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DocWatts

The Ugly, Dangerous, and Inefficient Roads that are everywhere in the US and Canada

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Part of a great urban planning series that compares and contrasts US transportation infrastructure with that of the Netherlands.

 


"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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American car dependency culture is catastrophic. Jordon Peterson has once said that the mark of a totalitarian is a disdain of cars, as nothing is more symbolic of freedom than personal car ownership. This got many funny responses, as nothing is more symbolic of freedom than having a gigantic expensive box that you have to; take a loan to get, pay to insure, feed gas, just to get to work. There is inevitably going to be traffic, and there is a good chance of it killing you.

American urban design makes cars a necessity, other countries have public transportation and walkable streets. They have much less auto deaths than we do, and are healthier as a result as they spend less time sitting. 


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3 minutes ago, Husseinisdoingfine said:

American urban design makes cars a necessity, other countries have public transportation and walkable streets. 

Hell, some neighborhoods don't even have sidewalks. In America, you need a car just to leave your neighborhood! 

Personally for me, walking or taking a bike for anything at all, even just to go to the mall, grocery store, or school, is an inevitable death sentence as the way the layout of my town is if I go on foot I'll in inevitably get hit by a car. I'm hesitant to do something as simple as go to the gym as I don't like the car hassle. I wish I could just walk to the gym, even if it were longer, but there are no sidewalks. 

American public transpiration is lousy as well and is always breaking. When I visited Japan in 2019, I was so shocked at the efficiency and how vast their public transportation was. It was like, for the small tiny price of a metro ticket, you can travel thousands of miles. This is as well true of Russia when I visited. Third world Russia has infinitely superior public transpiration, for which I have indeed traveled on. I was also astounded at how vast it was, though not as vast as in Japan.

 

train-packages-comp.jpg?quality=75&strip

 


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@DocWatts

Good share, Strong Towns is one of those books that has been on my to-read list for a while. This felt like a nice introduction.

So much of how we organize cities / towns is going to need to change in the coming decades. "Strodes" seem like an accessible place to start, but it will have to go deeper than that eventually. I will be checking out the rest of the series as well.


Offerings: akourakin.com

 

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6 hours ago, Husseinisdoingfine said:

Jordon Peterson has once said that the mark of a totalitarian is a disdain of cars, as nothing is more symbolic of freedom than personal car ownership.

JP is living in 1980.

He's still fighting the Cold War, Lol.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Idk man, I went to a country outside of the 1st world and I’m never taking these relatively smooth roads and quicker cars for granted.

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, hoodrow trillson said:

Idk man, I went to a country outside of the 1st world and I’m never taking these relatively smooth roads and quicker cars for granted.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the infrastructure in parts of America are that of a developing country.

I live around Detroit and roads in the below condition aren't that uncommon around here.

poor-road-conditions-holes-asphalt-risk-driving-car-poor-asphalt-dangerous-road-potholes-asphalt-poor-169200750.jpg

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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11 minutes ago, DocWatts said:

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the infrastructure in parts of America are that of a developing country.

I live around Detroit and roads in the below condition aren't that uncommon around here.

That looks rough.

If i were a local car mechanic i would pay for the road builders not to repair any road, because more cars will be fucked up as time goes on and they will come to me and i could earn more money.

But jokes aside, why those roads are not being repaired at all? (is it because those roads are not that freqently used, or for other reasons)?

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20 minutes ago, zurew said:

That looks rough.

If i were a local car mechanic i would pay for the road builders not to repair any road, because more cars will be fucked up as time goes on and they will come to me and i could earn more money.

But jokes aside, why those roads are not being repaired at all? (is it because those roads are not that freqently used, or for other reasons)?

Because the cities are poor. Never-ending suburban sprawl, single family housing, large parking requirements that take up a lot of space make it so cities have a ridiculous amount of road to build and maintain, and incredibly low tax revenue compared to mixed-use walkable neighborhoods.

This other video from the same channel breaks it down:

 

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46 minutes ago, Emrie said:

Because the cities are poor. Never-ending suburban sprawl, single family housing, large parking requirements that take up a lot of space make it so cities have a ridiculous amount of road to build and maintain, and incredibly low tax revenue compared to mixed-use walkable neighborhoods.

This other video from the same channel breaks it down:

 

I see, thanks. That was an informative video.

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4 hours ago, Emrie said:

Because the cities are poor. Never-ending suburban sprawl, single family housing, large parking requirements that take up a lot of space make it so cities have a ridiculous amount of road to build and maintain, and incredibly low tax revenue compared to mixed-use walkable neighborhoods.

This other video from the same channel breaks it down:

 

Indeed.

I feel it’s important to note here as well that this “addiction to growth” is NOT limited to suburban developments. Countries as a whole face a similar, larger scale problem.

I went to graduate school for economics. And we were taught that one of the main functions of an macroeconomist is to maximize GDP growth. The reason for this is obvious: GDP increasing is usually correlated with lower unemployment, lower wealth inequality, higher federal tax revenue, etc.

This issues becomes for 1st developing nations when the low hanging fruit of increasing GDP begins to dry up. Suddenly it becomes much harder to sustain perpetual GDP growth, and with that, things begin to get shakey.

Luckily, just like cities have debt to bail them out, so do federal governments. Which is more or less what we’ve been doing as first world countries for quite some time.

At some point, we will have to create an economy that can function sustainably without perpetual growth. But this requires a lot of change, and it’s hard to say how soon this could be accomplished.


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It is sad that the US has so many roads that absolutely need to fixed and improved. Hopefully, the new BIF law that just got passed will be able to help solve much of this issue.

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