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Old 12-15-05, 09:45 PM   #1
Blue Order
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Cycling to get a boost in the Central Valley?

Smog Fighters May Make Builders Pay
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Old 12-15-05, 11:07 PM   #2
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Much of the Central Valley pollution blows into there from the west, the Bay Area. Nothing has been done so far to hold the Bay Area accountable, while slamming the Valley autos with tougher smog inspections.
Building local communities for less car use will help a little, but won't solve the problem of all the people driving back and forth on 100 mile commutes every day. They need to run more trains more often, for a longer time period throughout the day. to cut down on the number of people driving.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:32 PM   #3
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I like the idea behind the proposal.

It may fail, but every time something like this is proposed, very real problems (esp pollution) and their causes (esp excessive automobile use) are brought further forward in the collective consciousness. When enough people become aware and concerned about the dangerous effects of our ridiculous way of life, proposals like this will seem more doable and we'll start making the necessary changes.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:47 PM   #4
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I do a lot of walking, especially in the summer when the shuttle to school stops running. So I end up walking from school, through the suburbs, to the closest bus stop, which is a half-hour walk. I see houses built far from any services (stores, etc.), no sidewalks, massive SUVs in the driveways. Really, I can't blame these people for driving. I could probably fault them for buying in that location, but in this culture, thinking about driving vs. walking just doesn't factor into home-buying decisions. When I walk through these neighborhoods, it seems to me that if they were built with walking/cycling in mind, there would be a mix of houses, shops, and offices in every neighborhood, with options to walk, cycle, drive, etc. available to all residents.

If the Air Board can use incentives to encourage builders to create those kind of neighborhoods, rather than auto-dependent neighborhoods, I'm all for it. We need human-scale neighborhoods to help wean us from automobile dependence. From there, we need transportation options to link human-scale neighborhoods. Not that I disagree with anything said in post #2, but every little bit helps.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:58 PM   #5
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I have worked in Fresno 4-5 times and it's not overcast, it's filthy air. A friend moved from the Bay area for "twice the sq feet for the same price" and gained MD visits, kleenex collection, and a smokers hack. Does any body think it's obscene to see a 1/2 million dollar house and 1-2 40K cars parked out side without a sidewalk.
I'd like to see urban growth boundaries and suburbanites pay for all services: that cul-de-sac, nice school, new supermarket, all that asphalt and engineering wasn't free.
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Old 12-16-05, 01:19 AM   #6
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It will come down to who has deeper pockets, I'm betting on builders.

Call me crazy, but I seriously don't see what the big deal is with owning a house. Just one big hastle.
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Old 12-16-05, 08:44 AM   #7
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It will come down to who has deeper pockets, I'm betting on builders.

Call me crazy, but I seriously don't see what the big deal is with owning a house. Just one big hastle.
Retirement accounts rarely increase in value as much as a house. Look at the average monthly pension amount. Could most people that rent live on that? I believe our society bases retirement on having a home to live in paid off, and only having to pay property taxes.
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Old 12-17-05, 10:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Retirement accounts rarely increase in value as much as a house. Look at the average monthly pension amount. Could most people that rent live on that? I believe our society bases retirement on having a home to live in paid off, and only having to pay property taxes.
That makes good sense.

Although my investments have increased in value more than my house has, I know that's not typical. Even if the value just keeps up with inflation, buying is still MUCH better than renting, which is basically giving money away.

I think you could avoid the worst hassles of home ownership (esp maintenance) by buying a condo or apartment instead of a house. If you do buy a house and you don't like DIY (do it yourself), you can always PSETDI (pay someone else to do it)!
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Old 12-17-05, 06:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Much of the Central Valley pollution blows into there from the west, the Bay Area. Nothing has been done so far to hold the Bay Area accountable, while slamming the Valley autos with tougher smog inspections.
Those poor people in the central valley have my sympathy.... NOT!!!!!

Blaming their pollution on the bay area would hold more weight for me if the roads between the central valley and the bay area weren't among the most heavily travelled in the region, mostly by people commuting from the central valley to the bay area.

When I lived in the bay area (moved east last year) I worked with a few people that had to plan on replacing their brand new cars every three years because they were worn out by then with their 80+ mile each way comutes...

The Altamont Pass is a pollution problem for the central valley, cars wastefully burning fossil fuel every day as they sputter past the wind generators to spew their exhaust in the bay area before sputtering back home.

It wasn't that long ago that the bay area's emissions standards were significantly tougher than the central valley's... I believe that the hydrocarbon junkies of the central valley are held to the same standard now. It used to irritate me that the people I worked with had to meet less stringent requirements because they lived 80 miles away. To me, they should have been subject to higher standards because of the number of miles they drove their cars on a daily basis.

I agree that the bay area is part of the central valley's problem, but some people from the central valley are part of the bay area (and therefore central valley) problem as well.
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Old 12-17-05, 06:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by budster
That makes good sense.

Although my investments have increased in value more than my house has, I know that's not typical. Even if the value just keeps up with inflation, buying is still MUCH better than renting, which is basically giving money away.

I think you could avoid the worst hassles of home ownership (esp maintenance) by buying a condo or apartment instead of a house. If you do buy a house and you don't like DIY (do it yourself), you can always PSETDI (pay someone else to do it)!
I have to speak as a renter, not a homeowner. I won't have the paid off home to sell and move to a lower cost of living area, just my retirement accounts. I'm not sure of the long term increases, but I got my mail route just about 3 years ago, and have seen the homes go from selling for just over $400,000 to over $700,000 in that time.
The other good part about buying a condo or townhouse is that well designed ones should only have one side exposed to the weather, versus the four sides of a single family home, with the exception of the units on the end of the building. A guy I work with owns a condo like that, and uses less than half the average energy for heating in this area.
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Old 12-17-05, 07:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Retirement accounts rarely increase in value as much as a house. Look at the average monthly pension amount. Could most people that rent live on that? I believe our society bases retirement on having a home to live in paid off, and only having to pay property taxes.
Hmm, good point.
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