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Old 10-22-2009, 08:49 AM   #21
ablarc
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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Paris is in a higher category than [insert any city here] --and probably always will be.
^ LOL; that's about it !
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:14 AM   #22
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

When I am in Boston I long to be in Paris; when I am in Paris I long to be in NYC. When I am in NYC, I am exactly where I want to be.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:22 AM   #23
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

When I'm in NYC I'm exactly where I want to be. For about a week or so.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:50 AM   #24
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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Are you talking about traveling in flyover country? Because traveling to New York, SF or abroad tends to not make me so psyched about living in Boston.
Really? When I went to Europe I was pleasantly surprised by how much things Boston does well compared to them. NYC and Asian cities are a completely different style, you can't really compare them to Boston that much. SF has some things better than Boston but its NIMBYs and associated far-left "activists" defending the homeless' right to shit on the street, among other things, make Boston's development process look like paradise.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:13 PM   #25
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

What did you like about Boston v. Europe?
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:11 PM   #26
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

I don't see any evidence that SF of today has worse NIMBYs than Boston.

Over the past few years the skyline has changed dramatically, and it's safe say that SF has finally embraced height. The current construction boom, in spite of the economy, is motoring along in comparison to Boston.

And as if we all needed to feel any worse about the Greenway, compare SF's strategy for replacing a torn down freeway (not the Embarcadero). Yes, I see the part about the dazzling projects being put on hold. The point is that conceptually, this is the anti-greenway. SF isn't afraid to be urban.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:19 PM   #27
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

One big difference is that SF didn't replace their earthquake-damaged freeways, they just removed them. Boston could have saved a ton of money if we'd done the same thing, but nobody seriously proposed this despite its apparent success in SF.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:29 PM   #28
BarbaricManchurian
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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What did you like about Boston v. Europe?
Mostly the fact that Europe isn’t a paradise compared to Boston, as you all say. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but I will admittedly generalize and say that Europe’s drawbacks are a little worse. Urban renewal in Europe created huge commieblock neighborhoods which make Charles River Park look tiny by comparison, and many cities’ street life have deader pedestrian activity than Boston’s, despite what looks to be good urban planning. So just be happy with what you have, of course NY will make us look bad by comparison, but always using some far-away European urban example to bash Boston is not always true in real life, especially when most of us can’t physically fact-check it. For example, stores being forced to close on Sunday trashes street life, but we all talk about how good European street life is just because its far away and we think it’s good because of this stereotype of “Europe” we have in our heads. There is no doubt that on the whole, Europe has better urban planning than North America, but comparing individual cities with Boston, only a few in Europe end up on top.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:53 PM   #29
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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One big difference is that SF didn't replace their earthquake-damaged freeways, they just removed them. Boston could have saved a ton of money if we'd done the same thing, but nobody seriously proposed this despite its apparent success in SF.
The two freeways in SF that were torn down - the Embarcadero and Central - were short stub-end feeder freeways only. The main freeway through town, the US 101/I-80 north-south freeway that connects the Bay Bridge to points south, was left intact. The Central Artery serves a similar primary trunk-line function.
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #30
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

It really shouldn't have to. Other than length, is there a reason through traffic can't use 128?
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:04 PM   #31
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Why do I have to go around Route 128? Do you want to issue internal passports and traffic control permits for something that I paid for? Why do I have to go through Dedham if I am going from Marshfield to Danvers. I like going through the city. It's my gas taxes that paid for the Big Dig, which by the way for someone who has been driving in Boston for well over 20 years, is a tremendous improvement for the city. All I hear is wah wah wah. Get your wayback machine and go to 1988 then try to go from Logan to Dorchester on a Sunday afternoon. It was hell. The depressing of the artery has been fantastic. You can actually go from A to B in reasonable time. You can go from Newton to East Boston without having to go through the North End. The only thing I miss about the Artery is the drive through the center of the city and being close to the third floor of the Grain Exchange Building.


About SF and their torn down freeways. Frisco is a geographic freak. I see a city wide South End /Downtown combination. Many residential areas look exactly alike with all the industrial areas shoved into the East Bay. SF is like Boston 30 years from now. All the working people removed with only upper middle spread throughout the city and working poor left is subsidiized pockets. SF can get away without expressways because the population is shoved on the East Side of the Bay and less need to get from Marin to San Jose. You only moved the problem to the east and gussied up the center. The other parts of a vital urban area are there, they just are shoved to the side so it looks pretty in all the pictures.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:10 PM   #32
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

I think the point is, you can do and travel however you wish but the mere fact that you choose to travel by car shouldn't guarantee that it is easy for you. When cities stop focusing on how best to accommodate automobiles, they start building for the people that live in it and visit. So sure, drive through the city if you want to get from point A to point B--it may take longer, as it should, especially when there is a suitable alternative to get around Boston in the suburbs.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #33
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

I sound like a broken record, but I think you're all wrong. We should design cities for cars. Hidden, tucked away, as unobtrusive as possible... but we should design for them. Make cities accessible, easy to navigate, with large parking depots tucked away, wrapped around or under buildings...

For the past month I have been without a car. Instead of a 20 minute drive to work at a cost of under a dollar in gas, I now have a 45 minute ordeal, complete with pushing, shoving, switching trains, shuttle buses, and 15 minutes of walking. It costs me $4/day instead of $0.70 in gas. I work only 3 miles from where I live.

We should all be working to make cars more affordable, more efficient, and to make gas cheaper. Driving should not be treated as some privilege of the rich, when it is a harsh daily reality for so many blue collar workers.

Urban planners should come down from their ivory towers and talk to the four Mexicans that show up at my office every day at 6pm to clean, they drive down in their 1990s Toyota Corollas from Saugus. There is no affordable public transit option for them. Why make their life miserable? They are here til after midnight - what T will take them home? Why impede the economy and the free flow of people in and out of the city?

Cars are not the enemy, the failure to plan and build appropriately for cars is the enemy.

Why aren't architects and planners using their tremendous creative talents to address this issue? Why do they continue to push a grand car-less vision that is incongruous with reality?
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #34
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Speaking of broken records...

I recent moved offices from Post Office Sq to Bowdoin Sq.

Back at P.O. Square I could walk a twelve block radius in any direction with my eyes practically closed.

Here in Bowdoin Sq I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands every time I leave the building.

Both areas accommodate cars quite well.

The difference is that P.O. Square (essentially the business district) accommodates pedestrians as well. Unfortunately, we are still building areas more like the West End and less like Downtown.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:06 AM   #35
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Statler, we are in agreement. The problem as I see it is not the cars/traffic, it's the way the urban environment handles (or fails to handle) the cars/traffic.

The solution, as I see it, is not to simply impede cars/traffic but to create solutions that facilitate them in the most unobtrusive manner possible.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #36
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

The trick (I'm not a traffic engineer by any means) seems to be, narrow streets & short blocks. Each street holds fewer cars, but there are more routes for the traffic to flow through.

This however will still 'impede' traffic' as the narrow streets slows traffic and numerous cross streets would require multiple starts/stops (also slowing traffic further).

I'm OK with this. It still allows cars for people who need to drive in/through the city, while leveling the playing field for people can/want to take the T/walk.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:23 AM   #37
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Take the central artery part of the Big Dig for example.

Would you be offended if one day all vehicular traffic in both directions is permanently diverted into what's currently just the southbound 93 tunnel, with the northbound 93 tunnel given over to transit - the N-S rail link, and a subway line that extends out to the Seaport through the Silver Line tunnel...?

Sure we'd be restricting vehicle capacity, but would it really make entry to the city all that more difficult when so many of the unnecessary trips just aren't taken? And when ease-of-transit access is so markedly enhanced?
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:33 AM   #38
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

^ That's the kind of thinking, Shepard, we should get from our politicians.

(Fat chance.)
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:36 AM   #39
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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with the northbound 93 tunnel given over to transit - the N-S rail link
I never quite understood the logistics of the N-S rail link.Would it be a 1 seat trip? If so, how do the trains get through the SS head house? Under it? Around it?
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:40 AM   #40
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Under it (and similarly at North Station)
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