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New Urbanism : Favors Pedestrians and Bikes, Not Cars

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What am I peddling, other than ideas?

(And what's wrong with challenging people's complaceny towards car dependency?)

We can best debate this on one of the threads in a transparent way, like this one:



Do you see no value in the Atlanta thread?

Many people posted there, and there's a good discussion going on.


Serenbe looked interesting, when I saw some photos there. Rather than researching it deeply and maybe planning a visit, I made that posting. Within a few hours, I learned it was not suitable, by reading the posts.


I do intend to visit NC and SC within the next few months. The postings I have received will help me to zero in on specific areas and specific condos.


Isn't this exactly how CD is meant to work?



SwampFox' date='

I am curious why you are trashing my threads, like this one:



Surely, you can see some value in this thread - and not just for me.


I would love to see a thread like this in every state


i think you are a salesman who isn't telling us that. you act like you plan to move somewhere that you have no intention of moving to. you are affiliated with the oyster card ppl

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'' My fear is that not enough food will get into the city at times, or what shows up at the walkable stores will become very limited and expensive. This risk deserves more discussion, if you want to "go there" and talk more about it.''


Time to flesh out this possible narrative.

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Okay, Jake. Here's a new thread for you:


FOOD: Getting it into the city... during the Long Emergency







The "right" gasoline tax policy would encourage Carfree Living...


I do not think it is ever wise to use taxes as a way to change behavior.


It penalizes certain parts of society any time this is done.


For example' date=' truck drivers . . . students/workers who must commute long distances to school (we are still in the SOUTH - you can't put rails all over rural counties, lol) . . .


And there are some of us who need SUVs or VANs, not only for the workplace, but for personal situations (handicapped folks, people w/ wheelchairs, people with a lot of children, etc).


There are more answers to social issues than slapping on taxes and creating regs. It's sad to see that so many people in government have so little imagination as to turn their brains off when it comes to solutions and put bandaids on situations by taxing more.


We need an energy solution, not more taxes.[/quote']


There are other solutions to all the problems that you mention.

Higher gasoline taxes would speed up the move to the other solutions:


+ Living closer to school or work

+ More public transport

+ Building denser cities instead of suburbs


THESE are long term solutions to reducing the dependency on foreign oil.


As it stands, the US is now using TAX policy to subsidise car-dependency:


+ Highways are only 10-20% paid for out of gasoline

+ Much parking is free to drivers, but not free to the providers to the parking


At a very minimum, let's END these ridiculous subsidies, and then we can consider whether still higher taxes may be intelligent policy

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Am i too aggressive here? Or is it good to "stick it right in their faces" on C-D?:


I pretty much loathe shopping myself' date=' with the exception of buying my tech toys occasionally. Clothes shopping for me is typically done at JcPenney's at the local shopping mall in a matter of 5-10 minutes, picking out a few shirts, pants, etc and getting out of dodge. This is a huge reason why I like having strip malls, big parking lots at stores, etc. Makes this kind of thing really easy, whenever I have to go shopping for something or run errands places, its nice to have quick, easy and free parking available close to the store...so I go in, get whatever I need in as much quantities as I want, get back in the car and escape retail hell, lol. :ok:[/quote']


Typical male of the species - I am the same.


Shopping is even easier in a Carfree place like Hong Kong. You walk by shops on the way to the transit station. So if you want to buy a newspaper, or some groceries, it is a few extra steps.


No need to burn expensive gasoline or bother with parking, or fight traffic.


The US should learn from Asia - here's an extreme example of Malls-near-transport from Singapore


VIDEO : Bangkok-Phil on the MRT :



I don't like the long walk with no sky - but at least there's no need to fight the elements: monsoons, or humid weather - its mostly (all?) in A/C, I reckon. Here's another advantage : so shops generate rents to pay for the transport system - so the taxpayers need not do it. No wonder Singapore is now the most wealthy country in the world on a per capita basis. They don't leak wealth at every turn, the way America does.


America has a great deal to learn from S.E. Asia. But I reckon, it won't. US suburbanites will go around driving their cars, and importing more-and-more expensive oil until the last cheap oil is gone. At $10 gasoline (sooner that you think?), they will begin to change. But they will have less capital to make the changes. And it will be slow, and it will be painful.


All that time wasted, to preserve some strange notion of "transport freedom for car owners", when the real (hidden) agenda is to enrich the oil companies, controlled be the elites. Nice, compliant slaves - unaware of the slavery, enforced by all the car ads during football games on TV.

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And Judy Garland (who' date=' BTW. was a near-perfect symbol of the fantasy of the times, and demonized by the religious social conservatives of her day), came to a very bitter end.


When the realities of the master planners and would be power-brokers who are trying to force their views alone on all of us are brought out into the light, a regression into fantasy sometimes keeps the kiddies and dreamers within the Coalition of Delusion.[/quote']


The first point about Garland's life is totally irrelevant.


The second point is just plain wrong.

It is the Car-Addicted ("Car-souls"?) who have forced their living arrangement on the rest of us:


+ Expensive highways, subsidised by an unfair tax system

+ Free parking, forced by zoning regulations

+ Almost no choice, of living without a car


And a few intelligent people, like me, are trying to fight back against a wasteful model enforced by Car-souls like yourself, and you talk about "being forced" !! What childish nonsense.


Instead, you are being ENCOURAGED (rather gently, and not threatened!) to give up your wasteful ways, and redesign your life so you will be able to survive, and maybe even thrive in a coming world of higher oil prices. You talk about others being delusional when you seem to be the King of Delusionists.

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Q&A: Ellen Dunham-Jones on retrofitting suburbia



The sedentary and unsustainable lifestyle of car-dependent suburbs is leading planners to turn dead big box stores into cool libraries, to turn backyard swimming pools into tilapia farms and more.

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10-Year Study Confirms Public Health Benefits of Walkability


Sunday, March 10, 2013 - by Jonathan Nettler


A newly published University of Melbourne study ten years in the making reveals that increased access to shops, parks, and other amenities increased walking and overall health.

. . .

"The study found that for every local shop, residents' physical activity increased an extra 5-6 minutes of walking per week. For every recreational facility available such as a park or beach, residents' physical activity increased by an extra 21 minutes per week."



/More : http://www.planetizen.com/node/61128

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IS IT A SOFT WAR - between the Car Dependent, and the Car-free ?


Kicked Off by an article :

Young people don't like cars: The story behind a manufactured crisis


Link: Jalopnik.com Article


When I talk to people who aren't from the area' date=' those who want to move to NYC or be closer to it have their own reasons but the most common that I hear are:


a / jobs

b / being near "everything"

c / fun and culture of the city.


Most people don't want to do without having a car, and will likely go without it because it's just an expense that they cannot handle ...

. . .

I refuse to believe that this is as big of a trend as people are making it out to be, and we'll see things shifting back over the next couple of years as us "millenials" continue to enter and move up within the workforce. Even those who do stay "in the city" and raise a family...I'd bet for every one young urban couple who can afford an Upper West Side 2BR and do without a car, you'll have several more young urban couples living in further out city 'hoods, where they may not *need* the car as much as some exurbanite in Orange County, but they're definitely gonna go out and buy a nice car for themselves/the family.[/quote']




I'll bite.

It's good to see that a few journos are catching up with a changing reality.


Sure, it often starts off being about the money - who wants to waste $5000-$8000* per annum on something they do not need. And there are various other car-related headaches that people want to live without (shall I list them?).


But then after a while of being carfree, if someone lives in the right location, the other advantages may kick in:

b / being near "everything"

c / fun and culture of the city.


Eventually, many folks may become wedded to the idea of avoiding a car-dependent lifestyle for the rest of their lives.


Here's the key thing: You need to find a good location, where Carfree Living really makes sense. And Sadly, too little of American is designed for life without cars.


As the number of people living carfree rises, I think many urban areas will gradually change too. (And all the while, the savings on car expense, oil imports, and less environment damage will be there in the background, making such a life make economic sense in the long term sense too.)





If you want to quote someone other that JHK, how about Nikta Kruschev: "We will bury you!" - but I don't think he was taking about a Carfree Revolution - or maybe he was? (haha - it is a sort of "soft war" don't you think, because American society cannot afford to keep all of its frightfully pricey car grid going, whilst building expensive infrastructure for many new walkable neighborhoods. Soon, decisions will need to be made, since there is limited capita. Someone is going to have to lose. I think by now, car owners realise they may one day be an endangered species.)

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Successful cities will be largely car-free by 2015

From Streetsblog :


Musings . . . by Karen Lynn Allen: The Disappearing Urban Car (Why Successful Cities Will Be Largely Car-free by the End of 2015)


I find her observations and analysis of the urban trends very relevant to what is happening in major American cities



What's happening in SF / per C-D : http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-francisco-oakland/1848404-successful-cities-like-sf-will-largely.html

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CARS are SOOO Yesterday !


Most people can tell you, love can make you do funny things. Our initial intense love affair with the car was reflected in reactionary 1950′s planning policy. At the time blinded by the intensity of our relationship we abandoned traditional neighborhoods. We installed compartmentalized Euclidean zoning which led to isolated, disconnected pods of development. We weren’t thinking straight but it was all good at the time cause we were still madly in love.

Our love has unfortunately led to some unanticipated side effects. Communities became isolated lacking any real sense of place. Folks lived far away from the places they worked. People spent a huge chunk of their day isolated in cars commuting back and forth.But the new pattern was also very expensive and the only way to fund it was to double down on it. So we got trapped in a cycle. But blinded by love we didn’t see. Or more accurately we didn’t want to see it. We weren't thinking straight.

No, there will be no divorce but today we are returning to a more healthy balance.

Young professionals are returning to the cities and walkable 1st ru.... They no longer want to spend huge chunks of their day in cars. Survey after survey show people want connectivity. They want to live in places, not nebulous collections of isolated pods. They want options. It’s a lifestyle choice but also it’s a financial reality.

No, America is definitely not breaking up with the car. We’re simply moving on to the realistic sustainable phase of our relationship with the automobile. We now want other options in addition to car. We don’t want to spend every second with them. We want a life outside of them. In the end this will lead to a much healthier relationship with the auto.

The chart below shows vehicle miles traveled, forecasts vs. actual. The black line represents the plateauing of miles driven. The colored lines are predictions by various levels of gov’t. Driving habits have changed but government remains locked into development patterns that reflect a love affair that’s cooled.


Chart from Eric Sundquist of the State Smart Transportation Initiative. For the past decade, state and federal governments have consistently overestimated future growth in U.S. road travel.


>more: http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/?currentPage=2#.Uu8hLj2SwXs


Let them feel some pain (of cuts) - They have taken FAR TOO BIG a slice of the economic pie.

Let's cut those highways subsidies

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The Government's "Addiction to Highway Construction" weakens everyone's finances


"... People in government want to build more than we are willing to pay for. The politicians, the staffs, the engineers and public works directors along with all those professional advocates and their associates – many people reading this blog right now -- they all have dreams of this bigger, grander system. And we support it, but only because we are never asked to pay for it.

Buy me lobster and I’ll eat it. Make me buy my own meat, and I’ll eat hamburger.

Here’s the thing no DOT or public works department wants people to understand: If they charged people the (full) price of the transportation system, usage would drop through the floor. This is why direct fees are NEVER an option. The entire system would financially collapse. Charge a toll and people would drive less, necessitating another toll increase, causing more drop in usage, and on and on and on…. It is a dog chasing its tail until we got to a much, much smaller system. This is not in the interests of anyone in a position to make this decision."


> http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/1/27/not-a-perfect-correlation.html

Sometimes I think...

Everyone behind the wheel of a Car is a thief

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Does anyone else think this Photo is both Ugly and Tragic ?


To correct the congestion on the depression era highways, the interstate promoters instead believed that towns would need to be rebuilt in an automobile oriented manner, at a lower density, and intended that this would be done to spread out demand spatially, instead of having a centralized business core. The town form certainly has been altered, in many cases by just demolishing buildings to create parking downtown, but in doing so we have now run out of land to increase capacity on the network in a reasonable manner. We cannot afford to continue underpricing each extra mile traveled, but there is little appetite still to come up with a solution. Part of the answer might just be to actually discuss more openly the financial cost of new and expanded roads to the public and establish some limit.

The I-4 Moving-4-Ward project serving Orlando, Florida is a good example of the current land constraints. Here you can see the spread out city form and the proposed size of the highway now needed to accommodate the form. Notice the rail corridor to the right if you can pick it out.


The current solution to the now limited and constrained right of way stretching to the horizon brought on by this theory of city planning is a Managed Lane in the middle of the existing roadway. But this will probably be our last reasonable expansion opportunity, what will happen next? The managed lanes in the I-4 project will be incorporated during its major rebuilding. All in all this represents reform of the transportation financing process, but we should consider the assumptions for the system performance behind their use. I am also sure that every effort is being put in to engineering a structure and roadway that will last in the competitive bid process. But what is the logical outcome after this project?

The managed lanes are new capacity and will have a market variable toll charged on them to compensate some of the costs to FDOT of the needed rebuilding project while allowing for some higher occupancy vehicles. The toll will vary, keeping at least the managed lanes free-flowing, while it is presumed the rest of the lanes will just begin to fail. But there is a problem with the Managed Lanes in this concept. The toll rate that will be set by FDOT in the future has been taken to be quite high in the I-4 Planning-Level Traffic and Revenue Study which will impact the amount of money the state will be forced to find from other sources.


> http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/1/21/keeping-the-ball-in-the-air.html

No wonder people in cars behave like self-brutes, prone to road rage !

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The Dumbest idea on Two Wheels ?




Segway Transitions to Chinese Ownership
Wall Street Journal-11 hours ago
The Segway was launched to intense hype in 2001, with inventor Dean Kamen famously declaring that it would “be to the car what the car was ...
Segway bought by China company
USA TODAY-15 hours ago
=== ===
What's the point, when you can WALK cheaper, or CYCLE faster ?

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