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Re: [carfree_cities] A potential carfree site

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  • Chris Bradshaw
    Will s suggestion is the best one I ve seen. Arcosanti is too remote, lacking jobs; the inner-city 4x4 grid would not be able to shut out motor traffic
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 8, 2002
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      Will's suggestion is the best one I've seen.

      Arcosanti is too remote, lacking jobs; the inner-city 4x4 grid would not
      be able to shut out motor traffic completely, although it could be
      limited to walking speeds, m-a-y-b-e... [Venice might not have cars,
      but it is very dependent on watercraft for many of the car functions
      (and its not transferable to many place)].

      The idea of building a new community around a Metro stop is not far from
      Peter Calthorpe's "pedestrian pocket" idea. One hasn't been actually
      built, although his Laguna West development in Sacramento, has _some_ of
      the features. [See his 1995 book, "The Next American Metrolpolis." It
      was "pre-carsharing."]

      Such a site would be the best combination of isolation and still be
      linked to a city economy, and services and cultural attractions. Being
      pretty much level, means that cycling will be very easy, especially
      cycling a) with cargo, b) cycling by marginal riders, and c) cycling
      under weather constraints.

      Access to car-sharing _from the beginning_ is also absolutely
      essential. The parking for these cars should be on the periphery,
      ensuring that local shops and transit are more "convenient." Having an
      internal transit system, perhaps using a van that can be used for
      delivery work as well (not to mention as a cargo-carrier for the
      car-sharers) would be also essential. The communal parking lots should
      have a supply of cargo carts (strollers would probably continue to be
      _personally_ owned, as are its occupants)

      These features should be carefully modelled, so that merchants and
      employers can be attracted, being shown how these unique characteristics
      are advantages.

      Now, will the board or supervisors listen to you, unless you have the
      $$s to show that you can make it happen (since politicians don't, or
      aren't willing to "grubstake" what is eventually going to be private)?
      But then, you could remind them of the potential for (green?) tourism
      that would come from being the first to "get it right."

      Another thing that should mention them is the taxes situation, which
      another Matt H. mentioned. On the whole, certain expenditures would go
      down, but in a carfree environment, there is a higher order of sharing
      things, which, for a community that has parks, they will simply be used
      more (they also cannot be all on the fringe, with parking lots; but
      rather scattered every few blocks, with wide sidewalks around _and
      through_ them.

      If the neighbouring increases (as I contend it will), costs for police,
      social services, and public health should drop, as well. And, transit
      might not need to be subsidized.

      However, they will get nervous that its residents might be asking for
      things that they would then have to provide to other parts of the
      county. To keep that from becoming a problem, suggest they recognize
      the area as a self-governing village (not of the stilted variety, like
      Disney's Celebration), which has the power to tax to provide whatever
      the local population might need. But, on the other hand, the new
      village council should ask for annual rebates for the savings _it_
      experienced from the new urban form and community spirit.

      Matt also mentioned the visitors wanting to parking in front of your
      door. Well, what they will get is a nice walk, and one without even as
      many conflicts with drivers as they regularly get in a mall parking
      lot. What better introduction to a friend's community!

      Chris Bradshaw
      Ottawa
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