Restoring Residential Density

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FangKC
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Restoring Residential Density

Post by FangKC » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:46 pm

Restoring Residential Density by Embracing the ‘City’ in Kansas City
...
What would we do if we wanted to accelerate the recent positive change, and begin to achieve our elusive urban potential? Assuming we want to, what ideas would we pursue?

Our potential is vast and impressive. Bear in mind that in 1940, Kansas City had 400,000 people living north of 77th Street, south of the Missouri River and west of the Blue River.

Those 60 square miles are a larger area than how we commonly define the urban core, but not a lot larger.

The 1940s also were an important benchmark because that was right at the beginning of the era when we decided to destroy the city, and spread it out with taxpayer-subsidized easy, free motoring.

Today, we have about 200,000 people in the same geographic area. And, the urban core lags the region by substantial amounts in median household income.

A goal of returning to that 1940 population of 400,000 in the urban core seems utterly reasonable, and even do-able given the current optimism. But what if we thought bigger?

What if we shed our Midwestern cautiousness and planned to add 400,000 more in the urban core? Even at 600,000 total people in the same area, it’s only a density of 10,000 people per square mile.

That’s still below the density of Berkeley, California. We’re not talking Paris or New York.
...
https://cityscenekc.com/restoring-resid ... nsas-city/

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by normalthings » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:46 pm

I don't think we could do that without investing in Independence Ave and Linwood/31st rail lines first, and a long term plan for Prospect/Troost/ rail lines. Deannexation needs to be a part of the conversation as well.
We really have no business holding land outside 152 (besides KCI). I'd love to see us cut back to Englewood (asking too much).

BTW. Good to see Crown Center and Icelandair ads on CCKC

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by flyingember » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:37 am

The density of 400,000 people came with having 50* (I didn't check the exact number) rail routes.

It's going to take dramatic zoning changes that encourages tear downs at the expense of existing neighbors if we focus just on two streets.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by normalthings » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:02 pm

I’m sure we could do 400k now with fewer rail lines as long as we make use of BRT, scooters/ebikes, and traditional bus.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by FangKC » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:33 pm

The other thing is strategic placement of employers so more people can use those options, and not spend an hour commuting each way.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by flyingember » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:44 pm

normalthings wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:02 pm
I’m sure we could do 400k now with fewer rail lines as long as we make use of BRT, scooters/ebikes, and traditional bus.
I don't think it's impossible, just way harder than you would think without a train. It's the labor costs of busses. I don't have the time to dig up the numbers but I'll try to show the scale.

Let's say we take a street with a bus route serving 1000 people today, all transit dependent. If the route has 8 times an hour service (every 7.5 minutes) it will take 3 hours to move everyone by bus to work. I don't recall any bus route being this frequent today. MAX is every 10 so I'm skewing towards a transit only neighborhood.

So 1000 people every 7.5 is about the limit of a bus system for a corridor.

Let's say we want to add 200,000 residents to the urban core. This means adding 8 busses hourly per group of 1000 people.
That's 1600 new busses worth of capacity. Divide by three gets us 533 actual busses needed.

There's only 28 bus routes in the urban core. So this means adding 19 busses per route 5 days a week.

It's entirely possible that trains might be cheaper to replace every bus route in the city at this scale of growth.

Since you want them to get around the rest of the week too, it's not just buying 533 busses, it's also hiring as many as 2000 new workers for the bus system. Not buying that many busses allows the system to switch to trains and increase capacity with maybe 200 new workers.

1800 workers is over $2.5 trillion in payroll cost over 30 years. (the lifespan of the streetcar)

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by chaglang » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:28 pm

We also have to change how we view parking as an unalloyed good. We have to stop viewing the street in front of single family homes as an extension of their property. We have to abolish parking minimums. We have to stop being terrified of buildings that we can’t see over. We have to stop treating renters as lesser neighbors than homeowners. We have to figure out an affordable housing policy and also stop blindly labeling all development as gentrification. We have to stop incentivizing jobs that far from the city center and functionally inaccessible from transit. We have to stop fighting contemporary architecture as incompatible with existing buildings. We have to stop fighting alternative modes of transit. We have to stop treating living north of the Plaza as some kind of fad.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by smh » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:04 am

So you're saying there's a chance

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by tower » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:34 am

flyingember wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:44 pm
normalthings wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:02 pm
I’m sure we could do 400k now with fewer rail lines as long as we make use of BRT, scooters/ebikes, and traditional bus.
I don't think it's impossible, just way harder than you would think without a train. It's the labor costs of busses. I don't have the time to dig up the numbers but I'll try to show the scale.

Let's say we take a street with a bus route serving 1000 people today, all transit dependent. If the route has 8 times an hour service (every 7.5 minutes) it will take 3 hours to move everyone by bus to work. I don't recall any bus route being this frequent today. MAX is every 10 so I'm skewing towards a transit only neighborhood.

So 1000 people every 7.5 is about the limit of a bus system for a corridor.

Let's say we want to add 200,000 residents to the urban core. This means adding 8 busses hourly per group of 1000 people.
That's 1600 new busses worth of capacity. Divide by three gets us 533 actual busses needed.

There's only 28 bus routes in the urban core. So this means adding 19 busses per route 5 days a week.

It's entirely possible that trains might be cheaper to replace every bus route in the city at this scale of growth.

Since you want them to get around the rest of the week too, it's not just buying 533 busses, it's also hiring as many as 2000 new workers for the bus system. Not buying that many busses allows the system to switch to trains and increase capacity with maybe 200 new workers.

1800 workers is over $2.5 trillion in payroll cost over 30 years. (the lifespan of the streetcar)
If all the passengers were sitting down on a 40' bus, yes, but an articulated bus would be able to hold 200 people at a time, including strap-hangers. You would only need 5 times an hour service for a street of 1000 with articulated busses.
chaglang wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:28 pm
We have to stop treating living north of the Plaza as some kind of fad.
This is a super annoying behavior that suburbanites have. They also assume that if you do live north of the Plaza that is just a thing young people do to be closer to bars, but that everyone will move out to the suburbs as they get older. Suburbanites really do not get the walkability thing at all.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by chaglang » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:37 am

Forget suburbanites, it would be great if city council members didn't hold that belief.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by nickyrosstheboss » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:43 am

chaglang wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:28 pm
We also have to change how we view parking as an unalloyed good. We have to stop viewing the street in front of single family homes as an extension of their property. We have to abolish parking minimums. We have to stop being terrified of buildings that we can’t see over. We have to stop treating renters as lesser neighbors than homeowners. We have to figure out an affordable housing policy and also stop blindly labeling all development as gentrification. We have to stop incentivizing jobs that far from the city center and functionally inaccessible from transit. We have to stop fighting contemporary architecture as incompatible with existing buildings. We have to stop fighting alternative modes of transit. We have to stop treating living north of the Plaza as some kind of fad.
=D> =D> =D>

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by chaglang » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:51 am

smh wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:04 am
So you're saying there's a chance
Vote like your city depends on it?

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by normalthings » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:54 am

chaglang wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:37 am
Forget suburbanites, it would be great if city council members didn't hold that belief.
This is why we have to vote for urbanists and actually run for positions(which we are starting to do).

There are many pro-urbanism, pro-bike/walk, pro transit northlanders who we should think about getting onto council in 2023(Wes Minder, Tim Johnston, etc).

South of the river, Dave Johnson, Phil Gyln, Austin Straussele, Eric Bunch (re-election), Jason Parson, Matt Staub would all make great 2023 council candidates.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by flyingember » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:30 am

It doesn't take much to be pro-urban too as a candiate. There's a bunch of small things that can be done.

Setbacks is an easy one. My driveway is bigger than my brother's entire lot in an urban enivoronment because of the setback requirements.

If you take a neighborhood 5 streets across with homes on both sides. Lots are 50 feet deep and 48 feet wide. Homes are 30x20.
Let's say the neighborhood is 30 homes across and 10 homes deep

Take 10 feet from the front and back setback and 4 feet total from the side setback.

That's moving from 300 homes to 530 homes in the same amount of space without changing the size of anyone's house. We just gave them 80 square feet less yard.

This is the model where you push the home forward and put more yard in the back. So the front setback is 8 feet and the back is 22 feet deep. That's a 1000 square foot back yard, not small by any means

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:38 am

normalthings wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:54 am
chaglang wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:37 am
Forget suburbanites, it would be great if city council members didn't hold that belief.
This is why we have to vote for urbanists and actually run for positions(which we are starting to do).

There are many pro-urbanism, pro-bike/walk, pro transit northlanders who we should think about getting onto council in 2023(Wes Minder, Tim Johnston, etc).

South of the river, Dave Johnson, Phil Gyln, Austin Straussele, Eric Bunch (re-election), Jason Parson, Matt Staub would all make great 2023 council candidates.
Thanks! I'm sure my views would qualify me for a in-district win, nothing more. :lol:

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:08 am

FangKC wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:46 pm
Restoring Residential Density by Embracing the ‘City’ in Kansas City
...
What would we do if we wanted to accelerate the recent positive change, and begin to achieve our elusive urban potential? Assuming we want to, what ideas would we pursue?

Our potential is vast and impressive. Bear in mind that in 1940, Kansas City had 400,000 people living north of 77th Street, south of the Missouri River and west of the Blue River.

Those 60 square miles are a larger area than how we commonly define the urban core, but not a lot larger.

The 1940s also were an important benchmark because that was right at the beginning of the era when we decided to destroy the city, and spread it out with taxpayer-subsidized easy, free motoring.

Today, we have about 200,000 people in the same geographic area. And, the urban core lags the region by substantial amounts in median household income.

A goal of returning to that 1940 population of 400,000 in the urban core seems utterly reasonable, and even do-able given the current optimism. But what if we thought bigger?

What if we shed our Midwestern cautiousness and planned to add 400,000 more in the urban core? Even at 600,000 total people in the same area, it’s only a density of 10,000 people per square mile.

That’s still below the density of Berkeley, California. We’re not talking Paris or New York.
...
https://cityscenekc.com/restoring-resid ... nsas-city/
This would be a long term goal. By that I mean it took decades to go from 400,000 to 200,000. And it would take decades to reverse the decline. Also remember that 400,000 population included many kids, something that is not included in many of today's households. Those houses in that area probably had more kids in them than adults.

What was downtown KC's population 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now? Maybe the best way to accomplish that goal would be gong from neighborhood to neighborhood. Each neighborhood is different than another one with different needs but also different advantages.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by FangKC » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:22 pm

Designing and Building a Better Kansas City for the Future
...
Second, let’s legalize the historic, built pattern of Kansas City.

These “missing middle” buildings give the city the kind of Goldilocks density that supports local businesses, makes transit viable, is affordable and builds local wealth.

Yet today, common biases about housing coupled with dozens of well-intentioned, but harmful, ordinances make these types of projects functionally illegal.

Enabling many small changes accommodates immense demand in a humane and equitable fashion. Let’s find a way forward, as some other cities are already doing, to embrace broad, incremental improvement.
...
https://cityscenekc.com/designing-and-b ... he-future/

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by TrolliKC » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:29 am

Had to look up the term "goldilocks density" which seems to have originated at the Guardian... not in love with the term

“Cities need Goldilocks housing density – not too high or low, but just right“:

There is no question that high urban densities are important, but the question is how high, and in what form. There is what I have called the Goldilocks density: dense enough to support vibrant main streets with retail and services for local needs, but not too high that people can’t take the stairs in a pinch. Dense enough to support bike and transit infrastructure, but not so dense to need subways and huge underground parking garages. Dense enough to build a sense of community, but not so dense as to have everyone slip into anonymity.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by grovester » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:41 am

Wishy washy/waffling that allows car-centric policies to continue to be advanced.

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Re: Restoring Residential Density

Post by flyingember » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:10 am

TrolliKC wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:29 am
Had to look up the term "goldilocks density" which seems to have originated at the Guardian... not in love with the term

“Cities need Goldilocks housing density – not too high or low, but just right“:

There is no question that high urban densities are important, but the question is how high, and in what form. There is what I have called the Goldilocks density: dense enough to support vibrant main streets with retail and services for local needs, but not too high that people can’t take the stairs in a pinch. Dense enough to support bike and transit infrastructure, but not so dense to need subways and huge underground parking garages. Dense enough to build a sense of community, but not so dense as to have everyone slip into anonymity.
Good points.

I would say that the key density is that it's possible for everyone to bike/walk to a place to get food, medicine and the like.
We can't expect a senior citizen to walk a mile. Don't think about just adults, think about a 14 year old who can't drive if they wanted to. When there's no or infrequent Sunday bus service do we expect someone to take two hours to buy bread? Our housing policy needs to be designed around shorter distances.

I wouldn't expect every type of store everywhere, and a full service grocery store might require a bus ride, but a corner store with bread, tylenol and the like can be available inside neighborhoods.

Go look at places like the neighborhood between 169, 152 and I-29. Just pan around and see how far away someone has to travel for staples across this area. I use this area as an example because there is an old corner store at Waukomis and 64th. We've designed this part of town so shopping is so far away and it doesn't need to be.

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