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Really Narrow Streets

by njh Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:01:29 PM EST

I've noted for a long time the connection between street width and local quality of life (e.g. my blog post Wider roads are poorer areas).  Others have noticed this too.  The New World Economics blog has a series discussing this idea with lots of nice pictures (scroll to the bottom of that page and work upwards through the links).

Does this resonate with people?  Especially those who have lived in multiple cities with different styles.  What did you like and dislike?

Personally I've spent time in old style villages (e.g. St Andrews), Traditional cities (e.g. Toulouse), 19th century hypertrophism (Fort Collins), 20th Century hypertrophism (NYC), Suburbia, and various New (s)Urbanist environments in the bay area.  Of these, I really liked Traditional Cities and Villages but currently live in a working class suburban area in Melbourne.  I enjoy the fact that I can walk to the railway station and to the local shopping area, but this article has made me question the long term value of living in an area where the street is wider than my house block.

Given the steady collapse of the world economy, should I sell my house while the market is going up and buy inner city Melb, leaving behind my chickens and veggies and fish (for eating) and gain a significant order improvement in my ecofootprint and happiness?


Display:
The problem is that any transition will require that much of the established infrastructure be converted or abandoned.

As much as the people who dwell in wealthier suburbs tend to claim that they are being exploited by poor people who live in inner cities, the truth of it is that bringing the accountrements of urban life to the suburbs cost significantly more than any welfare state ever could.  When you start calculating the cost of highways (for cars) and the extension of municipal sewage treatment, let alone cable, electricity and other utilities, it adds up.  The cost for this infrastructure is born by all, thus covering up how individuals living unsustainable lifestyles impose a cost on society.

Don't get me wrong, there is something to be said for the country life, but.........

I bet that if you look at the areas where suburbs are prominent you will find that the services provided are closer to what is expected in cities than in the country. The problem isn't living in the country.  It's imposing the city life on rural infrastructure.

If there were a way to set up a basic standard for new construction, that conformed to what is sustainable in walkable cities, and charged a premium for connection and service for roads, water lines, electric and all the other infrastructure above that premium the true cost of suburbia would become apparent.

For people who live in car dependent cultures, gas taxes and other measures can become a hardship in the short term.  Because people don't have much of a choice about driving.  I personally have chosen to live someplace where I can walk most of the time.  It's an option for me because I work, and go to school, at a university, but it's harder for many people in my country, the US.

One of the things that I wish had been pushed more in the current housing crisis was the retrofitting of McMansions into multi-family housing.  Done on a targeted basis to raise neighborhood population densities, it could create cores that would make public transportation more viable.  And with matching zoning to bring commercial entreprises back on a neighborhood scale, would create walking which would allow for local shops and other businesses to take root.  Keep that up for a decade, and the urban pattern changes, so that cars aren't as necessary. This would arguably do more for the environment than any number of hybrid cars could do.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 10:49:00 PM EST
I'm not so convinced about the difficulty.  As I said, my house is on a street that is as wide as my house block.  This suggests that simply replacing the existing paving with another house and converting the nature strip + foot path into the new 'street' would double the density (and still be mostly garden space).  This would tend to be done mostly in central city areas first with people moving in from the perimeter.  This is exactly the reverse of the process for the last 100 years, where buildings are knocked down and roads widened.  We made the incentives move cities towards hypertrophism, so we can do the same to move them back.

Btw, did you read the new world economy blog posts?  He talks exactly to your points.

by njh on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 10:58:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I flipped through the new economy blog posts.  I'm trying very hard not to finish the work I need to do, but it's still calling. Will have to give it a more thorough reading later.

My suspicion is that the plan you suggest about doing infill:

As I said, my house is on a street that is as wide as my house block.  This suggests that simply replacing the existing paving with another house and converting the nature strip + foot path into the new 'street' would double the density (and still be mostly garden space).

would be hard in many areas because of setback requirements. Also any effort to do this would most likely require securing easement rights from all neighboring properties, which makes it legally a hard sell.  All it takes is one person who doesn't like it, and the whole thing falls through. On the other hand former industrial cities the world over often have large sections of abandoned housing.  In the US, one of the ways of dealing with this has been through the selective shrinking of cities.  In places like Detroit, the plan is to abandon portions of the city because no one lives there.  Gather a large enough chunk of land and you can have infill projects.

It's not only a residential problem.  The move out of central city retail to big box stores located at the urban fringe has made sensible transit planning difficult, because each store has to have a dedicated parking lot, and there's little coordination to create shared parking lots that encourage shoppers to come, park and go from store to store instead of driving between them.  On the other hand, if parking lots were treated as point source pollution sources, with municipal exemptions granted where pooled parking exists, then you could see retail being built around a shared parking area that could be integrated better.  Shared lots of this sort could more easily bare the cost of underground lots than individual stores.  If you make it so that city planning agencies are the only ones with the right to build these lots within being required to get pollution permits, then they can be used as urban planning tools.  Locate them in strategic areas so that they are within walking distance of many people, and you can drive density.  Get density up at the local level, and you can create islands that can be linked, profitably, by public transport.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 11:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That form of development is somewhat USA specific.  There is some bigboxstore development in Australia, but the biggest attractors still seem to be the 'mall' (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chadstone_Shopping_Centre), a form of which we never really saw in the US.  There are shopping malls in the US, but they suck in a way that makes places like Chadstone seem positively exciting.  Shite like Great Mall, or factory sewersoutlets are not in the same league.  I don't know how endemic BBSs are in Europe, but we never saw one whilst living there.

And every time I go back to the 19th century urban areas of Melbourne I'm struck by how exciting they are.  E.g:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degraves_Street,_Melbourne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapel_Street,_Melbourne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acland_Street,_Melbourne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunswick_Street,_Melbourne

With such places and experiences common I think it would be an easier sell here than in the US.  And we already use public transport extensively compared with the US, which means that public transport improvement is a big vote winner here: the current state government got into power over a proposed rail extension.  (The puzzling thing is that despite that, nothing ever seems to get done.  Nobody knows why)

It is clear that Americans do love traditional cities, which is why people pay money to go to disneylandworld/NYC/Boston and overseas.  We just need to work out how to sell it.

by njh on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 12:32:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know how endemic BBSs are in Europe

They are endemic. The typical place for them to spring up is alongside new avoiding and orbital roads and highways (thereby generating new traffic and thus negating the traffic jam reduction rationale of these roads in a few years).

It is true that it is common that a major new mall/shopping centre gets a public transport connection, too. But, still, overall, they promote more car culture.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 03:30:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A special note on this: malls have become such a mainstay of European culture, too, that nowadays they serve as model in almost every railway main station reconstruction...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 03:34:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is partly related to the fact that it some countries they are pretty much the only place where stores are allowed to be open on Sunday....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 05:03:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An example: SHopping City Süd, on the outskirts of Vienna.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 03:37:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How truly sad.
by njh on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 08:51:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This suggests that simply replacing the existing paving with another house and converting the nature strip + foot path into the new 'street' would double the density (and still be mostly garden space).

But, that still means that with people moving into those new houses, the houses they leave will have to be torn down.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 03:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Melbourne's population has been increasing at 100000 people a year or so.  I suspect we could densify for quite a while at this rate (whether this rate is a good idea or not is a different question).
by njh on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 07:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascinating and captivating.

Thank you!

The author is so right about Narrow Streets.  But common courtyards, open market shopping areas, and even - gasp - "green spaces" have their place; Central Park is a godsend for New Yorkers and worthy of study.  (IMHO)

Put in some boulevards for cross-city transportation and - viola! - you have the Traditional City of the FUTURE!

(aka, Paris)

LOL

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 11:00:51 PM EST
He is not against plants, he is against non-place (e.g. nature strips, setbacks, carpark trees etc).  Having never talked to him, I can't speak for him, but I would personally be happy with living walls (as I have on my house :), courtyards (especially with productive gardens), small parks and large parks. Australian cities are somewhat unusual in having some amazing city parks (I hear that Sydney also has a park somewhere) in the middle of urban environments, to an extent that London and NYC pale in comparison.

Paris certainly is a great city, and I'd love to live there.  Unfortunately it suffers the same as many Traditional Cities, being surrounded by a cesspit of bad ideas from the 20th century to the extent that outside the ring road Paris turns somewhat distopic.

But if Paris had continued its design it would (IMHO) be a superlative example to the rest of the world.

by njh on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 12:17:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stockholm and Helsinki are reputedly Cities that Work as well.  Used Paris as the ending tag because pre-car Paris is widely accepted as City Beautiful; post-car Paris is generally conceded to be a mess.

The automobile is the causative agent for the construction of cities that don't work.  The design necessities to maximize car use seem to be fundamentally antagonistic to people use.  I don't know why but, then, I don't know why magnetism works either.  Just 'tis.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 11:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NWE's guy's claim is that cars are a symptom, not a cause.  Given the failure of attempts to remove the car, I'm tending to agree.
by njh on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 07:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The contrast between the teeming streets and alley-ways of the Edinburgh Old Town

and the handsome, gracious, formal, and in human terms distancing - layout of the New Town

is quite remarkable.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 06:26:52 AM EST
I have fallen in love with Spanish cities. When walking across Spanish cities - like Pamplona, and Lyon and towns - villages - hamlets  - they felt right. Stores were smaller than what I was use to in Canada - a fair bit smaller actually - but everything was just the right scale to work with when walking. Even cities like Barcelona had a density that made walking work - and if you did not want to walk - a transportation system that was good - unlike, say, Toronto.

Subway map Barcelona 1,670,000

subway map Toronto 2,450,000

I was walking through a newer Spanish city - My wife thinks it was the suburbs of Lyon - I don't remember -  and I turned to my wife and said, you know, I don't like this city as much. She said well - that's because it was built after the invention of the car.  

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 07:43:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Toronto does have a decent tram network.
by njh on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 08:34:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what that means. Try getting to Don Mills from south of there - say O'Connor & Woodbine. When I did it, a few years back, it was 10 minutes by car and 1 1/2 hrs by bus/subway/subway/bus. TO as a whole has some major public transportation problems.

My impression is that where they need a subway, they put in a streetcar.

Try Queen Streetcar or King Streetcar downtown and wish for a subway Line. Actually - I hear rumours that there is a subway station already built along E/W Queen St. at Young - underneath the existing N/S Queen Subway station.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 09:06:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In winter, you can walk the underground routes faster to get to the lakeside than you can by subway. It really doesn't seem well thought out since the subway goes north-south while it leaves most of downtown (oriented east-west) unserviced. If you live in the orientation of the subway, I suppose it really works well.
by Upstate NY on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 01:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lyon? Is there a Lyon in Spain?

If you meant Lyon, France, yes. I walked in one of the suburbs of Lyon just across the river a few months ago, and it's awful.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 08:39:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or could you possibly be talking about the one I live in??

Come here gk, I want to pick a fight with you. Lyon (yes, even transpontine Lyon, left bank, mostly 20th century) has a very fine public transport network (metro, tram, trolley bus, public bicycle, etc)... Sure, nothing matches the mediaeval quarter for ambling about (though the cobblestones are bicycle-unfriendly), and the 19th century bourgeois peninsula is also pleasant walking. Much of the rest is rather drab for tourist walking, but actually rather pleasant to live in for the most part, and practical to get around. As biggish cities go, name me a few which are better in that respect??

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 08:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I walked from around Perrache to Oulins. I could have taken the bus, I suppose, but I wasn't it a hurry, and I don't think I'd want to live in most of the parts I walked through.

But I'm not picking on Lyon - I was just responding to a comment that might have been talking about it. Similar parts of Paris are just as bad (though I must say I got a much better impression of some of the suburbs of Besançon recently. Maybe I was just lucky).

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 09:36:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a León in Spain.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 08:59:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You bet - too bad I can't spell.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 09:11:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I walked in one of the suburbs of Lyon

Which one?

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 09:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I still have nightmares of driving into Pamplona and being caught in a dead-end where I had to back my car up (nowhere to do a 3-point turn) through a wall of pedestrians.
by Upstate NY on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 01:31:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No bull?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 01:58:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, no, we spent a day there, it was beautiful, but my nerves were frayed, so we moved on to San Sebastian.
by Upstate NY on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 04:39:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really like Pamplona, I lived in Itturama while I was there, and it was a short walk to most everything. The only thing that I disliked was that everything was flats, with no real houses.  Which is the pattern I found in most Spanish cities (I stayed in the north), shops on the first floor with 4-5 floors of housing above it.

When you take a city like Pamplona with a density of 21,829.7 people/sq mile, and put it next to a similarly sized American city, like Des Moines Iowa with a density of 2,621.3/sq mi you can see the difference. Pamplona is not particularly dense for a medium size Spanish city, but the only places that approach that kind of density in the US are in the New York City area.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 02:01:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Madrid, people seem to live in town and work in the suburbs (at least, the people I worked with did) - quite the opposite of the commuting patterns I am more familiar with.

I wondered whether it is a cultural reflex, related to peasant patterns in previous generations (they tended to live in villages and walk long distances to work the fields). Or not.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 11:48:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Working in the suburbs is a relatively new phenomenon. You must have been in a high-value-added milieu where people actually earn enough to live in the city, and the firms are large enough to afford moving their operations to the suburbs, as well as assuming that their employees can drive there (in most cases).

It is still a very common pattern to work in the city and live in the suburbs due to housing cost constratints, especially for young families, and it used to be even more common in the 80's and 90's when there were lots of "dormitory towns" in the periphery around Madrid.

Nowadays there's both a better developed suburban public transportation network (spearheaded by Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón while he was President of the Madrid regional government) and more work in the suburbs so many people will also live and work in the suburbs.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 12:13:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Should you sell your house?

A read of Steve Keen would suggest that the time is 2006 in southern California just about now in Australia. Go to "Steve Keen's Debtwatch" and read the last six months posts. He believes the chief thing keeping the Australian RE market alive are the gov. incentives. If he is right you would be well advised to sell now before the market dives, rent or sign a lease on a suitable place and put some of the proceeds into shorts of certain large Australian banks.

Selling my house in late 2005 in California was the best single thing I did, combined with buying it in May 1999. And I moved to an area with many rural gravel roads so narrow that cars can only pass in one direction at a time, although I live in the city with city services, even though surrounded by acres of trees.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 09:37:47 AM EST
I can't help but agree, but if I sold I would instead be renting, and currently renting is at the least affordable ever at the moment.  I guess I need to do the calculations.
by njh on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 03:11:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would depend on the age of your mortgage, in part. In California prices have fallen back to the levels of about 2002. I would have been ok, as I bought in '99, unless I came to be unemployed, which looked quite possible, as my work was drying up. As it was I had about two more years of work, but at about 60% of the time, compared to previous years. I was close enough to retirement age that locking in my gains from the real estate bubble was almost a "no brainer" and I DID NOT want to be trying to sell into a collapse of prices and an oncoming depression.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 11:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It also helped that there were areas, such as Arkansas, where prices were about 1/3 those in Los Angeles. The climate in the San Fernando Valley is milder that that in the Ozarks, but certainly not intolerable, and  my property here has mostly held its value and I own it free and clear.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 11:39:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would not work for me, as my house is at the bottom end of the price range for houses within commuting distance of any Australian city.  Moving out would increase my commuting cost more than the house price drop would be paid back.  And I need somewhere to live and a chance of being able to work.
by njh on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 07:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wondered if I can think of a counter-example. The one I came up with was Southern Italy/Sicily, where houses in old towns with their really narrow streets were just too run-down for lack of maintenance, and sewage filled streets. But even that is in past tense: when I saw this in Palermo and Catania, at the same time there were large-scale EU-funded renovation works, so whatever one hears about subvention-embezzling mafia and local council corruption, structural funds had their effect.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 9th, 2010 at 03:21:00 AM EST
I've lived in one proper city, a succession of small towns, and am a frequent visitor to another real city.

Los Angeles, the city of my birth, was one of the mid-century testing grounds for the car culture.  Huge, huge streets, everywhere, enormous parking lots, blocks that take nearly half an hour to walk.  Los Angeles is a punishing place for the carless, but does the car culture thing far better than any other place I've been.  People KNOW how to drive, they respect the flow of traffic, and it's rare to have truly awful street design.  It is also a segmented, isolating place.  There is no public space.  People fear and avoid public space.  This is one of the reasons things like Starbucks are so hugely popular - they are places for social mingling that are otherwise non-existant.  I grew up there, it's normal to me, and I have a hard time really evaluating it.  However, since leaving, I've made a point of trying to avoid LA-style areas as much as possible.

The other city I know is Tokyo.  Tokyo is awesome, in large part thanks to the absolutely amazing transit system.  It is truly the world standard, with a single train line carrying upwards of ten million people a day in clean, comfortable, on-time trains.

by Zwackus on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 06:01:11 PM EST
If you read, for example, this post: http://www.newworldeconomics.com/archives/2009/071209.html  he points out that the wide streets predate the car by a century or more.  Which suggests that street size causes cars, not the other way around.
by njh on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 08:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My town, Colorado Springs, seems to have three general sorts of streets: the old planned ones, the old unplanned ones, and the recent (planned) ones.

The main downtown streets are really, really wide, as befits a small 19th century resort town full of British millionaires.

The back streets, particularly in the less wealthy areas, are much narrower. It is less than 25 meters from my door to the door of the house across the street, including two yards, two rows of cars, and enough pavement for one car at a time to pass.

In the new areas, things tend to be really skewed. The houses are enormous, but they are very close to each other. The yards are fairly small, and even tiny in some cases. While many of the roads are wide wastelands, the neighborhood streets in some areas are pretty compact--if not directly comparable to an urban setting. Check out the google street view for
"462 coyote willow drive colorado springs"
(a random address I chose) to see what I mean...

by asdf on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 11:32:55 PM EST
You're using a funny metric for measuring the width of a street - when I think about the width of a street, I think about it relative to the height of nearby buildings, not their width. After all, it is the height of nearby buildings that determine whether your street will be in near-perpetual shadow, or it will have a sunny side (of course, this perspective may be a consequence of living at 55 degrees Northern latitude...).

The pattern in Copenhagen is that buildings are 3-6 storeys tall and blocks are anywhere between ten and forty storeys long on a side (corresponding to 3-12 staircases - for historical reasons, houses in Copenhagen are often deeper than they are wide, though), with a central, shared courtyard. Ground floors are a mix of residential and commercial uses.

Side streets are about three to four storeys wide (depending on whether they are one-way streets and how generous the sidewalk and parking space is). Traffic arteries are about twice that wide, with a few very wide exceptions. Plazas and parks are scattered fairly liberally throughout the city, with the old fortifications being the most notable ones (with the exception of Tivoli, the citadel (which remains in military use, although it is open to the public during the daytime) and the main station, the old fortifications are reserved as parks.

I find that this general design has a number of things to recommend it:

  1. The streets are wide enough (between as wide and half as wide as the nearby buildings are tall) to let some light down into the streets.

  2. Shared courtyards provide most of the comforts that private gardens provide in the suburbs (a reasonably secluded space, a safe area to let kids play, etc.), but provide them for more people per square meter than private gardens do.

  3. Three floors is about the minimum you need to have a population density that supports a half-way useful public transit system., while six flights of stairs is about as far up as you can persuade people to walk without using an elevator. I have a friend who claims that the public health effect of this is actually measurable. Even if he is wrong about that, not having to drag your groceries up to tenth floor when the elevator is being maintained or repaired is nice.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 13th, 2010 at 11:41:12 PM EST


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