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Eric Johansson

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
— Abraham Lincoln

I am good at giving a damn.

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  • Eric Johansson replied to a comment by Jackie Ramirez

    Why We Need to Design Streets for Pedestrians, Not Cars via magazine.good.is

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    Jackie Ramirez5 months ago

    Thanks for raising this issue Eric, this is what we call Active Transportation, the combination of walking/biking with the use of public transit. While we work towards bringing rudimentary services/needs to the reach of underserved neighborhoods, community members need to travel to places where walking or biking is not an option therefore there must be accessibility to public transit.

    These are all components that need to be addressed and talked about when redesigning or building healthy communities.

    Eric Johansson5 months ago

    another factor to look at is the person/energy/time usage for transport. buses need roughly 7 riders per mile to match the energy use of a single person in a 30mpg car. if the calcs right, the bus that runs where I live runs at an energy deficit for1/2 to 3/4 of it schedule.

    it gets worse if you make transport to fit peoples needs. I live unconnected to time (i.e. always late) and if pub transit is going to be useful, it needs to be on demand 24x7 but the energy cost of that kind of service is unsupportable.

    I mentions my local bus before. I do not take it most of the time because it is too infrequent (every 30-60 min), too slow (1 hr vrs 30 min driving) and stops running when I'm working late at work (7pm)

    at a later time, we should collaborate on $$/distance tradeoffs like at $0.70 per mile, 100$ rent difference pays for 143 miles per month travel or 3.6 miles further from work. makes for some interesting tradeoffs. I work 8 miles from home. 1br apts run from 1500 on up. near work 1br apts run $2500 in up. for that 1000$ differential I can live 30 miles and break even on living costs vrs car fuel/repairs etc not to mention I am a better husband after I have left the city. this differential grows when you consider that a 1br apt (no roaches, gunshots and minimal sirens) 30 miles out of the city can be had for 1000$, a 1500$ differential.

    interesting, eh?

    if you want to pull people like me into the city, you need to have country livable apts, 1000 sg ft for 800$, not by rent control but by massive overbuilding [0], a safe place for amazon to drop my orders [1] and cheap transport so I can flee the city for a pleasant place to be[2]

    otoh, more people in cities means more quiet spaces for me :-)

    -- me

    [0] use the market against itself. drive the price down by flooding the market with apartments and always have a 20% vacancy rate so there is always a place to move to at a good rate

    [1] I avoid local merchants at almost all costs. the local hardware store always makes me feel unwelcome, home depot ignores me and give me better selection and prices which makes me feel better.

    [2] cities put me on full alert. bp is up, heart rate up, and bg are up. meeting a black bear in the woods is usually less stressful. all my joys of life are rural (hiking, astronomy) I only go into cities to make money and I spend it elsewhere.

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  • Eric Johansson commented on a link

    Why We Need to Design Streets for Pedestrians, Not Cars via magazine.good.is

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    Eric Johansson5 months ago

    interesting ideas. While we do need to reduce the availability of cars, we need to increase public transportation so that people are not locked into the monopoly of local merchants. For example, my local supermarket is a good 30 to 40% more expensive than one a 20 minute drive away.

    A second consideration is transports of goods and services into cities. look at the lessons of ancient Rome. commercial traffic was banned in daytime and used the roads at night.

    Third is range of travel. how far can you walk in 10 min if you are 40, 50, 60, or 70. that is all you have access to. the rest of the city might as well not exist. the definition of a ghetto will be defined by distance and /or from time spent on transit.

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  • Eric Johansson commented on a link

    Help Assemble the GOOD City Index via magazine.good.is

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    Eric Johansson7 months ago

    I don't believe any city can be a good city. By the design, cities are dysfunctional. They place people in an economically vulnerable position by limiting how far and how fast they can move. And by move I mean how fast they can transport himself to daily errands, docs visits etc., the ease with which they can change between suppliers of rival goods and services (i.e. different supermarkets, doctors), as well as how often people can change apartments to adapt to changing economic circumstances. Mobility is important for economically vital environment.

    Your five points for evaluating cities don't scale. In the city of hundred thousand, if you had as little as a 10th of a percent of the population descending on your hub of goodness, it would be swamped completely and totally swamped. The same goes for civic engagement. If you have more than 100 people show up in most civic meetings, you can't cope with the volume of speech.

    I've usually found at local vibes vendors etc. typically not worth the trip to the street corner. Never forget that local can also be crap which is why people tend to go to big box stores. It may be crap also but it is consistent crap. Or as I said, "never fails to disappoint". Also think about what would happen if that mythical 10th of a percent of 100,000 population patronized local merchants. The local merchants would become big-box stores and no longer be local merchants.

    Defining moments are rare and the local defining moments that a few people go all jazz hands over again aren't really worth it. Think about what would need to have 10,000 people show up for a defining moment. Many organizers can barely cope with managing the right number of porta potty's let alone crowd control, public safety, and vendors trying to separate the participants from their money.

    Local drink of choice? Dunkin' Donuts coffee. It's cheaper and not significantly worse than the specialty coffees at the local coffee shop. You can get it anywhere and it's always consistently the same. Don't ask me to think about what I'm drinking first thing the morning.

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