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Don't be these guys (two abreast in traffic)

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Don't be these guys (two abreast in traffic)

Old 02-14-22, 06:32 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
... they looked less like two cyclists and more like a rolling roadblock; just casually riding at 12-15 mph... pedal a couple strokes... coast... coast... pedal... run a light...
How hard should one be pedalling to deserve your respect?
How hard was your effort at that time ?
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Old 02-18-22, 07:21 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
I guess we see the farmers as having a purpose - not a selfish purpose, but working and doing what they're doing because it needs to be done - there and then. There aren't 25 other routes for the farmer to use. We see it as necessary.
So now we need to consider the "purpose" of the individual using the road? That's a pretty slippery slope, my friend. Do you know the "purpose" of the other drivers who were using the road and making up the bulk of the "traffic" you were inconvenienced by? Maybe the person next to you was driving to the gym, and should have been walking there to warm up. Maybe that person was driving around for the heck of it. Maybe they were driving for some other reason you would consider frivolous. Why aren't you annoyed with the other drivers, who far outnumbered the cyclists and, if we take your account at face value, who made up the bulk of the traffic making it difficult to just go around the cyclists? Why are the cyclists the only ones drawing your ire?

You sound like the drivers who get pissed at the cyclist when an oncoming driver makes an unsafe pass to go around the cyclist. It doesn't matter what the driver did, it's always those darn cyclists who are the cause of whatever is annoying the driver.

I don't know why the cyclists chose that route, at that time, and neither do you. If they could have chosen another route, or another time, then so could you have.
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Old 02-18-22, 08:28 AM
  #128  
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Here's a thought experiment. Imagine how smooth flowing the traffic would be if all the cars on this road were actually bicycles.
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Old 02-18-22, 08:40 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Here's a thought experiment. Imagine how smooth flowing the traffic would be if all the cars on this road were actually bicycles.
"thought experiment" didn't that kinda actually happen with lock downs? I was riding to work (essential) and there were no cars it was great...
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Old 02-18-22, 09:59 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
"thought experiment" didn't that kinda actually happen with lock downs? I was riding to work (essential) and there were no cars it was great...
Yeah it got quiet everywhere, you could walk in the middle of the street. Families had young children riding on the local roads, the air was clean and the sky was blue. Heck of a nice "thought experiment" regarding the lack of motor traffic.
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Old 02-18-22, 10:33 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Yeah it got quiet everywhere, you could walk in the middle of the street. Families had young children riding on the local roads, the air was clean and the sky was blue. Heck of a nice "thought experiment" regarding the lack of motor traffic.
Yeah, pandemics and lockdowns and layoffs as well as hundreds of thousands dying and millions of people sick and stressed out, are wonderful thoughts; bicyclists just going outdoors, celebrating the "quiet" and having a good time. Pleasant thoughts after a nice smoke or two, eh?
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Old 02-18-22, 10:56 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yeah, pandemics and lockdowns and layoffs as well as hundreds of thousands dying and millions of people sick and stressed out, are wonderful thoughts; bicyclists just going outdoors, celebrating the "quiet" and having a good time. Pleasant thoughts after a nice smoke or two, eh?
a bad thing happening doesn't mean that good things cant come from it.

Lack of road traffic was a thing that happened and it was nice.
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Old 02-18-22, 11:41 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yeah, pandemics and lockdowns and layoffs as well as hundreds of thousands dying and millions of people sick and stressed out, are wonderful thoughts; bicyclists just going outdoors, celebrating the "quiet" and having a good time.
One could also say that with everything that was going wrong and all the concerns it raised, having one thing that still worked was very key to helping people through it. And not just cyclists - a huge swath of the population was out walking, too - it was the one thing you could still do, the one way you could still maybe interact in person with friends. The people in places where walking or biking for outdoor exercise was effectively banned for a while really suffered.

Additionally, with more traditional shared-air bus/train public transit raising some concerns, there were places were the self-powered option suddenly filled a serious need.

Typically when there is a tragedy (and there indeed has been one) the survivors are influenced to make assorted changes in their lives and outlook, variously large or small depending on opportunity and personal experience. Lots of people have re-considered things like routinely travelling to a workplace, vs when it is particularly useful to the job. Others have re-evaluated the balance of careers vs family time or personal health There are definitely those whose work situations have become more challenging; there are also many enjoying a newfound flexibility. Things are returning closer to what they were, but a variously subtly or substantially different version of it.
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Old 02-18-22, 11:44 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yeah, pandemics and lockdowns and layoffs as well as hundreds of thousands dying and millions of people sick and stressed out, are wonderful thoughts; bicyclists just going outdoors, celebrating the "quiet" and having a good time. Pleasant thoughts after a nice smoke or two, eh?

You do understand that literally millions of people have switched to "telecommuting" permanently after realizing how much better that arrangement was when it was forced upon them by the awful circumstances of the pandemic, right? Are those people also going to be castigated by you for saying "working from home is nice"?

I guess this means that even you can't bring yourself to defend the nonsense in the OP, but if all that's going to happen in this thread is further slam-dunking on the OP by other people and your rather beside-the-point off-target moralizing. probably time for a thread closing.
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Old 02-18-22, 02:17 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yeah, pandemics and lockdowns and layoffs as well as hundreds of thousands dying and millions of people sick and stressed out, are wonderful thoughts; bicyclists just going outdoors, celebrating the "quiet" and having a good time. Pleasant thoughts after a nice smoke or two, eh?
Must be that "wacky stuff" you were smoking. Not on my watch.

But bottom line, it did show that indeed the automobile is the "root of all evil" when it comes to things like air pollution, congestion, and urban noise. Clearly, America is far far too "car dependent."

And yes, in spite of the pandemic, I very much did enjoy my daily walks and bike rides in the then cleared streets. Going outside was recommended as one thing we could all do, even during a pandemic.

Would I wish us another pandemic... Oh hell NO, but I would indeed wish for less motor traffic... "Less motor traffic" is quite enjoyable. I have also quite enjoyed the quiet few hours on a Superbowl Sunday in the same manner.
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Old 02-18-22, 03:42 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
But bottom line, it did show that indeed the automobile is the "root of all evil" when it comes to things like air pollution, congestion, and urban noise. Clearly, America is far far too "car dependent."
The interesting part though is that it didn't take away people's cars - or change the landscape.

It just took away the need to use a car to transcend the landscape every day.

Some of the reduction in unnecessary commuting is likely to remain.

But what we haven't yet tackled is the car-dependence of housing design. One of the things I've noticed is that even new, dense, supposedly efficient housing design isn't necessarily near life essentials. Maybe at best it's a plausible walk to the bars and nightlife - but if the actual grocery store is yet another mile and a half (making three total), and an automatic car trip for most, especially in winter.

And a mile and half trip that might be plausible for an adult, becomes a car trip once kids are involved.
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Old 02-18-22, 04:29 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The interesting part though is that it didn't take away people's cars - or change the landscape.

It just took away the need to use a car to transcend the landscape every day.

Some of the reduction in unnecessary commuting is likely to remain.

But what we haven't yet tackled is the car-dependence of housing design. One of the things I've noticed is that even new, dense, supposedly efficient housing design isn't necessarily near life essentials. Maybe at best it's a plausible walk to the bars and nightlife - but if the actual grocery store is yet another mile and a half (making three total), and an automatic car trip for most, especially in winter.

And a mile and half trip that might be plausible for an adult, becomes a car trip once kids are involved.
In many places around by me, you'd ride your bicycle to the store & end up walking back. That walk back might introduce you to some other unpleasant folks that could only have been out ran if you had wheeled transportation.

In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to simply lock my bicycle up outside the store & come back to it unscathed or not be under new ownership.
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Old 02-18-22, 04:36 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The interesting part though is that it didn't take away people's cars - or change the landscape.

It just took away the need to use a car to transcend the landscape every day.

Some of the reduction in unnecessary commuting is likely to remain.

But what we haven't yet tackled is the car-dependence of housing design. One of the things I've noticed is that even new, dense, supposedly efficient housing design isn't necessarily near life essentials. Maybe at best it's a plausible walk to the bars and nightlife - but if the actual grocery store is yet another mile and a half (making three total), and an automatic car trip for most, especially in winter.

And a mile and half trip that might be plausible for an adult, becomes a car trip once kids are involved.
The way we in America tend to have "zones" for commercial and residential areas makes that "European mix" impossible to do. Older cities such as Boston or NYC might have that, but newer housing tends to be zoned "residential" with maybe a small "7-11" commercial zone at an intersection nearby.

The US mentality forces us to commute some distance for nearly all our goods. Now, after two years of WFH... many of us are seeing a call back to the office that may or may not be an actual requirement for the office to function... depending on the tasks. Sure, it's is difficult for a factory to run, without bodies to standing side by side... but other tasks, involving computers, phones... typical office work, really doesn't require a daily car/bus/train commute.

Maybe other areas of our lives can decentralize and we can have local bakers, grocers and other vendors again... But I won't bet on it... 2 years isn't enough to change life long habits.

As long as the mentality is that someone is gonna drive 3-4 blocks for a loaf of bread... cars will be used.
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Old 02-18-22, 09:46 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
The way we in America tend to have "zones" for commercial and residential areas makes that "European mix" impossible to do.
That's not actually the issue. Many major stores have some housing nearby; it's just not where most of the housing is being built, because it's not where the land to build on is available.

Mixed use development is very much a trendy thing. But most of the housing is elsewhere.

Older cities such as Boston or NYC might have that, but newer housing tends to be zoned "residential" with maybe a small "7-11" commercial zone at an intersection nearby.
The problem isn't a failure to build more stores near the housing, it's that the housing is too far flung from anything that matters.

As long as the mentality is that someone is gonna drive 3-4 blocks for a loaf of bread... cars will be used.
That's not the mentality. But the housing isn't being built within 3-4 blocks of the bakeries; more like several miles.
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Old 02-19-22, 07:53 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
That's not actually the issue. Many major stores have some housing nearby; it's just not where most of the housing is being built, because it's not where the land to build on is available.

Mixed use development is very much a trendy thing. But most of the housing is elsewhere.



The problem isn't a failure to build more stores near the housing, it's that the housing is too far flung from anything that matters.



That's not the mentality. But the housing isn't being built within 3-4 blocks of the bakeries; more like several miles.
Right. I wonder why. Or why don't businesses build on that same "available land?" Oh right... Zoning.

Mixed use may NOW be trending. But it wasn't before when most everything you see today WAS built... In support of car dependent mentality.

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Old 02-19-22, 09:32 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Right. I wonder why. Or why don't businesses build on that same "available land?" Oh right... Zoning.
Again, you have it backwards.

The businesses are in the correct places. It's the housing miles from anything useful that is misplaced.

Nothing should be being built out there - not housing, not businesses, nothing, because such locations only work by car.

We need to concentrate the development of housing as well as business in the denser, walkable areas.
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Old 02-19-22, 10:15 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Again, you have it backwards.

The businesses are in the correct places. It's the housing miles from anything useful that is misplaced.

Nothing should be being built out there - not housing, not businesses, nothing, because such locations only work by car.

We need to concentrate the development of housing as well as business in the denser, walkable areas.
Motorsport race tracks seem to be a magnet for misplaced houses, build a track way out in the "boonies", and in a matter of years, they end up being surrounded by housing tracts. Then the tracks either end up getting shut down for noise pollution, or forced into spending excessive amounts of money in noise reduction expenditures, due to complaints of noise from the new neighbors
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Old 02-19-22, 11:05 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
That opening was in the process of being filled by me - the car to my left had just waved me in.
I figured that something was up, since you should have had a gaggle of cars "freight training" past you, and it's tough making a lane change when the car behind you does a " slingshot " maneuver into an opening just behind a passing car.
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Old 02-19-22, 02:06 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Again, you have it backwards.

The businesses are in the correct places. It's the housing miles from anything useful that is misplaced.

Nothing should be being built out there - not housing, not businesses, nothing, because such locations only work by car.

We need to concentrate the development of housing as well as business in the denser, walkable areas.
I agree with you... but your statements are forward looking.

What we have right now is the result of national changes that occurred from about the 1920s until the 1950s, with the automobile boom largely occuring post WW2. Prior to the 1920s, the cities were largely mixed... with housing and commercial IN the same area... largely due to the "walking cities" and horse driven trades of the earlier 1880s being the dominate manner in which cities were built. The automobile did not show up until the 1890s, and was largely a rich man's "toy" until mass production started by Ford in 1908... Production slowly ramped up until the 1920s.

A look at the chronology of urban growth in America—with transportation as a key variable—shows how automobiles have transformed cities. Historians have mapped out a three- or four-stage transportation chronology for the American city: walking city (pre-1880), streetcar city (1880-1920), and automobile city (post-1920). One historian has divided the latter period into a “recreational vehicle” period (1920-1945) and a “freeway” period (post-1945).

The first stage—“the walking city”—was marked by highly compact cities and towns; an intermingling of residences and workplaces; a short journey to work for those employed in a variety of tasks; mixed patterns of land use; and the location of elite residences at the city centers. In this era, many cities and towns had large central squares that served as meeting places, open markets for buying and selling goods, and parade grounds for special occasions. For the most part, streets were narrow, meandering, and unpaved. Until the nineteenth century, there were few means other than walking or on horseback to traverse American cities.
The Automobile Shapes The City: From?Walking Cities?to?Automobile Cities?

So we did have that intermingling of residences and commercial properties well before the advent of the automobile... but, post WW2, and into the '50s the American landscape was pushed into what we have now by automobile culture and the advent of the Interstate, brought on by the National Highway Act of 1956.

All this came to a horrible peak and crash, withe the gasoline (oil crisis) in the '70s.

But America has not yet reshaped back into mixed use areas... although attempts have been made... and it is "the new vision," largely because some folks have seen the disaster that the automobile culture can bring.

But America is largely still dominated by this culture, unlike some European cities that chose to convert away from car culture, such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam... which started down the path of car culture, but broke that path early.

We are currently stuck with the politics, the zoning laws and the economic mentality of that earlier car culture... and true mixed use cities have not yet dominated our landscape, and building new developments in "suburbs" and "exurbs" still continues.
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Old 02-19-22, 02:47 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
But America has not yet reshaped back into mixed use areas... although attempts have been made... and it is "the new vision," largely because some folks have seen the disaster that the automobile culture can bring.

We are currently stuck with the politics, the zoning laws and the economic mentality of that earlier car culture... and true mixed use cities have not yet dominated our landscape, and building new developments in "suburbs" and "exurbs" still continues.
Indeed, the problem is specifically building the housing in those outlying areas - rather than not also building stores alongside it.

So where "zoning" is an issue, it's zoning that limits housing density and infill in the already developed areas.

MA has just come out with a scheme to mandate "as of right" multifamily zoning near rail transit in the Boston-oriented part of the state that the rail system covers.

I currently live in an infill unit a very short walk from a real grocery store - it's exactly the sort of housing that should be being developed. But most of what's on the market here is 3-4 or more miles from such resources. Even the really trendy forwarding-thinking projects, have car-based life errands as a base assumption. The only at-scale development I've noticed that's actually sensible is one off the rail trail leading to major shopping - but it's over-55 and a half million for tiny little single-story places. If they'd done something like attached townhouses with a garage and basement, they could have doubled or trippled the density and made something that was actually appealing at a plausible price, even if some needed internal elevators or stair lifts (a pandemic creates a big "nope" around shared hallways and laundry type apartment buildings)

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Old 02-19-22, 03:54 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Indeed, the problem is specifically building the housing in those outlying areas - rather than not also building stores alongside it.

So where "zoning" is an issue, it's zoning that limits housing density and infill in the already developed areas.

MA has just come out with a scheme to mandate "as of right" multifamily zoning near rail transit in the Boston-oriented part of the state that the rail system covers.

I currently live in an infill unit a very short walk from a real grocery store - it's exactly the sort of housing that should be being developed. But most of what's on the market here is 3-4 or more miles from such resources. Even the really trendy forwarding-thinking projects, have car-based life errands as a base assumption. The only at-scale development I've noticed that's actually sensible is one off the rail trail leading to major shopping - but it's over-55 and a half million for tiny little single-story places. If they'd done something like attached townhouses with a garage and basement, they could have doubled or trippled the density and made something that was actually appealing at a plausible price, even if some needed internal elevators or stair lifts (a pandemic creates a big "nope" around shared hallways and laundry type apartment buildings)
The key is what you mentioned: "just come out with a scheme... " That is the heart of the matter... Only just now (and maybe for the last 10-15 years) has there been any real recognition of the lack of mixed use, and the havoc that "automotive centric" design was. Only in the last decade or so have cities just started to embrace a different model... beyond the "drive thru everything."

Likely it will take 40-50 years or more before these transformations really change our current environment. Car culture did not happen overnight, nor can it be "unwound" overnight.

And bear in mind that the whole "central office" mindset was part of this culture. Only now, with "Working From Home" over the last couple of years... is there beginning to be recognition that a central office (and commuting) may not be all that effective or necessary... but meanwhile... your boss (from the old school) wants everyone in the office. "Get in your car Jones and get into the office..." BLECH!

Here and there in some towns there are small smatterings of mixed commercial and housing... but those are merely the early "sprouts."
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Old 02-19-22, 04:07 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
The key is what you mentioned: "just come out with a scheme... " That is the heart of the matter... Only just now (and maybe for the last 10-15 years) has there been any real recognition of the lack of mixed use, and the havoc that "automotive centric" design was. Only in the last decade or so have cities just started to embrace a different model... beyond the "drive thru everything."
My argument with your earlier posts was that you were blaming the commercial zoning for keeping the shopping away from the housing.

The actual problem - which I'm glad to see now recognized - is the lot size and single family residential zoning and incumbent habits keeping the housing away from the shopping, schools, daycare, employment, transit, and nightlife.
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Old 02-19-22, 06:20 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
My argument with your earlier posts was that you were blaming the commercial zoning for keeping the shopping away from the housing.

The actual problem - which I'm glad to see now recognized - is the lot size and single family residential zoning and incumbent habits keeping the housing away from the shopping, schools, daycare, employment, transit, and nightlife.
The housing "keeping away from shopping schools etc," is due to zoning. Look into the zoning laws in your area... see if they allow mixed residential/commercial etc. Many areas do not... and that zoning is a hold over from the development of car culture. The result is homes are build out in suburbs.

It is a complex social-economic problem, cemented into place with zoning laws.
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Old 02-19-22, 06:28 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
The housing "keeping away from shopping schools etc," is due to zoning. Look into the zoning laws in your area... see if they allow mixed residential/commercial etc. Many areas do not...
No, that's where you get all mistaken again. Mixing housing into traditionally commercial areas really hasn't been an issue.

Where zoning actually is part of the problem, it's been archaic zoning that tries to limit the density of housing - minimum lot sizes, mult-family restrictions, and prohibitions on constructing the sort of short-walk-from-the-grocery store infill / auxiliary dwelling unit that I current call home.
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Old 02-19-22, 07:08 PM
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building to have a mix use area that puts residential & commercial within a walking distance may work if it's done where the homes are not built on top of each other like how Detroit did it. I don't need or want a million acres to plot my house on, but I also don't want a .25 ac parcel. Having a commercial or industrial business on top of one another wouldn't be an issue, but for residential that doesn't work well when you want your home to be your sanctuary. If Detroit built single family homes on lots that were 3x larger, the city might be different in a positive way today.
Also, having the industrial zoning more distant while keeping the commercial & residential zoning within reach of each other might encourage less use of local motorized transportation. SE Michigan is a nightmare since it has pretty much everything randomly laid out in each city/township. Want McD's? make a right, want to go to the shopping center that has a bunch of quick dollar grabbing convenience stores? Go up a block from McD's & hang a left, you're there. Want to go to the Ford/GM/Chrysler production facility? Sure, stay on that same road for 500' & turn right. Then, when it's time to go home after all that galavanting, stay on that very same road, make a Michigan U-Turn, merge across 3 lanes without a turn signal & make a right into your subdivision.
Plazas, malls, & those massive hyperstores could be better placed elsewhere. Consumerism has many consumed into their wants rather than needs. I don't have to go far for a smart device, fast food item, or jeggings. Dare I need a decent sump pump, garage door spring, or food to do some healthy eating... gotta travel out for that, & it better be during the week during bankers hours.
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