rt 
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RegionName: Out-of-Town
OtherArea: DC

Recent Comments

Re: “A plan to downsize roads in the Old North End leads to a lawsuit

"The picture of the town as a haven for bicyclists and the boomer population doing all its daily business on the two-wheelers as it get older boggles the mind. "

Quickly types into Google: Old People Netherlands Bike
Weird...

"These students should look both ways before crossing and allow cars to go before them. Its much easier for a human to stop or start walking rather than a car to stop or start moving. "

Vroom vroom....GET OUT OF MY WAY CAN'T YOU SEE I'M MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU!!! I BOUGHT AN AUTOMOBILE! Seriously mate. Those car companies sold you a lie of an uninterrupted, traffic free commute. Chill. You bought a car, not the road.

"Ride your bike down Wood Ave sometime..."

OK, but I'm not sure why. This isn't one of the roads being narrowed to automobile traffic, and it's already a fairly low-traffic, low-stress route. I'd love to be able to safely ride to all the places I need to go on my slow heavy dutch bike though, but all the main streets are openly hostile to anyone not driving an automobile, something this plan seeks to address, albeit in a small way. Perhaps we could work on a protected, network of bike lanes...you know...like we did over 80 years for automobiles? Bike infrastructure is pennies on the dollar compared to auto infrastructure, and it saves on the back end too with a healthier population, less pollution, and far less maintenance costs.

"Don't pretend this is anything but a class and entitlement issue; your lousy attempts at virtue signaling can't change that."

You're right. We should 100% roll out bike lanes and narrow roads in poorer parts of town. It's especially burdensome for poorer folks to have to own a car or spent multiple hours a day on transit for their daily needs.
This right-sizing of streets is a recognition that the past 80 years of city design placed drivers and their automobiles at the top of the pyramid, and a recognition that, when everyone drives, no one is happy, including drivers, and the costs fall heaviest on the least fortunate among our fellow citizens.
I'm not signalling anything btw. Climate change really is an existential threat to humanity. Doing nothing about it is why we're already probably screwed anyway (well, not us...but our kids and grandkids. We'll be dead.) People really do switch travel modes when they have a choice and they often, like my family, choose to go car free or "car lite."
So again, if you don't want to use the bike lanes. If you don't want to walk. If you don't want to replace some car trips (or those rich, greedy developers on Wood don't,) fine. This isn't for you. But AARP says that many of it's members can't or don't want to drive anymore (oh, and older Americans have much higher crash rates than any other group) and their moving to areas where they have the ability to get around without one. Young folks are doing the same. It's why places that have quality transit and bike lanes are in incredibly high demand. We spent two + generations literally building our environment around the automobile, and now it seems unthinkable to many that there are other ways. The tiniest change back towards a more balanced use of 1/3 of our public land area (roads) and all the chicken littles scream that the sky is falling. The predicted traffic-pocalypse never happens. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail I guess.

I get it. Change is hard. The status quo is easy.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by rt on 05/09/2018 at 1:12 PM

Re: “A plan to downsize roads in the Old North End leads to a lawsuit

"You don't get rid of traffic by reducing lanes."

Actually, that's exactly what happens. It's been proven over and over and over again, in case after case after case. The inverse is true as well. If you build more lanes, those lanes fill up. It's called "induced demand." Say it after me: Traffic is NOT A CONSTANT.

Comments in the article are the same old BS that everyone who opposes safer streets fall back on. Yadda yadda "historic nature," yadda yadda "more traffic" yadda yadda "I'm a cyclist myself." It's tired nonsense and it's just not what happens. Ever. Everyone's a progressive until they're asked to give up "their" parking spot, or sit in traffic for an extra minute so that people who can't or don't drive are a little bit safer.

You know what though. They're partially right. These types of projects aren't for them. They're for the people who would like to ride their bikes, but don't feel safe. For the kid that wants to ride or walk to school with their friends, but whose parents are worried about them being hit by a careless driver. These types of projects are for the young family overburdened by the cost of owning two cars who realize that they could make a bunch of trips on foot or bike if only there was a safe place for them to do so. They are for those that realize climate change is an existential threat to human existence and that we need to do something about it now. These projects are for the fiscally conservative that understand overbuilt infrastructure doesn't pay for itself.

The city should do this project. It should do it immediately. In the future, it should do quick, tactical changes and tweek the designs as needed. It's long past time we corrected the mistakes of 80 years of roads designed for speeding automobile traffic through our cities and neighborhoods.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by rt on 05/08/2018 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Banning Lewis Ranch amended annexation agreement released

30 years is roughly 1 life-cycle for lots of infrastructure. What happens after the first 30 years?
10 years ago, the projected costs of infrastructure here was 1 billion.
Do you think 49 million in revenue will be enough to cover the maintenance, let alone the replacement infrastructure needed for 18,500 acres in 30 years time?
If you don't think 49 million will be enough (it won't be close,) why would you approve it?
Can anyone in the city point to this type of development pattern (horizontal "sprawl) whether in CS or anywhere in the US that has returned a positive ROI over multiple life-cycles?

We've seen this again and again post WWII. We spend lots of money upfront to build way out on the edge on cheap land. Cities get a brief cash infusion that makes the books look good. Money gets tight and the city either raises taxes or takes on debt to meet maintenance obligations.
It's a losing proposition. It doesn't make financial sense. It never has.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2016/6…

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by rt on 01/05/2018 at 8:56 PM

Re: “CDOT accelerates I-25 project north of Monument

Induced Demand. Look it up.
Adding lanes doesn't solve congestion. Never has, never will. This will, like all other road building projects of the last 50 years, be an expensive, short-term solution that, in the end, exacerbates congestion, eats land that could be used more effectively, and saddles taxpayers with expensive maintenance bills for the next 25-50 years. It will do little to solve the mobility problem of COS-DEN.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by rt on 01/08/2017 at 9:29 AM

Re: “City studies financial impacts of developing the Banning Lewis Ranch

I'll cut to the chase. No, this development will not bring prosperity. Horizontal development never does b/c the math doesn't work. It relies on subsidies to survive over multiple life-cycles.
Here's what will happen:
Developers will pay to install all the first generation infrastructure.
The city will collect taxes for 25 years.
Those taxes won't come close to paying for the maintenance and replacement of all the infrastructure that was built in the first generation.
The city will borrow or (gasp) raise taxes to pay for the ongoing maintenance and/or replacement of all that infrastructure.

Colorado Springs already has a model of what works. It's downtown/the Westside/Manitou. It's dense, walkable, based around a grid, and is mixed use. It's adaptable and resilient. It's that way b/c it's based on the way we built places for thousands of years. Incrementally up and incrementally out. It builds individual and community wealth b/c it costs less to build initially and less to maintain over multiple life-cycles.

http://www.strongtowns.org/newcomers#welco…

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by rt on 10/28/2016 at 9:36 AM

Re: “Grand Canyon Prep Part III; new trails in Staunton State Park

Enjoy the Grand Canyon Bob! I lived there for a year before moving to Colorado Springs, and that route was my preferred as well. There's going to be a point on the S. Kaibab where you finally see the Colorado River. I highly recommend taking a break there and just listening to the roar. Also, if they still serve it (I left in '03,) the cornbread at Bright Angel is incredible! Perfect after a hike down.
The hike up always felt like an uneven stair-master to me. Take a step, stair. Take 3 steps, stair. Take two steps, stair. It's tough to find a rhythm, so take your time and just enjoy it. The El Tovar porch is a great place to enjoy an adult beverage after you're done.
Lastly, if you're spending some time up on the rim, Shoshone Point is a good place for a sunrise or sunset. It's off the beaten path a bit so you may have it all to yourself and it's only a short hike from the parking area on fairly flat terrain.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by rt on 10/15/2016 at 3:47 PM

Re: “The battle for Nevada Ave., animal abuse, Clinton and Trump, and more

Disclaimer:
I no longer live in Colorado Springs, but used to live on N. Nevada and I still care about the city deeply.

If I'm reading the LTTE from Mr. McKeown correctly, the city is considering ripping out the median and installing 2 more lanes for traffic, one of which might at some point be for light rail?
Speaking as someone who works in the urbanism field, this is a CRAZY idea. Bonkers. I'm not talking about adding light rail, I think that would provide a high ROI if it connected UCCS to downtown. If done right, it would significantly increase property values along the route and be more attractive to those who don't want to own an automobile or use it for every trip. Provided land use intensified around the rail, especially on the far north end of Nevada, the city would see a solid bump in tax revenue. I differ w/ Mr. McKeown on turing lower floors into offices, or adding apartments or "granny flats" in the rear of now single family homes. Apartments, businesses to serve new people, and more density are not bad things. Done the right way, this is the traditional, organic way a city grows. Land around big community investments should be able to support those investments in the form of higher tax receipts. It's a win-win for property owners and the community alike.
A much better solution to adding rail along Nevada would be repurposing one lane on each side for the rail. N. Nevada has 4 lanes of auto only traffic. It does not need 4. There's no way traffic volume is high enough for that (perhaps there are some delays at "rush hours" but does it make sense to design an entire system around a few peak hours?) Even if it was, traffic is not a zero-sum game. It expands or contracts more like a gas than a liquid or solid (see: Induced Demand.) If you build more lanes for automobiles, you get more automobiles. If you repurpose lanes, the traffic disperses into the grid or goes away, or people choose times other than the peak to travel. Demolishing that median for rail would be providing the "carrot" of quality mass transit w/o the "stick" of discouraging car use. Keeping Nevada in it's current configuration & repurposing a lane for rail would also be substantially cheaper than demolishing the median and adding rail b/c the city would have one less lane for automobiles to maintain. Asphalt IS EXPENSIVE!
That median is a HUGE amenity to the surrounding neighborhoods. It softens the streetscape. slows automobiles (and quiets traffic noise), takes in pollution, provides shade for people and habitat for animals, and is visually pleasant.
Ripping out that median is anti-city. It's prioritizing the swift movement of automobiles over everything else. One lane of auto traffic each way is plenty. Taking the median out will have cascading effects. The city will not see a return on the investment of rail. It will devalue surrounding land values leading to lower tax receipts. It will lose valuable green space. It'll be on the hook for not only the maintenance costs of 4 lanes of auto traffic, but also the costs to run a now less valuable rail line. It will make Nevada a louder, less pleasant, uglier place to be.
Cities around the world are at a crossroad. They can continue on an auto-centric approach to planning (a world-wide EXPERIMENT of unprecedented scale), one that goes against millennia of accumulated knowledge on how to build cities, one that devalues the land around it at the same time is costs us dearly to build and maintain, or we can return to the values that make cities work for people first, using infrastructure that's already in place instead of building more that we can afford to maintain.
The cities that return to a people first approach will win the 21st century. The core of Colorado Springs is well-positioned to do so, with it's connected grid, walkable/bikeable streets, pleasant architecture, and parks/amenities. Ripping out the median on Nevada would be moving in the wrong direction and would lead to stagnation or worse for the surrounding neighborhoods.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by rt on 09/28/2016 at 4:02 PM

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