Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Troy/B'Ham Transit Center Design Charrette Previous Next
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Fishtoes2000
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Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 388
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 1:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From their web site, http://www.tcaup.umich.edu/cha rrette/

The proposed Troy/Birmingham Transit Center district near Maple and Coolidge is located midway between downtown Birmingham and the financial and shopping hub of Troy's Big Beaver corridor. The project is a transit-oriented development (TOD) which concentrates multiple uses near rail and bus transit with local and regional connections.

Four teams of visiting and local design professionals, U-M faculty and student urban designers, architects, urban planners and landscape architects will present their designs and visions for the proposed project.

You are invited to a reception and presentation of the results from this intensive four-day design charrette.

Public Reception and Presentation

Monday, January 21, 2008
4:305:30 p.m.: Preview reception
5:307:30 p.m.: Presentations
Troy Community Center
3179 Livernois, Troy, MI 48083
(248) 524-3484
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1801
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 4:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Four teams of visiting and local design professionals, U-M faculty and student urban designers, architects, urban planners and landscape architects will present their designs and visions for the proposed project."

After gazing in horror at the "Big Beaver Corridor" and vomiting for 15 minutes, that is ...
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Jfried
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Username: Jfried

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 5:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

when will you people get that bashing the suburbs is just as bad as bashing the city?

plus, as I mentioned above, it makes you sound like a tool.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1803
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Um, bashing the suburbs? It's a statement of opinion, Jfried. The opinion that the "Big Beaver Corridor" looks like a car-culture sprawl-hell. And it kinda does. And I guarantee a lot of the participants know that, though they probably won't spell it out like that.

Touchy, touchy. Tsk-tsk! :-)
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2540
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The automobile and the automobile industry are almost singlehandedly responsible for the luxurious lifestyle we all live.



The jokes freakin write themselves.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11210
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Productive post CL.

More power to them to try and make the area walkable. I just suspect it dies on the spot if there is one penny of taxes asked of the voters.
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6nois
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Username: 6nois

Post Number: 619
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why U of M? I have to ask were the local architecture and urban planning schools, UDM and LTU asked to be involved or was automatic choice given to U of M? Finally when it comes down to it, there would be alot of work for planners to create a solutions for TOD in of all places Troy-Birmingham.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 360
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Troy, like it or not shitbirds is more of an economic and population center than downtown Detroit."

Let's compare:

City of Troy
Population - 80,959
Tax Base - $6.6 Billion

City of Detroit
Population - 900,000+
Tax Base - $13.4 Billion
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Transitrider
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Username: Transitrider

Post Number: 36
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the info, Fish.

There was a great thread several weeks ago about the UM/ULI Conference discussing this project, but I cannot find it, and neither can Google it seems. If someone else can find it, please post.

At any rate, several people pointed out that the project seems to directly address the common criticism of this area: that it's not pedestrian-friendly, and competes with the nearby downtowns. By connecting this area to Birmingham, it can benefit both areas.
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Detroit313
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Username: Detroit313

Post Number: 597
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 8:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

WOW Novine!

<313>
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Kevdog
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Username: Kevdog

Post Number: 158
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 8:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the comment was that Troy is more of an economic engine than DOWNTOWN Detroit, not Detroit as a whole.
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Ro_resident
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Username: Ro_resident

Post Number: 288
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why UM? Because the past Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning decided to go on a marketing blitz and get professionals around the country to participate in the charrette. I know of at least one Wayne State and one UDM student that have participated over the years.

Plus, most years the City of Detroit and DTE have been willing guinea pigs for the project. For several of the charrettes, Cass Tech students have participated. For the second or third year, the presentations were made at the Cass Tech cafeteria.

Here is a link the ULI article:
http://www.tcaup.umich.edu/urp /urbanland_nextstopTOD108.pdf

The area in question has a bit of a split personality. To the west of the railroad tracks, you have the new mixed use townhome development, lofts, and a handful of restaurants (Big Rock and Whistle Stop Cafe).

To the east, the principle area is basically a wedge of land stuck between the tracks and the Target. Currently, it's not nearly inviting as the other side.
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Baltgar
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Username: Baltgar

Post Number: 100
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I applaud these cities in trying to have a vision and plan for a regional benefit.

LTU students are doing work to help Troy in their urban planning designs.
http://www.ltu.edu/cm/attach/1 CC76B53-B028-4B79-9849-91EE365 72BCD/Free%20Press%20article%2 0Spring%202006.pdf

I wouldn't agree with the statement that Troy is the economic hub/engine of the region, but the fact of the matter is that Troy has a healthy tax base and diversity compared to many other cities its size in Michigan.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 362
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I think the comment was that Troy is more of an economic engine than DOWNTOWN Detroit, not Detroit as a whole.'

Fair enough. But do the numbers back up that claim? Over half of Troy's tax base comes from residential properties. While there are many nice homes in Troy, that's hardly the economic engine of Michigan. As for employment numbers, where's the numbers that show that Troy out paces downtown Detroit in employment? Kind of hard to believe that Troy is beating out GM World HQ, Comerica Park, Ford Field, 3 Casinos, etc. when in comes to economic impact.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1057
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have seen the Big Beaver Corridor Redevelopment Vision, or whatever it's called (it's something like that) that the City of Troy commissioned a year or two ago. I was quite impressed. The planner who did this recommended re-scaling the corridor to be more pedestrian friendly and "urban", whatever you like to think that means. He/she/they also mentioned the need for improved transit.

If Troy and/or Birmingham are trying to take positive steps to make themselves less like the modern cookie-cutter suburb, I can only applaud such an effort.

With regard to the transit center, though, exactly what transit will it serve? I know there are some SMART buses in Troy, though not very many, and I'm not aware of any rail beyond the thrice-daily Amtrak service to Chicago. Does someone up there know something I don't know?
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11214
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At first glance the Chareete seemed to mention plans to tie that to the eventual downtown to AA/DTW line. I think that it would be a line that runs downtown then that would run to AA/DTW. I like seeing the forward thinking.
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Rb336
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Username: Rb336

Post Number: 4586
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wendel Duchscherer being on board for the project is a definite plus. they do a good job making the functional aesthetically pleasing
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1640
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Part of the planning for this transit center includes the possibility of commuter rail going out of there in the future. If the AA to Detroit line is successful, they have talked about expanding ti up through Oakland County. The is also the possibility of extending it into Macomb County through Mt. Clemens as well.
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Gotdetroit
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Username: Gotdetroit

Post Number: 117
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Curious: So, if Troy had a population slighty more than double what it is now (say, 180,000) their tax base would equal Detroit's tax base? Even though Detroit has 4 times the population?

I get what you were trying to point out Novine, but those numbers don't really make Troy look bad, or Detroit look good - economically speaking.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11216
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd be curious where Novine's numbers are coming from and what 'tax base' means for these specific numbers.

It may be obvious what it means but does it include property tax, income tax, business tax, etc or is it just one component?
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D_mcc
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Username: D_mcc

Post Number: 133
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 10:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Speaking on LTU's Behalf. I think LTU's urban program is more involved in Detroit and the Surrounding communities than UM is. We had 2-3 studios working DIRECTLY with the communities they were based in to develop and produce realistic solutions to real world problems.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 370
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 11:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I'd be curious where Novine's numbers are coming from and what 'tax base' means for these specific numbers."

2006 Assessed & Equalized Valuations from State of Michigan for all counties.

http://www.michigan.gov/treasu ry/0,1607,7-121-1751_2228-1444 42--,00.html

"Curious: So, if Troy had a population slighty more than double what it is now (say, 180,000) their tax base would equal Detroit's tax base?"

Probably not. Tax base is determined by property values, not population. If Troy's population doubled, its overall density would have to increase significantly. Where would that happen? The city would have to build up a lot. That would likely depress valuations in some residential areas although that would be offset by major high-rise residential development necessary to accommodate that much population.
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Gotdetroit
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Username: Gotdetroit

Post Number: 118
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Probably not. Tax base is determined by property values, not population. If Troy's population doubled, its overall density would have to increase significantly. Where would that happen? The city would have to build up a lot. That would likely depress valuations in some residential areas although that would be offset by major high-rise residential development necessary to accommodate that much population."

Perhaps I should have laid my point out as such: Troy has roughly half the tax base as Detroit. Troy's population is less than 1/11th of Detroit's population.

Just saying the tax thing isn't necessarily the greatest "comeback".
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 371
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Just saying the tax thing isn't necessarily the greatest "comeback"."

True but Detroit, despite all of its negatives, is still (in theory) cranking out more tax dollars out of its tax base than Troy or any other city in Michigan. Citylover still hasn't back up the claim that Troy is outpacing downtown Detroit as an employment center. I would love to see the numbers that support that claim.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11217
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 1:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanks for the info Novine.

Part of what skews that (I'm guessing) is that the city of Troy is probably pretty current with their assessments. Detroit is notorious for never updating their assessments. A lot of 100K homes in the city are probably assessed at $5K.

I have heard complaints from people in nicer neighborhoods in the city that the city stays current with assessments in certain neighborhoods and ignores updating the vast majority of neighborhoods.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 373
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 2:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aren't we a wee bit touchy. You said:

"Troy, like it or not shitbirds is more of an economic and population center than downtown Detroit."

Maybe you can illuminate us "shitbirds" out here what your definition of an "economic center" is since we can't divine it from your posting. Since we've already shown that Troy isn't the population center of anything (it's not even the most populous city in Oakland County), seems like you need to pony up more than just your certainty that what you say is true.

Last time I checked, I couldn't see a major league baseball, hockey or football game in Troy. Or a world-class symphony. Or an Opera. Or go visit a casino. Or visit one of the top art museums in the county. Or see national touring music groups. Or anything like that. I can shop at a fancy mall in Troy. Seems like your definition of "active" seems pretty limited Mr. Citylover.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2546
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I believe I said it(troy) is more the economic and population center.It ceertainly is much more active. And I don't need stats or do I need to cite anything.All one need do is take an impartial observer to both locations and ask which seems more vibrant.



Uh, okay.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1805
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 2:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Presumably, when it comes to "vibrance" all that counts to the impartial observer are volumes of cars and trucks, volumes of sales ticking through cash registers, volumes of concrete and steel and glass constructed.

But what about places like Eastern Market, where people from different walks of life come together to find healthful food amid a bazaar-like atmosphere? Or a warm day in Corktown, where you can see couples biking down the narrow streets amid 100-year-old buildings with tidy lawns?

Is more money changing hands in Troy? Are people driving nicer cars there? Ultimately, if it isn't your idea of "vibrancy," then who cares anyway?
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1806
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 4:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Huh? Troy is more vibrant? Um, to whom? To a traffic-flow designer? What I'm saying is that what makes a place vibrant seems to be a matter of opinion. Why do I live in the city? Because, in spite of all the detrimental stuff, I enjoy street life, small scale, narrow roads, shopping on foot, biking in the summer, and walking home from the bar. That's "vibrancy" to me, and that's why I don't live in Troy. So what? How is that "bashing" the suburbs?

I guess the real bummer is that kind of lifestyle consumes more resources, requires more money, more concrete, more glass, more steel, more credit, etc. If it was just a matter of taste, the suburbs would still repel me, but what really stinks is that our society lets some places fall apart and become ghettos so that our country's resources go to funding more sprawl. And then people who get the funding point to their six-lane highways, new water and sewer lines, and other profligate resource-sucking schemes and crow about how great and vibrant it all is.
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Transitrider
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Username: Transitrider

Post Number: 37
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In an attempt to keep this on-topic, the purpose of the project is change the way places like Troy have traditionally developed. It's an admission that the current model can no longer continue, and we better plan for the future.

So if you hate Troy, this project will help change its wasteful development patterns (car-centric, greenfield-devouring, unwalkable), which is good for everyone. And if you love Troy, the project will help preserve the good things about it (successful, if suburban, retail and business zones) while realizing we can't just have more of the same.

Looking forward to the presentations on Monday. From the article Ro_res linked, the charrette is going on now, following up from last fall's Real Estate Conference, with results to be presented Monday.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1807
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 5:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, TS. I was just joking about how some urban planner types might react to seeing the "Big Beaver Corridor." But the guy who simply HATES the conflicts that KEEP SPRINGING UP FOR SOME REASON here BETWEEN SUBURBAN AND CITY dwellers seized upon my little joke to ... well ... to provoke a CONFLICT about the very topic he hates that just seems to keep springing up somewhere, somehow.

To those interested in "improving" Troy, good luck. But I wonder if trying to have a spread-out, suburban mentality with slightly-more-walkable auto corridors, slightly less wasteful development standards, and modest gains in transit ridership is a strong regional answer to our problems. I think that's really where the answer lies: A regional vision.

One thing's for sure: This wouldn't have been discussed 10 years ago. I think we're getting to the point where even the solid suburbs of the 1980s can see that they'll be abandoned next as the conestoga wagons of metro Detroit move outward to the next exurbs.

(Message edited by detroitnerd on January 18, 2008)
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Classico
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Username: Classico

Post Number: 76
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

CityLover,

Gotta love that "car culture". Are we talking about the same "car culture" that leads to..... cookie-cutter architecture, poor land use, automobile-dominated transportation networks resulting in sprawl, dramatic loss of green space, horrendous traffic situations for commuters.......man sounds really really effiecent and a good habit inducer...


The car culture is also single handedly responsible for everyone being such a fat fuck.(well close enough)

2. Honestly owning a car has to be the biggest scam known to man, especially a new one.

Americans sit in their cars an average of 206 hours commuting every year, according to 2004 figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Vehicles in U.S. households outnumber drivers.

We spend $7,967 annually on gas, maintenance, tires, insurance, registration fees and loan-finance charges, per the American Automobile Association as well. And that's just for one person to drive a medium-size sedan 15,000 miles when gas was $2.40 a gallon.

Of course there still is this mantra that not owning car resonates that you are a big loser. I say a loser with much more money in his pockets for far more important things in life. It is very tough to make the switch, but I still would much prefer it over a car dominated existence. At least have the area where I live harbor a choice between the 2.

3. Severely limits ways for groups to mobilize. Which ALWAYS gets completey overlooked when topics of this nature pop up.


Does that answer your "car culture" rant? You still mean to tell me we "owe" the Car manufacturers for robbing most of our time, money and happiness during the duration of our lifetimes??? Well tickle me pink.

I think its more that you have been trapped and fucked just like the rest of us all these years.

...and about Troy...

Sterile corridors of generic office parks, colonials, and cookie cutter throwaway American culture is vibrant? Hmmm, news to me. I work in Troy everyday and vibrant is one thing I would not call it....

You may prefer the safe predictable boring uninspiring anywhere USA lifestyle, but please do not confuse this with "vibrant". Vibrant for a middle aged mechanical engineer I guess.

Translation: Troy is vibrant because it's so Soccer mom friendly and has great blue ribbon(rolls eyes) schools!


Honestly Nerd couldn't have stated it any better.

(Message edited by classico on January 18, 2008)
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2551
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 10:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

3. Severely limits ways for groups to mobilize. Which ALWAYS gets completey overlooked when topics of this nature pop up.



Could you explain this?

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