What can we learn from LA Newurbanism

Follow Marin Events

 

• HomeUpMTC SPENDING: Transit v HighwayBRT & Roadway ExpansionWhat can we learn from LA NewurbanismTraffic LOS (Level Of Service)Blueprint Briefing Book •
•  •

What can we learn from Los Angeles ?
First we need to ensure there is an equitable mix of business proximate to residences.
And second a finite area designated open space between defined suburban areas.
Each suburban area to be as self contained as possible and enough space between each suburban area to make it highly likely that few will commute BETWEEN them (and prefer to relocate rather than commute ) .

So a "suburban area" should be more of "town" than anything and the open space between them needs to be considerable to succeed in controlling traffic congestion.

There are lots of LA county examples of "town" units. The problem is that they are contiguous and traffic is horrendous because of commuting between them.

The ideal development plan for southern CA would have been triangular towns with open space beach between them.
           Wirh Green Belt and Green Infill
Before

Offering the optimum ability to live near the beach yet control traffic.  There could have been plenty of reasonably sized lots and open space within the town itself.

What would the San Barnardino County towns be like? Certainly less polluted.   http://www.socalcompass.org/survey/thanks_survey.html

Needless to say you'd need some pretty strong, State government to enforce these restrictions .

So the suburbanism of choice would be an area of land big enough to be mostly self-sufficient (no bigger than a 30 mile triangle) surrounded by a necessary large area of open space (at least 20 miles).

There are 12 million more Bay Area residents predicted in the next 20 years should they be catered for by contiguous development and Infill ?   No and No !
One answer would be to encourage business to move to Mendocino - Fort Bragg area, for instance, with incentives. Limit it to a 30 mile triangle surrounded by open space.  Big planning needs to be done at the state level to do this.
                          Wirh Green Belt and Green Infill
Before


San Mateo Infill to:-"compel people to leave their cars at home and rely on public transportation such as high-speed trains"
High Density Development, even around transit hubs, will never reduce the demand for automobile travel enough .
An underlying assumption of the Rail and New Urbanist promoters is that we've become over-dispersed. It may be understandable to long for a village-square past, but it's born more of an impulse than reason, and the cause of a great deal of misinformation and “futureless” development.
"TranSect" Development
At a Feb 2003 meeting, a map of San Quentin was showing 6 degrees of density from "Urban Core" to open space. There was a "rainbow" of  6 "TranSect" development zones from highest density at the bay to lowest at the freeway.

"Smart" Growth rests on several questionable assumptions. It purports to relieve traffic jams and reduce air pollution by packing more people and cars into tighter spaces . Common sense tells us that this will make congestion and air pollution worse.

But they say that these problems will vanish as people switch from cars to mass transit?
That is unlikely! Modern metropolitan areas are so dispersed that most trips require a car. Building High Density will never be desired by the majority nor reduce the demand for automobile travel enough to make any significant reduction in traffic congestion. Express buses and subways provide a realistic alternative to cars only for trips to and around downtown areas. Smart-growth proponents favor using ferries and light-rail alternatives, but these systems aren't speedy or convenient enough to make it worthwhile for Americans to abandon their cars.


How many folks aspire to live with no garden and neighbors thru the wall   playing their stereo, dog barking. Having to keep the blinds down for privacy, and no privacy on your balcony either?

The most recent survey of the Public Policy Institute of California, polled 2,010 residents statewide and asked:-
"If you had your choice, would you most prefer to live in a single-family detached home, an attached home such as a condo or townhouse, an apartment, or another type of dwelling?"
Answer:-
Rail becomes obsolete if business moves out of the city
Nobody wants to live next to a railway line
The chances of the train dropping you off within walking distance of your work are not high enuf
The train does not run frequently enuf. Too much waiting and delays
The great expense of rail detracts from investing in a more flexible bus service in suburbia.
Not enuf people take the train to make any significant change to freeway congestion.
Our tax dollars must be cost-effectively spent to make the biggest difference to traffic congestion & air pollution
Find out what history has told us already
86% single-family detached home
8% attached home
4% apartment
2% Other right, in the past?

Lets resist the pressures that created Los Angeles.


The computer revolution is making it possible for large numbers of people to work and shop from home. This has the potential to reduce both the business and retailing market share of major metropolitan areas. In short, the city is becoming less necessary and certainly is still a source of crime from which suburbanites escaped over the past decades. The computer and the diversifying airline industry are providing businesses with unprecedented freedom to locate where they wish.
San Quentin   ( a rebuttal to a New Urbanist’s speech )
San Francisco already has more Suburban Transit Boardings than any other US City. (Yet boardings declined 7% (90-95) like most other cities did). The city cannot accommodate additional rail-boat commuters from Sonoma or Marin. Both rail and ferry are considerably more expensive than freeway, per person mile.

The New Urbanist said “San Quentin Development will "shorten trips" and have the same effect as adding more highway”.
If you can make the majority of units affordable then this could be true. But we can imagine how expensive the majority WILL BE. Even if 40% affordable were possible the remaining 60% would be adding more than 4,000 San Quentin people to the traffic congestion that already exists.

New Urbanism will only create more congestion. People's natural choice to live in the suburb’s securer, cleaner,  larger, detached lots with less air and noise pollution will prevail (market choice) .

Most Californians don't back 'smart growth' and they include the only part of the population that is growing - minorities and immigrants

Affordable housing, particularly in sunny California, can only be desirable if detached (mobile or manufactured) on reasonably sized lots. (Contempo Estate in Marin is an example). Apartment dwellers never settle for apartment living.

 Convincing people NOT to live in the suburbs and choose a smaller house/lot is a futile goal.


Questions?
Info@MarinInfo.org