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Urban sprawl causes obesity. *Gasp* Solution: build more schools and stores.(12 posts)

Urban sprawl causes obesity. *Gasp* Solution: build more schools and stores.Kristin
Aug 29, 2003 5:59 AM
Where do these people come from and who is giving them money? Gosh, if someone would pay me for incompitence, I'd be a billionaire.
re: Urban sprawl causes obesity. *Gasp* Solution: build more schools and stores.jrm
Aug 29, 2003 8:19 AM
SThe spatial distirbution of "sprawl" like land uses makes families depend on cars because distances between land uses are to far to walk and in many cases facilities for pedestrian or cyclists dont exist between those land uses.

The "clustering " of schools, residential and retail land use means that those distances in the "sprawl" model are cut in half if not more and families dont have to rely on a vehicle to get one from one place to another . If developed with safe pedestrian and cycling facilities parents wont worry abou their kids waslking or cycling to and from schools and stores.
Thanks for regurgitating the newsKristin
Aug 29, 2003 10:03 AM
But the resolutions are idiocy. They just won't work. I live in Chicagoland, which is the meca of suburbia. We've got one of the worst--if not THE worst--cases of urban sprawl in the nation. The suburbs of Milwaukee and Chicago now overlap each other by about 30 miles and Loop employees commute from as much as 70-80 miles away daily.

First off, the current job market is not condusive for people to commute by bike or foot. Jobs are unstable and we switch employers too often to move closer. Basically, out here, you don't move just because you got a new job. So most people living in urban sprawl have a commute that is pretty far away.

Second, congestion. The roads are already over-burdened which makes them busy and dangerous. Even if they built bikeways, I doubt it would be much of a help. There are no direct routes to here or there, and the roads are just to dangerous for kids.

Third. The crime rate must be taken into consideration. This is not 1982. Even then my parents were concerned; but allowed us to ride up to 5 miles from the house. If I were 12 years old today, my parents would not let me go unacompanied. Not sure its more dangerous or there is just more news. Either way...

In my neighborhood there are already 15 grocery stores. The nearest one--and the one I use most frequently--is 1.5 miles from home. I could ride there and shop, but that's really a hassel. I'd need panniers. In the summer I couldn't buy frozen food. In the winter I'd need lights and would spend 20 minutes getting dressed for the trip. Its a much better use of my time to stop on my way home from the office--which is a modest 12 miles away from my house and takes me right past the grocer.

And shopping for other things will not work either. Who's gonna go back to school shopping on a bike? It just won't happen.

Here in our little sprawling suburbia, we have a over 200 miles of pathways for cycling or walking/jogging. Most homes have a path within walking distance from their home. Not many people utilize them. People don't exercise because they choose not to...it has nothing to do with how far they live from the office. And even if it did. Its doubtful you could bring the office closer.

Finally, our school system is already over-burdened, under-funded, and in trouble. This report proves its narrow-minded by throwing out suggestions that fail to take in the big picture. Adding more schools will create more problems than it solves.
De-sprawling is not what's being proposed...PdxMark
Aug 29, 2003 10:36 AM
What's being proposed is that new development be built with srawl-avoidance in mind. Existing sprawl isn't going anywhere, even though it does have the effect that almost no-one walks/bikes anywhere for transportation.

I think the point of the studies is that things like the 200 miles of pathways in your area are designed as a receational facility, separate from what people would use in day-to-day transportation. They are for the weekend/afternoon activities, not running errands, taking the kids to school, etc. Heck, most of us on this board treat cycling as almost exclusively a recreaational activity that is separate from day-to-day transportation.

Here in Portland we have just moderate density, with almost all streets connected into a city-wide grid, and mixed residential/retail areas. Essentially, it was the result of being built-up during the streetcar era after the turn of the century. The result is that walking to a grocery store, restaurant, school, library is convenient and reasonable. No-one has to walk a mile to snake their way out of their sub-division onto a 45mph four-lane urban highway.

This urban layout, together with bike lanes, etc., makes commuting by bike here easy, safe, and convenient. At normal commute times, there are at least 4-6 cyclists at the last stop light to cross the bridge into downtown - for each cycle of the light. Studies here and elsewhere have shown that bike commuting is acceptable for most folks (who'd consider it) for distances of 6 miles or less. Sprawling urban designs prevent that option.

Development along new transit lines is also applying the same designs. Mixes of retail and residential, with reasonable density, result in pleasant outdoor spaces and walking distances that work for most folks.

The point of the studies is that urban design that makes walking or cycling virtually impossible requires people to drive everywhere. In contrast, if even 2 or 3 trips a day can be accomplished by walking or cycling, non-athlete people will get more exercise, be more fit, and less fat.

This does not mean that sprawled towns get torn down and rebuilt. It simply acknowledges the consequence of urban designs in which cars are deemed the only suitable mode transportation. The alternative, which we are fortunate to have here, is multiple transportation options: cars, bikes, walking, transit.
But unless you can bring all of the jobs into the communityKristin
Aug 29, 2003 10:41 AM
Doesn't this model require that you work withing that 6 mile radius? If so, how can anyone make that happen. If I lost my job today, I'd be forced to make a search radius of 70 miles. No lie.
But unless you can bring all of the jobs into the communityPdxMark
Aug 29, 2003 11:47 AM
It's all a matter of options -- having the option (and the circumstances) to be able to live at least part of your live outside a car.

Certainly, not all jobs are within 6 miles. And not all local trips are on foot or by bike. But if walking/cycling is fairly easy, people will do it sometimes (or even alot of the time). And for most Americans, it would dramatically increase the amount of activity in their lives. And it would also get some cars off roads that are usually pretty crowded. And it's pleasant too.

If there are good cycling facilities between residential areas and nearby (6 miles) employment areas (downtowns, business parks), people have the option to cycle. It doesn't mean anyone has to live within 6 miles of where they work. But urban designs that discourage cycling/walking make this hard or impossible.

There are cyclists on this board (Hummah hah, if I remember correctly) who struggle with continuing their bike commuting after a job change. In that case, the problem was not distance, but rather a section of highway-type road that was virtually unrideable. Contrast that with a route that is actually bike friendly, and you open the possibility that ever more people will decide to ride or walk, if they can.
Well that's true. It would be nice if they made complete pathsKristin
Aug 29, 2003 12:00 PM
Warrenville Road is a great example. Lots of corporate offices along Warrenville Rd & Deihl. Warrenville Road contains a partial bike route. It starts and stops several times along the route, making it unridable. What a waist of money. I can only imagine that it was preposed, planned and approved in one administration only to be scrapped by a future administration to put on hold by some bureaucratic red tape. Bummer. They ruined some nice grass for something completely useless.
It's even worse than a waste...PdxMark
Aug 29, 2003 12:04 PM
because people see it built and not being used, not realizing that it's an unrideable cluster puck, and so they oppose other facilities that could be useful. In contrast, an integrated network of connecting routes/paths can, over time, become pretty popular.
Typical....jrm
Aug 29, 2003 12:02 PM
Thats bullshlt. The market ditates the options you have in regard to where to work and live. From these options presented to you by the market you chose where to live and work. Where you choose to live and work determines how far you have to drive. If wanted to live closer to work you could, but you chose not to. If you lived closer to the schools your kids go to you could walk um to school or let um take the bus, butyou chose to live far enough from the school so you have to drive the kids to school.

The market dictated that i work in the bay area. i chose to live in a safe community 6 miles awayd from work. i choose to ride or take the bus to work because its cheaper/faster than driving. My hardware store is 1/2 mile away, my supermarket is 1/2 mile away and i have a corner store thats two blocks away from me. The nearest HS school is 2 blocks away and the nearest middle school is about a 1/4 mile. Again i chose to live here.

You cant build yourself out of congestion. And its only going to get worse. Until it becomes to expensive in terms of time and $$$ people are going to drive and bltch about it. Then people will find alternative modes like carpools, transit or telecommuting. Its not roads that are inherantly dangerous its the people driving the road. People drive beyond there reflexes because technology allows them too and it to is technology that allows those same people to be distracted. They drive beyond the design speeds of roads. When they cant control there travel they become self centered, impatient as$holes ready to kill out of frustration.

Your complaints sound like those of other people who want everything to change without making any changes themselves. And when someone comes along and proposes something that would require a behavioral change in habits you poo poo it cuz you dont feel you have to change for anything or because no ones gonna tell you that you have to change.
Must be nice to be you. Sounds like you have unlimitedKristin
Aug 29, 2003 12:17 PM
resources. If you can live anywhere you want to in the Bay area. I, on the otherhand, didn't have those options. There were only a handful of places I could afford within a 30 mile radius from my office. I picked one that was 12 miles away. It was the best choice when taking all things into consideration. If I changed jobs tomorrow, I couldn't just up and sell my place. I need to be there at least 2 more years or lose money. Thats life. And its reality for those of use who aren't loaded.
Must be nice to be you. Sounds like you have unlimitedspankdoggie
Aug 29, 2003 12:34 PM
The only Bay Area is in San Francisco. I live in San Francisco. I hope you were not referring to some tide pool in Chicago. Lakes don't have bays. Oceans do. If you were referring to San Francisco then I apologize.

Keep the rubber side down.
It doesnt suck...jrm
Aug 29, 2003 1:25 PM
and i dont know of anyone that has "unlimted resources" including myself. The bay area is a great place.