Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Come here to talk about topics that are not related to development, or even Kansas City.
kas1
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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

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brewcrew1000 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:30 pm
"Houston is estimated to have 30 parking spaces for every resident."
This doesn't sound credible, and I can't find a source for this claim. Not all residents have cars (ie, many residents are children), so the number of parking spaces per car would be around 40. This necessarily implies that at any given time only 2.5% of the parking spaces in the city are occupied. That doesn't pass the smell test.

When accounting for driving lanes, a parking lot has around 1 space per 300 square feet. At 30 parking spaces per resident, that would mean Houston would have a square mile of parking lot for every 3100 residents. That also doesn't pass the smell test, as the amount of parking within the city limits would be greater than its total land area. I've never been to Houston, but I can't imagine there's enough structured parking there to pull off that feat while still having room for roads and buildings.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by FangKC »

Here is the source:
THERE are said to be at least 105 million and maybe as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the United States.

A third of them are in parking lots, those asphalt deserts that we claim to hate but that proliferate for our convenience. One study says we’ve built eight parking spots for every car in the country. Houston is said to have 30 of them per resident. In “Rethinking a Lot,” a new study of parking, due out in March, Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of urban planning at M.I.T., points out that “in some U.S. cities, parking lots cover more than a third of the land area, becoming the single most salient landscape feature of our built environment.”

Absent hard numbers Mr. Ben-Joseph settles on a compromise of 500 million parking spaces in the country, occupying some 3,590 square miles, or an area larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. If the correct number is 2 billion, we’re talking about four times that: Connecticut and Vermont.

Either way it’s a lot of pavement.
...
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/arts ... paces.html

kas1
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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

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That article also doesn't indicate that they have a solid source for that statistic. Their use of passive voice actually suggests the opposite. Eight parking spaces per car makes sense just based on back-of-the-napkin math. Thirty per resident makes no sense.

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chaglang
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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by chaglang »

Email the author and ask.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by brewcrew1000 »

All of the concrete and asphalt is one of the reasons why Houston has flooding issues because there is nowhere for the water to go

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by flyingember »

kas1 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:00 am
That article also doesn't indicate that they have a solid source for that statistic. Their use of passive voice actually suggests the opposite. Eight parking spaces per car makes sense just based on back-of-the-napkin math. Thirty per resident makes no sense.
I bet you're dramatically low.

So let's think about this. What parking does a resident have access to? Home, work, shopping, entertainment, school/college, city facilities, industrial companies, sports, parks, hotels, churches, restaurants and all the on street parking.



The average house probably provides three spots between a garage and driveway. Think of how many thousands of spots are available on street. If you have on street parking that probably goes up to four spots per person for every house.

I bet religious facilities provide another spot per person by themselves. Sports overlap other uses but think of how many spaces there are for a sports facility from youth soccer all the way to a pro team.

Apartment complexes have space for guests and staff and delivery vehicles. A walmart will have employee and vendor spaces on top of the customer spots. Take an average industrial facility, they'll have spots for delivery drivers.

And then there's the massive retail parking problem we have where they all have more than they ever use.


Maybe it's not 30 but I bet it's closer to 30 than 8.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by brewcrew1000 »

Good Catch, i didn't even think about the on street parking

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

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flyingember wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:29 am
Maybe it's not 30 but I bet it's closer to 30 than 8.
Your habit of always saying the opposite of whatever the last person said, no matter what it is, is tiresome. There are studies showing 8-10 spaces per car. There's nothing supporting 30 per resident (ie, ~40 per car). And that includes your calculations where you conflate "parking spaces per house" with "parking spaces per person."

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chaglang
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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by chaglang »

You must be new here.

Also you should email the author who cited the 30 per resident number. That seems a more direct way of answering your question than polling us.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by flyingember »

kas1 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:08 pm
flyingember wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:29 am
Maybe it's not 30 but I bet it's closer to 30 than 8.
Your habit of always saying the opposite of whatever the last person said, no matter what it is, is tiresome. There are studies showing 8-10 spaces per car. There's nothing supporting 30 per resident (ie, ~40 per car). And that includes your calculations where you conflate "parking spaces per house" with "parking spaces per person."
Remember that the 8 per is going to be the *average* across the whole country. You're averaging NYC and Houston together. You're averaging a walmart in Sikeston, MO with hundreds of spots with a bodega in LA without a single dedicated spot

I'm not confusing the two, one is part of the input into the other. Parking spaces per house is part of the parking spaces per person. If you have a street with 20 homes with three car garages and on street parking on both sides, 60 residents could have 200 parking spots between them so that increases the average for that area. A different street could have only on street parking and 200 residents could only have 100 parking spots.

Houston being designed for cars could have 30 spots while the nationwide average is only 8.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by flyingember »

Also, remember that parking isn't limited to a specific town.

For example, there's a largely abandoned outlet mall in Odessa, MO, which has a population of 5200 that effectively provides an extra spot for 1/3 of the town.

Sure, the idea was it brought people to Odessa but that's a lot of parking spots to add to the number for that town. it raises the nationwide average.

The Kansas Speedway has more parking spots than residents in Liberty, MO. So in the same sense it raises the average of the entire metro area.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by FangKC »

Texas city adopts street grid and code

New, lean code deals with flooding issues and fiscal sustainability for fast-growing historic city in the Austin area.
Bastrop, Texas, adopted new, groundbreaking land-use regulations this week that address flooding and establish a street grid as a framework for growth—one of the first cities in the US to do so since the middle of the 20th Century. The Bastrop Building Block (B3) code is the result of the Building Bastrop initiative, launched in August 2018 with the goal of creating fiscally sustainable, geographically-sensitive development that is authentic to the city.
...
Bastrop recently conducted a fiscal analysis of revenue per acre and productivity. The analysis, by the Dallas firm Verdunity, looked at whether each parcel in the city was “revenue positive,” measuring return-on-investment of the city’s development patterns. Like many cities, Bastrop has grown in a “drivable suburban” form. “The current development is not fiscally sustainable. We’re $7.2 million upside down now,” says City Manager Lynda Humble. “The goal is that everything built at least pays for itself going forward.”
...
All American cities grew in the form of a grid until about 1950. That grid system was abandoned all at once, all over America, in favor of a dendritic network with branches that lead to arterial roads, like the trunks of trees. These arterial roads tend to be large—and that makes them difficult to cross and walk along. The main thoroughfares often become congested. Charles Marohn, in his recent book Strong Towns, notes that the development patterns based on this system tend to have low value per acre and they have trouble supporting the infrastructure required.
...
https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2019/1 ... d-and-code



Why choose a grid?

The decision of a city in Texas to plan for new growth using a grid of streets has inspired readers and makes a lot of sense.
...
Many readers made comments like urban designer Kevin Klinkenberg on Twitter: “This is the sort of growth management and design approach I’ve been wanting to see for over two decades. Way to go, Bastrop.”
...
First, a grid results in development with a high value per acre, which is closely associated with wealth creation and fiscally sustainable land patterns, according to Joe Minicozzi of Urban3, a firm that pioneered the concept of “geoaccounting.” Bastrop conducted fiscal analysis of every parcel in the city to determine whether it was “revenue positive.” The best performing area of the city is downtown—the only place with a historic street grid.

Grids also disperse traffic—rather than concentrate it. They allow for a tremendous variety of route options, which means that individual streets can be much smaller and therefore walkable. Dendritic systems concentrate both traffic and destinations like shops and schools on large arterial roads, which must carry all of the through traffic and their size makes a car necessary for most, if not all, trips.

Because the streets are smaller and and can serve a variety of functions, they eliminate the problem of stroads. A term coined by Strong Towns founder Charles Marohn, a “stroad” is a thoroughfare that mixes the qualities of streets and roads and serves neither purpose well. Because development is far apart, the arterials must carry fast-moving traffic—like a road. The stroads also provide access—like a street—to the destinations that seek to capture the traffic. That’s a Frankenstein mashup that doesn’t work very well.

Stroads create the problem of “big asphalt,” the concept that bigger is better when it comes to streets, intersections, and parking lots. Grids allow for less asphalt, because streets can be smaller and more people walk and ride bikes—which means that less parking is needed. A major reason for Bastrop choosing the grid was to reduce stormwater runoff that contributes to flooding. Every gridded block will have built-in stormwater capacity—ensuring that new development does not add to the stormwater problem.
...
https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2019/1 ... hoose-grid

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FangKC
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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

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How Cars Waste Space — In Six Simple Images

Remember these the next time you hear someone complain that there's nowhere to park.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2020/01/13/ ... le-images/

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Post by alejandro46 »

Saw this on Reddit yesterday. Regional transit planning sounds like it is being done right down in ATX.

https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/ ... wn-subway/
AUSTIN (KXAN) — After months of speculation and rumors, officials Tuesday offered a glimpse at a massive transportation plan — which includes a downtown subway — aimed to usher in a new generation of transit for a growing city.

At a joint work session of Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board of directors discussed an update to Project Connect, a plan to create high-capacity transit in the Austin area.

For the first time publicly, they explained which transit options are on the table — light rail included — and how they might pay for those options.

The transit plans these groups are looking at range from $3.2-$10.2 billion, depending on the features they select. CapMetro explained they believe they can pay for 40% of this amount through federal grants.

Proposed plans for light rail throughout Austin from CapMetro. The agency and city officials met today to discuss the plans. Courtesy of CapMetro
Proposed plans for light rail throughout Austin from CapMetro. The agency and city officials met Tuesday to discuss the plans. Courtesy of CapMetro
The city is looking at other options for how to foot the bill for the remaining 60%. City staff explained to KXAN that all their main options for doing so include putting this transit funding plan to a public vote in November.

One option for a public vote to pay for this plan could be a transportation bond election, as the city has attempted before. Another option the city is now looking at would be a tax rate election.

CapMetro explained that one of the requirements in order to get the federal dollars they want for Project Connect will be to have the remaining 60% of that funding approved and committed.

CapMetro has been analyzing the Orange and Blue lines (the Orange line would carry people from north at Tech Ridge to south at Slaughter and the Blue line would carry people from the airport to downtown Austin and to ACC Highland). They have been looking at two potential options for those lines: bus rapid transit and light rail transit. Now, CapMetro reports that they have found that relying on only bus rapid transit would leave the system at capacity by 2040. They have completed their analysis on bus rapid transit but are still analyzing the light rail rapid transit option.


Cap Metro has been looking at two potential options for those lines: bus rapid transit and light rail transit. Now, CapMetro reports that they have found that relying on only bus rapid transit would leave the system at capacity by 2040. Graphics from CapMetro PDF.
A light rail rapid transit plan could come with the potential for a downtown subway, which CapMetro explained would separate transit from bikes and cars but would also be more expensive.

CapMetro staff explained that a downtown tunnel would likely go 1.6 miles along 4th Street between Trinity and Guadalupe.


A chart from CapMetro of potential costs for potential transit plan scenarios. BRT stands for “Bus Rapid Transit” and LRT stands for “Light Rail Transit.” BRT and LRT are the two major paths Cap Metro has been analyzing.
Neither city staff nor CapMetro is recommending any particular options or funding solutions at this point, they are simply putting all the choices out on the table for local leaders. CapMetro and Austin City Council are expected to finalize their recommendations for which way to go by March of 2020.

CapMetro says their board and Austin City Council will have to make a decision by May about which plan they are going to call for and how they will attempt to pay for it.

David Couch, the Program Officer for Project Connect for CapMetro explained that how long it takes to get these projects built depends on which options the local leaders select. Couch said that including the necessary environmental assessments, it could take five to seven years to build-out any changes that are approved.

Why now?
CapMetro says they have seen increased ridership on their system for fifteen straight months. They say, as a result, parts of their system are having issues due to the high demand. CapMetro believes Austin will need to dramatically expand transit options to meet the needs of the expected population growth in the area.

“It can have a negative impact on the economy if you don’t have the kind of transportation in place for people to go in and utilize,” Couch said.

He added that CapMetro believes this plan would offer environmental benefits for the region.

“The base premise is that everything would be electric,” he said, noting that adding this transit is expected to decrease the number of vehicles on the road.

While Couch said there are other options down the line that might allow for incremental additions that could lead to a downtown subway, he suggested that a massive transportation plan is the most likely way to make the subway a reality.

“You want to build it once and do it right the first time,” he said.

Wade Cooper, the CapMetro Board Chair, mentioned the research which showed just going with bus rail transit by itself in Austin would leave the transit system at capacity in twenty years.

“There have been people telling us for years we need to build more roads,” he said, “but the studies are telling us today that a state-of-the-art bus system would be maxed out by 2040.”

“For me, I don’t have a career as an elected official ahead of me, for me, the only guiding point is trying to do the right thing,” Cooper continued.

He acknowledged that the “elephant in the room” with this transit plan will be figuring out the best way to finance it.

So far, Austin City Council members who spoke with KXAN said they feel that this political moment is the time where the city needs to make fundamental transportation changes.

Read More: Austin city leaders to look at how to pay for CapMetro’s ambitious build-out
“This is the moment and the opportunity to actually change our future to change our future in a big generational, once in a generation kind of way,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “If we don’t do it, then quite frankly I don’t want to hear people complaining about congestion over the next twenty years, because now is the time if we are serious about doing something, that we can do something.”

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza explained that this is her sixth year on Austin’s council and that affordable housing and traffic congestion have been the top issues over that period of time.

“We cannot address those issues, either one of them really, if we do not have a transformational change on how we do transit here in Austin Texas,” Garza said. “Unfortunately, we do not get the federal funding, we do not get the state funding, the other entities [around the country] get.”

Garza said that she and others on the council as well as CapMetro’s board have been looking to other governments to see how they have been able to pass large plans to fund regional transit.

“Unfortunately, it’s not as easy here in Texas and it’s important that everybody knows that it’s going to be an investment, [and] that investment will bring, I think, some great things for our city,” she said.

Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen explained that she plans on hearing out all the possibilities on the table before she weighs in on which would be best. She is also hoping to hear from her constituents about what they think regarding the transit plan.

Like Garza and Adler, she feels 2020 is the time to make fundamental changes to the way people get around in Austin.

“We are simply out of options not moving forward,” she said. “Our traffic is just going to get worse and just costs more.”

“And I think we’re past due to have a system that works so that we can give people real choices for how they get around, to really help us address congestion, and also help us to address climate change going into the future,” Kitchen continued.

The latest in a series of pushes for transit change
CapMetro explained to KXAN that while some Austin elections related to specific rail lines have failed in the past, this current transit plan is the first one voters will weigh in on that addresses an entire rail system.

In 2016, Austin voters did approve a $720 million mobility bond to improve roads.

An earlier effort was not as successful, “proposition one,” in 2014 which included $600 million for a nine-mile rail line and $400 million for roads was rejected by Austin voters.

For more context about this history, look at this KUT report from 2014 which references a rail plan in 2000 which was also narrowly rejected by Austin voters.

They payment options

A CapMetro Long Term Vision Plan rendering of future transit options. Image Courtesy CapMetro PDF Feb 27, 2019.
A transportation bond is likely the funding plan Austin voters will be most familiar with.

There have been murmurings in the Austin political scene of a large transportation bond going before voters in November. In fact, Transit for Austin launched in the fall of 2019 with the express purpose of pitching a large November 2020 bond effort which would encompass bus lines, rail lines and transit lines. Additionally, a group of Austin activists has already floated a plan for how they would like to see a 2020 transportation bond play out.

This week, local leaders are publically mentioning the new possibility of having a tax rate election instead of a bond.

“We know the city has some important funding sources and most importantly our current tax rate,” said Greg Canally, Deputy Financial Officer for the city.

Canally said that a tax rate election would allow for a dedicated funding stream that would help invest in the whole project.

At this point, city staff isn’t recommending the tax rate election over the transportation bond election, it will be up to local leaders to weigh the pros and cons.

Regardless of which option is selected, Canally said, “we think it’s the right thing to do, is to go to the voters.”


A timeline for Project Connect presented at the Joint Work Session of Austin City Council and CapMetro on January 14. CapMetro PDF.
What happens next
“We have spent the better part of the year exploring alternatives and projects, and now it’s time to start talking about how we put this into action and how we pay for it,” said Jackie Nirenberg, CapMetro’s community engagement manager, told KXAN.

Nirenberg explained that CapMetro’s community outreach will continue. Already, the agency says they have reached over 25,000 people to hear their thoughts about this project and around 5,000 have weighed in since October 30, 2019. In January and February, CapMetro is planning to host community education and group presentations to talk about the transit options.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

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Why city planners are killing the cul-de-sac

https://www.axios.com/city-planners-cul ... ntent=1100

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