Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 30 of 30

Thread: Minneapolis 2040 to end Single Family Home Zoning

  1. #21
    Senior Member lhamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Beijing, China
    Posts
    1,605
    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    I wonder how parking is going to work because more residents = a lot more cars. Otherwise I think it's a positive step towards more affordable housing.

    Are you from Seattle? This is the argument that has been used to hold our city hostage to dated 1950s zoning. When parking becomes too much of a hassle, people will find alternatives to multi-car households. Denser populations mean it is more cost-effective to increase public transit options. Autonomous cars are coming, piloted by the car service companies. And why should everyone have to go to an office at exactly the same hours 5 days a week?

    When we travel to VAncouver BC we often stay in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, which is indeed very pleasant. It has great bike lanes, excellent public transit, and limited parking, but people manage just fine. Many of the houses are multi-unit -- some of them older but a lot of newer construction built in similar styles. There is a vibrant commercial corridor on Main Street with tons of great restaurants, local shops (relatively few chains), etc. I could totally see living there without a car. People who resist these kinds of zoning changes really should get out of theirs and walk around in a less car oriented neighborhood before they write them off.

    I mean, I bet there were people saying "but where will we keep the horses!?!?!" 100 years ago as many of our North American cities were growing rapidly. The automobile has called the shots for more than its fair share of our history.
    "Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite." Seth Godin

  2. #22
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,161
    Quote Originally Posted by lhamo View Post
    When parking becomes too much of a hassle, people will find alternatives to multi-car households. Denser populations mean it is more cost-effective to increase public transit options. Autonomous cars are coming, piloted by the car service companies. And why should everyone have to go to an office at exactly the same hours 5 days a week?
    All good points -- but they don't hold in the face of human behavior, at least not in larger, newer cities.

    Increasing public transit options? Transit is terribly expensive to build (the most recent light-rail line here in Saint Paul cost about $85 million per mile). Though the line has been deemed a success compared to ridership on the buses which serve the same routes, it still goes largely unridden by rural and suburban riders who come into town for work, sports events, concerts, etc. who don't want to ride a bumpy drafty bus; by those who fear being on a city street (any city street) after dark (the wait often is longer; service is greatly reduced late at night and on weekends); and by some who think the stops are too far apart (about half a mile on average) (there is something to this "last mile" problem for those outside the urban core; when I was at my day job the closest I could have gotten to the suburban building in which I worked was half a mile away -- on streets with poor lighting and no sidewalks. So I didn't take the bus.)

    Parking is a problem? For most people, the answer isn't bicycles (even here, one of the big bicycling cities in the U.S.) or mass transit; it's building more or bigger parking ramps. And being at the office at the same time every day? Too many managers still believe that you're not working if your backside is not in a company chair during daylight hours. That's not a technical issue; it's fear and old information.

    Autonomous vehicles will be a disruptor; I don't think we know just how much and how deeply their ubiquity will ripple. But I think autonomous vehicles will take far longer to be commonplace on American roads than cheerleading experts believe. There are some technical issues yet to be resolved. But the biggest barriers will be behavioral and legal -- how to program these vehicles securely against hacking; agreeing on ethics (e.g., autonomous car is going to hit something; how does it decide which target will hurt people less?); determining how insurers will assess risk for autonomous vehicles when they still will have to mix with human-driven cars for the next 20-30 years (as people who can't afford -- or don't want or don't trust -- an autonomous vehicle keep their old cars); etc. I believe these issues will keep autonomous vehicles off the road far longer than a lack of technological prowess.

    Quote Originally Posted by lhamo View Post
    I mean, I bet there were people saying "but where will we keep the horses!?!?!" 100 years ago as many of our North American cities were growing rapidly. The automobile has called the shots for more than its fair share of our history.
    True. But cars became so prevalent because of what they offered their users, with the added bonus of users not having to pay directly some of the biggest costs of mass automobile ownership (infrastructure, pollution control, etc.).

    People adopt new things quickly when they're something they believe they will benefit from personally. Smartphone adoption in the U.S. went from mere thousands of Blackberries and Nokias per year to tens of millions of phones per year, in about ten years. 'Most everybody loves the idea of having a computer in their pocket and phones and data became cheap enough that pretty much anyone who wants a smartphone now has one. Big improvement over the old candy-bar phone with a dinky low-res screen and talk time limited to a few hours. Some people are moving back to "dumb" phones to ostensibly free their lives from technology. It's not a movement.

    Mass transit, for most people, is not an improvement over a car or two. Instead of your own vehicle, chosen by you to reflect your interests and values and status, waiting at your beck and call to go wherever you want, now you're waiting (in the cold/rain/heat/dark scary city/middle of nowhere) for a vehicle to show up and cart you somewhere in the vicinity of where you want to stop. It will cost money to ride (maybe less money than owning a vehicle, but most people don't do that math) and there may be other humans on that vehicle that you'd just as soon not deal with, for whatever reason. There are few sales propositions to mass transit compared to private vehicle ownership; it is not simply a matter of "build it and they will come". Autonomous vehicles will change that paradigm, but I honestly don't see that happening on a regular basis in your or my lifetime.

    I agree with the idea that big changes have to start somewhere. But I think recent history has shown us that people don't like to give up what they have when they don't see the new thing as an improvement. People will endure a lot more (figurative) pain on the roads before they give up their cars.
    Last edited by SteveinMN; 12-16-18 at 10:11am. Reason: grammatical cleanup
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  3. #23
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,415
    The last building in our neighborhood to be developed was a four family. It’s out on a major street with no parking surrounding it I mean no parking nearby, street parking was a block away and crowded, and for our mid western community that is a hike. so no one developed it for three decades while everything else around it was renovated and upgraded.

    Finally someone came along to renovate it and all four units rented immediately. What a surprise! We all were surprised. I guess all renters don’t have a car or else are not car centric. It is on a bus route so maybe that is all they want.

    I suspect that in another 30 years people in my neighborhood will wonder why everyone was so concerned about garages. Right now garages are a very big thing for houses here, and if the house doesn’t have a garage it’s a negative selling point. 30 years ago garages were not a big requirement. But In 30 years maybe many people won’t have cars they will Uber everywhere. And this is funny because it reminds me of the time when our neighborhood was first built in the 1870s. Back then, people did not have carriages — except for the very very rich, like 5% of the residents here—they rented a carriage when they needed one. We will have become full circle.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    1,910
    The research Iíve read supports what Lhamo said.

    The people who live in suburban sprawl say what Steve said.

    My daughter lives in Toronto, without a car, and is very happy. She thinks of car ownership as a curse. She can get to the grocery store/doctor/mall/drug store/ movie theater and back without ever going outside - if she chooses that route. Alternately she can go all of those places in the great outdoors if the weather is good.

    Most US cities havenít been built with the necessary density for this plan. So we spend huge amounts on cars, and then breathe the pollution in rush hour, and watch thousands of deaths occur every year in car accidents.

    I hope for the world Lhamo described.

  5. #25
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,144
    To be sure, suburbanites coming into Minneapolis will likely continue to drive. As will city residents who have suburban jobs. But if population density in Minneapolis doubles as a result of this plan a lot of people who live and also work in the city will likely find transit, most likely buses, which are far cheaper than light rail, to be the better option for a lot of trips. That's certainly the case in San Francisco, a city of roughly the same geographic size but currently with twice the population. Muni (the city transit agency) provides over 700,000 rides daily in a city with a population of 840,000.

  6. #26
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,161
    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    The research Iíve read supports what Lhamo said.

    The people who live in suburban sprawl say what Steve said.
    I live (happily) within the city limits of Saint Paul, Minnesota. I've lived in the 'burbs; they're nice. Aside from some accidental and purposed arrangements, however, dwellings in almost all of them are a car trip away from anything. I didn't like that, which is one reason I live where I do.

    Unfortunately, though, except for a few richer high-demand neighborhoods in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the suburbs are where the population, jobs, and money are. They are the tail that wags the political dog. And because we are situated where people can sprawl conveniently (unlike NYC, Seattle, San Francisco, or even Toronto), Saint Paul and Minneapolis don't have the sway (at this time anyway) to make "like it or lump it" decisions regarding metro-wide transit and infrastructure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I hope for the world Lhamo described.
    As do I. But I think the interests that promote higher density and mass transit have to offer carrots, not sticks. In cities without hard geographical limits it is far easier politically (and, probably, legally, since some easements already exist) to build additional lanes of freeways than it is to acquire right of way for bus rapid transit or any kind of rail line. Eventually the need to maintain all this right-of-way will catch up to public works. But by then the current users and the politicians okaying the funds will be long gone; that's another issue.

    Decisions must be made with suburbanites and reality in mind. Spending almost a billion dollars on a 11-mile central-city light-rail line that was already well-served by buses was, to me, a questionable expenditure. So is building another lane in each direction on the Interstate. But guess which proposal garners more support from the people with the money and the votes (and the cars)? Is there a third option that is attractively convenient and respectful to suburbanites that does not rely on millions of gallons of gasoline and asphalt -- something useful enough and cool enough to get them out of their cars?

    And, again, autonomous vehicles will be a disruptor, whenever they become commonplace. Regions really need to ask themselves how much money they want to put into mass-transit projects designed to last 50+ years when they may be obviated by autonomous vehicles (or at least severely underutilized as a result of their use). Almost a billion dollars for an 11-mile light-rail line would build quite a few parking ramps for autonomous vehicles between trips, assuming that most riders go for a collective taxi-like approach rather than wanting to own their own vehicle because they always have and cars have become a class/status marker (questionable because it's not like taxis and ride-shares like Uber/Lyft are that popular now).

    Urban and suburban planning has always been a battle between what people ought to do and what they do. So many spend so little time thinking about human behavior and then wonder why their initiative hasn't lived up to the rosy projections. As America gets older, it would be nice to have more transportation options. But doing it without considering the people who hold the purse strings is just setting up for expensive failure.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    beyond the pale
    Posts
    2,632
    All good points, Steve.
    In particular the fact of our aging population is what I thought would advance the driverless cars more quickly because I think the demand would be there. I can foresee a time 10-15 years from now where I'd be thrilled to get in one and have it drive me to the doctor or grocery store.

    Metro Phoenix is one of the test cities for the Waymo vehicles and I'm hoping we'll be approved for initial use when they actually get going. Our roads are basically on a grid system and we don't have winter weather issues. The most basic model for this is the Sun City type communities where you can get around in a golf cart.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4,620
    I am a big believer in high density housing located along fixed mass transit routes. For other people.

  9. #29
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,161
    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I am a big believer in high density housing located along fixed mass transit routes. For other people.


    This is truth. People like Tammy's daughter seem to prefer living in an urban setting with readily-available transit options. Others, like yourself, prefer more widespread locales. It's good that we have a choice.

    The tricky bit is balancing the costs of giving people what they want. One of the more constant discussions in Minnesota is among residents of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and what is generally called "outstate" (removing Duluth, Moorhead, and Rochester from that rural grouping). The needs and interests are fairly opposite yet all must get by under one state taxation/funding system. And every Minnesotan seems to want lifestyle parity -- highways cleaned promptly after a snowstorm, high-speed Internet, social and extension programs, etc., -- even if the population of the area cannot support the actual costs of providing those services. Just as outstate Minnesotans don't like seeing "their" tax dollars going to billion-dollar light-rail lines or "people's stadiums" they may never visit, many metro Minnesotans wonder why "their" tax dollars are spent bringing true broadband Internet to unincorporated towns 45 minutes away from even a quickie-mart.

    Use taxes and making services pay for themselves often are suggested as ways to rein in spending and taxes. But I don't think many people realize those cut two ways. Not to derail this thread to a general policy issue; just stating that and that, often, it is to all of our benefits to subsidize something that is not "ours", like providing for the needs of metro areas that fund the rest of the state.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  10. #30
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,107
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post


    This is truth. People like Tammy's daughter seem to prefer living in an urban setting with readily-available transit options. Others, like yourself, prefer more widespread locales. It's good that we have a choice.

    The tricky bit is balancing the costs of giving people what they want. One of the more constant discussions in Minnesota is among residents of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and what is generally called "outstate" (removing Duluth, Moorhead, and Rochester from that rural grouping). The needs and interests are fairly opposite yet all must get by under one state taxation/funding system. And every Minnesotan seems to want lifestyle parity -- highways cleaned promptly after a snowstorm, high-speed Internet, social and extension programs, etc., -- even if the population of the area cannot support the actual costs of providing those services. Just as outstate Minnesotans don't like seeing "their" tax dollars going to billion-dollar light-rail lines or "people's stadiums" they may never visit, many metro Minnesotans wonder why "their" tax dollars are spent bringing true broadband Internet to unincorporated towns 45 minutes away from even a quickie-mart.

    Use taxes and making services pay for themselves often are suggested as ways to rein in spending and taxes. But I don't think many people realize those cut two ways. Not to derail this thread to a general policy issue; just stating that and that, often, it is to all of our benefits to subsidize something that is not "ours", like providing for the needs of metro areas that fund the rest of the state.
    Sounds like my neck of the woods as well. Urban vs rural but we need them both and we both pay taxes. I was rural and am more urban now and it is an interesting view seeing both sides. Always glad to get home though after visiting areas with more amenities and heavy traffic and lots of people.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •