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Author Topic: WA: Judge tosses speeding ticket because speed limit signs are too wordy  (Read 3222 times)

wanderer2575

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A King County Superior Court judge dismissed a speeding ticket, ruling that the School Speed Limit signs in question are too wordy.

The signs indicate a school speed limit of 20 mph, but are accompanied by two supplemental signs "when children are present" and "or when flashing" (an amber light is atop the sign).  The judge noted that Washington law requires that the signs comply with the MUTCD, which allows one supplementary sign or the other, but not both.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/judge-tosses-speeding-ticket-in-school-zone-over-wordy-city-sign/
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 04:09:24 AM by Bickendan »
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sparker

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A King County Superior Court judge dismissed a speeding ticket, ruling that the School Speed Limit signs in question are too wordy.

The signs indicate a school speed limit of 20 mph, but are accompanied by two supplemental signs "when children are present" and "or when flashing" (an amber light is atop the sign).  The judge noted that Washington law requires that the signs comply with the MUTCD, which allows one supplementary sign or the other, but not both.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/judge-tosses-speeding-ticket-in-school-zone-over-wordy-city-sign/

Now this judge has certainly done her homework (and precedent does help!).  Not too many in the enforcement and/or judicial fields would actually read the MUTCD of their own volition!  There would actually be a simple solution:  just employ the flashing light, which would be activated during the hours/days the school is actually in session.  Unfortunately, there are some out there in traffic planning land who conceive of their job as making urban driving in general as onerous as humanly possible; "piling on" the codicils and requirements is one of the preferred methodologies to do so within technical grounds -- "stealth" enforcement.  Glad someone's calling BS on the practice, and has legal support for their position.
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Bruce

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Make it simple like the rest of Seattle: all street limits down to 20 mph, and then redesign the streets to accomodate that speed. No more straightaways through the middle of a city.

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I think speed limits in general are too strictly enforced anyways.
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sparker

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Make it simple like the rest of Seattle: all street limits down to 20 mph, and then redesign the streets to accomodate that speed. No more straightaways through the middle of a city.

Sounds like the tail wagging the dog -- essentially the "garbage can" school of policy manifested.  Obviously, the concept here goes well beyond simple neighborhood safety; most of us have little if any problem with 20mph or so being applied to neighborhood streets.  But a whole city -- particularly one that exists today?  Please!.  If you want to disrupt commerce and hobble business within said city (possibly within an anti [or at least non]-capitalist/consumer scenario), this might be one of the more effective ways to accomplish that.  Now -- if you were starting from scratch -- and could garner the consensus of the populace (likely limiting that population to the like-minded), that's another story; one could institute utopian communitarianism (or whatever it would be termed) down to the point of engaging in that onerous approach to the driving public (many of whom who probably would opt out in any case).  But to retrofit it to an existing city?  Not a chance in hell -- any party trying might gain an initial audience -- even an official one -- but the level of opposition would render such a concept DOA!  It would be humorous to see an attempt to render Lake City/522 a 20mph facility (although it often achieves that or worse during peak hours!); the same could be said for virtually any arterial in any part of town.  But then, the concept outlined is functionally the elimination of all arterials, downgrading them to localized streets.  I suppose a co-concept is hyperlocalization -- social/commercial activities effectively confined to one neighborhood -- the ultimate in bounded rationality! 

I wouldn't mind seeing a layout of such a city concept -- even theoretically imposed on an existing city such as Seattle, Portland, or any other that comes to mind.  But it's strictly a fictional exercise; not something that's going to become prevalent in the metropolitan lexicon.
 
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mrsman

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Make it simple like the rest of Seattle: all street limits down to 20 mph, and then redesign the streets to accomodate that speed. No more straightaways through the middle of a city.

Sounds like the tail wagging the dog -- essentially the "garbage can" school of policy manifested.  Obviously, the concept here goes well beyond simple neighborhood safety; most of us have little if any problem with 20mph or so being applied to neighborhood streets.  But a whole city -- particularly one that exists today?  Please!.  If you want to disrupt commerce and hobble business within said city (possibly within an anti [or at least non]-capitalist/consumer scenario), this might be one of the more effective ways to accomplish that.  Now -- if you were starting from scratch -- and could garner the consensus of the populace (likely limiting that population to the like-minded), that's another story; one could institute utopian communitarianism (or whatever it would be termed) down to the point of engaging in that onerous approach to the driving public (many of whom who probably would opt out in any case).  But to retrofit it to an existing city?  Not a chance in hell -- any party trying might gain an initial audience -- even an official one -- but the level of opposition would render such a concept DOA!  It would be humorous to see an attempt to render Lake City/522 a 20mph facility (although it often achieves that or worse during peak hours!); the same could be said for virtually any arterial in any part of town.  But then, the concept outlined is functionally the elimination of all arterials, downgrading them to localized streets.  I suppose a co-concept is hyperlocalization -- social/commercial activities effectively confined to one neighborhood -- the ultimate in bounded rationality! 

I wouldn't mind seeing a layout of such a city concept -- even theoretically imposed on an existing city such as Seattle, Portland, or any other that comes to mind.  But it's strictly a fictional exercise; not something that's going to become prevalent in the metropolitan lexicon.

I agree.  NYC has done something similar with a citywide 25 mph speed limit and it really limits the ability to travel around the city if people follow it.  Even though there are signs that say "photo enforced" all over the place people know that by state law the cameras can only be in front of schools. 

Narrow residential streets should be low speed.  20 MPH.  But streets with multiple lanes are thoroughfares and should be used for travel at an appropriate speed, generally 35 or 40 for a city arterial.  If the major streets do not have a higher speed limit, a lot of traffic will be encouraged onto the side streets.  Keep the traffic on the main streets with higher speed limits. There is no reason that Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, a street with service lanes (to keep local traffic away from the main traffic), no parking on the main lanes, and 3 wide lanes in each direction, should be the same speed as a classic NYC narrow street with parking on both sides and double parking.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 12:09:36 AM by mrsman »
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jakeroot

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Make it simple like the rest of Seattle: all street limits down to 20 mph, and then redesign the streets to accomodate that speed. No more straightaways through the middle of a city.

I think that's a little extreme. Holland, having (arguably) the best examples of urban infrastructure design anywhere in the world, has many long, wide straight roads. It's all a matter of accommodation -- with separation.

Also, keep in mind that Rainier Ave, before being "redesigned", was one of the least-straight roads in Seattle, yet it was by far the most dangerous.

I do agree that streets with lowered limits need to be redesigned. I drive around Seattle all the time for Uber, on many of the roads that have had their limits lowered. No one goes anywhere near the new limits. This is for two reasons: 1) there is hardly ever any enforcement, and 2) the roads were meant to accommodate higher speeds than those posted, so logically people ignore the artificially low limits.
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Henry

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I may be in the minority, but I think 20 MPH is good for residential streets. Especially with all the children playing outside, as well as senior citizens trying to cross safely.
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SP Cook

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Leaving aside the extremist political opinions of the uneducated, back to SLs. 

First, ANY victory for a motorist over the traffic cop in a court is great.  Far too many traffic court judges are rubber stamp kangaroo court judges unworthy of respect.  It is good thing.

Second, anybody who wants to redesign streets to slow traffic does not understand what streets are for.  Generally it is just do-gooders trying to social engineer OTHERS to live their lives in a manner they do not wish to.

Lastly, school zone limits IN SOME PLACES are vastly too low.  In my part of the country, there are plenty of schools where 100% of students are taken on a yellow bus to school,  No student walks to school.  Further these schools are fenced in and whatever outdoor activities exist, which is to say recess, is done behind that fence 100s of feet from a road.   Traffic cop scum use these places as speed traps and in most states the penalty for such infractions is higher than even the ordinary random tax.  In such a scenario, there need be no reduction in the SL whatsoever.
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kurumi

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I'm fine with 20 or 25 in school zones and residential side streets. I get annoyed with some small towns that place the elementary school directly on the main highway instead of a side street. That practice invites conflicts regarding safety, noise, pollution and traffic flow. "Won't somebody think of the children?"
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vdeane

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I agree.  NYC has done something similar with a citywide 25 mph speed limit and it really limits the ability to travel around the city if people follow it.  Even though there are signs that say "photo enforced" all over the place people know that by state law the cameras can only be in front of schools.
I'm pretty sure that somewhere around 3/4 of NYC is within a "school zone" as defined by the law.  The city wants to change the law to cover the entire city in the "school zone", raise the cap on the number of cameras, and allow the cameras to run 24/7/365.
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mrsman

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Make it simple like the rest of Seattle: all street limits down to 20 mph, and then redesign the streets to accomodate that speed. No more straightaways through the middle of a city.

Sounds like the tail wagging the dog -- essentially the "garbage can" school of policy manifested.  Obviously, the concept here goes well beyond simple neighborhood safety; most of us have little if any problem with 20mph or so being applied to neighborhood streets.  But a whole city -- particularly one that exists today?  Please!.  If you want to disrupt commerce and hobble business within said city (possibly within an anti [or at least non]-capitalist/consumer scenario), this might be one of the more effective ways to accomplish that.  Now -- if you were starting from scratch -- and could garner the consensus of the populace (likely limiting that population to the like-minded), that's another story; one could institute utopian communitarianism (or whatever it would be termed) down to the point of engaging in that onerous approach to the driving public (many of whom who probably would opt out in any case).  But to retrofit it to an existing city?  Not a chance in hell -- any party trying might gain an initial audience -- even an official one -- but the level of opposition would render such a concept DOA!  It would be humorous to see an attempt to render Lake City/522 a 20mph facility (although it often achieves that or worse during peak hours!); the same could be said for virtually any arterial in any part of town.  But then, the concept outlined is functionally the elimination of all arterials, downgrading them to localized streets.  I suppose a co-concept is hyperlocalization -- social/commercial activities effectively confined to one neighborhood -- the ultimate in bounded rationality! 

I wouldn't mind seeing a layout of such a city concept -- even theoretically imposed on an existing city such as Seattle, Portland, or any other that comes to mind.  But it's strictly a fictional exercise; not something that's going to become prevalent in the metropolitan lexicon.

I agree.  NYC has done something similar with a citywide 25 mph speed limit and it really limits the ability to travel around the city if people follow it.  Even though there are signs that say "photo enforced" all over the place people know that by state law the cameras can only be in front of schools. 

Narrow residential streets should be low speed.  20 MPH.  But streets with multiple lanes are thoroughfares and should be used for travel at an appropriate speed, generally 35 or 40 for a city arterial.  If the major streets do not have a higher speed limit, a lot of traffic will be encouraged onto the side streets.  Keep the traffic on the main streets with higher speed limits. There is no reason that Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, a street with service lanes (to keep local traffic away from the main traffic), no parking on the main lanes, and 3 wide lanes in each direction, should be the same speed as a classic NYC narrow street with parking on both sides and double parking.

I did a little more research and it seems that the new speed limits for arterials in Seattle are only effective in the center city.  So while residential streets are reduced to 20 mph citywide, only arterials in the central area are reduced to 25 mph.  See the link below for a map of center city arterials.

http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2016/11/07/your-new-vision-zero-speed-limits/

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compdude787

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Make it simple like the rest of Seattle: all street limits down to 20 mph, and then redesign the streets to accomodate that speed. No more straightaways through the middle of a city.

Hell no! I can think of several streets in Seattle where even the 30mph speed limit is too slow. For example, Sandpoint Way north of Magnuson Park should be 35, not 30 up to where it turns into 125th. It was at one point a state highway after all (SR 513 prior to 1991) and if it didn't have a ton of driveways, could easily be mistaken for a typical two lane highway.

Bruce

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Having tons of driveways would make it a decent candidate to be slowed if anything.

The urban street is not just for driving. It is a place where people walk and cycle, and those two modes should take precedence since it's much easier to accommodate more of them than more cars.

The view from the driver's seat tends to distort things. You have to remember that a living, breathing city like Seattle is not destined to be for cars for much longer.

compdude787

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The view from the driver's seat tends to distort things. You have to remember that a living, breathing city like Seattle is not destined to be for cars for much longer.

Thank God I don't actually live in Seattle proper! Although I'm not the only person in Seattle who is sick of the war on cars, and yes, there IS a war on cars.

jakeroot

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OT:

The view from the driver's seat tends to distort things. You have to remember that a living, breathing city like Seattle is not destined to be for cars for much longer.

Thank God I don't actually live in Seattle proper! Although I'm not the only person in Seattle who is sick of the war on cars, and yes, there IS a war on cars.

Of course there's a war on cars. It's physically impossible to accommodate as many cars as there are people. Cars and dense cities just don't work together.

That said, cars and pedestrians/bikes can coexist. They just shouldn't be the primary mode of transport. They're very inefficient in terms of space economy. Buses and trains can, potentially, carry far more people per square foot.
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compdude787

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OT:

The view from the driver's seat tends to distort things. You have to remember that a living, breathing city like Seattle is not destined to be for cars for much longer.

Thank God I don't actually live in Seattle proper! Although I'm not the only person in Seattle who is sick of the war on cars, and yes, there IS a war on cars.

Of course there's a war on cars. It's physically impossible to accommodate as many cars as there are people. Cars and dense cities just don't work together.

That said, cars and pedestrians/bikes can coexist. They just shouldn't be the primary mode of transport. They're very inefficient in terms of space economy. Buses and trains can, potentially, carry far more people per square foot.

Less and less people like mass transit. Ridership has been decreasing around the US since the 60s. It makes no sense to continue subsidizing a mode of transportation whose ridership has been decreasing for the past fifty years, and will continue to do so thanks to more consistent--and lower--fuel prices as a result of fracking being a thing, causing Saudi Arabia to actually have to make their oil prices lower to compete with us. Also, this continued reduction in public transit usage is also thanks to services like Uber and Lyft. A coworker of mine always takes a Lyft car home from work, despite the fact that it's more expensive than the bus.

And why should our city be so dense? I don't think it should be any denser. I really have NEVER understood all the hate for suburbs. They're a lot quieter, the lack of the grid means that people actually drive on residential streets more slowly, and the lack of density means that traffic is better.

I think the main reason why I hate the war on cars so much is because it takes away my freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want. I love being able to be just an hour away from the peace and solitude of God's beautiful creation that is a river along the Cascade Mountains. :D
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 12:57:29 AM by compdude787 »
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jakeroot

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OT:

The view from the driver's seat tends to distort things. You have to remember that a living, breathing city like Seattle is not destined to be for cars for much longer.

Thank God I don't actually live in Seattle proper! Although I'm not the only person in Seattle who is sick of the war on cars, and yes, there IS a war on cars.

Of course there's a war on cars. It's physically impossible to accommodate as many cars as there are people. Cars and dense cities just don't work together.

That said, cars and pedestrians/bikes can coexist. They just shouldn't be the primary mode of transport. They're very inefficient in terms of space economy. Buses and trains can, potentially, carry far more people per square foot.

Less and less people like mass transit. Ridership has been decreasing around the US since the 60s. It makes no sense to continue subsidizing a mode of transportation whose ridership has been decreasing for the past fifty years, and will continue to do so thanks to more consistent--and lower--fuel prices as a result of fracking being a thing, causing Saudi Arabia to actually have to make their oil prices lower to compete with us. Also, this continued reduction in public transit usage is also thanks to services like Uber and Lyft. A coworker of mine always takes a Lyft car home from work, despite the fact that it's more expensive than the bus.

Page 4 of the link, within your link (of the APTA data), shows King County Metro and Sound Transit's ridership way up. The rest of the US is welcome to grow however they'd like.

And why should our city be so dense? I don't think it should be any denser. I really have NEVER understood all the hate for suburbs. They're a lot quieter, the lack of the grid means that people actually drive on residential streets more slowly, and the lack of density means that traffic is better.

We can't build road networks fast enough to keep up with growth (amongst other things -- keep reading). Higher density areas reduce the demand on the roads, because you don't need a car to do every little task.

If every single person that moved to Seattle, moved to the 'burbs and bought a car, our traffic would be catastrophic. 24/7 gridlock. Luckily, Seattle grows up instead of out, so (potentially) people don't need to live 45 miles from where they work.

FWIW, the quicker we get denser, the more affordable the housing. Housing is expensive around here because there isn't enough of it. High-density neighbourhoods can cram thousands of people into a couple of blocks. Suburbs? A few dozen per block, maybe. You do the math. Suburbs are very wasteful. It wouldn't be a big deal if Seattle wasn't growing, but it is -- rapidly. We gotta play it smart.

I think the main reason why I hate the war on cars so much is because it takes away my freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want. I love being able to be just an hour away from the peace and solitude of God's beautiful creation that is a river along the Cascade Mountains. :D

Well, you gotta get your priority's straight first, mate. You could have had both in the 50s, but lane-miles-per-capita has dropped dramatically since then. Unfortunately for us (depending on how you look at it), land, and the price of it, has gotten scarcer and more expensive. There's nowhere to build new roads, and expanding our current roads is expensive right off the bat due to expropriation costs. Never mind the actual construction costs!
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vdeane

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I suppose the question is why focus all our growth on big metro areas in the first place?  Why have everyone move to the Seattle area when there are plenty of smaller cities with room to expand without creating gridlock.  Detroit has plenty to empty space.  Let's have growth there.  Let's have growth in the small towns that have been losing people for decades.  IMO the big metro areas are big enough already.  Honestly, I find many of these places too big for my tastes.  About the size of Rochester/Buffalo/Syracuse is my ideal.
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AlexandriaVA

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Nobody is "focusing" growth on big metros, big metros are growing because there's where growth occurs, due to a more productive economy.

High-productivity industries like tech and finance benefit from being where other firms in that industry are located, due in part to the need to be where skilled labor (e.g. college graduates) are.

To put it another way, Detroit is dirt cheap...a start-up company could easily lease an office for a fraction of what it costs in Silicon Valley or Seattle, yet Seattle and Silicon Valley are where the action is. That's because that's where the talent is.

Hence, Silicon Valley and Seattle will continue to grow, the only question is up (density) or out (sprawl). Small towns like Rochester, short-of a major industrial shakeup or flat-out relocation subsidies, have dim prospects for growth. Again, if you're an investor or college graduate, what's the draw?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 01:44:30 PM by AlexandriaVA »
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Bruce

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Don't know if you ever take the bus or train here, Compdude, but it's extremely popular. Less than 30 percent of traffic to and from downtown Seattle is by single-occupant vehicle; most of it is carried on transit. The light rail trains are packed, even outside of commuting hours, and the double-decker commuter buses are full (carrying 100 people in the space of two cars...remarkably efficient use of road space!).

Suburbs are hated by the urbanist crowd mostly because they pretty much force you to drive, they take up valuable land in an inefficient manner (less and less farmland and protected wilderness for us to enjoy, thanks to sprawl), and it spreads services out way too far, making suburban poverty more likely. Dense cities are popular because people don't want to commute long distances to work and want to be near where everything is. The museums, the parks, the nightlife, the restaurants, the sporting events...all of that is in the city, not the suburbs. Young people especially love urban areas because they value having the freedom to move around as they please by the way they please; it's only when they have kids and have to look for good schools that they really move out into the suburbs.

michravera

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Don't know if you ever take the bus or train here, Compdude, but it's extremely popular. Less than 30 percent of traffic to and from downtown Seattle is by single-occupant vehicle; most of it is carried on transit. The light rail trains are packed, even outside of commuting hours, and the double-decker commuter buses are full (carrying 100 people in the space of two cars...remarkably efficient use of road space!).

Suburbs are hated by the urbanist crowd mostly because they pretty much force you to drive, they take up valuable land in an inefficient manner (less and less farmland and protected wilderness for us to enjoy, thanks to sprawl), and it spreads services out way too far, making suburban poverty more likely. Dense cities are popular because people don't want to commute long distances to work and want to be near where everything is. The museums, the parks, the nightlife, the restaurants, the sporting events...all of that is in the city, not the suburbs. Young people especially love urban areas because they value having the freedom to move around as they please by the way they please; it's only when they have kids and have to look for good schools that they really move out into the suburbs.

You can't make a city run more efficiently my making it car-hostile. If you make the city easy to live in without a car, people will live in it and not keep their cars there. Wealthy people who live in cities have always had a car, they just keep it at their country house or in a garage outside of the city.

In first-world countries, poor people live in the city and rich people live in the suburbs. In third-world countries, rich people live in town and poor people live in the suburbs. Do you want Seattle to be like Phoenix or like Rio?
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AlexandriaVA

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Don't know if you ever take the bus or train here, Compdude, but it's extremely popular. Less than 30 percent of traffic to and from downtown Seattle is by single-occupant vehicle; most of it is carried on transit. The light rail trains are packed, even outside of commuting hours, and the double-decker commuter buses are full (carrying 100 people in the space of two cars...remarkably efficient use of road space!).

Suburbs are hated by the urbanist crowd mostly because they pretty much force you to drive, they take up valuable land in an inefficient manner (less and less farmland and protected wilderness for us to enjoy, thanks to sprawl), and it spreads services out way too far, making suburban poverty more likely. Dense cities are popular because people don't want to commute long distances to work and want to be near where everything is. The museums, the parks, the nightlife, the restaurants, the sporting events...all of that is in the city, not the suburbs. Young people especially love urban areas because they value having the freedom to move around as they please by the way they please; it's only when they have kids and have to look for good schools that they really move out into the suburbs.

You can't make a city run more efficiently my making it car-hostile. If you make the city easy to live in without a car, people will live in it and not keep their cars there. Wealthy people who live in cities have always had a car, they just keep it at their country house or in a garage outside of the city.

In first-world countries, poor people live in the city and rich people live in the suburbs. In third-world countries, rich people live in town and poor people live in the suburbs. Do you want Seattle to be like Phoenix or like Rio?

In flyover country cities of North America, sure. Everywhere else (coastal US, Europe, Asia), that's completely wrong.
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jakeroot

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You can't make a city run more efficiently my making it car-hostile.

If efficiency is a measure of how economically we use our land, it takes only a basic understanding of [geometry? physics?] to understand that public transportation is, by far, the best use of space. Buses and trains carry far more people per square foot than a vehicle with a single occupant.

If you make the city easy to live in without a car, people will live in it and not keep their cars there. Wealthy people who live in cities have always had a car, they just keep it at their country house or in a garage outside of the city.

No, wealthy people who live in cities spend gobs of money on a parking spot near their house. "Poor people" don't own cars (if they can help it). Hence, public transportation.

That said, you do make our point in your post, there. The whole idea of public transportation is to make it easier to get around without a car. Public transportation, however, only really works well in dense areas.
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vdeane

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Nobody is "focusing" growth on big metros, big metros are growing because there's where growth occurs, due to a more productive economy.

High-productivity industries like tech and finance benefit from being where other firms in that industry are located, due in part to the need to be where skilled labor (e.g. college graduates) are.

To put it another way, Detroit is dirt cheap...a start-up company could easily lease an office for a fraction of what it costs in Silicon Valley or Seattle, yet Seattle and Silicon Valley are where the action is. That's because that's where the talent is.

Hence, Silicon Valley and Seattle will continue to grow, the only question is up (density) or out (sprawl). Small towns like Rochester, short-of a major industrial shakeup or flat-out relocation subsidies, have dim prospects for growth. Again, if you're an investor or college graduate, what's the draw?
You speak as if it's destiny or inevitable or something like that, when it reality it's due to economic incentives created by a combination of the government and large corporations.  I won't go into too much detail to keep this thread from getting political.  Suffice it to say, if employee loyalty and on the job training were valued like they once were, there would be no need to be "where the talent is" (and honestly, the "talent" only lives in places with such horrid traffic congestion and rents because that's where the jobs are); companies would recruit from the local students as they graduate college, train them up, and foster their career.  I don't believe that it's impossible to go back to that world, as long as we put our minds to it.

I honestly don't see the attraction of mega cities.  I can't stand crowds.  Not one bit.  I hate dealing with traffic congestion on a daily basis too.  Rents are WAY too high.  What I pay for a nice one bedroom here wouldn't even get me a closet in a more major location (can't stand living with roommates either, I honestly don't see how anyone can live with anyone else except perhaps a spouse or their parents and not go insane within a month), and I'm still sick of having to walk out of my apartment to do laundry (can't afford a place with in-unit laundry, though I will admit the majority of the annoyance is when I get back from traveling and just want to take off my uncomfortable clothes and shut out the world but have to do laundry first).  NYC strikes me as an endless urban expanse - interesting to visit, but the energy just rubs me the wrong way after a while.

I DO understand wanting to be near everything and have a short commute, but I don't think downtowns need only exist in megapolises, and the latter is actually a major reason why I prefer smaller areas - it's easier to have a short commute to work if the area near work isn't too expensive or inconvenient for car ownership.  Smaller cities thrived until just a couple decades ago.  It wasn't magic or fate that caused the decline.  We built the current world.  And since we built it, we can change it.  We just have to be motivated to.
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