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Re: Urban Sprawl Makes Americans Fat, Study Finds

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
      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 2 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
        > 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
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