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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 3:59 PM
mhays mhays is online now
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"All those people" need to park? Far more people will live in town, with better transit access due to planning and higher density. The exurban sprawl commuters will be small numbers in comparison. My option encourages transit use, walking to work, etc.

As for making it easier to drive, I'd rather put our billions of dollars toward more efficient modes.

I can get to the countryside of my city on a bike or with transit. Why? Because of growth management and some smart public investments.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
"All those people" need to park? Far more people will live in town, with better transit access due to planning and higher density. The exurban sprawl commuters will be small numbers in comparison. My option encourages transit use, walking to work, etc.

As for making it easier to drive, I'd rather put our billions of dollars toward more efficient modes.

I can get to the countryside of my city on a bike or with transit. Why? Because of growth management and some smart public investments.
Whats the median home price in Seattle?
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:20 PM
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The reality is that people want choice. You cannot impose dense living on everybody. Yes, you can zone and limit growth all you want (which in itself will increase land costs), but some people do not want to live in row housing (I watched a brand new stacked town house burn near me, which had to be demolished and rebuilt and left at least a dozen families homeless for over a year) so they can have a bit more privacy or if they want to have a garden or whatever else.

So impose all the limits you want and force density, but the outcome inevitably will be the sudden growth of exurb communities that lie outside the controlled area. I see that in my own city that has increasingly restricted urban growth, while outside communities are booming. These booming areas have little or no transit, which puts pressure on the road network.
maybe exurbs should start offering tax credits to lure business. the central CBD is an outdated model. fairly soon, stand alone offices might be too. my girlfriend works for a hospital and telecommutes 3 days a week. she talks with drug sponsors across the country in her pajamas. I think suburban nodes of density surrounding the central city make the most sense. its just TOD design on a more macro scale. on a side note, Oregon doesn't have a fire sprinkler code requirement for multifamily housing. isn't that stupid? and everything is made of.......wood!
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:40 PM
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Whats the median home price in Seattle?
As an example of a city that doesn't have enough zoned capacity which makes development sites expensive, doesn't allow most accessory units, piles millions in fees on every sizeable project, and has an onerous public process? It's a lot, and it's our fault.

Are you arguing against yourself again?
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:42 PM
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We have pretty good transit here but transit rarely reaches the countryside and the best natural locations near the city have no transit service.

Also, there are few, if any bike routes going out into the country that haven't become traffic sewers. Bike there at your own risk.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:45 PM
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As an example of a city that doesn't have enough zoned capacity which makes development sites expensive, doesn't allow most accessory units, piles millions in fees on every sizeable project, and has an onerous public process? It's a lot, and it's our fault.

Are you arguing against yourself again?
So you want those living in the suburbs to pay for infrastructure for intensification projects in urban areas. In other words, someone else should subsidize your urban lifestyle. You know those urban rail projects are obscenely expensive to build.
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:48 PM
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maybe exurbs should start offering tax credits to lure business. the central CBD is an outdated model. fairly soon, stand alone offices might be too. my girlfriend works for a hospital and telecommutes 3 days a week. she talks with drug sponsors across the country in her pajamas. I think suburban nodes of density surrounding the central city make the most sense. its just TOD design on a more macro scale. on a side note, Oregon doesn't have a fire sprinkler code requirement for multifamily housing. isn't that stupid? and everything is made of.......wood!
The more a city becomes decentralized, the more a city becomes car oriented. We can build trains all over the place but if offices are built in the exurbs, those trains are useless.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:55 PM
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^^^assuming the CBD remains the focus and center of employment. and that's exactly my point, we need to create new cities away from the CBD and give exurbs a more organized distinction. expand on central place theory (or revisit garden cities) and connect the outlying triangles but with less emphasis on CBD based employment. you'll still need the trains if lessening auto dependency is the goal, but the reason to ride the train is going to change.

right now they are just bedroom communities but in the meantime we need to move the jobs to the people not people to the jobs. and at some point, the location of the jobs or people wont be as relevant to one another too. you can just hop online and go to work from home. this will also stabilize the overall housing market. if everyone works in the CBD, emphasis on living close to the center is prioritized and housing prices go up. lessen that incentive and housing prices will go down or at least become more uniform across the city.

the only thing that will be relevant are the location of services or goods. low end services will be close and high end services will demand more distance to be travleed, but you wont be buying a new ikea sofa or dishwasher every week. but you will want a grocery store nearby. the model of urbanity will eventually change because working remote will replace offices for many industries. nobody thought, oh im going to do all of my shopping from a computer 20 years and look at amazon. that same thing will happen with information and some service jobs. tah dah, hello sweatpants!
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Last edited by pdxtex; Mar 31, 2017 at 7:52 PM.
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  #49  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 8:27 AM
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Portland has huge amounts of land on which to build housing and offices right in the center of town. American developers just need encouragement to build on brownfield rather than greenfield sites.
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  #50  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 8:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
maybe exurbs should start offering tax credits to lure business. the central CBD is an outdated model. fairly soon, stand alone offices might be too. my girlfriend works for a hospital and telecommutes 3 days a week. she talks with drug sponsors across the country in her pajamas. I think suburban nodes of density surrounding the central city make the most sense. its just TOD design on a more macro scale. on a side note, Oregon doesn't have a fire sprinkler code requirement for multifamily housing. isn't that stupid? and everything is made of.......wood!
The "virtual office" has been the next big thing for about 25 years now. The vast majority of people will continue to go to an office and interact with their colleagues.

Portland could develop a multi-nodal layout with the right development in Beaverton, East Portland, etc, but will need to build a lot of real heavy rail in order to not just exacerbate its already terrible traffic on 26 and Burnside Rd.

More practical will be to turn the landscape of single-story warehouses and surface lots in East Portland into multi-story apartment buildings with ground floor retail, and people can walk to work downtown.

You can have a decentralized city (London is much less centralized than, say, Chicago), but it works because of an enormous heavy rail network to connect the various nodes.
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  #51  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 7:10 PM
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More practical will be to turn the landscape of single-story warehouses and surface lots in East Portland into multi-story apartment buildings with ground floor retail, and people can walk to work downtown.
That is exactly what is happening. The densification of inner Portland is happening rapidly and shows no signs of abating. I return to Portland every summer and even though I try to follow on the in-fill threads on the Portland board here, I am shocked by the amount of building going on in the inner city. Much of this is without parking but easy biking distance to most points of interest. The city of Portland is already very decentralized, no one goes downtown. The neighborhoods is where one eats, drinks and plays. Mass transit isn't that great but for a lot of people their other options to mass transit or car ownership. The suburbs are also fairly self contained. The main issue is that jobs are in Washington County and cheap housing is in Clark County, Washington or Clackamas County.
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  #52  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 7:23 PM
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^^^suburbs self contained, yes. lots of jobs on the west side, yes. no one goes downtown? no. lots of people do. its still a major shopping draw and job center. 40k live in the greater downtown area on the west side too. but yeah, the east side is changing soooo fast. you need to see the east side of the burnside bridge. its got at least 4 or 5 new apartment towers going up. two really big ones and two little ones. have been thru the Lloyd district recently too?
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  #53  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 9:25 PM
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So you want those living in the suburbs to pay for infrastructure for intensification projects in urban areas. In other words, someone else should subsidize your urban lifestyle. You know those urban rail projects are obscenely expensive to build.
I have no idea why you're quoting me.

But sure, yes, rail benefits the whole metro and we should all pay for it. Even if you're a driver who only benefits by competing with fewer cars.
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  #54  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 9:26 PM
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Portland has huge amounts of land on which to build housing and offices right in the center of town. American developers just need encouragement to build on brownfield rather than greenfield sites.
I tend to agree with ChargerCarl on the latest discussion.

Portland can definitely build upon it's developed lands, but whether that's even possible is debatable, due to regulations and NIMBYs.

This is the problem all along the West Coast including, San Diego, plenty of opportunities to rapidly increase density levels, yet major hurdles from the CA Coastal Commission and other local regulations. In the mean time, residential valuations continue to skyrocket, which is a great policy for current homeowners (voters) but detrimental to everybody else.
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  #55  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
No, one major outcome is that people live on smaller lots or in multifamily.
Except that outside of the very center (downtown, old town, the pearl, etc), there's not much multi-family housing. Cox mentioned that in the column. Really, if Portland is going to have an UGB, they also need to stand up to NIMBYs and allow market-driven density.
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  #56  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2017, 4:41 AM
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... I am saying that this farmland is of sufficient quality and sufficient rarity that I really don't care if its GDP value AS FARMLAND is lower than it would be as housing, because there are concerns beyond that.

Central Park would be more valuable as skyscrapers than a park, at least to a point - should Central Park be built up?

Most people would violently reject that idea. Because the economic value of the land is only part of its overall value, part (perhaps most) of which is not monetarily-denominated.
Good points. As a lifelong resident of the Portland area, there's no way I'd support dissolving the urban growth boundary. Looking 50, 100 years ahead, I know this region has been doing the right thing by drawing a line in the sand
(well, mud), and protecting its valuable farmland and natural beauty. Yes, there are always ways to better increase affordability and manage congestion. But just gobbling up more land on the periphery with a suburban housing style that caters to some and does nothing to relieve traffic is not the answer.
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  #57  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2017, 5:04 AM
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Except that outside of the very center (downtown, old town, the pearl, etc), there's not much multi-family housing. Cox mentioned that in the column. Really, if Portland is going to have an UGB, they also need to stand up to NIMBYs and allow market-driven density.
Just go for the low hanging fruit first and try to follow Vancouver's lead (Canada, not WA). We haven't been able to pull off fully redeveloping the SFH neighbourhoods that cover much of the city's land area and have had NIMBY push back on plenty of things which is part of why prices got so out of control here. That said, densifying with mixed-use midrises along commercial corridors of stripmalls and lowrise commercial could work in Portland as well as here, as could sending your LRT out to suburban commercial centres and letting those areas densify. Our Metrotown area in Burnaby started out as just a mall, then a mall with a skytrain stop, then a mall with a skytrain stop and some apartment highrises nearby, and now it's evolved into a legitimate transit oriented urban neighbourhood. I'm sure you can find similar strategies that could get something built while you push for the harder victories (and you'll need to to avoid our fate).
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  #58  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2017, 7:38 PM
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Then people will either drive till they can afford it or move out of the region all together.

It's STILL a zero sum game.

So by your view...San Francisco is collapsing? Portland needs to fix its affordability issue. Don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water.
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  #59  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2017, 7:40 PM
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So by your view...San Francisco is collapsing? Portland needs to fix its affordability issue. Don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Huh?
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  #60  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 3:46 PM
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Just go for the low hanging fruit first and try to follow Vancouver's lead (Canada, not WA). We haven't been able to pull off fully redeveloping the SFH neighbourhoods that cover much of the city's land area and have had NIMBY push back on plenty of things which is part of why prices got so out of control here. That said, densifying with mixed-use midrises along commercial corridors of stripmalls and lowrise commercial could work in Portland as well as here, as could sending your LRT out to suburban commercial centres and letting those areas densify. Our Metrotown area in Burnaby started out as just a mall, then a mall with a skytrain stop, then a mall with a skytrain stop and some apartment highrises nearby, and now it's evolved into a legitimate transit oriented urban neighbourhood. I'm sure you can find similar strategies that could get something built while you push for the harder victories (and you'll need to to avoid our fate).
I would be very interested in the background of the residents of all of these suburban towers that have sprouted up in suburban Vancouver the past 25 years. My impression is that ethnic Chinese immigrants are a very large proportion of these residents. Personally I don't see a big market for high rise housing in Portland yet. I think the 3-5 story buildings sprouting up all over Portland are more in tune with what people want to live in. Also Portland simply doesn't have a condo market yet. Pretty much all of the newly built density in the city is rentals.
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