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"The War Against Suburbia"

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics “The War Against Suburbia”

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 182 total)
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  • #342874
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Not aimed at you specifically, but what would the urban/suburban/rural landscape look like if there were no government subsidies of any kind?

    #342875

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    rus wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Not aimed at you specifically, but what would the urban/suburban/rural landscape look like if there were no government subsidies of any kind?

    Which kind of goes back to my point. This specific author talks about the $8 Billion in high speed rail projects while ignoring how many billions spent on federal and state highways by the same Recovery Act dollars. And for all the criticism of smart growth policies, couldn’t these same policies help reign in some of the budgetary problems we are seeing? By giving people opportunities to seek transportation alternatives, it lessens the need for maintenance and repair on roadways and reduces congestion. A lot of this remains to be seen, of course. But the oversimplification and glossing over simply doesn’t do anyone any good.

    #342876

    rus wrote >>
    That doesn’t seem fabricated to me.

    And that constitutes a “war” how? Oh right, because the time-tested way for a morally corrupt political ideology to stifle debate and win followers is to “tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger” (just replace “pacifists” with “liberals,” “intellectuals,” “progressives,” “urbanists,” or whatever outsider is deemed most susceptible to AM radio rage at the moment). So everything is a war now. Here, in this article, in lieu of a respectful and forthright expression of ideas regarding the real economic problems that suburban overdevelopment and urban blight describe, we are hit over the head with yet another assertion that an undeclared “war” has been unleashed upon a once tried-and-true institution in our society. And that assertion is backed up with misrepresentations of still fluctuating recent trends, dodgy analysis of poorly-cited and obscure sources, almost one sweeping-generalization per paragraph, and a checklist of reactionary talking-points (ie, we’re becoming Europe, “white flight” is a left wing myth, liberals hate families and freedom, intellectuals are bad, on and on).

    But I suppose (at the risk of sounding “elitist”) the average regular Joe just eats that stuff up with a Chinese-made spoon. Perhaps it’s time I get cracking on that book “The War On ‘War On’ Books: How the Liberal Battle Against Marketing Half-Cocked Theories to Paranoiacs is Destroying Jesus’s America.”

    #342877

    I’m confused. I must have missed all of the huge amounts of money the city poured into Linden, Hilltop, etc while at the same time not notice the major disinvestment of our suburbs. Must explain why all our transportation dollars are being spent on streetcars and road diets, not more roads and more lanes.

    #342878

    agtw31
    Member

    to be fair,the suburbs have been sucking up tax dollars,and still do.

    dublin and their 33/161 business buildup is a prime example.

    now they want funds for a new interchange,dumbasses should have thought of that beforehand

    i remember driving down old 33 back in the 90’s wonderring wtf they are doing out there,building all that crap on old 2 lane roads.

    suburbs have an addiction,they are land/tax base junkies.

    the thing is,this disease has now spread back into the urban areas.

    in the suburbs,it’s called development.in the urban sector,it’s called rehabilitation.

    #342879
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    scornflakes wrote >>

    rus wrote >>
    That doesn’t seem fabricated to me.

    And that constitutes a “war” how?

    From DavidF’s post I got the idea that some people hating on the suburbs was an overblown phenomenon.

    I’d say a number of people really do hate the suburbs, as cited in the article. Some could argue thats for legitimate reasons ( land use, benefits of public transportation, etc. ) but that some people dislike suburbs doesn’t seem manufactured.

    #342880

    HeySquare
    Participant

    Meh. Kotkin has been the voice and poster child of the anti-new urbanism campaign for many years now. Most of the pro-suburbia articles concerning land use policy are written by him (I know we’ve had discussions of his op-ed pieces on ColumbusUnderground previously.)

    I’ve heard his song and dance before, and on the surface he is very persuasive; however, after closely reading his work, I’ve realized that he conflates a lot of complex issues. Ultimately, I fail to understand why a public policy that advocates for true multi-modal transit options frightens him so much. People aren’t going to stop driving just because we have a train. People aren’t going to stop building single family homes on farmland just because we also have a transit-oridnted development. I don’t believe that the planning community has ever pushed a utopian vision of high-rise condos as one-size-fits-all housing solution; rather, the trends in planning have advocated *against* policies that favor the construction of larger and larger single use developments being built on the periphery of aging urban areas, or creating communities that are absolutely dependent on one transportation option, typically the automobile.

    If we look even at the microcosm of our own discussions here on ColumbusUnderground, we can look at the thread on good Columbus public schools, and see that there are many people that *would* choose to live in an urban environment if urban schools weren’t perceived as a gamble. Or people that would live downtown if real estate weren’t so expensive (read: desirable). My point is… there are a lot of complex issues that drive people to outer ring suburbs. He reduces a lot of these issues to generalizations, which do a disservice to everyone.

    #342881
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    rus wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Not aimed at you specifically, but what would the urban/suburban/rural landscape look like if there were no government subsidies of any kind?

    Which kind of goes back to my point. This specific author talks about the $8 Billion in high speed rail projects while ignoring how many billions spent on federal and state highways by the same Recovery Act dollars. And for all the criticism of smart growth policies, couldn’t these same policies help reign in some of the budgetary problems we are seeing? By giving people opportunities to seek transportation alternatives, it lessens the need for maintenance and repair on roadways and reduces congestion. A lot of this remains to be seen, of course. But the oversimplification and glossing over simply doesn’t do anyone any good.

    To be fair, isn’t funding highways also about moving goods ( via interstate trucking ) rather than just moving people? In other words, I don’t see highway funds as specifically a suburban ( or anti-urban? ) issue.

    #342882

    HeySquare
    Participant

    To be fair, rail moves goods too.

    #342883

    michaelcoyote
    Participant

    HeySquare wrote >>
    To be fair, rail moves goods too.

    Indeed, and is often more efficient at it.

    #342884

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    rus wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    rus wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Not aimed at you specifically, but what would the urban/suburban/rural landscape look like if there were no government subsidies of any kind?

    Which kind of goes back to my point. This specific author talks about the $8 Billion in high speed rail projects while ignoring how many billions spent on federal and state highways by the same Recovery Act dollars. And for all the criticism of smart growth policies, couldn’t these same policies help reign in some of the budgetary problems we are seeing? By giving people opportunities to seek transportation alternatives, it lessens the need for maintenance and repair on roadways and reduces congestion. A lot of this remains to be seen, of course. But the oversimplification and glossing over simply doesn’t do anyone any good.

    To be fair, isn’t funding highways also about moving goods ( via interstate trucking ) rather than just moving people? In other words, I don’t see highway funds as specifically a suburban ( or anti-urban? ) issue.

    Heysquare beat me to it.

    I’m merely just pointing out that-on both sides, to be fair-opponents of one issue/expenditure are typically very vocal while ignoring their own pet projects that could be equally argued as wasteful or extravagant.

    #342885

    jimbach
    Participant

    I have to wonder in what fantasy world the author lives, but there was one point, almost tangential to his argument, that really annoyed me.

    Yet, from a political point of view, the anti-suburban stance seems odd given that Democrats’ recent electoral ascendency stemmed in great part from gains among suburbanites. Certainly this is an overt stance that [b]neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton would likely have countenanced.[/b]

    The illusion that, somehow, Barack Obama should emulate either Clinton is baffling to me. Obama is the first Democratic nominee since LBJ to get more than 51% of the popular vote (Clinton never won so much as a majority). He won states Clinton never won. To emulate either Clinton would be a step backwards, literally and figuratively.

    #342886
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    rus wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>

    rus wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Not aimed at you specifically, but what would the urban/suburban/rural landscape look like if there were no government subsidies of any kind?

    Which kind of goes back to my point. This specific author talks about the $8 Billion in high speed rail projects while ignoring how many billions spent on federal and state highways by the same Recovery Act dollars. And for all the criticism of smart growth policies, couldn’t these same policies help reign in some of the budgetary problems we are seeing? By giving people opportunities to seek transportation alternatives, it lessens the need for maintenance and repair on roadways and reduces congestion. A lot of this remains to be seen, of course. But the oversimplification and glossing over simply doesn’t do anyone any good.

    To be fair, isn’t funding highways also about moving goods ( via interstate trucking ) rather than just moving people? In other words, I don’t see highway funds as specifically a suburban ( or anti-urban? ) issue.

    Heysquare beat me to it.
    I’m merely just pointing out that-on both sides, to be fair-opponents of one issue/expenditure are typically very vocal while ignoring their own pet projects that could be equally argued as wasteful or extravagant.

    Rail certainly can move goods as well as people, but aren’t the recent rail initiatives aimed at solely moving people?

    I confess, I’ve no plans to use anything I’ve seen proposed along those lines… I can’t see a reason to go to Dayton, Cincinnati or Cleveland by car, bus, rail or teleporter so it’s a non-issue for me.

    But to say a city to city passenger rail service is the same as a highway seems disingenuous.

    As to the deeper point, that “my” project is good while “yours” is wasteful… sure, in general that fallacious reasoning can be found in most, if not every, discussion.

    #342887

    gramarye
    Participant

    I think he makes a lot of good points, and I’m more sympathetic to his suburban sympathies than many here, but I do agree with some of the criticism of his factual cherry-picking. The $8 billion outlay on rail doesn’t really seem all that extravagant to me, either, and the article would be more balanced if it included the proposed spending on highways over the same time frame.

    He does have a point talking about the higher costs of urban construction, particularly on a cost-per-square-foot basis. Getting four bedrooms and 2.5 baths into a mid- or high-rise residential tower really is significantly more expensive than getting the same square footage in a single-family home. Also, while “war” might be hyperbole, his general frame of reference does have a basis in truth: many dedicated urbanists really do have an antagonistic attitude towards the suburbs, including some who openly admit this and others who deny that they’re trying to do anything more than achieve “balance” (which, ever so coincidentally, will result in a massive diversion of resources from the suburbs to the cities vis-a-vis the status quo).

    #342888

    HeySquare
    Participant

    rus wrote >>
    Rail certainly can move goods as well as people, but aren’t the recent rail initiatives aimed at solely moving people?

    No. Although that is what has been highlighted in the press coverage.

    rus wrote >>
    I confess, I’ve no plans to use anything I’ve seen proposed along those lines… I can’t see a reason to go to Dayton, Cincinnati or Cleveland by car, bus, rail or teleporter so it’s a non-issue for me.
    But to say a city to city passenger rail service is the same as a highway seems disingenuous.

    Disingenuous in what way? Certainly the rail corridor between DC, Baltimore, Philiadelphia, and New York works much like a highway.

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