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  1.  

    Joe Linton

    But I don’t wanna wait 10 years for BRT and bikeway projects!! wahhhh!!

  2.  

    Marven Norman

    Also, remember that a lot of jurisdictions count these sorts of widenings as part of the maintenance backlog.

  3.  

    Dennis_Hindman

    Additional width of a street does not have to be used for motor vehicles. It could be exclusively for transit, pedestrians or travel by bicycle.

    The city of Los Angeles has put on-street bike lanes and off-street bike paths in areas that have excess road capacity or off-street room for paths. Those areas of the city that have narrower arterial streets per population tend to have few, if any, bike lanes or paths.

    Realistically there is not going to be a connected network of bike lanes and bike paths in areas of Los Angeles that have few motor vehicles lanes per population without additional space to install them in. Swapping out a mile of motor vehicle lane that carries thousands of people per day for bike lanes that initially would carry no more than a few hundred is a recipe for failure as motor vehicles are squeezed into a smaller area on streets that are already traffic congested.

    The predominant reason that subways were built in populated cities from the late 1800’s onward was due to not having room or excess street capacity on the surface to install a fast moving train there. That existing surface transportation was not only cars and trucks, but also pedestrians and horses in the earlier years of subway construction. Digging a subway tunnel creates more room to move people in high population density areas of a city in much the same way as widening a street does.

    Choosing not to widen a street a city could be guaranteeing that motor vehicle travel remains the dominant form of transportation as every other form of transportation is squeezed by the dominance of motor vehicles.

  4.  

    Stop Bad Bicyclists Wisconsin

    i see you aren’t able to think any further than what the left tells you.

    Did you know california governor Jerry Brown a big radical leftist believing in the very same “man made climate change” took huge sums of money from big oil? If hypocrisy could hurt! ha ha

    When the radical leftists that are pushing & preaching this stuff start practicing it, get back to me.

  5.  

    Alex Brideau III

    And let’s not forget that these widenings only apply to the portion of the street directly adjacent to the property. That means many properties all in a row would need to be rebuilt before there would even be a conceivable effect on the vehicle traffic (decades; maybe longer). This means that until then, it’s just wasted roadway width that serves no purpose aside from encouraging illegal speeding and increasing difficulty in pedestrians crossing streets.

    Now, as another posted noted, if this increase width could be limited to BRT or bikeway use, then maybe that’s something. I could even envision changing the requirement from widening the roadway to widening the sidewalk and adding a healthy amount of additional street trees. We could certainly use the shade canopy.

  6.  

    baklazhan

    The ceiling issue is a real one, although if you walk around the city you can see a lot of buildings where the ground floor was made usable either by digging out or by raising the building. Whether it was financially feasible would be another issue (though you might imagine it being done in conjunction with an unavoidable earthquake retrofit, for example).

    Rent control wouldn’t be an issue for commercial spaces.

    What I’d most like to know, though, is do you think you should have the right to do it?

  7.  

    Joe Linton

    Don’t forget the Chuck Marohn argument here. Cities, including Los Angeles have huge backlogs in street maintenance. L.A.’s is estimated to be more than $2B. Why do we keep widening streets when we can’t afford to maintain the ones that we already have?

  8.  

    david vartanoff

    Actually, the thing to do w/ the new lane is bus only, and a queue jump traffic light.

  9.  

    Vooch

    insane

  10.  

    Mike Harvison

    @flamingofresh:disqus I agree. Times have changed.

  11.  

    FlamingoFresh

    Your intolerance of my intolerance is very noticeable as well. Yes, planet Earth goes through climate trend every couple thousands of years and so and who’s to say if the rise in temperature is due to that or anything else. What I guess I was trying to get at was people who are set in their ways and don’t have an open mind shouldn’t be making decisions for the country. I don’t know if you noticed but the world is constantly changing whether it is the culture, the economy, technology, or even the climate. With this ever changing world we live in we need people who can be open minded and accept new ideas and theories and at least acknowledge it and then chose whether to adequately write it off or not. Yes in my previous statement I made a strong stance on how I feel about who runs the country and that is only looking at it as a whole. I’m sure there’s plenty of older politicians that are open to change and like change but there’s still a good amount who aren’t.

    Also I have to disagree with you, I do believe climate control has to do with saving the planet. It’s about becoming sustainable as a species and being able to preserve what we have because at the end of the day if the planet is destroyed we as a species are destroyed. It seems to me that you don’t believe that every action has an equal or opposite reaction, that the billions or carbon emissions are not having any effect on world. Whether it’s proven or not you have to give it a fair amount acknowledgement and consider the idea before YOU blatantly try to write it off.

  12.  

    Stop Bad Bicyclists Wisconsin

    Flint Michigan has a democrat mayor I believe. So when there is a screw up, the democrats find a republican to blame. When will democrats ever take responsibility for anything they do or say?
    The rest of what you said the democrats are just as guilty, if not more so. Check your facts from a non-liberal source.

  13.  

    Stop Bad Bicyclists Wisconsin

    Your intolerance of others view points are over flowing in your comment. Yes! the climate changes. Yes! the earth warms & cools. The problem people have is the bunk claims about “man-made climate change”
    The mindset of the young that the colleges i mean indoctrination centers are very dangerous to freedom & liberty in this country. When you really look further in to what “man made climate change” is, it is about “people control,” not about saving the planet! The fact that they have tried to sue or threaten to jail people that deny “man-made climate change” throws up red flags that maybe “man-made climate change” really isn’t actually real.

  14.  

    RichLL

    If it wasn’t obvious I was talking about high-density cities where parking is in demand. If you live in the middle of nowhere, chances are parking makes little difference to the rent anyway since space is not at a premium.

  15.  

    Matt Maldre

    Here is a direct link to the docket: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FHWA-2013-0054 (the link in the article just goes to the homepage)

  16.  

    RichLL

    I doubt that any such unit would be legal. The ceiling is low and there are no windows. Plus, crucially, if I let out that unit it would be covered by rent control. If the city wants to encourage the creation of in-law units, they should exempt them from rent control as with other new homes.

  17.  

    RichLL

    Not irrelevant at all. The other building occupants ARE renters. That said I don’t allow tenants to use the garage at all, but that has more to do with rent control than anything else

  18.  

    FlamingoFresh

    If you have politicians nowadays that don’t believe climate change is real then they should be out of politics. That disbelief proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are not competent to represent me, regardless of your political party. Don’t you think it’s about time that we get these old politicians who possess such an archaic mindset that doesn’t represent the direction that we want to be moving as a nation in this day in age. Time to get more young, forward thinking minds that truly possess a different way of thinking that fall in line with how we are evolving socially.

  19.  

    valar84

    There are very few places in North America where that is actually likely. In most places, parking is abundant because the regulations are designed to make sure that each unit has enough parking spots for the probable demand. And even if that wasn’t enough, most places allow street parking, which is not full at all.

    So the likelihood of a renter with a parking space being able to rent it out in most of North America is slim to nil.

  20.  

    Alicia

    Exactly. I’m really amazed Rich doesn’t understand this concept.

  21.  

    Joe R.

    Actually I would include only non-commuting transportation expenses under miscellaneous. Commuting expenses and income/payroll taxes would be subtracted from gross pay in order to determine net pay. The % figures are all based on percentages of net pay.

    That said, it’s probably difficult to determine what percentage of car expenses in an auto-dependent suburb are for commuting, and what percentage are for other transportation. It might be simpler to just include all auto expenses under miscellaneous. Your point about transportation in auto-dependent suburbs is taken. I’ve even mentioned something similar myself, basically that an average person easily spends $300K or more on car expenses over their lifetime.

  22.  

    Charles Siegel

    You are the owner, so your comments are irrelevant to the article, which is about renters. If you were a renter, the owner might not allow you to rent out your space.

  23.  

    Charles Siegel

    Maybe this is too subtle and perhaps a waste of your time.

    Not very subtle. Definitely a waste of time.

  24.  

    Marven Norman

    Rent isn’t quite deductible dollar-for-dollar, but it is a tax credit here in CA.

  25.  

    baklazhan

    I suppose you include transportation expenses under miscellaneous? I ask because there is a “housing + transportation affordability index” which has data that in some areas– specifically poor, auto-dependent suburbs– households’ costs of transportation actually exceed the costs of housing.

  26.  

    baklazhan

    I’m curious if you’ve thought about the following:

    Given the layout of your building, would it be practical to convert 2-4 spaces into a small storefront/office/apartment? Do you think it would make more money than you currently do? Do you think it should be legal for you to do so?

  27.  

    RichLL

    Wrong. I own a 6-unit apartment building and I live in one of the units. All the other units are rented out, and I rent out all the garage spaces too, but not to the other residents because then rent control would apply to them.

  28.  

    p_chazz

    I only get $400 per year at my condo complex, but it’s a carport space in a neighborhood with ample street parking.

  29.  

    p_chazz

    In most condos, you cannot use your space for anything other than parking. If people start storing their stuff there, they get a letter from the association to move it, and if they don’t it gets hauled to the dump and billed back to the homeowner.

  30.  

    p_chazz

    I don’t have a car, but my condo unit comes with a deeded space that I get $400 per year for.

  31.  

    baklazhan

    If that space were used for something other than parking, you would get a whole lot more. Even at $300/space, it’s not competitive with commercial or residential uses. Of course not every space can be used for commercial purposes, but most can, as a walk down any of SF’s older commercial streets will demonstrate- even underground spaces.

    And not only would it make you more money, but more available space would ease rents- also a good thing.

    Mind you, it’s your space, and if you want to rent it as parking, that’s your decision.

  32.  

    MT

    Anywhere I’ve ever lived required valid licence plates on any vehicle parked in their lot or it would be towed.

  33.  

    farazs

    ^That is blatantly sexist. FWIW, most women I encounter on my commute leave me in the dust.

    As to your ‘system’, I must say it is a colossal testament to stupidity. Your behaviour is completely unpredictable and shows utter disregard bordering on contempt for other road users, especially vulnerable users like pedestrians and other cyclists.

  34.  

    AlexWithAK

    Ah the old “driving is self supporting but transit is subsidized” myth. It’s so astonishingly and demonstrably false and yet people keep repeating it.

  35.  

    Tom Sherman

    NO ONE? THINK ABOUT WEAKER RIDERS ESPECIALLY WOMEN. MAYBE ITS NOT A MAJOR FACTOR. WHAT HAVE YOU TO SAY AS TO THE SAFETY OF MY SYSTEM NOW THAT YOU’VE GOT THE DETAILS.

  36.  

    farazs

    I believe ^bigotry^ will effect total destruction of society way sooner than cars.

  37.  

    reasonableexplanation

    Also, to add to this;

    I actually consider $400 or $500 a month a reasonable rent

    Working backwards, let’d say you decide to buy an investment property to rent out, you take out a 20 year mortgage, and you’re fine with making a modest $100/month in profit…

    That means the mortgage has to be $66k to give a $400 monthly payment. If you figure in taxes and maintenance, that $66k number is reduced further. So… yeah, good luck finding property that cheap in the tri-state area.

    a $200k mortgage results in a monthly payment of $1,200. Add in taxes, maintenance, and a small profit, and you get the $1,600+ rents you see, even in cheap areas.

  38.  

    farazs

    That is relevant to bicyclists how? How is that even remotely comparable? What bike commute changes from ~30 minutes to 8-10 hours due to following traffic laws?

  39.  

    Joe R.

    I remember when we lived in a housing project, they asked for last year’s tax returns and used the after tax figure to calculate rent. Our highest rent was $169 a month in a year where my father made about $14K. If rent were a deductible expense on tax returns then it makes more sense to use before tax figures but that’s not the case.

    For personal financial planning reasons, I would use the 25% of net pay figure. I would break it down as follows:

    25% housing
    25% savings
    25% retirement and medical
    25% food and miscellaneous

    When people pay more than 25% in rent, that means it’s coming at the expense of savings or retirement. Given the precarious position of Social Security and the transient nature of employment, that’s not a gamble I’m willing to take. You need substantial savings to tide you over when you’re in between jobs, and you need a good retirement nest egg to supplement, or worst case, replace Social Security.

  40.  

    mckillio

    I think they care about it more than they care about climate change.

  41.  

    reasonableexplanation

    (note that it’s 25% AFTER taxes and carfare, not before)

    I don’t think that’s right. It’s ~1/3 of your gross, or pre-tax income. Most websites seem to agree, here’s one example: http://www.lendkey.com/resources/how-much-of-your-income-should-you-spend-on-housing/

    In general, it’s not unexpected that the portion of your income that you spend on housing has gone up over time (even when you remove the NYC-specific aspect of it).

    Here’s a good article about this:
    http://fortune.com/2015/08/04/housing-30-percent-rule/

    Here’s a highlight:

    in 1936 the average family spent about one-third of its income on food, compared with roughly 13% in 2003

  42.  

    Tom Sherman

    fatigue accidents happen all the time with truckers. thats why its illegal for them to drive over a certain # of hours.

  43.  

    Joe R.

    Closer to $750 a month for a $50K income using the 25% rule (note that it’s 25% AFTER taxes and carfare, not before).

    It really looks like nothing is affordable for the middle class anywhere in NYC. Most halfway decent places which don’t involve a long commute are over $2000 a month. No way you’re affording that on $50K a year (which is really ~$35K after taxes and carfare). 2/3rds of your take-home pay for housing? That’s just insane.

    NYC is one of the few places in the country where you’re middle class making $150K or $200K a year.

  44.  

    Alicia

    So in other words you own (or rent) a house and don’t live in an apartment complex with a shared parking lot / garage.

  45.  

    RichLL

    I’m in SF and not Chicago, but there is not the slightest problem with renting out private parking spaces. I have a 6-car garage and only have 2 cars. You bet I rent the other 4 spaces out, and get $300 a month for each.

  46.  

    Alicia

    Subsidized by income taxes and property taxes.

  47.  

    Alicia

    I have to live somewhere. My city has legally mandated parking minimums, as do the vast majority of cities and towns in the USA. So while I don’t have to live in the exact apartment complex that I am in, or the exact city, I am for all intents and purposes forced to live in a place with parking minimums and to pay for parking I am not using.

  48.  

    Alicia

    Authorized cars (belonging to residents) at my place are registered with management and display a sticker on the window. Cars with no sticker are regularly towed.

  49.  

    Alicia

    It’s odd that you’ve never heard of it. My apartment complex (in a small Midwestern city) requires residents to register their car, but does not charge any extra fees for parking. (I.e. they bundle parking). This is typical in my area.

  50.  

    Peter Erskine

    If USDOT wants to have a material effect on CO2 emissions from vehicles then they should continue to work through NHTSA to develop higher CAFE standards for vehicles. If USDOT wants to know how much CO2 emissions are being produced by existing vehicles on the road they can already do that using existing national-level data sources from EIA and vehicle data. If USDOT wants to waste resources then develop a national measure which will do nothing to decrease CO2 emissions.