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What will be America's first carfree city?

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What will be America's first carfree city?

Old 03-21-15, 10:02 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
This thread is based on a daydream: "Boston's taken over by micro-apartments, filled with young, connected people who aren't particularly attached to their homes — they might move every few months, just to stay within walking distance of work, school, or friends."
That might not be such a daydream. It has already happened to some locations in the Bay Area. Frankly the result is awful. It's now considered normal to change jobs every few months in the tech sector, and if you stay in one job for several years it actually counts against you in hiring. Most of these people are getting paid very well, and they do move frequently. Consequently rents are outrageous in most areas (1-bedroom apartments starting around $3000/month -- these are far from micro-apartments though). People who earn ordinary wages are starting to move to the poorer areas in the East Bay and commuting long distances to work, or if they are young, they're staying with their parents.

We are lucky enough to have lived in the same apartment for 5.5 years so the rent is reasonable; rents were less than half of what they are today. We have no intention of moving anytime soon!
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Old 03-21-15, 10:07 AM
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And the many island communities on Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam, Virgin Islands, etc., Carfree first, motorboat free later.
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Old 03-21-15, 10:07 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
That might not be such a daydream. It has already happened to some locations in the Bay Area. Frankly the result is awful. It's now considered normal to change jobs every few months in the tech sector, and if you stay in one job for several years it actually counts against you in hiring. Most of these people are getting paid very well, and they do move frequently. Consequently rents are outrageous in most areas (1-bedroom apartments starting around $3000/month -- these are far from micro-apartments though). People who earn ordinary wages are starting to move to the poorer areas in the East Bay and commuting long distances to work, or if they are young, they're staying with their parents.

We are lucky enough to have lived in the same apartment for 5.5 years so the rent is reasonable; rents were less than half of what they are today. We have no intention of moving anytime soon!
Enclaves of relatively well-to-do single people or couples w/o children do not make a city, except perhaps in the daydreams of Phd's from NYU.
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Old 03-21-15, 10:16 AM
  #29  
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If you accept the definition that a car is "a privately owned motor vehicle used for personal transportation," then a driverless automobile operated by uber (or zipcar, etc.) is not a car.

Therefore, a carfree city of the future might include driverless car-shares or ride-shares as part of the transportation mix.
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Old 03-21-15, 10:27 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
I live in the Bay Area. San Francisco is a decent candidate, but I don't think it's because of the tech companies. Most of the larger ones are located in the suburbs about 40 miles south of the actual city. In fact, some of the suburban towns have little other than tech companies in them. So many of their employees live in SF and commute to work in the South Bay that each of the big companies has a fleet of private buses for employees.

But bicycles and transit are both used pretty heavily in the more densely populated parts of the entire Bay Area, and many people who live in SF don't own cars, because the cost and hassle are simply prohibitive. You must either pay for a private parking space (usually $300/month or more) or get a resident sticker to park on the street and move your car frequently, as parking is prohibited on one side of every street for street cleaning twice a week. Most people who park on the streets get a lot of expensive parking tickets. Car sharing is very popular and the vehicles are everywhere.

I think it would not be that great a leap for SF to have no privately owned cars inside the eastern half of the city. The western half is more like a suburb and not as well served by transit, so that would be harder. I do think that car sharing would stay, though, unless something catastrophic happens.
Thanks for the good info. SF sounds like a good candidate, especially if you don't count car share vehicles as privately owned cars.

Also, the fact that tech companies provide shuttle bus service for employees supports my contention that tech companies will help SF push toward being more carfree. Also, I wonder if they don't contribute to a culture of innovation that might be favorable to the development of carfree status?

As for the west side of SF. Can you see that developing to become more like the eastern part of the city? It seems like there would be economic pressure to build apartments there, since there is not enough housing to fill the demand of people wanting to live in SF. (It seems like this has already happened in parts of Brooklyn, filled in by people who want to live in Manhattan but can't find affordable housing there.)
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Old 03-21-15, 01:19 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
This thread is based on a daydream: "Boston's taken over by micro-apartments, filled with young, connected people who aren't particularly attached to their homes they might move every few months, just to stay within walking distance of work, school, or friends."
You know what? This isn't work or school, it's playtime. Try to lighten up a little, life is too short for this negativity all the time.
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Old 03-21-15, 01:59 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Therefore, a carfree city of the future might include driverless car-shares or ride-shares as part of the transportation mix.
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
You know what? This isn't work or school, it's playtime. Try to lighten up a little, life is too short for this negativity all the time.
A carfree city of the future "might" include auto gyro planes that double up as pleasure boats and will fit in the garage of every resident of the Emerald City!
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Old 03-21-15, 02:09 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
A carfree city of the future "might" include auto gyro planes that double up as pleasure boats and will fit in the garage of every resident of the Emerald City!
There you go big boy! Try to have some fun with it!

Would the garages have retractable roofs so the gyro planes can fly out of them? And why will they make the planes out of rotisserie lamb meat?
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Old 03-21-15, 02:22 PM
  #34  
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San francisco, perhaps as One big Gated Community.

once its a city where Low Income means Only a Million dollars in assets then the gismoization can begin, but someone else has to actually Pay for It

you dont become so Rich by paying your fair share . of the costs of society .

Public housing has wardens and guards , in the future , no big change really.
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Old 03-21-15, 02:54 PM
  #35  
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Perhaps Silicone Valley.

Where people will just sit at home and order everything on the internet.
No need to ever actually leave the home.
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Old 03-21-15, 03:42 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
There you go big boy! Try to have some fun with it!

Would the garages have retractable roofs so the gyro planes can fly out of them? And why will they make the planes out of rotisserie lamb meat?
Naah, I'll let other LCF posters babble like idiots over the OP, while waiting on further dish from the LCF's Prince of Pipedreams who seems to be on holiday.
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Old 03-21-15, 05:27 PM
  #37  
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I think the idea of an old city going car free is unlikely. However, I could see a new car-free city popping up in a snow-free zone. There is a large community called "The Villages" near me where a good chunk of the transportation takes place by golf cart, but it was designed to allow this.

A community designed for car-free transportation could attract a certain breed who want to save the planet and/or save cash. I just don't see how you could retro fit older large cities where people are already committed to long commutes and going big distances for shopping or entertainment.
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Old 03-21-15, 06:43 PM
  #38  
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The absence of cars will be determined by oil availability more than choice. As fuel costs rise past affordability, the distribution network drops markets, starting with remote and poor locations.
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Old 03-21-15, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Let's say a "car" is a privately owned vehicle used for personal transportation. So emergency vehicles and cargo trucks might still be found in a carfree city.
There are always going to be privately owned vehicles used for personal transportation. There were thousands of years ago ... there will be into the foreseeable future.

People prefer to move around individually.

So whether that privately owned vehicle used for personal transport is a horse and buggy, a camel, a sports car, or a Tesla, or a mini-flying saucer, it will still be a privately owned vehicle used for personal transport.
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Old 03-21-15, 07:58 PM
  #40  
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I don't think there will be a single one in my lifetime.
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Old 03-21-15, 08:01 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Zedoo View Post
As fuel costs rise past affordability, the distribution network drops markets, starting with remote and poor locations.
Care to provide examples of any remote and poor locations that have been dropped from the fuel "distribution network"?
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Old 03-21-15, 10:52 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
I don't think there will be a single one in my lifetime.
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Isn't Mackinac Island already there?
Probably not a big city... But as mentioned, central Venice is car-free (also mostly motorboat free).

One might add Colonial Williamsburg to the list, as well as Mackinac Island (mentioned).

And, of course the Amish. According to Wikipedia, there are about 290,000 Amish in the USA, and the population is increasing rapidly. I think most of the communities are relatively rural and small towns, but if they don't get their population growth in check... we may well see large Amish cities... how will that work?

There is a love-hate relationship with car-free malls. I've encountered a few, but can't quite remember where they were. Eugene used to have one, but slowly re-opened the streets to traffic which I believe killed the downtown area, but it was was already suffocating without cars too. College campuses?

One thing I remember about Italy is that in the evenings, people would just get out and walk. The downtown area just became a mass of people.

Anyway, I could imagine car-free zones slowly increasing in size in some cities, especially if there was good alternative transportation, and perhaps park & ride. But the problem remains that some people don't like getting more than 10 feet from their car door.
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Old 03-21-15, 11:00 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Care to provide examples of any remote and poor locations that have been dropped from the fuel "distribution network"?
In the USA, or in the world?

Here is a list of countries by cars per capita. The countries at the bottom have 2 or 3 cars per thousand people. I can't imagine much of a car infrastructure.

I was surprised to see San Marino so high on the list because the central city didn't seem like much of a car place, but perhaps that is made up by the surrounding neighborhoods, and a propensity to travel into Italy for many things.

In the USA, gas stations may come and go, but the cars seem to be here to stay. Electric Vehicles?
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Old 03-22-15, 01:09 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And, of course the Amish. According to Wikipedia, there are about 290,000 Amish in the USA, and the population is increasing rapidly. I think most of the communities are relatively rural and small towns, but if they don't get their population growth in check... we may well see large Amish cities... how will that work?
The mind boggles I'm sure the ups and downs of Amish life are something to do with the population explosion in that community sector.
(Sometimes when I spend a day fighting a computer I wonder if I might be better off joining them, except I don't think there are too many in Australia. I'm married to my transistors anyway, the divorce needed would be rather ugly.)
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Old 03-22-15, 08:15 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
In the USA, or in the world?

Here is a list of countries by cars per capita. The countries at the bottom have 2 or 3 cars per thousand people. I can't imagine much of a car infrastructure.

I was surprised to see San Marino so high on the list because the central city didn't seem like much of a car place, but perhaps that is made up by the surrounding neighborhoods, and a propensity to travel into Italy for many things.

In the USA, gas stations may come and go, but the cars seem to be here to stay. Electric Vehicles?
Do you think your response provides any information about remote and poor locations that have been dropped from the fuel "distribution network" as suggested by Zeedo would be a prelude to some future location becoming a carfree city?

Is your point that villages in the Amazonian jungles are the car free cities that the OP is daydreaming about?
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Old 03-22-15, 08:17 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One thing I remember about Italy is that in the evenings, people would just get out and walk. The downtown area just became a mass of people.

Anyway, I could imagine car-free zones slowly increasing in size in some cities, especially if there was good alternative transportation, and perhaps park & ride. But the problem remains that some people don't like getting more than 10 feet from their car door.
I think a big reason that people get out and walk in Italy is because it's a very nice place to walk. The towns are scenic and walkable, and pedestrians are protected better by the highway code.

Cities in America are starting to pay more attention to walkability. It's a slow process to make a city more walkable, but we do have plenty of time. We have the time, we have the knowledge, we have the money, all we lack is the vision thing.

According to the linked article, central Boston is already walkable enough to allow for the elimination of cars. The sam could probably be said of many central business districts. Most cities also have outlying districts that are already fine for walking.
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Old 03-22-15, 08:22 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Do you think your response provides any information about remote and poor locations that have been dropped from the fuel "distribution network" as suggested by Zeedo would be a prelude to some future location becoming a carfree city?

Is your point that villages in the Amazonian jungles are the car free cities that the OP is daydreaming about?
This is an irrelevant and insignificant side point. You have already said that you don't want to "play" the game. So I have to think that you're deliberately trying to derail this thread by going off on a tangent. Please try to stay somewhat on topic for once. And if you don't like the topic, as you already indicated, feel free to skip the thread all together. I'll cry a little if you leave, but I think I'll get over it.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Naah, I'll let other LCF posters babble like idiots over the OP, while waiting on further dish from the LCF's Prince of Pipedreams who seems to be on holiday.
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Old 03-22-15, 12:41 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
This is an irrelevant and insignificant side point. You have already said that you don't want to "play" the game. So I have to think that you're deliberately trying to derail this thread by going off on a tangent. Please try to stay somewhat on topic for once.
I changed my mind and decided to post some more in this irrelevant and insignificant "playtime" thread. Who are you, to tell anybody how or when to play this pipedream game?
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Old 03-22-15, 12:58 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Perhaps Silicone Valley.

Where people will just sit at home and order everything on the internet.
No need to ever actually leave the home.
And if what they want is not provided, they will start up a new company to provide it.

I think a carfree city of the future will be about adoption of new technology--not a throwback to old technology. Drones will bring food that's ordered over new types of devices. People will go out mainly for fun and exercise, using a mix of old and new technology. Like bikes and driverless buses, with some trips on self-driven taxis, controlled bu Uber or some successor to Uber.

And this is just technology that is almost a reality. We can't even imagine what will exist in 2050, let alone 2100.
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Old 03-22-15, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
I live in the Bay Area. San Francisco is a decent candidate, but I don't think it's because of the tech companies. Most of the larger ones are located in the suburbs about 40 miles south of the actual city. In fact, some of the suburban towns have little other than tech companies in them. So many of their employees live in SF and commute to work in the South Bay that each of the big companies has a fleet of private buses for employees.

But bicycles and transit are both used pretty heavily in the more densely populated parts of the entire Bay Area, and many people who live in SF don't own cars, because the cost and hassle are simply prohibitive. You must either pay for a private parking space (usually $300/month or more) or get a resident sticker to park on the street and move your car frequently, as parking is prohibited on one side of every street for street cleaning twice a week. Most people who park on the streets get a lot of expensive parking tickets. Car sharing is very popular and the vehicles are everywhere.

I think it would not be that great a leap for SF to have no privately owned cars inside the eastern half of the city. The western half is more like a suburb and not as well served by transit, so that would be harder. I do think that car sharing would stay, though, unless something catastrophic happens.

Another Bay area resident, and i agree withnthese points. Berkeley, who hates cars by policy is also a good candidate. It isn't well connected by freeways on the esstern side of town, and the roads are congested. Biking home hardly takes me longer than driving the streets.
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