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Old August 22nd, 2010, 04:30 AM   #5981
geogregor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
While the suburbs are still growing fast, many of its cities are growing modestly. Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, Boston etc have received modest growth within the city limits. Boston's population for example went from 589,141 in 2000 to 645,169 in 2009 according to latest Census figures. BTW, are you suggesting that the US shouldn't invest in mass transit?
I don't say US shouldn't invest in mass transit at all. I just disagree with comments that only total change of American transport system from individual and disperse model to dense mass transit model will guarantee future and prosperity. It is demagogy.
In some dense cities mass transit makes sense. Similarly HSR in Boston - NYC - Washington DC is absolutely great idea. It has economic sense.
But building HSR corridor from Chicago to let say St. Louis (I've seen somewhere such idea) doesn't make sense. There is just not enough traffic.
I also struggle with justification for light rail in let say Charlotte. Is it really needed? Is it the best way of spending tax dollars? Or is it sort of status statement. Something like saying: "look we have light rail, so we are as cool as Portland or Berlin"
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 04:44 AM   #5982
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Yes the Suburbs are growing fast , but now there forming Dense Suburbs. Perfect for Transit , hench why all of the Northeastern states , DC , Maryland and VA are building Regional Rail and Urban Rail networks.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 04:51 AM   #5983
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For some reason, Georgia is just behind the curve in general when it comes to transport infrastructure, both roads and public transportation.

I blame the incredibly fractious government structure there.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:01 AM   #5984
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Yes, a state government(and large percentage of the population) that is hostile towards urban areas and development.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:02 AM   #5985
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
For example, compare Atlanta to Frankfurt am Main (Germany).



Really, for the 9th largest MSA in the US, Atlanta has a very small highway system.

Compare Atlanta's to Minneapolis-St.Paul, which is smaller in population.

[IMG]http://i38.************/10z48sg.jpg[/IMG]

Granted, the Twin Cities may have an oversized highway network for it's population but my point remains.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:16 AM   #5986
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Really, for the 9th largest MSA in the US, Atlanta has a very small highway system.

Compare Atlanta's to Minneapolis-St.Paul, which is smaller in population.

[IMG]http://i38.************/10z48sg.jpg[/IMG]

Granted, the Twin Cities may have an oversized highway network for it's population but my point remains.
There proposed Transit / Regional Rail system is huge compared to Atlanta's.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:20 AM   #5987
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Very true, there are many LRT projects in the pipeline in the area, and as well as commuter rail.

But the Twin Cities are not growing as fast as Atlanta is.

Compared to a more similar city, Dallas, Atlanta is falling behind.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:26 AM   #5988
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Very true, there are many LRT projects in the pipeline in the area, and as well as commuter rail.

But the Twin Cities are not growing as fast as Atlanta is.

Compared to a more similar city, Dallas, Atlanta is falling behind.
True , but the Twin Cities is at least taking full advantage of the New Transit lines and building up around them unlike Dallas and Atlanta.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:45 AM   #5989
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Atlanta needs to improve their infrastructure, both mass transit and roads regards of what type of fuel we use for cars in the future since Atlanta will continue to grow fast in next couple of decades.
There's no guarantee of that. I and anyone else who really knows metro Atlanta very well will tell you that signs are everywhere that Atlanta's growth will be much slower than previous decades: declining per-capita income, stagnant wages (even before the recession), water issues with neighboring states, and a loss of high-skilled high-paying jobs with a greater gain in the opposite. Not to mention that despite all the new condos and urban developments that have been built in the city over the past 10 years, a lot of the inner ring suburbs have started decaying over the same time period.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:47 PM   #5990
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There's no guarantee of that. I and anyone else who really knows metro Atlanta very well will tell you that signs are everywhere that Atlanta's growth will be much slower than previous decades: declining per-capita income, stagnant wages (even before the recession), water issues with neighboring states, and a loss of high-skilled high-paying jobs with a greater gain in the opposite. Not to mention that despite all the new condos and urban developments that have been built in the city over the past 10 years, a lot of the inner ring suburbs have started decaying over the same time period.


I'm not from the USA but looking GE I can see that a lot of the bigger cities in USA have this problem. Large empty patches of land where used to be homes right next to Downtown... Empty streets with only few homes still standing. Why not take advantage of that and densify the city around Downtown? Make some good lightrail/bus connections to downtown... Nice shops, condo's and appartments would look great so close to downtown...And the city center would look more like a city again instead of a 'huge office park' with burbs around it...
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:00 PM   #5991
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take a look a oklahoma city, Houston, Phoenix, great examples, The streets around Downtown are almost completely empty while suburbs are still growing into the country side... What a waste of land... I just can't understand why these cities don't deside to make some densly neigbourboods where the old burbs are rotting away... Phoenix has so many empty lots near downtown... unbelieveble!

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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:17 PM   #5992
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srr for the off topic answer...
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 02:20 PM   #5993
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
take a look a oklahoma city, Houston, Phoenix, great examples, The streets around Downtown are almost completely empty while suburbs are still growing into the country side... What a waste of land... I just can't understand why these cities don't deside to make some densly neigbourboods where the old burbs are rotting away... Phoenix has so many empty lots near downtown... unbelieveble!
But you need someone who wants to live in these dense neighborhoods close to downtowns. Most people simply prefer large house with garden than small condo in multistory building. Do you want to force people to live there?
Of course you have small group who would love to live that way (plenty of them are on this forum) but majority of population vote with their feet or rather wheals and move to less dense suburbs. Is it bad? Well it has advantages and disadvantages. As everything.

It would happen in Europe as well but here land availability (mostly due to excessive regulation) is to small which push land prices up and smaller percent of population can afford houses. I've seen polls results (don't remember where) from Germany and France and preferred accommodation were detached houses.

All I'm saying is that Europe and US have completely different urban pattern. You just can't transplant solutions from one to another.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #5994
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I've seen polls results (don't remember where) from Germany and France and preferred accommodation were detached houses.
Yep, same in the Netherlands. The home-owners association did a poll and found out most people wanted to live in a village-style neighborhood and urban living is losing out on popularity, yet the government goal is to build 40% of the new housing in urban environments.

There is a discrepancy between what people want and what the government provides. But this is isn't the most representative forum when it comes to that. Most people here are either students or singles.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:42 PM   #5995
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A village-style neighborhood is different from car centric sprawl that you see in some countries. Also, detached houses are seen in some of the older cities in the US. Does those houses make a city suburban?
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 07:35 PM   #5996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
[/B]

I'm not from the USA but looking GE I can see that a lot of the bigger cities in USA have this problem. Large empty patches of land where used to be homes right next to Downtown... Empty streets with only few homes still standing. Why not take advantage of that and densify the city around Downtown? Make some good lightrail/bus connections to downtown... Nice shops, condo's and appartments would look great so close to downtown...And the city center would look more like a city again instead of a 'huge office park' with burbs around it...
In America land is cheap. Who the hell wants to redevelop abandoned tracts of land in Detroit for example. Let's look at all the hassles:

-First you've gotta tear down the old buildings on the property
-Some **** preservationist will throw lawsuits to block you, because he wants to bring back 1950's Detroit for nostalgic purposes.
-If you do get the buildings torn down, you'll have to worry about environmental cleanup. More lawsuits.
-So you finally get your building plans up, then you have to deal with militant trade unions.
-Then you've got all these **** community organizers who will try to extort money from you, in the form of making sure their co-ethnics get a piece of the action. They'll use the power of the city council to harass you.
-Let's say you finally get your office building/factory or whatever running, then you've gotta deal with Detroit's living wage ordinance (minimum wage almost twice as high as the federal law), 2% city income tax (which adds up, which nobody wants to pay)... As well as the general hassles of crime, property break ins, having to hire extra security, lots of red tape in the city, etc.

Compare that for example to building something new in Novi, MI. You buy all the tracts of farmland you want. You get a zoning change. You build whatever the hell you want. You hire whoever you want. No additional city income tax, no crime, and vastly superior public services. What choice do you think 9 out of 10 businesses are going to make?

BTW: the above comparison is for a business. If you make the same comparison for residential structures, it comes out even worse in the city's favor.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 05:44 AM   #5997
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Oddly enough, I've seen them in Memphis, of all places... Coming down I-55 in the far south of the city headed toward Mississippi
There's one leading to Nashville.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 06:09 AM   #5998
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The whole HOV/HOT/Toll Road concept is one of the things that Houston gets right. The toll roads are separate from the freeways, but run parallel to them, so you have a choice of paying to use them, or to go slower on the regular interstate.

The toll roads are private property (owned by the Harris County Toll Road Authority) so they can have higher speed limits than the interstates (and once did when the state limit was lower).

But I think the parallelism is the most important part. Unlike in other cities where you MUST pay a toll to use a road that you've already paid for with your tax dollars, in Houston you can CHOOSE to pay a little extra to go faster.

I am philisophically opposed to mandatory tolls (except on bridges and tunnels and such). The Civil War wasn't only about slavery. It was also about a whole host of economic issues. One of them was how to develop the nation's transportation infrastructure.

The southern states believed in a system of private toll roads connectiting cities. The northern states believed in a free federal road system to promote commerce. The North won the war, but we're rapidly slipping back into the Southern mode of thinking.

Poets and musicians used to write about the freedom of the open road in America. There's not too much free about it anymore.
Agree. But I don't agree with $8 tolls on bridges I have to use daily. Esp. when the bridge is half a century old!
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Old August 24th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #5999
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Interstate 49

It doesn't appear that Arkansas is ready to build its portion so there will be a gap between the new stretch and the exsisting I-49 in Louisiana.




State of Missouri will upgrade U.S. 71 south of KC to an interstate

Kansas City is about to get a new interstate that will bolster the region as a transportation hub when Missouri upgrades U.S. 71 within two years.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a $65 million plan today to upgrade 138 miles of U.S. 71 from Kansas City to Joplin so it can qualify as Interstate 49.

It would give Kansas City four interstates, not counting highways like I-435, I-470 and I-670, which circulate traffic within the metro area. It also would be one leg in a transcontinental highway that could one day connect Kansas City to New Orleans and markets in Oklahoma and Texas.

“It adds to the ability to market this area,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of SmartPort, a nonprofit group that promotes Kansas City as a transportation and freight center.



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/04...#ixzz0xUcm3HkN
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:49 AM   #6000
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It doesn't appear that Arkansas is ready to build its portion so there will be a gap between the new stretch and the exsisting I-49 in Louisiana.




State of Missouri will upgrade U.S. 71 south of KC to an interstate

Kansas City is about to get a new interstate that will bolster the region as a transportation hub when Missouri upgrades U.S. 71 within two years.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a $65 million plan today to upgrade 138 miles of U.S. 71 from Kansas City to Joplin so it can qualify as Interstate 49.

It would give Kansas City four interstates, not counting highways like I-435, I-470 and I-670, which circulate traffic within the metro area. It also would be one leg in a transcontinental highway that could one day connect Kansas City to New Orleans and markets in Oklahoma and Texas.

“It adds to the ability to market this area,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of SmartPort, a nonprofit group that promotes Kansas City as a transportation and freight center.



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/04...#ixzz0xUcm3HkN
I believe Louisiana is already upgrading its stretch north of Shreveport. I can understand Arkansas taking their time because most of the route through that state that isn't already built as I-540 goes through some pretty mountainous terrain. Nevertheless, it should all be built eventually.
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