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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    C1: I love how the city says the sheds have to go up, but doesn’t require repair work actually happen.

    C2 & C5: I will say it again, I see grand ideas for removing cars from urban cores, but weak ideas for accommodating the reasons people want to bring a POV downtown.

    Wr2: I wonder if this is less about the military and more about the Air Force.

    Wr3: Not surprising that the military is inconsistent with regards to pregnant service members. Lots of old school thinking still floating around the upper echelons.

    Wr4: good

    Wr5: Not one of Obama’s finer ideas. Also not surprised that Rolling Stone declined to seriously lay this at Obama’s feet.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      C2: “Because of its position along the lakefront, the highway acts as a barrier between the city and the lake . . .”

      I’ve always found this take on highway removal questionable. Moving from an urban downtown area to a waterfront park and recreation area is always going to create an impression of space change, but one either walks across the eight lanes of traffic or remains in the urban grid, constantly crossing four to six lanes of traffic. Either the waterfront is attractive enough to go to, or its not.

      (Also, note implicit criticism of adding two dedicated bus lanes to make ten lanes of traffic)Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        I’ve always wondered why cities, when faced with this, just don’t create a healthy number of pedestrian friendly routes? Alternatively, take the road up (viaduct) or down (tunnel).Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        @pd-shaw @oscar-gordon

        San Francisco had some inadvertent highway removal as a result of the 1989 earthquake. There used to be a highway along the Embarcadero (you can see it Bullit with Steve McQueen) and also in Hayes Valley. The city leaders decided to keep the highway down in those areas and now both are much more walkable and pleasant and filled with shops, restaurants, businesses, bars, etc. So highway removal can help.

        On the other hand, the Big Bertha project to replace the old Alaska Viaduct Highway in Seattle is a massive mistake of epic proportions.

        Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          To be honest, I think the Alaska Way Viaduct replacement is a good idea*, it’s just utterly incompetent execution (shades of the Boston Big Dig).

          *The corridor is needed in some form or another. It might have been smarter, say, to make it a light rail corridor, or an express bus only route, but transportation of some type needs to move along that route.Report

  2. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    Ci3: Almost half of young black males (ages 21-24) in Chicago are neither employed nor in school. The boat needs to rise more.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Ci4: I wonder if there is just something about being a relatively to very colder climate that allows for more upzoning. Downtown LA might be an exception here but in cities where the winter is cold and often slushy/miserable, you are going to design to avoid being outside. This means more walkable neighborhoods and/or high rises that are full-service buildings. From what I’ve heard, Minneapolis is designed so you don’t have to go outside in the winter. Almost every building has indoor parking and connectors. Many people leave their coats in their trunks.

    US3: Not sure why this isn’t in cities. I don’t know if the council being Labor friendly is to blame. Democrats have controlled the city councils of most other American cities for just as long. These councils can also pass city-specific and employee-friendly law. SF and NYC are not exceptions here but they continue to grow businesses and be wealthy. I haven’t been for a long time but Philadelphia but I like Philadelphia as a city. But it strikes me as having a geographic problem because it is really close to Boston, NYC, and DC. There need to be compelling reasons to choose Philadelphia over the other two cities and this strikes me as mainly being an appeal to legacy businesses like the article suggests.

    Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      “From what I’ve heard, Minneapolis is designed so you don’t have to go outside in the winter. ”

      Uhhhhhh, no.

      I mean, maybe some neighborhoods, but overall, definitely untrue.

      *has been to Minneapolis in the winter, there is shoveling and swearing and YakTrax and etc just like all the other cold places*Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        I think he is referring to the downtown Skyway (cue the Replacements song) that connects office buildings, but I suspect those were built after current urban density was reached. Chicago has underground pedways in parts of the Loop, but I think they are also relatively new.

        Euclid zoning (named after the 1926 SCOTUS decision) is probably a good marker. If your city downtown is older than 1926, there was probably no zoning beyond some sort of fire code.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          Most of the Sun Belt cities started to really grow during the height of car culture and suburban living. It never really occurred to any of them that they might want to build a denser, more walkable and transit oriented city. For a lot of them, the older model of city was something that they were trying to avoid for a variety of reasons.Report

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