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    C Monroe

    our peeve.



    The point of the report is really about measuring the outcomes of sprawl development, which I think it does pretty well.


    C Monroe

    What I am referring to is when Apple originally was full of Wall Street corporate types, they had differences with Steve Jobs. They didn’t like his concept of more expensive and reliable computers and were scared by all the pc clones. They staged a coup and kicked him to the curb. Started doing things just like everyone else. It wasn’t until near bankruptcy that their was a shareholder uprising that brought Steve Jobs back almost a decade later. He ran the company smart, giving it a upscale brand look. But since he died, The company now is scared again, especially since Samsung/Google have taken the smartphone market. They are now in the process of cloning Samsungs success instead of being innovating and coming up with something that will make others copy them.



    Why should anyone pay for anything they will never use?! Why should I pay for bombs to kill people? Why should I have to pay for anything I don’t want to?! Why should I have to pay for anything?!?!? Why should I have to pay for a freeway I will never use? Why should I have to pay for anything WHY WHY WHY WHY?



    It was Steve Jobs who turned it into the type of high cap, low-risk boutique firm it became. I don’t want to say they aren’t “innovative,” but the innovation is more marketing than technical. At least moreso than anyone wants to admit.

    (For example: Napster demonstrated a market for digital music. iTunes made it kosher with record companies, not viable for a mass audience.)



    No, but I doubt it has much to do with the ADA.

    I mean, we still have slides on playgrounds. Can’t exactly use those with a wheelchair.


    Tom Fairchild

    The issue isn’t whether Apple is implementing programs to encourage employees commute via transit. The issue is that Apple selected an isolated location that makes alternatives to driving more difficult and less appealing. Operating shuttles to Caltrain are not the same as locating next to the station. Operating shuttles to dense walkable/bikeable residential districts where employees can walk to the shuttle stops is not the same as locating adjacent to such a district where employees can walk or bike to work.


    Nicholas Littlejohn

    This is pretty sad. Shall we start a petition in addition to calling and face booking their offices?



    Angie, I LOVE parking madness!



    Talk about “city smells”–unique to San Francisco is the aroma of wooden cable car brake blocks as the grip cars go downhill. If I’m off visiting The City (also known as “MuniLand”), and someone asks my wife where I am, she’s likely to say, “Oh, he’s up in San Francisco sniffing cable car fumes.”



    You honestly think we’d get away with a bridge and stream like that? Not a chance.


    Jack Jackson

    don’t disagree with the merits, just with the financing. why should Americans 10 states away pay for a sidewalk they’ll never use?

    national highways and interstates are far more likely to benefit national commerce on a larger scale. besides, walkable communities will need that freight from other places to appeal to their residents


    Chris McCahill

    We struggled with this decision, but chose to go with the historical center each city. Not to mention that Harvard Square has changed the least out of all the possible choices in Cambridge in terms of parking and built environment. As long as we stayed away from the the eastern and western edges, I don’t think it influences the findings much.



    Jack: Americans pay a disproportionate amount for freeways, highways, and large arterials surface streets. Walkable/Bikeable communities create more jobs per dollar invested and save more money with less frequent and expensive maintenance. Livable places are a win-win.


    Jack Jackson

    if Americans want more bike lanes and walkable communities, they are free to raise property and sales taxes to pay for them



    A major developer in Portland thinks parking lots are such a blight and property value killer that he wants the city to tax them:


    mrplanetbilly .

    Probably not the best example globally speaking, but for a town with a population of 75,500 (2011) in little old New Zealand this is a big change. Got to love big-box retail and the asphalt-awesomeness that goes with it…


    Jonathan Daggar


    mrplanetbilly .

    Damn look at how that huge road-snake has gobbled up half of the formal square…


    Ian Turner

    The Cheonggyecheon is accessible, it includes ramp and elevator access. Overall I’d say Seoul is far more friendly to the disabled than New York.


    mrplanetbilly .

    I agree Jeff. Would we call this progress??



    Hm, I’d say Central Square, though Kendall Square has the biggest buildings.



    The dysfunction in DC is such a shame. Good people like Senator Boxer end up selling the farm to try and get something rather than just let the whole thing fall apart. I appreciate her well-intentioned effort, but, when all the evidence is pointing to Americans wanting more bike lanes, more walkable communities, and more transit, this proposal is a crying shame and years behind its time.



    Arg, that picture makes me so sad. We’d have everyone screaming about ADA access anywhere in the USA.


    Payton Chung

    “In Cambridge, this includes the area surrounding Harvard Square. In Arlington, this includes the Orange Line corridor from Ballston to Rosslyn. In Berkeley, this includes the Shattuck Avenue corridor and South Side neighborhood.”



    One thing. Where is “downtown” Cambridge?



    I love the 20 MPH zone ideas. They might be a bit tougher to implement in a lot of American cities, because generally our self-contained neighborhoods are also our most sprawling, whereas our most compact neighborhoods tend to be more fully-integrated into a street grid. But that’s also further cause to do something like this, as oftentimes drivers will cut through side streets at speeds like they’re still on the main roads, endangering not only themselves but anyone else on the road or near it as they come on through.



    Yes and there is some metro are data as well. Unfortunately the main data presented was metropolitan division, and most analysis on the effects of sprawl use the flawed results.



    using metropolitan divisions skews the results. so DC has 16 counties while Detroit has 1? The urbanized area of Detroit covers at least 6 counties. the most sprawling suburbs of Detroit in Oakland and Macomb county are conveniently left out of the analysis making Detroit seem much more compact than it actually is. Furthermore Detroit seems better now, not necessary because its added commercial land use but because its lost residential uses. furthermore the downtown activity center is more prominent because there is so little activity elsewhere.



    the report uses metropolitan divisions and not either MSAs or urbanized area. among the most sprawling “cities” is Warren, MI a suburb in Macomb County, bordering 8 mile. the report is flawed and all analysis based on it are also flawed. I’m disappointed in Smart Growth America.


    Jonathan Daggar

    The only way to properly convey the horror of the parking crater is with animated gifs (achtung: 2 meg)


    Ben Fried

    If a parking lot is a crater, maybe a garage should be called a “parking tumor.”



    Reminds me of the old taunt, “Where did you get your license? In a box of corn flakes?” Many years ago I interviewed an official at the German Consulate General (so long ago it was West Germany) in San Francisco, because of stories I’d heard about how much more rigorous driver licensing was “over there”. The official told me how instructors had to be licensed, and if too many of an instructor’s “alumni” were responsible for collisions or received citations, the instructor’s license would be lifted. He went on to say that cars had to be inspected periodically, a process that would take two days, wasn’t cheap and was thorough. Even “cosmetic” body damage had to be properly repaired–no primer splotches. Modifications were strictly regulated–no “hot rods” or “low riders” allowed on the streets. To sum it up, driving was taken a lot more seriously there.



    Just a comment on the picture: that stream would probably have a fence around it in the USA.



    The sprawl thing isn’t particularly surprising. Republikans are parasites who live off big gubbermint transportation handouts.

    The “how light rail fared” article may contain some interesting metrics, but there is another thing to consider: it’s still cheaper to provide a municipally run light rail (or other transit) system than it is to provide roads and parking space for that many people. If those people didn’t have light rail, they either wouldn’t make their trips, or they’d drive.



    Faster is Apple Campus to Mountain View Caltrain, which on 85 is the reverse commute direction. Also extremely few Caltrains stop at Sunnyvale in the reverse commute direction, whereas nearly all stop at MV.



    Caltrain is not expensive because of its fuel use.

    Repurpose a highway lane, public transit is far higher capacity than a vehicle lane. Also Foothill Expressway used to be a rail line, they should bring it back.


    friendly universe

    Republican think tank version of what young people look like, so funny.
    Maybe they got a hold of a copy of “Rent” and thought that’s what’s happening
    today. lol I guess this is why Republicans in Texas have made it so
    you can vote with a gun license as your i.d., but not a student i.d.


    Drew Meehan

    It seems pretty obvious to me that a complete lack of driver training in the US has to be the major reason it differs so substantially from Europe and Japan.

    Here in the Netherlands, besides low speed limits (enforced strictly and aggressively by passive speed cameras) and traffic calming implementations in small towns and villages, drivers are also required to take approximately one full year of driver training (classroom and in-car) before they receive their license. Compared to the cursory 1 mile road test a 16 year old American is often taking to get their license, this results in a vastly better understanding of not just traffic laws, but also car control and driver behavior/reactions in traffic (merging, panic stops, poor conditions).

    The reality is that I feel safer riding my bike here than I do driving a car in the US!


    C Monroe

    Here is another for Detroit next year. These Atwater parking lots are on the water and GM world headquarters is just to the left of the map, Blue Cross/Blue Shield(HQ) is just to the north. Also the infamous I-375 ends at the top of the pic. Notice there are 3 7+story parking ramps with one at the one end of the large parking craters(who does it serve blocks from anything?) If you go to street level, you will notice they only charge $3 a day for parking 3 blocks from GMs world headquarters! A destination for many of auto part supplier sales executives. Bonus though at the far right, a new development of mix use townhouses and retail is about to start.,-83.0347122,578m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x883b2cd1bc539913:0x37383e7e19c46e3b


    David D.

    You are welcome to feel that way about El Cerrito, but it doesn’t sound like you’ve been to San Leandro, Hayward, Union City, Fremont, Richmond, Hercules, Pinole, or El Sobrante. And since we are splitting hairs here, (1) the only double left-turn lane I can think of on San Pablo is northbound at Cutting and (2) there is almost no difference in the biking environment on San Pablo between Albany and El Cerrito. Good luck even guessing where the city limit is if you aren’t already familiar with the area.



    Both Oakland and Albany are far more walkable and bikeable than El Cerrito, because the land use and signalization is much better. Literally every time I cross the border from El Cerrito into Albany, I breathe a huge sigh of relief. One bike path with stop signs at every street crossing block does nothing to fix an utterly broken land use problem.
    And San Pablo, which is a reasonably good bike cruising street in Berkeley and Albany, suddenly becomes nightmarish with skew intersections and double-stacked left turn lanes at every signal.

    Again, the whole point of this parking madness exercise is that you need good land use to take advantage of transportation infrastructure. El Cerrito has acres and acres of strip malls with enormous surface parking lots. Something that other cities were smart enough to avoid. No matter how many sidewalks it might have, it still stands out as being by far the most auto-centric town in the inner East Bay.


    Todd Felege


    I thought I’d actually help you:

    The Swiss perform tickets based on income as well as Norway as far as I know.

    If we are going to do that then I also want other traffic infractions punished like in Europe:

    1.) Not yielding the left lane will get you a hefty fine regardless of your income.
    2.) The Cell phone is a huge no no…
    3.) No fog lights without fog. Not just because you think it looks “cool”
    4.) Try and not use a blinker.
    5.) The speed limits are often much higher on the highway systems.
    6.) Try and make a turn and not finish in the lane you started from.
    7.) try and drive a car that is not in perfect mechanical condition.
    8.) The cost of a license is much higher and the training is much, much more thorough.

    As long as you’re willing to go all the way. I’m all for it.




    I love this.


    Todd Felege

    Wow. That sounds like a view completely grown from jealousy alone.

    So the poor person breaking the law in a K car from the mid eighties should be charged less than the person in the Rolls Royce for the same infraction.

    Very American of you.

    I really am not even sure what to think of that. Should we all carry our W2s with us so that the person driving that K car that simply didn’t want to spend so much on a car but is a millionaire doesn’t get away with it?!

    Please provide the data on the European countries where this is common. Boy am I glad I don’t live there.

    Would you assume because I drive a thirteen year old Porsche that I’m rich??? Maybe I spend more of my meager income on a car because it’s what I love.

    Next time you’re on the highway and you’re hogging the left lane and you simply refuse to yield it to the sports car coming up behind you whose fault it is that they have to move two lanes to the right to get by you… Whose fault is that?

    Do you use your turn signal on the road? Do you turn into the lane you started in?

    If you do I apologize but I really think this article and many of the comments are absolutely ridiculous.

    If someone gave you a BMW to drive would you automatically become a jerk? Not you of course… I’m sure.

    I cannot believe the level of jealousy that I see here. Maybe you should know that the Prius was considered a prestigious car in this study as well. Did you know that?

    I take my driving incredibly seriously. And I am in the “prestigious” category according to this loaded study. I stop for pedestrians all the time.

    This is mostly based on the one percenter attitude in this country.

    I want to be rich too. But I don’t get mad at the guy in the CL65 AMG Black when he goes past me on the highway at 110 MPH. If everyone followed the rules of the road it would be perfectly safe.

    Drive one of them sometime and you might understand why they are driven as they are. I don’t think that it’s anyone thinking that they are better than you. But I do think that their cars are better than ours.

    Do you get mad when you are jogging and a stronger jogger goes past you?

    Simply ridiculous.


    Todd Felege

    I hope you live in Florida.

    Sooner or later someone is going to call you out on that with a gun.

    Whose behavior is reckless…???


    Todd Felege


    You are not thinking rationally, that’s simply a matter of mass. Don’t you think that pedestrians are ever struck by bicyclists?

    Between 2007 and 2010 there were 4,121 bicycle-related accidents reported in New York State, with the most accidents occurring in 2008 (1,112) and the least (927) happening in 2010.
    (Hunter Study)

    And that’s just in New York…

    I assure you that you simply notice the BMW more than you notice the Honda Civic.

    The driver of the Toyota Prius and the Dodge Pickup iare the most arrogant drivers I see on the road.

    And when I drive my Porsche EVERY car on the road wants to show me how fast they are. It is actually disconcerting and scary sometimes. Especially the 40 something in the minivan whose family has made them give up on life on the road.

    By that matter I’d like to know how often you talk on your cell phone when you drive. Do you yield the left lane on the highway? Do you use your turn signal? Because I don’t care what you drive. Those behaviors are completely arrogant and dangerous.


    Khal Spencer

    Back in 1983, I drove from Long Island to Rochester and left my car with a friend doing his Ph.D. at U of R (mathematics) as theirs was dead. They dropped me off in Buffalo to visit family and had the use of my car for a few days. I rode my bicycle back to Rochester (NY 33 to 33A to 204 into 19th Ward) to their house. It was actually pretty undramatic. Wonder if it still would be so undramatic. Back then, bicycling was no big deal.


    Khal Spencer

    Just make sure you rent a Hummer to get there, Clarence….


    Khal Spencer

    Here’s to the Flower City!!!