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    that Police Army must cost…an arm and a leg. If we ended the war on drugs, we wouldn’t need so many of that army.



    and not until well after (a year?) the sprawled house(s)/development is built does the tax base factor them in to help pay–by then those roads have long since been built, the sewer, gas electric, by taxes and other rate payers. Thanks guys for subsidizing my house!



    I’m part of that 14% that rides multiple times a week and sadly, I wish I didn’t understand the concerns of those that don’t ride more often, but I do.

    I try extremely hard to look out for others and follow the rules. Just this evening on my bike ride home I was almost hit by another cyclist after I stopped at a stop sign and then started turning right at the intersection when the other cyclist, who was biking on the wrong side of the road on the same lane as me and who I could not see when stopped at the sign because I didn’t expect anyone coming from that direction and parked cars blocked my view of seeing them, turned left into my path without stopping at their stop sign. Just a short while later, I was biking on a residential street when a car came behind me, tapped on their horn twice and then sped past me on my left within inches of me, not the 3 feet required by California law. The driver then proceeded to only do California stops at the next 3 stop signs on the same 25 mph residential street. I have no idea why such unsafe maneuvers were carried out on a residential street, but I came home with adrenaline pumping in my veins and wondering how on earth someone else could put other’s lives in danger like that.



    This looks at cost of services, now how city finances are managed. Admittedly not so great in NYC.


    Kevin Love

    The reality is that converting from being a car driver to a train passenger delivers huge positive externalities.

    We create a virtuous circle of increasing these positive externalities by encouraging more people to be train passengers. One way of doing this is by returning part of the benefit of these positive externalities to the passenger in the form of low fares, high-quality inexpensive food, and, yes, clean toilets.


    Kevin Love

    “… demand that states pay for more of the cost of those routes.”

    By the same logic, states should pay for more of the cost of highways. 100% works for me.

    “Amtrak’s food service operations should pay for themselves.”

    By the same logic, you should also favor charging for the toilets on the train. If the food service should pay for itself, then why shouldn’t the toilet service pay for itself?


    Andres Dee

    I thought it was “give ‘em a bus ticket to the city”.



    I’m definitely not a conservative by any stretch (quite the opposite) but I actually think the “full-cost food service” provision is a good thing. Amtrak’s food service operations should pay for themselves. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the on-board food prices, though. Last I looked, they were already pretty steep – $5.75 for a microwaved cheeseburger, for example.

    The rest of the provisions seem like positives, too. Maybe Amtrak not having to reinvest its profits in money-losing long-distance routes will give it more leverage to demand that states pay for more of the cost of those routes. Many states pay nothing for the service they get at the moment, despite it being enormously costly to provide.


    Alistair Twiname

    because NY is an expensive place to do business. this study compares low and high density in the same cities it doesn’t say that dense cities are cheaper.

    I’m sure if you looked at Calcutta it would cost less then new york.



    lol I was thinking the same thing. San Francisco county property tax is higher than all the surrounding counties.



    That being said, NYC gets a TON of tax revenue from other sources, such as hotel taxes, sales taxes, income tax, etc. I’d be curious what NYC SPENDS, per capita, compared to the suburbs.



    Sorry, NYC real estate taxes are especially low compared to the suburbs. Do a quick search and you’ll see. It’s not uncommon for a single family house in a NYC suburb to pay $20,000 annually in RE taxes.

    For example, the average RE taxes on a single family home in Rockland County is $11,000 versus $6,400 for Co-ops in NYC.



    By endorsing a project that needlessly spends hundreds of millions of dollars, Governor Walker is promoting Big Government and the need for taxpayers to cough up more of their hard-earned money to the state. It would be interesting to see an objective analysis of the cost-benefit ratio of a project like this.


    John D

    so this details the costs…and it get even more pernicious when you discuss who pays.

    expanding water, sewer, streets to new development is paid by the entire ratepayer base through cost averaging — existing, installed customers in compact development patterns subsidize the low-density expansion of utilities.


    Félix Gravel

    Laval (Montreal suburb)


    Joe R.

    I was going to say the same thing. It’s pretty obvious most tax money NYC collects isn’t going for infrastructure spending given the horrid condition of much infrastructure here. While we can debate the value of a safety net, I think it’s fair to say that’s where the bulk of NYC taxes go.



    Among other things, it might have to do with how much of our tax dollars are pilfered by politicians representing the suburbs.



    This is a shot in the dark, and I hate to sound like one of those angry conservative people, but I do think we have much better social services than suburban areas. While the social safety net is far from perfect, there does seem to be a general understanding in the city and its politics that we have a duty to look after the vulnerable and less fortunate among us. Whereas the attitude in the suburbs towards the vulnerable and less fortunate seems to generally be “fuck ‘em”.


    Alex Brideau III

    I am definitely in this boat. I have two bikes but rarely ride them (mostly during CicLAvia events) because I’ve seen how LA motorists drive and don’t trust them. If (when?) LADOT ever gets around to debuting protected bike lanes (more than just the 2nd St Tunnel) I’ll probably get out there more often.

    And speaking of the 2nd St Tunnel “protected” bike lane, I’ve actually used it and by virtue of the road diet it imposed (and accompanying lower car speeds), I felt relatively safe compared to the standard LA-style bike lane. Even though the tunnel lane only uses plastic delineators as protection, to me it still felt safer than mere paint. (I’m sure many LA drivers are probably more concerned about the delineators scuffing their paint jobs than buzzing a person biking, but if that’s what it takes, so be it!)



    so why are NYC taxes are so high?


    Joshua Redman

    My favorite episode so far! Randy had some great points about Atlanta. His suggestion on where the original Atlanta streetcar route should have gone makes more sense than anywhere else in the city.


    Joe R.

    Americans in general are overly sensitive to body odor. There’s actually a line of thought which says showering every day deprives the skin of natural oils, making it drier. This also may make you more prone to infection. Of course, if you shower every other day, or perhaps even every 3 or 4 days in cooler months, you won’t smell “freshly-showered” but you won’t stink, either, unless you’re doing heavy manual labor all day.



    Agree totally but your regular way of getting around becomes a habit whether its comfortable or not. But only once we have some good infrastructure can we actually start encouraging people stuck on other modes to try cycling.

    Getting them on the bike today will only turn them off to it once they reach the end of their (maybe) relatively calm neighborhood block and hit a main road.


    Joe R.

    Not only that, but the more you ride, the better shape you’ll be in, the less you’ll sweat both on and off the bike. Back when I was at my peak in my early 30s I would barely sweat when walking in 90+ degree weather, for example. Even now I can ride for two hours in the summer, come home, not jump in the shower, and still not get any BO comments from those in the same room. Just a simple thing like rinsing your underarms and changing your undershirt solves that problem. You can do that in any office bathroom.

    It’s also worth noting sweat is odorless unless you let it linger for a while. I personally feel the whole “cyclist stinking up the office” meme is hardly based in fact. Most of the time when I encounter people who really stink they’re grossly overweight, like 400-500 pounds. I don’t know any cyclists who weigh that much.



    Or it could be that they don’t feel safe riding on our shitty roads.



    45% of people in New York City work 5 miles or less from their jobs.

    I doubt the grocery store or many other things you do are more than 5 miles from where you live if you’re within the city. Hell even in Nassau County. Last I saw most car trips in New York are only ~2 miles.



    Meh. Real men stink!



    And who is this hundred millionth citizen of NYC who doesn’t? I do believe I saw a few of him today.



    it’s almost 12 miles from where i live, which is why i take the subway or LIRR and walk the last 5-15 minutes. just like most people here



    looking around NYC, 99.999999% of the people agree with me



    If you stink after riding a bike 3 miles, you are probably riding a bit too hard.

    They also make “freshening” wipes to hit the important areas that you could try out.


    Marven Norman

    Biking shouldn’t be considered a “habit” any more than driving a car is. If people are going to bike, it needs to be safe and convenient. Unfortunately, up until now, most bikeways in America force people to choose one or the other while many really fail on both measures. Yet, agencies continue to try putting in “dual user” systems, a move that ultimately benefits no one.



    The state is broke and if the Silver Line boondoggle is any indicator the Purple line is going to do little in terms of helping to ease traffic.

    Most people drive around here. A more effective use of money would be to either extend the 495 Express Lanes out of Virginia or connect the west end of I-370 to VA Route 28 by Dulles.



    Yes, actually; quite a lot of road projects — google “Complete Streets”.

    What Streetsblog consistently opposes is *road widening*.

    Our roads are wide enough already.

    This is basically a road widening project: taking a perfectly nice street and replacing it with an oversized semi-expressway. For no good reason.



    The last thing I want to do is shove a red hot poker up my bum while being punched in the face and listening to Nickleback. I guess we just differ.


    Greg Costikyan

    Biking in the freezing cold is a concern, but as the Swedish say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather — only the wrong clothing.” I’ve biked into the teens; if you can walk in that temperature, you can bike in that temperature (indeed, in a way, it’s easier, as the exercise warms you up). The secret is that you need damn thick gloves, because you’re gripping metal rods (albeit ones covered with rubber).

    As for hot weather: It’s ideal if a shower is available at your work; a sponge bath can also be helpful, if you have privacy in the bathroom. But also: Don’t overestimate how stinky a little sweat will make you. Underarm dehydrant advertisements have made us excessively sensitive to this issue, which mostly isn’t one.


    Ms Anonymous

    Drive for free? The people living North of Atlanta are the only ones who have actually paid for the road they drive on. If the GA DOT wants to make money, they can set up toll booths on the downtown connector and see how much money they rake in.



    No, just one who is respectful of his coworkers.



    The problem IS that people are texting, or not being defensive enough. Pedestrians are constantly walking while texting, listening to loud music, just not paying attention. Watch a bunch of HS kids, they are all in the slouched posture holding a device, with head tilted towards the ground. They step into traffic and take no notice of what is going on around them. Drivers are doing the same thing. Whether behind the wheel or on foot, you need to PAY ATTENTION, put the phone in the backseat and FOCUS, otherwise you are going to be the cause or result of a bad accident.


    Gary Fisher

    Anon, You are a dull person.



    If you can walk in a given weather condition, you can probably bike a few miles. Its not that hard.



    cool story bro



    Walnut Creek, California, is located only 35 minutes from downtown San Francisco by BART (metro). I live in Walnut Creek because my home is 1.5 miles from the BART station but also 0.3 miles from a trailhead accessing 500 miles of dirt trails around Mt. Diablo. Off the photo to the right is the Iron Horse Trail, a 35 mile-long paved separated class I bike/ped facility running north/south. As you can see from the photo, to access the BART station (bottom/left quartile of photo) from the trail (0.7 miles away) one has to pass by or through parking lot after parking lot on a busy road or sidewalk. The city of Walnut Creek could have a bustling people-filled downtown but instead allocates much space to car storage.,-122.0667661,639m/data=!3m1!1e3



    the last thing i want to do is bike in the freezing cold or the summer and stink up the office


    Andres Dee

    Here’s the pic.





    Downtown Topeka, KS looks pretty bad after a little searching through cities..



    Mobile, Alabama deserves recognition.

    The grassy area on the lower right is an historic fort, completely encircled by an off-ramp from I-10 onto “Water Street,” which ironically cuts off the whole downtown area from said water (the Mobile River). Please note: extra parking provided inside of off-ramp, and between Water Street and cruise ship.

    Then, just to the north: Downtown Mobile. It’s hard to choose my favorite parking lot, but if forced I’d say it’s the one abutting Bienville Square’s (the green block) western edge. Great use of a city square!


    Andres Dee

    Atlantic City, NJ: This fast-fading shore resort’s “city fathers” have run a multi-million-dollar ad campaign to try to get people to “do” it and are scratching their heads wondering why it’s not happening. A place of Jane Jacobs-ian “gray areas” and “no man’s lands”.,+NJ+08401/@39.3590878,-74.4270095,1088m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c0eeff60e6f7f7:0x5f18adeeced4fec6


    Justin Nelson

    The southern bit of Downtown Riverside, south of the courthouses– in the 15 square blocks bounded by 11th, Market, 14th, and the 91 freeway has 4 parking garages that are at least half the area of the block– including two that are basically the entire block– massive surface lots in front of the Family Court (Market/11th) and the County Building (Lemon/12th), and most of the buildings with their own tiny moats. Oh, and let’s toss in a drive-thru right on the main downtown thoroughfare while we’re at it.,-117.3761863,626m/data=!3m1!1e3