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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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