sprawl" as negatively impacting farmland but seems oblivious to the fact that her "smart growth" areas eliminated them altogether). Maybe it's "smart" for proponents of dystopian urban environments and slum lords but not the 2.6 million living there nor any reader with a little common sense.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:42 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,815 posts, read 54,486,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
you mean it is worth it to suffer all the congestion, wasted hours sitting behind the steering wheels (for many more than two hours each day), pollution as well as stress, for a large suburban house with absolutely nothing nearby?

Quality of life is not defined by living space. It includes far more than that.
My "wasted hours" are relaxing on the bus, while surfing the internet on my smartphone. I also have the healthful advantage of a mile-long walk at the work end of the commute twice a day. My house is on 1/3 acre with 100' tall trees, views of the valley below and mountains behind that, no traffic noise, and we can see the stars at night. Anything we could need is available in the nearby larger cities 5-6 miles in either direction.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:50 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
My "wasted hours" are relaxing on the bus, while surfing the internet on my smartphone. I also have the healthful advantage of a mile-long walk at the work end of the commute twice a day. My house is on 1/3 acre with 100' tall trees, views of the valley below and mountains behind that, no traffic noise, and we can see the stars at night. Anything we could need is available in the nearby larger cities 5-6 miles in either direction.
Whoa, let's not fall in to the trap of using our own lives as if they represent the norm. Each of us is a data point, not a trend.

Your own experience seems pretty great, but it is definitely not representative of America at large. Most people spend a great deal of time in traffic in their own vehicle. A significant number of people do this for an excessive amount of time each week, spending hours each day just commuting alone in their car, in which case their options as to how to spend that time are severely limited.

Even if a person thinks that trade-off of commuting hours for some notion of QoL is justified, there is nothing wrong with pointing out the dollar cost of that trade-off. No, acknowledging that trade can be valued in dollars is necessary to even have a conversation at all; else, we're just repeatedly stating our opinions at increasing volumes.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,090,068 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Whoa, let's not fall in to the trap of using our own lives as if they represent the norm. Each of us is a data point, not a trend.

Your own experience seems pretty great, but it is definitely not representative of America at large. Most people spend a great deal of time in traffic in their own vehicle. A significant number of people do this for an excessive amount of time each week, spending hours each day just commuting alone in their car, in which case their options as to how to spend that time are severely limited.

Even if a person thinks that trade-off of commuting hours for some notion of QoL is justified, there is nothing wrong with pointing out the dollar cost of that trade-off. No, acknowledging that trade can be valued in dollars is necessary to even have a conversation at all; else, we're just repeatedly stating our opinions at increasing volumes.
If you look at places where the commute sucks, what you find is a lot of people don't do it. Eastside suburbs of Seattle, for example. Only 15% of the Eastside workforce (people that live in the Eastside and work somewhere) are commuting into Seattle. Many of them use the bus. The 522, 545, 550, and 554 (express buses running between Seattle and the Eastside) all have ridership of over a million. The only other route that does is Lynwood.

Positive Trend for Eastside Economics - 425 Business
Take a virtual ride on Link light rail's planned Eastside extension - Puget Sound Business Journal

If you take those numbers, there's (now) 250,000 people in the Eastside workforce,with 40,000 commuting to Seattle everyday.

Another indicator you might find interesting. In 2002, there were more cars going from Seattle to the Eastside during the morning commute than coming from the Eastside into Seattle. My aunt and uncle lived in Seattle as they preferred that. To them, the QOL was worth the long commute even though they both worked on the Eastside. They're urbanistas. They used to live in San Francisco and wanted a more urban environment rather than the suburbs even though their jobs were in the suburbs. It's not like they didn't know. They relocated when the company my uncle was working for was bought out by Microsoft and moved up to Redmond. That's not a new development, happened somewhere around 1997 according to the article.
Local News | Seattle-to-Eastside trip is no longer 'reverse' commute | Seattle Times Newspaper

East Side Link is set to begin construction later this year. Since for QOL reasons, there are a number of people that prefer long commutes both to and from the suburbs rather than to live near their job, it's economically very important for the region. Is it cheap? No. It's very, very expensive. So are the buses. The express buses cost $72.73 million a year in taxpayer money. The monthly pass is another $1080/yr if you're staying within King County as most Eastside commuters are.

Last edited by Malloric; 03-31-2015 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:00 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,842 times
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I re-iterate, most people are not like Hemlock140. Most commuters do so by car, and do so alone.

Commuting in the United States: 2009 (PDF)

Of those surveyed, 76.1% drove alone.

Or this, on mega commuters:

Time and Distance in Defining Long Commutes using the 2006-2010 American Community Survey

81.9% of all commuters drove alone. 59% of all commuters spending 90 minutes or more are driving alone. 75.9% of all commuters going 50 or more miles are driving alone.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:15 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,013 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
I re-iterate, most people are not like Hemlock140. Most commuters do so by car, and do so alone.

Commuting in the United States: 2009 (PDF)

Of those surveyed, 76.1% drove alone.

Or this, on mega commuters:

Time and Distance in Defining Long Commutes using the 2006-2010 American Community Survey

81.9% of all commuters drove alone. 59% of all commuters spending 90 minutes or more are driving alone. 75.9% of all commuters going 50 or more miles are driving alone.
You left out a few stats:
Americans' commutes aren't getting longer
About 8% commute for >60 minutes.
"According to the Census, about one out of five workers with hour-plus commutes use transit. Only 61% of workers with long commutes drove to work alone, compared with 80% for all workers who work outside the home.

"The average travel time for workers who commute by public transportation is higher than that of workers who use other modes," said Census Bureau statistician Brian McKenzie. "

My info came from a more recent Community Survey-2011.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,090,068 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
I re-iterate, most people are not like Hemlock140. Most commuters do so by car, and do so alone.

Commuting in the United States: 2009 (PDF)

Of those surveyed, 76.1% drove alone.

Or this, on mega commuters:

Time and Distance in Defining Long Commutes using the 2006-2010 American Community Survey

81.9% of all commuters drove alone. 59% of all commuters spending 90 minutes or more are driving alone. 75.9% of all commuters going 50 or more miles are driving alone.
It's a big country. It's very normal not to drive alone in a lot of it. You're obviously much more likely to drive to work alone in Topeka, KS, than San Francisco or DC or Boston or Seattle. On the other hand, traffic sucks in a lot of places. Most people do commute to work by driving alone in San Jose. Fortunately, most people aren't going that far so the median time is basically the US average as is the percentage commuting alone by car. Topeka on the other hand has much shorter than average commutes. If you want a short commute, get out of New York and move to Topeka. Nearly 25% (24.7%) of NYC has a commute longer than an hour compard to 3.5% for Topeka. Everyone's favorite whipping boy, Houston, also has a below average number of people commuting for over an hour.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:45 PM
 
56,656 posts, read 80,952,685 times
Reputation: 12521
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Article is a far-left crock. "Statistics" of Kings County, NY (pop. 2.6 million) compared to select statistics of Miami County, KS (pop. 33,000) and other similar stories. The pretext for density is "loss of farms", etc. Yet there are more farms in Miami County, KS than there are in Kings County, NY. Median time to get to work is about 29 minutes in Miami County. That epitome of density, Kings County NY - median getting to work time is 41 minutes.

For those playing percentages in lieu of raw numbers, your dense environment sucks on both counts. The poverty rate in Kings County, NY is over 23%. That's nearly 6 million people below the poverty level in just one county. By comparison, the poverty rate in Miami County, KS is 9% or less than 3,000 people. Miami County extends its positive attributes over 576 square miles. Kings County squeezes all its misery into 70 sq miles. Why would anyone want to use Kings County, NY as a model for anything beyond its existing area is a mystery.

Homeownership in KC, NY is under 30% compared to the nearly 80% in MC, KS. Compare the crime and violent crime rates of the two areas. Hey KC, NY excels in poverty and violent crime rates by having much higher numbers for both.

The author struggles to come up with really lame arguments as to some basis for rating dense locations over areas the author derides as sprawl. Perhaps when one takes a closer look at these dense areas the argument becomes what should be done to reduce the density in order to achieve results like the areas the author derides. The chart referring to dense areas as "smartest growth" while labeling other areas as "sprawl" is not exactly objective reporting. I would question the intelligence of anyone promoting KC, NY as a model of "smart growth". What's so "smart" about areas with high poverty, high crime, and unaffordable housing? Don't think you'll find too many farmlands and increased agricultural productivity in Brooklyn (the author points to "sprawl" as negatively impacting farmland but seems oblivious to the fact that her "smart growth" areas eliminated them altogether). Maybe it's "smart" for proponents of dystopian urban environments and slum lords but not the 2.6 million living there nor any reader with a little common sense.
6 million people in poverty in a county of 2.6 million? You meant 600,000 I believe.

These counties are so different that I don't know why they were used in a comparison.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:43 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,351,950 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
6 million people in poverty in a county of 2.6 million? You meant 600,000 I believe.

These counties are so different that I don't know why they were used in a comparison.
Oops. You are correct. However, 600,000 is still a lot and orders of magnitude greater than the entire population of the counties that the author was deriding. I'm not impressed with the author's examples of "smart growth". They are examples to avoid not to emulate. How would growing MC, KS into the high unemployment, high crime rate, high poverty area like KC, NY "preserve farms"? The article was an environmentalist anti-growth rant that had zero logic behind its arguments and failed in its objective.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:23 AM
 
6,635 posts, read 4,600,830 times
Reputation: 13350
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Whoa, let's not fall in to the trap of using our own lives as if they represent the norm. Each of us is a data point, not a trend.

Your own experience seems pretty great, but it is definitely not representative of America at large. Most people spend a great deal of time in traffic in their own vehicle. A significant number of people do this for an excessive amount of time each week, spending hours each day just commuting alone in their car, in which case their options as to how to spend that time are severely limited.

Even if a person thinks that trade-off of commuting hours for some notion of QoL is justified, there is nothing wrong with pointing out the dollar cost of that trade-off. No, acknowledging that trade can be valued in dollars is necessary to even have a conversation at all; else, we're just repeatedly stating our opinions at increasing volumes.
I agree with you, but having little to no commute also has a dollar cost. In many cities, living close enough to work to walk, bike or take public transportation carries a significant increase in housing costs. This cost may exceed the cost of commuting by car on an annual basis.

As to QoL, to each his own. Some find a shorter commute a reasonable trade off for typically smaller living quarters and more expensive housing costs while others feel the opposite.
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