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  1. #1
    Senior Member bbunk's Avatar
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    NYC Bursting at the Seams

    I found this article interesting even though I have never been to New York. From what I have seen I would have never thought there was enough room to upgrade the road system. Is there enough room to build new roads in NYC? And no mention of promoting bike commuting to ease traffic.



    New York City Bursting at Seams


    NEW YORK -- By the year 2030, New York City could have so many people straining its infrastructure that it won't have enough electricity or housing to meet demand and rush hour traffic will last all day.

    The city of 8.2 million people must start planning and building now for the expected growth of 1 million more over the next 25 years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a panel of experts warned.

    "We now have the freedom to take on the obstacles looming in the city's future and to begin clearing them away before they become rooted in place," Bloomberg said Tuesday.

    Some of the findings presented Tuesday by a team of city planners, academics, scientists and environmentalists who have spent the past year studying the city's infrastructure and assessing its viability to cope include:

    # In 25 years, rails and roads will be "crammed beyond capacity" and won't be able to accommodate the swarm of commuters during what is now considered normal rush hour. Lawmakers must act now to not only expand the road network but also to update the subway system, which was built starting in 1901 and still uses signal and switch technology developed before the 1940s.

    # The city will need thousands more housing units. And it has to be affordable - already, more than a third of city renters fork over more than half their income for rent, the group said.

    # Energy demand could exceed supply by as early as 2012, and by 2030 the majority of the city's power plants will be more than 50 years old. The city needs to improve efficiency, use alternative energy sources and modernize its grid, which was built in the 1920s.

    New York must not only meet the needs of its growing population but has to stay competitive as a global city, said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a nonpartisan planning group.

    "We can't put our head in the sand," he said. "We know that Shanghai and London and other great world cities that are competing with us are making plans like these and are doing a great job of building new economies and building the infrastructure systems."

    Suggestions offered by the expert panel included taxing vehicles that drive into Manhattan's most heavily trafficked neighborhoods, called congestion pricing, and charging residents by the pound for the trash they throw out.

  2. #2
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Eliminate rent control and this problem wont happen

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

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    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    the sky is falling
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    Fat Guy in Bike Shorts! manual_overide's Avatar
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    nuclear power + expanded subway + smart traffic policies = problem solved

    housing is an entirely different animal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member fenester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    Eliminate rent control and this problem wont happen
    Then all the rich folks can start washing their own damn toilets and walking their own damn dogs. And all the latino cooks can commute in three hours from (insert location under JFK flight pattern here)
    Last edited by fenester; 12-13-06 at 04:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenester
    And all the latino cooks can commute in three hours from (insert location under JFK flight pattern here)
    The future is now...lots of folks are already commuting every day from eastern PA. I work w/a guy whose commute is 6 hours, round trip. And he's a midlevel professional, not a line cook or a porter-he does it so his wife can stay at home w/the kids.

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    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    There's always room to expand NYC - by filling in more of the Hudson and East Rivers - they've been doing it for hundreds of years, why stop now?

  8. #8
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    There's always room to expand NYC - by filling in more of the Hudson and East Rivers - they've been doing it for hundreds of years, why stop now?
    If you do that, the local businessmen won't have anyplace to dispose of the bodies.

    On a more serious note, I read this today, and I also found it interesting that no mention of the bicycle as a means of transportation was made. Does that say anything?

    As for rent control, "the People's Republic of Cambridge" (MA) got rid of it some years ago. People who really needed rent controlled apartments never got them. The people who got them were the affluent and politically connected. Getting rid of it didn't make traffic congestion in Cambridge any less.

    With this article in mind, is anyone else reminded of the opening scenes from "Soylent Green?"
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I would have to agree, get rid of rent control, then I'll have no choice but to move my poor ass out of this city along with everyone else.

  10. #10
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    I thought Manhattan already had rush hour traffic 24/7. What are they worried about? Manhattan at least is easy enough to get around, rush hour or not. Sure, you could have more cycling, but walking + subway always worked for me. I guess there might be a problem if there were too many cabs so that they all got stuck at once, but then, you could always get out of the cabs and walk.

    Seriously, are they worried about getting around, or congestion? Congestion is whatever people will tolerate, getting around in NYC is already dead simple - even tourists can do it, and give directions to other tourists (I've done this).

    As for hydro, etc, I'm sure New Yorkers'll figure it out - they've always been an industrious bunch.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbunk
    I found this article interesting even though I have never been to New York. From what I have seen I would have never thought there was enough room to upgrade the road system. Is there enough room to build new roads in NYC? And no mention of promoting bike commuting to ease traffic.



    New York City Bursting at Seams


    NEW YORK -- By the year 2030, New York City could have so many people straining its infrastructure that it won't have enough electricity or housing to meet demand and rush hour traffic will last all day.

    The city of 8.2 million people must start planning and building now for the expected growth of 1 million more over the next 25 years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a panel of experts warned.

    "We now have the freedom to take on the obstacles looming in the city's future and to begin clearing them away before they become rooted in place," Bloomberg said Tuesday.

    Some of the findings presented Tuesday by a team of city planners, academics, scientists and environmentalists who have spent the past year studying the city's infrastructure and assessing its viability to cope include:

    # In 25 years, rails and roads will be "crammed beyond capacity" and won't be able to accommodate the swarm of commuters during what is now considered normal rush hour. Lawmakers must act now to not only expand the road network but also to update the subway system, which was built starting in 1901 and still uses signal and switch technology developed before the 1940s.

    # The city will need thousands more housing units. And it has to be affordable - already, more than a third of city renters fork over more than half their income for rent, the group said.

    # Energy demand could exceed supply by as early as 2012, and by 2030 the majority of the city's power plants will be more than 50 years old. The city needs to improve efficiency, use alternative energy sources and modernize its grid, which was built in the 1920s.

    New York must not only meet the needs of its growing population but has to stay competitive as a global city, said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a nonpartisan planning group.

    "We can't put our head in the sand," he said. "We know that Shanghai and London and other great world cities that are competing with us are making plans like these and are doing a great job of building new economies and building the infrastructure systems."

    Suggestions offered by the expert panel included taxing vehicles that drive into Manhattan's most heavily trafficked neighborhoods, called congestion pricing, and charging residents by the pound for the trash they throw out.
    A few comments, even though the subway is using old technology, it's technology that is very reliable, because it's been around so long, and most subway systems, look old, but the equipment is actually fairly new.

    As for power plants, people use a lot more power then they used to, in the 1940's an average house had a 60A service, now it's not uncommon for Condos to have 200A service for each unit. The article is a little misleading though, if most of the power facilities in the city will be 50 years old by 2030, that means they were built in the 1980's, so they should still be good, however it also means, that planning needs to start now, so that new facilities can come on stream by 2030.

    Affordable housing, the answer is to get rid of anal retentive zoning laws that chop a city into pieces so that you need to travel many miles between home, work, shopping and socializing. This often means people prefer to drive. The key is to increase the number of people who can live, work, shop and socialize within biking distance, or preferably walking distance.

    Suppose your apartment, or townhouse was 1/2 mile from work, why would you drive, heck that's a nice walk, and suppose Mohammed's Grocery was on the way, where you could pick up stuff for supper, or maybe go across the street to Wongs Pub for some pub grub and a cold one. Or stop on the way, and chat with Mr Weinstein who lives on the corner, and is on his way home from Synagogue, two blocks away....

    Cities need to return to offering the benefits of city life, rather then have a city, pretending to be rural, and combining the worst features of both.

  12. #12
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    You haven't seen "overrun" or "bursting at the seams" anywhere in the US.

    London charges a fee to drive within the central city. Perhaps that would help congestion in NYC as well.

    I found the subway system to be quite nice when I visited NYC a couple of years ago. I would certainly use that myself. I don't know that I would have the courage to ride a bike in NYC traffic. And the weather in summer or winter would be no joy for bike commuting, either. People simply dress too well in NYC to put up with the mess you will look like riding a bike. And the thing that really attracts you to NYC is all the well-dressed people out walking. Riding a bike would separate you too much from that in my opinion.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    You haven't seen "overrun" or "bursting at the seams" anywhere in the US.

    London charges a fee to drive within the central city. Perhaps that would help congestion in NYC as well.

    I found the subway system to be quite nice when I visited NYC a couple of years ago. I would certainly use that myself. I don't know that I would have the courage to ride a bike in NYC traffic. And the weather in summer or winter would be no joy for bike commuting, either. People simply dress too well in NYC to put up with the mess you will look like riding a bike. And the thing that really attracts you to NYC is all the well-dressed people out walking. Riding a bike would separate you too much from that in my opinion.
    Nah, NYC's the best place to ride in the States. Great traffic to play in, a strong community, easy access to everywhere because the city's so much smaller geographically than any other major city in the country... I miss it like hell!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca
    Suppose your apartment, or townhouse was 1/2 mile from work, why would you drive, heck that's a nice walk, and suppose Mohammed's Grocery was on the way, where you could pick up stuff for supper, or maybe go across the street to Wongs Pub for some pub grub and a cold one. Or stop on the way, and chat with Mr Weinstein who lives on the corner, and is on his way home from Synagogue, two blocks away....
    Why can't Atlanta have this? There is no where you can buy groceries except mega-marts. There is no pedestrian access. Cars own the city. Not to mention there is absolutely NO affordable housing in midtown/downtown (unless you're pulling six figures or you're a jetsetter).

    New York still has pretty good infrastructure that endured a really long time. The city will adapt. Quit *****ing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by manual_overide

    housing is an entirely different animal.
    Agreed.

    There is plenty of housing in New York city right now! Furthermore, there's lots of new construction going for luxury condo's and coops so the city will meet it's needs today and the future. Unfortunately, most of this new housing will not be affordable but if you have the cash, there's plenty of places to live.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    Eliminate rent control and this problem wont happen
    Eliminate rent control and those $1500 dollar studios will go up to $2,500 per month.

    I said it before, there's plenty of housing in New York City right now but you're going to need 1.5 million dollars to live on 59th street. Eliminating rent control will not lower the prices of luxury condos and that's basically all new construction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    There's always room to expand NYC - by filling in more of the Hudson and East Rivers - they've been doing it for hundreds of years, why stop now?
    If there's any new construction along the East River, I can assure you it will not be affordable. One of Trump's buildings is on the West Side and there's occupancy if you can afford luxury.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skingry
    Why can't Atlanta have this? There is no where you can buy groceries except mega-marts. There is no pedestrian access. Cars own the city. Not to mention there is absolutely NO affordable housing in midtown/downtown (unless you're pulling six figures or you're a jetsetter).

    New York still has pretty good infrastructure that endured a really long time. The city will adapt. Quit *****ing.
    The issue for cities like Atlanta, is that they are entirely based on on an automobile based transportation system, sure there might be a couple of buses around, but the city is usually built as a whole, rather then a collection of villages, which pre-car cities were based on, parts of New York, Boston and Toronto are still that way.

    Most American cities are built as blocks of single purpose zones, these zones are separated by major arterial roads, you get one zone that is nothing but housing, another zone is shopping, another zone is all office space, another zone is light industrial, another zone is heavy industrial, etc. The big problem is that you can't go to work, shopping or socializing, without going across or along one or more of the arterials, which are owned by high speed automobile traffic. You can sometimes cross one, but then you need to run, to get across in the 5 seconds you get during the pedestrian signal, of course there is a 50% chance that a turning car will take you out

    Many cities have a token transit system, however the number of serious contenders in North America can be counted without taking your socks off.

    The key is really mixed use, where residential, commercial and light industrial can exist within a single area, which means that people can live, shop, work and socialize within a single zone. Heavy industries should be segregated, and what you want, doesn't always exist within your own neighbourhood, and this is where transit comes in, it needs to be rail based, as that has high passenger density, with low land consumption. Unfortunately for cities like Atlanta, the solution, is often to tear it down, and start again. New Orleans had a great opportunity to rebuild using the car lite model, but I doubt they will.

    Like I said in my earlier message, cities need to start acting like cities again, collections of small villages (neighbourhoods) that are operated as a single government, rather then trying to act like a single village.

  19. #19
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    +1 on all that (quote edited so that the thread doesn't get too long - but I agree with those parts too.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca
    The issue for cities like Atlanta, is that they are entirely based on on an automobile based transportation system, sure there might be a couple of buses around, but the city is usually built as a whole, rather then a collection of villages, which pre-car cities were based on, parts of New York, Boston and Toronto are still that way.


    Like I said in my earlier message, cities need to start acting like cities again, collections of small villages (neighbourhoods) that are operated as a single government, rather then trying to act like a single village.

  20. #20
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    Eliminate rent control and those $1500 dollar studios will go up to $2,500 per month.

    I said it before, there's plenty of housing in New York City right now but you're going to need 1.5 million dollars to live on 59th street. Eliminating rent control will not lower the prices of luxury condos and that's basically all new construction.
    Of course eliminating rent control won't lower the prices of luxury condos. If the problem the OP posed was
    unbearable overcrowding, then eliminating rent control will raise rents and make people move to another city who's rent prices are in their budget.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  21. #21
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    Of course eliminating rent control won't lower the prices of luxury condos. If the problem the OP posed was
    unbearable overcrowding, then eliminating rent control will raise rents and make people move to another city who's rent prices are in their budget.

    Are the prices of seats to see the musical Rent, controlled?

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  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    Of course eliminating rent control won't lower the prices of luxury condos. If the problem the OP posed was
    unbearable overcrowding, then eliminating rent control will raise rents and make people move to another city who's rent prices are in their budget.
    Which in turn will increase congestion because they will need the lower wage scale people to work in that area....which is one of the reasons I don't live in our nearest large city, property values are too high for what you get for your money, as pointed out by a previous poster the small village mentality with big city management (paraphrasing here )

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  23. #23
    Senior Member bbunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    Of course eliminating rent control won't lower the prices of luxury condos. If the problem the OP posed was
    unbearable overcrowding, then eliminating rent control will raise rents and make people move to another city who's rent prices are in their budget.

    I was more interested in the transportation solutions rather than unbearable overcrowding. If traffic is really as bad as it sounds building more roads should work as well as pouring gas on a forest fire to put it out.
    Seems like every traffic study recommends more roads to prevent traffic congestion, sooner or later you run out of space to build new roads or widen the old roads.
    I suppose the title of the thread is a little misleading, I used the title of the article for the name of the thread. Really more interested in transportation alternatives than overcrowding.

  24. #24
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    The traffic in NYC mostly originates in the various suburbs. I say make 'em leave their vehicles at the city limits, and walk, bike or ride transit into the city.

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    I've wondered that too -- put up park and ride systems and declare dense downtown areas no car zones, but leave room only for commercial vehicles (and make sure the definition of "commercial vehicle" isn't so loose that any Joe Sixpack can get a tag at will.)

    Sadly the idea of public transportation still is quite a foreign concept in the US in most places.

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