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The automobile: nothing more than a tool?

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The automobile: nothing more than a tool?

Old 10-12-13, 06:30 PM
  #276  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I don't hate dense urban space, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there, and would hate a world where *someone* decided that herding people into dense urban spaces and ridding them of their personal automobiles would be for the best.
It usually happens on a less conscious level. Witness how in the U.S., populations of the rural south migrated to Chicago and other northern industrial centers. It was called the great migration and gave birth to the Chicago blues scene.

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Old 10-12-13, 07:27 PM
  #277  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
And that proves my point. I could agree with Roody's concept of Urban and thought originally there was some common ground between those of us that prefer a yard for our kids to play in and lived no farther from work than old central city dwellers now do. But far too many seem to feel this is a place for simple group think. I can accept Roody's suggestion that even those of us living in the modern suburbs may be considered urban dwellers. But a small town based on single family neighborhoods is not harder to be a cyclists in than downtown Chicago. However went to school in Bellevue and as a cyclist I "know" it was better than being one in Seattle. I worked for the PI between college and the military so I know what both areas are like.
I wouldn't disagree if you'd argue that downtown Bellevue is easier on bikes than downtown Seattle, simply because DT Seattle is a lot more hilly than DT Bellevue. However, I believe the surrounding neighbourhoods (i.e. Ballard, Fremont, Ravenna, U-District, Northgate, Lake City, etc) are all just as bike friendly as those of Bellevue, if not easier. FWIW, in my experience, it's a lot easier to find bike parking in Seattle than on the eastside.

IMO, though, Bellevue isn't any more "small town based on single-family neighbourhoods" than Seattle is today. I can easily imagine being able to live car-free in or around Bellevue. With that in mind, I'm not sure how my response to you proves your point.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:14 PM
  #278  
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Originally Posted by daihard View Post
I wouldn't disagree if you'd argue that downtown Bellevue is easier on bikes than downtown Seattle, simply because DT Seattle is a lot more hilly than DT Bellevue. However, I believe the surrounding neighbourhoods (i.e. Ballard, Fremont, Ravenna, U-District, Northgate, Lake City, etc) are all just as bike friendly as those of Bellevue, if not easier. FWIW, in my experience, it's a lot easier to find bike parking in Seattle than on the eastside.

IMO, though, Bellevue isn't any more "small town based on single-family neighbourhoods" than Seattle is today. I can easily imagine being able to live car-free in or around Bellevue. With that in mind, I'm not sure how my response to you proves your point.
Because you made the assumption that it would be more difficult for someone to be car free in the modern suburbs than it is for someone living in the central city. The Exburbs and the suburbs offer no more resistance to cycling than does places like central LA, Chicago or Detroit. But then some of that is regional I guess. In truth most of the debates we have in this sub forum is not based on bicycles or cycling friendly it is based on mass transit. It may be one of the reasons the utility riders got their own forum, because it is more bicycle related.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:20 PM
  #279  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
You ride your bike on seven lane arterial highways, whizzing past Best Buys and Menards and auto dealers, and you're thinking, "Ahhh... I just love it here in the suburbs... This is truly bicycle heaven. I can hardly wait until I get to make a left turn from this seven lane road to the next seven lane road."

OK, to each his own. But don't you worry that those acres of parking lots and broad highways in the suburbs are also heat islands, and much vaster than the heat islands in the city?
If that's what you think of when you think of suburbs, your suburbs are very different than any I've experienced!!
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Old 10-12-13, 09:28 PM
  #280  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
Because you made the assumption that it would be more difficult for someone to be car free in the modern suburbs than it is for someone living in the central city. The Exburbs and the suburbs offer no more resistance to cycling than does places like central LA, Chicago or Detroit. But then some of that is regional I guess. In truth most of the debates we have in this sub forum is not based on bicycles or cycling friendly it is based on mass transit. It may be one of the reasons the utility riders got their own forum, because it is more bicycle related.
That makes sense to me. I believe good mass transit is essential for a place to be car-free, in addition to being bike-friendly. A suburban city may be easy on bikes because of its flat terrain and small volume of vehicle traffic, but it can't easily be car-free if you need a car for running basic errands.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:43 PM
  #281  
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some random thoughts...

For me the automobile is a tool but at the same time it is a luxury item. I'm certainly not against people owning/using luxury items, but it can be problematic if we become addicted to and dependent upon a luxurious lifestyle. Sorta like drug and alcohol consumption, luxury is best enjoyed in moderation.

The car can be a very efficient tool if used strategically for intercity travel. Other options, such as cycling, are more efficient for intracity transportation.

I think that it is better to advocate for a reduction in fuel consumption and inefficient travel as opposed to proposing complete eradication of the automobile. Many folks here seem to have a strong preference for public transportation but most existing public transportation systems are far from being optimized (in terms of fossil fuel usage). For example, earlier in the thread the Anaheim bus/shuttle system near Disneyland was mentioned. During a recent visit to Anaheim, as I walked to dinner in the evenings, I noticed the buses were operating well below their capacity. Many times they were empty and if people were on board it was usually just one or two families at a time. I would guess that two families of four traveling in two fuel efficient compact cars would burn less fuel per mile than if the same eight people traveled the same distance in a bus. So, I don't think the goal should be simply "get rid of cars". I would also guess that an individual who uses their bicycle for frequent intra city travel and their car for infrequent intercity travel would consume significantly less fossil fuel over the course of a year than an individual that relied completely on public transportation for identical trips and mileage.

So, all that to say, car usage can and should be further optimized. Public transportation is not necessarily more fuel efficient in all circumstances. LCF does not necessarily equal lower fossil fuel consumption.

Does anybody know a rough estimate of what average level of usage a public bus system would need to have in order to be more fuel efficient than car travel? Obviously a completely packed bus is more efficient than if those same people drove their cars but effective transit systems need to run all day/night and are only going to be at full capacity during peak hours.

The marketing done by car companies has been extremely successful. How many billions would have to be spent to market the LCF lifestyle in order to win hearts and minds and counteract the effects of years and years of car ads. I was surprised to find that the Ford F150 is the best selling car in the country. In my opinion, this is an expensive and inefficient vehicle for the average household to own, yet the data says that more of us are buying this vehicle than any other car on the market. And this is during what many consider to still be bad economic times. The cheapest F150 is $25k. US median income is only ~$50k. Ford targets the marketing of this vehicle to blue collar workers. If the target market for this vehicle earns a median income then Ford has been extremely successful because they have convinced a very large number of people to spend greater than half a years pay on a depreciable asset (it would not be considered sound financial planning to buy a $25k vehicle if you only make $50k per year). Marketing is crazy powerful.

So, Americans over-consume on cars. How do we change that? I have no idea. I get it somewhat. I over-consume on bikes and have the n+1 sickness. People still buy and smoke cigarettes. Can you believe it? Everyone knows they are bad for their health. We tax the heck out of them. People still buy them. Crazy.

Last edited by mtb123; 10-12-13 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:59 PM
  #282  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
The Exburbs and the suburbs offer no more resistance to cycling than does places like central LA, Chicago or Detroit. But then some of that is regional I guess.
In my experience, is is quite a bit more difficult to ride a bike in the suburbs than in central cities. Culturally, suburbs may be friendly (or not). The physical environment, though, at least in the US, can be daunting for any but the most hardened bicyclist. Things in the suburbs are very far apart, sometimes several miles apart, because of older zoning that still discourages multi-use neighborhoods. The big thing, though, is infrastructure. In central cities, which have street layouts that were mostly designed before 1950, it's very easy to find side streets that are parallel to major arterials; you can go pretty much anywhere on a bike at will and not have to deal with a lot of traffic unless you want to. In the suburbs, because of the design of dead-end housing clusters, if you want to get anywhere, you are, by necessity, going to find yourself on the seven-lane, 45 mph, big-box-store, parking-lot-prairie hellhole arterials that Roody describes.
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Old 10-12-13, 10:16 PM
  #283  
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
In my experience, is is quite a bit more difficult to ride a bike in the suburbs than in central cities. Culturally, suburbs may be friendly (or not). The physical environment, though, at least in the US, can be daunting for any but the most hardened bicyclist. Things in the suburbs are very far apart, sometimes several miles apart, because of older zoning that still discourages multi-use neighborhoods. The big thing, though, is infrastructure. In central cities, which have street layouts that were mostly designed before 1950, it's very easy to find side streets that are parallel to major arterials; you can go pretty much anywhere on a bike at will and not have to deal with a lot of traffic unless you want to. In the suburbs, because of the design of dead-end housing clusters, if you want to get anywhere, you are, by necessity, going to find yourself on the seven-lane, 45 mph, big-box-store, parking-lot-prairie hellhole arterials that Roody describes.
That's not my experience at all. Many suburbs have multiple low-traffic side roads that go on for miles connecting various suburbs/exurbs/other. (The Seattle area does not have much of this.)Also, many of the side streets in cities cross major roads without the benefit of any traffic controls, since traffic from the side streets is too low to warrant any. Of course, I don't mind trips of several miles between destinations as long as the traffic volume is low.

The last thing I want is to have scores of stores, and the cars that come to them, all over the place. It is far better from a cycling-promotion standpoint to NOT create mixed-use zoning. That works okay for pedestrians (sometimes), but just creates multiple high-density of car obstacles to find a way around. That mixed-use pipe-dream forgets the pizza delivery men story. Just because a commodity or service can be obtained near by, that doesn't mean someone will shop for it there, thus the pizza delivery men cross paths all night, just like the grocery shoppers cross paths. Far better to have fewer commercial centers further apart, IMO.
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Old 10-12-13, 10:18 PM
  #284  
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Originally Posted by mtb123 View Post
some random thoughts...

For me the automobile is a tool but at the same time it is a luxury item. I'm certainly not against people owning/using luxury items, but it can be problematic if we become addicted to and dependent upon a luxurious lifestyle. Sorta like drug and alcohol consumption, luxury is best enjoyed in moderation.

The car can be a very efficient tool if used strategically for intercity travel. Other options, such as cycling, are more efficient for intracity transportation.

I think that it is better to advocate for a reduction in fuel consumption and inefficient travel as opposed to proposing complete eradication of the automobile. Many folks here seem to have a strong preference for public transportation but most existing public transportation systems are far from being optimized (in terms of fossil fuel usage). For example, earlier in the thread the Anaheim bus/shuttle system near Disneyland was mentioned. During a recent visit to Anaheim, as I walked to dinner in the evenings, I noticed the buses were operating well below their capacity. Many times they were empty and if people were on board it was usually just one or two families at a time. I would guess that two families of four traveling in two fuel efficient compact cars would burn less fuel per mile than if the same eight people traveled the same distance in a bus. So, I don't think the goal should be simply "get rid of cars". I would also guess that an individual who uses their bicycle for frequent intra city travel and their car for infrequent intercity travel would consume significantly less fossil fuel over the course of a year than an individual that relied completely on public transportation for identical trips and mileage.

So, all that to say, car usage can and should be further optimized. Public transportation is not necessarily more fuel efficient in all circumstances. LCF does not necessarily equal lower fossil fuel consumption.

Does anybody know a rough estimate of what level of usage a public bus system would need to have in order to be more fuel efficient than car travel? Obviously a completely packed bus is more efficient than if those same people drove their cars but effective transit systems need to run all day/night and are only going to be at full capacity during peak hours.

The marketing done by car companies has been extremely successful. How many billions would have to be spent to market the LCF lifestyle in order to win hearts and minds and counteract the effects of years and years of car ads. I was surprised to find that the Ford F150 is the best selling car in the country. In my opinion, this is an expensive and inefficient vehicle for the average household to own, yet the data says that more of us are buying this vehicle than any other car on the market. And this is during what many consider to still be bad economic times. The cheapest F150 is $25k. US median income is only ~$50k. Ford targets the marketing of this vehicle to blue collar workers. If the target market for this vehicle earns a median income then Ford has been extremely successful because they have convinced a very large number of people to spend greater than half a years pay on a depreciable asset (it would not be considered sound financial planning to buy a $25k vehicle if you only make $50k per year). Marketing is crazy powerful.

So, Americans over-consume on cars. How do we change that? I have no idea. I get it somewhat. I over-consume on bikes and have the n+1 sickness. People still buy and smoke cigarettes. Can you believe it? Everyone knows they are bad for their health. We tax the heck out of them. People still buy them. Crazy.
As a rough rule of thumb, buses are more efficient than compact cars when there are 6 to 8 passengers on board. There are a couple things to keep in mind. First, the bus you saw with 8 people on it might have had 30 passengers a few minutes earlier or later. Second, the people on the bus--especially in Anaheim--might have large cars or SUVs, not compact cars. Third, it's normal for some buses to be nearly empty some of the time. Bus companies have to run less full buses in order to provide good coverage, frequent runs, and convenient hours of service. It's a lack of those three factors that mainly discourage people from using buses.

I wish you would think about two of the basic assumptions of the automobile model. One assumption is that people like cars, therefore cars are good. Another assumption is that you can reasonably compare a well financed and expensively designed technology (cars) with a poorly funded and under-designed technology like buses or bikes. Do either of those assumptions really make sense?
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Old 10-12-13, 11:07 PM
  #285  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If that's what you think of when you think of suburbs, your suburbs are very different than any I've experienced!!
I thought he described the west end of Winnipeg pretty well.
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Old 10-12-13, 11:49 PM
  #286  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I thought he described the west end of Winnipeg pretty well.
Not during the 13 years I lived there. I moved away in 2004 so maybe it has undergone a drastic change ...
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Old 10-12-13, 11:56 PM
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Most suburbs I've experienced (including Winnipeg) have started like this ...

Once upon a time, there were many little towns. Gradually, one of those little towns grew until it bumped into another little town which then became a "suburb" of the larger town. Therefore each suburb has the elements of the original small town, including a rather quaint downtown main street etc. In Winnipeg, I lived in Charleswood, and the older people in the area still refer to a certain part of Charleswood as "Downtown Charleswood", and "Downtown Charleswood" contained several little shops, medical offices, etc.

So there aren't usually acres of wide highways and kilometre after kilometre of parking lots and big box stores. Instead it is exactly as though many little towns are simply closer to each other than some other little towns.

And as for cycling, suburbs are great! They're filled with quiet, easy to ride roads. They're close to the country so a cyclist can be out onto quiet country roads in a matter of minutes. There are small shopping/commercial areas here and there so a cyclist can stop at a bakery or café for a snack. And there are often cycleways, paths etc.


Here we are cycling in a suburb of Melbourne, called Lilydale ... Rowan's cycling, I'm cycling and taking the photo. It is a busy little suburb, with residential areas, shops, etc. ... and the Lilydale-Warburton trail.




We currently live in a suburb ... this photo was taken during an after-work walk along the foreshore MUP/cycleway.


Last edited by Machka; 10-13-13 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 10-13-13, 01:55 AM
  #288  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Most suburbs I've experienced (including Winnipeg) have started like this ...

Once upon a time, there were many little towns. Gradually, one of those little towns grew until it bumped into another little town which then became a "suburb" of the larger town. Therefore each suburb has the elements of the original small town, including a rather quaint downtown main street etc. In Winnipeg, I lived in Charleswood, and the older people in the area still refer to a certain part of Charleswood as "Downtown Charleswood", and "Downtown Charleswood" contained several little shops, medical offices, etc.

So there aren't usually acres of wide highways and kilometre after kilometre of parking lots and big box stores. Instead it is exactly as though many little towns are simply closer to each other than some other little towns.

And as for cycling, suburbs are great! They're filled with quiet, easy to ride roads. They're close to the country so a cyclist can be out onto quiet country roads in a matter of minutes. There are small shopping/commercial areas here and there so a cyclist can stop at a bakery or café for a snack. And there are often cycleways, paths etc.


Here we are cycling in a suburb of Melbourne, called Lilydale ... Rowan's cycling, I'm cycling and taking the photo. It is a busy little suburb, with residential areas, shops, etc. ... and the Lilydale-Warburton trail.
We currently live in a suburb ... this photo was taken during an after-work walk along the foreshore MUP/cycleway.
I have seen some nice suburbs. Most of these were settled prior to WWII. I know they can be wonderful places to live, even for carfree people.

But suburbs established in the last half of the 20th century.

Post-war suburbs in my country were established as bedroom communities alongside the freeways. They lack downtowns. Residential areas are like pods with mostly dead end streets. Each pod has a single street accessing the multi lane highways that connect pods together. The highways are lined with strip malls, or in newer areas, big box stores. These highways go to freeways, which take people from the pods to their jobs, which are often located either in the city, or in an industrial park or tech center further out into the former countryside. Often there are no bike lanes or even sidewalks on the highways, and only motor vehicles are allowed on the freeways. Access to the countryside would be difficult, to say the least.

I don't have beautiful pictures of these suburbs because, well, they aren't beautiful. If you want to see a picture, try google street view of just about any post-war suburb in America.
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Old 10-13-13, 02:33 AM
  #289  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Post-war suburbs in my country were established as bedroom communities alongside the freeways. They lack downtowns. Residential areas are like pods with mostly dead end streets. Each pod has a single street accessing the multi lane highways that connect pods together. The highways are lined with strip malls, or in newer areas, big box stores. These highways go to freeways, which take people from the pods to their jobs, which are often located either in the city, or in an industrial park or tech center further out into the former countryside. Often there are no bike lanes or even sidewalks on the highways, and only motor vehicles are allowed on the freeways. Access to the countryside would be difficult, to say the least.
I've seen some newer suburbs something like that in places I've lived and travelled, but the ones I can think of were built well post war (like in the late 1980s), and most have been designed to be sort of like little towns.

My parents live in a suburb like that. Where they are, in about 2 minutes my father could be cycling on quiet country roads and my mother could be cycling on the local cycleway. And about a 10 minute walk would take them to a shopping area containing large and small stores. The shopping area more or less fills the 4 corners of an intersection of main roads, but not highways or freeways.

Where I lived in central Alberta was like that too ... only getting to the quiet country roads or cycleway would have taken about 5 minutes, and the walk to the shopping area would have taken about 15 minutes.


Erma Bombeck wrote a book called "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank" which I read many years ago ... a hilarious look at suburbs of the kind you describe. But of course it is written tongue-in-cheek.


EDIT: In thinking about it a bit more, I think the types of suburbs you and Erma Bombeck describe popped up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. But my impression, and from what I've read about city design etc., is that in the 1980s "they" determined that kind of suburb wasn't working very well, and "they" started designing integrated communities ... suburbs that consist of something more like a collection of villages rather than isolated suburbs.

I've spent almost all my life living in small towns or suburbs in various places, and the suburbs I've lived in have either been as I described earlier (small towns that were swallowed up by a larger town) or the post mid 1980s suburbs that were designed to have something of a small town feel.

We visited San Diego recently and stayed with a lovely couple there. They lived in a suburb, but it was a post mid 1980s type of suburb ... very live-able with residential, shopping, etc. all conveniently located. We all went cycling one of the days we were there, and within minutes of leaving their home, we were on a beautiful cycleway, then a little later we rode on good, comfortable roads to a little shopping plaza area where we stopped at a café for a bite to eat and then headed back. It was a really nice day of cycling in and around that suburb.


A question ... have you spent your whole life in Detroit? That's where you live, right?

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Old 10-13-13, 06:32 AM
  #290  
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He's lived in socal. Theses suburbs are all over america though. I've lived all over america, almost entirely in the 'burbs.
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Old 10-13-13, 10:00 AM
  #291  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I've seen some newer suburbs something like that in places I've lived and travelled, but the ones I can think of were built well post war (like in the late 1980s), and most have been designed to be sort of like little towns.

My parents live in a suburb like that. Where they are, in about 2 minutes my father could be cycling on quiet country roads and my mother could be cycling on the local cycleway. And about a 10 minute walk would take them to a shopping area containing large and small stores. The shopping area more or less fills the 4 corners of an intersection of main roads, but not highways or freeways.

Where I lived in central Alberta was like that too ... only getting to the quiet country roads or cycleway would have taken about 5 minutes, and the walk to the shopping area would have taken about 15 minutes.


Erma Bombeck wrote a book called "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank" which I read many years ago ... a hilarious look at suburbs of the kind you describe. But of course it is written tongue-in-cheek.


EDIT: In thinking about it a bit more, I think the types of suburbs you and Erma Bombeck describe popped up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. But my impression, and from what I've read about city design etc., is that in the 1980s "they" determined that kind of suburb wasn't working very well, and "they" started designing integrated communities ... suburbs that consist of something more like a collection of villages rather than isolated suburbs.

I've spent almost all my life living in small towns or suburbs in various places, and the suburbs I've lived in have either been as I described earlier (small towns that were swallowed up by a larger town) or the post mid 1980s suburbs that were designed to have something of a small town feel.

We visited San Diego recently and stayed with a lovely couple there. They lived in a suburb, but it was a post mid 1980s type of suburb ... very live-able with residential, shopping, etc. all conveniently located. We all went cycling one of the days we were there, and within minutes of leaving their home, we were on a beautiful cycleway, then a little later we rode on good, comfortable roads to a little shopping plaza area where we stopped at a café for a bite to eat and then headed back. It was a really nice day of cycling in and around that suburb.


A question ... have you spent your whole life in Detroit? That's where you live, right?
I think you're seeing the world through rose colored glasses--something I'm often accused of on this forum.

I lived in a Detroit suburb until I was 10. It was a lot like what I described earlier. Then I lived in inner city Detroit (Highland Park) until I was 23. The suburbs of the Motor City sprawl forever. It's 50 miles across the metro area of Detroit, or more.

I lived in Grenoble, France for a while, which actually did have some of the suburban sprawl usually associated with the states. That surprised me at the time.

I lived in San Diego, which is basically one huge suburb. If you leave your own neighborhood, you must travel on big fast moving highways, with few parallel quiet streets. This area was very poorly designed for biking or walking.

I've lived in Lansing, MI for almost 30 years. The city is not very dense, so it's far to walk anywhere. But distances are very good for cycling. The suburban sprawl is bad to the east and west, but I have good bike access to the countryside in the other directions.

I have also lived for brief periods in 2 small towns and in a very rural area. I have avoide living in suburbs, because being carfree there is less useful and fun. The only thing that will improve American suburbs is the abolition of the automobile, IMO.
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Old 10-13-13, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I have seen some nice suburbs. Most of these were settled prior to WWII. I know they can be wonderful places to live, even for carfree people.

But suburbs established in the last half of the 20th century.

Post-war suburbs in my country were established as bedroom communities alongside the freeways. They lack downtowns. Residential areas are like pods with mostly dead end streets. Each pod has a single street accessing the multi lane highways that connect pods together. The highways are lined with strip malls, or in newer areas, big box stores. These highways go to freeways, which take people from the pods to their jobs, which are often located either in the city, or in an industrial park or tech center further out into the former countryside. Often there are no bike lanes or even sidewalks on the highways, and only motor vehicles are allowed on the freeways. Access to the countryside would be difficult, to say the least.

I don't have beautiful pictures of these suburbs because, well, they aren't beautiful. If you want to see a picture, try google street view of just about any post-war suburb in America.
Originally Posted by plustax View Post
He's lived in socal. Theses suburbs are all over america though. I've lived all over america, almost entirely in the 'burbs.
They are STILL building burbs like these. I am surrounded by them. I live on what, 15 years ago was rural, it has since been sold out and developed with little to no attention to accessibility, except by car. I travel extensively for work and I see more of this style of development than anything else. Do the "nice" suburbs for cycling exist? Yes, but I honestly believe they are the exception rather than the rule. As an example, the road in front of my house traffic has increased by over 600% in the past 10 years, the only improvement to this now heavily traveled 2 lane road was to install a traffic light at one of the intersections a mile down the road. None of the roads have been upgraded and there are no lighter traveled alternate routes to choose. All of the new subdivisions are either gated or lollipop style, which means there is typically only one way in or out and there is no connectivity between them.

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Old 10-13-13, 05:27 PM
  #293  
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I guess it is regional. What some of you describe as City I don't see at all. I have lived is several including LA and Seattle. What some of you think of n, Suburb sounds nothing like where I have lived even when I lived in Anaheim, Fullerton or Buena Park Some time ago I moved from a resort community, really a small village in itself, Lake arrowhead. I grew up in Orange County which was very much like what Machka described. I have heard from Roody's posts that not all big cities are like down town New York or Oklahoma City or Cleveland some have single family dwellings mush like where I live now. But my view has been and almost always will be of large building blocking out the sky and families being stacked into living spaces closer to what we do with pigeons. Yes I know some choose that lifestyle but I simply see nothing in it.

But all of that aside, the car didn't invent the suburb, bicycles and mass transit did, at least in my region. The red car was established to bring workers into LA from what was then the suburbs where people could afford to life without paying the prices the Landlords kept raising.

Roody, you are partially correct, there are two Expressways to the north and south of me that I do ride on. Speed limit is 55mph in in one short section of a mile or two it hit 65. But the Shoulder has a bike lane that is maybe 6 feet wide with a large white line and rumble strip next to it. I could easily ride on the Freeway if they provided the same amenities. I have friends that ride from Arizona and through New Mexico on I 40 and that is a freeway as well. For someone that rode a motorcycle in LA traffic for 8 years splitting lanes going to and from work riding next to cars is not my biggest fear in life. But most of my riding is done on public streets and the occasional paved or unpaved bike path. I have no problem riding 20 miles to meet a friend for lunch and I used to do 22 miles to get to work. So I use my bike as a tool and I can use my car as a tool. Both are tools that work on my time to go where I want when I want to go there. I have no problem with you not liking cars and understand your point of view. All I expect in return is for you to realize I have reasons for not to care for the concept of dense living as espoused by the proponents of large cities.

As far as walking to the store or shopping goes I do so much online shopping for clothes, food, shoes and other goods that even if there there weren't two Walmarts, four super markets and a food warehouse within five miles of me I would never have to walk to the store if I didn't want to.
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Old 10-13-13, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
I guess it is regional. What some of you describe as City I don't see at all. I have lived is several including LA and Seattle. [...] But my view has been and almost always will be of large building blocking out the sky and families being stacked into living spaces closer to what we do with pigeons. Yes I know some choose that lifestyle but I simply see nothing in it.
Surely you're not including Seattle as one of such cities, are you? Seattle is nothing like that except for a very small section of the downtown area.
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Old 10-13-13, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
I guess it is regional. What some of you describe as City I don't see at all. I have lived is several including LA and Seattle. What some of you think of n, Suburb sounds nothing like where I have lived even when I lived in Anaheim, Fullerton or Buena Park Some time ago I moved from a resort community, really a small village in itself, Lake arrowhead. I grew up in Orange County which was very much like what Machka described. I have heard from Roody's posts that not all big cities are like down town New York or Oklahoma City or Cleveland some have single family dwellings mush like where I live now. But my view has been and almost always will be of large building blocking out the sky and families being stacked into living spaces closer to what we do with pigeons. Yes I know some choose that lifestyle but I simply see nothing in it.

But all of that aside, the car didn't invent the suburb, bicycles and mass transit did, at least in my region. The red car was established to bring workers into LA from what was then the suburbs where people could afford to life without paying the prices the Landlords kept raising.

Roody, you are partially correct, there are two Expressways to the north and south of me that I do ride on. Speed limit is 55mph in in one short section of a mile or two it hit 65. But the Shoulder has a bike lane that is maybe 6 feet wide with a large white line and rumble strip next to it. I could easily ride on the Freeway if they provided the same amenities. I have friends that ride from Arizona and through New Mexico on I 40 and that is a freeway as well. For someone that rode a motorcycle in LA traffic for 8 years splitting lanes going to and from work riding next to cars is not my biggest fear in life. But most of my riding is done on public streets and the occasional paved or unpaved bike path. I have no problem riding 20 miles to meet a friend for lunch and I used to do 22 miles to get to work. So I use my bike as a tool and I can use my car as a tool. Both are tools that work on my time to go where I want when I want to go there. I have no problem with you not liking cars and understand your point of view. All I expect in return is for you to realize I have reasons for not to care for the concept of dense living as espoused by the proponents of large cities.

As far as walking to the store or shopping goes I do so much online shopping for clothes, food, shoes and other goods that even if there there weren't two Walmarts, four super markets and a food warehouse within five miles of me I would never have to walk to the store if I didn't want to.
It's amusing that you make it sound like all those people are forced to live crowded into the cities. It reminds me of the old joke, "Nobody goes to that club because it's too crowded." I certainly don't mind if you or anybody chooses to live in the suburbs, which after all, are part of the city. Anyway, I think the suburbs will be much nicer once we get rid of those nasty cars.
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Old 10-13-13, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by daihard View Post
Surely you're not including Seattle as one of such cities, are you? Seattle is nothing like that except for a very small section of the downtown area.
It is the downtown area I was talking about. Night life aside most of the area between Alaskan Way and the 5 is less than impressive and that area covers more than the whole area I now live in. Yes I used to hang out in the university district and spend the night talking to students at the coffee shops about how to solve the problems of the world. They never got solved somehow. Had an uncle stationed at Sand Point. Then the international district isn't very bike friendly either. 14th and Yesler strike a note? Climbing up from 2nd seemed like a class 1 climb. I worked for the Seattle PI at night so my view of the city may be tainted.
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Old 10-13-13, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
It's amusing that you make it sound like all those people are forced to live crowded into the cities. It reminds me of the old joke, "Nobody goes to that club because it's too crowded." I certainly don't mind if you or anybody chooses to live in the suburbs, which after all, are part of the city. Anyway, I think the suburbs will be much nicer once we get rid of those nasty cars.
Do you have a predicted time line? Or shouldn't you have said "if" you get rid of those nasty cars? I happen to believe there is a better chance we will see society adopt personal transportation vehicles that are not as nasty as the cars we have today. And the Suburbs more than likely will survive. Like they do in the Detroit area and LA where they are swallowed up into the relabeled "Metro Area". I see the future differently. LA and Atlanta might be an example of future housing growth.
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Old 10-13-13, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
Do you have a predicted time line? Or shouldn't you have said "if" you get rid of those nasty cars? I happen to believe there is a better chance we will see society adopt personal transportation vehicles that are not as nasty as the cars we have today. And the Suburbs more than likely will survive. Like they do in the Detroit area and LA where they are swallowed up into the relabeled "Metro Area". I see the future differently. LA and Atlanta might be an example of future housing growth.
God I hope not.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Not during the 13 years I lived there. I moved away in 2004 so maybe it has undergone a drastic change ...
I was thinking more along the lines of St James and Westwood, or maybe Headingly,where Portage really is the kind of 7 lane arterial referred to. But even in Charleswood, streets like Grant, Kenaston, etc that you need to use to get downtown are not cycle friendly, and the distance to a job in the city centre would discourage even most Danes from trying to commute daily. Sure you can have a leisurely meander through a park and to a bakery on a sunny summer weekend, but if you actually wanted to live car free, Charleswood would be the last place in Winnipeg you would want to live. If you did so, good for you, but I would have gone with an inner city neighbourhood, like the Wolseley St area for much greater ease of getting around by bike, bus or foot.
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Old 10-14-13, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Most suburbs I've experienced (including Winnipeg) have started like this ...

Once upon a time, there were many little towns. Gradually, one of those little towns grew until it bumped into another little town which then became a "suburb" of the larger town. Therefore each suburb has the elements of the original small town, including a rather quaint downtown main street etc. In Winnipeg, I lived in Charleswood, and the older people in the area still refer to a certain part of Charleswood as "Downtown Charleswood", and "Downtown Charleswood" contained several little shops, medical offices, etc.
Charleswood was never a small town. It was rural area and then a suburb of Winnipeg. The "downtown shopping area" - a couple of strip malls - sprang up in the 1960s.
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