Thursday, September 30, 2010

All You Sucka Emcees



So last night I ran into Jason Roberts who greeted me with a "congratulations on the award!" I looked at him quizzically, perhaps suspiciously. "What award? What are you talking about crazy bald bespectacled man?" Turns out it was this award:




Since the print screen function didn't transfer in quality very well from the online PDF at the Observer, I'll post the text here:
Patrick Kennedy's cause is a daunting one: winning over truck-loving locals to the car-free lifestyle, and hoping those building this city proceed with an eye on livability. And yet, something about the 31-year old blogger and design consultant recalls a guy voted "Most Likely to Succeed" back in high school. Well-spoken, opinionated and lively, his blog posts sometimes take on the look of academic white papers. Like plenty of other successful bloggers before him, Kennedy's audience has snowballed as a series of profiles and guest-columnist invitations have put his ideas about the future of Dallas in front of more influential and less sympathetic readers. Melding urban planning theory with minutiae of Dallas history, Kennedy's ideas for promoting walkability and sustainability - at the expense of those who'd build more highways - start to make a lot of sense. Then again, he may just have us distracted with all the big words.
Followwwww the pendulum with your eyesssssss....repeat after meeeeeee...

/blushing

In all seriousness, what appears to be Wilonsky's words are probably the nicest and most flattering thing written about me since high school yearbooks where I was not named most likely to succeed, most likely because I was skipping school too often. Boring stuff that public secondary education. I think I'll go see Waiting for Superman sometime this weekend.

Frankly, I'm almost embarrassed to see my name by all of those other great, important, and talented people throughout the pages of the Observer's Best Of issue. Their words remind this East Coast native why I'm here, why I take the time out to write (and wish I could do so more - the irony of timing, that this award comes when I have the least amount of time to dedicate to it), and why I'm not leaving Texas any time soon. I came here first as a challenge and an adventure. I stay because I found a sympathetic spirit, kindred with my own leftist libertarian bent. While everyone may not share similar views, if we are focused on improving our city, I am certain we can find common ground and move in a positive direction. I care about what is just, what is right, and also what is economically beneficial without truly harming others. When directed towards the city, these principles manifest in a more livable, more enjoyable, more sustainable, and more lovable place.

Everywhere I go and every new person I meet, they all seem to want the same thing. They, and I, want Dallas to be the greatest city in the state, the country, and in the world. If we can focus the machinations of power in the right direction, we will get there. Other cities (urban economies) in the region should be worried that we might actually get our shit together someday, which we slowly but surely seem to be doing.

Coming up in the next few days: a pictorial review of my trip to Vancouver and a critique of the recently revealed Dallas Bike Plan...as soon as I get some spare time. The economy! Slowly but surely manifesting itself into projects. We iz gettin' bizzy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fort Worth's Diet Plan

Good news from Fort Worth. West 7th, the overly wide road connecting downtown Fort Worth to the Cultural District, but dividing everything along the way, will go on a diet. From FortWorthology:
Since they’re re-topping the pavement anyway, the city is going to re-stripe to narrow 7th Street from six lanes + turn to four lanes + turn, and add on-street parking and bike lanes. The intent is to slow down traffic on the over-engineered high-speed street and make it more hospitable to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as safer for all users by slowing traffic. In essence, trying to turn the street from being a “link” to being a “place,” to go hand-in-hand with the new walkable/bikeable mixed-use development that’s occurring along it.
Vindication! Two things: You may recall me writing about W. 7th and the potential in the area that was held back by the current street function and design. Find that piece here. I have it on good authority that that piece was sent all the way up to State Senator Wendy Davis by local property owners. Furthermore, around that same time, I gave a presentation in Fort Worth that used those exact words, "link" and "place," so I'm glad those seeds have sprouted out west. Here are the slides for you to see and understand the concept as well:


Here is the matrix, borrowed from British traffic engineer Peter Jones.


Link/Place: Low/Low - alley


Link/Place: Low/High - Designed Mews


Link/Place: Med/High - Predominantly Pedestrianized Mixed-Use Street


Link/Place: High/High - Preeminent, Champs Elysees. High design, moves all forms of transportation. Still amenable to street life and pedestrians with adequate +/- 50% of spatial envelope.


Link/Place: High/Low. West 7th currently, and nearly all other arterials in the Metroplex. With public coffers crippled by low sales tax receipts, the city is unable to transition directly from Low to High "place" value, it can incrementally do so by first transitioning the function of the street.

In many ways, this is better as it becomes in essence a pilot project for the city since people tend to reject change until they see it can work. Once it works functionally, and becomes more amenable to street life as pedestrians and bicycles, investment will surely follow. With a little bit of paint they are able to change the psychology of the area. This is strategically no different than what the Better Block is doing in Oak Cliff, what Janette Sadik-Khan is doing in NYC, or what the City of Plano did fifteen years ago narrowing K Ave through downtown Plano.

The key to this, is that the new, eventual investment will then leverage the upgrading of the aesthetics of the street to then match the quality of the development that happens. Baby steps people, baby steps, but we're at least stepping the right direction for once.

Peter Jones, your legacy will be felt in probably the last place you would ever expect it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Linkages

Some(many)thing(s) to read while I'm busy sorting through all of my Vancouver photos for an upcoming blog post review of the city, my first time ever to experience on foot and through eyes rather than the omniscient viewpoint availed by google earth (Google is approaching omniscient/omnipotent status themselves). I have several meetings the next two days, so look for the Vancouver post on Thursday or Friday of this week. On to the articles:
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This may be of interest to only a very narrow audience, but PlosOne is now a free online source
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Flight of the Pigeon, the plight of the bicycle in China at Bicycling Magazine:
for peer-reviewed scientific studies, that don't quite make the major scientific journals.
Through it all, cyclists roll forward, as if unstoppable. There are more than 10 million bicycles in Beijing, more than any other city in any other country. Here, the bicycle is not a symbol of fitness or of the user's environmental nobility. Riders use the two-wheeler as it was originally, and perhaps best, conceived: as a simple working machine. After 10 minutes of watching, I see that the cars below me haven't gained 10 feet. But the panorama is deceiving. In Beijing, the bicycle is losing the race for its life.
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Relatedly, Scientific American on how to spur ridership. Hint: make it attractive, suitable, amenable, comfortable, and safe for women:

Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.

“Despite our hope that gender roles don’t exist, they still do,” says Jennifer Dill, a transportation and planning researcher at Portland State University. Addressing women’s concerns about safety and utility “will go a long way” toward increasing the number of people on two wheels, Dill explains.

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More on the wealth extraction economy, here perhaps the most pernicious: Sally Mae, the rabid piracy of student loan companies, the extreme measures they are permitted to take, and the correlated spike in tuition the last 10-15 years. Middle class? More like indentured servitude. Their stock keeps rising, investors keep backing, Sally Mae gets more powerful despite its sweet sounding name, they keep "influencing" truly noble statesmen, and then we're all fucked.

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I've linked to articles like this before. This one, from the Globe and Mail, How Slums Can Save the Earth, is far more interesting for its Jacobsian (who spent the later portion of her life living in and writing about Toronto) economic development bent rather than the "they're too poor to be wasteful" environmental argument:

What kind of neighbourhood is Thorncliffe Park? It certainly is one of the poorest in Toronto: Family incomes average $20,000 and the poverty rate is estimated at 44 per cent.

It is also ethnically concentrated, with as much as 51 per cent of its population speaking an Asian language at home and only a small minority of pink-skinned Euro-Canadians in its buildings.


It could be described as an impoverished ethnic ghetto. Yet Thorncliffe Park is not seen that way – not by its residents, by the agencies and businesses within it, by the scholars who have studied it, nor by the city beyond it.

It's a popular place with vacancy rates close to zero despite unusually high rents; in fact, there are long waiting lists for apartments.

The ex-villagers here have an amazingly consistent record of entering the middle-class, urban mainstream within a generation. They launch small shops and other businesses and send their children into postsecondary education.

The area's poverty is not a sign of failure: It means that Thorncliffe Park, like many such neighbourhoods, is functioning as a highly successful engine of economic and social integration, churning people out as fast as it takes them in, constantly renewing itself with fresh arrivals.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worried more about the Skyline than the Sidewalk

Thanks to KillerKW for sending this interview of blog favorite 1) Jan Gehl, by blog favorite 2) Greg Lindsay at Fast Company who asks the right questions. Gehl responds with the right answers. Perhaps most interestingly, he returns to the human as the determinant unit of design and the way each experiences the world, particularly in places like Lagos, Nigeria or in China, where they think of cars as progress while the rest of world actually progresses by retreating from such mythos.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Boom'd: Dallas Diversity Mapped.

OK. I have linked to this guy before. He has 40 cities up here. Find Dallas here.

I should add that this is 2000 Census data. Each dot equals 25 people.


/Eric Fischer's photostream.

After seeing it, I'm not even as interested in the racial component near as much as the sporadic population centers. With the Trinity and its levees in the news, and considering the development patterns, I begin to wonder how much flood control we would actually need with 1) a more compact development form 2) less impervious surface and 3) better (slower and less concrete) stormwater runoff/watershed management.

Racial Diversity Mapping

Truly awesome post at Fast Co Design where they have mapped racial diversity in several cities. A sample (there isn't one for Dallas unfortunately -- that I have found):

Detroit. Yikes.



Bay Area. Quite a bit more diverse.


New York. In the source post, the author astutely points out that while NYC is mostly pockets of single race neighborhoods, the density and the measurable "borders" create areas of very potent cross-cultural pollenization.


San Antonio. The closest thing we get to Dallas.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Slaves to Fashion

I thought this was funny. John Massengale posted this video of Andres Duany at CNU 18 in Atlanta where he discusses the new design/aesthetic movement bubbling out of academia called Landscape Urbanism, which is really little more than starchitects hiding behind greenwashing and landscape architects desiring their own star quality and meeting somewhere in the middle.

Duany can be very snarky and humorous, in fact, this is when he's at his best rhetorically. I found it quite profound when he distilled the design aesthetic down to two primary moves, shards, sharp angles, and riverine or alluvial forms, which reminded me of the post I made a few days ago about the two new downtown Dallas parks and their exact perfect locations as both bookends of successful Main Street area as well as in areas of greatest delta between potential and existing.



Then when you look at the designs of those parks, you see...


...shards...


...and alluvial patterns. No different than Gehry or Koolhaas littering the world with themselves, only in a softer, greener, more cuddly format. It likes to pretend to be of nature, but excludes humans. It is the embodiment of a pretty, but compartmentalized sprawl. People over there, cars over there, buildings over there, roads down there. Rinse, wash, and repeat. And ultimately it is just as non-functional - particularly in very urban conditions such as downtown Dallas.

The fundamental problem is that the driving force is aesthetic rather than performance or function and if fashions/preferences change, the designs, parks, get cast aside as sooooo last year. When something has to be "of our time," then tomorrow it is no longer of that time, and whether it is a building, park, car, or article of clothing, if it is purely style and no substance, its value returns to zero when it no longer holds its one asset, "being of today."

While certainly fashion-based design can stumble upon utility to accompany style and achieve timelessness as its eras masterpiece, the odds are typically against it. Why? Because the best design responds directly to the conditions of the site. If you go in with a set design aesthetic and by God you will put some angles, shards, swoops, and parabolas no matter what, you are not addressing the site with a clear and open mind.

Remember one of the rules of science/urbanism, gaze upon things as if you've never seen them before. Otherwise, you are a decorator. No offense. Well, yes actually, offense.

Friday, September 17, 2010

PC Lays it Down

Keep this in mind...

...every time you start your engines:


It's hot. It's damn hot. If you gotta window, open it.

Of course, people don't change their routines unless there are directly tangible cause/effect relationships that they can see, hear, or feel, like in their wallet. Gasoline needs to be more pricey. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Walk in the Park

I may be jumping the gun a bit, since I haven't seen much talk about it, but next Saturday afternoon from 10-ish AM until 6-ish PM Main Street Garden will be host to "A Day in the Park," sponsored by all of the AIA, ASLA, CNU's of the world.

According to the AIA flyer activities will include: kid activities, music, walking tours, and sports. It is billed as a meet and greet between design professionals, but I'm guessing that with nice weather it will turn into something bigger as music and open space combine to form a magnetic draw.

I've kvetched about the park before, but I've now heard from people at all levels of the City who are glad to have the park, but have been frustrated by a number of its details, complications and inadequacies. Recall that I said (and not meant as a backhanded compliment) that the best thing was actually the most difficult and heroic, its conversion into a park in the first place. Guess I'm right. /pats self on back. /feels better about self.

Also if you recall, I began putting together a new kind of analysis that takes the idea of intersection density as indicator of walkability and combines it with my concept of convergence as a measure of potential land value. The thinking is derived from the idea that land value, like internet value is determined by traffic flow, but the 20th century transportation and development model has undermined that and created "anti-" or "inside-out" city.

The result is the most potential "energy," to use physics parlance, is typically held within the most under-utilized or underdeveloped land, a direct result of a horrid and inhumane transportation system and design.

In the downtown Fort Worth analysis, I added a new layer of detail to the below diagram by creating a hierarchy between streets that go somewhere, ie connect to adjacent districts and those that don't. I haven't yet had the time to add that to this one, but at first glance it will only amplify the effect seen in the below graphic. That the most potential is along Ross, Griffin, Harwood, Canton/Young, and Main.



Below I added a brief explanation for the correlation between tiny red dots, ie little potential/value/convergence/walkability and the lack of vitality occurring there.



As we all know, Main Street has been a smashing success for Dallas. It is the one vital and truly urban area of the downtown core.



We already have one new park in Main Street Gardens and another under construction bookending Main Street.



Almost by coincidence the parks line up perfectly with the areas of greatest potential.



Nothing new to really add here, but a friendly reminder to myself to further advance this work.

Diane Rehm Show

On right now, Diane Rehm is discussing Livable Cities, including one of this blog's favorite people, Super Dane Jan Gehl.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Programming Note

As some readers may know, I'm doing more and more writing for others, like the kind of others that pay, so postings are a bit lighter than usual over here. However, I'm still hoping to get up an extensive review from my recent Seattle --> Vancouver trip in the next few days, if the significant other ever gets me the pictures I took, which are the kind showing pictures and places rather than the annoying kind with camera conscious people posing and baring teeth in an outwardly polite sort of way.

http://www.filmfestivaltourism.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/vancouver_.jpg

Sketches

Some incredible sketches over at Kaid Benfield's NRDC blog courtesy of Dhiru Thadani and his forthcoming book The Language of Towns & Cities: a Visual Dictionary. A few of my faves:

But it's super green-ish-esque...

image courtesy of Dhiru Thadani

Shutup ET...we're told what we should want
image courtesy of Dhiru Thadani

And included if for no other reason than just a great sketch of Piazza Navona, its large but still human-scale and the memories it recalls from living less than a five-minute walk from there.

image courtesy of Dhiru Thadani

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Better Block Gets Better

Actually, I don't know if it was better this week. I wasn't able to get down there until the end of the day when everything was wrapping up and cleaning up, so I missed the BBQ and the crowds. You can see reviews of this past weekend's Oak Cliff Better Block project here, here, here, and from Jason Roberts himself here:

In the end, it’s all about the people and giving families young and old a safe, comfortable, and dignified area to live in. When we build for cars only, we make things fast, unsafe, and less humane…we adopted an 8 and 80 rule, where we should look at our community from the eyes of an 8 year old and the eyes of an 80 year. If it feels safe for those two age ranges, it will be safe for everyone. Our city needs to refocus its priorities and think about what it is that people really want in a community. For the price of a single Calatrava bridge, we could have built a thousand Better Blocks…and made them permanent.

One wonders how the City of Dallas handles the notoriety this is generating nationwide. The actual concepts aren't new. Many are borrowed from organic happenings in San Francisco and Brooklyn, where similar young creatives are applying creativity to the world around them, shaping it, and their lifestyle.

While it generates positive press for the citizenry of Dallas, it is at the same time showing the ineffectual nature of the levers of power (institutional or otherwise) within the city erstwhile focused on building bridges, more performing arts centers than are groceries in much of South Dallas, and casino looking convention center hotels without the fun vice, none of which are nearly as effective in fostering community, improved quality of life, AND generating positive return on investment as the donations and efforts behind the movement in Oak Cliff.

If all goes well, I plan on discussing the relevance of Better Block on Dallas itself and the 21st American City for a print article to be announced when it is printed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Top Reasons for No Car Free Neighborhoods in US?

The excellent blog maintained by Neil Takemoto of CoolTownStudios has a new post listing the top reasons for no car-free neighborhoods in the U.S. These include:
1. No developer has the guts,
2. The market hasn't demanded it as a market,
3. It's illegal in the U.S. to have a car-free neighborhood,
4. The internet is still relatively new,
5. Our financial markets aren't designed for the scale.
While I generally agree with the reasons, I think the post needs to be recalibrated. I'm not sure we ever need fully car-free areas like Venice or other tight, often medieval portions of European or Middle-eastern cities, or legislate against cars to the point where they are verboten. All we need is to prioritize the pedestrian, the human, the person, the mother, the children, and everything else will take care of itself.

By the way, yesterday in Plano, a resident said, "when I get home from my commute the last thing I want is to get into my car again to go somewhere. I want to be able to walk to services, events, parks, etc." That was an overarching theme in the workshop about the 12th street station and South Downtown Plano area, the citizens and stakeholders wanted more walkability, more safety from high speed traffic, and more of the kind of development that downtown Plano has been so successful with fostering.

There must be about 7 small renovation/new restaurant projects going on in downtown Plano. Figure out parking, design for the human-scale, and investment follows. It is pretty simple.

Which reminds me of the Observer post on Jack Gosnell of UCR-Urban being tabbed to recruit retail for the public sector. Gosnell, of course, has been recruiting retail downtown for years privately, since he manages most of the space downtown. And I like Gosnell, but of course he said, "downtown needs retail."

However, I question 1) the direction this pursuit might lead, and 2) the accuracy of the statement. Second part first: downtown actually has a lot of retail. I'd be interested to know the ratio of retail to residents within the downtown loop. Does that not make sense? There is no retail alive at the street, you say? As we know, it is all underground. As a wild guess, we probably have 3 times the retail that downtown really needs. Because it is so over-supplied, it all closes at 5 pm, if not 2 pm, after the office lunch crowd.

Now first part, second: pursuing retail always leads to wasteful spending and subsidies. The businesses come in, use up the subsidy then close down. Retail follows rooftops, aka people. Investment follows people. Design for people. Three blocks of Main Street are the truest urban place in all of Dallas. It works. The formula is right and the pedestrian has priority. You can jaywalk. I'm not encouraging it, but it indicates a place safe enough for the pedestrian to cross where they please. It is a level-3 "bonded" or tethered street, which maximizes synergies from one-side to the other, aka cross-shopping.

Here is what to do as simply as I can possibly put it:
  1. Close the tunnels over time. Amortize them much like I am hearing is being proposed with surface parking in downtown (huzzah! The kind of leadership we need is being shown!). Offer carrots for the first to go, cluster them to ensure success. The last to go, close the doors and turn on the hoses. I'm kidding. But I might not be kidding about converting the tunnels into a "Vice City" with legalized gambling, drugs, and prostitution. Hell, the Convention Center Hotel already looks like a Vegas Casino without the fun. It all happens anyway, why not localize it into our very own "Hamsterdam." What we puritanically want to keep below the surface, is literally below the surface.
  2. Continue the slow and eventual conversion of all downtown streets toward pedestrianization begun with the two-way conversions. We need more narrowings and "road diets" as well. If these street calmings are all downtown, how much does it really slow commute times? Thirty seconds? Oh well. Price you pay for a vibrant, safe downtown.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Neil Pierce Asks if it is Time to Accelerate Freeway Tear-downs

The answer, of course, is yes.
But it’s more of a spur than an essential part of the interstate system. And its consequences have been grim. Old Claiborne Avenue, with its generous, oak-shaded median, a walkable neighborhood center with a history of picnics, Mardi Gras parades and black marching bands, literally disappeared under the broad new route that backers claimed would carry traffic and prosperity into downtown New Orleans.

The number of businesses along the freeway’s path literally collapsed — from 132 in 1960 to 35 in 2000. Poverty and decay reigned, the stark expressway section creating a hostile no-man’s land around it.

Today the Claiborne expressway “is an aging interstate… nearing the end of its useful life and beginning to deteriorate,” requiring frequent maintenance and “possibly reconstruction to carry traffic safely,” according to the exhaustive new report advocating its demolition, issued jointly by CNU and the local Claiborne Corridor Improvement Association.

It would make no sense, the report suggests, to spend the $50 million the Federal Highway Administration’s national bridge inventory says might be needed just to repair or replace the Claiborne expressway’s seriously decayed interchange ramps.

In Milwaukee, where Jon Norquist — then mayor, now CNU president — led the successful effort to dismantle the Park East Freeway, the bill for teardown and putting a surface street system in place was just $30 million, compared to $80 million to rebuild the freeway.

In fact, teardowns, at least on unessential interstate links, may start looking more attractive nationally as the U.S. Department of Transportation struggles to come up with sufficient maintenance budgets to keep up the elevated freeways passing their effective 50-year lifespan point.

Funny. These are all the same arguments I've been making to strip out the intracity freeways in Dallas. It's the economy stupid. Highways, while necessary in linking regional and interstate economies are actually destructive locally. This is why in most sane and/or European cities highways are considered a LULU or Locally Undesirable Land Use, meaning they come nowhere near residential areas, remaining on the peripheral edge of the entire city where junctions lead to boulevards which may then enter the actual, functional fabric of the city and local, interconnected economies.

Highway adjacencies = underperforming properties.

Tearing out freeways are 1) cheaper than maintaining them, 2) removes fiscal burden from crippled state and DOT budgets, and 3) leads to qualitative improvement of local real estate. It only makes sense that a sociofugal design element such as freeways also flings investment far away from it, leading to decay all along it. Attract people, attract investment. This is a simple formula. It is a shame the dialogue has been so poisoned by the stupid and/or corrupt. The comfort of the familiar, a trap it is.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Never Pick a Fight When You're Severely Outgunned

If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know that it has some enemies: Brueggman, Wendell Cox, Joel Kotkin, and Randall O'Toole. The bone to pick isn't in the disagreement with their opinions, it is rather with the inconsistencies of logic and rhetoric to the points their making. In my estimation, this is the tell tale sign of corruption, and in this case, that means corruption of thought. They represent other interests while pretending to represent the "common man." Only if that common man happens to be the Koch Brothers, et al. If you are a common man, are you worth multiple billions? Want to know how morons get loud microphones in a supposed meritocracy? Well, there is your answer.

With that said, Randall O'Toole decided to take up the case for free parking in response to a New York Times article entitled "Free Parking Comes at a Price" by Tyler Cowen, since they're such staunch free marketeers and libertarians. Oh wait, their is the first case of logical dissonance.

Then came the response to the response, and this is by the parking guru himself, Professor Donald Shoup, who came out with all guns a'blazin':

Before I examine your misunderstanding of what I have written, I will first summarize the three basic parking reforms I recommend in The High Cost of Free Parking: (1) remove off-street parking requirements, (2) charge market prices for on-street parking to achieve about an 85-percent occupancy rate for curb spaces, and (3) return the resulting revenue to pay for public improvements in the metered neighborhoods.

I will quote ten extracts from your post, and comment on each of them.

1. “Shoup’s work is biased by his residency in Los Angeles, the nation’s densest urban area. One way L.A. copes with that density is by requiring builders of offices, shopping malls, and multi-family residences to provide parking. Shoup assumes that every municipality in the country has such parking requirements, even though many do not.” (ed. note: They do love to quote Los Angeles as the densest urban area don't they? A statistic itself that is meaningless because of where they choose to draw the boundary for where to take that measure. Is it dense at the block level? At the neighborhood level? At the City level? Not really. They go with the metropolitan area. Then they'll turn around and use LA as a model for success when that rhetoric suits their nefarious purpose.

Even Houston, which does not have zoning, has minimum parking requirements, and they resemble the parking requirements in almost every other city in the United States. Houston requires 1.25 parking spaces for each efficiency apartment in an apartment house, for example, and 1.333 parking spaces for each one-bedroom apartment. Here is the link to the minimum parking requirements in Houston’s municipal code: http://tiny.cc/iaj35

Does the Antiplanner, who is “dedicated to the sunset of government planning,” really believe that government planners know exactly how many parking spaces to require for every economic activity at every site in every city, no matter how much the required parking spaces may cost and no matter how little drivers may be willing to pay to use them? Does the Antiplanner really support Houston’s minimum parking requirement of 1.333 spaces for each one-bedroom apartment because he believes that Houston’s government planners can accurately predict the “need” for parking at every apartment to one-thousandth of a parking space?
Read the rest of his response here.