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Re: Cheaper to drive their cars to work than take public transport

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    I think we can all think of examples of situations where bureaucracy, stubbornness, or existing policy forces or encourages inefficiency... - Malls with too
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 11, 2007
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      I think we can all think of examples of situations where bureaucracy,
      stubbornness, or existing policy forces or encourages inefficiency...

      - Malls with too many parking spaces because of local ordinances.
      Chances are the owner would be happy to develop the land to a higher
      FAR, but that's illegal.

      - Suburban homes much more affordable than urban homes. Since most
      cities won't allow any new non-sprawl development, the supply of urban
      homes is kept artificially low, sending prices through the roof. Of
      course, the city's blowing all their budget on six-laning I-10 and
      US-231 doesn't help either.

      That brings up an interesting point with carfree cities. Does anyone
      out there know of a carfree area in an at least midsized city (over
      100k) that has reasonable property values? One objection I've heard to
      carfree/urban living is that it would turn into NYC--not affordable
      unless you live in a very small space.

      As a reference point, Tallahassee's population is 159k (337k MSA), and
      we're paying $1050 monthly for 1800 square feet, a few blocks from
      downtown.

      Cheers,

      matt

      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > Once again, truth is stranger than fiction. Kafka could never
      > have come up with this.
    • Jym Dyer
      ... =v= Bear in mind that NYC is a singularity, and thus not exactly the best example to apply. So many variables involved there. =v= That said, Manhattan is
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 11, 2007
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        > One objection I've heard to carfree/urban living is that it
        > would turn into NYC--not affordable unless you live in a very
        > small space.

        =v= Bear in mind that NYC is a singularity, and thus not exactly
        the best example to apply. So many variables involved there.

        =v= That said, Manhattan is only one of NYC's five boroughs.
        I think carfree living in still-affordable parts of Brooklyn
        and the Bronx are a better model than Manhattan.
        <_Jym_>

        --
        Save Zeeba! Jeffy is God!
      • Randall Ghent
        In North Africa, where carfree areas (medinas) of substantial size exist in most cities, the carfree areas include a mix of income levels, from very poor to
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 12, 2007
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          In North Africa, where carfree areas (medinas) of substantial size exist in
          most cities, the carfree areas include a mix of income levels, from very
          poor to very rich. This is true even in cities with a population of over 1
          million. Of course the local and national economic situations have a lot to
          do with it, and the fact that carfree areas aren't seen as a luxury. In some
          cases they are even run down.

          But in a large North American city, there is no reason why all carfree areas
          would need to be in or near the city center, as Jym said. It is possible to
          strengthen and revitalize neighborhood centers by making them carfree. If
          this is done frequently enough and carfree areas become more commonplace,
          the cost of living in such places could drop. Or more proactively, city
          councils and planning departments could require that affordable housing be
          included in such projects. And of course if car owners were not allowed to
          live in the carfree areas, the prices could also drop for that reason.

          To answer your question more directly, I do know of a large optically
          carfree residential area in Berlin where rents are probably not very high.
          We visited it during the Towards Carfree Cities IV conference. I say
          "optically carfree" because it includes quite a bit of underground car
          parking. Markus Heller, who is on this list, would have more information.

          Randy


          Matt Hohmeister wrote:

          > That brings up an interesting point with carfree cities. Does anyone
          out there know of a carfree area in an at least midsized city (over
          100k) that has reasonable property values? One objection I've heard to
          carfree/urban living is that it would turn into NYC--not affordable
          unless you live in a very small space.

          > As a reference point, Tallahassee's population is 159k (337k MSA), and
          we're paying $1050 monthly for 1800 square feet, a few blocks from
          downtown.

          --
          Randall Ghent
          Conference Coordinator
          WORLD CARFREE NETWORK
          home address: 20 Gale Lane
          Acomb, York YO24 3BB, U.K.
          tel: +(44) 1904 796860
          skype: randallghent
          rghent@...


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Debra Efroymson
          In Asia also, I have walked through some lovely neighborhoods of narrow lanes, particularly in Dhaka and Kathmandu, no cars, very colorful and vivid street
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 13, 2007
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            In Asia also, I have walked through some lovely
            neighborhoods of narrow lanes, particularly in Dhaka
            and Kathmandu, no cars, very colorful and vivid street
            life, vendors with bicycle carts, kids playing in the
            streets, very quiet (the occasional motorbike hardly
            compensates for constant honking!). They are indeed
            low-income neighborhoods, and I doubt the residents
            realize how lucky they are (poor ventilation,
            crowding, etc. etc.).

            In Dhaka we chose a lower income neighborhood to live
            in; directly across the main street the rents are
            higher, the streets wider, the cars far more abundant,
            and thus the noise that much worse. There are still
            cars where we live, and as a result the only people I
            know are not the residents of the buildings but the
            guards, vendors, students, and beggars.

            The problem, again, is that nobody in these
            neighborhoods seems to see carfree as a good
            thing...yet anyway...so it seems there are two angles
            to approach, highlighting the advantages of already
            carfree areas, and making them widespread enough that
            the rents can't always be atrociously high when people
            DO realize the benefits. ??

            Anima

            --- Randall Ghent <rghent@...> wrote:

            > In North Africa, where carfree areas (medinas) of
            > substantial size exist in
            > most cities, the carfree areas include a mix of
            > income levels, from very
            > poor to very rich.



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          • Carlos F. Pardo
            Regarding Debra s post on low-income carfree areas and her remark that nobody in these neighborhoods seems to see carfree as a good thing.. , I m reproducing
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 14, 2007
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              Regarding Debra's post on low-income carfree areas and her remark that
              "nobody in these neighborhoods seems to see carfree as a good thing..",
              I'm reproducing the following paragraph from a nice book I'm reading
              (full reference at the end):

              "So it is with this village. Its ecological and peaceful way of living
              is unconsciously won and thus is vulnerable to the winds of change that
              fan the latent desires of its people. Even now there is a familiar
              though jarring note in this sylvian village scene. The sounds of static
              and that impersonal professional voice of another civilization - the
              radio announcer- cut through the harmony of sounds as a young man of the
              village holding a portable radio to his ear comes around a bend. On his
              arm there is a silver wristwatch, which sparkles in the sun. He looks at
              me proudly as he passes. And a wave of understanding passes through me.
              Just behind that radio and wristwatch comes an army of desires that for
              centuries have gone untested and untasted. As material growth and
              technological change activate these yearnings, they will transform the
              hearts, minds, work, and daily life of this village within a generation
              of two."

              Elgin, Duane (1981/1993 ). Voluntary Simplicity. New York: Harper. pp 14-15.

              Best regards,


              --
              Carlos.
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