Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Urban Sprawl Makes Americans Fat, Study Finds

Expand Messages
  • Richard Risemberg
    Your idea would be fine, but the trolley systems evolved in an environment less skewed by subsidy. In fact, I believe there was little for the trolley systems
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Your idea would be fine, but the trolley systems evolved in an environment less skewed by subsidy. In fact, I believe there was little for the trolley systems at the time, though they were permitted to lay tracks on public streets. Most NYC subways were also originally private entities, though they run better an dcheaper now as public works.

      But today, it will be much easier to build a subway as a public-works project than to de-subsidize auto use. Even the hard right wing privateers and the libertarians wouldn't support fair-pricing car use. But you can get subway and light rail built: after all, in spite of a hard ecomnomy, it has already been happening.

      And once the alternative is in place, then you can justify depaving to a limited extent. And once a few projects--ten blocks though they may be (I foresee the Santa Monica line being much longer, but my project for West Holllywood would encompass about ten blocks, as you noted), you have samples to help you pitch it to less-obvious areas where the American lack of imagination and endemic meanness toward the public realm would engender more resistance.

      Richard
      -------Original Message-------
      From: turpin <turpin@...>
      Sent: 09/02/03 09:21 AM
      To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Urban Sprawl Makes Americans Fat, Study Finds

      >
      > Richard Risemberg <rickrise@e...> wrote:
      > Reasonable points below, but you
      > overinterpreted me. ..

      Ah. Sorry.

      > Second, you cannot make driving
      > expensive and inconvenient without
      > first providing the alternative..

      I still think it is the other way
      around. Until driving carries its
      own costs, we won't get other
      alternatives to a significant degree,
      we won't know the right mix of other
      alternatives, and we won't be able to
      figure out the way from "here" to
      "there."

      Partly, I think this is an issue of
      planning vs. spontaneous development.
      Like Jacobs, I fall more on the side
      that the best cities are largely
      spontaneous. Imagine a city where
      food had long been provided free
      from municipal cafeterias
    • turpin
      ... Exactly! ... Yep. That s been going on for decades. But in how many cities has this changed development patterns? Where has sprawl declined? In what states
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Richard Risemberg <rickrise@e...> wrote:
        > Your idea would be fine, but the trolley
        > systems evolved in an environment less
        > skewed by subsidy.

        Exactly!

        > But today, it will be much easier to build
        > a subway as a public-works project than to
        > de-subsidize auto use. .. And once the
        > alternative is in place, then you can
        > justify depaving to a limited extent.

        Yep. That's been going on for decades. But
        in how many cities has this changed
        development patterns? Where has sprawl
        declined? In what states is driving now less
        subsidized?

        More of the same policies will bring more of
        the same results. As long as you're fighting
        over the same public transportation dollar,
        roads will mostly win. Yes, some other
        projects will be built. But you won't see
        less sprawl, because politicians are compelled
        to build roads to suit demand, and developers,
        knowing this, will always build further out,
        generating demand.

        > Even the hard right wing privateers and the
        > libertarians wouldn't support fair-pricing
        > car use. ..

        Au contraire. Privatized roads and elimination
        of tax support for public transportation have
        long been part of libertarian politics. Now
        whether they really mean what they say .. who
        knows? But massive transportation subsidy is
        NOT consistent with libertarian philosophy,
        however much you slice it and distort it.

        I'm always boggled that this is the one subsidy
        no one wants to discuss as a subsidy. The right
        doesn't want to discuss it, because they favor
        it, and they don't like to be seen in favor of
        subsidies. The left doesn't want to discuss it,
        because they're against it, and they're in favor
        of transportation subsidies. The right is happy
        as long as more roads are built. The left is
        happy as long as some other transportation
        projects are thrown their way. And nothing much
        changes. Isn't it time to call a spade a spade?
      • Michael A Ohene
        ... It reminds me of going to New orleans this weekend and hearing a man come into a gas station and tell the clerk Im gonna kill your muthaf***** a@@ , They
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          > Partly, I think this is an issue of
          > planning vs. spontaneous development.
          > Like Jacobs, I fall more on the side
          > that the best cities are largely
          > spontaneous. Imagine a city where
          > food had long been provided free
          > from municipal cafeterias, and because
          > of this, there were few other choices
          > available. The wrong answer is:
          > let's first plan where to put new
          > restaurants and groceries, and what
          > kind of food they should serve.

          It reminds me of going to New orleans this weekend and hearing a man
          come into a gas station and tell the clerk "Im gonna kill your
          muthaf***** a@@", They going down MLK to St.Charles less than a mile
          away to an estate sale near Tulane University where there were stools
          selling for close to $1000.
          I couldnt imagine anyone coming up with the city plan for New Orleans
          from scratch. Noone would ever encourage music (jazz)which was
          associated with drug use and thuggery, poor people living in the
          proximity of well-to-do people, noone would ever promote Mardi Gras's
          nudity and public intoxication, but its what gave New Orleans it
          style.
          Also much of the food in South Louisiana never existed until people
          created it. If you head down Highway 61 between Baton Rouge and New
          Orleans you will still find people fishing on the bayou so they can
          cook their own food from scratch eventhough there are Mcdonalds and
          the like.

          When do people draw the line of when they can no longer tolerate
          developments in society?

          I ask this because of gentrification and the attempt to plan entire
          cities (master plans) based on what one group likes while eliminating
          everything we dont like (.ie this 3 parts arts, 2 parts mass transit,
          4 parts organic food, 1 part parks and recreation formula). My point
          is that even "negative" things can bring about positive change.
          Maybe people are giving things too much thought.

          Michael
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.