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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-02-14, 02:56 PM   #1
ro-monster
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Sustainable Streets Initiative

The city I live in has an initiative to promote human-powered transportation and public transit, Sustainable Streets San Mateo. I was reminded of it today because I signed up for e-mail notifications for the public events a while ago, and they sent me one. I'm interested in the thoughts of LCF folks about this initiative. Does your city have a comparable program?
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Old 05-02-14, 03:09 PM   #2
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My city, county and state all have passed Complete Streets regulations. This requires that a certain amount of funds for new roads and rebuilds are pledged to non-automotive needs, and that roads must be designed for all potential users. I think it's a good concept. Any changes will be very slow, especially in mature cities. In cities that are developing or growing rapidly, improvements can come more quickly.

My city also requires in it's building code that new or rebuilt commercial establishments must have bike parking. This is another slow moving thing, except some businesses voluntarily put in bike parking after the requirement was enacted.
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Old 05-02-14, 03:53 PM   #3
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Not my city, but here in Oregon we have this:

Drive Less Connect : Matching people with places.
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Old 05-02-14, 03:54 PM   #4
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I'd be surprised if Tulsa had one, since the bus system is reducing services and raising rates. Plus they are just now putting the finishing touches on a major street project in Downtown- which included doing away with a pedestrian mall.

30 years ago, Downtown thrived according to this article- Sparkling Tulsa Downtown Workers Pack Pedestrian Mall | News OK. That was before the local economy tanked and most of the oil & gas companies relocated to the Houston area.
And here is a photo timeline of the old mall's main attraction- Photo gallery: Downtown Tulsa's Bartlett Square fountain - Tulsa World: Downtown- it used to be a wondrous multi-level series of fountains that kids (including myself) would splash in.
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Old 05-02-14, 06:28 PM   #5
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The county that I live in has recognized that about 50% of the trips in the county are less than 2 miles. As such they are making a genuine effort at alternative transportation methods. Part of this is that they are focusing building efforts on 'town centers' in order to develop focused, densely populated, walkable transit centers. It's slow but I've noticed a huge difference in the five years that I've lived here.
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Old 05-02-14, 07:45 PM   #6
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I'm a bit confused by the OP's San Mateo version of Sustainable Streets. From the linked article, it sounds more like a fact gathering initiative than a concrete (no pun intended!) program.

We a smaller program of street calming and a bike Master Plan. Which will probably be shot out the window since it emphasizes bike lanes and suddenly the bicycle universe prefers infrastructure separated from cars.

For my money, a plan to allow more than single family occupancy would be more successful in "densifying" the center of the city. That alone would probably create more walking and biking... and more demand for correct infrastructure.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:05 PM   #7
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...For my money, a plan to allow more than single family occupancy would be more successful in "densifying" the center of the city. That alone would probably create more walking and biking... and more demand for correct infrastructure.
I agree. For example, allow smaller parking lots and higher buildings. Where I live, they once again allow apartments above the stores. In the downtown and smaller commercial areas, these upper apartments are marketed as "lofts" and are very popular.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:52 PM   #8
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My city, county and state all have passed Complete Streets regulations. This requires that a certain amount of funds for new roads and rebuilds are pledged to non-automotive needs, and that roads must be designed for all potential users. I think it's a good concept. Any changes will be very slow, especially in mature cities. In cities that are developing or growing rapidly, improvements can come more quickly.
Most likely done to ensure they can qualify for Federal funding...
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Old 05-02-14, 11:20 PM   #9
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Most likely done to ensure they can qualify for Federal funding...
No, it's totally separate from that.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:47 PM   #10
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For those who advocate for high density development: Which would you prefer, a two mile ride through intense, Manhattan-style dense traffic or a fourteen mile ride through the 'burbs? The last data I looked at indicated that doubling the density of housing leads to an increase in car traffic by a factor of 1.95. Having seen densification have a detrimental effect on the number of people riding, I'm just not sold on this.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:50 PM   #11
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I'm a bit confused by the OP's San Mateo version of Sustainable Streets. From the linked article, it sounds more like a fact gathering initiative than a concrete (no pun intended!) program.

We a smaller program of street calming and a bike Master Plan. Which will probably be shot out the window since it emphasizes bike lanes and suddenly the bicycle universe prefers infrastructure separated from cars.

For my money, a plan to allow more than single family occupancy would be more successful in "densifying" the center of the city. That alone would probably create more walking and biking... and more demand for correct infrastructure.
No, I think the segregation movement appears to have peaked. The dangers involved in intersection/driveway crossings just can't be fixed in an American context. Even in Europe, Munich has dumped its cycletracks to great effect. Bike lanes are probably the future as long as they are free of defects like door zones.
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Old 05-03-14, 12:08 AM   #12
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For those who advocate for high density development: Which would you prefer, a two mile ride through intense, Manhattan-style dense traffic or a fourteen mile ride through the 'burbs? The last data I looked at indicated that doubling the density of housing leads to an increase in car traffic by a factor of 1.95. Having seen densification have a detrimental effect on the number of people riding, I'm just not sold on this.
I believe that the rate of non-car travel is about 15 to 20 times higher in Manhattan compared to a suburb. And that's the issue, not where I would prefer to ride a bike.


(And FWIW I think I would prefer 2 miles in Manhattan's bike-speed traffic to 14 miles along a 45mph stroad in suburbia.)
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Old 05-03-14, 06:24 AM   #13
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For those who advocate for high density development: Which would you prefer, a two mile ride through intense, Manhattan-style dense traffic or a fourteen mile ride through the 'burbs? The last data I looked at indicated that doubling the density of housing leads to an increase in car traffic by a factor of 1.95. Having seen densification have a detrimental effect on the number of people riding, I'm just not sold on this.
I suspect the problem in many cases is the increase in density and no increase in mass transit use. I know the capitol city of NC, Raleigh is in the process of adding additional housing in the downtown area... along with corresponding parking. Plus they still have a massive number of people commuting in from the outer suburbs to jobs in downtown. Also no grocery store downtown, closest one is 6-7 miles away via high speed arterials, with limited mass transit access. Population base for the entire city is 423,000+ with a 50%+ population growth in the past 14 years, most of it in the outlying suburbs, not much has changed.

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Old 05-04-14, 04:13 PM   #14
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No, I think the segregation movement appears to have peaked... Even in Europe, Munich has dumped its cycletracks to great effect. Bike lanes are probably the future as long as they are free of defects like door zones.
I've just returned from from a big cycling congress in Lisbon, and I can assure you the "segregation movement," as you call it, is alive and well, at least here in Iberia. Representatives from dozens of towns and cities from Spain and Portugal gave presentations about how they are promoting cycling in their communities. Almost all of them are opting for separated cycling facilities.
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Old 05-04-14, 05:02 PM   #15
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For those who advocate for high density development: Which would you prefer, a two mile ride through intense, Manhattan-style dense traffic or a fourteen mile ride through the 'burbs? The last data I looked at indicated that doubling the density of housing leads to an increase in car traffic by a factor of 1.95. Having seen densification have a detrimental effect on the number of people riding, I'm just not sold on this.
I was recently comparing Miami with Havana on google maps and Miami seems to have more trees, probably because of lower density due to suburban yards and automotivist sprawl. It raises the question of how to maintain tree cover and green space while reducing sprawl and automotivism. Maybe the answer is for apartment buildings to be surrounded by some forested land instead of parking lots. Or maybe small-footprint, multi-story single family homes can be built in narrow-deep yards so that more houses fit on blocks without reducing green space and tree cover. I've been watching youtube videos on 'the tiny house movement,' which is interesting because it seems many people are densifying suburbs by putting tiny houses in between the bigger houses. That is a simple solution that doesn't require rebuilding entire areas. The question is how to provide more jobs and amenities within biking distance within suburbs designed for driving to all destinations.
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Old 05-04-14, 05:49 PM   #16
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I've been watching youtube videos on 'the tiny house movement,' which is interesting because it seems many people are densifying suburbs by putting tiny houses in between the bigger houses. That is a simple solution that doesn't require rebuilding entire areas.
Where is this taking place?
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Old 05-04-14, 05:53 PM   #17
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Even in Europe, Munich has dumped its cycletracks to great effect.
Anywhere else in Europe besides Munich?

Do you happen to know how many kilometers of cycletracks were "dumped" in Munich to great effect?
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Old 05-04-14, 05:58 PM   #18
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Where is this taking place?
I would say check it out on Youtube if you want to know more about it.
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Old 05-04-14, 06:21 PM   #19
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Where is this taking place?
We have houses like this in Lansing, built in the middle of the block. They're usually small and are called carriage houses (although they aren't really carriage houses). They were built a long time ago.

I wish the city would allow this kind of building again. I have a huge backyard. There would be plenty of room for another house, along with yards for both houses.

We had a thread here about this very thing a couple years ago. You could probably find it if you're really interested.
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Old 05-04-14, 06:25 PM   #20
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Anywhere else in Europe besides Munich?

Do you happen to know how many kilometers of cycletracks were "dumped" in Munich to great effect?
There was a thread about this also, which you can find if you're actually interested.
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Old 05-04-14, 08:07 PM   #21
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(And FWIW I think I would prefer 2 miles in Manhattan's bike-speed traffic to 14 miles along a 45mph stroad in suburbia.)
+1

I've ridden in Manhattan and I prefer the West Side bike path any day over suburbia. There's nothing worse than riding on a highway with cars traveling 50 miles per hour or more! There are times when riding in slow country roads can be more relaxing. However, those roads eventually run out and your back to riding with fast moving traffic.

I didn't know that people out west were riding on the interstate until I came to the forums. Quite frankly, I would rather ride a bicycle on 5th Avennue in Manhattan during rush hour than ride on the interstate any day of the week! By the way, Manhattan has alot of bike paths today then when I was bike commuting years ago. Much safer.
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Old 05-04-14, 10:35 PM   #22
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Where is this taking place?
Eugene is in the process of finalizing new zoning that permits alley access lots and secondary dwellings on R1 lots. Basically, this is squeezing tiny houses in between existing houses. I'm not a fan, since it will exacerbate our drainage problems, increase the density of traffic, increase the toxicity of the unpaved alley soil, increase noise, decrease local air quality (we're routinely in the American Lung Association's worst ten seasonal air basins) and increase the urban heat island effect.

The planners have conveniently exempted their own neighborhoods from this increase in density.
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Old 05-04-14, 10:54 PM   #23
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Eugene is in the process of finalizing new zoning that permits alley access lots and secondary dwellings on R1 lots. Basically, this is squeezing tiny houses in between existing houses. I'm not a fan, since it will exacerbate our drainage problems, increase the density of traffic, increase the toxicity of the unpaved alley soil, increase noise, decrease local air quality (we're routinely in the American Lung Association's worst ten seasonal air basins) and increase the urban heat island effect.

The planners have conveniently exempted their own neighborhoods from this increase in density.
Densifying doesn't sound like such a great idea, does it? Why is Eugene taking this wrong turn?
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Old 05-04-14, 11:02 PM   #24
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I would say check it out on Youtube if you want to know more about it.
Would you? How 'bout providing a hint, like the URL for the info that explains where many people are densifying the suburbs with tiny houses??

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Old 05-04-14, 11:27 PM   #25
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Would you? How 'bout providing a hint, like the URL for the info that explains where many people are densifying the suburbs with tiny houses??
First try: https://www.google.com

Type "infill housing" into the little box.

Then you will be led to: Infill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. There you will find additional links and references.

If you want information only from this forum, type: "infill housing site:bikeforums.net".


You're welcome.
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