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New Urbanism : Favors Pedestrians and Bikes, Not Cars

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JHK's arguments kill off the Save-the-car fantasies

 

KunstlerCast #74: Electric Society

The Quest For An Electric Vehicle Nirvana

 

Released: August 6, 2009.

 

James Howard Kunstler explores the possibility of transitioning our society from fossil fuels to one that runs on electricity. This discussion is based on ideas presented in an episode of NOVA titled "Car of the Future" (Season 33, Episode 3). You can watch the entire NOVA program below.

 

http://www.kunstlercast.com/

 

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KunstlerCast #90: The Demise of Happy Motoring

http://media.libsyn.com/media/kunstlercast...tlerCast_90.mp3

 

Cruising Toward Collapse with a Stunning Stupidity

 

Released: Nov. 26, 2009.

 

James Howard Kunstler believes that the Happy Motoring project is running out of time. Peak Oil and problems with alternative energy aren't the only issues facing future motorists. He thinks that car ownership will become less democratic in the future as cars become too expensive to buy without the current financing options. Kunstler dismisses Christopher Steiner's "$20 Per Gallon" book for assuming that an orderly procession of events will take us from $3 per gallon to $20. The conversation naturally leads to a discussion of NASCAR, which Kunstler views as a particularly pathetic reincarnation of Roman chariot races that serve to preoccupy the masses as the American empire declines. Lastly, Kunstler addresses a recent International Energy Agency scandal to coverup the reality of dwindling oil supplies.

== == ==

 

Kunstler sees two problems:

+ The system for financing new car purchases has broken down

+ State and local governments will not be able to maintain the roads

 

JHK doesnt like Christopher Steiner's "$20 Per Gallon" book much.

"There will not be an orderly adjustment" posits Kunstler

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JHK doesnt like Christopher Steiner's "$20 Per Gallon" book much.

"There will not be an orderly adjustment" posits Kunstler

 

$20 Per Gallon' by Christopher Steiner

Christopher Steiner looks ahead and projects, $2 at a time, how rising gasoline prices will transform civilization.

 

During the summer of 2008, Americans found out just how much was too much to pay for gas. On July 11, a barrel of oil hit $147.27, which translated into $4.11 for a gallon of regular gas at the pump -- the highest price ever reached in the U.S. And that was just the average. In some places, the price got close to $5 a gallon. It was the Summer of Pain.

 

Many people who'd never heard of "peak oil," or who'd been trading in one SUV for another, or who'd scoffed at the idea that Americans would ever drive less, suddenly learned that when the price of a finite commodity spikes, even cherished habits change. And it's not just about driving: Our entire American way of life, in fact much of the global economy, has been built over decades on cheap oil: Seafood and plastic toys from China can flow freely around the world. The price of bread and milk stays low. Airlines can engage in price wars.

 

But when the price of oil rises dramatically, inflation can kick in, scarcity can become the order of the day, freeways empty, General Motors and Chrysler slide into bankruptcy, and the American way of life grinds to a halt. Of course, after the price of oil crested in 2008, it quickly collapsed, leading some observers to speculate that the Summer of Pain was a blip on the radar.

 

But for the first six months of this year, the price was steadily rising. Though it has stabilized and even fallen in recent weeks, it may begin a slow, undulant march until gas literally costs too much for anyone.

 

This is the altered state of petroleum consciousness that Christopher Steiner, a trained engineer and writer for Forbes, envisions. And it's happening quickly, he points out. "As the middle class continues to explode in China, India, and scores of other spots circling the earth, hundreds of millions of additional cars will hit the roads," he writes. Many of those cars will be like the $2,200 Tata Nano, a "people's car" created for Indian consumers who've been riding bicycles and motor scooters for generations. "People want what Americans have had for decades: easy cars and an easy life. These people will get what they want, but in the process they will catalyze a global economic reformation on a scale never seen. . . . " Even the tattered remnants of the Detroit Big Three want a piece of this market: As General Motors left bankruptcy at home, it was selling more cars than ever in China.

 

Steiner has adopted a nicely readable structure for the book. Starting at $4 a gallon, each chapter tracks what will happen when gas hits a particular price, escalating by $2 until he gets to $20. He visits an airplane graveyard in order to explain how $8-a-gallon gas will crush the airline industry. At $14, he checks out an abandoned Wal-Mart "ghost box" and imagines a grim end to the car-dominated exurb. "Stores will return to the downtowns of yore as small towns' populations . . . return to the small-town infrastructures that their grandparents and great-grandparents built."

 

By $18 a gallon, high-speed railroads serve our travel needs, and by $20 a gallon, we just can't do oil anymore. And like a lot of people who've studied our post-oil energy options, he comes down on the side of nuclear. Eventually, he's replaced transatlantic flights with leisurely ocean passages akin to the grand liners of yesteryear. Except these new Queen Marys will run on nuclear reactors. Personal cars will be a thing of the past. Citizens of the future will wonder why we ever thought we needed them.

. . .

There's also a glaring omission in "$20 Per Gallon" that should be addressed. Much of the ground that Steiner covers, with a certain boyish, gearhead utopianism, was traversed in much more apocalyptic fashion by James Howard Kunstler in his 2005 book, "The Long Emergency." Kunstler's arguments, which are actually more ecological than economic, are well known and widely debated. So it seems remarkable that Steiner, who comes to many of the same conclusions, fails to acknowledge a book that's been around for four years and actually anticipated the 2008 gas mini-crisis. "$20 Per Gallon" also reads at times as if it were hurriedly written. Still, Steiner has served up a terrific speculative primer on a future of much pricier energy and all that it may entail.

 

/more: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/...0,4374953.story

 

Steiner's website:

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DrBubb, the concept behind new urbanism is really great. I really like the way it is because people are very much positive on this. I guess it is because we live in a fast-paced world and we need to do everything we can in order to meet our daily obligations or responsibilities whether in family, work, career and etc. This New Urbanism is an epitome of a new neighborhood unlike what we have before.

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If you have 10 minutes to spare,

this a pretty amazing video about Qian Hai ("Water City"),

a new city being built in China, just a few minutes north of Hong Kong:

 

 

 

Is this the future of Urban planning ?

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Interesting:

  • Design ‘How to’ guides detailing user-friendly local demographic profile guides, manual for participatory projects with children and young people about living in a new community, data profiling and diverse research and consultation;
  • Project newsletters and briefing papers will enable rapid dissemination of findings and resources;
  • In‐depth Briefing papers will appear in specialist journals for urban planners, decision‐makers and practitioners; workshops and conferences will be organised to enable the transfer and discussion of research findings;
  • An Advisory group comprising of academics, policy makers and practitioners in the field of urban development (e.g. representatives ofDevelopment Corporations and Local Authorities) and young people (e.g. service providers and youth workers) in MSKM will advise the research and help to ensure the project’s user‐friendliness and wider impact.
  • === ===

 

I did not know there was such enthusiasm - and so many projects like this in the UK

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Through reading Dr Tim Morgan's scary report on the end of our oil economy I found this excellent presentation given by Richard Heinberg in Totnes, Devon, itself taking the initiative with living within its means.

 

 

Google Transition Town Totnes for more. I think Dr B you have mentioned Totnes before?

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The EVIL EMPIRE over at City-Data shut me down, closing my thread there,

and so I am trying again, using an excerpt from above...

 

Cars come Last: The American Dream is changing

 

My previous thread (see note in post #2) got closed.

Perhaps the Moderators objected to the intentionally provocative title. Or perhaps anyone who dares to suggest that Car-owning is a bad habit is targetted on this website.

 

I would be pleased if someone would be kind enough to explain.

 

But being determined, I shall start again, this time with a less provocative title, and using someone else's words. So here's an excerpt from an article, entitled:

"Is America's suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare?"

- and it talks about an important trend : The changing the face of suburban American life

=============================

 

This trend, according to Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, stems not only from changing demographics but also from a major shift in the way an increasing number of Americans -- especially younger generations -- want to live and work.

 

"The American dream is absolutely changing," he told CNN.

 

This change can be witnessed in places like Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas, said Leinberger, where once rundown downtowns are being revitalized by well-educated, young professionals who have no desire to live in a detached single family home typical of a suburbia where life is often centered around long commutes and cars.

 

Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls "walkable urbanism" -- both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything -- from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters.

 

The so-called New Urbanism movement emerged in the mid-90s and has been steadily gaining momentum, especially with rising energy costs, environmental concerns and health problems associated with what Leinberger calls "drivable suburbanism" -- a low-density built environment plan that emerged around the end of the World War II and has been the dominant design in the U.S. ever since.

 

Thirty-five percent of the nation's wealth, according to Leinberger, has been invested in constructing this drivable suburban landscape.

 

But now, Leinberger told CNN, it appears the pendulum is beginning to swing back in favor of the type of walkable community that existed long before the advent of the once fashionable suburbs in the 1940s. He says it is being driven by generations molded by television shows like "Seinfeld" and "Friends," where city life is shown as being cool again -- a thing to flock to, rather than flee.

 

"The image of the city was once something to be left behind," said Leinberger.

===

+ continues: New Urbanism, New Vision / Cars are Last ! - Page 2 - Green Energy & Sustainable Living - Green Energy Investors

 

 

"Thirty-five percent of the nation's wealth... has been invested in constructing this drivable suburban landscape."

 

That''s way to much IMHO.

Much of that is going to have to be written off, or reconstructed. It is sad that the car-addicted had things their way for so very long, and it has brought the US to the brink of bankruptcy. It is way overdue for changes in the American living arrangement.

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I posted this on another thread there, on C-D, where some do not get it (yet).

 

Thats what you get when your dear Marxist leader backs the Eco freaks agenda...This is only the beginning "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!!!....Hello $10 a gallon coming soon to station near you....Don't touch that dial..Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Our Dear Marxist Leader and The Left Destroying America!!!

 

Consumers Taking Financial Hit From Rising Fuel Prices

 

American has already been (nearly) destroyed by the Car-addicted' date=' and their expensive, wealth-draining living suburban living arrangement. Rising oil prices look like a long term certainty. And a weakened America cannot go importing almost 10 million barrels of oil daily. The country is not rich enough - Wake up before it is too late.

 

This is just the beginning of a Long Wake-up call for Americans to learn the lesson that most of the world has already taken on board. If you are hurt by rising gasoline prices: then you seem to be a fool, a sucker, or maybe just someone who has not yet awoken and found a way to live a less car-dependent life. It is a good time to rethinking driving habits and car dependency !

 

Listen to the wise words of Richard Heinberg, in this video:

 

[media']

[/media]

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From C-D:

 

As Kuntsler has said: "Many people have bought their last automobile' date=' they just don't know it yet..."[/quote']

LOL

That's a good line - full of Kunstler-esque wisdom and humor.

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From C-D:

 

 

LOL

That's a good line - full of Kunstler-esque wisdom and humor.

 

Right. It's a very good line. But Kunstler now lives in deep country with a pickup truck and 5 acres, fruit trees and welly boots and the deeds to his house. Not for him the dreams of the new urbanists, or walkable communities etc...(depending on how far you are prepared walk).

I like the way he is using gasoline to transform his home and garden into something for the future. But making cheap shots at the car owners is a bit lame when he himself is one..and maybe dependant upon one as he grows older and less mobile. I'll bet you he is the type to drive until he can no longer!

It is also fine to suggest moving back into the cities and getting it all going, dewey eyed like, with mixed property/commercial la la land and then moving away into the countryside yourself!

I bet JHK would laugh along with that in a self reflective way... full of Kunstler-esque wisdom and humor. In the meantime... cars are selling like hot cakes.

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Walkability does not require a big urban environment.

It is more about NOT SURRENDERING TO CARS - the beasts need to be fought.

 

Here's a duplicated post from a thread on Up-and-Coming cities in the UK, that fits very well here:

 

10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable

 

Kaid Benfield / Dec 03, 2012 / 110 Comments

largest.jpg

 

In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades...

 

Here are the author’s ten steps of walkability, with a memorable line from his description of each:

 

1. Put cars in their place. ("Traffic studies are bullshit.") A car-first approach has hurt American cities.

Screen%20Shot%202012-12-03%20at%208.55.02%20AM.png

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Richard Masoner

 

2. Mix the uses. ("Cities were created to bring things together.") The research shows that neighborhoods with a diversity of uses – places to walk to – have significantly more walking than those that don’t. Jeff makes the point that, for most American downtowns, it is housing – places to walk from, if you will – that is in particularly short supply.

 

3. Get the parking right. ("Ample parking encourages driving that would not otherwise occur without it.") As do many progressive city thinkers, Jeff points out that we have a huge oversupply of underpriced parking, in large part due to minimum parking requirements for buildings and businesses.

 

6259639008_6d07173783_n_d.jpg

 

4. Let transit work. (“While walkability benefits from good transit, good transit relies absolutely on walkability.") Jeff cites the disappointing experience of light rail in Dallas as an example of what not to do to support transit: insufficient residential densities, too much downtown parking, routes separated from the busiest areas, infrequent service, and a lack of mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods near the stops. Jeff recommends concentrating on those transit corridors that can be improved to support ten-minute headways, and working there to simultaneously improve both the transit and the urban fabric.

 

MORE Tips :

5. Protect the pedestrian. ("The safest roads are those that feel the least safe.")

6. Welcome bikes. ("In Amsterdam, a city of 783,000, about 400,000 people are out riding their bikes on any given day.")

7. Shape the spaces. ("Get the design right and people will walk in almost any climate.")

8. Plant trees.

9. Make friendly and unique [building] faces.

10. Pick your winners. ("Where can spending the least money make the most difference?") The subtitle here could well be, "in the real world, you can’t do everything." True enough. Jeff argues for focusing on downtowns first, and on short corridors that can connect walkable neighborhoods.

===

/Go to the article for more detail:

http://www.theatlant...-walkable/4047/

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I have been busy attacking the complacency of the "car-dependent" on another website.

There have been some classic exchanges there - here are some examples:

 

(1)

QUOTE / Feltdesigner

20 cents? I remember when it was $1.00 and we could fill our Saturn up with $12.00 in Philly in 2003.

...and one of the reason's gas is so high is due to the demand from China...

=== UNQUOTE ===

 

And that rising oil price trend is going to continue.

Whenever a Chinese person buys a car, the US gains more competition for imported foreign oil. And their currency is stronger, because China is becoming more wealthy, rather than hemorraging wealth, like the US. Increasing wealth in China (and India etc) means that Global oil demand is likely to rise, even if it falls in the US, in a time of a weak US dollar and rising dollar oil prices.

Growth in demand in China and India will more than offset drops in demand in the US. Because of its falling real wealth per capita, the US will be forced to "make way" for new motorists from emerging countries. That's just economics in action, and does not require any policy changes in the US.

- Yet another reason to seek ways to become less car dependent

 

(2)

Getting the Parking Right near Train Stations

 

QUOTE / GoPhils

I think part of Felt's point was that you keep praising HK doing transit the right way, yet their huge demand for cars may be part of the reason for high oil prices...

=== UNQUOTE ===

 

I think you mean: Demand is rising in mainland China, not in Hong Kong.

Sure. And that demand is most likely to go on rising. China is climbing up the wealth curve, and has reached the stage where many more people want to own cars, and can afford them. There is nothing (apart from starting a huge war - cancel/cancel) that the US can do to stop it. So it is best to accommodate that rise in demand, and remake its own living arrangements so they are less threatened by rising dollar oil prices. The strength of this trend, and the threat to the US way of living is crystal clear when you live outside the US. What do Americans have such difficulty in grasping the fact that they are part of a global economy, and things may not go the way that US car owners want?

 

QUOTE / GoPhils

Yeah, if Geologic's dreams about CLT are going to come even remotely close to true...

=== UNQUOTE ===

 

I am not talking about Dreams... but rather what I see as an inevitable future. I have watched it happen in various cities where I have lived. And CLT seems to be at that same stage now.

Given the strong trends in place, we need to adjust, or get hit by a powerful wave that we ignored.

 

QUOTE / GoPhils

... it's going to happen in stages IMO. I do think real commuter rail would get a good amount of use if there were convenient park and ride lots (or garages if that makes Geologic happier) in places like Matthews/Cornelius/Concord/Fort Mill. How long it would take to justify the cost I don't know. But still I don't think one can necessarily say "not putting mixed use development is a bad move."

As you were saying, park and ride lots would encourage people to use mass transit, but in most cases they will still need a car to get there. Maybe once these stations get busier you can add retail etc. later. And Geologic also seems to want housing near transit stations to be more expensive. If that's the case, as was said, people will still choose to live further out if it means they can get more space for less money.

I mean even places like DC that do transit "the right way" (even though they have some of the worst automobile traffic in the country) have dreaded park and ride lots.

=== UNQUOTE ===

 

Have you heard the Strong Town's podcast on TRANSIT ?

Ian Rasmussen suggests that no parking should be within 5 minutes walk of a train station. The space nearby should be reserved for apartments (up to 5 stories high - I think higher), retail, and commercial. This way, those who commute would move into the new development, and find the commuting highly convenient. They may even be able to give up their cars. The drivers from the outside who need to park at the station would suffer the (minor?) inconvenience of walking further.

 

Let's build more viable transit, and STRONGER TOWNS, as they say in the podcast. I heartily concur

 

(3)

QUOTE / NDL

This is a major, major, fault with Charlotte's redevelopment...

. . .

A lack of proper retail, and way too many chain restaurants, highlights my list of needed improvements to Charlotte's core.

...There's no real retail destination in Downtown CLT.

=== UNQUOTE ===

 

It sounds like an opportunity to me.

An experiment is needed - a mixed use development right next to transport, including high end retail, and certainly a supermarket

I know some here may be sick of seeing my comparisons, but here's how they do it in Hong Kong

elementsc.jpg

 

The Elements shopping mall was built by SHKP, HK's top developer. It includes many high end shops, a supermarket, restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema. It is right on top of Kowloon Station, one of the main transit stops, only one station away from Central. It is ringed by highrises, and they sell for very high prices. The whole thing is wildly popular, and is being copied throughout Hong Kong.

Here's the ring of buildings around it:

 

iccm.jpg

ICC is a 118-storey, 484 m (1,588 ft) skyscraper completed in 2010 : Wiki

 

That really tall one is the ICC (International Commerce Center), the tallest building in HK, and 5th tallest in the world. Maybe one day CLT will have the confidence to copy this high density development model, with mixed use and transport connections, and only limited catering to cars. (BTW, there is also a parking lot at Elements, but it can be expensive to park there.)

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http://www.city-data.com/forum/urban-planning/1796589-cash-drains-hitting-usa-car-dependency.html#post28236762

 

To me, the reason for High Oil Prices is obvious.

Gasoline demand is slowing in the US, but oil is a global market, and many new drivers are coming on the roads in places like China and India. So as gasoline demand falls in the US, it is rising faster outside the US, and so the overall demand is up.

 

The market for natural gas is much more local, because it is more expensive to transport.

 

US_Oil_Production_and_Imports_1920_to_2005.png

 

The US is the most oil dependent country in the world, and its imports of oil remain uncomfortably high. But growth is happening in other countries, most notably the BRIC countries. The US will just have to make way for those countries, whether it wants to or not. The rising economic power of the BRICS may force Dollar oil prices up, as the US dollar falls, putting a big squeeze on those who live in car dependent areas.

 

What is going to change this trend? To me, it looks inevitable

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Somewhat off-topic' date=' but since we're sharing personal accounts, I'll share mine.

 

I don't have the option to drive. So for me, living in a place that isn't auto dependent is a must for a higher quality of life. Generally, I try to be a "live and let live" type of guy. But I can't help but have some resentment toward the automobile, because the saturation of the automobile into our society over the last 50-60 years has greatly reduced the number of options for those people who don't want to--or can't--drive.

 

Getting back on topic a little: While I don't think it has been discussed much--if at all--in this thread, there is the issue of the poorer members of our society being pushed into greater financial distress by needing a car to sustain themselves. The everyday expenses of owning/operating a car (gas, maintenance, etc.) are the same regardless of wealth.[/quote']

 

Good point.

And here's another with a similar perspective:

 

 

Unfortunately' date=' as well, there is a surprising number of people who see a walkable city or mixed use development as an affront to liberty. What to us is an responsible and welcome sign of urban progress, others see as a subversive communist plot to remove our rights. It seems for now, the seas of asphalt will remain.[/quote']

 

Haha.

I do find that attitude funny, and even bizarre.

No one is going to stop people from driving in America. Too many people are dependent upon it. But the drivers seem to think that they MUST dominate transport totally, and not leave any alternative choices for others.

 

(Here comes my rant...)

 

The car-dependent so far control the political agenda in most cities, and PRESUME that:

 

+ THEIR right to drive wherever they want, and have convenient parking must be preserved

+ THEY have the right to expect others to pay for half of highway upkeep through sales taxes

+ US Military personnel must risk their lives "to keep the oil flowing", and everyone must be taxed to keep a global military presence that costs American twice as much per capita as any of its allies

+ We must all breathe toxic air, contaminated by car exhaust - clean air is not a right

+ Precious oil reserves must be burned up (at low) prices so they can keep driving

 

So maybe if you are frustrated and even angered by these presumptions, you have a right to be so.

 

A fairer system would increase taxes on gasoline, so these various subsidies and incentives-to-drive would disappear. Then, the US might have $6-10 per gallon gasoline prices, as most advanced countries on our planet have. Higher prices would accelerate the trend away from suburban living, and leave the US less dependent on foreign oil.

 

But the auto-addicted want to drive the country over the cliff, burning up all the cheap oil, while it still exists, and then ... maybe when a market shock forces prices higher, finally deal with the addiction, and seek some alternatives.

 

I am determined not to wait for that last minute. We can CHOOSE to live somewhere where being Carfree is a viable possibility - and by renting or buying real estate in areas like that EXPAND the size of areas where cars are not the sole option. Why not join my in this (somewhat lonely?) mission.

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(from the Asheville Carfree thread):

 

I have to agree that people don't move looking to "free themselves" from owning cars. Most people would move to the area already owning a car' date=' and continue to use it.

 

A large part of the draw to Asheville is proximity to the mountains, being able to go hiking, fishing, kayaking. Well - you need a car to get out of the city and carry your gear.[/quote']

 

That HAS been the case,

But I can see it changing. People function that way in other countries.

And the higher the oil price, the more likely a reduction in car commuting costs are to drive locational decisions.

 

Have you noticed that the two main "Point Zeros" (Stockton, CA, Las Vegas, and Phoenix) in the recent housing price crash...

 

...are all extremely car dependent cities, where people commuted a long distance.

 

Meantime Walkable cities like New York and Boston showed much smaller real estate price drops.

 

Car costs matter !

But Americans do not think about them as much as they should... but that may be changing.

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WHO PAYS for Transport ? : C-D:cashdrain

 

You make it sound like people who own cars are part of some huge organized lobby who's only goal is to make everybody live in the suburbs. There is no giant organization. People just move to predominantly car centered areas because they want to. Car centered culture has not been forced upon you. You have every right to live in an urban' date=' walk-able, area just as much as others have a right to live in a suburban car centered area.[/quote']

 

Sure.

But I do not want to subsidize the drivers !

 

This is not only my idea - I have borrowed it from engineers and Town Planning experts.

 

To learn more, listen to BOTH of these two fine podcasts:

 

ST-Successful Transit : http://www.strongtow...23-transit.html

Ian Rasmussen joins Chuck Marohn to talk about transit systems and how they should be viewed as the Suburban Experiment continues to wind down.

 

ST-Highway Financing : http://www.strongtow...ay-funding.html

Chuck is solo - digging into an article by the McClatchy news service titled, U.S. keeps building new highways while letting old ones crumble.

 

Your also over exaggerating the rising price of Oil. Like I said in an earlier post oil has been stagnant the last 5 years. I agree that oil prices will rise in the future' date=' but this rise will be slow...[/quote']

 

LOL! How do you know that Oil prices will stay down?

Like most commodities, oil moves in cycles, and the next upleg may coincide with a falling dollar, and get very ugly indeed.

 

If I am going to risk my money in US Real Estate, I will only do it in an area where I can live carfree. If you want to take the risk of being car-dependent, that's your decision.

 

The only point of yours I agree with is expecting others to pay for highway upkeep. I think highway's should be funded completely by tolls' date=' so that only people that use the highways have to pay for them, and so that the true economic cost of highway operations are visible. But if your going to make this argument then i'm assuming that you agree that mass transit should also be fully funded by ticket sales alone. I think its unreasonable to expect others to pay for mass transit they may never use.[/quote']

 

I partly agree with this - but it may take time to get to a reasonable ridership where it is remotely possible:

 

Here's what works:

+ Mass Transit only works where there is enough density near the stations, and there is an urgent need for Charlotte to add density and the "right urban, mixed-use fabric" (restaurants, groceries, and some other retail and commercial space) around its rail stations. That may push the rail line towards self-sufficiency while improving quality of like for those who want to live near the stations

 

+ To make it livable, you need to keep large open parking areas away from the Stations - listen to the Podcast with Ian Rasmussen to hear more about this

 

+ The capital costs of the train line are best funded with property development profits, which should accrue on the land near the station. The train line makes the land more valuable, and so some of the uplift in value can and should be passed back to the builders of the train line - that's how they did it in HK, and the line gets zero subsidy from the government.

 

+ The existence of the train line is like a public utility serving the neighborhood, so a portion of the local taxes might be passed back to cover a portion of the running costs.

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WHO PAYS for Transport ? : C-D:cashdrain

 

 

 

Sure.

But I do not want to subsidize the drivers !.

 

But it's ok to trade Oil, yes? Or how much of your money/life have you made at the expense of drivers?

 

Maybe it is ok to get rich on the back of 'dumb' drivers/society at large, yet you don't want to 'subsidize' the roads (that carry your food).

 

And yet... you jet around the world in planes. Do they not run on oil, too?

 

I find it all rather hypocritical, I have to say. What about a massive tax on speculators who garner vast profits at others' expense?

 

Sure, I see your point re cars. We can't just get rid of them immediately and neither can the whole world live in a walkable/urban fantasy with cafes/delis and theatres for entertainment. How about resusicating the societal collapse thread?

 

I'd say Kunstler has it DEAD right. Tell others to live in the walkable community bit, and build oneself a sustainable, semi self sufficient place in the country-far from the madding crowd.

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But it's ok to trade Oil, yes? Or how much of your money/life have you made at the expense of drivers?

 

Maybe it is ok to get rich on the back of 'dumb' drivers/society at large, yet you don't want to 'subsidize' the roads (that carry your food).

 

And yet... you jet around the world in planes. Do they not run on oil, too?

 

I find it all rather hypocritical, I have to say. What about a massive tax on speculators who garner vast profits at others' expense?

 

Sure, I see your point re cars. We can't just get rid of them immediately and neither can the whole world live in a walkable/urban fantasy with cafes/delis and theatres for entertainment. How about resusicating the societal collapse thread?

 

I'd say Kunstler has it DEAD right. Tell others to live in the walkable community bit, and build oneself a sustainable, semi self sufficient place in the country-far from the madding crowd.

 

Jake, What has come into your head??

I was helping Oil consumers survive in times of fast rising prices.

What do you think my business was about?

I worked hard to get "my real customers" (consumers) on the right side of price moves, and mostly succeeded,

until my employer decided I was not aggressive enough - and I am get shite from you like this?

(I think an apology is in order, Jake. But I do not expect one.)

 

And...

Do you think that Kunstler's small town living idea is about anything other than walkable communities?

 

Car-dependent people HATE hearing some of these ideas, because they have worked so hard to deny reality,

and now someone (like JHK or myself) comes and rubs it in their faces.

 

Do you think that accepting that they are vulnerable, will make them any worse off?

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(I started a Carfree Denver thread on C-D, and Guess what?*):

 

Carfree? : Can I live without a Car in Denver?

=======

 

I have lived happily without a car for many years, and in some great cities.

 

800px-Quadracycling15Jul07.jpg

 

I am now considering a move to the DENVER area.

 

I do not want to waste $8-10,000 per annum on a vehicle**, if I can avoid it.

 

Have you got any suggestions for places to live in the area?

A nice Walkable neighborhood is what I am seeking, and one which also has some decent transport links.

 

I will be researching areas near the main transport links from Downtown.

 

( Specific neighborhoods within the city will be explored on this thread )

 

BTW, I am self-employed, and normally work from home, and so I do not need to commute every day.

 

Surely, there must be people in the area, who enjoy the wonderful freedom of living a car-free life, and are willing to share some of their secrets.

===

 

**There's a thread in the Urban Planning section, where I document this figure

= = =

 

*It got MERGED into a much bigger existing Carfree thread - which already had 201 posts, and 42,897 views.

I take that as a good sign.

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Carfree : Can I live without a Car ?

The Carfree Movement: Car-free movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The car-free movement is a broad, informal, emergent network of individuals and organizations including social activists, urban planners and others brought together by a shared belief that cars are too dominant in most modern cities. The goal of the movement is to create places where car use is greatly reduced or eliminated, to convert road and parking space to other public uses and to rebuild compact urban environments where most destinations are within easy reach by walking, cycling or public transport

. . .

Urban design component

 

Proponents of the car-free movement focus on both sustainable transportation options and on urban design, zoning, school placement policies, urban agriculture, telecommuting options, and housing developments that create proximity or access so that long distance transportation becomes less of a requirement of daily life.

 

New urbanism is an American urban design movement that arose in the early 1980s. Its goal has been to reform all aspects of real estate development and urban planning, from urban retrofits to suburban infill. New urbanist neighborhoods are designed to contain a diverse range of housing and jobs, and to be walkable.

. . .

 

Car-free zones are area of a city or town where use of cars is prohibited or greatly restricted.

 

Living streets provide for the needs of car drivers secondary to the needs of users of the street as a whole. They are designed to be shared by pedestrians, playing children, bicyclists, and low-speed motor vehicles

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From the Carfree Asheville thread

 

I know that there are some people out there that want this scenario to happen and are working as hard as they can to make it happen. And I'll punch back against them twice as hard.

 

Punch back? Why?

Wouldn't that just be punching back at a changing reality?

How productive would that be?

 

BTW, I don't think that Carfree advocates are trying to REMOVE choice from you, just to create an attractive new choice where one hardly exists now. Why do you want to restrict their freedom to build pockets of carfree environments?

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...I really like the idea of small urban enclaves with greenbelts or micro-agriculture replacing sprawl' date=' but I don't know how economic that would be to implement.[/quote']

 

It is a Dream, on its way to becoming a reality.

Take a look at this Video with a talk on Agrarian Urbanism by Andres Duany

 

 

This image may give you some idea of what he is talking about

 

Illustration-1.jpg

 

It the food can be grown locally, and the community is walkable, then the whole place begins to look more sustainable in a Long Emergency future, such as JH Kunstler has described

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Jake, What has come into your head??

I was helping Oil consumers survive in times of fast rising prices.

What do you think my business was about?

I worked hard to get "my real customers" (consumers) on the right side of price moves, and mostly succeeded,

until my employer decided I was not aggressive enough - and I am get shite from you like this?

(I think an apology is in order, Jake. But I do not expect one.)

 

And...

Do you think that Kunstler's small town living idea is about anything other than walkable communities?

 

Car-dependent people HATE hearing some of these ideas, because they have worked so hard to deny reality,

and now someone (like JHK or myself) comes and rubs it in their faces.

 

Do you think that accepting that they are vulnerable, will make them any worse off?

It seems I hit a nerve and apologize for that. I have no knowledge of what you did in your former job. I had to re read my own post to see what I had said to get such a response, and on re-reading it did look like a personal attack, which it was not meant to be-not at you in particular at any rate. (It is good to hear an American use the word 'shite' with conviction though :) ).

I think to castigate all car users as people wo don't 'get it' as rather short sighted however. Kunstler himself uses the header 'The Tragic Comedy of...' and I think that is about right. Cheap oil is responsible for a great many things we all take for granted. I think simply moving into an urban walkable neighborhood will not solve all of these problems...in fact those neighborhoods may have some trouble of their own. Kunstler often mentions the city as a place not to be.

You both have no children and thus are spared the hassle of decent surroundings and schools/education...a factor which keeps many out of urban neighborhoods...in fact one of the reasons which drove them out. I abhor the idea of ONLY thinking about areas near mass transit stations fit for apartment dwellers, yet see it's a good idea for developers to make another quick buck at the expense of those further afield.

Lots more to say but am pushed for time so leave it there. I think we need a more comprehensive solution which thinks about all parties rather than those fortunate enough to do as they please before moving onto the next moneymaking wheeze.

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