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Old June 19th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #2461
NCT
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Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Indeed. It's the maps and plans that help to understand it. Therefore I suggest to look at some. Also, living in some places (e.g. London) helps to understand how not to develop a city in the 21st century. Chinese are doing damn good with their urban developments over the past 10 years or so. They are not trying to copy or "adapt" the over-romanticized postmodern ideas from Europe or America but instead go for practical and efficient urban planning which serves the needs of the most of the society and not just "anti-this", "anti-that" or real estate development companies. It may not appeal to those who think that by making streets narrower and banning cars the city will become more humane and friendly, but it's what will make Chinese cities by far the best, most efficiently and practically prapared to serve their purpose in the 21st century. Very similar development philosophy, albeit on a smaller scale, is well showcased in Singapore which is quite possibly the best planned and most efficient city on our planet.

And what exactly you mean by "patterns", say, in Shenzhen? How, for instance, Qian Hai Water City (which will effectively become SZ's main CBD, commercial and cultural area, waaaaay off the current main CBDs and commercial areas) blends in into what you call a pattern of the urban development of that city? How is Guangzhou's Beietan development blending in around the historic centers and Tianhe CBD? I just can't see how such development patters would support your point. In fact, they seem to do the opposite.
Whenever you see the term CBD bandied about for any new development, the word hype should come into one's mind immediately. Behind the scenes the traditional business districts are undergoing even more substantial transformation, with individual projects being able to take off without any media hype. The traditional central areas would still dwarf all the 'new' stuff any day.

Yes some cities will develop more sporadically than others, but when you have the old centre completely ripped apart or abandoned without any asset maintained or built upon, there is something seriously wrong with the planning. Also, Shenzhen really isn't the best urban planning model, the fact that you couldn't even so much as find an ice cream parlour on your tour should have sounded some alarm bells. Thankfully, most cities along the Shanghai - Beijing corridor are to some degree continuing on a more traditional approach, and I very much urge you to visit some 'real' cities and towns to see what really actually is Chinese.

There is nothing over-romanticised or idealistic about most European city planning. Shenzhen has arguably much 'better' roads than Shanghai, and as a result, Shenzhen's car ownership at 10% is twice that of Shanghai (5%), yet Shenzhen's traffic problems are far worse. Within the next decade, probably around 20-40% of people will be able to own cars, and there's absolutely no way road capacity can double or quardruple. So, to serve the needs of most people, there is no choice but to adopt a walking+public transport strategy, and the convenience and safety of pedestrians rely on low car traffic at slow speeds, and that's why you have to wage a war against motorists. Shenzhen's Shen'nan Avenue is a nightmare for pedestrian and public transport users as crossing points are 1-km apart, so instead of taking a 2-minute walk across the road, people just take their car and do a 5-minute detour, to somewhere just across the road. Making streets pedestrian friendly DOES mean cars have to make substantial concessions, and that's the rational, logical and practical thing to do.

In short, there are reasons why the traditional approach works better.

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I don't know. Why do I prefer to see a hot and good-looking girl instead of a guy serving me? Maybe because I'm a heterosexual man?
Why does Singapore Airlines (arguably the best airline company in history) think the same?

Of course, I am not saying that, for instance, women, homosexual or asexual men have to share the same attitude. To everyone their own I guess. I admit I'm quite selfish in this area. All I know is that "hot girls in trains=good" and all I can hope for is that it won't change. Moreover I know most men would agree with me and especially in China.
Are you also making the assumption then, that only men travel on HSR?
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Old June 20th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #2462
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Beijing-Shanghai HSR test ride

blog by 梁铭


Beijing South Railway Station





Automatic ticketing machines (tickets for Beijing-Shanghai HSR currently unavailable)





Ticketing windows



Train (CRH380A) being cleaned before boarding





Attendant



Beijing-Shanghai HSR total length: 1318 km, or 824 miles (approximately the distance between NYC and Chicago).

2nd class (RMB 555 or $86)



1st class (RMB 935 or $144)



Business class (RMB 1750 or $270)



Dining car



Restroom



Personal tv in business class



Top speed



Drivers and technicians



Journalists onboard





Lunch



Train conductor



Hongqiao station staff

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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #2463
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
So, to serve the needs of most people, there is no choice but to adopt a walking+public transport strategy, and the convenience and safety of pedestrians rely on low car traffic at slow speeds, and that's why you have to wage a war against motorists. Shenzhen's Shen'nan Avenue is a nightmare for pedestrian and public transport users as crossing points are 1-km apart, so instead of taking a 2-minute walk across the road, people just take their car and do a 5-minute detour, to somewhere just across the road. Making streets pedestrian friendly DOES mean cars have to make substantial concessions, and that's the rational, logical and practical thing to do.
How about creating a pedestrian traffic network on a separate level?
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Old June 20th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #2464
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How about creating a pedestrian traffic network on a separate level?
It doesn't work. Footbridges and tunnels are expensive, and you also need either ramps that take up acres of room, or expensive lifts that break down half the time, though what usually happens is that the mobility impaired are forgotten altogether. Due to the absence of business activities like shops or restaurants, the bridges and tunnels become a haven of crime and begging, rendering the environment totally repulsive, forcing more people onto their cars.

Pedestrians belong on the surface where there's opportunity for multiplicity of land-use to provide 'eyes'.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #2465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
I don't know. Why do I prefer to see a hot and good-looking girl instead of a guy serving me? Maybe because I'm a heterosexual man?
Why does Singapore Airlines (arguably the best airline company in history) think the same?

Of course, I am not saying that, for instance, women, homosexual or asexual men have to share the same attitude. To everyone their own I guess. I admit I'm quite selfish in this area. All I know is that "hot girls in trains=good" and all I can hope for is that it won't change. Moreover I know most men would agree with me and especially in China.
LOL me too I would prefer girls instead of guys. In fact the first time I saw male flight attendent on United I was surprised.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #2466
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Originally Posted by NCT View Post
Due to the absence of business activities like shops or restaurants, the bridges and tunnels become a haven of crime and begging, rendering the environment totally repulsive, forcing more people onto their cars.
How about balcony fronting second floor shops and restaurants?
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Old June 21st, 2011, 02:32 AM   #2467
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Beautiful train. No plane can dream of matching it. But I see the speed cuts have hit hard. $85? That ought to be a lot for China.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:35 AM   #2468
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Beautiful train. No plane can dream of matching it. But I see the speed cuts have hit hard. $85? That ought to be a lot for China.
I am not sure whether you are kidding or not, but how many people in west today actually still think $85 is a lot of money in China these days, really.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 05:37 AM   #2469
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I like the points NCT is making.
Quote:
It doesn't work. Footbridges and tunnels are expensive, and you also need either ramps that take up acres of room, or expensive lifts that break down half the time, though what usually happens is that the mobility impaired are forgotten altogether. Due to the absence of business activities like shops or restaurants, the bridges and tunnels become a haven of crime and begging, rendering the environment totally repulsive, forcing more people onto their cars.
I would like to add that adding footbridges or tunnel forces pedestrians on long detours and many stairs that are tedious for people carrying groceries, the elderly, or disabled. Make cars go through tunnels and over bridges and make pedestrian pathing as level as possible. Whole streets can be sunken 20 feet below ground level. This would also reduce noise.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:45 AM   #2470
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I am not sure whether you are kidding or not, but how many people in west today actually still think $85 is a lot of money in China these days, really.
It's still one week to half a month of wages for most.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:47 AM   #2471
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I would like to add that adding footbridges or tunnel forces pedestrians on long detours and many stairs that are tedious for people carrying groceries, the elderly, or disabled. Make cars go through tunnels and over bridges and make pedestrian pathing as level as possible. Whole streets can be sunken 20 feet below ground level. This would also reduce noise.
Although lowering the street grade by cutting means a lot of earth-moving plus the tunnel must be drained and covered.

Making pedestrian pathing as level as possible could be done by building a continuous balcony 15...20 feet above ground level. If balconies are continuous, an useful place to be (because of 2nd floor restaurant and shop fronts opening there) and connected to the balcony across the street by frequent and level footbridges, then there are less detours. If you already are at the balcony, then a footbridge is always open and more convenient than same level zebra or traffic lights.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:51 AM   #2472
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Although lowering the street grade by cutting means a lot of earth-moving plus the tunnel must be drained and covered.

Making pedestrian pathing as level as possible could be done by building a continuous balcony 15...20 feet above ground level. If balconies are continuous, an useful place to be (because of 2nd floor restaurant and shop fronts opening there) and connected to the balcony across the street by frequent and level footbridges, then there are less detours. If you already are at the balcony, then a footbridge is always open and more convenient than same level zebra or traffic lights.
If it could realistically be done, I'm sure it would have in most places. Different buildings have different floor heights, and I'm not sure you can retrospectively add balconies without pillars. Also, this doesn't solve the problem of those who need to take the bus from the bus stop across the road.

But, we digress.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 10:31 AM   #2473
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Returning from the digression.

Considering that TGV and AVE have been opened recently and France and Spain have not experienced mass population movement since, they are not good examples.

The example relevant to China seems to be Shinkansen of Japan. Quite a lot of economic growth after 1964.

Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto brought Shinkansen into existing slow railway stations.

Shin-Yokohama was built in a quite rural area on the crossing of little used Yokohama railway, 6100 m from Tokaido main line at Higashi-Kanagawa station, and 7900 m from Yokohama station.

Shin-Osaka was built on the Tokaido main line, 3800 m from Osaka station and 700 m from Higashi-Yodogawa station.

How much have the surroundings of Shin-Osaka and Shin-Yokohama developed since?
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Old June 21st, 2011, 11:41 AM   #2474
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Quote:
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Beautiful train. No plane can dream of matching it. But I see the speed cuts have hit hard. $85? That ought to be a lot for China.
In eastern China, $85 is about half of the monthly minimum salary, about 1/5-1/4 of the monthly salary of a migrant worker, about 1/9-1/8 of a high speed train attendant's monthly salary, about 1/11-1/10 of an average white collar worker(educated professional)'s monthly salary in Shanghai, about 1/20-1/19 of the high speed train driver's monthly salary. Statistics also show that there are 5.4 million people in Beijing categorized as 'middle class' in 2010, which has an average monthly salary of $900 per capita.

you can say a $85 ride isn't cheap considering the average income level. But for its targeted customers, it is lower than expectation.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:13 PM   #2475
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Returning from the digression.

Considering that TGV and AVE have been opened recently and France and Spain have not experienced mass population movement since, they are not good examples.

The example relevant to China seems to be Shinkansen of Japan. Quite a lot of economic growth after 1964.

Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto brought Shinkansen into existing slow railway stations.

Shin-Yokohama was built in a quite rural area on the crossing of little used Yokohama railway, 6100 m from Tokaido main line at Higashi-Kanagawa station, and 7900 m from Yokohama station.

Shin-Osaka was built on the Tokaido main line, 3800 m from Osaka station and 700 m from Higashi-Yodogawa station.

How much have the surroundings of Shin-Osaka and Shin-Yokohama developed since?
Osaka's central business districts of Umeda, Shinsaibashi, Namba etc roughly span the three wards of Kito, Chuo and Naniwa, and Osaka Station at Umeda marks the north end of CBD. There are also some secondary business districts around Osaka Castle. Shin-Osaka is only a short-hop on the JR-Kyoto from Umeda, which is certainly acceptable for a city 20-30km in radius and of 8 million people (prefecture). Even so, while the areas surrounding Shin-Osaka are certainly urbanised, there is very little that's of CBD calibre.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 02:29 PM   #2476
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In eastern China, $85 is about half of the monthly minimum salary, about 1/5-1/4 of the monthly salary of a migrant worker, about 1/9-1/8 of a high speed train attendant's monthly salary, about 1/11-1/10 of an average white collar worker(educated professional)'s monthly salary in Shanghai, about 1/20-1/19 of the high speed train driver's monthly salary. Statistics also show that there are 5.4 million people in Beijing categorized as 'middle class' in 2010, which has an average monthly salary of $900 per capita.

you can say a $85 ride isn't cheap considering the average income level. But for its targeted customers, it is lower than expectation.
For comparison, my $100 Amsterdam - London journey by rail is also about 1/20 of the average Dutch white collar worker's after-tax salary.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 06:51 PM   #2477
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If it could realistically be done, I'm sure it would have in most places. Different buildings have different floor heights, and I'm not sure you can retrospectively add balconies without pillars. Also, this doesn't solve the problem of those who need to take the bus from the bus stop across the road.
For your information, in Hong Kong it is indeed possible to walk a long distance, from the seaside to the hillside or from the west end to the east end for say 20 minutes, without crossing a street.



which, by the way, is only an example. Similar footbridge/tunnel systems are being adopted in other commercial or even residential districts.

It does require some planning, but not impossible.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 06:55 PM   #2478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
If it could realistically be done, I'm sure it would have in most places. Different buildings have different floor heights, and I'm not sure you can retrospectively add balconies without pillars. Also, this doesn't solve the problem of those who need to take the bus from the bus stop across the road.

But, we digress.
it is doable, some cities in northwest of USA have skyway to connect building of each block. Minneapolis has skyway to connect almost all the downtown areas
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Old June 21st, 2011, 06:59 PM   #2479
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For comparison, my $100 Amsterdam - London journey by rail is also about 1/20 of the average Dutch white collar worker's after-tax salary.
For the HSR's target customer group, the ratio will also hold true for Chinese and that is a huge market by comparison with other countries. Also, people's personal income tends to be greatly understated in China - there are a lot of "grey income" or "invisible income" that never gets captured by official stats. I am not talking abou the super rich or officials here. I do mean your average citizen Joe too.

Average or Per Capita does not work for China when it comes to understanding people's pure purchasing power.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 08:17 PM   #2480
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For the HSR's target customer group, the ratio will also hold true for Chinese and that is a huge market by comparison with other countries. Also, people's personal income tends to be greatly understated in China - there are a lot of "grey income" or "invisible income" that never gets captured by official stats. I am not talking abou the super rich or officials here. I do mean your average citizen Joe too.

Average or Per Capita does not work for China when it comes to understanding people's pure purchasing power.
I think you are over-estimating the Chinese Joe Average somewhat. The truth is there is huge income inequality in China, and grey income is only possible for those with 'connections'. Although the prices are reasonable for HSR's target group, there is a large group of people who are left considerably squeezed, who used to have the option of more green-skins.

Now, the response to this problem doesn't need to be bashing HSR to death. There can be a transition period where an old green-skin timetable runs alongside the new HSR timetable for a while, and as more high-speed rolling stock in put in place, advance-purchase off-peak tickets can be priced at 'bargain' levels so the low-income groups don't lose out.
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