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Old 04-26-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
Darth_Yuthura
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Suburban sprawl (with additions from the Maglev thread)

Mod edits were removed. Off-topic content was added. Off-topic has been removed again and mod edits restored in this post. Posts related to Suburban sprawl were moved from the Maglev thread where they were off topic to this thread where they were on topic. --Jae

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Old 04-26-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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Well spoken DY.


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Old 04-26-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
If you were to look at the urban footprint of Chicago in 1944, the population of about 6 million sat crammed into an area that is roughly one sixth the area it is today. Today's massive Chicago footprint has grown six times its size since then and the population has only increased by 3 million. That is suburban sprawl written large.
Well, with one of the worst school systems in the country, gang violence, and general 'hate to feel crammed in on top of 6 million of my closest friends' sentiment, I can't imagine why people would want to get out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
The issue is not really that you (referring to anyone with the same mindset) want to go a few miles out of the city. It's that millions of others want to do the same thing and look at what came from that: to get out of the city, you'd more likely have to go more like 30 miles away to get into an undeveloped area. When everyone does that, a city becomes more inefficient and more difficult to maintain. It is not the issue of whether ONE, but everyone wanting their own home, car, and privacy.
I see nothing wrong with that. It's called the American dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Say I have a job in Chicago and want to live a few miles away... someone's already living there. So I go about a mile down the freeway... another person is already living there... another 30 miles away and there is finally somewhere to build my new home complete with yard and open space with no one else around... at least until the next person buys the next lot down.
I know that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
The economy is suffering significantly because American cities are becoming difficult to maintain their infrastructure.
This is an incorrect assumption. The economy is suffering because people overused credit and bought more house and more stuff than they could afford, on top of fraud in the government and banking sectors and changes in regulations that allowed people access to far more credit by predatory lenders than they should have had. It's not the infrastructure that's causing the economy to suffer--that's dependent on our taxes. The infrastructure, being dependent on our taxes, is in trouble because the economy is in trouble, thus lowering the amount of taxes going into the system, not the other way around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Mass transit is a necessity for a city to function properly.
LA does fine with a completely crappy mass transit system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Population density is critical for mass transit to work.
That is an incorrect assumption that makes this theory fall apart. Mass transit has to be accessible and affordable to the target audience to get them to use it. Population density has nothing to do with that. Washington DC's population density is much lower than LA's, but their mass transit system works a lot better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
When you have suburban sprawl in most US cities, mass transit is no longer viable because there aren't enough riders for it to break even.
I disagree. There are Metra trains (mass transit) going out to the suburbs at all hours of the day in the Chicago region, and they do break even unless the cost of fuel skyrockets like it did last summer. Metra works great and is a wonderfully viable option--I've ridden the trains any number of times. Your theory is based on yet another incorrect assumption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Compare any US city (except NY) to any other around the world and you realize that we need to follow their urban models if we hope to compete as a global power.
I don't like 'the urban model', I don't agree with 'the urban model' which is based on a number of false assumptions in your theory that I delineated above, and I don't want to participate in 'the urban model'. There are millions of my cohorts who agree with me, because they're getting the heck out of cities on a regular basis. Thank God I don't have the government dictating to me that I must live in a big city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Americans get their goods from distant locations... that is our way of life. We either need to start providing our goods locally
Where are you planning to put the millions of acres of required farmland to feed all the people in the big cities? And please don't tell me you're going to put it on top of rooftops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
which is highly unlikely to happen, or we need to have an effective and efficient transportation system to make it viable to transport goods and people from distant places. The US transportation infrastructure is simply outdated, has been neglected, and was overtaken by our dependence on the automobile.
Mass transit has been neglected, I agree. If the bus and train schedules were more convenient, I would likely use them more often. Unfortunately, they're not convenient with my busy schedule, so we use a car instead. My husband does use the train now and then to get to his Army unit, since the train stops at the reserve center he works at. However, it requires some planning on our parts to make sure we can arrange our schedule and the babysitter's schedule to account for the extra time it takes. If one of my kids gets sick at school or has some kind of emergency, having a car means I can get to them right away. I can't do that with a bus.


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Old 04-26-2009, 10:49 PM   #4
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:34 AM   #5
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
You can't just contradict someone and say you proved something.
I certainly can contradict you on your points, especially when you're passing off wrong information as fact, when I know the opposite is true based on my years living in Chicago.

I'm not the one trying to prove that we should all give up our choices on where we should live based on false information and inaccurate premises. My goal was to disprove the false premises supporting a shaky theory. If you would like to provide new information here besides the title of a book, I'll be happy to read it. If what's in the book is what you've already presented here, I don't have to waste my time reading it since I've disproven a number of its points already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Everything I have stated is backed by this. It was used in my class for urban land-use planning... so it must be reliable if a university would have it.
That proves that one professor thinks this crazy idea of forcing people to live like sardines packed into little tiny spaces is a great idea, and that you've absorbed it completely without thinking fully about it. If your book is saying all this bizarre and incorrect information about Chicago, I would question the veracity of this textbook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Even as early as 1990, sprawl had already manifested itself greatly.
Try a good 40 years earlier than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
That's gone too far! I HAVE been to these cities and I am earning a degree in Urban geography, so don't proclaim such crap!
Don't proclaim crap that's patently false--you're trying to say things about Chicago that I know are frankly wrong because I've lived there, both city and suburbs. Your study of urban geography is pure theory, not based on real life experience. What you're learning in books isn't holding up to the Real World. How long did you actually spend in Chicago? I would think that it was unlikely you were there to look at parking lots.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Alright, maybe I was a bit over the top saying NO parking lots.
Uninformed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
I meant no parking lots large enough to support the vast majority of commuters that decide to use cars instead of public transportation.
There are dozens upon dozens of very large parking lots and parking garages in the Chicago Loop. Where do you think people go shopping for groceries? At grocery stores with, guess what, large parking lots. I've actually parked in them. Again, you can see them on Google maps for yourself if you want. I never had a problem finding spots in the variety of different parking garages and lots that I used, though it was somewhat of a challenge on very busy days like when there were Cubs, Bears, and Sox games on the same day. Again, you are trying to make a claim about parking in Chicago that is clearly not true. I've experienced parking in Chicago, I suspect that neither you nor the authors of your textbooks have in any significant degree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Suburbia is mostly dominated by parking lots where NY and downtown Chicago have very little land dedicated to parked vehicles. Obviously there would have to be loading docks, and such; but not in order to support more than... 10% of the commuters or such. In suburbia, you must have about... 90-100% dedicated to car commuters.
Again, you're passing off misinformation as fact. I can tell you, having driven on the Eisenhower and Kennedy with a few hundred thousand of my closest commuter friends, that there is far more than 10% of the city's population driving around Chicago on any given day. You can look at I-pass usage statistics and IDOT information to show you true numbers rather than making pure guesses.
Are you guessing on the suburban car commuters? It looks to me like you are. Also, you're assuming that all suburban commuters are working in the city, when in fact they may be working in the same suburb they live in, or a neighboring suburb. It's far more complex than you're portraying here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
That's because all these suburbs have already been built! Many sat upon perfectly good farmland that is now gone.
Yes, Chicago and NYC used to be perfectly good farmland for the Native Americans, too. What's the point, other than 'land use changes'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
They were a mistake from the start to have all these single family detached homes(SFDH) in the first place. People like you are the reason why so much farmland has been lost.
There's so much farmland left untilled it's not funny, so I'm not worried. Besides, I grow a garden in my yard (something I wasn't able to do in Chicago), so I'm contributing my little part to green space.

So are you saying it's a mistake for people to have a choice in the type of housing they'd like to have? It's a mistake that the government didn't interfere in our lives to force us into a mode of life we hate? We should just turn into a dictatorship and force people to live in shoeboxes next to trains? You still haven't answered any of my questions or points on reasons why people choose to leave the city in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
This is not only a realistic, but a factual answer I gave. If you took the residents of downtown Chicago and Milwaukee put them in SFDH, the urban footprint would spread to Madison and Rockford. None of the land between those cities could be used for agriculture.
Some people are happy to live in an urban environment in condos and apartments, and want short commutes to their jobs in the city because they don't want to spend hours on a train or a lot of money on gas or mass transit costs. Hence why we don't have that situation. However, if you build a bunch of maglev trains for people to commute on, it might alleviate some of the negative social issues like horrid schools and gang violence resulting from urban over-crowding in Chicago, because people would be able to travel faster to greater distances to get to their homes in safe neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
That is NOT proof in itself. You have a very narrow view of a much larger issue, but you do have some first-hand experience. Now how about some evidence presented by someone who specializes in urban geography?
First-hand observations aren't proof? Since when? Since you don't like having your points blown apart by someone whose experience doesn't match the apparent misinformation presented to you in a textbook? I've walked and driven and ridden on mass transit all over downtown Chicago, you have not. How about you present some evidence by someone who's actually experienced urban life and doesn't have an agenda about how people should live in Fantasyland?

Your theory is saying we MUST move into big cities to support trains and other mass transit. This is America, we're free people. We don't HAVE to do things if it's incompatible with the way we want to live--in my case in a safe neighborhood free of gang warfare and in a city with an excellent school system, where I don't have to deal with rude neighbors the next wall over playing rap so loud at 2am that the entire apartment building vibrates. If you like the urban lifestyle, good for you. You have lots of choices in that case. You don't like the way I live, but I'm not here to make you happy by buying into a theory full of holes along with you. I'm not in the least worried about not living the idealistic way you think everyone should conform to. If you want people to live in cities, you're going to need a heck of a lot better reason than "you should because it allows us greater population density for better mass transit". I should live in a large city with crap schools and higher crime for an _ideal_ made up by some prof living in an ivory tower? This is reality, not a textbook theory.


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Old 04-27-2009, 12:00 PM   #7
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I find it funny that most of the authors mentioned seem to have houses of their own with large yards.... Shouldn't they all be living in large towering apartment complexes?


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Old 04-27-2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
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pfff. I'd rather live in an area that has a lower violent crime per capita than an area that has better transportation. Phoenix for instance has a higher per capita crime rate than Glendale, Chandler and Mesa(three suburbs of Phoenix). You put too many people closer together, they tend to start fighting eachother.


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Old 04-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #10
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The problem with your argument and its sources is that they utterly fail to take reality into account. Most people won't want to live in your Caves of Steel, and trying to force them to do so would be nothing short of tyrannical. Are you and your sources so detached from reality that you can't see this? I'd really hate to see how you relate to people IRL.


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Old 04-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #11
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I’m sorry Darth_Yuthura, but all reported posts are handled privately. However, the person that reported the post can see what action, if any, was taken. All reported posts are handled as quickly as possible and I have not ignored any reported post. I’ve been looking and reading the current reported posts all morning, but I am also working and the paying gig takes precedence over this.

Since you are the original poster I will lock the thread if you request, but I will not restrict who can and cannot post in any thread open in Kavar. Everyone including moderators are entitled to their opinion (right or wrong) and it does not have to conform to yours even when you believe you have presented a valid argument.

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Old 04-27-2009, 04:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
I am making this post simply because the issue had been drawn out after I already filed a violation and had it ignored.
You're free to file report. The staff here are all volunteers and are not always available to jump when you say jump.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
[I'm afraid that Jae Onasi is only one person and hardly qualified to make such accusations.
Which is why I included Google maps (so that you can see each and every parking lot for yourself, and how the land is utilized), along with IDOT and I-Pass for traffic information. Additional sources would include the City of Chicago transportation office and Metra Rail, so that you can get the raw data and evaluate it for yourself, rather than through the filter of one book or one professor. Go look at the primary sources, Darth_Yuthura, not the secondary or even tertiary ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Zyberk is/was the dean of architecture at the university of Miami.
Of course, someone in architecture working in a Miami suburb with degrees from Princeton and Yale and no history of living in either New York, Chicago, or LA at any point, whose company's claim to fame is having a pretty building featured in the opening credits of the TV show Miami Vice. Of course that makes her an expert on Chicago. I'd be very surprised if she actually lived in something smaller than 2000 sq. feet herself, considering she and her husband have designed an entire resort. I wonder how much mass transit she's put into that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Jeff Speck was a professional land-use planner in Germany.
Germany and the US have vastly different geography and needs. Of course the land-use in Germany is going to be entirely different. That does not make him an expert on American cities anymore than being a cardiologist makes one an expert in neurosurgery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
I would trust these people much more than any one person I don't even know. People who argue here should either challenge these people, OR challenge that what I posted is not verified by them, OR present some sources of their own. Jae may be qualified as a reference, but still is only one person.
It is YOUR job to present the facts for your argument. I have found flaws in your facts that render your argument invalid. It has nothing to do with you as a person. You need to find better information, and if these people are giving you this bad information, then you need to review whether these are even good sources or not. The only way you can do that is if you go to the primary sources that they've used and decide whether or not they've made accurate or inaccurate conclusions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
It's obvious that some people won't be persuaded on this matter. I would rather trust Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck on the matter.
Yes, the same three who work for the same Miami company that designed the lovely building in the opening theme for Miami Vice. I'm sure they've made a lot of money off their book, which undoubtedly assisted as a marketing tool for getting their name out to hundreds of architecture students. I'm sure none of them have dealt with the realities of urban living. I'm sure none of them live in small condos in areas of town where you'd hear guns go off any time of day or night, and I'd be very surprised if they didn't live in single-family detached homes. Speck works for the National Endowment for the arts, his degree is in art history from the ivy league Harvard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Jeffery Zimmerman, an instructor of mine, also lived in Chicago and Milwaukee. He had disagreed on many of the issues Jae presented as fact. (Yes, I actually bothered to include him on this) And I certainly wouldn't expect people to believe me, which is why I included REFERENCES in my argument.
He is more than welcome to present his findings on Chicago and Milwaukee. I'd be interested in knowing what he finds wrong with my observations about parking lots and garages in downtown Chicago when the evidence is available on any map for anyone to see. I'm sure we'd have a delightful time talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly about both cities, since I've also lived and worked in both. He's welcome to post on his theories here, and why people should be REQUIRED to buy into New Urbanism. So far, this looks like a 'Do as I say, not as I do' kind of proposition by the leaders in question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Suburban sprawl started after WWII and it was because of that which sprawl truly began. It was actually more like 59 years ago that it started, not 40. It became more and more of an issue the closer it got to present day.
You said in a previous post that suburban sprawl started in the 1990's. Which is correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Those who have a garden and grow their own vegetables I assume don't come close to providing enough for themselves... considering that people don't normally grow food on the land their lawn and house occupies.
You've never been to Amish country or local farms, either, I see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Zimmerman called this 'false greene theory,' where people presume they make an impact when they actually are just trying to justify what they do and feel better about themselves.
I feel fine about my suburban life anyway, and I'm happily out of the dirty, crime-ridden, pothole-filled, crap-school city. I just happen to also grow vegetables because there's nothing like vine-ripened cherry tomatoes that you've picked minutes before putting the into the salad made from home-grown lettuce. I grow my own herbs too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
The suburb location of Prairie Crossing proclaim to be greene, but it was FAR from this because it only has about 1,400 people and it is the juncture point where two major commuter lines between Chicago and Milwaukee
Unless you count Amtrak, which is not really light rail/commuter rail, there is no commuter train line that goes from Chicago all the way to Milwaukee. The farthest north that Metra rail (the commuter rail system for the Chicago region) stops is Kenosha, WI. Please refer to the Metra Rail site for more information on stops. There is a lot of talk about extending Metra all the way to Milwaukee, and I hope it happens. I think it would do a lot to reduce traffic congestion on I-94.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
These few people force another stop to be made and add another 5 minutes for everyone on the commuter lines. That's not much, but the additional time for tens of thousands is enormous. The greater the distance and the more frequent the stops a public transportation system must make, the less effective it will be. The fewer who ride, the more it will also cost taxpayers.
This entire statement makes no sense. First you complain that not enough people use commuter/mass transit, then you complain about extra stops when people do use mass transit. What do you want? If you don't make frequent stops, you're not going to have nearly as many riders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
The twin cities have a public transit system that is barely used and costs taxpayers much because they get so little revenue from riders. There are so few near the stops that most would rather drive.
Have you ever waited outside in -50 windchills for the bus to come? It's winter all year long in the Twin Cities, except maybe July 15th. The answer to that is to put the mass transit stops near the people who are going to utilize the system and make it more convenient and cost effective for them to use it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Dallas has a transit system that is meant to start transportation oriented development (TOD)gentrification. This is where people want to develop near train stations and will construct large multi-floor structures so more people can use public transportation instead of their cars. Portland is a prime example of where an auto-dependent city could transition to using public transportation and succeed. The city improved because of the light rail system; Dallas, Vegas, and Phoenix are all establishing TOD, but are projected to function AFTER the current depression has passed.
Great, build a train station, but build gawdawfully expensive housing within walking distance of the station. That's brilliant land use there for the people who most need mass transit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
I compared some numbers in regards to parking in central Chicago and did severely underestimate the land areas devoted to parking, but still got roughly .28 parking spaces for every worker both for ramps and underground facilities. If you were to compare the LAND area alone, that might compare to a suburb.
Now you see what I was trying to get at. You found the data and came to your own conclusions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Compared to the sheer number of jobs, the amount of space designated to parking is TINY.
That would depend on a number of factors, including the number of people who live downtown within walking distance of their jobs and such, along with actual job numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
For the sake of not escalating this matter further, I respectfully ask that the public transportation argument end here. I AM NOT just giving up because 'someone has proven all my arguments to be false.' Some of my arguments may be lacking, yes; but so are counter arguments that are not backed by anything beyond one person's experiences in a major city.

I won't carry this on and would respectfully ask that Jae not respond to this again. I don't want this escalate this issue because she has the power to throw me off this forum. I am NOT backed in a corner and could continue this, but don't want to.
Sorry, I didn't see this part before replying. You also threw down the gauntlet. I provided you with sources that included not only my personal experience, but also hard data--Google maps where you could see the sites for yourself, IDOT, and I-Pass, as you can see in the previous posts. You could have looked at any of those sites to see where my experiences match up with the data. You can ask for me to not respond, but I felt I had to clarify some issues and decided to post what I'd already written here anyway. If you prefer to be done with this topic at this point, that's fine.

I don't ever throw someone off the forum with whom I've had a discussion with in Kavar's without consulting the rest of the staff. In fact, no one permanently banned from this forum who's had discussions with me has ever been permabanned by me, and all of us who are staff and participate here will continue the practice of discussing that level of sanction with each other before anyone would be banned. All the troublemakers in this forum were banned by admins after long discussions on what to do with them by the staff as a group. The only accounts that get unilaterally permabanned are adbots and pornbots, and even those are reported in the moderator section so that we all know why action was taken on an account.


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Old 04-27-2009, 06:16 PM   #13
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:02 PM   #14
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Here are a lot of internet sources to augment what I've presented. These are not primary sources, but they all explain more of the factors that influence the environmental, political, and psychological factors in the US.


You can't find a good place to build a new house that's within 30 minutes of any major US city.
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1119-13.htm
You saying the capital city of Arizona isn't a major city?

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Environmental issues and the excessive sum of fuel in vehicles make suburbs like poison to the American landscape. Few natural spaces and loss of community are all very real.
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/section007group5/home

http://www.ag.auburn.edu/auxiliary/B...s/ABRogers.doc
Exactly why we need to spend money on fuel efficient/fuel free vehicles. Not some near useless maglev


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Health issues in regards to suburbs:
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsst...9554/story.htm
overcrowding of hospitals, high exposure to larger numbers of people... ignored? but "Oh noes teh obesitee"

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A sad attempt to scare people into taking action. Maybe Americans are just too selfish to put the good of the state before themselves.
http://www.acton.org/publications/ra...rticle_303.php
Yer darn tootin I'm selfish. The government isn't buying my place to live. When I was in the service, Sure I'd live in barracks. Government was paying for me to live there. Now that they aren't, I will decide where I live. The view is nicer farther out. Air is cleaner. and there isn't a family of elephants living above me.

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Overall, this argument is simply to state what could POTENTIALLY be done in the US to improve the transportation infrastructure, but there are so many limiting factors that could be overcome if certain people wouldn't be so selfish and put the good of the state in front of their own luxuries. Regional/local planners don't cooperate well and won't ever for such a massive project like this to ever take off the ground.
Excuse me for wanting a better life for my children. Excuse me for actually wanting to live AWAY from the higher crime areas.

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With $10 trillion in debt and America's infrastructure costing more than it can produce and export... the state will ultimately break down before any of this will ever happen. There is very little point in deciding whether to choose option A or option B, knowing neither can come about.
Might want to see how much food we actually produce in the US. Enough to feed the world in fact. At a bare minimum, enough to feed ourselves.

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I'm not going to post on this thread again, but won't demand it be closed. Someone has to be mature about this and quite frankly, I'm past caring.
Yes, very mature...

something I thought was funny
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Staley lives in a genuine suburb, Bellbrook, Ohio, near Dayton, with his wife and two children. He also serves on the Bellbrook Planning Commission.
Your source that "hates sprawl" apparently lives in a suburb...


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Old 04-27-2009, 07:24 PM   #15
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Maybe Americans are just too selfish to put the good of the state before themselves.
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Overall, this argument is simply to state what could POTENTIALLY be done in the US to improve the transportation infrastructure, but there are so many limiting factors that could be overcome if certain people wouldn't be so selfish and put the good of the state in front of their own luxuries.


I assume that by "certain people" you mean those who possess a unique personality, and by "selfish" you mean unwilling to be sheep and surrender those paltry rights such as privacy, personal safety and, that bane of the socialist ideal -private ownership , for the good of the state when the state is not looking out for their best interests, as it has demonstrated dozens of times in my lifetime. I'm sorry, but what country do you live in, again?

Color me unimpressed with your self-righteous, guilt-tripping BS.
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Regional/local planners don't cooperate well and won't ever for such a massive project like this to ever take off the ground.
Could it be because they think it's a bad idea?
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
With $10 trillion in debt and America's infrastructure costing more than it can produce and export... the state will ultimately break down before any of this will ever happen. There is very little point in deciding whether to choose option A or option B, knowing neither can come about..
How about option C: make outsourcing illegal? That would solve a hell of a lot of problems like the trade deficit.
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I'm not going to post on this thread again, but won't demand it be closed. Someone has to be mature about this and quite frankly, I'm past caring.
Tired of seeing your ridiculously unrealistic arguments being torn apart by common sense?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker

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Old 04-27-2009, 09:03 PM   #16
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:23 PM   #17
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As well as just providing yet more proof (as if we needed any) that our illustrious higher education system is using it's esteemed position to push a political agenda.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:55 PM   #18
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You know what, I'm glad none of you believe me. It would just mean that I could walk a little higher knowing how little Americans care about their future.
Correction: how little we care about what self-righteous foreigners think of our future.

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Just letting people know that all empires have short life spans. And the US is such an empire.
Translation: "I have been clearly bested but refuse to surrender!" or, in the layman: "Bawwww!!"


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Old 04-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #19
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:11 AM   #20
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Just letting people know that all empires have short life spans. And the US is such an empire.
for one we aren't an empire.
for another
Ottoman Empire 1299 – 1923 or around 600 years (ok, 624)
Roman Empire 27 BC – AD 1473 or around well... 1500 years (1500 even...)
Holy Roman Empire til 1806
And Russia was an empire from 1547 until 1917

To me that seems to indicate that not only do you not know about our cities, but you aren't familiar with empires either Maybe you should get a refund haha.

The US was established as a democratic republic in 1776. so... we're still pretty shy of even the 300 mark.


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Old 04-28-2009, 01:20 AM   #21
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for one we aren't an empire.
for another
Ottoman Empire 1299 – 1923 or around 600 years
Roman Empire 27 BC – AD 1473 or around well... 1400 years
Holy Roman Empire til 1806

To me that seems to indicate that not only do you not know about our cities, but you aren't familiar with empires either
If you define Empires by consistent borders, China, Japan, and Russia are still going fairly strong.


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Old 04-28-2009, 01:31 AM   #22
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If you define Empires by consistent borders, China, Japan, and Russia are still going fairly strong.
Sadly empires kinda require an emperor... but... I guess if the US counts as an empire, then sure why not?

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Instead of arrogantly pretending that everything is alright, maybe you could come up with some potential solutions that are 'more realistic' than this one.

And no, none of the solutions involving hydrogen fuel cell, ethanol, electric hybrid, renewable energy, or 'everything is fine' are realistic either, so don't bother with those.
Um... electric vehicles. GM has the Volt. anticipated to come out soon™. Fuel costs are always a factor. I'm not too worried about power plants. we have Nuclear Solar and Hydroelectric here in AZ(as well as coal).


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Old 04-28-2009, 02:11 AM   #23
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Does ANYONE remember when fuel prices spiked only a year ago?
I buy gas on the 30th of April because God knows when May rolls around it spikes. It spikes every summer for a number of reason--summer boutique blends go into effect to reduce ozone emissions, OPEC and oil company greed, and increased usage. I remember when gas was a quarter a gallon before the 70's oil crisis. I would argue that the outrageous speculation and market manipulation by the oil oligarchy is what fueled this severe recession/mild depression in large part. But that's a different topic.

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The state was in crisis because they all depended on the automobile and nothing else was there to substitute for it.
And guess what? People stopped driving and used more public transportation. Metra and L-train ridership was up last summer, iirc.

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Anyone who thinks everything is alright now and will stay alright is very narrow-minded.
I don't believe anyone has argued that things are 'alright' at this time. The baiting comment is unnecessary.

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What will happen when oil supplies are in short supply again?
The price will go up again until people stop buying, the supply will increase and prices will come down, barring artificial manipulation by OPEC, the oil companies, and speculators.

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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
This is a warning about a potential disaster looming on the horizon.
Yes, I've heard about many looming disasters over the course of my lifetime, and we've managed to weather them all. Vietnam war, stagflation, oil crisis, Cold War, Global Warming, terrorists, racial issues, class issues, Iraqi wars 1 and 2, and so on.

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If Americans are too stupid to help themselves, then by all means...
Of course we'll help ourselves and those around us--we're Americans, when we have a problem, we get a solution. Sacrificing for the state isn't part of our culture, and is the polar opposite of American rugged indivdualism. So we'll find other ways to deal with the oil crisis besides living in gerbil cages by the train stations. We've adapted before, we will again.

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they will deserve whatever they get. If you're still around and happy 30 years from now, then you can gloat; but that's not going to happen.
This is such a sour grapes comment. I understand your frustration at people not agreeing with your POV. However, you're asking people to do things they don't want to do. It's a pretty idea on paper that will never survive the American mindset and business climate. Now, give businesses incentives to come up with novel and economical alternatives to oil as an energy source, and you'll have a lot of solutions.

If I'm still around and happy in 30 years, I'll gloat about having made it to that ripe age of 4 decades of anniversaries of my 29th birthday. I'll be too busy enjoying life to worry about something said in a thread 30 years back.

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Without gasoline, the US would almost completely collapse...
Horse hockey. The US survived just fine without gas in the 1800's. We'd get by again on alternatives if we had to--natural gas, electricity fueled by coal, nuclear, wind, and hydroelectric plants, not to mention our own oil shale and oil reserves. We have an extraordinary amount of natural resources at hand, and we'd quickly find cost-efficient ways to use them. Already we have natural gas and electric vehicles, the price of extracting oil from shale is coming down, and we're exploring different kinds of wind, solar, and hydroelectric solutions.

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Europe also depends on gasoline, but can get by much better than the US and therefore more resilient.
If they're resilient as well, more power to them. I'd like to see every country stop being held hostage by OPEC and dictator oil states like Iran and Venezuela.

This isn't some stupid American pride... it's willful ignorance.[/quote]This is pushing the envelope on flamebaiting--I would recommend toning it down.

Do you know who would be the more resilient if we lost all access to oil suddenly? People who live in rural areas who already know how to be self-sufficient. Guess what group of people in general have no idea how to be self-sufficient? Urban dwellers.

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The current credit crisis actually was anticipated and could have been avoided had the markets not been over-inflated with profit on account based on investments that no longer are worth their original value... instead of taking precautions, we're now stuck in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. When the next major economic crisis hits, it will be in regards to energy.
The energy crisis is already here.

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Instead of arrogantly pretending that everything is alright, maybe you could come up with some potential solutions that are 'more realistic' than this one.
Again, this is far more flame-baity than it needs to be. Since you're the one presenting the argument, it's up to you to defend it. Others are not required to come up with alternatives, though for the purposes of discussion it's not a bad idea. Again, no one has said one thing about this situation being 'alright'. Saying that anyone here said that is a misrepresentation of their comments.

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And no, none of the solutions involving hydrogen fuel cell, ethanol, electric hybrid, renewable energy, or 'everything is fine' are realistic either, so don't bother with those.
Why aren't those realistic? They're fair game for discussion, though probably for another thread.

How much benefit will maglev or high speed rail provide, compared to existing freight trains (which do carry semi-truck cargo, at least in my part of the country)? Will the benefits outweigh the costs in the long term?


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Old 04-28-2009, 02:25 AM   #24
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Horse hockey. The US survived just fine without gas in the 1800's. We'd get by again on alternatives if we had to--natural gas, electricity fueled by coal, nuclear, wind, and hydroelectric plants, not to mention our own oil shale and oil reserves. We have an extraordinary amount of natural resources at hand, and we'd quickly find cost-efficient ways to use them. Already we have natural gas and electric vehicles, the price of extracting oil from shale is coming down, and we're exploring different kinds of wind, solar, and hydroelectric solutions.
While I agree that the US (and not forgetting the Western World) would go on quite well without gasoline, the US survived without gas in the 1800s because it wasn't needed in every day life. Very little in the 1800s required gas or oil, as much machinery ran on Steam, until the advent of the internal combustion engine.






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Old 04-28-2009, 07:25 PM   #25
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:29 PM   #26
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Egypt was the first empire in history and it lasted for thousands of years.
There were empires before Egypt, though they are poorly recorded, and small in scale. yet empires in their time, none-the-less.

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How about the Mongolian Empire? In the course of Ghengis Khan's life, it stretched from the Pacific to the Caspian Sea. That was the greatest single Empire expansion EVER in history at around 1100 AD. And within three hundred years, it diminished and died out. The largest empire ever in history fell within 300 years and the US has become even greater.
The mongolian empire was an empire of a warlord, there was no internal structure, there was no rhyme nor reason to it. Once the empire stopped expanding, it grew stagnant, the Russian people, the Chinese, the Arabs grew restless without the fear of control and conquest, and rebelled. The Russians pushed through the collapsing remains of the Mongolian empire and claimed the empty wastes that had always been empty wastes that were previous held by Mongolians.

It's easy to conquer lots of land when nobody lives there.

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As the US Empire spread its tentacles across the globe, it siphons resources from other states very much like the British Empire had from the 1750's. How long did that empire last? Shorter lifespan at about 150-200 years.
The British has been a world power since the 1500's. The Britons have been a European power since before that time. You want European history? You mean you want British, Burbon, and Hapsburg history. Along with Sweden, Prussia, and Russia, these are the big names of European history stretching back some 700+ years.

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The US really became an empire at about the 1950's and has been becoming more dependent on the resources it draws from all over the globe. We are far from self-sufficient. Read the book "The World is Flat" and you'll get a better understanding on this. This empire is really 59 years old or so, not 240.
Well you're free to keep redefining what an empire is to fit your ideology. It doesn't change what defines an empire. Yes, in some ways the US is am empire, in a manifold of other ways it is not. You are welcome to favor the bad over the good if you choose. most nations are not self-suffecient, there are too many things in this day and age that a single nation cannot produce. At some point, this may lead to even larger nations, or a breakdown of the entire system. Do not spout doom and gloom over what is only a temporary setback.

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Happened to forget some of the more modern empires while giving me a history lesson? Maybe you would have seen that the closer to the present you get, the shorter the life of the Empire on average.
From all you have "emlightened" us upon modern "empires" you know very little about the ways to them, only that they were long or short. Which is fine, at least you know something about history. But knowing the overview of history, does not mean you KNOW history. The lifespan of empires in the modern age gets shorter for a very specific reason. There are more people, and there are more challenges to their power on a more and more regular basis. This is true for any nation, even small ones have their troubles, more people in the same amount of space leads to more conflict, and the more times you roll the dice the more likely you are to lose.

Just as those empires have risen and fallen, so have their challengers risen and fallen. If you think the US is so terrible, imagine the imperialist spirit of America combined with the logical oppression of China, with a mix of violent elimination of the Holocaust. You think the US is bad? The US is by far one of the nicest empires to ever exist. The kind of horrors that a TRUE empire could exert upon the world given American power and presence are unimaginably worse than anything America has done.

Just remember that when you're wishing for the end of America, that what will rise in it's place, and something WILL rise in it's place, is by no measure guaranteed to be any sort of improvement.


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Old 04-29-2009, 10:04 AM   #27
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I'm quite familiar with empires. The US is not one. We have territories around the globe at the will of the other countries. They tell us to get our army(meaning armed forces) out. We get our army out. We do not govern the other countries. They govern themselves.

And the point of my "educational" post was simply that there is no real timestamp on empires. There is no expiration date. Some last a long time, others fizzle out pretty quickly. You made the fallacious claim that empires don't last long. The fact that China was an empire for around 4000 years would suggest otherwise. And with your rather broad definition, still qualifies.

At any rate that is rather sideways to the argument and has nothing to do with Maglev in any way shape or form.

Again, I just see MagLev as an inefficient method of transportation. Energy costs are high and the efficiency isn't enough to justify the high startup cost. Commuter trains, AmTrack and freight trains make a great deal more sense, and until the construction costs can be brought down it will stay a pretty pretty dream.


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Old 05-02-2009, 08:34 PM   #28
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When exactly did Jae Onasi leave Chicago?
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:21 PM   #29
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When exactly did Jae Onasi leave Chicago?
I haven't really--my sister lives there so I'm in the city or its suburbs (where 4 other family members live) on a regular basis. I work in Milwaukee a day a week and live in the Milwaukee-Chicago megalopolis.


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Old 05-03-2009, 12:29 AM   #30
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:26 AM   #31
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You forget that she also says that she still goes to the city. I'd say you're still wrong about Chicago. I'd take the opinion of someone who lives there over a book description any day. High population density increases contact with other people. Robberies are far more common. What Utopia do you live in? I ask this because you seem to pretend that the books are right but the people who live(d) there are wrong.

It's funny, according to the "experts" Colorado Springs is one of the best places to live. I've lived there. I left there(Focus on the Family being one reason I wouldn't move back). According to the experts, Mesa is a great place to live. I live in Phoenix, and lets face it some areas of Mesa are nice, but much of it you don't drive through with your windows down.

I don't doubt that walking is one of the primary modes of transport... Though they don't include "Elevator" in transportation. With vertical worlds, the elevator becomes a primary mode of transport. It also happens to be where people get pick pocketed.

It still doesn't eliminate the "elephants living above you" or the "Heavy Metal Drummer living next to you" problems like living in the suburbs. There are also a bunch of huge problems associated with living in a large building. Maybe you have never experienced them. Maybe you're too young to have had them happen to you. But Your upstairs neighbor's kid decides to flush a stuffed animal down the toilet. Maybe it gets stuck and clogs the whole building's plumbing... Nasty enough. Maybe the kid thinks flushing it 20 times will fix it.... Now your roof is dripping with their toilet water. Fun. Pipes break, heat fails, AC fails, power fails. Any one of which are out of your control. Then you have your downstairs neighbor that gets ticked at his girlfriend and decides to light her things on fire... IN HIS LIVINGROOM! Whoops! Now (at best) all your stuff burns up because one of those people that happens to live below you was a moron.

Then of course there's the smell. 40 floors worth of people's garbage all collected in one handy dandy place. YUMMAY! At street level the smell can be overpowering. Sure you get used to it. When I lived in New York I didn't really notice it much. Then I went out to Rhode Island with a few friends. When I was coming back I could smell the city even before I left the 95.


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Old 05-03-2009, 07:32 AM   #32
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:04 AM   #33
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Excuse me, but your direct observations are WRONG. Your conclusions are about as accurate as dart throws from a blindfolded man. Quite frankly you must not have much experience with land development. Regardless of building size, development of any area of land requires a set percentage be devoted to public use. A sprawling neighborhood suburb or your multiple 5 story buildings will have the same size land dedicated to public use.

Community sense is more due to a change in social structure. back in the "yusta be" times people got to know all their neighbors. Now more people are introverted. It is not related to the land used. Heck my grandparents knew all of their neighbors and they couldn't even SEE their neighbors' houses.


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Old 05-03-2009, 09:20 AM   #34
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:10 PM   #35
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The problem with your theories is that the human condition is not taken into consideration because it is incorrectly viewed as either nonexistent or unimportant. Robert McNamara made the same mistake when trying to wage the Vietnam War with statistics.


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Old 05-03-2009, 09:25 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
Interesting... I happened to wonder how anyone who lived in Chicago could POSSIBLY come to such conclusions that contradicted what I've been saying and suddenly, it all fell into place.
You're looking for excuses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Everything about the high crime, rotting inner city infrastructure, and endless parking lots in the Loop was true... ten years ago. Through a process called gentrification, the social structure common among most American cities has begun to follow New York and Europe's example with the richest individuals wanting to live in the central city again.
Chicago is a much, much bigger city than just the Loop. You still haven't looked at google maps, have you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Virtually every building in the Loop has its own parking facilities underground, so I wouldn't exactly call those lots.
This is incorrect information. We have subways along with the L-trains, so large underground structures are out of the question for a number of buildings. Some of the buildings do have underground parking but a lot don't. Loyola University has surface lots. Moody Bible Institute has surface lots and a garage. Northwestern hospital has a garage and surface parking. The restaurants (of which there are many) and hotels have surface lots and garages respectively. Watertower place has a parking garage and surface parking. People parallel park on the streets where it's allowed. The grocery stores have surface lots. My sister lives in an apartment complex that has no parking at all--no garages, above or underground. It's all on-street parking. Cars are packed in like sardines. Those are just a few examples.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
I have confirmed various RAMPS, but they serve a purpose other than to provide parking for the expected crowds of Dec. 23. The land is so expensive in the Loop that no one could squander it on parking lots, so they stacked six levels of it on one piece of land and generate some profit off it. Any lot you don't pay to park on is land that has to be taxed and that doesn't provide much return.
Right, and the surface lots in the Loop don't charge money for parking? Theaters and restaurants have free parking for their patrons, but they charge money in some cases for people to park there on a daily basis. They charge a lot, too. There are a lot of surface lots in the Loop and in the rest of the city of Chicago. I've seen them, I've parked in them. They're still there when I go to visit my sister or go into the city for various reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Those that lived in the cities often lived there all their lives.
Define, preferably with some statistics, "often". I'm not sure what the relevance is to the rest of your discussion this is, so if you'd explain that, that would be cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
With mixed use buildings and loosened zoning restrictions, the predominant means of transportation is not the car, the L-train, but walking. That's another reason that high-density works so much better... when something's close enough, you can just walk to your destination.
From what I experienced in NYC, it was the taxi that was the predominant means of transportation in the very densest parts of the city. Not everyone is able to walk--elderly, handicapped, etc. In Chicago, a lot of residents have cars, and they use them even for short drives. My sister uses her car more than mass transit because she's been mugged twice on the L-train--within the last couple years. There has been a sharp increase in homicides in the last 5 years because of gang activity. Check out the police stats for yourself, or look up The Chicago Tribune or listen to WGN or WBBM radio (they stream their radio programs) and you'll hear all about the crime stats, drug busts, and other issues associated with urban living.

Also, we regularly have snow and below-zero (Fahrenheit) temps in the winter. It is plain just not safe to walk outside or wait for the buses for any length of time when there are wind chills of -40.

Sure, urban living improves our capacity to provide more efficient mass transit. However, it comes at a price--increased crime, less privacy, more expensive and much smaller housing, poor schools, higher taxes, and higher cost of living. Compare the costs of a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread or utilities in Chicago or NYC with any smaller town, and it'll be about 30-50% higher. Gas in Chicago, where I was just at today, cost 25 cents a gallon more in the suburbs than at home, and was almost 50 cents more downtown. The home we bought in WI would have literally cost us twice as much in Chicago (we looked around in the suburbs and even Chicago since both of us worked there then). We could not afford housing in Chicago or most of the suburbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
but when a new house is built 40 miles away from the CBD of a city; it cost more to maintain than it returns on taxes.
Please show me data or link to a site that shows the breakdown of costs to support this point. I'm not sure it matters as much is you might make it out to be. People have to have utilities wired/piped to them whether they live in high rises or suburbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
The consequences of privacy is cheaper (if any) public spaces.
I've never been to a city, small or large, that didn't have a park _somewhere_. There are numerous parks in my town, most of them much nicer than the ones in Chicago, and not taken over by gangbangers and drug dealers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
In Chicago, there were officers on almost every other block in the Loop.
Your tour group must have neglected to take you to the projects and Cabrini Green. The police presence is far lower there than on Michigan Avenue, except when there's a shooting. Mayor Daley takes care to have lots of Men and Women in Blue in the tourist areas. It makes the city look good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
The loss of a community sense.
My sister lives in an apartment complex in Chicago with several hundred other people. She doesn't know any of her neighbors other than in passing. When we lived in Chicago, we didn't know our neighbors at all except to say hi to them when we both walked our trash cans to the curb on trash pickup day, and I am a social butterfly. People go to work, go home, turn on the TV, and tune out. So many people live in dual-income households and are so busy with work, commutes, and family activities that they don't have time to go sit on the porch or have a coffee klatch with Maude next door. The loss of community sense is due to our busy schedules (and big city commutes take up a lot more time than smaller cities), no one being at home during the day, and far greater mobility. Forty years ago people moved into a house and stayed there for years. Now they live somewhere two years and move on to another apartment or home, or move across country for a better job, so we don't get to know people like we used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Education is often sacrificed, due to the cost of keeping the more basic necessities operating.
Explain, please, why Chicago has one of the worst school systems in the country, while smaller towns have some of the best. We got out of Chicago to a much smaller town that has a much, much better school system. My kids can walk to school safely. Our high schools don't require metal detectors screening for guns. Explain why NYC, LA, and some other large cities all have lower graduation rates for high schoolers than most smaller cities and little towns. Your theory that bigger cities have better education does not hold up to the data at all. Our smaller town school system has a significantly higher graduation rate and higher SAT/ACT scores than Chicago and the other 'big cities' have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Ever see any elderly communities before WWII?
What elderly communities before WWII? There weren't any then--the average lifespan was quite a bit lower then, and the elderly tended to live with their children when they did manage to make it to their 60's or beyond. "Elderly communities" are a relatively new phenomenon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
but when these people can't drive anymore; they often can still walk or wheelchair to their destinations.
If their health is so impaired they can't drive, they often don't have the physical capacity to walk somewhere, either. Ever try to use a wheelchair in the snow, or walk on crutches or a walker on ice? People who can't drive often have friends or relatives drive them to their destinations, or they simply don't go out much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
What I would suggest: five story mixed-use buildings.
That may be great for some people, and if they like living that way, more power to them. Hubby and I lived in apartments for 13 years. We were lucky to have good neighbors, but when they partied, it got loud. Our water heater went out when I was at school and Point Man was at work, and it flooded our neighbor below us. We had a set of very nice tools and other items stolen by the maintenance man for one of the complexes we lived in--he stole from a number of people in the complex before they finally caught him and fired him. His idea of repairing the hole in our cupboard that was letting cold air pour in from the uninsulated outer wall was to duct tape a paper plate over it--I'm not kidding. When a 40 foot tall tree fell on one of our other apartments, the apt. manager got mad at us because we woke him up at 6am on Saturday to let him know. We weren't ever allowed to have dogs at any of the places we rented--something we wanted to have in addition to our cats. In our home we have the autonomy to decorate the way we want, fix things the way we want (or hire someone we trust rather than some idiot the apt. manager hired), design the yard how we want, not worry about annoying neighbors with noise, get a dog this summer, not worry about the apartment manager coming in with 1 month notice and saying 'hey, you gotta move out, we're tearing the place down', or the myriad of negatives that Tommycat brought up. I have no desire to live in a multi-unit building of any size, from duplex to skyscraper. I'm sure not going to do it to 'support the state'. The government in the US is by the people and for the people--it exists to serve the needs of its citizens, not the other way around. I understand that this idea is an odd concept for those people who have grown up in a socialist or communist system all their lives and were indoctrinated that people must serve the state, but that's not the way it is in the US, thankfully. We're an independent lot. I'm happy when companies create ways to lower my energy consumption because it lowers my costs as well as having the side benefit of being better for the environment. I'm not giving up my home, however. You can build all the mixed use dwellings you want, but if people want to live in single family detached housing, that's what they're going to buy. If you want your new urbanism to fly in the US, you'll have to find ways to appeal to American's pocketbooks. You might convince a few to live that way because of environmentalism or socialism/communism beliefs, but for most Americans, you'll have to show them why it's a better value to them personally, either benefits or monetary value or more likely a combination of both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Schools and libraries could become what a neighborhood could take pride in.
Is there some reason that we're not supposed to have pride in our schools regardless of size or population density? My husband and his farming family have a great deal of pride in the schools in the town of 2000 that he grew up in. We're proud of the schools and libraries in the town we now live in. As a former Chicagoan, the library system was quite good, but I was appalled by what I then considered 'my school system' and took zero pride in it.


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Old 05-03-2009, 10:05 PM   #37
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The Suburban Nightmare: the dedicated thread on sprawl

Yes, that’s just what we need; a third thread!

All suburban sprawl posts should be confined to this thread--starting 3 threads to address the same subject is spamming the forum. --Jae

Given that the Maglev vs. HSR thread deviated into a topic that I didn’t intend to address, I could not properly establish high population density as being a key to mass transit without having to address other limiting factors that had nothing to do with mass transit in the first place. I decided the best thing was to establish a dedicated thread for the discussion of urban development. To have a two-way debate, I cannot afford to have complaints that my argument is too limited. This is a VERY elaborate topic and to have everything addressed, it will require various posts.

In order to avoid some of the mistakes of previous threads, I am listing the various topics that will be evaluated in order to introduce and debate them in an orderly manner. If anyone wants something added to this list, they should request it. If a topic in this thread isn’t addressed, but it is on the list; it simply hasn’t been addressed YET. I want to be civil, but it is difficult to do so when people place their beliefs over that of others and who add posts that detract from the debate. I will do the same, otherwise, no one will listen.

In addition, I am going to address counter arguments properly and concisely. If a counter argument is valid, I will accept it; but DO NOT attempt to attack an argument unless a suitable counter argument is provided. I’m not creating this thread with the expectation that people will suddenly have a revelation or to tell Americans how they should live. I am simply providing details on how Americans in suburbs do live.


Defining urban sprawl

1.The criteria for ‘suburb’
-Edge cities
-dependence on the automobile
-inefficient land-use planning
-loss of local culture
-increased driving distance from inner city
-unsustainable development

2.Benefits of sprawl:
-Privacy
-Ownership of individual home and pursuit of the American dream
-Reduced noise pollution, enclosed environment
-Lower crime rate
-Lower land value

3.History of suburban sprawl

The American city before the year 1945
The structure of American cities from 1950
The results of early suburban development
The shift of the wealthy to suburbs
Real estate markets target the middle class
Nuclear families dominate the average American household
Auto-dependant communities are created
The rise of poverty within the central cities
The loss of industrial centers
The oil crisis of 1971 and continuing rise of fuel prices
Gentrification and the relocation of the wealthy back to central cities
The housing collapse of 2009

4.Facts and statistics:

The 5 major differences between American and European cities
-Steep population density gradient
-Inversed social class structure (Rich on the edge of cities and poor in the CBD)
-Larger urban footprint
-Zoning segregation more extreme
-Dependance on automobile

5.Consequences of low density: Greater distances represent more expensive infrastructure per capita

-Longer commute times
-Greater traffic congestion
-Mass transit becomes less effective/economic
-More extensive network of power lines
-More complex system of water mains
-Sewer and septic systems are over extended
-More roads laid and parking lots demanded
-Police services restricted, due to coverage area of squad cars
-School bus services more expensive with greater distances and stops made
-Fewer public spaces created (Reduced funding because of infrastructure costs)
-Loss of agricultural land
-Higher infrastructure cost to tax ratio (The greater the distance from a source, the more expensive it is to maintain a suburb)

6. Results of migration to suburbs from inner cities

-High crime caused greatly by poverty
-High Poverty and the racial segregation due to migration away from inner cities.
-Long commutes and high traffic congestion JUST OUTSIDE CBD
-Deindustrialization and rise of 'mega urbs'
-Ineffectiveness of public transportation due to migration
-More taxes going into the infrastructure of suburbs than education and public services.

7. Victims of sprawl:

-Working poor:
-Stranded elderly:
-cul de sac kids: children who haven’t been given a healthy environment to socialize or develop mentally. The sacrifice of schools and public spaces is very restrictive to children’s mental health.
-soccer moms: who’s children depend upon them for mobility until the age of 16.
-Bored teens: without proper gathering places, teen suicide is the second leading cause of death and suburbia encourages teens to spend more time trying to escape reality (TV, video games, internet)
-bankrupt municipalities: the organizations that suffer economically for the inefficiencies of the auto-dependant and sparsely populated urban development. Residential zones who’s taxes don’t provide for their upkeep detract from the resources of their municipality.


8. Conclusion:

This will simply depend on which side you want to believe. I can’t do any more than present you with facts. I can’t and won’t tell people what to believe.

For more information, I will present sources as I present arguments and would encourage people to do the same if they wish to present a plausible counter argument.

http://risprawl.terranovum.com/HTML/part2.html

Suburban Nation: the ruse of sprawl and the decline of the American dream.
by: Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
North Point press: 2000

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Old 05-03-2009, 11:19 PM   #38
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You're looking for excuses.
I came to a logical conclusion based on statistics of how the city was twenty, ten, five years ago and how it is now. It's the only theory that fits how our conflicting arguments are both true without declaring the other a liar.

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Chicago is a much, much bigger city than just the Loop. You still haven't looked at google maps, have you?
This thread has shifted to debate the areas OUTSIDE of the loop. Have you even been reading the thread? It didn't slip my mind of the 40 miles and two hours of driving through suburban traffic needed to get out of the city last weekend.

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This is incorrect information. We have subways along with the L-trains, so large underground structures are out of the question for a number of buildings. Some of the buildings do have underground parking but a lot don't. Loyola University has surface lots. Moody Bible Institute has surface lots and a garage. Northwestern hospital has a garage and surface parking. The restaurants (of which there are many) and hotels have surface lots and garages respectively. Watertower place has a parking garage and surface parking. People parallel park on the streets where it's allowed. The grocery stores have surface lots. My sister lives in an apartment complex that has no parking at all--no garages, above or underground. It's all on-street parking. Cars are packed in like sardines. Those are just a few examples.
Right, and the surface lots in the Loop don't charge money for parking?
Yeah, yeah. How does seven ABOVE ground levels of parking matter? Besides, there were certain skyscrapers that preceded that red line. Those buildings did have underground facilities, but the more recent Trump tower did not. It was still on the same land that the building occupied. I did notice and bring up the various parking ramps that I explicitly described as being made of seven levels that generated profit instead of the great expanses you come to see in suburbia, only there because of the 23rd of December.



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Define, preferably with some statistics, "often". I'm not sure what the relevance is to the rest of your discussion this is, so if you'd explain that, that would be cool.
Elderly have often remained in the same communities until death, as they could and would walk after they could no longer drive. My own grandfather lost so much when he could not drive and didn't live in the town that was a few miles away. He was the most active and healthy elderly person you could imagine, but when he couldn't drive to where he wanted; the last two years were brutal for him. He could have and would have walked, but simply didn't have the means to do so.

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From what I experienced in NYC, it was the taxi that was the predominant means of transportation in the very densest parts of the city. Not everyone is able to walk--elderly, handicapped, etc. In Chicago, a lot of residents have cars, and they use them even for short drives. My sister uses her car more than mass transit because she's been mugged twice on the L-train--within the last couple years. There has been a sharp increase in homicides in the last 5 years because of gang activity. Check out the police stats for yourself, or look up The Chicago Tribune or listen to WGN or WBBM radio (they stream their radio programs) and you'll hear all about the crime stats, drug busts, and other issues associated with urban living.
Saw them: was hoping for statistics by district, but your source seemed reliable enough. Crime had been on the decline over the last 10 years or so before a noticeable increase in the last two years... rising to the rate from 2003. What's happened in the last two years and why had crime been on the decline before that?

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Please show me data or link to a site that shows the breakdown of costs to support this point. I'm not sure it matters as much is you might make it out to be. People have to have utilities wired/piped to them whether they live in high rises or suburbs.

I've never been to a city, small or large, that didn't have a park _somewhere_. There are numerous parks in my town, most of them much nicer than the ones in Chicago, and not taken over by gangbangers and drug dealers.
Your tour group must have neglected to take you to the projects and Cabrini Green. The police presence is far lower there than on Michigan Avenue, except when there's a shooting. Mayor Daley takes care to have lots of Men and Women in Blue in the tourist areas. It makes the city look good.
Okay, think of this: Remove all the buildings other than your home and all the places that supply you with power, water, mail, sanitation, ect. Would it cost more to deliver mail to you if you had your district's post office right next to your home? Wouldn't it cost less to only have one hundred meters of power lines than forty kilometers? How about sewage, school bus coverage, and sanitation costs? The closer you are, the less it costs to have such connections.

This is one of the most basic and fundamental aspect of globalization: making the world smaller. The idea of sprawl complicates the matter because you have millions around you all competing with one another and when you have to step over everyone between you and your destination... that gets VERY expensive. You are not only providing for those one mile out at the outskirts of the Loop... you are providing for those forty miles away as well. Then you get an elaborate web of connections that are much more difficult to maintain than if there were fewer with greater capacity. This is one of the core reasons sprawl is flawed.

And what of the police that I saw in the areas OUTSIDE the Loop? I was actually surprised how many squad cars and officers on foot there were. With more people in a denser location, police could be placed more strategically than any location where an officer has to cover five square miles because there are so few living than on some city blocks. What about private security? Police so scarce that they hire security for that purpose where needed in suburbs.

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My sister lives in an apartment complex in Chicago with several hundred other people. She doesn't know any of her neighbors other than in passing. When we lived in Chicago, we didn't know our neighbors at all except to say hi to them when we both walked our trash cans to the curb on trash pickup day, and I am a social butterfly. People go to work, go home, turn on the TV, and tune out. So many people live in dual-income households and are so busy with work, commutes, and family activities that they don't have time to go sit on the porch or have a coffee klatch with Maude next door. The loss of community sense is due to our busy schedules (and big city commutes take up a lot more time than smaller cities), no one being at home during the day, and far greater mobility. Forty years ago people moved into a house and stayed there for years. Now they live somewhere two years and move on to another apartment or home, or move across country for a better job, so we don't get to know people like we used to.

Explain, please, why Chicago has one of the worst school systems in the country, while smaller towns have some of the best. We got out of Chicago to a much smaller town that has a much, much better school system. My kids can walk to school safely. Our high schools don't require metal detectors screening for guns. Explain why NYC, LA, and some other large cities all have lower graduation rates for high schoolers than most smaller cities and little towns. Your theory that bigger cities have better education does not hold up to the data at all. Our smaller town school system has a significantly higher graduation rate and higher SAT/ACT scores than Chicago and the other 'big cities' have.

Is there some reason that we're not supposed to have pride in our schools regardless of size or population density? My husband and his farming family have a great deal of pride in the schools in the town of 2000 that he grew up in. We're proud of the schools and libraries in the town we now live in. As a former Chicagoan, the library system was quite good, but I was appalled by what I then considered 'my school system' and took zero pride in it.
Suburbs included in the Chicago statistics? Thought so. Thanks for proving that argument, as a great majority live in the suburbs.

Does your quaint little town predate WWII? It may follow the 'traditional neighborhood' design, which was not followed by suburban sprawl. I happen to be part of a town that is having budget problems in the schools because it was a 'bedroom community' of Madison. It is suffering because it doesn't bring in much income and expensive to maintain. When $1.7 million were donated for a new public library, $100,000 was skimmed for a sewer repair project. That's just sad.

Well I hope that I addressed those issues. I'm sorry I couldn't do more, but you really haven't given me much to work with. Hope that people are just keeping an open mind... I'm not really expecting anyone to actually follow a better solution if it's too uncomfortable to confront.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:48 AM   #39
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You must not be aware of Sun City. It's an area just outside of Phoenix. Mostly 55+ communities. It isn't full of large buildings. Not even your perfect 5 story buildings. It is a whole mess of neighborhoods. They like their own houses for the same reason they don't want to be in a nursing home. They like their independence. Can't say as I blame them. What you are essentially advocating for everyone is that we should all live in the equivalent of a nursing home for the good of the state.

Heck For the good of the state, everyone should be a member of the armed forces. For the good of the state is a VERY dangerous proposition. Imagine what Bush could force us to have done "For the good of the state." Or if you liked Bush, imagine what Obama could do with the justification of "for the good of the state." If you think the USAPATRIOT Act was bad... foof... there's a lot that could be done "for the good of the state."


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Old 05-04-2009, 03:20 AM   #40
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Lots of misinformation: I'm only going to tackle one segment as you slapped a wall of text for us to pick apart. Kind of a shotgun method. Splatter us with a whole bunch of stuff and hope that one or two items stick.

Stranded elderly? You mean like the number of old folks that are found dead in the city? I guess you have a point. When they get stinky enough that the neighbors call the cops... As a counter I submit to you Sun City AZ. You can look at the google map of that. It is primarily comprised of the elderly. They CHOOSE to live there.

Working poor: Doesn't that go against your earlier statement that the poor are in the inner city?

Cul de sac kids: as opposed to the kids confined to an apartment because their parents are afraid of their child being killed by some psycho.

Suicides? REALLY?!?! You're going to blame suicides on suburbia? Think you might want to check your facts. Inner city kids have a higher suicide rate than rural. And if you are going to claim that suicides are linked to suburban sprawl, the only conclusion you could come to is that since suicide rates have fallen as urban sprawl has reached farther, that urban sprawl has decreased suicide rates. This is a fallacious argument as suicide has very little to do with sprawl.

Bankrupt municipalities: I'd say that has more to do with reckless spending and poor budgeting.


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