Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thirsty Thursday Links O' the Day


Before I go get my Southern Fried everything buffet on...even the buffet counter...fry it up! Drop that bad boy into sweet, scalding lard. What fair witches, dosth say you be on thine menu this day:
Fillet of a fenny snake,
Never had that before.
In the caldron boil and bake;
Is that the Soup du jour?
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Hmmm, think I'll pass on that.
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Best not be my dog.
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Is that this year's fair winner?
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing
Maybe deep-fried butter doesn't sound so bad after all.

Onto the links...woo boy! Interesting stuff today. For me, anyway:

Banks, once everybody's favorite dinner guest, no longer wipes his feet, belches loudly, and asks for ketchup for his Sweet Potato Gratin. Oh, and they're a barrier to walkable development, so says the Salt Lake Tribune. One reason I'll never go to Salt Lake City. The other? 3% beer. Fo' Sho:
The reason: Lenders operate from a tried-and-true principle that maintains more parking means less risk and a higher return on their investment. But ditching cars is the whole point of urban developers looking to create 24-hour live, work and play environments that hug light-rail hubs.
Lenders preventing better returns and economic development. Oh, institutions. Try to change them and face the angry smiting by heavenly lightning bolt. Remember, it's not the people inside, it is the machinary itself.

NRDC on how to keep/make Smart Growth affordable:
Smart growth is currently constrained not so much by the market as by policy distortions and conservative lending and building practices.
Benfield quoting Tod Litman here, but nonetheless a pimp slap at the banks mentioned above:
older urban neighborhoods and new transit-oriented communities, are often unaffordable. Inadequate supply drives up prices. The rational response is to significantly increase the supply of smart growth housing to bring smart growth benefits within the budget of more consumers, particularly economically and physically disadvantaged households."

both the housing industry and municipal planners created a self-perpetuating cycle of automobile dependence that has yet to be broken, even though conditions and
perceptions have changed.
Lastly, Don Shoup has successfully convinced the City of Santa Monica to give Supply and Demand a try w/ regards to parking:
Ideally, Shoup contends, a city would charge enough so that 85% of all parking spaces were occupied at any one time. If too many spaces are vacant, the price is too high. If no spaces are available, the price is too low.
Of course, a City has to have on-street parking in the first place. Ahem, rather than say... valet stands. For those suggesting we need parking (whether convenient, cheap, ubiquitous or anything of the sort that downtown already has), see this post on the vicious cycle that is parking:
A 2003 study... [showed] ...the smaller parking supply is a key element, as it allows for the existence of a much more coherent urban place than would have otherwise been possible.
And lastly, author David Owen of Green Metropolis writes in the WSJ, that traffic is a good thing. I couldn't have said it any better. But, I did say it: here and here.

**Side note: I'm using IE right now. So please accept my humblest apologies for the poor formatting. I'm hopelessly battling inferiority.