Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lecture Day 2

Interviews: possible people to talk to > parents of kids getting to school, End of the work day
Signs are advisory; a predictable dance and rhythm develops
Fixing congestion often ranks as number 1 as a problem to solve on community opinion surveys > so we create strips that are anywhere USA
Classic slides to communicate what we do with our space. Amsterdam was built in a different era. There are already narrow roads and a limited right of way. They have to think about how to use the space efficiently. In the US most cities have a lot of space. The motivation to use our space efficiently isn’t really there. Our cities were built around the time of the automobile. Transportation technologies allowed people to live quite a distance from where they were.  On the upside, we have a lot of space to work with. We have three approaches: 1) we can build more capacity; 2) we can start pricing access to the space differently (congestion pricing) but how are the people who are priced out going to get through; 3)
Personal rapid transit, smart highways, way to solve congestion problems is through technology, oil and car companies.
Place is starting to become important again.
Ted - Disney 1961 video of the highway of the future.
T – It’s not just Americans. There are people in every city that want to move out of the city. They’re dirty. They have the “other”.
Sophie – Then why are cities so expensive?  We have this image of wanting community and thinking it takes place in the suburbs. I think community is more likely to take place in the city.
What do people want? What are their preferences of where they want to live? How do they get met? Mismatch between what the market provides and the type of environment that some people want. The planners are the problem via zoning. Land zoned to be single-family, low-density housing requiring a certain amount of housing.
People in Marc’s neighborhood get up in arms when multi-family housing is proposed for their neighborhood. The biggest complaint is that there isn’t enough parking for this housing and the residents will be cruising around looking for parking. They think parking requirements should be raised. People potentially living in that place wouldn’t have a voice because the place hasn’t been built yet. Local regulation is actually in the way.
There is always going to be a profit to be made in transportation. Companies just have to adapt.
Most profitable use in downtown Eugene right now is surface parking.
Images from Amsterdam. People in Chattanooga’s STAND survey said they wanted more parking downtown. Use these images to show them what that choice would look like for the downtown and then ask, is this really what you want?
Proposal to retrofit a section of downtown Eugene to match the type of space to fit current desires for commercial space. Chains like Whole Foods said they would come in. Community opposition sent the proposal down in flames.
In the US transportation is thought of as the top of the pyramid. Not  - we want to get places, so how does land use and policy support the places we want to go? Different paradigms.
Road diets – street was over-engineered, and bringing streets back into balance can actually improve vehicle throughput in order to
Ted – new law in Amsterdam, you have to step into street to gain right of way; huge push back.
Does the law need to be adjusted to correspond to how people behave? Reckless activity aside.  Idaho stops.
It is hard to envision something different than the way it is. Power to generate images is really powerful.
Bri – state-owned roads seem to be the major barriers
In the US we engineer so that if everyone just follows the rules it will save us from one another. British video of trucks navigating a narrow space and finding gaps. We design roads so that cars can pass each other in residential areas, but if you actually sit and observe, it’s rare that two cars have to pass each other from opposite directions.
how much does the lack of liability affect how we approach things? Is the city on the hook for anything design wise? How do you deal with insurance? Jason – how much is the city really on the line? It seems like a good excuse to be conservative
engineers design things knowing that they’re going to fail, but hoping that it will fail the least bad
High density next to commercial, but no way to connect from the housing to the shopping. High density is a buffer between single-family and commercial. Nico asked developers, city, architects why connections weren’t build. Answer: they didn’t think about it because it was suburbia and people don’t walk in suburbia. Nico surveyed residents and found that people were finding ways to cut through fences. It is the planners job to think about the whole area.
Marc’s Essential Truths about Transportation
1)      We travel because we want something (derived demand); it is a means to an end
2)      People, not vehicles, are core (mobility vs. accessibility); transportation should be about moving people; where is it that people want to get to in their daily lives, and how can we make that happen?
3)      We can’t build our way out of congestion, well we could but no one would want to live there (triple convergence theory)

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