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Millennials, Gen Y, The Suburbs and The National Housing Crisis

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Millennials, Gen Y, The Suburbs and The National Housing Crisis

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  • #453385
    gramarye
    gramarye
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    Mr Man said:

    I can talk to buffalos said:
    For the record I would never step foot in Wicker Park. Anyway, if you walk that far you are nuts. Not me. Anyway trying to defend downtown Columbus as walkable is a little nuts. Certain areas are including Gay St. but as a total area it is lascking. That is ok though, I like it for what it is, a place where working people can live relatively cheap and get to work quickly. Anyway, if you want the amenities of a walkable community you move to the short north. Those amenities do not matter to me so I stay downtown.

    Also, if you had a car in Chicago, and you could easily drive from the Sears Tower to Clark and Division with no parking or traffic problems, you would not drive that and would walk instead?

    And there we have it – YPs don’t walk. Why would they? Leave that physical effort to the hipsters. YPs must be too busy waiting for the world to bend over and kiss their ass.

    FYI: I live downtown, and have no problem walking anywhere. I also run from Topiary Park to Schiller (and farther) on a regular basis, so I guess I’m biased towards the athletically inclined. I don’t walk to the grocery store, if that’s your metric, but there is plenty within my walking distance. If you can’t walk more than a half mile from your house, then you might have some more issues than a serious case of YP elitism.

    As for your question, yes….I’ve walked from the New Eastside to McCormick Place many times.

    I think there have been a few too many Chicago comparisons in this thread–I realize it’s a thread with more general scope than just Columbus, but if so, there should be more benchmark/peer cities mentioned than just Chicago.

    However, regarding walking radius, if you define downtown as walkable simply by expanding the definition of walkable to include a radius that few people are really going to walk, then that’s watering down the definition. Moreover, the underlying tone about people who aren’t as athletic is seriously unproductive, and if urbanists take that kind of tone in public forums (and I remind you that these bulletin boards *are* public forums), then it’s no wonder that the dominant attitude of many suburbanites is one of resistance and competition.

    Walker’s point about people walking farther when there is more life to the streets is certainly valid, and the effect of bridging psychological and visual barriers (e.g., Union Station Place) is fairly well-established by now. However, while people might be willing to walk farther as long as they can do so along an unbroken stretch of vibrant streets, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they walk any faster, so for those who are frequently crunched for time, distance still matters a great deal.

    #453386
    Walker Evans
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    gramarye said:
    Moreover, the underlying tone about people who aren’t as athletic is seriously unproductive, and if urbanists take that kind of tone in public forums (and I remind you that these bulletin boards *are* public forums), then it’s no wonder that the dominant attitude of many suburbanites is one of resistance and competition.

    +1

    Well said.

    #453387
    hugh59
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    gramarye said:
    School funding cuts matter, but it’s the student body, not the lavishness of the facilities, that really makes or breaks a school. The graduating class at Columbus Academy was probably going to be fairly successful even if its school building were just an old barn somewhere. Even with the massive funding cuts the wealthier school districts will get under Kasich’s school budget, Upper Arlington and Dublin will be better districts than Columbus Public or South-Western, and within Columbus Public, Centennial will be better than Briggs.

    The Millennials moving back to the inner cities generally aren’t quite yet at the age when their children are beginning school. We have yet to see what the currently-competing desires of good schools for their children and walkable urban lifestyles will lead them to do at that time. Of course, those two desires are not fundamentally at odds; they’re just at odds given the current lay of the land. Many suburbs are aware of this, and are beginning to plan “town center” type developments that aim to offer Millennials at least a small area of a given suburb (and one good thing about high-density development is that it doesn’t require a huge area) with a dense, walkable lifestyle, while still offering good, established school districts.

    Cities, in the meantime, are trying to resolve the difference by offering educational options that allow more active parents with higher ambitions for their children an alternative to the traditional public school system, while continuing to offer the positive urban energy and environment that many cities have built or rebuilt since the 1980s and ’90s. Thus, we have schools like Columbus Alternative (founded around 1980) and its imitators. Charter schools have become a growing industry. Voucher programs have grown in other cities, though they have not been fully embraced anywhere yet.

    I tend to agree with the posters above who have been somewhat skeptical of the article. I think that we will gradually–and against the entrenched resistance of much of the public educational establishment–see a renaissance in education options available to urban residents. I also think that resource constraints will begin to squeeze the suburbs–both government resource constraints (i.e., tax revenue) and natural resource constraints (i.e., peak oil). And my experience comports more with the Brookings view of our generation than the NewGeography one; while the majority of my generation may want a house in the suburbs, it’s a smaller majority than the majority of our parents’ generation that wanted a house in the suburbs, and the change is what matters, particularly given how much suburban housing is already out there.

    I actually went to the Columbus Academy back in the mid-60s when it was in an old mansion on Nelson Road. It moved toothed Gahanna campus when I was in 4th grade. The tuition kept going up and up to pay for the new facilities but I do not know if the quality of education improved. I transferred to the Columbus Public Schools after 8th grade and spent a year at Eastmoor Middle School and three years at Eastmoor High. The best students at Eastmoor were competitive with those at Academy and Bexley. In fact, a lot of my classmates at Academy seem to have succeeded in life because of family influence and wealth. On the other hand, a lot of my Eastmoor classmates have achieved more even though they came from more modest means.

    It is sad that the Columbus Public Schools seem to have deteriorated so much since the 70s.

    #453388

    Glaze
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    To those speaking of convenience stores downtown such as CVS, that place is sooooo overpriced I can’t believe I cough up 40 dollars for 2 or 3 things, every time I go there (then I wonder how much money I could’ve saved going elsewhere).

    Another thing, I live on the East end of downtown, so any walk to the short north, german village, or victorian village averages 40 minutes. From my experience with my peers, they can’t stand walking that far and start to lag behind about halfway. I don’t have so much trouble getting around and don’t mind a decent atmospheric journey. But I assume car-cultured people generally do mind and don’t want to go much above 15 minutes, if that.

    The Pod at CCAD and Downtown Convenience are closer but both a bit silly. They mainly offer bottled drinks, microwave meals, and potato chips. Downtown Convenience has lottery tickets and cheap phone plans, and The Pod has a tiny corner dedicated to all-purpose cleaning supplies, but generally I just get that while I’m already in the grocery.

    Things I’ve had to go into the metro area for:

      [*]Electronics, cables, discs, etc.[/*]
      [*]Cloth, a needle, and thread (had to go practically to the edge of town)[/*]
      [*]Books (to own. For all intents and purposes of the discussion, the Book Loft is a bit of a long walk. Though, the main library is very convenient)[/*]
      [*]Pet supplies (grocery stocks for dogs and cats and very little else)[/*]
      [*]Clothing (the price tags in the short north scare me, a lot)[/*]

    Parking lots are in great supply and make at least part of every day a trek through a desert. I was hoping the Columbus Commons would take after the Topiary park and offer a little more shade (then again, I’m not quite sure the footprint of the parking garage would allow for that). Saplings are cheap and, given 80-100 years, form quite a canopy with natural air conditioning. I’m often saddened to see fresh tree stumps on the sidewalks when the trunk is barely thicker than my arm. There aren’t even any utility poles to get the branches stuck in and they chop chop chop.

    #453389

    johnwirtz
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    Street trees often die within 5-10 years because they don’t have enough root space to grow larger and don’t get enough water. There are of course ways around this, but a simple 4×4 tree pit won’t get you big street trees with a canopy for shade. Of course, if it’s a state route, ODOT has absurd rules to restrict the location of large trees.

    #453390
    Walker Evans
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    Glaze said:
    To those speaking of convenience stores downtown such as CVS, that place is sooooo overpriced I can’t believe I cough up 40 dollars for 2 or 3 things, every time I go there (then I wonder how much money I could’ve saved going elsewhere).

    That’s why it’s called a convenience store and not a discount store. ;)

    Glaze said:
    Another thing, I live on the East end of downtown, so any walk to the short north, german village, or victorian village averages 40 minutes. From my experience with my peers, they can’t stand walking that far and start to lag behind about halfway. I don’t have so much trouble getting around and don’t mind a decent atmospheric journey. But I assume car-cultured people generally do mind and don’t want to go much above 15 minutes, if that.

    Yeah, the east side of Downtown is underserved, as is much of the entire near east side. Same goes for West side. If you live close to Downtown and want something to do, you’re headed north or south. I can get around pretty easy by bus, and biking can also speed up your travel times, but having some amenities on the Near East Side (grocery store?) would be a much needed improvement.

    Glaze said:
    Things I’ve had to go into the metro area for:

      [*]Electronics, cables, discs, etc.[/*]
      [*]Cloth, a needle, and thread (had to go practically to the edge of town)[/*]
      [*]Books (to own. For all intents and purposes of the discussion, the Book Loft is a bit of a long walk. Though, the main library is very convenient)[/*]
      [*]Pet supplies (grocery stocks for dogs and cats and very little else)[/*]
      [*]Clothing (the price tags in the short north scare me, a lot)[/*]

    Sounds like a Downtown Target could fix all of that. ;)

    #453391

    lifeontwowheels
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    The Kroger and Save-a-Lot on Main and Alum are only what? 2 miles from the east side of downtown? And the new food co-op is going to be close. Is that how we define under served?

    #453392

    johnwirtz
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    I don’t know where the food co-op is going, but I know I like to be closer than two miles to the nearest grocery store. I have six full-service grocery stores within 1.5 miles of my place. It’s because we have enough people to support it.

    #453393
    Walker Evans
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    lifeontwowheels said:
    The Kroger and Save-a-Lot on Main and Alum are only what? 2 miles from the east side of downtown? And the new food co-op is going to be close. Is that how we define under served?

    I can only speak for myself, but yes, I consider the Near East Side underserved in terms of grocery options.

    The Bexley Kroger (which is outside of the area I’m referring to) is 3 miles from my house, and even further if you live within Downtown (as Glaze mentioned). That puts the WP Kroger, VV GE, BD Kroger, GV GE and the North Market all closer.

    I’m sure the Save-a-Lot is a good option for many, but after my wife and children were harassed in the parking lot, we don’t go there. I’ve not found their product selection to be on the same level as Kroger or Giant Eagle, especially the newer Kroger stores. It’s been a long time since I’ve been inside it, so I can’t recall how full-service it is off the top of my head (Bakery? Meat Counter? Pharmacy? Non-grocery items? Seafood?) Plus, it’s about the same distance as other Kroger and Giant Eagle options to where I live.

    I probably sound like I’m whining that things aren’t closer, or that we don’t have the specific stores I’m looking for, but I’m not. We moved here nearly 4 years ago knowing exactly what we were getting into, and we still couldn’t be happier. A better neighborhood grocery option would be nice, but not the end of the world. Perfectly fine with driving 2 miles to the Brewery District or Weinland Park Kroger stores for the time being. ;)

    #453394

    I can talk to buffalos
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    lifeontwowheels said:
    The Kroger and Save-a-Lot on Main and Alum are only what? 2 miles from the east side of downtown? And the new food co-op is going to be close. Is that how we define under served?

    Wait we are now defining close as 2 miles? Wow, I do not know what to say. I can’t wait to walk 2 miles with grocery bags in my hand.

    As a fellow downtown resident I agree with everything you said Glaze.

    #453395
    gramarye
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    If the Save-a-Lot on the near east side of Columbus is similar in layout and features to the Save-a-Lot on Tuscarawas Ave. in downtown Canton, to which I sometimes walked at lunch to restock on snacks for my office, it has none of those extra services you mentioned (bakery, pharmacy, meat counter, seafood, etc.). Indeed, its selection of self-service frozen foods was minimal. It really is a barebones operation (not that there’s anything wrong with that conceptually, but for barebones operations, I prefer Aldi). Like Aldi, they charge extra for bags, for example (though I don’t think they do that thing Aldi does with the carts that require a quarter deposit).

    #453396

    Glaze
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    Probably should’ve also mentioned that I don’t own a car. After viewing the gratuitous graffiti and boarded windows on East Main St from the bus, and getting panhandled EVERY time I’ve gone down East Broad (2 or 3 times while inside Wendy’s), I’m rather averse to the east end of town. It’s funny because google maps suggested http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.967566,-82.978277&spn=0.014225,0.027874&t=h&z=16&iwloc=lyrftr:lmq:1001:grocery,7054038523639622391,39.967698,-82.978148&layer=c&cbll=39.967584,-82.978148&panoid=s5POSWAkZLz6cbj2sto0YQ&cbp=12,13.82,,0,6.1
    as the nearest “grocery.”

    It’s not silly to complain about walking or taking the bus a mile or two. The city expects all their new flats to fill up and generate business downtown. This thread is about the next generation comparing urban and suburban living when choosing a home. My original point was and has always been that people living downtown will not generate business downtown if the stuff they need isn’t there or too inconvenient. Ingredients for homecooked meals, appliances, and clothing, and other amenities are not found downtown. And if they are, it’s not affordable (CVS charges $5 for a gallon of milk, Giant Eagle charges $1.50, think about it).

    In my opinion, the North Market has too many restaurants and specialty stores for me to consider it a “grocery.” It’s more comparable to a food court. The Pearl Market could stand to be much larger so that vendors are more likely to be competitive with eachother and with grocers. That will never happen, however, so I’m just content going outside of downtown.

    Walker said:Sounds like a Downtown Target could fix all of that. ;)

    It was real fun biking in 90 degree weather to the one next to OSU. Until my bike was stolen, that is.

    I can talk to buffalos said:As a fellow downtown resident I agree with everything you said Glaze.

    *Feels purposeful*

    #453397

    lifeontwowheels
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    Walker said:
    I can only speak for myself, but yes, I consider the Near East Side underserved in terms of grocery options.

    The Bexley Kroger (which is outside of the area I’m referring to) is 3 miles from my house, and even further if you live within Downtown (as Glaze mentioned). That puts the WP Kroger, VV GE, BD Kroger, GV GE and the North Market all closer.

    I’m sure the Save-a-Lot is a good option for many, but after my wife and children were harassed in the parking lot, we don’t go there. I’ve not found their product selection to be on the same level as Kroger or Giant Eagle, especially the newer Kroger stores. It’s been a long time since I’ve been inside it, so I can’t recall how full-service it is off the top of my head (Bakery? Meat Counter? Pharmacy? Non-grocery items? Seafood?) Plus, it’s about the same distance as other Kroger and Giant Eagle options to where I live.

    I probably sound like I’m whining that things aren’t closer, or that we don’t have the specific stores I’m looking for, but I’m not. We moved here nearly 4 years ago knowing exactly what we were getting into, and we still couldn’t be happier. A better neighborhood grocery option would be nice, but not the end of the world. Perfectly fine with driving 2 miles to the Brewery District or Weinland Park Kroger stores for the time being. ;)

    I actually agree that most of our neighborhoods, including the near east of downtown, is pretty piss-poor when it comes to options for good quality groceries. Just considering what’s around there. At least there is a foundation to build off in the near east. Seems like some of the direction Discovery District is going might help, at least if there was a way to bring more students in as residents.

    Buffalos,

    I thought you drove everywhere outside of going to work. So I doubt you’re hiking it 2 miles for anything if your car is more convenient. For me, living with my parents in the ‘burbs through high school and part of college (in the recent past) I honestly do consider 2 miles close considering it was a decent 5 miles to a store. 2 miles in the city, on a bus line no less, is close enough for me. Maybe not perfect but there are numerous options outside of the car.

    But like Walker said, you know going into area what the pros and cons are.

    #453398

    I can talk to buffalos
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    lifeontwowheels said:
    I actually agree that most of our neighborhoods, including the near east of downtown, is pretty piss-poor when it comes to options for good quality groceries. Just considering what’s around there. At least there is a foundation to build off in the near east. Seems like some of the direction Discovery District is going might help, at least if there was a way to bring more students in as residents.

    Buffalos,

    I thought you drove everywhere outside of going to work. So I doubt you’re hiking it 2 miles for anything if your car is more convenient.

    Of course. A logical person would make the most convenient choice in transportation. If we had city residents, such as yourself, advocating for a denser city, and more stores were built downtown, of course I would walk because it would be more convenient. Since you are fine with the status quo of the city, I will not be doing much walking ever.

    #453399

    I can talk to buffalos
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    lifeontwowheels said:
    I actually agree that most of our neighborhoods, including the near east of downtown, is pretty piss-poor when it comes to options for good quality groceries. Just considering what’s around there. At least there is a foundation to build off in the near east. Seems like some of the direction Discovery District is going might help, at least if there was a way to bring more students in as residents.

    Buffalos,

    For me, living with my parents in the ‘burbs through high school and part of college (in the recent past) I honestly do consider 2 miles close considering it was a decent 5 miles to a store. 2 miles in the city, on a bus line no less, is close enough for me. Maybe not perfect but there are numerous options outside of the car.

    But like Walker said, you know going into area what the pros and cons are.

    That sounds like the country, not the suburbs. My parents live in the burbs, and they have 5 grocery stores within 1.5 miles of their home (meijer, kroger, walmart, gfs, and aldi). Suburbs tend to have amenities much closer than 5 miles.

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