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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

USA Today: Nationals manager Matt Williams was involved in a hit-and-run while live on a radio show

A Beltway driver executes the fundamentals.

Every Wednesday morning, Nationals manager Matt Williams calls into 106.7 the Fan, a popular Washington, D.C. sports radio station.

But this week, he had a bit of an incident while talking to the Sports Junkies (...)

Williams was talking when all of a sudden he calmly said: “Sorry guys, I just had an accident … I got a police officer behind me and this guy’s going to try to escape.”

Wait what?

“There was a police car behind me and a guy in a car and he tried to get by me and he just smoked me,” he added.

Williams is not the first sports figure to have issues while talking on the phone to 106.7 personalities. Clinton Portis got pulled over for speeding while on Fred Smoot’s show on the station earlier this year.

AndrewJ Posted: May 07, 2014 at 08:56 AM | 321 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: accident, matt williams, nationals, radio

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   201. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4703468)
Perhaps the signs in Minneapolis are confusing, don't know-never been there, but a)DC signs are pretty confusing and b)DC exits and entrances system was basically built as one big giant mouse maze complete with traps and pitfalls. The road planners I believe actively went about building a system intended to bring about a driver's demise. I don't think there is anyone on the planet who thinks it is good or that it is a breeze. You can get used to it but you'll never not be frustrated by the stupidity of it.
   202. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4703469)
Heh. Brussels is the most confusing I have ever been in.

I've been to Brussels and that didn't occur to me! Of course, I was just walking around for a weekend.

The Brussels subway was fun...apparently the ticket checkers go to bed early, so after 11pm or so its unofficially free (or at least that was my experience as a hostel traveller).
   203. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4703471)
By the way I've got a horrible decision coming up. Next week I transfer to Baltimore and I have to decide whether to stay in DC and commute, not liking that option, or move to Baltimore, which I'm also not liking.
It entirely depends on where in the DC area you live. I'm intimately familiar with this problem because I spent an entire semester commuting daily from the Maryland suburbs of DC (Potomac, i.e. on the NW side of the Beltway) to school in Baltimore (Johns Hopkins, which is located deep in the city). If you live in Montgomery or PG County, MD and don't have to travel too deeply into the city to get where you need to be (i.e. you can avoid 695 and/or get off of I-95 before the Harbor Tunnel), then commuting isn't a bad choice at all; the flow of rush-hour traffic generally runs in the opposite direction of your commute, with everyone else heading south on 95 in the morning toward the District and north to places like Columbia and Baltimore in the afternoon. If you live in NoVA or the District proper, however, it's a nightmare. A NoVA starting point forces you to negotiate the I-270 spur (HELL ON EARTH) and if you're in anywhere save NW DC -- where the Connecticut Ave entrance to 495 isn't too far away -- then merely getting out of the District will suck up enormous amounts of time.

One option to consider is living in a place like Laurel, Columbia, or Elk Ridge. Nicer than Baltimore (although everything's expensive nowadays), and very close to I-95.
   204. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4703477)
Perhaps the signs in Minneapolis are confusing, don't know-never been there, but a)DC signs are pretty confusing and b)DC exits and entrances system was basically built as one big giant mouse maze complete with traps and pitfalls. The road planners I believe actively went about building a system intended to bring about a driver's demise. I don't think there is anyone on the planet who thinks it is good or that it is a breeze. You can get used to it but you'll never not be frustrated by the stupidity of it.

When I was a kid our family was driving from Toronto to South Carolina for spring break, but a big storm hit and shut down all the roads so we only got as far as Washington. It was actually great, the whole place was empty because of the snow, so we got to see all the monuments totally alone. But my dad wanted to kill someone every time he got in the car. Because quite a few roads were closed due to weather there was a lot of "Washington monument left" and directly under it "no left turn". Plus a disturbing number of presumably important signs with garbage bags over them.
   205. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4703479)
I'm a single guy so I have no real desire to live in the suburbs. I live in Adams Morgan now and will be commuting to Camden Yards on a daily basis. I'll be doing that for about a month or so and then I'll decide whether to move to some other part of DC or to make the move to Baltimore.
   206. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4703486)
The Brussels subway was fun...apparently the ticket checkers go to bed early, so after 11pm or so its unofficially free (or at least that was my experience as a hostel traveller).
The Minneapolis Light Rail is even freer than that! Paying is basically on the honor system -- every now and then train cops will get on at a station to check to see whether people have paid, but (confession time) when that happened to me I told them that I was a perplexed out-of-towner visiting my girlfriend, showed them my MD driver's license for proof, and said that I was totally confused because I'd never encountered a rail system where you didn't have to go through a turnstile first to get onto the platform.

The problem, of course, is that the Minneapolis Light Rail is mostly useless, a one-track affair that's really only useful for getting to MSP airport, the Mall of America, Target Field, and a few downtown areas. Doesn't go anywhere near Uptown, for example.
   207. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4703488)
Riding the trains in DC for free is pretty easy. You simply get behind somebody and go through the gate with them.
   208. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4703489)
I'm a single guy so I have no real desire to live in the suburbs. I live in Adams Morgan now and will be commuting to Camden Yards on a daily basis. I'll be doing that for about a month or so and then I'll decide whether to move to some other part of DC or to make the move to Baltimore.
Camden Yards is one of the first I-95 exits for Baltimore City, so you're blessed in that respect. As far as Adams-Morgan is concerned, however, that's a pickle...you should experiment with the drive up Connecticut Avenue through Chevy Chase to the entrance onto 495 and get a sense of how much of a hassle you think that is. (Watch out for the speed cameras, they're everywhere!) Once you get onto 495 it won't be that bad since you're already past the 270 spur and really only have to deal with the horrors of the Georgia Avenue exit between there and I-95.

It's a real coinflip for you.
   209. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4703493)
In a perfect world, for me that is, I'd move to place near Union Station and simply take the Marc up to Camden Yards. Unfortunately I think I'm not going to have conventional work hours so that might not be a choice for me.

16th St to 495 is the route that I generally take to get up there but 16th St just generally annoys for no real obvious reasons. Plus as you the speed cameras are all over the place. The only ticket I've ever gotten since moving to DC was from one of those MD cameras and I don't relish the idea of having to deal with them 5 days a week for an entire year.
   210. Lassus Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4703500)
You don't think there's some parts of Baltimore as-yet-unexplored you could live with or enjoy? I'm not saying there SHOULD be, I've never even been there. But it's a good-size place, doesn't seem so unlikely it could work.
   211. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4703501)
The only ticket I've ever gotten since moving to DC was from one of those MD cameras and I don't relish the idea of having to deal with them 5 days a week for an entire year.
You just get used to going at a certain pace on those streets, Connecticut Ave in particular. Amusingly, I've talked with several other locals about that particular stretch of road, and agree that it's easy to immediately tell who the 'outsiders' (or people new to the area) are, simply from how fast they're going. The road is wide and straight, and practically BEGS you to hit 50mph on it...but everyone who knows the drill keeps it at 39.
   212. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4703502)
You don't think there's some parts of Baltimore as-yet-unexplored you could live with or enjoy? I'm not saying there SHOULD be, I've never even been there. But it's a good-size place, doesn't seem so unlikely it could work.
Eh, it's kind of a shithole.
   213. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4703503)
You don't think there's some parts of Baltimore as-yet-unexplored you could live with or enjoy? I'm not saying there SHOULD be, I've never even been there. But it's a good-size place, doesn't seem so unlikely it could work.

Baltimore is an absolute shvt-hole compared to the rest of the NE cities. Even Philly has cleaned up their act. I'm sure I could find a nice apartment and a nice couple of hang out spots but that's the problem at the end of the day. A)you're in Baltimore, b) you're dealing with the people of Baltimore, and C)the things to do in Baltimore is a fraction of what you can do in other cities.
   214. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4703504)
Eh, it's kind of a ########.

Funny. I thought the exact same thing as well and said as much at virtually the same time.
   215. Canker Soriano Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4703506)
The only ticket I've ever gotten since moving to DC was from one of those MD cameras and I don't relish the idea of having to deal with them 5 days a week for an entire year.

I had friends move to DC right out of school. They had the following happen within the first 2 weeks of living there:

* Mr. Friend got a ticket for excessive honking. Apparently he was behind some old biddy at a stop light, and when it turned red she sat there unmoving for about 5-6 seconds. Eventually he honked at her, she still didn't move, and he honked more forcefully. Then a cop pulled up next to him, put his lights on, and gave him a ticket. (My favorite thing about this story is that, almost 20 years later, all I have to do it bring it up to send him into a white hot rage that usually ends with him stomping out of the room. That's how much it still pisses him off.)
* Mrs. Friend passed someone on the Beltway, who felt she cut him off. He followed her to her exit and then, when they were at a stop light, got out of his car, walked up to her driver's door, and spit into the car (the window was down) directly on her face.

In retrospect, we all realize that we're glad he had only a loogie rather than a gun.

Those two stories are the sum total of what I know about driving in DC. It seems unpleasant.
   216. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4703507)
Riding the trains in DC for free is pretty easy. You simply get behind somebody and go through the gate with them.

I wish I could believe you actually did that, since it would double my admiration for your entrepreneurship.

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

Camden Yards is one of the first I-95 exits for Baltimore City, so you're blessed in that respect. As far as Adams-Morgan is concerned, however, that's a pickle...you should experiment with the drive up Connecticut Avenue through Chevy Chase to the entrance onto 495 and get a sense of how much of a hassle you think that is. (Watch out for the speed cameras, they're everywhere!) Once you get onto 495 it won't be that bad since you're already past the 270 spur and really only have to deal with the horrors of the Georgia Avenue exit between there and I-95.

When I lived in Madam's Organ, 16th St to Colesville Road was the fastest way to 495 when you allowed for the inevitable delays between Connecticut and Georgia. In the late 70's and early 80's you could get from 18th & Columbia to street parking space around 31st and Calvert in under an hour, and if you left DC at 6:30 you could make the 7:35 first pitch at Memorial Stadium. I'm not sure you could even be in your seat at Camden Yards that quickly nowadays.
   217. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4703509)
Those two stories are the sum total of what I know about driving in DC. It seems unpleasant.

Getting around DC outside the downtown area isn't that bad if you know how to use the parkways. I can't believe anyone would ever drive from Georgetown to Kensington by any route other than Rock Creek Parkway, Beech Drive, Jones Mill, Stoneybrook, Capital View/Metropolitan and University Blvd, given that traffic moves quickly once you get onto Beech Drive, and given that there are all of two working traffic lights over the entire route once you pass Virginia Avenue. But every day you'll see thousands of people slogging through scores of traffic lights and cursing every block along the way.
   218. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4703510)
In the late 70's and early 80's you could get from 18th & Columbia to street parking space around 31st and Calvert in under an hour, and if you left DC at 6:30 you could make the 7:35 first pitch at Memorial Stadium. I'm not sure you could even be in your seat at Camden Yards that quickly nowadays.
That would be doable for me in Montgomery County (especially now that the ICC exists), but if your starting point is anywhere in the District, not a chance.
   219. Esoteric Posted: May 09, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4703513)
I can't believe anyone would ever drive from Georgetown to Kensington by any route other than Rock Creek Parkway, Beech Drive, Jones Mill, Stoneybrook, Capital View/Metropolitan and University Blvd, given that traffic moves quickly once you get onto Beech Drive, and given that there are all of two working traffic lights over the entire route once you pass Virginia Avenue. But every day you'll see thousands of people slogging through scores of traffic lights and cursing every block along the way.
The problem with Beach Drive is all the f**king bikers. Lovely, scenic route...but Beach Drive both before and after Jones Mill (i.e. both the Maryland and DC parts) is just lousy with slow, lane-congesting bikers. Well, at least on the weekends.
   220. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4703534)
The problem with Beach Drive is all the f**king bikers. Lovely, scenic route...but Beach Drive both before and after Jones Mill (i.e. both the Maryland and DC parts) is just lousy with slow, lane-congesting bikers. Well, at least on the weekends.

Well, I was admittedly talking about weekday evening rush hours, not weekends, when much of Beach Drive is closed off to cars to begin with. I've never been delayed by bikes on Beach on weekdays for more than 30 seconds while I awaited an opening to pass them. Live and let live is my thought about bikers, most of whom aren't like the ones you read about in angry letters to the editor columns, any more than most drivers are trying to run bicycles off the road. AFAIC the road warriors on both sides of that issue get a lot more attention than they really deserve.
   221. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4703536)
- "Mrsoteric, I think we need to get on I-35 West"
- "Esoteric, which one do you mean? I-35 West North or I-35 West South?"
- "Wait, what?"
- "West North or West South? Or is it East North or East South?"
- "WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS GOING ON HERE?"

It's so confusing that it actually makes me laugh.


I think I spent an entire night at a MSP bar with some local friends yelling about this. Lots of sharp turns as well on said versions of I-35 which leads to fun times on the road.

I'd offer the city of Waukesha (Wisconsin) as the most confusing city to drive around in America. 60,000 or so, just west of Milwaukee, but there is nothing logical about any of it. There are just roads, that go in any direction (no grid) then certain roads change names depending on where you are, they angle, curve, stop abruptly. Throw in the river, a road called S. West Avenue, which runs north and south and some train tracks and you're ###### trying to find anything.
   222. Ron J2 Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4703553)
#179 Well I know of two ways that worked in my family. My mother lived close enough to the grocery store (about a block and a half away) to manage. Became a lot easier though when I got old enough to carry a lot for her. Before that she was shopping twice a week.

And my step-mother (in New York) just had the groceries delivered.

But I've seen plenty of mother+family+groceries on the buses. Helps if you get a cart to carry the groceries (I have one for my shopping -- beats carrying the stuff), but I've seen plenty who just used bags.

EDIT: As for getting kids to school, well when I was growing up it was all school buses. The number of parents who drove their kids was roughly zero. I understand that's a thing of the past now.
   223. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4703554)
The problem, of course, is that the Minneapolis Light Rail is mostly useless, a one-track affair that's really only useful for getting to MSP airport, the Mall of America, Target Field, and a few downtown areas. Doesn't go anywhere near Uptown, for example.


Hey now, they are putting in a SECOND track (and talking about a third). Slow going, but we will get with it eventually.

I would also like to nominate Atlanta for a confusing award, just because every ####### street is called Peachtree something. #### you peachtree, #### you.
   224. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4703561)
I would also like to nominate Atlanta for a confusing award, just because every ####### street is called Peachtree something. #### you peachtree, #### you.

Ahhhh, I see your mistake. You went to Atlanta. I hope to God it wasn't a pleasure trip.
   225. Ron J2 Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4703562)
#185 I remember doing a consulting gig in Oklahoma City and the locals could not comprehend somebody who didn't drive.

And yes BBC I walked in every day from my motel. All that to say I've been places where I can see cars as something close to a necessity. But even then there are ways to cope -- at least in the short term.
   226. Kurt Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4703577)
Those two stories are the sum total of what I know about driving in DC. It seems unpleasant.


I'm fine with DC driving now (because I don't drive during rush hour), but the first time I came down I was staying at a friend's place in Adams Morgan so I could apartment hunt, and I ended up on 18th St. SE instead of 18th St. NW. Had no idea about the quadrants.
   227. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4703582)
I'm fine with DC driving now (because I don't drive during rush hour), but the first time I came down I was staying at a friend's place in Adams Morgan so I could apartment hunt, and I ended up on 18th St. SE instead of 18th St. NW. Had no idea about the quadrants.

Quadrants are basic, but you're not really DC until you know where all 48 state avenues are located, plus the two states with only a Street and a Drive.
   228. Kurt Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4703605)
I probably know about 30-35 of them, and just added a new one last week (my son had a baseball game on Minnesota).
   229. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4703620)
Apparently he was behind some old biddy at a stop light, and when it turned red she sat there unmoving for about 5-6 seconds. Eventually he honked at her, she still didn't move, and he honked more forcefully.


I never honk in these situations because I wait a second to be polite. Then I start to wonder if they're dead.

The people in DC who drive me crazy are the ones who leave at least a car length in front of them in stopped traffic. I've even seen people block a lane in a traffic circle to do this. I've been trying to track the origin of this fad, without success.
   230. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4703643)
There is a only of state streets that I could locate and probably only in certain areas. I'm the type of person who has never bothered learning the names of streets. Despite not knowing the street or where stuff is based on an address I have found that is virtually impossible to get lost in the city once you spend some time here. Neighborhoods are distinct and the grid system is pretty effective.
   231. Publius Publicola Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4703683)
Funny. I thought the exact same thing as well and said as much at virtually the same time.


That always struck me as kind of funny too, that Baltimore has been so slow to gentrify compared to the other comparable cities.

It's lkek the developers and young couples came in, took one look, threw their hands up in the air and headed back out to the suburbs.
   232. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4703695)
For the most part there is absolutely no reason for people and businesses with money to go to Baltimore. It is sandwiched between Philly and DC so why go to Baltimore?
   233. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4703703)
you're not really DC until you know where all 48 state avenues are located, plus the two states with only a Street and a Drive.

I probably know about 30-35 of them, and just added a new one last week (my son had a baseball game on Minnesota).


Or as the old schoolers like the late Petey Greene used to say, "Minty-soda Avenue, just over the AnaCOSHta River". The state avenues that most newcomers I know have the hardest time locating are Mississippi, Texas, and North Dakota, and after that come Alabama, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee, although with Capitol Hill pretty much totally gentrified by now, those last four are becoming more well known.

Another way to separate the real old timers is to mention Nichols Avenue**, which virtually nobody under 60 would have much of a living memory of. Or even earlier, Conduit Road, which is what MacArthur Blvd. was called before World War II. And 100 years ago, many of the East/West streets around what's now known as Adams-Morgan and Columbia Heights were named after colleges. Harvard St, Kenyon St and Columbia Rd. are about the only ones of those left, while Yale and Princeton were among the ones that fell by the wayside.

If anyone wants to see some neat old time DC scenes, try this or this or this. That first link is by far the best of the three, and for anyone living around 14th and Irving, this post of theirs is a mindblower. There are times when I wish I were 20 again, but then are are times when I think I was born 20 years too soon. (not really)

**Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue since 1968
   234. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4703705)
Yet T. Rowe Price (among some others) has no trouble managing $700 billion dollars from Baltimore.
   235. Flynn Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4703726)
Seriously: when was the last time you rode Muni? It's improved a lot in the last couple years. Also, I'm not sure what you are expecting. You can get almost anywhere in the city on two transfers.


January, since that's the last time I was home. Improved? I mean, OK, it's better than it was in the late 90s, but it's still not a pustule on the ass of a really good transit system. They'll have to get off their butts and build something along Geary like they've been promising to do for over 100 years to begin to be one. Having the buses run faster than an 8 mph average speed would be good too. I've got no confidence in the newest Muni plan to eliminate a bunch of stops...it'll get watered down.

I'm expecting a city that likes to compare itself to Paris, Milan and New York to start having a transit system that isn't a rank embarrassment next to those three cities.
   236. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 09, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4703747)
In Nottingham my local grocery store had a taxi-rank sitting right outside. Depending on where you're going the trip probably wouldn't be more than 5-6 pounds. If you lived further than that you'd be in the radius of a different store.

Alternatively I'd routinely see people laden down with groceries on the bus. You'd have to hit the store much more frequently than you would with a car but people do it. The key is likely having the necessary transit infrastructure. There isn't really anywhere in the greater Nottingham area that isn't within a 5 minute walk from a bus stop, and nowhere that would take more than 30-40 minutes to get to from the city centre. Not all cities have that.

Most major UK supermarkets offer free home delivery, as long as you spend over a reasonable minimum like £10-20.
   237. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4703749)
Most major UK supermarkets offer free home delivery, as long as you spend over a reasonable minimum like £10-20.

Cool, I didn't know that. Not that it would have really made much sense for me, but I'm sure that's very helpful for a lot of families, and goes part of the way to explaining the scenario Lisa asks about.
   238. GregD Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4703757)
i still would love to know how exactly all these - no car!!! - people go shopping for food for a family and carry all that stuff home with no car.
lisa, I don't think anyone is saying they would live in Houston with no car under those conditions.

In New York City, we have two kids.

For food, there's a bodega on the corner, a lousy grocery store across the street, a moderately less lousy grocery store anohter block away, a tremendous grocery store 10 blocks away, a Whole Foods 13 blocks away, and a Trader Joes 11 blocks away. I actually don't mind carrying stuff. But if my wife goes to Fairway or Whole Foods or Trader Joes, she will either 1) take a cab--at that distance maybe $5--or have it delivered.

Or people order their groceries online through FreshDirect or a competitor and it just shows up. It helps that our building has a doorman so we don't worry about if we're home to receive it.

Kids: Our kids go to the same school, which is a block away, so we walk them. When one goes to middle school, we will figure that out. Many middle school kids in the city take the bus or walk themselves, since they generally go to middle school within 15-20 blocks of home at least in Manhattan public schools. We'll see if we are ready for them to do that or not.

Commute: We each work 40-50 blocks away. The time on the subway depends a bit on how quickly you get a train, but 20-25 minutes is a good estimate. I often walk because I like to walk.

Church: We walk to a church 13 blocks away; there are lots of closer churches.

Going to family: We use ZipCar

Caveats:
1) We might have a car if we lived anywhere but Manhattan, I think, now that we have kids. Or we would at least be using ZipCars a lot more.
2) We're lucky to have the choice to align things in this way. And we also made that choice--we don't have a backyard and our daughters share a bedroom etc.

In Philly and Chicago and Boston, we always had one car, sometimes two. In many of those cities, it would be challenging, especially for kids, to go without a car. Those are places where many people commute by subway and bus to work but have a car at home for the weekends. I suspect the same is true for many DC residents who have kids, though I don't know for certain.

One thing I have been heartened by in my visits to LA is the increased use of trains. There's a long way to go, obviously, but it's a big shift.
   239. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4703774)
I transfer to Baltimore and I have to decide whether to stay in DC and commute, not liking that option, or move to Baltimore, which I'm also not liking

Most of the commuters are going from Baltimore to DC, so you're going against the grain and traffic is lighter. Unfortunately, all the mass transit options are set up that way, too. Very hard to rely on MARC or even AMTRAK going that way if you have a variable schedule. On the other hand, real estate is far cheaper in Baltimore. The folks I knew who commuted to DC from Baltimore never considered moving down. I don't know the Baltimore market, but I believe there are some quite livable neighborhoods, even close to Camden Yards, like Federal Hill, IIRC.
   240. Canker Soriano Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4703776)
For food, there's a bodega on the corner, a lousy grocery store across the street, a moderately less lousy grocery store anohter block away, a tremendous grocery store 10 blocks away, a Whole Foods 13 blocks away, and a Trader Joes 11 blocks away. I actually don't mind carrying stuff. But if my wife goes to Fairway or Whole Foods or Trader Joes, she will either 1) take a cab--at that distance maybe $5--or have it delivered.

When I lived in New York, I did all my grocery shopping with one of those little old lady pull carts. It was big enough to hold about 4 bags of groceries, and I pulled it the 3 blocks down the street to the closest Gristede's.

Man, I miss living within walking distance of everything I need. I think the cookie pouch I've developed around my midsection is in part because I don't get out to walk for my errands anymore.
   241. tshipman Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4703779)
can't speak for dallas, but is sure nuff can for houston. i can't think of anywhere a family with kidz could live without needing a car. assuming that prtents don't both only work from home. and kidz are all home schooled and have no outside activities. going anywhere like to the grocery or any other kind of store would be really difficult/unpleasant.
- and actually, i would bet that if you called a cab and you were nowheres near downtown/galleria/airports, it would be beyond expensive and there might not be any who actually showed up

i still would love to know how exactly all these - no car!!! - people go shopping for food for a family and carry all that stuff home with no car.


I go shopping at a large grocery store 5 blocks away from my house. Sometimes, for variety, I walk to the grocery store 8 or 9 blocks away. Or on the weekend, we go to one of the two farmer's markets within four to five blocks of the apartment.

If we want something really different, like the organic French yogurt that my girlfriend likes, we'll order it through one of the three or four delivery services available. We might do that once a month.

If, for whatever reason, we really want to drive to a grocery store (like, we want to go to Trader Joe's, but don't want to bother taking a bus), we will rent a ZipCar for about $12.00.

Thanks for the reminder of why I pay rent. It's totally worth it to not live in Houston.
   242. base ball chick Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4703801)
tshipman

IF there was a large grocery store 5 blocks from our house, i would still have to make a LOT more than 1 trip or at LEAST one trip/day even with one of those granny pull behind carts. just bringing home the Dog food bags would be enough to wear me out - and please remember that the NORMAL temps here are 85+ with high humidity 9 - 10 months/year. and we are feeding 6 people every day.

going to a farmers market would be not possible - don't even think there is any near any bus route seeing as how they are waaaay out west. and the bus trip + walking = many many hours of exhaustion

DELIVERY????

as for zip cars, out of curiousity, i checked it out. there are exactly 4 cars in houston and you have to go to where they are, and then spend several hours on buses getting your self back home. no thank you
   243. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4703805)
One thing I've learned from this thread: I would not at all enjoy living in Houston. Which may be relevant as I'm applying for a job at Sam Houston State University in January. Though I see that's in Huntsville. A suburb?
   244. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4703811)
Lisa, ignore the urban rabble. In 98% of places people need cars. I take the train to work, but I'm still not walking the 30 minutes to the station. I have better things to do with an hour of my life every day.
   245. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:23 PM (#4703860)
I would not at all enjoy living in Houston. Which may be relevant as I'm applying for a job at Sam Houston State University in January.

Employed in Houston should easily beat unemployed in the Great White North. And they have something that's fairly close to Major League Baseball!
   246. base ball chick Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:23 PM (#4703861)
gregK

actually, huntsville is an hour north of north houston. it's a pretty small city, real country. with a big prison filled with actual bad criminals (not just your usual drug busts)
   247. Canker Soriano Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:27 PM (#4703865)
One thing I've learned from this thread: I would not at all enjoy living in Houston.

I lived in Houston. I did not enjoy it. It was a mercifully short stay. Aside from maybe Memphis or New Orleans, it's the least favorite place I've lived.

Huntsville is a ways out of Houston, not really even a suburb. I think The Woodlands is about as far north as you can go and realistically still think you're in the suburbs. It's about as far from Huntsville to Houston as it is from Sacramento to San Francisco (which is to say 70-80 miles).

Edit: Coke with a lot of ice to bbc.
   248. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4703870)
Employed in Houston should easily beat unemployed in the Great White North.

Wait, I thought that conservatives say that living off welfare makes for so plush an existence that it's a wholly rational choice to make. You know, free cell phones and cable and free health care paid for by impoverished taxpayers. Kindly tell us which version we're supposed to believe.
   249. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4703886)
Wait, I thought that conservatives say that living off welfare makes for so plush an existence that it's a wholly rational choice to make. You know, free cell phones and cable and free health care paid for by impoverished taxpayers. Kindly tell us which version we're supposed to believe.

No one ever said it was the best option, just that it tended to suck people into perpetuating a max benefits lifestyle, especially if as poorly structured as in the pre-reform days. Besides, our Greg can't be so easily seduced.
   250. base ball chick Posted: May 10, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4703888)
interesting article posted on FB by our friend rickey the neck stabbah about the poor/working poor living in supposedly rich cobb county (atlanta) where there is very little public transportation and you NEED a car

check it out
   251. Greg K Posted: May 10, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4703899)
Ah that sounds nice! I'm not much of a fan of really big cities, my sweet spot is probably around 200,000-300,000. I actually have a job lined up for the Fall. It probably says something (not very good) about me that I'm excited to be in Saskatchewan for the winter, but a bit worried about Texas...prison town doesn't sound terribly fun.

No one ever said it was the best option, just that it tended to suck people into perpetuating a max benefits lifestyle, especially if as poorly structured as in the pre-reform days. Besides, our Greg can't be so easily seduced.

How little you know me! If there's one thing that will seduce me every time it's appeals to my laziness. Why do you think I went to grad school?

At the moment I'm just living off the left-overs from scholarship money, so I'm not being a drain on society (at least not financially). I was once on employment insurance after getting laid off from a job. But for various idiosyncratic reasons I wasn't comfortable with the "looking for work" reporting system, so I didn't actually end up collecting any money.
   252. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 01:37 AM (#4703911)
I'm a single guy so I have no real desire to live in the suburbs. I live in Adams Morgan now and will be commuting to Camden Yards on a daily basis. I'll be doing that for about a month or so and then I'll decide whether to move to some other part of DC or to make the move to Baltimore.

Most of the commuters are going from Baltimore to DC, so you're going against the grain and traffic is lighter. Unfortunately, all the mass transit options are set up that way, too. Very hard to rely on MARC or even AMTRAK going that way if you have a variable schedule. On the other hand, real estate is far cheaper in Baltimore. The folks I knew who commuted to DC from Baltimore never considered moving down. I don't know the Baltimore market, but I believe there are some quite livable neighborhoods, even close to Camden Yards, like Federal Hill, IIRC.

Yes, that's a pretty, pretty, pretty big caveat. For getting to and from work, McCoy, DO NOT count on MARC after 10pm. Remember too that weekend service on the Penn Line (Baltimore to DC) began only a month or two ago.*

* There's still no weekend schedule on the MARC web site.
   253. tshipman Posted: May 10, 2014 at 01:43 AM (#4703912)
IF there was a large grocery store 5 blocks from our house, i would still have to make a LOT more than 1 trip or at LEAST one trip/day even with one of those granny pull behind carts. just bringing home the Dog food bags would be enough to wear me out - and please remember that the NORMAL temps here are 85+ with high humidity 9 - 10 months/year. and we are feeding 6 people every day.
going to a farmers market would be not possible - don't even think there is any near any bus route seeing as how they are waaaay out west. and the bus trip + walking = many many hours of exhaustion



I mean, it's not that hard to carry 4 grocery bags five blocks. You would also have to buy fewer groceries if you lived closer.

As for the rest of your comments: Houston sounds just absolutely terrible, and like a place I would never live.
   254. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4703934)
Yes, that's a pretty, pretty, pretty big caveat. For getting to and from work, McCoy, DO NOT count on MARC after 10pm. Remember too that weekend service on the Penn Line (Baltimore to DC) began only a month or two ago.*

* There's still no weekend schedule on the MARC web site.


Oh I definitely wouldn't count on it all the time. If I stayed in DC I would probably treat the MARC the same way I treated Metro when I lived in NoVA. If I had to work late I would take my car in or if it was the weekend I would drive in (free parking). For the Baltimore trip I would probably drive in if I knew I could get back before 6:00pm or so so that I had a parking spot near my home and if there is free parking near my work. Which at this time I don't know if they do and kind of doubt they do what with Camden being right there and all.
   255. BDC Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4703948)
bit worried about Texas...prison town doesn't sound terribly fun

As you might imagine, Sam Houston State is best known for its criminology/criminal justice program, which is easily a peer of those at much larger "flagship" schools.
   256. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4703970)
I mean, it's not that hard to carry 4 grocery bags five blocks.

Depends on your physical mobility, your arm strength, the weather**, and the tightness of your daily schedule. There's never any one-size-fits-all pronouncement on issues like this.

**Rain, sleet, 90+ heat, etc.
   257. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4703981)
Considering most adults are capable of planning there kind of is a one size fits all solution to this provided the people are competent adults. We are talking about your typical adults and families and not talking about special needs people and families.
   258. Greg K Posted: May 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4704024)
**Rain, sleet, 90+ heat, etc.

In winter on the Canadian prairie you kind of have to take a look at the extended weather forecast to plan your shopping. Getting wind burn on your thighs is not fun.

[EDIT: Weird, wikipedia describes windburn as a sunburn that happens on a cloudy day, misattributed to wind. Perhaps there's a different word for the phenomenon I'm talking about.]
   259. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4704028)
I'll certainly agree that most healthy and mobile people should be willing to walk a mile or so to get a couple of small to medium sized bags of groceries in dry weather with the temperature between about 35 and 80 (American), as long as they've got the time to spare in pursuit of virtue and better leg and arm muscles. Of course the question is how often all those ifs actually fall into play.
   260. tshipman Posted: May 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4704031)
I'll certainly agree that most healthy and mobile people should be willing to walk a mile or so to get a couple of small to medium sized bags of groceries in dry weather with the temperature between about 35 and 80 (American), as long as they've got the time to spare in pursuit of virtue and better leg and arm muscles. Of course the question is how often all those ifs actually fall into play.


Every day in cities all around the world. It's absurdly common.
   261. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4704032)
Oh I definitely wouldn't count on it all the time. If I stayed in DC I would probably treat the MARC the same way I treated Metro when I lived in NoVA. If I had to work late I would take my car in or if it was the weekend I would drive in (free parking). For the Baltimore trip I would probably drive in if I knew I could get back before 6:00pm or so so that I had a parking spot near my home and if there is free parking near my work. Which at this time I don't know if they do and kind of doubt they do what with Camden being right there and all.

By the way, good luck with the new gig. Are you able to tell us more about what you'll be doing?
   262. flournoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4704039)
We have this exact same thread every couple of months. I'm always struck by some people's arguments in favor of planning your life around transportation, rather than the other way around.
   263. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4704069)
I'll certainly agree that most healthy and mobile people should be willing to walk a mile or so to get a couple of small to medium sized bags of groceries in dry weather with the temperature between about 35 and 80 (American), as long as they've got the time to spare in pursuit of virtue and better leg and arm muscles. Of course the question is how often all those ifs actually fall into play.

Every day in cities all around the world. It's absurdly common.


I'm not saying that it isn't, but acknowledging that it's hardly universal takes some of the moral pretension out of the equation.

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

We have this exact same thread every couple of months. I'm always struck by some people's arguments in favor of planning your life around transportation, rather than the other way around.

That, too. Walk when you want to, drive when you want to, and take three buses and three times the time if it suits your fancy. It's none of my business one way or the other.
   264. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4704073)
By the way, good luck with the new gig. Are you able to tell us more about what you'll be doing?

I'll be running the F&B department of one the hotels by Camden Yards.
   265. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4704074)
I've lived in DC now for 3 years and I have yet to transfer buses. I'm sure there are places in DC that I would have to do that but between the circulator, normal bus routes, and the trains I've yet to do it.
   266. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4704093)
Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, I thought this had devolved into a shouting match:

That Pierre L'Enfant was a pretty smart cookie (for a Frog). In D.C. the north-south streets are numbered, the east-west streets are lettered, then single syllable names, then 2 syllable names, then 3 syllable names. The avenues run diagonally, meet in circles (for the swiveling gun emplacements to defend the city), and are named after states. The rest is revisionist highway engineering :-)
   267. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4704096)
I've lived in DC now for 3 years and I have yet to transfer buses. I'm sure there are places in DC that I would have to do that but between the circulator, normal bus routes, and the trains I've yet to do it.

Which would be a relevant point, if only every DC resident were like you.
   268. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4704099)
Which would be a relevant point, if only every DC resident were like you.

And I keep waiting to meet these DC residents that have to take 3 bus transfers, walk a mile, and carry 16 bags of groceries while also carrying 3 babies.

There are places in the city that probably do require a transfer but in the heart of the city it is unlikely to be needed.
   269. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4704100)
The rest is revisionist highway engineering :-)

Like the District refusing to let us drive in either an easterly or westerly direction for more than five blocks without getting into a head-on collision with a statue, park, or Do-Not-Enter sign?
   270. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4704109)
The avenues run diagonally, meet in circles (for the swiveling gun emplacements to defend the city), and are named after states.

This, like J street, is a myth. Pierre did not envision the need to put defensive batteries inside the city and really, pretty much not city planner would have ever truly considered doing something like that. Pierre envisioned squares not circles and his plan was for each state to settle the area around each state's square. He believed this would better create communities and stimulate the development and economy of the city. Each square would be about 1/2 mile apart from the next one and thus each square's fountain or statue would be visible from the next one over.
   271. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4704113)
Which would be a relevant point, if only every DC resident were like you.

And I keep waiting to meet these DC residents that have to take 3 bus transfers, walk a mile, and carry 16 bags of groceries while also carrying 3 babies.

There are places in the city that probably do require a transfer but in the heart of the city it is unlikely to be needed.


Quiet as it's kept, not everyone in DC lives "in the heart of the city", and many thousands of residents don't live within four blocks of a bus line, especially bus lines with late night service. You've never met these people because you have no need to, which proves absolutely nothing as to their existence. When you sell your car, I'll be much more impressed with your posturing about how much you know about DC residents' transportation needs.
   272. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4704138)
And I have routinely said that I think that the heart of the city should not allow cars and that there are parts of DC where one would need a car. I use late night bus service quite a bit and encounter numerous people in doing so.

The idea that we can't come up with a better alternative because a change might temporarily inconvenience 1% of the population holds no water with me. A change like no cars within the central 20 square miles of DC would cause a change but it wouldn't doom the population of DC for all time. People would make changes, new zoning laws would be created so on and so on. Like I said before I think DC should create a high car commuter tax, a high parking tax, and a high DC registration fee.

As for my car, as I said before I've put on about 1000 miles on it in the three years I've lived in DC with probably something like 50 miles of it put on within the city. Hell, my friends and family probably put more miles on my car than I did last year. Last year I filled my gas tank up twice and last week was the first time this year I put gas in my car. The most common road I use in DC is Rock Creek Parkway and I have no problem with people using the parkway. Pedestrians and bikes have their own area, double laned roads with almost no traffic lights or cross streets. They were built with cars in mind and keeping them around quickly.
   273. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4704178)
So then you'll gladly ditch your car and live in a carless central Washington utopia? If so, then at least you have the courage of your convictions, which I always find commendable.

But as for your proposal itself, it's so completely reminiscent of Pauline Kael's "How did Nixon get elected? All the people I know voted for McGovern" that it's not even worth a serious reply. I get it that your circle of friends is a marvelous lot of self-sufficient boys and girls, who by this point in 2016 will be happily living on delicious Soylent and put all of DC's restaurants out of business. Efficiency uber alles!
   274. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4704225)
The only reason I keep my car is because it costs me virtually nothing to keep it and because I've been expecting to transfer out of DC the last two years. Central DC does not need a car. Period. No matter what your lifestyle you do not need one unless you are some fool that lives in central DC and commutes our of DC.
   275. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4704258)
The only reason I keep my car is because it costs me virtually nothing to keep it and because I've been expecting to transfer out of DC the last two years. Central DC does not need a car. Period. No matter what your lifestyle you do not need one unless you are some fool that lives in central DC and commutes our of DC.

I guess I must have been a fool when we were renting a two bedroom apartment on Mintwood Place for $546 a month and driving 20 minutes to work and park in Bethesda. A lot of fools need the flexibility of having a car at their disposal during the day for the sort of trips and work that apparently you must not be aware of.
   276. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4704265)
A change like no cars within the central 20 square miles of DC would cause a change but it wouldn't doom the population of DC for all time.

That's a pretty low bar - "wouldn't doom the population for all time". Surprising that more politicians don't run on that platform.

Washington, DC, in its present configuration, is 68.3 square miles, so that's banning driving in ~30% of the land area. I won't even attempt to address how anyone would enforce this No Drive Zone, but I don't think Andy would go down without a fight
   277. GregD Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4704280)
Obviously it's not possible in DC, politically and probably logistically. No-car zones have been enforced. Cambridge, England, I understand, has a smaller one (Greg K can address this?) My sense is that free buses run in the no-car area so people drive in to the perimeter, park and take one of the buses, which run speedily since there's not car traffic. How well or ill it works I don't know. And obviously Cambridge is tiny.

Something like this was proposed for Philly's Old City and Center City. In my head, it was Ed Bacon's plan, but I could be confused. Giant parking garages ringing the central city, and bus-only routes in the interior. It failed politically.

It is intriguing for a narrow range of places if you are running a Sim City model or something. It could theoretically work for parts of Manhattan. Whether it could work even theoretically for DC, I don't know.

Politically it is a non-starter, since it puts more demand for government-funded services (buses) while reducing government revenue (in tickets and meters) while also inflaming a pretty vocal constituency in drivers. Since no one is excited by the prospect, it is the definition of a political loser. At least Bloomberg's congestion plan, like London's, had the promise of increased revenue behind it. The no-car plan has nothing. But that's not to say it couldn't work out for a small number of places with the right system in place to whisk people around. Traffic in some congested city centers is so terrible, so close to gridlock, that it's hard to blame people for looking for alternatives.
   278. Greg K Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4704284)
Obviously it's not possible in DC, politically and probably logistically. No-car zones have been enforced. Cambridge, England, I understand, has a smaller one (Greg K can address this?) My sense is that free buses run in the no-car area so people drive in to the perimeter, park and take one of the buses, which run speedily since there's not car traffic. How well or ill it works I don't know. And obviously Cambridge is tiny.

The centre of Nottingham is more or less car-free. I'd occasionally see vans or trucks making deliveries to the various shops and restaurants in the area on off-hours, and there are strategically placed taxi ranks, but the central area serves as a massive pedestrian area and a central hub for all the local bus routes. I really don't know the details of how it was worked out, but it was convenient for people to congregate from all directions and socialize.
   279. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4704285)
Washington, DC, in its present configuration, is 68.3 square miles, so that's banning driving in ~30% of the land area. I won't even attempt to address how anyone would enforce this No Drive Zone,

Maybe they can get robocars to chase down the offenders and drones to bomb them if they try to skip their court dates. I'm sure the local geniuses could think of something.

but I don't think Andy would go down without a fight.

Since most of my friends who lived in central DC got priced out of there long ago, it wouldn't be any skin off my back. A few strategic drone attacks over some of those $25.00 cocktail lounges filled with lobbyists and other assorted parasites wouldn't make me lose much sleep.
   280. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4704288)
Traffic in some congested city centers is so terrible, so close to gridlock, that it's hard to blame people for looking for alternatives.

Back when the DC (underground) Metro was in the planning stages, I was rooting for a far more extensive system and free fares subsidized by a variety of taxes. That would have done more to ease auto congestion than any proposal I've seen before or since, but obviously it would've been met with cries of "socialism" and howled down without even a hearing.

   281. BDC Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4704338)
The largest cities I've been in with substantial central pedestrian zones are Copenhagen, Munich, and Budapest. They're not huge zones, basically centered on a main shopping street and some surrounding areas, but they get a lot of use. Small Scandinavian cities tend to have all-pedestrian centers.

There are of course other ways of making things comfortable for pedestrians than banning cars. Many small German cities have a central plaza with Rathaus, main church, etc. where you can park: that has the advantage of making the center a destination, not a through route, so traffic is slow and walking areas ample. Another alternative is a massive boulevard where cars move but pedestrian lanes are substantial, even dominant: Unter den Linden in Berlin, or the Champs Elysées in Paris.

I was in a small city in Italy last year, Vercelli in Lombardy, that combined both ideas. There was a largely pedestrianized "centro storico" of old medieval streets, and an extremely comfortable boulevard leading out of it, with plenty of car traffic, but where you could walk on either sidewalk or alternatively down a broad parklike paved central area. Just a lovely place to wander around in.
   282. McCoy Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4704339)
I guess I must have been a fool when we were renting a two bedroom apartment on Mintwood Place for $546 a month and driving 20 minutes to work and park in Bethesda. A lot of fools need the flexibility of having a car at their disposal during the day for the sort of trips and work that apparently you must not be aware of.

Yes, your life 20 years ago is completely applicable to today's situation in DC.
   283. BDC Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4704340)
And I suppose I should say that the traditional courthouse square in Texas and other states has a lot of advantages for pedestrians. It slows traffic and provides places to park, though often one side remains a through route. Some Texas towns, like Granbury, have become tourist-friendly with the help of a bypass road that takes most of the traffic around their old centers, which are now full of shops and B&Bs; and the old opera house and such.
   284. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4704348)
I guess I must have been a fool when we were renting a two bedroom apartment on Mintwood Place for $546 a month and driving 20 minutes to work and park in Bethesda. A lot of fools need the flexibility of having a car at their disposal during the day for the sort of trips and work that apparently you must not be aware of.

Yes, your life 20 years ago is completely applicable to today's situation in DC.


Yes, nobody but a fool reverse commutes any more, nobody living in DC's $25.00 cocktail district should be allowed to drive a car, and everyone's life should be just like yours, or else.

Christ, talk about nannyism run amok. Weren't you the guy who not that long ago was equating New York's proposed cigarette warning labels to a police state?
   285. McCoy Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4704358)
Christ, talk about nannyism run amok. Weren't you the guy who not that long ago was equating New York's proposed cigarette warning labels to a police state?

Um, no. That was your strawman.

Yes, nobody but a fool reverse commutes any more, nobody living in DC's $25.00 cocktail district should be allowed to drive a car, and everyone's life should be just like yours, or else.

So what if someone does reverse commute? We're not talking about a policy change that will make every single living human being in the city happy and content.

If you want to live in the heart of DC and have a car then you're going to have to pay for it and store it somewhere other than in the heart of the city. Gasp. The horror. The horror.
   286. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4704388)
Christ, talk about nannyism run amok. Weren't you the guy who not that long ago was equating New York's proposed cigarette warning labels to a police state?

Um, no. That was your strawman.


Thanks for correcting my memory, but I could have sworn that was you doing all the complaining about the horrific burdens that law was going to place on those poor cigarette retailers, and on those poor passersby who would've been confronted with graphic representations of the results of smoking. But I'm glad to know you were as sanguine about those retailers' horrific fate as I was, and would be in favor of such labels in defiance of the tobacco companies' propaganda.

Yes, nobody but a fool reverse commutes any more, nobody living in DC's $25.00 cocktail district should be allowed to drive a car, and everyone's life should be just like yours, or else.

So what if someone does reverse commute? We're not talking about a policy change that will make every single living human being in the city happy and content.


Tell you what: Put it up to a referendum among DC residents and see how many of them would be happy and content about such a proposal.

If you want to live in the heart of DC and have a car then you're going to have to pay for it and store it somewhere other than in the heart of the city. Gasp. The horror. The horror.

Again, let's put your ubernanny proposal up to a vote, and then we'll see who's gasping in horror about the results.
   287. Publius Publicola Posted: May 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4704394)
The whole point of having a car is to make transportation convenient and time saving. If you have to park your car elsewhere, it ceases to be either convenient or time saving.
   288. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4704416)
The whole point of having a car is to make transportation convenient and time saving. If you have to park your car elsewhere, it ceases to be either convenient or time saving.

But if it doesn't bother McCoy, why should anyone else care about a little inconvenience?
   289. McCoy Posted: May 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4704436)
Yes, ten people get inconvenienced so that 200,000 people have a better city. The horror. The horror.

Owning a car and having it be just 5 feet away from you at all times is not a right. If you want to own a car and have it parked outside your door live in the suburbs or in parts of DC that would have cars on the road.
   290. BDC Posted: May 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4704438)
And one last example of a downtown that is increasingly doing it right. The center of Fort Worth has been transformed over the past 20 years by adopting the model of excellent access highways that lead to huge parking garages on the perimeter of the downtown area. Till just this past year, none of it was truly pedestrianized. But the most recent step was to turn two blocks of Main Street, in the heart of downtown, into a pedestrian plaza and take out two adjacent surface parking lots. The result has been a huge boom in activity and business. It runs against the Texan grain, which has led to the lifelessness of downtown Dallas and Houston by assuming that every building must be surrounded by eight times its area in parking spaces or else nobody'll ever go there.
   291. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 11, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4704601)
Yes, ten people get inconvenienced so that 200,000 people have a better city. The horror. The horror.

Well, if that's the true ratio of pain to gain, then you shouldn't have any problem winning a referendum on the issue. I'd have no problem with putting it up to a vote of all DC residents, and I'll assume you wouldn't, either. And since I couldn't cancel your vote, you'd begin with a 1-0 advantage.
   292. McCoy Posted: May 11, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4704609)
By the way here is a pretty cool piece of software that shows you how far one can travel in X amount of minutes on different days and times of the day for a bunch of cities.
   293. CrosbyBird Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:48 AM (#4705610)
I would agree that anyone who owns a car in NYC is an idiot. Not only because it's a dangerous and crazy place to drive, but also because the mass transit system is excellent and renders driving largely unnecessary. Between gas, maintenance, parking, and insurance, you're almost certainly paying more as a driver than you would for an unlimited monthly subway pass.

Do you mean "Manhattan and the parts of other boroughs that have regular subway service"? If so, you're less wrong but still pretty wrong. One of the big reasons to own a car in the city is that you might be inclined to go places outside the city where you might want a car, particularly on your own schedule. Or perhaps you might care to take a family of three from NY to DC? It's about the same cost per person to fly as it is to take the train, which is two to three times as expensive as driving even a single person; each passenger you add makes the trip even less unreasonable without a car.

Or perhaps you work a non-standard schedule and your commute is affected by fairly regular track closures, requiring you to get out and take a shuttle bus (sometimes in not-so-good neighborhoods to be hanging around in the middle of the night) and then get back onto the subway to get home.

Going from one part of Manhattan to another part of Manhattan is generally pretty easy, but going from Bayside Queens to Coney Island or the Bronx Zoo is a pretty terrible public transit commute. Staten Island pretty much requires a car.

And Manhattan is a very safe place to drive, for the most part. Especially since you're rarely going too fast and practically every intersection has a traffic light. It's a stressful place to drive because you have to be a little aggressive or you'll constantly be waiting for your turn that never comes, and because taxicabs can clog the left and right lanes. It's a horrible place to drive a stick. It's an especially horrible place to park unless you have a garage. None of that really makes it unsafe; it's a grid that is designed to handle heavy traffic, and it does so quite well. Sightlines are generally excellent for turns.

SF is worse. DC is much, much worse.
   294. CrosbyBird Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:02 AM (#4705611)
If my knees are close enough to the wheel so that I can nudge it to rotate, then I don't have the seat pulled back far enough.

If there's nobody behind me, the seat is always as far back as it goes, in every car I've ever driven. I'm 5'10" so I can't imagine how much taller people ever drive comfortably.
   295. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:03 AM (#4705647)
SF is worse. DC is much, much worse.

Manhattan's easy on the one ways north of the Village, and in the off hours (all three of them), but the congestion is always a ##### trying to go crosstown.

DC is easy once you learn the roads of Rock Creek Park and the other parkways, but the rush hour downtown congestion is brutal and the parkways won't help you there.

But even with the lightest traffic of the day, I've always found the worst cities to be Boston and Philadelphia, with their 18th century layout. I also love Boston's quaint habit of only identifying the cross streets along many of its main arteries.

And unless things have improved in recent years, you probably still need to allow ten minutes in San Francisco just to navigate a car from one side of Market Street to the other.
   296. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4705714)
as a native of fly over land where it is easy to drive anywhere (except Waukesha, WI), but frequent NE traveler, I think Boston is probably the worst place in the U.S. to try and navigate its city streets in a car. It definitely requires the most aggression as a driver. I don't envision a scenario where I would ever want to drive there again.

NYC is a breeze in comparison. I've never driven a car in SF before, but it does seem fairly miserable while riding in a back seat. I do agree that DC at first blush is quite intimidating, but it is definitely more manageable with some basic understanding of the layout.
   297. McCoy Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4705753)
If so, you're less wrong but still pretty wrong. One of the big reasons to own a car in the city is that you might be inclined to go places outside the city where you might want a car, particularly on your own schedule. Or perhaps you might care to take a family of three from NY to DC? It's about the same cost per person to fly as it is to take the train, which is two to three times as expensive as driving even a single person; each passenger you add makes the trip even less unreasonable without a car.

You don't have to buy the plane to be able to get on one. You have to buy a car, pay insurance, license & registration, parking, gas, maintenance, and so forth on your car. Trains, planes, and rental cars don't come with all of that and you only have to pay money when you use the service. Heck, if you're willing to take a bus it is even vastly cheaper than the cost of gas & tolls it takes to drive there in your own car, never mind the car payments, insurance, and so forth.

As an aside. It costs $480 to fly from NY to DC on the last weekend of September. Throw in 20 to 30 to get to the airports and to the hotle and you're looking at about 500 to 510 dollars to make the trip.

It is 460 miles round trip from Manhattan to DC. My car gets about 25 mile to the gallon on a trip like this one so that is about 18.5 gallons. So that comes out to roughly 75 dollars in gas. Parking for two nights in DC is going to cost you roughly 60 dollars. There is roughly 45 dollars worth of tolls on the trip. Your car also depreciates at about 15 cents per mile and your maintenance costs (non gas) about 6 cents per mile so that comes to about 100 dollars in cost for the round trip. Total bill if you're driving would be roughly $280 as compared to about $500-$510 to fly and that amount is pretty close to the IRS standard deduction per mile. Then if you throw in the cost of a car payment and insurance you're looking at around 50 to 60 dollars for the weekend trip for that.
   298. BDC Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4705755)
I agree with Crosby on driving in NYC, which I've gotten more and more used to over the years after initially finding it terrifying. I used to live in Nassau County and would visit my father in New Jersey. The easiest part of that drive was through the streets of Manhattan. The hardest was trying to figure out where the #### you were when you got to New Jersey. Signage in Jersey assumes you were born knowing where things are.

I've had fun driving in San Francisco, but to someone used to the grids of Chicago or New York, there's often this hilarious moment in the city where you assume you can get from A to B and the street you choose either stops at a blind wall or plunges about 88° straight down. Good for the adrenaline.
   299. GregD Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4705816)
Outside of a ten-block radius in Center City, Philly is pretty easy driving. It is a mostly a grid. The traffic eases off as soon as you get off of Sansom or some of the narrower streets.

Boston, on the other hand, is just pure hell on drivers. A malicious trick
   300. McCoy Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4705824)
I-76 during rush hour was generally the biggest headache in Philly and one that was easily avoidable. Philly traffic never really bothered me when I lived in Philly. I would take Kelly Drive to and from work and while it was packed all the cars moved quickly. You'd occasionally run into some gridlock when you headed into some of the neighborhoods at certain times of day but overall I never really hated driving in Philly. The one thing I did hate was the double sided street parking on streets that shouldn't have allowed double sided street parking. In the winter time those streets were a pain in the arse because they never got plowed.
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