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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Miami Marlins Risk Dropping the Ball on Transit

But wait… what if you built it and STILL no one came? I guess you’d better have some tradable players…

Exactly how those fans will get to the seats is a another matter. With the season just a few months away, the stadium’s transportation plan remains noticeably incomplete. Most fans will drive: roughly 5,000 garage spaces are intended for season ticketholders, and another 4,000 or so offsite spots will be available nearby. Still parking alone can’t fill the 37,000-seat stadium, and the team expects a considerable number of fans to arrive by public transportation

staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:13 AM | 262 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miami

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   101. BDC Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4015667)
Interesting thread. I live in the largest city in the US without public transit (Arlington, TX), and my "revealed preference" for doing so is that it's the only place I've ever been able to get a job :) For seven years I lived in North Dallas and drove quite a ways to work; then I moved 3 1/2 miles from work; then I moved to walking distance. That's no random pattern; the commute has ground me down. But it's hard to envision an Arlington where public transit catches on. As several have noted, low-density suburbs don't suit mass transit. Central Arlington is one of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in, yet it still consists of half-acre lots and 2-mile drives to the supermarket. Oddly enough, the one engine that would really drive some sort of mass-transit arrangement would be the stadiums. I tend to park downtown for free and walk to either the Ballpark or the Cowboys Stadium; if people could park very cheaply or free remotely and take a cheap bus there, there would be a lot of business. But the Rangers and Cowboys alike have a vested interest in extorting money from their parking lots. (With great wastefulness, they don't share lots, though the stadiums are across the street from each other.) Here's an example of teams actively interested in preventing public transit. The Marlins situation doesn't seem analogous; it just seems like they're underbuilding their lots (not a Texas problem).
   102. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4015669)
I for one would like to hear more from our resident political centrist on the left-wing economic policy of GW Bush.

And I for one wish our resident lefty tool (one of many around here, actually) would actually add something constructive to the discussion, or just STFU. (Shoulda realized: never wrestle with a pig. You get all dirty, and the pig likes it.)

See, libertarians are quite sympathetic to claims that the government shouldn't be subsidizing one lifestyle over another, and shouldn't be zoning out higher density housing, etc. But then every time we think about aligning ourselves with people who hold those views, we're slapped in the face with the reminder that those people really want the government to swing over to the opposite side. They want to force (or "encourage," or "incentivize") people to live in urban hellholes instead of nice low-density suburbs where all the decent god-fearing people with children live.


Like somebody said upthread, "Tax the things I don't like, and use the money to pay for the things I do."
   103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#4015679)
And I for one wish our resident lefty tool (one of many around here, actually) would actually add something constructive to the discussion, or just STFU. (Shoulda realized: never wrestle with a pig. You get all dirty, and the pig likes it.)

You might as well just come over to the dark side, RMc. Moderation will win you no points.
   104. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4015684)
compared to the larger benefits paid out to folks who live in more spread out areas


are these quantifiable? (not being snarky) is this based on some per capita measurement? I'm honestly wondering. I'm having a harder time seeing this. If I had to guess, the state (and residents) are cashing in big time on the mineral royalties.

I know this is cherry picking, but just trying to have some fun and illustrate life in 'nowhere' for some of you:
When you leave Casper, WY and head west towards 'nowhere' (actually Shoshone, about 100 miles away) there's a big red and white striped crossing arm with a big sign that basically says 'Look driver, when it snows and it is windy, we're putting this gate down and you're not leaving town, we can't protect your safety, or clear the roads during this inclement weather. Head back to town or you'll be fined and/or stranded.' It is like this all over the state (and other western states). There are several mountain roads and the entire Yellowstone Park that is closed to all automobile traffic for months out of the year.

Another hilarity of living in WY, besides finding a decent gyro, trying to find a federal magistrate judge within 48 hours to perform a Riverside review.
   105. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4015685)
Moderation will win you no points.

This. Trying to be honest and even-handed with extremists (left or right) does not impress them; meanwhile, the people who agree with you will wonder if you're drifting over to the "wrong" side.

Schmucks.
   106. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#4015686)
I've heard that at least one member of Metro's Board of Trustees now actually uses the service these days, so hopefully DC'll get better.

I sure hope so. And maybe it's partially related to the economy as well, I don't know. But the people who have been running it recently should be ashamed of themselves, because it's an absolute disgrace what they've allowed to happen.
   107. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#4015687)
I don't think anybody is saying you can't live in less dense areas. Only that people should have to pay the true cost of where they chose to live.


Well, either that -- or go without services... and we're talking about more than mail delivery - electricity/gas, fire/police to some extent, even health care.

And before DNP brings suburbs into the rural vs. urban mix -- suburbs don't count because they only exist as appendages TO urban areas.
   108. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM (#4015690)
And before DNP brings suburbs into the rural vs. urban mix -- suburbs don't count because they only exist as appendages TO urban areas.

Actually, most sunbelt cities are just extended, massive suburbs. They have nothing that can properly be call an urban core.
   109. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM (#4015703)
Observation about this thread: the discussion seems to treat development philosophies as a binary choice between extremes, Manhattan and rural Wyoming. I am a big proponent of smarter suburb design that accommodates cars while making more functions of every day life not car dependent. This means walkability, not necessarily trains. I live in very rural Maine, but our old fashioned downtown still allows me to get to work, shop, eat out, and go to the movies without driving. If I need to get to Target or whatever, I have to drive a long long way.
   110. Gotham Dave Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#4015735)
RMc, the reason they call them "wedge issues" is because they don't actually have anything at all to do with the left-right political spectrum and are used to drive people towards one or the other by acting like they do. Your core philosophy is very much on the right, and if you want to claim it's closer to the American center you're going to have to admit that you're on the world's fringe.

And I'll also say that while I disagree with you on most things, am somewhat puzzled by your consistent and emphatic opposition to public transportation, and all of your arguments on this thread are based entirely on strong men, it's admirable that you can keep the wedges from affecting your core political philosophy. Personally speaking, I'm way on the left but I think we have all the gun control we need already. Well, short of taking them away from cops in situations where they're not necessary, but that's not gonna happen.
   111. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#4015768)
But doesn't that theory contradict the desire to subsidize mass-transit?

Well, I think people should pay the true cost of that as well. People should also have to pay the true cost of owning and operating a car within a city and so should businesses. I think once we did all that most people in cities would opt for mass transit and once that happened costs for mass tranit on a per person level would drop.
   112. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:32 PM (#4015775)
Your core philosophy is very much on the right, and if you want to claim it's closer to the American center you're going to have to admit that you're on the world's fringe.

BBTF is a funny place. The person in question ("RMC ...") came out as pro-gun control, pro-choice, and pro-amnesty. Any one of those is enough to get a person tarred and feathered at any gathering of true righties, and yet the lefties here scoff at his accurate self-assessment as a centrist.
   113. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:38 PM (#4015782)
Right. George W. Bush indeed instituted a number of expansions of government. The people who oppose George W. Bush's economic policy as insufficiently right-wing are those people who fall well to the right of George W Bush on economic policy - rightists.
I think this misses the point. People who criticize Bush this way are not saying it was "insufficiently" right-wing; they're saying that it wasn't right wing at all. People who criticize Obama from the left on health care are saying that they wished he had gone full Canadian (if not UK!), that he didn't go nearly far enough to be liberal, that it was too centrist. But if he had adopted Paul Ryan's plan, it wouldn't be that he was insufficiently liberal, but that he wasn't liberal at all.
   114. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#4015788)

BBTF is a funny place. The person in question ("RMC ...") came out as pro-gun control, pro-choice, and pro-amnesty. Any one of those is enough to get a person tarred and feathered at any gathering of true righties, and yet the lefties here scoff at his accurate self-assessment as a centrist.


Because the BBTF ideological divide doesn't tend to break on those things -- it's about the role of government, taxation, and spending.

While I frankly don't own a gun, have no desire to own a gun, and wouldn't really care if they were all eliminated tomorrow -- I see little to no value in most gun control law expansions and certainly would at most call myself agnostic to the matter, if not at least nominally "pro 2nd amendment".

Do I get to call myself a centrist now, too?
   115. CrosbyBird Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#4015797)
The cost of maintaining a subway system in NY is ~$5 per ride. Why shouldn't the riders pay that?

Because those subway riders do less collective harm than they would if they were driving instead. A subway that can transport several hundred people is more environmentally friendly than several hundred cars, makes less noise, generates less traffic, and requires less physical space than would be needed to park all of those cars when not in use.

If driving were properly priced based on the indirect costs (often not borne by the individual drivers), more people would take public transit and the overall cost would drop significantly.
   116. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#4015805)
And yet housing costs are far higher in cities. The "revealed preference" of the masses is for city living, and they pay a very significant premium for it. Enabling greater density development isn't about forcing people into living situations they don't want, it's about responding properly to the actual demand in the market.
Van Goghs cost far more than Thomas Kinkades; can we conclude from this that "the masses" actually prefer Van Goghs to Thomas Kinkades?
   117. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#4015807)
People who criticize Bush this way are not saying it was "insufficiently" right-wing; they're saying that it wasn't right wing at all.
Well, the Medicare expansion was popular with something like 60-70% of the country. If you believe that 60-70% of the country are leftist, and you represent some chimerical center based on your own imagined political discourse, you're a right-winger.

I was referring to Bush's entire economic policy, from his laissez-faire stance on regulation of industry to his massive tax cuts to his expansion of Medicare. The Medicare expansion was a centrist policy, the others were rightist, the whole mess was some of the most right-wing governance the country has ever seen. If you scoff at the idea that George W Bush was a rightist, then you are a rightist.

Again, if you want to make an abstract claim about "left" and "right" in which all expansions of state power are in some way "leftist", I would disagree, but the argument has some coherence. If you want to make that claim while posturing to occupy the center of actually existing American political discourse, I'm going to make fun of you becuase you're being silly.
   118. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#4015811)
Van Goghs cost far more than Thomas Kinkades; can we conclude from this that "the masses" actually prefer Van Goghs to Thomas Kinkades?
This doesn't follow at all. By what mechanism do you imagine that the supply of high-density living is constricted that compares to the limitation on existing Van Goghs produced by Van Gogh's death? By what mechanism is low-density living cheaply reproduced that compares to the mechanized production of the Painter of Light?
   119. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:21 AM (#4015815)
I was referring to Bush's entire economic policy, from his laissez-faire stance on regulation of industry
But there was no such policy! Bush was not a closet libertarian; he wasn't even a libertarian sympathizer. He was a big government conservative. The CFR exploded under Bush just as it has under past presidents. This idea that Bush favored or pursued deregulation is a complete myth. The only part of his economic agenda that was "right wing" was tax cuts.

(But by your logic, that's not really right wing either, since the public approves of tax cuts by a large margin, so we have to call it "centrist.")
   120. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:26 AM (#4015818)
Tax cuts for the rich are not popular. Tax cuts for the middle class are popular. Bush cleverly packaged them together, but the weight of the cuts benefited the richest Americans, and lowering their taxes is broadly unpopular. It's a peculiar policy goal of the right and only the right.

We've danced this dance before on "total pages of regulations expanded under Bush." He expanded the surveillance state through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. That's where those pages came from, not from new financial or environmental or workplace safety regulation. At the same time, he worked to limit or simply not enforce traditional regulations of finance and industry. The latter is a right-wing policy, the former is a policy that enjoys support at the political center (sadly for both of us), but more on the right than on the left.
   121. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:28 AM (#4015821)
This doesn't follow at all. By what mechanism do you imagine that the supply of high-density living is constricted that compares to the limitation on existing Van Goghs produced by Van Gogh's death? By what mechanism is low-density living cheaply reproduced that compares to the mechanized production of the Painter of Light?
Because there's a ton of land in the U.S. on which to build low density housing, but not too much room in cities to build more housing? It's not like you can just plop down a new urban area in Arizona, but you can build a new low-density subdivision or twelve pretty easily.
   122. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:29 AM (#4015822)
Because there's a ton of land in the U.S. on which to build low density housing, but not too much room in cities to build more housing?
You can always build more densely in existing space by acquiring the lots. Other than Manhattan and a few parts of San Francisco and Boston, density is nowhere near as high as it could be in most urban areas, let alone in transit-accessible areas outlying from cities. It is true that zoning regulation makes this more difficult than it should be, but developments in cities and along transit lines keep going up, and their prices continue to grow.
   123. aleskel Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:54 AM (#4015840)
It's not like you can just plop down a new urban area in Arizona, but you can build a new low-density subdivision or twelve pretty easily.

Ok ... so where does this imaginary low-density subdivision get its water? And electricity? And what does it do with its sewage and trash? What is the libertarian answer?
   124. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#4015855)
Tax cuts for the rich are not popular. Tax cuts for the middle class are popular. Bush cleverly packaged them together, but the weight of the cuts benefited the richest Americans, and lowering their taxes is broadly unpopular. It's a peculiar policy goal of the right and only the right.
You're slicing this ideologically. "Medicare for the rich" wouldn't be popular either, if you polled that way. Or anything else "for the rich." But nobody polls that way on other policies -- only tax cuts. If you ask instead about "tax cuts across the board," they'll be popular.

We've danced this dance before on "total pages of regulations expanded under Bush." He expanded the surveillance state through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. That's where those pages came from, not from new financial or environmental or workplace safety regulation. At the same time, he worked to limit or simply not enforce traditional regulations of finance and industry. The latter is a right-wing policy, the former is a policy that enjoys support at the political center (sadly for both of us), but more on the right than on the left.
We have danced this dance before. (Even your own cite in that thread showed that regulation increased even not counting Homeland Security.)

I disagree with every sentence in your quoted paragraph above, starting with the fact that the creation of DHS was a Democratic proposal that Bush co-opted after it proved popular. "Surveillance state" is just a buzzword; to the extent the government increased surveillance, it had little to do with "regulations." (In fact, you may recall that Bush was almost fanatical about not establishing any legal basis for most of his surveillance programs.) DHS is not the Pentagon, whose primary job is blowing things up; much of DHS's mission is regulation of the economy.
   125. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:33 AM (#4015861)
You're slicing this ideologically. "Medicare for the rich" wouldn't be popular either, if you polled that way. Or anything else "for the rich." But nobody polls that way on other policies -- only tax cuts.
That's because Medicare or Social Security — or pretty much all other policies — don't change depending on income. Taxes do.
   126. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:42 AM (#4015868)
Let's just put it this way.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement with David Nieporent, thinking, "that George W Bush sure governed from the left", you are not a "centrist".
   127. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:57 AM (#4015874)
That's because Medicare or Social Security — or pretty much all other policies — don't change depending on income. Taxes do.

Sure they due. Lower income Social Security recipients get much more in benefits per dollar of contribution than higher income one, of the same age. Poor Medicare recipients can get Medicaid as well.
   128. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:23 AM (#4015888)
BBTF is a funny place. The person in question ("RMC ...") came out as pro-gun control, pro-choice, and pro-amnesty. Any one of those is enough to get a person tarred and feathered at any gathering of true righties, and yet the lefties here scoff at his accurate self-assessment as a centrist.


Actually, I've never liked the term "centrist"; people who call themselves that are kinda insinuating that everybody else is nuts. ("I'm the clear-eyed centrist, you are the left/right-wing wackjob.")

I don't even like "independent", since nobody ever believes it: "How can you be an independent when you're in favour of X?"

So, mostly I go with "center-right", which I define as "don't like Republicans much, but I gotta vote for somebody, and it probably ain't gonna be no Democrat."

The Medicare expansion was a centrist policy, the others were rightist, the whole mess was some of the most right-wing governance the country has ever seen. If you scoff at the idea that George W Bush was a rightist, then you are a rightist.


I love how Matt uses "rightist!" as the Ultimate Insult...which it probably is in his sad little corner of the world. (Call somebody wearing a Che T-shirt a "rightist", and he'll probably break down in tears...)
   129. Out of Accent Shallow's mouth go burning lamps Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#4015911)

Where will the attendees park ? In Philadelphia (for example), there are about 18,000 spots, for a park seating 45,000, with a heavily traveled subway line stopping a 5-10 minute walk away. Is it reasonable to think the Marlins will only need half as many spaces ?


Good question. Sorta addressed below.


Back to the Marlins. I'm guessing the 9k parking spaces will do well once they do their next fire sale in a few years. 3 times they have been over 25k per game, twice over 30k (their first two seasons over 30k, 29k the first time they won the WS). In 1995 & 1996 they were top 10 for attendance in the NL as well (just under 24k per game). Otherwise they have been under 23k per game, 13-16th in attendance in the league, bottoming out at 10k per game in 2002.

Are there baseball fans there? Sure. Will they come out in 2012? Yup. Will they keep coming in 2013-beyond? Nope. History tells us they will drop back down to the sub-30k and probably sub-25k fans per game level quickly thus making 9k parking spaces a livable number. Sad eh?


Oy vey. Not much to disagree with here, AFAICT.
   130. Morty Causa Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#4015937)
I've come to see that everyone believes the same. We only can think we're different by gross assumptions that almost always reduce in some way to strawmanning, even caricaturing, the other person's point of view. We all believe we know what the truth is and what's best for everybody and everything. and it would all be so perfect and wonderful if people and the world just did what we think they ought to do. It's the Utopian Mug's Game that our brain tricks us into promoting.

And it's just about impossible to dislodge us from our entrenched positions. We can't see the flaw, which is that we all have our interests, and they conflict, thus we feel threatened. We react by building alliances--deception follows. He who deceives best first deceives himself. It's still about force and power, individually and in groups, not about pure right or wrong (that's just a cover and a cohesive drawing together mechanism). Change is slow, mostly superficial, and happens only over very long periods of time. Nothing changes and no public policy is permanently settled. We're still arguing about what the Founders meant; we're still fighting the Civil War, Roosevelt's radicalism, and the Hippie Wars, too. That's why extinction is so important.

The following is a very good, fairly short, take on why it's so hard to change and why it's so hard to convince others to change. It's only nominally about science and the conquering of disease. It's really about thinking and resistant to thinking. I don't expect anyone to drop what they're doing to give it a thorough going over, but keep it in mind; give it a chance in small doses when you have the time. Really good essay:

Ideological Immune System
   131. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#4015959)
I love how Matt uses "rightist!" as the Ultimate Insult...which it probably is in his sad little corner of the world. (Call somebody wearing a Che T-shirt a "rightist", and he'll probably break down in tears...)

Let me say, admittedly somewhat ironically: I just can't take you seriously, because 90% of your comments in this thread are pure blistering invective, as in the choice example here. I'm not sure if you think they're funning, or that you're "winning the thread", but it's not working, except possibly for your imaginary crow of right-wing (there, I said it) cheerleaders.

(Of course, I have the same problem with Sam H, making me a centrist by your criteria.)
   132. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:24 AM (#4015961)
Sure they due. Lower income Social Security recipients get much more in benefits per dollar of contribution than higher income one, of the same age.
This feels like bait for a flat tax argument. There's a big difference between a per-dollar amount and what I'm talking about.
   133. Something Other Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:36 AM (#4016033)
These are the scribblings of a retard. Although I'm sure it's comforting to believe that the "rightists" living in your head are engaging in a conspiracy designed solely to piss you off, the simple truth of the matter is that cars are awesome. You don't have to look at, or smell, other people.
This was marvelous.

And there is little funnier on this site than RMc's constant claims to be a centrist or not a right-winger. He's like the inverse of arkitekton, the old "I'm a conservative who happens to hold bog-standard left-wing values."
If you'd ever actually read what he had to say, you might have a somewhat different opinion, you bloviating, arrogant, self-promoting #######.

It's hilarious to bump into your self-congratulatory putdowns thread after thread. You make Ray seem measured and thoughtful. (Sorry, Ray.)

who do you think is getting almost all of the cheap labor jobs? if you are NOT illegal, it is very very tough to get jobs in construction, lawn care, maid, in home child care. take a look at who is the cleaning ladies, restaurant workers.
Is this true of construction work in Houston? Most of the places in the U.S. I've been to that's not dominated by unions, construction work pays decently, regularly goes to friends and friends of friends, U.S. citizens with middle- and lower-middle class lives and backgrounds, except for the guys who do the worst of the cleanup work. I can see how near the southern border those jobs might go to illegals simply because of the supply of inexpensive, semiskilled labor, but in the mid-South a lot of construction work is $16-20 an hour work, and there's not always a lot of competition for it.

Perhaps I should amend that, though. My experience is pre-Recession.
   134. Spahn Insane Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:24 AM (#4016037)
Yes, we flushed a trillion dollars down the toilet in Iraq, but G.W. Bush isn't our current president any more.

I suppose you were greatly opposed to that little bit of government spending, too.


Think I've said this before, but based on his frequent, loud declarations of his "political independence," I've concluded that RMc is to politics what the jock's kid sister in "Election" was to sexual orientation.

"I'm not a lesbian; I'm attracted to the person. It's just that every person I've ever been attracted to happens to be a girl."
   135. Spahn Insane Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:25 AM (#4016038)
You might as well just come over to the dark side, RMc. Moderation will win you no points.

Not that he'd know.
   136. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM (#4016048)
I just can't take you seriously

Oh, my. Someone I'll never meet, who calls himself "a bebop a rebop", can't take me seriously. Whatever shall I do?

I've concluded that RMc is to politics what the jock's kid sister in "Election" was to sexual orientation.

Ever like the individual parts of a movie but can't stand the film itself? That's how I am about "Election". Reese Witherspoon is terrific, the script is full of great dialogue, and even Matthew Broderick is OK and not annoying (for once). But it's basically about a bad person who wins, and that's depressing to me. Can't watch it.

You might as well just come over to the dark side, RMc. Moderation will win you no points.

Gern Blanston: Not that he'd know.


It's even more depressing that a Steve Martin fan would be such a sourpuss. Oh, well.

And there is little funnier on this site than RMc's constant claims to be a centrist or not a right-winger. He's like the inverse of arkitekton, the old "I'm a conservative who happens to hold bog-standard left-wing values."

If you'd ever actually read what he had to say, you might have a somewhat different opinion, you bloviating, arrogant, self-promoting #######.

It's hilarious to bump into your self-congratulatory putdowns thread after thread. You make Ray seem measured and thoughtful. (Sorry, Ray.)


Thanks. And Ray's not so bad, as long as you don't bring up the I word.
   137. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:20 AM (#4016051)
I don't know if it wasn't clear, but I'm not using "rightist" as an insult, I'm using it as a descriptor.

What I like about "left" and "right" and "leftist" and "rightist" is that they don't ascribe to a person or a movement any qualities beyond a directional impulse, a set of goals for the political economy. ("Conservative", "liberal" and "progressive" attempt to do double duty on those points, which makes them less useful as descriptors - I hold to a notably conservative personal morality, for instance. They also refer to a body of philosophical literature which doesn't really map to the contemporary American political situation - the anti-capitalism of traditional conservative philosophy is fascinating, and wholly out of step with the American right.) Anyway, the point of calling RMc a man of the political right isn't to insult him, it's to describe him accurately.
   138. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:36 AM (#4016060)
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but isn't one of the major problems that the kind of high desnsity, mixed use, walkable development that leftist-tree hugging CUNY MUPs love--which need not be urban, btw--simply outlawed in the vast majority of places due to zoning laws? I think a person likes me who likes living in a mixed-use neighborhood would simply like to see more options. Unfortunately, suburban development is, in most places, pigeonholed pretty narrowly into the subdivision/strip mall model. Gross.

Anyhow, nobody is going to force anyone at gunpoint to move to midtown Manhattan (though I do love me some good right wing paranoia about the UN plan to do just that; what's it called? Plan 66 or something like that? No wait, that was the Emperor's order to murder the Jedi.) Nor do I believe car owners are bad or people who like living in suburbia are mindless zombies. But what if there were more options BETWEEN Manhattan and Stripmallia, NJ. If you look at older suburbs they are certainly not designed for "a car for every driving age member of the family" type living. They tend to have walkable downtowns, often built around a transit hub.
   139. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM (#4016072)
Anyway, the point of calling RMc a man of the political right isn't to insult him, it's to describe him accurately.

In other news, Matt obviously hates people "of the political right" so much it makes his peener hurt. Experts are undecided over whether "rightist", as said by Matt, is an insult or not. We'll have more on this story as it develops.
   140. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:43 PM (#4016079)
If a city did not grow up around a subway system, it's almost impossible to retrofit.


Athens has a subway.

As for "growing up" around a subway system, when the first New York subway line was constructed in 1904, Manhattan alone had a population of 2 million people, and a population density of about 90,000 people per square mile.
   141. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#4016080)
Athens has a subway.


You could just amend this to "nearly every major city in the entire world."
   142. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#4016085)
I hold to a notably conservative personal morality, for instance.

So, MCOA, honest question. Why do you only ever advocate for your leftish economic positions and never for your conservative view of morality?
   143. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#4016093)
Athens has a subway.

As for "growing up" around a subway system, when the first New York subway line was constructed in 1904, Manhattan alone had a population of 2 million people, and a population density of about 90,000 people per square mile.


The geographical expanse of these cities was tiny compared to modern sunbelt cities. They didn't grow up with the car (like sunbelt cities), so they were dense by nature of relying on foot and horse power to move people around. NYC had a large network of elevated steam trains decades before the subway.

Not to mention that back then you could build a subway with a bunch of Irish and Italians with shovels digging up the avenues. Few power/telephone lines to work around, no worries about traffic disruption, no safety and environmental regs. It was a cheaper endeavour by orders of magnitude.
   144. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#4016097)
Why do you only ever advocate for your leftish economic positions and never for your conservative view of morality?
Well, this is perhaps one of the problems with the word "conservative" - I'm not using the term to mean that I think gay sex is immoral or something. I think we bear, from the moment we are brought into this world, duties to those who have cared for us and thought our lives we bear responsibilities for the effects of our actions. I am not terribly tolerant of those who don't have a plan in their lives or don't see family duties as a dominant concern. I guess part of it gets covered up because I make a clear distinction between personal and policy ethics - the right policy is one that helps out people who did screw up and who do bear responsibility for their less fortunate situation. So maybe I hold off on those sorts of criticisms because they get so easily grafted into "I would let those puppies die" policy prescriptions, and I shouldn't.
   145. villageidiom Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#4016098)
Observation about this thread: the discussion seems to treat development philosophies as a binary choice between extremes, Manhattan and rural Wyoming.
That's because many of the generalizations being made about transportation policy are easily shot down with extreme examples.

And that, in turn, is because many people (today, at least) are far more interested in building strawmen of opposing positions than in worthwhile discussions of their own.

(Cue each side quoting the above to cut down the other, in 3... 2... 1... )

- - - - - -

OK, now that I've vented... Let's drop for a moment the subject of federal transportation funding. It's pretty clear that there is no one-size-fits-all prioritization, and we're not going to get anywhere talking about transit solutions for MA vs. MO vs. MS vs. MT.

Instead, how should the greater Miami area, the state of FL, or the Marlins handle the particular transportation issue surrounding the Marlins' new stadium? Let's keep it even simpler.

1. Is there a new problem through use of the stadium?

2. If so, whose responsibility is it to solve it?

3. Who should bear the cost of solving it?

4. Does that actually solve the problem, or give a disincentive to solving it?

5. Does the solution or its cost create further problems? If so, repeat 1-5 for those.

- - - - - -

I wanted to throw stones with the "everything should pay for itself, whether it's mass transit in NY or broadband in WY" crowd, but since I haven't made a financial contribution to this site that seems inappropriate. Alas.
   146. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#4016100)

The geographical expanse of these cities was tiny compared to modern sunbelt cities. They didn't grow up with the car (like sunbelt cities), so they were dense by nature of relying on foot and horse power to move people around. NYC had a large network of elevated steam trains decades before the subway.


Doesn't that answer the question? It's much easier to install a subway in a city with less density, not harder. And elevated trains could be a useful substitute where subways are impractical or unaffordable for various reasons.
   147. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#4016104)
Doesn't that answer the question? It's much easier to install a subway in a city with less density, not harder. And elevated trains could be a useful substitute where subways are impractical or unaffordable for various reasons.

Easier, but it makes no economic sense. Those old cities were incredibly dense, that's why the slums were so awful. When 2M people lived in Manhattan below 59th ST, the tenements were packed.

Sure, it's cheaper to build a new subway in Houston than NY, but there are not enough people clustered around the stops to make it economically viable.
   148. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#4016114)
Well, this is perhaps one of the problems with the word "conservative" - I'm not using the term to mean that I think gay sex is immoral or something. I think we bear, from the moment we are brought into this world, duties to those who have cared for us and thought our lives we bear responsibilities for the effects of our actions. I am not terribly tolerant of those who don't have a plan in their lives or don't see family duties as a dominant concern. I guess part of it gets covered up because I make a clear distinction between personal and policy ethics - the right policy is one that helps out people who did screw up and who do bear responsibility for their less fortunate situation. So maybe I hold off on those sorts of criticisms because they get so easily grafted into "I would let those puppies die" policy prescriptions, and I shouldn't.

I don't understand. You think people have a moral obligation to take responsibility, but then want social policies to favor those who don't do what's right?

Now, I'm all for charity to help those in need, whether it's their fault or not, but shouldn't policy be designed mainly so that those who do the right things, who take responsibility, are rewarded?
   149. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#4016119)
Why not? I don't think anyone should be required to love 100% of everything they choose to do. I love living in New England but when I have to wake up at 6AM on some 5 degree morning to snowblow a foot of snow out of my driveway...I'm gonna ##### a little.


Snowblow?!? You are ######## about ####### snowblowing?! Get a ####### shovel you whiny little #####!
   150. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#4016121)
I don't understand. You think people have a moral obligation to take responsibility, but then want social policies to favor those who don't do what's right?
I didn't say "favor". I think our responsibilities to our fellows don't end when they screw up, and I'm unimpressed with what currently exists for evidence of government services producing bad outcomes by encouraging bad choices.
   151. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#4016123)
Agenda 21! That's what I was thinking of. Hahah. FEAR AGENDA 21!
   152. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#4016125)
I'm unimpressed with what currently exists for evidence of government services producing bad outcomes by encouraging bad choices.

Really? You don't see the link between the Great Society programs which punished marriage among the poor, and the rapid decline of marriage among the poor?

You don't recognize the success of welfare reform in the '90's?

I think our responsibilities to our fellows don't end when they screw up

I agree with this. But, there's a difference between charity, and how we economically order our society.

If you refuse to work, if you abuse drugs or alcohol, if you have multiple children that you can't afford, especially outside of marriage, I don't think we should let you starve, but I'm comfortable with you being poor. They'll always be some poor people. It's definitional. The bottm 10% are always considered poor. And, the poor in this country have very comfortablr lives in material terms, relative to 80% of the world's population.

But, if you're willing to work, live a responsible life, take care of your kids, I think we have a duty to ensure that you can get a job that supports at least a working class existence.

That's the key to the American promise. It's tied up in social mobility. Every kid no matter how poor should see that if you work hard, and avoid destructive behaviors, you won't be poor. It you don't work hard, and engage in destructive behaviors, you will.

To me, the real tragedy of our current situation is that a combination of gov't policy (welfare state and globalization/trade/immigration) has produced a situation where the hard-working responsible working class are not likely to be much better off than the irresponsible, destructive behaving, poor.

That destroys the work ethic, and breaches the social contract, IMHO.
   153. aleskel Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4016130)
Sure, it's cheaper to build a new subway in Houston than NY, but there are not enough people clustered around the stops to make it economically viable.

It's a very common misconception to say that mass transit=trains. Trains are expensive to build and maintain, and its very difficult to build up political capital to support them. Buses, on the other hand, are cheaper and easier. There are plenty of lower-density urban areas (particularly suburbs) that could use buses and make them faster using dedicated bus lanes.
   154. nycfan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#4016134)
Sure, it's cheaper to build a new subway in Houston than NY, but there are not enough people clustered around the stops to make it economically viable.


But if there were a subway, then lots of people would move and cluster around the stops. Isn't that pretty much what happened with Northern Virginia and the Metro? And that's pretty much the plan for Metro's silver line expansion - to turn Tyson's into a more urban area. If you built a subway in Houston and encouraged lots of mixed-use development alongside it, people might move there and create the clusters. Of course, there may not be as much reason to do this in Houston as in DC, as I imagine Houston doesn't have nearly the same traffic problem, but it certainly could work.
   155. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#4016135)
The issue is that most of the US has insufficient density for efficient public transportation. Cities in the sun-belt do not have a "hub-and-spoke" design like NY, where you have masses of people commuting from suburbs/outer boroughs to a central business district. If a city did not grow up around a subway system, it's almost impossible to retrofit.

Would it be better if LA and Houston and Atlanta had built subways in the 1900's and grown up around them? Sure. But, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Cars are the best of the bad options in those places.


I just noticed this thread and haven't read through it all, but the above comment from Snapper back in post #11 pretty much expresses my own POV. If I lived within walking distance of the DC Metro, or if I lived in Manhattan I'd use public transport all the time, but when I have to have to factor in the time and cost of parking at the Metro stop before I can even start my trip (not to mention that the lots are often full), I wind up driving 99% of the time when I'm going more than a mile or two. Less than that, I'll just walk.

OTOH when I had my shop in downtown Bethesda and wanted to go downtown from there, I'd always take the Metro. But that was an extremely fortunate set of circumstances.

The only way you're going to get more people in metro areas like Washington to take public transportation is to subsidize the fares so heavily that the cost advantage to the riders overwhelms the convenience disadvantage. But then if you didn't follow up on that by dramatically expanding the reach and the capacity of the system (especially the buses), you'd soon be right back where you started. Without increasing the number of vehicles and their penetration into the interiors of nearly every residential neighborhood, the trains and buses would be a lot more crowded, and the highways a bit less so, but the overall results wouldn't be worth it by any rational standard. And all we're doing now is trading largely ideological charges as to which form of transportation is (or deserves to be) subsidized more than the others.
   156. aleskel Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#4016141)
Of course, there may not be as much reason to do this in Houston as in DC, as I imagine Houston doesn't have nearly the same traffic problem, but it certainly could work.

AASHTO found that Houston has the 6th-worst congestion in the country.
   157. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#4016145)
Instead, how should the greater Miami area, the state of FL, or the Marlins handle the particular transportation issue surrounding the Marlins' new stadium? Let's keep it even simpler.

This is Miami we're talking about. Nothing is ever simple.

This is the same city that pushed through a transit tax in 2002 under the promise of a greatly expanded mass transit system. By 2010, the city had collected over $1.4 billion — but had less mass transit in 2010 than it had in 2002.

Same city that once went years without luggage carts at the airport while the corrupt politicians argued over which of their cronies would get the crooked deal to provide them. Same city that took until 2009 (!!) to have a bus route connecting MIA with Miami Beach.
   158. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#4016149)

The only way you're going to get more people in metro areas like Washington to take public transportation is to subsidize the fares so heavily that the cost advantage to the riders overwhelms the convenience disadvantage. But then if you didn't follow up on that by dramatically expanding the reach and the capacity of the system (especially the buses), you'd soon be right back where you started. Without increasing the number of vehicles and their penetration into the interiors of nearly every residential neighborhood, the trains and buses would be a lot more crowded, and the highways a bit less so, but the overall results wouldn't be worth it by any rational standard. And all we're doing now is trading largely ideological charges as to which form of transportation gets (or deserves) to be subsidized more than the others.


Well, the DC Metro is quite literally near capacity during rush hour, for starters. And that's with it being, by far, the worst operated transit system I've ever had the pleasure of using (including all of the major american systems and a couple in europe).

But, while acknowledging the need for improvements to the system and its capacity, more people in the Washington area will take Metro when we stop restricting development in popular areas of DC through ridiculously low height restrictions, which limits the supply and jacks up the price of real estate.
   159. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#4016152)

It's a very common misconception to say that mass transit=trains. Trains are expensive to build and maintain, and its very difficult to build up political capital to support them. Buses, on the other hand, are cheaper and easier. There are plenty of lower-density urban areas (particularly suburbs) that could use buses and make them faster using dedicated bus lanes.


Sure, but buses suck. They have all the disadvantages of trains (crowding, fixed route, waiting) with the disadvantage of cars too (traffic).

I've lived/worked in Manhattan for 14 years, and I can count my bus trips on one hand.
   160. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:25 PM (#4016153)
when we stop restricting development in popular areas of DC through ridiculously low height restrictions, which limits the supply and jacks up the price of real estate.

Can the land in DC support skyskrapers? Isn't it built on a swamp?
   161. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#4016157)
Can the land in DC support skyskrapers? Isn't it built on a swamp?


I won't pretend to be a civil engineer, but yes, the land in the vast majority of the District could certainly handle taller buildings. I'm talking 5-6 story height restrictions in many neighborhoods. No one is really even asking for skyscrapers, they're asking for 10 story apartment buildings.
   162. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#4016169)
I won't pretend to be a civil engineer, but yes, the land in the vast majority of the District could certainly handle taller buildings. I'm talking 5-6 story height restrictions in many neighborhoods. No one is really even asking for skyscrapers, they're asking for 10 story apartment buildings.

Gotcha. I was thinking NYC/Chicago style development.
   163. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#4016184)
Gotcha. I was thinking NYC/Chicago style development.


I think most office buildings in downtown DC are 10-11 floors. My understanding is that there is a long informal history of not building things taller than the Washington Monument, which would obviously be stupid, so I hope that's not actually in the code.
   164. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#4016224)
Sure, but buses suck. They have all the disadvantages of trains (crowding, fixed route, waiting) with the disadvantage of cars too (traffic).
Buses are orders of magnitude cheaper than trains, and do not have "fixed routes." (I mean, they do in the short term -- otherwise it would be rather inconvenient for those waiting at the stops. But they're flexible. Once you build a track, the train pretty much has to go from A to B. But a bus route can go where people actually want to go. If someone builds a new baseball stadium, you can just add a route, or add a stop along an existing route. Not quite so easy with trains.) Did I mention that they're orders of magnitude cheaper? (That's why politicians don't like them: no pork for construction unions.) And since each bus carries fewer people than a train, you don't need the same density to support a bus route as a train line.
   165. McCoy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#4016232)

I think most office buildings in downtown DC are 10-11 floors. My understanding is that there is a long informal history of not building things taller than the Washington Monument, which would obviously be stupid, so I hope that's not actually in the code.


It isn't informal, DChas a pretty strict zoning code which does create a crunch in the housing situation. Not only is there a height restriction but also occupancy restrictions as well for various buildings. For instance our building has 11 floors but there are large sections of our building that cannot be used and must be stripped bare.

Reston, I believe, recently got permission to increase the height allowances. I believe their issue was the airport.
   166. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#4016238)
My understanding is that there is a long informal history of not building things taller than the Washington Monument, which would obviously be stupid, so I hope that's not actually in the code.


It's not. It's an Act of Congress.

OK, it doesn't say anything about the Washington Monument, but it limits the heights of buildings to the width of the adjacent street + 20 feet.
   167. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#4016241)
Well, the DC Metro is quite literally near capacity during rush hour, for starters. And that's with it being, by far, the worst operated transit system I've ever had the pleasure of using (including all of the major american systems and a couple in europe).

But, while acknowledging the need for improvements to the system and its capacity, more people in the Washington area will take Metro when we stop restricting development in popular areas of DC through ridiculously low height restrictions, which limits the supply and jacks up the price of real estate.


I think most office buildings in downtown DC are 10-11 floors. My understanding is that there is a long informal history of not building things taller than the Washington Monument, which would obviously be stupid, so I hope that's not actually in the code.

Of course it isn't, and if it were, then developers would be thrilled, since the Washington Monument rises to 555 ft. and the tallest commercial / residential building is all of 210 ft.

Obviously the question of height restriction in Washington has to take into consideration many factors other than public transportation, but even with loosened restrictions you'd still have 5 million people living in the suburbs, most of whom are poorly served by the existing transit system. And the related claim that these new hypothetical high rises will result in lower rental costs due to the increased supply is wonderful in theory, but it's belied by the current rental costs in the newly gentrified areas where nearly all of the recent building has taken place. There's no question that removing the height restrictions would be a boon to developers and to the small subset of people who could afford to live in the new buildings, but the benefit to the rest of us is problematical at best. Right now Washington is one of the few big cities that retains a relatively human scale, and once you destroy that there won't be any way to turn back the clock.
   168. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#4016246)
165, 166:

Ugh, I feared that was the case. So ridiculous. Again, most people aren't looking for 40 story condo buildings here, but there could certainly be a lot more 10+ story buildings all along the red line, at least.
   169. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#4016248)
Sure, but buses suck. They have all the disadvantages of trains (crowding, fixed route, waiting) with the disadvantage of cars too (traffic).


Buses are orders of magnitude cheaper than trains, and do not have "fixed routes." (I mean, they do in the short term -- otherwise it would be rather inconvenient for those waiting at the stops. But they're flexible. Once you build a track, the train pretty much has to go from A to B. But a bus route can go where people actually want to go. If someone builds a new baseball stadium, you can just add a route, or add a stop along an existing route. Not quite so easy with trains.) Did I mention that they're orders of magnitude cheaper? (That's why politicians don't like them: no pork for construction unions.) And since each bus carries fewer people than a train, you don't need the same density to support a bus route as a train line.

David's absolutely right here [having said that, pardon me while I pause to faint], and you can also mention the fact that buses in Washington often have had a class stigma attached to them that keeps many suburbanites from even considering their use. It's hard to otherwise imagine the bias towards Metro trains when the potential ridership for new (and relatively cheap) bus routes is so much greater.
   170. McCoy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#4016250)
For DC the tallest building can be 160 feet tall provided it is built on the north side of Pennsylvania Ave between 10th and 15th St NW provided some other restrictions are also followed. If the other restrictions cannot be followed then you can only build up to 130 feet in that area. That is for commercial districts. For residential districts high density buildings cannot exceed 90 feet in height and have various lot restrictions. I believe houses cannot go higher than 40 feet.
   171. McCoy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4016255)
Obviously the question of height restriction in Washington has to take into consideration many factors other than public transportation, but even with loosened restrictions you'd still have 5 million people living in the suburbs, most of whom are poorly served by the existing transit system. And the related claim that these new hypothetical high rises will result in lower rental costs due to the increased supply is wonderful in theory, but it's belied by the current rental costs in the newly gentrified areas where nearly all of the recent building has taken place. There's no question that removing the height restrictions would be a boon to developers and to the small subset of people who could afford to live in the new buildings, but the benefit to the rest of us is problematical at best. Right now Washington is one of the few big cities that retains a relatively human scale, and once you destroy that there won't be any way to turn back the clock.

It isn't the bew buildings that will be cheaper but the old ones. Right now you got people paying luxury apartment prices for ######## apartments. If you build real luxury apartments it will drop the demand for the ######## ones. Now granted building more nice apartments in the city might cause more people from NoVa and MD to move back into the city. So yeah, it might take a very long time to meet the demand and by that time you'll have a different city on your hands. But there are huge sections of the city that are an absolute mess and could use some nice redevelopment. For instance on the Columbia Heights stop the buildings right around it are shiny and new but if you simply walk a block away from it you got a messed up area that could certainly use some high density apartment/condo buildings. Which I believe is coming here and there in that area. I live in Adams Morgan and they've got quite a few modern looking apartment/condos woven throught out the neighorhood and probably should have more.
   172. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#4016259)
Compared to people in the world at large, however, I'm pretty much in the middle, maybe a li'l bit to the right (especially since 9/11).


Compared to "the world at large", the left-wingers in this country are right-wingers.
   173. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4016261)
Jolly Old-

I get your concerns about preserving the scale- fair enough- but I think there's a pretty big gap between where we are now and that happening. I don't think there's any question that the rental stock in the DC is flat out inadequate to meet the demands. I'm probably moving this discussion off track, but there are parts of Arlington and Montgomery County that are more densely populated than wide swaths of NW DC above Dupont. These are people who are using the metro anyway, working in the District, going out in the District, but living (and paying taxes) in VA or MD. From the perspective of the health of DC, that seems like a less than ideal set-up.
   174. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4016273)
But it's basically about a bad person who wins, and that's depressing to me. Can't watch it.


And yet you vote for Republicans?
   175. McCoy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:12 PM (#4016288)
I'm probably moving this discussion off track, but there are parts of Arlington and Montgomery County that are more densely populated than wide swaths of NW DC above Dupont

Biggest problem there is that there is no metro near them. I just moved into the city in September and I looked in those areas (plus in the NE) and there is a ton of space out there but because the Metro doesn't really reach it there has been virtually no redevelopment going on. Rents look like bargains compared to other areas but it feels like living out in the boonies and you'll need a car to get around and if that is true you might as well live in Arlington or Alexandria or Reston or Clarendon and get all the other amenities for the same cost.
   176. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4016320)
But it's basically about a bad person who wins, and that's depressing to me. Can't watch it.

And yet you vote for Republicans?


Zing!

I've only been on the DC Metro once: 4th of July, 1998. Very hot day. Waiting in an underground station near the Mall. Packed in like sardines.

Oh, and did I mention I'm claustrophobic?
   177. McCoy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4016336)
That onnly happened to me once. It was during the Colbert/Stewart rally on Halloween. I've never been claustrophobic but after several minutes in a packed car I did start feeling like I was going to hyperventilate.
   178. . Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#4016353)
and you can also mention the fact that buses in Washington often have had a class stigma attached to them that keeps many suburbanites from even considering their use.

Which is, of course, a big reason for the anti-mass transit sentiment in this country. Our uniquely socially anxious suburban class has decided that mass transit is too infra dig for their embarassingly simple sensibilities.

As noted above, a critical externality generated by road culture is the creation of an atomistic, asocial segment of society. Those costs have not been internalized.
   179. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#4016356)
It isn't the bew buildings that will be cheaper but the old ones. Right now you got people paying luxury apartment prices for ######## apartments. If you build real luxury apartments it will drop the demand for the ######## ones. Now granted building more nice apartments in the city might cause more people from NoVa and MD to move back into the city. So yeah, it might take a very long time to meet the demand and by that time you'll have a different city on your hands. But there are huge sections of the city that are an absolute mess and could use some nice redevelopment. For instance on the Columbia Heights stop the buildings right around it are shiny and new but if you simply walk a block away from it you got a messed up area that could certainly use some high density apartment/condo buildings. Which I believe is coming here and there in that area. I live in Adams Morgan and they've got quite a few modern looking apartment/condos woven throught out the neighorhood and probably should have more.


Jolly Old-

I get your concerns about preserving the scale- fair enough- but I think there's a pretty big gap between where we are now and that happening. I don't think there's any question that the rental stock in the DC is flat out inadequate to meet the demands. I'm probably moving this discussion off track, but there are parts of Arlington and Montgomery County that are more densely populated than wide swaths of NW DC above Dupont. These are people who are using the metro anyway, working in the District, going out in the District, but living (and paying taxes) in VA or MD. From the perspective of the health of DC, that seems like a less than ideal set-up.


I grew up in Cleveland Park and lived in Adams-Morgan from 1972 to 1991, and I'm still rather well acquainted with both of these neighborhoods. I don't want to dismiss what the two of you (McCoy and jmurph) are saying, but the NIMBY resistance to any proposed high rises in both of those areas would overwhelm even the best connected of developers. The existing residents of the Upper NW neighborhoods already see themselves under siege by cookie cutter chain stores and the attendant parking problems, and adding 20 storey buildings to the mix would be seen as little more than adding to the congestion, with no benefit to those who are already living there.

The more likely neighborhoods for buildings like that in terms of politics would be along the MLK corridor in Anacostia, but that would mean buildings that didn't have a pre-guaranteed pool of wealthy white tenants to fill them up at the rent levels and condo prices to which developers have grown accustomed. It might make long range sense to build there with the thought that If You Build It, They Will Come, but that sort of thought doesn't generally occur to developers when it comes to perceived high risk areas.

As for Columbia Heights, you've already got a volatile mix of newcomers and older residents who've seen their friends and former neighbors pushed out by gentrification. I'd agree that adding high rises in that area wouldn't be a bad idea, but for political reasons you'd have to make sure that it wouldn't amount to just one more case of Negro Removal, which is largely the story to date of what's happened in the 14th & Irving St. area up to now. At the very least, you've have to make specific contractual arrangements in the new buildings for the tenants of the existing buildings so that they wouldn't be forced out of the area.
   180. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#4016362)
No one is taking into account the mass parking around the Orange Bowlpark via the front yards of the locals. That's how it worked with the Orange Bowl, that's how it will work with the Bowlpark if there are too many cars for spaces. Heck, given that it'll probably be $10-$15 cheaper to park on the lawns of the surrounding locals, the actual parking lot may wind up empty.

Everyone else shut up and talk about the Marlins.
   181. OsunaSakata Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4016364)
You keeping going on Metrorail when it's packed. Try a not-busy day...like for a Nationals game.
   182. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#4016383)
You keeping going on Metrorail when it's packed. Try a not-busy day...like for a Nationals game.

I've only been to two Nats games so far, and for the second one a fellow Primate (who has season tickets) parked on a non-restricted block within a 10 minute walk to the park, a distance roughly the equivalent of 31st and Greenmount Avenue to Baltimore's Memorial Stadium or 13th and East Capitol St. to RFK. Not giving the location cause I don't want to spoil his secret, but he says that the block in question has plenty of spaces on most game nights.
   183. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#4016393)
I don't want to dismiss what the two of you (McCoy and jmurph) are saying, but the NIMBY resistance to any proposed high rises in both of those areas would overwhelm even the best connected of developers.


Oh you're exactly right, the NIMBYs are incredible here (as they are everywhere, but they do seem more powerful here than in other cities). What's crazy is that no rational person is proposing putting a high-rise in the middle of a block of single-family homes in Cleveland Park, they just want to be able to build higher along the major throughways, relatively close to the metro stations.
   184. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#4016402)
Buses are orders of magnitude cheaper than trains, and do not have "fixed routes." (I mean, they do in the short term -- otherwise it would be rather inconvenient for those waiting at the stops. But they're flexible. Once you build a track, the train pretty much has to go from A to B. But a bus route can go where people actually want to go. If someone builds a new baseball stadium, you can just add a route, or add a stop along an existing route. Not quite so easy with trains.) Did I mention that they're orders of magnitude cheaper? (That's why politicians don't like them: no pork for construction unions.) And since each bus carries fewer people than a train, you don't need the same density to support a bus route as a train line.

You're absolutely right about all of this, and well-functioning buses are an important part of transit systems. However, essentially for the converse of the reasons you mention here, it's almost impossible for buses to support high-density transit at levels comparable to a subway.

A useful blog post about bus vs. rail (which links to an enlightening picture of subway-capacity BRT in Guangzhou).
   185. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#4016422)
I don't want to dismiss what the two of you (McCoy and jmurph) are saying, but the NIMBY resistance to any proposed high rises in both of those areas would overwhelm even the best connected of developers.

Oh you're exactly right, the NIMBYs are incredible here (as they are everywhere, but they do seem more powerful here than in other cities). What's crazy is that no rational person is proposing putting a high-rise in the middle of a block of single-family homes in Cleveland Park, they just want to be able to build higher along the major throughways, relatively close to the metro stations.


I agree that the failure to make that sort of distinction is more than a little maddening from any rational POV. In particular, Wisconsin Avenue between Best Buy (Albemarle St.) and Jenifer St. could easily support a whole string of moderate (15-20 storey) high rises. One way that they might stem some of the NIMBY opposition would be to agree to have DC issue special license plates, permanently engraved with a code number that wouldn't allow the car to be parked anywhere, anytime in the neighborhood other than in the parking lot of the building itself. It would then be up to the developer to provide enough spaces to meet the specific demands of the market. You'd still have other NIMBY complaints, but those special license plates would take the air out of the one legitimate beef about congestion.
   186. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4016438)

The geographical expanse of these cities was tiny compared to modern sunbelt cities. They didn't grow up with the car (like sunbelt cities), so they were dense by nature of relying on foot and horse power to move people around. NYC had a large network of elevated steam trains decades before the subway.

Not to mention that back then you could build a subway with a bunch of Irish and Italians with shovels digging up the avenues. Few power/telephone lines to work around, no worries about traffic disruption, no safety and environmental regs. It was a cheaper endeavour by orders of magnitude.


NYC is building a 2nd Ave line. As we speak! On the Upper East Side! Life goes on, and it'll probably prove a boon to the area, save for people on York who like the isolation.
   187. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#4016460)
NYC is building a 2nd Ave line. As we speak! On the Upper East Side! Life goes on, and it'll probably prove a boon to the area, save for people on York who like the isolation.

40 years and how many billions later we'll see if they ever finish.
   188. Answer Guy, without side hustles. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:37 PM (#4016502)
It's hard to otherwise imagine the bias towards Metro trains when the potential ridership for new (and relatively cheap) bus routes is so much greater.


A bus moves at the speed of traffic - actually, they move slower. If the roads are jammed - and in a place like DC, that's a lot - the bus routes are clogged too. Even if you have dedicated lanes, they still have to stop at traffic signals - and this assumes that drivers comply with the restrictions, which in DC is by no means a safe assumption if my experience is at all representative.

Not all bus lines in DC are stigmatized, though many are. The Circulator buses are an interesting experiment - they have a different branding to them (they're run by the city rather than WMATA), mostly go to/between touristy areas, and have thankfully fewer stops than regular buses. The 30s series that runs between Capitol Hill and G'Town has a lot of middle-class looking folk on it, as does, at least during rush hour, the S lines running up/down 16th St NW.

And DC has nothing on Baltimore. Middle class people in Baltimore hardly ever use public transportation of any kind. (Maybe they'll use light rail to go to an Ravens or Orioles game every so often.)
   189. Answer Guy, without side hustles. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#4016513)
No one is taking into account the mass parking around the Orange Bowlpark via the front yards of the locals. That's how it worked with the Orange Bowl, that's how it will work with the Bowlpark if there are too many cars for spaces. Heck, given that it'll probably be $10-$15 cheaper to park on the lawns of the surrounding locals, the actual parking lot may wind up empty.


Interesting. My guess is that the official math used to draw up whatever plan that got drawn probably didn't factor this in.

Is this a dense area? For most of the ballparks I go, I consider it a fools' errand to drive. But I don't live in Florida.
   190. BDC Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#4016541)
If people try to charge for parking in their yards in Arlington, Jerry Jones has them hunted down and ... well, not killed exactly. But the city doesn't let it happen. In fact, streets near the Stadium are closed off with roadblocks on "event days," to funnel all traffic into Stadium lots. The Ballpark doesn't have that issue; there are fewer residential areas near the Ballpark.
   191. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:29 PM (#4016571)
It's hard to otherwise imagine the bias towards Metro trains when the potential ridership for new (and relatively cheap) bus routes is so much greater.

A bus moves at the speed of traffic - actually, they move slower. If the roads are jammed - and in a place like DC, that's a lot - the bus routes are clogged too. Even if you have dedicated lanes, they still have to stop at traffic signals - and this assumes that drivers comply with the restrictions, which in DC is by no means a safe assumption if my experience is at all representative.


All that's true, but the savings in parking and car maintenance fees and the reduced stress from not having to fight that traffic yourself could still persuade a lot of people to go with the bus, if the time of getting to and waiting for the bus could be sufficiently reduced by the addition of more routes and more expanded schedules. Of course that's a mighty big "if", but it's a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to do than building a new subway line.

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

If people try to charge for parking in their yards in Arlington, Jerry Jones has them hunted down and ... well, not killed exactly. But the city doesn't let it happen. In fact, streets near the Stadium are closed off with roadblocks on "event days," to funnel all traffic into Stadium lots.

Jesus, that's on the level of a government trying to shut down a sidewalk lemonade stand. How on earth do the city of Arlington and the Cowboys ever get away with pulling off this sort of thing?

The parking ordinance was enacted last year to regulate surrounding business who hoped to cash in on parking fees. But to obtain the permit, parking lot operators must meet certain criteria including having an attendant, the lot must be lit and there must be an active business on site.


Where are all those Texas libertarians when we really need them? Does Ron Paul know about this?
   192. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#4016583)
Interesting. My guess is that the official math used to draw up whatever plan that got drawn probably didn't factor this in.

Is this a dense area? For most of the ballparks I go, I consider it a fools' errand to drive. But I don't live in Florida.


The "official math" doesn't, I'm sure, but the unofficial math does. Same with the Orange Bowl--the parking lots weren't big enough to accommodate everyone when the Dolphins or Hurricanes played there, but parking in the surrounding neighborhood was an ingrained thing. Just like fat little Cuban ladies selling arepas and stick meat outside the fences. I'm sure the Marlins regard local parking as something that'll solve any sort of capacity issue. And it will.

Yes, it's dense. Little Havana is an urban area full of apartment buildings and multifamily housing units.
   193. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#4016598)
The "official math" doesn't, I'm sure, but the unofficial math does. Same with the Orange Bowl--the parking lots weren't big enough to accommodate everyone when the Dolphins or Hurricanes played there, but parking in the surrounding neighborhood was an ingrained thing. Just like fat little Cuban ladies selling arepas and stick meat outside the fences. I'm sure the Marlins regard local parking as something that'll solve any sort of capacity issue. And it will.


I've been to 2 Hurricane games at the Orange Bowl. Both times there were way more people there than the Marlins will ever get. Both times, street parking was no problem. Had to walk about a mile, but no biggie. Egress was a piece of cake. Last Dolphins game I went to at Sun Life, it took about an hour to get out of the parking lot. At midnight.
   194. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 14, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#4016606)
Both times there were way more people there than the Marlins will ever get.


Twice as many, to be precise.
   195. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2011 at 12:19 AM (#4016707)
You'd still have other NIMBY complaints, but those special license plates would take the air out of the one legitimate beef about congestion

Frankly, almost nobody in DC should have a car. If you live in DC and have a car you shouldn't be allowed to complain and possibly block development because of "congestion". You are part of the problem if you own a car and live in DC, regardless of whether or not you have a driveway or off street parking spot.
   196. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM (#4016711)
Not all bus lines in DC are stigmatized, though many are

I'm part of the old white suburban guard that look down upon buses but I know a ton of young urban professionals that will use the bus all the time.
   197. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 15, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#4016729)
Frankly, almost nobody in DC should have a car. If you live in DC and have a car you shouldn't be allowed to complain and possibly block development because of "congestion".
Someone did a thing at work today (totally unrelated to actual work) and came up with this:

Average walking speed is approx. 3 MPH, and walking 1 mile at 3 MPH burns close to 100 Food Calories for an adult. My car gets ~30 MPG and weighs just under 3,000 pounds. For my car to go the same 1-mile distance burns the equivalent of ~3,350 Food Calories. In other words, if you only need to travel very short distances and/or at speeds of around 3 MPH, the human flex-fuel machine is 33.5 times more efficient than a relatively petro-efficient car. Low ceiling, but high efficiency.

Each pound of human fat converts to ~3,500 Food Calories, which means 9.6 pounds of fat holds as many joules as a gallon of crude oil. Average walking speed is approx. 3 MPH, and walking 1 mile at 3 MPH burns close to 100 Food Calories for an adult. If that 200-lb man reduces his caloric intake by just 200 per day (~one grande Starbucks Latte) and walks 3 miles a day, he'd lose 3,500 Food Calories — 1 pound — every week.

So... yeah, we should walk more.
   198. Copronymus Posted: December 15, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#4016737)
What's crazy is that no rational person is proposing putting a high-rise in the middle of a block of single-family homes in Cleveland Park, they just want to be able to build higher along the major throughways, relatively close to the metro stations.


It's been a while since I kept up with it at all, but the Cleveland Park listserv is a great place to gawk at some outstanding NIMBYism as they struggle to keep upscale sandwich chains out and doomed-to-failure "funky" cereal-themed restaurants in.
   199. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 15, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#4016739)
You'd still have other NIMBY complaints, but those special license plates would take the air out of the one legitimate beef about congestion

Frankly, almost nobody in DC should have a car. If you live in DC and have a car you shouldn't be allowed to complain and possibly block development because of "congestion". You are part of the problem if you own a car and live in DC, regardless of whether or not you have a driveway or off street parking spot.
\

Wait, is this The Real McCoy, or did Ralph Nader bump him off and heist his handle?

But in any case, I lived in DC for 41 years before moving to Kensington, and if you had removed the cars with Maryland and Virginia plates that stayed overnight in Adams-Morgan, the parking problem there would have been instantly eliminated, and when I got home after midnight from various points that were miles removed from public transportation, I wouldn't have had to circle Mintwood / 19th / Biltmore / Columbia Rd about a dozen times every ####### night before finally finding a space. The idea that most people who live anywhere in the United States outside Manhattan don't need a car is one of those ideas that come from and consultants and think tanks, not from the real world.

Not to say that there aren't plenty of people in DC who really don't need a car, but the real auto congestion in DC isn't caused by cars with DC plates.
   200. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#4016742)
Not to say that there aren't plenty of people in DC who really don't need a car, but the real auto congestion in DC isn't caused by cars with DC plates.


Well, yeah, because those cars stay parked on the side of the road for days at a time. But that also helps prove my point that cars shouldn't be allowed in most areas of DC.


As for the rest, I learned the first weekend that you cannot move your car from your spot or else you'll lose it and search forever for a new one. I've driven my car once (Thanksgiving Day) in the last 3 months and would love to sell it but I still have 29 payments to go on it.

Wait, is this The Real McCoy, or did Ralph Nader bump him off and heist his handle?



That unfortunately was Brattain's last handle and thus he'll forever be screwing up BTF queries.
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