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Buckeye Institute Study: No Urban Sprawl “Crisis” in Ohio

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  • enjax
    Yes yet another depressing study from a Libertarian think tank that has decided there is nothing wrong with sprawl and that the free market(i.e. more/wider
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2002
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      Yes yet another depressing study from a Libertarian think tank that
      has decided there is nothing wrong with sprawl and that the free
      market(i.e. more/wider roads to subsidize more sprawl) is the
      solution!

      Of course none of the people sitting on the board of trustees for the
      Buckeye Institure has a degree in architecture or planning(they're
      all Economists and MBAs.. big surprise!).

      http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/Press%
      20Releases/sprawlstudyreleased.htm

      My favorite passage from this depressing, moronic article..

      "Smart" growth plans adopt a prescriptive view of cities and urban
      developments that ignore consumers wishes and substitute it with the
      will of politicians. Rather than letting consumers decide where they
      want to live, most plans implicitly accept a mid- and early-twentieth
      century view of cities that is compact and relatively high density,
      mixed use and less reliant on the automobile.

      This view is dated. Over the last half-century, affluence and the
      emergence of automobile usage has transformed the traditional urban
      form. Ohioans can afford bigger houses on bigger lots and choose to
      do so. Moreover, the automobile allows Ohioans the flexibility to
      live miles from work.

      Translation: Because "Smart" growth plans provide a mixed use,
      affordable alternative to McMansions we're going to label it an
      elitist ploy of big government. This sort of consumer choice would
      all of a sudden make suburbia unattractive and thus rob all of our
      unimaginative rich developer/banker friends of their ability to make
      quick and easy money off of sprawl type developments. Compact,
      relatively high density, mixed use cities may be what a growing
      number of people want, but we're going to lie through our teeth and
      pretend how wonderful suburbia really is! After all consumer choise
      is what its about, ummmm even if the only choice is between one
      prentious subdivision or the other!

      So you see this view is dated! Over the last half-century our
      affluence from having the highest standard of living in the world,
      along with the automobile has transformed the traditional urban
      landscape into a consumer paradise! You can afford bigger houses on
      bigger lots, though you might not be able to furnish them or take a
      vacation for the next 30 years! Moreover, the automobile allows you
      the flexibility to piss your life away in traffic while the world
      passes before your eyes!

      Matt Lyons
    • turpin
      ... A lot of people ARE choosing to live in the burbs. In my view, and I suspect yours, the burbs are a pretty ugly and uncomfortable choice. But we won t
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2002
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        --- In carfree_cities@y..., "enjax" <mattlyons@c...> wrote:
        > My favorite passage from this depressing, moronic article..
        >
        > "'Smart' growth plans adopt a prescriptive view of cities
        > and urban developments that ignore consumers wishes and
        > substitute it with the will of politicians. .."
        >
        > .. Compact, relatively high density, mixed use cities may
        > be what a growing number of people want, but we're going
        > to lie through our teeth and pretend how wonderful
        > suburbia really is! After all consumer choise is what its
        > about, ummmm even if the only choice is between one
        > prentious subdivision or the other!

        A lot of people ARE choosing to live in the 'burbs. In my
        view, and I suspect yours, the 'burbs are a pretty ugly
        and uncomfortable choice. But we won't make much headway
        arguing on the basis of OUR preferences versus others'
        preferences. Instead, I think it makes more sense to look
        at why people make the choices they do, what factors lead
        to the range of choices, and who bears the costs. It's
        pretty clear that existing urban geography does NOT result
        simply from market forces. Here is a short list of the
        political factors that have led us to where we are today:

        * Government regulates utilities, forcing urban consumers
        to subsidize the provision of power, phone, and water
        to outlying areas.

        * States build roads to the suburbs, and limit cities'
        abilities to control the use of their roads.

        * Developers are not held responsible for run-off and
        other pollution they cause.

        * Cities build expensive roads geared to automobile
        travel that impose barriers to other forms of travel.

        * City and state government subsidizes the tremendous
        damage done by automobiles. (Consider how much
        of the courts and the police are dedicated to
        resolving traffic incidents, and how many public
        health dollars go to tending those injured in auto
        accidents.)

        * The court and police resources dedicated to dealing
        with automobile damage lessens the availibility of
        those resources to deal with crime.

        * The public school system ties choice of school and
        school administration to where a family lives.

        There is, in my view, an irreducible political element to
        the management of public byways. But even someone who
        doesn't believe that should not ignore the large extent to
        which the suburbs are subsidized.
      • enjax
        You forgot to add: * Misguided, post-WWII era zoning laws that make it illegal to actually plan anything resembling a traditional neighoborhood. Most city
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 3, 2002
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          You forgot to add:

          * Misguided, post-WWII era zoning laws that make it illegal to
          actually plan anything resembling a traditional neighoborhood. Most
          city planning agencies these days are nothing more than permit
          signing agencies.

          I just finished reading James Howard Kunstler's "Geography of
          Nowhere" and "Home to Nowehere" over Christmas. If he had his way,
          he would toss out all of the current zoning laws, which
          municipalities basically buy off the shelf, and replace it with a
          traditional neighborhood development code. I think he's right on the
          money here, but the problem is that solution freaks out both the
          NIMBYs and the Propertarians who think any sort of government
          intervention regarding property rights is attack on their freedom
          i.e. "You can't tell me what to do with my land!"

          When I was driving back from Atlanta to Tennessee yesterday I passed
          through Franklin, NC and saw several billboards proclaiming "Vote for
          Freedom! Vote NO on zoning!" along with a URL. Well I checked out
          the URL today and their arguments against any form of zoning are
          pretty damn scary. Yeah its mostly the typical flag waving crap
          ignoring any sort of sense of what is right for the common good.
          About the only thing they're right about is that zoning, as it exist
          in the form of single use, divides classes by income level. Other
          than that, the whole thing appears as it was written by someone with
          an 8th grade education who doesn't know a bit about traditional
          neighborhood planning.

          Check it out and be apalled, as this is a good example of the
          mentality we're up against..

          http://www.maconcitizen.com/news.htm

          Matt Lyons


          --- In carfree_cities@y..., "turpin" <turpin@y...> wrote:
          > --- In carfree_cities@y..., "enjax" <mattlyons@c...> wrote:
          > > My favorite passage from this depressing, moronic article..
          > >
          > > "'Smart' growth plans adopt a prescriptive view of cities
          > > and urban developments that ignore consumers wishes and
          > > substitute it with the will of politicians. .."
          > >
          > > .. Compact, relatively high density, mixed use cities may
          > > be what a growing number of people want, but we're going
          > > to lie through our teeth and pretend how wonderful
          > > suburbia really is! After all consumer choise is what its
          > > about, ummmm even if the only choice is between one
          > > prentious subdivision or the other!
          >
          > A lot of people ARE choosing to live in the 'burbs. In my
          > view, and I suspect yours, the 'burbs are a pretty ugly
          > and uncomfortable choice. But we won't make much headway
          > arguing on the basis of OUR preferences versus others'
          > preferences. Instead, I think it makes more sense to look
          > at why people make the choices they do, what factors lead
          > to the range of choices, and who bears the costs. It's
          > pretty clear that existing urban geography does NOT result
          > simply from market forces. Here is a short list of the
          > political factors that have led us to where we are today:
          >
          > * Government regulates utilities, forcing urban consumers
          > to subsidize the provision of power, phone, and water
          > to outlying areas.
          >
          > * States build roads to the suburbs, and limit cities'
          > abilities to control the use of their roads.
          >
          > * Developers are not held responsible for run-off and
          > other pollution they cause.
          >
          > * Cities build expensive roads geared to automobile
          > travel that impose barriers to other forms of travel.
          >
          > * City and state government subsidizes the tremendous
          > damage done by automobiles. (Consider how much
          > of the courts and the police are dedicated to
          > resolving traffic incidents, and how many public
          > health dollars go to tending those injured in auto
          > accidents.)
          >
          > * The court and police resources dedicated to dealing
          > with automobile damage lessens the availibility of
          > those resources to deal with crime.
          >
          > * The public school system ties choice of school and
          > school administration to where a family lives.
          >
          > There is, in my view, an irreducible political element to
          > the management of public byways. But even someone who
          > doesn't believe that should not ignore the large extent to
          > which the suburbs are subsidized.
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