From my house to the nearest High Street is about half a mile. Within a mile there are five pubs that come readily to mind. A couple of miles away is the next town where there are dozens of pubs (and clubs etc for those into such things) and more comprehensive shopping. Within 5 miles there are several more larger towns (all considered part of Greater London) with the associated facilities.
My experience of NYC is limited but it seems there you've got the five major boroughs and different suburbs within the town, and you can get from one to the next to the next on foot if you're so inclined. It would take you a long time to walk across London (from my house to central London is about 10 miles) but getting from suburb to suburb on foot isn't necessarily a silly proposition. I did it a few times when the buses and trains were out of action and I needed to get home from work.
"For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"
The suburban high streets are almost always "stroads"--five or seven lane highways lined with big box stores and strip malls, often without sidewalks, and pedestrian crosswalks only every half-mile or so. Everybody hates them, but they keep on building them. Walking in these suburbs is almost impossible; riding a bike is extremely unpleasant and difficult. And there are often no buses.
Last edited by Roody; 03-30-14 at 01:48 PM.
"Think Outside the Cage"
Last edited by cooker; 03-30-14 at 08:41 PM.
Last edited by cooker; 03-30-14 at 08:40 PM.
I came in on the end of this and didn't read all 6 pages because aint nobody got time for that. But.... this is an interesting thing for me, since the month or so I was starting to go car free, I was taking the bus for longer errands because I wasn't the awesomesauce guy I am now. That being said, I stopped taking the bus for couple reasons. One, because the town I live in is a mid-sized Southern burg and the bus service is legit the crappiest in the history of crappy things. It's really a complete grease fire and I hate it. The other thing is that it isn't and will never improve. Reason being (and people refuse to discuss this) is that it's still the South and the bus is considered to be for the lower class and the old money that runs the town seriously couldn't care less because they're busy catering to the rest of the old money. The people who really need the bus get screwed. But then thats the other reason I don't ride it. Because the "certain segment of population" that rides the bus here, is the same reason I refuse to go to Walmart. Because they make me consider not being a pacifist anymore.
So long story short, I have a choice of riding my bike, enjoying it, getting fresh air, being fit and tan, and not having to wait for busses that only come once an hour and will only let you transfer Downtown (meaning if you want to go from A to B you have to go via L, Q, and P)... or riding the awful bus (ironically called the GREATBus) and wanting to take a cricket bat to the face of half the people on the bus and being reminded of the social inequity in the town I live in. Easy call.
Sometimes I have to... like today, I have to go to Sports Medicine to get my knees looked at, and I really just don't want to do 8.5 miles both ways on knees that aren't 100% yet. So I'm taking the bus, but I will also have my earbuds in with volume way up, and possibly some tequila waiting for me when I get home. Because the bus here is my Vietnam.
Let's keep the political stuff in P&R, please.
In the few weeks I have been riding the Metro, Sound and Pierce county buses since I got up here, I haven't seen many with bikes using the buses. Some do, no doubt, but most people are on foot.
Back in 99-04 when I lived in Sacramento with less good transit than here, a lot more people seemed to make use of bikes, including myself.
I'm going to be getting my road bike from storage (locked on the back of my motorhome that's in storage) in a few days and I will start putting some more miles on it. It will make up for small gaps in bus coverage.
We're debating about moving to one of the suburbs on the other side of Hobart. One possible house would be a 2.6 km walk for me ... but still quite a long drive for Rowan who works out in the country.
Most of the mentions of suburbia in a forum like this, are probably referencing these massive North American suburbs, which are a completely different world from what you and contango are experiencing.
I don't know where this picture is from - it might be Phoenix or Vegas.
Last edited by cooker; 04-02-14 at 12:51 PM.
Falls City, OR
1993 Rocky Mountain Fusion
2012 Fargo 2
The sprawl is guided by the mountains and hills. It is very hilly here and there is some zoning rule that says you can’t build on the tops of hills. Plus it would be quite difficult to build on some of the terrain anyway. So there are dwellings halfway up, and then they stop and it’s all bushland at the top. Therefore, in order to accommodate more people, suburbs have developed along the river, further and further out. Of course in many cases there were/are towns along the river which have been swallowed up by the Greater Hobart Area and they have become suburbs of Hobart.
Those suburbs, in particular, still have all the elements of a small town … shopping areas, churches, libraries, schools, medical clinics, cafes, restaurants, etc., etc. If your suburb doesn’t have those things (our current suburb doesn’t have much of that, it is a very small suburb), the next one, 2 or 3 km away, will.
This forum includes people from lots of different areas, so a word like “suburb” could mean one thing to one person and another thing to someone else. Here it means (more or less) … “Not the CBD”. In other words, you’ve got the CBD and you’ve got suburbs. And in certain situations both here and in Victoria, everything that I would have called a “town” or “city” or “village” is called “suburb”. When you fill out a form and it asks for your address, it will give you a box for your street address, and then a box for your “suburb”, and then boxes for your state and post code. “Suburb” simply means city/town/village/locality. We lived in a little town out in the middle of nowhere, 100 km from Melbourne, and it was a “suburb”. But Melbourne itself would have been a "suburb" too.
But, relating back to this thread, one of the difficulties with Hobart’s suburbs, especially those further out, is the metro system (bus).
We currently live in a suburb 4 km from the CBD, but it is on the wrong side of the city to be convenient for Rowan. So we’re looking at suburbs from those adjoining Hobart City itself out to about 20 km away from the CBD, on the other side of the city.
There’s one house we’ve flagged as interesting. It is in a suburb adjoining Hobart and would be a 2.5 km walk to work for me which would save us the $50/month I’m currently paying for one-way bus trips to work … but Rowan’s commute would be only 5 km shorter and he might only save $50/month in fuel costs.
There’s another house we’ve flagged as interesting. It is in a suburb about 20 km from work for both of us. For me, that would put me into the Medium Journey distance for the bus, which would cost me $6.72/day * 20 = $134/month and would be rather time consuming. But Rowan’s fuel costs would drop by almost half. However our total transportation cost would end up being approx. the same as the place above.
And there’s another area we’re kind of keeping an eye on, which would put us even closer to where Rowan works than the one above (lower fuel costs again), but my bus costs would jump to $200/month, and the bus service would not be particularly convenient and very time consuming.
But, of course, life isn’t just about work. There are lots of other things to take into consideration as well. And this is another area where many bus services fall over. They might have regular and frequent busses Monday to Friday from 7 am to 7 pm, but the evening and weekend service drops right off.
I’ve been taking a couple night classes. But by the time the classes let out, there are almost no busses running anymore. And if we wanted to use public transportation to get to and from the symphony, plays, and other events we attend, that would not be very convenient. Same with the gym, by the time we finish up and leave the gym in an evening, there aren’t many bus options left.
I understand why service drops off at those times ... there are fewer people going places. But it does make public transportation less appealing.
So ... in our case ... do we opt to live some distance away from the things we like doing (but closer to Rowan's work)
so that we have to use our van to get to the things we like doing ... or do we opt to live closer to the things we like doing so that we might be able to walk, cycle, or take the bus more often ... but further from Rowan's work?
Right now I live a five minute walk from work, but the area is less pleasant for casual walks, and it's farther from the Rivertrail and other places where I like to ride in my leisure time. So I'm thinking about moving back to my old neighborhood, even though it's a couple miles further from work.
"Think Outside the Cage"
But fortunately, all the areas we're looking at are nice. They're different ... they've got different characters, features, even climates, but they're all decent options.
An old rule-of-thumb where I grew up (well, got older anyway) was that in order to ride an event of a given length, one needed to be riding at least that many miles per week, e.g. a double century requires that one ride at least 200 miles per week. Flipping this around, since I know you and Rowan can ride 300 km events (and much longer), both of you should be able to easily do a 300 km weekly bike commute.
Of course, you may not want to do it for any number of reasons or for no reason whatsoever. The nit I'm picking is using the wording "have to drive". I simply disagree with that phrasing and think that driving in such a circumstance is actually a freely made choice.