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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, Some posts have been getting very long. Please remember, when replying to an earlier post, to trim off all the quoted material from the previous posts
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
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      Hi All,

      Some posts have been getting very long. Please remember,
      when replying to an earlier post, to trim off all the
      quoted material from the previous posts that is not relevant
      to your response.

      Thanks!


      -- ### --

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
    • Chris Loyd
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
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        <<The fares are reasonable. I am sure they are heavily subsidized. Houston
        Metro's commuter buses are almost three times as expensive per mile as
        TRE's. The fares in Dallas, including the TRE, have gone up since March.
        The TRE costs 50ยข more now between Big D and Fort Worth. This is due to the
        major funding source, sales tax, plummeting after the Y2K crash.>>

        What do you mean plummeting? Did the Metroplex lower sales taxes after 1
        Jan 00? Did they actually experience problems in the new year? A year head
        start on the recession?

        <<I've had problems with Mapquest before. They seem to do alright with
        small towns but their estimates break down in big cities. Their travel
        times by auto are apparently close to the ideal.>>

        They probably assume that you'll be traveling at the speed limit. Time
        spent at traffic lights or in slow downs is compensating by speeding the
        rest of the time. They show that it takes more than three hours to get from
        my San Antonio house to the University of Houston. I can make that trip in
        about two-and-a-half hours, but I'm doing 84 mph, not 70.

        <<For instance, most hours of the week, it will take you more than an hour
        to get from downtown Houston to downtown Galveston, fifty miles, but an hour
        is what they show. At rush hour, which is turning into all day in Houston,
        or with weekend beach traffic, it takes an hour and a half.>>

        It's only bad all day on the west side, West Loop 610, Energy Corridor,
        Galleria, 290 near 610, and I-45 as passes next to downtown. I've never had
        problems on the inner loop Gulf Freeway unless there's an accident. And
        Hardy Toll is apparently sparse all day long, maybe because it parallels the
        toll-less North Freeway.

        <<I would suspect the same applies between Dallas and Fort Worth. Traffic
        on I-30, which the railway parallels, is usually just creeping along when
        I've seen it, at least on the Dallas end. Unless you travel the entire
        distance by car close to the speed limit, you're not going to be able to
        drive the 32 miles between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth in 38 minutes, or
        a fifty miles per hour average, which would include time spent on local
        streets getting to and from I-30.>>

        So the train is worth it much of the time. That's the only advantage that
        Metro has during rush hour: it can use the HOV lanes, but as you said, only
        to downtown and back. Of course, slugging is free except for the driver.

        <<Obviously, what slows the train down is the half-dozen stops in between
        Dallas and Fort Worth.>>

        Well, it has to make some stops, otherwise it falls under your criticism
        below of the Metro HOV.

        <<If you compare this with the average running speed of a Houston commuter
        bus, forty-two miles per hour, it seems slow. But the Houston HOV commuter
        bus doesn't make any intermediate stops, so the comparison is misleading.
        For instance, Houston Metro's 228 Addicks makes no stops between the end of
        the line at the Addicks park & ride and Smith and Congress in downtown
        Houston.>>

        The same could be said for Kingsland (my slugging stop-over), Kuykendahl,
        etc.

        <<If you want to go to, say, shopping or the hospital at Gessner Rd.,
        shopping at West Belt, to work at Dairy Ashford Rd. or Eldridge Rd., or you
        live near one of those locations or residential areas around Heights Blvd.,
        Post Oak Rd., Bingle Rd., Bunker Hill Rd., or Wilcrest Rd., you either can't
        do it by transit or else it's by eight-mile-per-hour local bus. I think it
        is better to have a thirty percent reduction in speed and serve a larger
        area, rather than the downtown workday niche market that Houston Metro has
        catered to.>>

        We'll see what the Katy LRT has in store for their specific lines. The
        Metro Solutions map still shows Westheimer road being avoided at all costs
        (Galleria via Katy Fwy? What??).

        OK, then, how do increase access to this commuter bus, or hypothetical
        train, without the five minutes it would take to get off the freeway and
        serve the Heights? Inner loop Katy is below grade, so build on top of it,
        with the train running at grade. The Southwest Freeway is also being
        lowered.

        The previous days' discussion has inspired me to conceive of how to make
        some parts of Houston or San Antonio carfree. I will write it up and post
        it on my website, but would it go against Mr Crawford's wishes if I proposed
        ideas here on this discussion?
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... I ve been getting a bit concerned that the discussion on Houston was getting very deep and possibly not of real interest to people who don t live in Texas.
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
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          Chris Loyd said:

          >The previous days' discussion has inspired me to conceive of how to make
          >some parts of Houston or San Antonio carfree. I will write it up and post
          >it on my website, but would it go against Mr Crawford's wishes if I proposed
          >ideas here on this discussion?

          I've been getting a bit concerned that the discussion on Houston was
          getting very deep and possibly not of real interest to people who
          don't live in Texas. I have to confess, in fact, that I have only
          been skimming the postings myself.

          I don't have any objection to posting ideas for carfree developments
          in Houston or San Antonio, but I don't think we want this to devolve
          into detailed planning for these cities.

          I have in mind a detailed planning for a carfree area sometime in the
          coming year, but I would expect to move that onto a separate list
          when it gets very far along.

          Regards,




          -- ### --

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        • Chris Loyd
          ... It will mostly be a contrast on how one would develop a carfree district in two different urban environments. Downtown Houston is mostly hi-rise, with a
          Message 4 of 26 , Jul 3, 2003
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            > I don't have any objection to posting ideas for carfree developments
            > in Houston or San Antonio, but I don't think we want this to devolve
            > into detailed planning for these cities.

            It will mostly be a contrast on how one would develop a carfree district in
            two different urban environments. Downtown Houston is mostly hi-rise, with
            a grid street pattern, no zoning, and has a light rail system. Downtown San
            Antonio is mostly lo-rise, with twisty, curvy, narrow streets throughout,
            zoning, historically preserved, and no light rail system. Since both cities
            are in the same State (thus, the laws are the same), and have not entirely
            dissimaler cultures, they could be treated as archetypes, not necessarily
            detailed case studies.

            > I have in mind a detailed planning for a carfree area sometime in the
            > coming year, but I would expect to move that onto a separate list
            > when it gets very far along.

            When that list is created, there'll be need to focus exactly what is the
            difference between carfree_cities and this new list. One might be general
            information or discussion, the other could be more specific.
          • David Forbus
            One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close to their work is the fact that few people today have only one job in a lifetime. Many people have
            Message 5 of 26 , Sep 16, 2003
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              One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close
              to their work is the fact that few people today have only
              one job in a lifetime. Many people have jobs that last only
              a few years, then they are laid off or go to a better job.
              In Houston, you could get a new job that is 10 - 20 miles
              from the first. For an apartment dweller this might not be
              much of a problem, but for someone who owns a home, it is.

              DLF

              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, mtneuman@j... wrote:
              > > Everything else has been tried, and only rail remains as an
              > > alternative.
              > No, I don't believe EVERYTHING else has been tried. Most people
              > have NOT tried to minimize the distance they need to travel each
              > day. (I mean REALLY minimize it, not just make a feeble attempt
              > at it.) As you say, gas is still relatively cheap (because of
              > subsidies). If people were given rewards for not using their
              > vehicles so much, and the price of gas was increased significantly
              > to fund those rewards, their surely would be more of an attempt by
              > lots of people to be more efficient in their travel budgets.
              > No, it has not been tried elsewhere. But if we go by that
              > rule, nothing new would ever be tried.
            • mtneuman@juno.com
              There are many people who hold onto their same job for years. Besides myself, most of the people I know have done that. I decided 28 years ago I was going to
              Message 6 of 26 , Sep 16, 2003
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                There are many people who hold onto their same job for years. Besides
                myself, most of the people I know have done that. I decided 28 years ago
                I was going to bike (bicycle) to work, so I chose a place to live in the
                city where I work.

                But a majority of the people made the swift shift to suburbia or the
                country as soon as they saved up enough for buying a house. So they
                commute to the city every day, emitting things out of their automobile
                that are know to cause respiratory illness, cancer, stroke and heart
                attack, especially when they accumulate with 10 thousand other sources of
                the same stuff. And each gallon of fuel burned in an automobile or other
                internal combustion engine adds another 22 pounds of the greenhouse gas
                carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which adds to the global warming
                problem that confronts all of us. But that's the way it is most of the
                large cities I know of, and people are not going to stop driving. But it
                would be best for all if they at least car pooled -- until they are able
                to move in closer -- because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for
                120 years, on average. So global warming is essentially irreversible, at
                least within our lifetimes, if not our children's lifetime, and their
                children's lifetime, assuming humanity lasts that long.

                Changing jobs is no excuse for excessive driving. If a job is too far
                away, they should either move there, or not take the job. It's a matter
                of whether or not we want a healthy planet in 20 years, or an overheated
                one. We have an obligation to pass down a planet that's livable, and the
                way we're going about it now, it ain't gonad happen.

                "It is incumbent on us here today to so act throughout our lives as to
                leave
                our children a heritage for which we will receive their blessings and not
                their curses".

                Theodore Roosevelt
                - from a speech he gave in Dickinson, North Dakota, July 4, 1886

                MTN

                On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 17:26:23 -0000 "David Forbus" <forbus@...>
                writes:
                > One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close
                > to their work is the fact that few people today have only
                > one job in a lifetime. Many people have jobs that last only
                > a few years, then they are laid off or go to a better job.
                > In Houston, you could get a new job that is 10 - 20 miles
                > from the first. For an apartment dweller this might not be
                > much of a problem, but for someone who owns a home, it is.
                >
                > DLF
                >
                > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, mtneuman@j... wrote:
                > > > Everything else has been tried, and only rail remains as an
                > > > alternative.
                > > No, I don't believe EVERYTHING else has been tried. Most people
                > > have NOT tried to minimize the distance they need to travel each
                > > day. (I mean REALLY minimize it, not just make a feeble attempt
                > > at it.) As you say, gas is still relatively cheap (because of
                > > subsidies). If people were given rewards for not using their
                > > vehicles so much, and the price of gas was increased significantly
                >
                > > to fund those rewards, their surely would be more of an attempt by
                >
                > > lots of people to be more efficient in their travel budgets.
                > > No, it has not been tried elsewhere. But if we go by that
                > > rule, nothing new would ever be tried.
                >
                >
                >
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                >
                >


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              • J.H. Crawford
                ... We have to be careful here. There isn t ANY excuse for excessive (whatever that may turn out to be) driving. However, in the economy we have built, which
                Message 7 of 26 , Sep 16, 2003
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                  Neuman said:

                  >Changing jobs is no excuse for excessive driving. If a job is too far
                  >away, they should either move there, or not take the job. It's a matter
                  >of whether or not we want a healthy planet in 20 years, or an overheated
                  >one. We have an obligation to pass down a planet that's livable, and the
                  >way we're going about it now, it ain't gonad happen.

                  We have to be careful here. There isn't ANY excuse for "excessive" (whatever
                  that may turn out to be) driving. However, in the economy we have built,
                  which depends utterly on intense specialization of many workers, it is
                  necessary that people be able to get to the jobs, and to find new ones
                  when the multi-national they work for goes bankrupt because of accounting
                  fraud. In a household with two earners, it is often impossible to find a
                  residence where neither person has to drive.

                  What we need is to reconcentrate our cities along transit corridors,
                  so that you can, as in the Reference Design, take public transport to
                  any job, in a fairly short time and without extreme distance being
                  covered.

                  (Spoken by a man whose commute takes him across his bedroom.)

                  Regards,


                  -- ### --

                  J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                  mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
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