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Great Show on KERA Think: Suburban Sprawl, Gentrification And The Rise Of Urbanism

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#1 Volare

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:14 PM

Heard most of this show today on KERA:

 

http://www.kera.org/...se-of-urbanism/

 

It was great- like listening to a lot of the discussions on this board. The author is going to be at an Oak Cliff bookstore tomorrow night, and if I didn't already have a neighborhood meeting to attend I would be there!

 

You can listen again on the podcast!



#2 Austin55

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 10:44 PM

I listened to it, really enjoyed. I like the point about urban neighbors are more likely to know each other than suburbs. My dad lives in a townhome where all the neighbors share mailboxes and a common pool area, and he knows various people throughout that community, but doesn't actually know the poeple on either side of him. My mom only knows the neighbors who walk for excersice. 

 

Does anyone know if Fort Worth has any sort of tax breaks for companies which has employees that ride transit?

 

I'm also not tooo sure that teens-20's are less interested in driving. It's more we can't afford it. I think we would rather drive, but just can't. Of course there's a few of us who love the idea of urban living and car free lives, but a VERY small % are willing go through with it. Cars are still very necessary for a lot of us.

A few months ago I made a comment , at 16 I found freedom with a car, at 20 I'm seeking freedom from my car.



#3 Fort Worthology

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 10:26 AM

 

 

I'm also not tooo sure that teens-20's are less interested in driving. It's more we can't afford it. I think we would rather drive, but just can't. Of course there's a few of us who love the idea of urban living and car free lives, but a VERY small % are willing go through with it. Cars are still very necessary for a lot of us.

A few months ago I made a comment , at 16 I found freedom with a car, at 20 I'm seeking freedom from my car.

 

Actually, it's been noticed a lot in the tech community - increasing numbers of teens are basically taking the attitude of "I don't need a car - my smartphone is my link to my friends/the world/etc."  Goes hand-in-hand with more people wanting the option of living in a walkable area near where they work and play.



#4 Austin55

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 01:05 PM

^ Perhaps more prevalent in college grads who are looking for thier first places. Most of my friends and I are still in school. Moving to UTA, UNT, UT, A&M, Tarleton, DBU, etc is not easily done without a car, and neither is coming home every holiday. While college campuses themselves are very walkable friendly, getting to them is often not. Especially since I went to Mansfield which is pretty much an exo-burb. But that's just my experience, I'm sure it differs group to group and school to school. 



#5 Austin55

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:23 PM

Another group I see that seems to be migrating to cities, 45-65 year old who's kids have gone to college or to the city themselves. These folks often have spent the last 20+ years in the Burbs raising kids, but then suddenly find themselves with large yards they don't need and often larger houses with more bathrooms than people. A lot of them seem to be moving to smaller places, but still have a lot of money to spend on a nice condo or something. They want to get back to being social like before they had kids, and cities can often offer that better than suburbs. There's a bit of this trend in people without kids to, Brian for example. This may have been going on for years and probably is'nt news, but it's something I've noticed as a lot of my freinds parents have done this. 

 

I think the biggest draw to suburbs for most folks is raising a family. Without kids though, cities are a bigger draw. 



#6 McHand

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 03:46 PM

 

I think the biggest draw to suburbs for most folks is raising a family. Without kids though, cities are a bigger draw. 

 

 

You have made a good and true point.  

 

I would like to see an attitude shift toward cities being acceptable for families as well as suburbs.  In many places around the world, families thrive in urban settings.  

 

I don't mean a family of 4 should live in The Tower, necessarily.  But developments like Hillside Apartments can bridge the gap between high rise living and outright neighborhood living while being near downtown.  There should be more of this type of housing.  Option to buy would be even better.


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#7 Volare

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 02:59 PM

Beyond the McMansions, I think the schools (and their lack of economically disadvantaged and minority students) are the big draw of the suburbs. White Flight is still alive and well.



#8 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 09:16 PM

Another thread reminded me to return to this radio show.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


I have to disagree with his anti-freeway attitude. He treated the traffic nightmare that would result from the removal of I-345 as a non-issue.

 

The examples he used of freeway removals were San Francisco, which was a short spur and not a through freeway, and New York CIty, which was a comlete traffic nightmare before and after the poorly designed freeway collapsed.

 

However, I do agree with most of his points regarding transit, and wish transit served the area I live in.

 

The more that I think about his spaghetti street comments, the more I agree. The streets in the area I live in are spaghetti streets, and it would probably be difficult for me to get to a bus if my area were served by busses. Spaghetti streets in an unfamiliar area are annoying.

 

As far as single family homes, there are other positives he didn't mention: not living below or next to noisy neighbors, listening to loud music without annoying the neighbors, having a guaranteed place to park, having a garage (which my stepdad uses as a man cave), a yard for pets, etc. Newer single family homes are usually larger, and fires are much less likely to spread from home to home (thinking about the apartment fire in LA worries me).

 

The idea of carrying groceries home doesn't sound fun at all.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

As for myself, I'm starting to think that maybe urban living would be better for me. I don't have a car and rarely get to drive, which means I rarely get to go anywhere except my campus. I have a bike, but many places are inconvenient by bike and the weather isn't always good. I'm sure my opinion would be different if I had a car or had access to transit in my suburb, though.


- Dylan


#9 Austin55

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 11:17 PM

My mom recently moved, this small gated neighborhood with the rectangular streets is her new neighborhood. It's very suburban, however it's shockingly convenient. Within a short walk and without corssing any large streets is a carwash, car repair shop, Sonic Drive-in (which also are surprisingly good for pedestrians, you can order and sit outside), a McDonalds (24 hours) a Veternarian,and a dollar general along with 2 churches. Across one street is a doughnut shop, a nail saloon, a barber, a dry cleaners, a small italian food shop, a shell station (24 hours) and a Denny's (also 24 hours) 

 

We've found ourselves walking quite a lot, and we've meet more neighbors in a few months then we did at her old place in 2 or 3 years. The gate provides a nice sense of community and safety.


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#10 Fort Worthology

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 11:07 AM

Carrying groceries isn't a problem when you've got a neighborhood grocery store within walking distance and don't have to buy three weeks' worth at a time, instead popping in frequently for fewer items at once.

 

I also believe the 345 tear-out would be a traffic non-issue once all is said and done.  Freeways do not belong tearing through the middle of cities.



#11 RD Milhollin

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 11:29 AM

 

I have to disagree with his anti-freeway attitude. He treated the traffic nightmare that would result from the removal of I-345 as a non-issue.

 

The examples he used of freeway removals were San Francisco, which was a short spur and not a through freeway, and New York CIty, which was a comlete traffic nightmare before and after the poorly designed freeway collapsed.

 

 

 

The San Francisco Embarcadero Freeway was incomplete at the time of its demolition. The master plan was to connect the Golden Gate bridge to the north and the Bay Bridge to Oakland to the east of the city. The double-decker freeway was only connected to the Bay Bridge when an earthquake struck in 1989 damaging the structure so it could not be used. Sections of the upper deck of the Bay Bridge collapsed sandwiching a few cars in the process. A "stub" of the Embarcadero still pointed north toward the Golden Gate at the time it was torn down, and the freeway carried a massive amount of traffic between the bridges and from across the bay into Chinatown. An informative article discusses the history and the before-after effects of the initial construction and subsequent removal:

 

http://www.preserven...mbarcadero.html



#12 JBB

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 12:00 PM

Within a short walk and without corssing any large streets is a carwash, car repair shop...


I hope I'm not the only one that noticed that the first two things you mentioned as being within a short walk were businesses that you wouldn't typically walk to and laughed a little inside.

#13 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:22 PM

I'm in Miami right now, where there are two options for getting from downtown Miami to its southwestern suburbs: squeeze onto a tiny freeway (3 lanes each direction) heading west before you can turn south, or take surface streets the entire way. It took over two hours for my dad and I to travel less than 20 miles on surface streets last night, and it took more than one light cycle to get through a majority of intersections.

 

The surface streets here are a complete nightmare because of poor freeway infastructure, and Miami ended up sprawling southward despite poor freeway infastructure.

 

Anyone advocating for freeway removals are advocating for increaded traffic congestion, increased pollution, and reduced quality of life for almost everyone who can't commute exclusively by train or foot (busses get caught up in the same surface traffic that cars get caught in).


- Dylan


#14 McHand

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:26 PM

Dallas has invested in its light and commuter rail.  Has Miami?  I think you are comparing apples to oranges, Strange.


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#15 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:41 PM

There is a high-frequency heavy rail line that I want to try tomorrow or this weekend.

 

Unfortunately, my dad lives a far way from it, and the road we took heading west from the rail line the other night was just as miserable as the highway along the rail line.


- Dylan


#16 mmmdan

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 07:47 AM

Maybe we can get away from the knee jerk answer of we need to build another highway; look a little deeper at the issue and see what the real problem is.

 

If your dad frequently goes to downtown, and would like to live closer, but can't afford to, then maybe the real problem is that there is not enough affordable housing closer to downtown.

 

If the trip downtown was more of a one-off event, then maybe the traffic is not really a problem, but the expectation to be able to travel everywhere at 60+mph is unrealistic.

 

These are complex problems, and we have seen over the years that you can't "highway" yourself out of congestion.  We need to start looking deeper into the issue and try to figure out the root cause of these issues.



#17 SurplusPopulation

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 01:56 PM

The root cause is that we multiply faster than we die, and the money needed to sustain life is in relatively small centers.

#18 Russ Graham

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:46 PM

Miami is a good example of the principal that  "anywhere lots of people want to be is gonna be crowded".   You basically couldn't build enough freeways to reduce congestion in Miami, because the only thing limiting more people from showing up there is, well, congestion.  From a certain point of view, (say, that of the residents of downtown), the harder it is to drive into the center of town, the better.   In fact, I bet if you think of all the downtowns that are really inaccessible by car (Austin, London, Manhattan, etc), you'll end up with a list of places where there's a lot of demand for residential development (I was going to say "great places to live" but that's kind of debatable). 

 

One data point on that list would be Fort Worth, where we have a downtown that is tremendously accessible by car - and we're all sitting here scratching our head about "where's all the residential development downtown?".  The answer is it's really easy to get there when you want to - so nobody really bothers living there.



#19 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 04:38 PM

Maybe we can get away from the knee jerk answer of we need to build another highway; look a little deeper at the issue and see what the real problem is.

 

If your dad frequently goes to downtown, and would like to live closer, but can't afford to, then maybe the real problem is that there is not enough affordable housing closer to downtown.

 

If the trip downtown was more of a one-off event, then maybe the traffic is not really a problem, but the expectation to be able to travel everywhere at 60+mph is unrealistic.

 

These are complex problems, and we have seen over the years that you can't "highway" yourself out of congestion.  We need to start looking deeper into the issue and try to figure out the root cause of these issues.

 

Yes, housing in Miami gets more expensive as you get closer to downtown. There's almost no room to cram more housing around downtown.

 

The average speed going home a few days ago was less than 10 mph, and I had never seen surface streets so congested before. It took multiple light cycles to get through many intersections, which is something I rarely see on suface streets at home, even at rush hour.

 

Fort Worth and Dallas have done a decent job of building freeways to reduce congestion. DFW freeways are packed and slow at times, but they have no lights to slow things even more, and suface streets with lights are usually okay.

 

I tried the heavy rail line(s) yesterday. The train is faster than traffic and is a very good option for people who live and work near the rail line.

 

 

Miami is a good example of the principal that  "anywhere lots of people want to be is gonna be crowded".   You basically couldn't build enough freeways to reduce congestion in Miami, because the only thing limiting more people from showing up there is, well, congestion.  From a certain point of view, (say, that of the residents of downtown), the harder it is to drive into the center of town, the better.   In fact, I bet if you think of all the downtowns that are really inaccessible by car (Austin, London, Manhattan, etc), you'll end up with a list of places where there's a lot of demand for residential development (I was going to say "great places to live" but that's kind of debatable). 

 

One data point on that list would be Fort Worth, where we have a downtown that is tremendously accessible by car - and we're all sitting here scratching our head about "where's all the residential development downtown?".  The answer is it's really easy to get there when you want to - so nobody really bothers living there.

 

Good access to downtown is probably better for the majority of people than poor access but lots of expensive housing.


- Dylan






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