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Black Friday parking, and urban freeways

"If the federal government was requiring bureaucratic agencies to build acres of offices that would never or almost never be used, conservatives would rightly point to that policy as being emblematic of out-of-touch government, disconnected from the discipline of the market and the needs of the people. Ted Cruz would quip about it on talk radio, and John Boehner would drone in perfunctory tones about a needless example of government waste. Because this particular government mandate is carried out by private actors acting in compliance with received zoning ordinances, however, conservatives often mistake commercial conformity for a product of free markets. And we have lived under the minimum-parking regime for so many years that we have come to be comfortable with oceans of empty lots as the seemingly natural pattern of retail life."


Seas of empty parking, even on the peak day of the year.

Photos: http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/12/10/blackfridayparking-follow-up

Auto-oriented development is a bad deal for cities: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/urbs/traditional-development-is-a-municipal-gold-mine/
"Unfortunately, the math doesn’t justify that belief. The new taco joint has a total value of $618,500. Two blocks over, using the same amount of land and having the same amount of public infrastructure, the collection of old and blighted structures has a total value of $1,104,500. The block the city is trying to have torn down is, in its dilapidated state, providing them 79 percent more tax base and property tax revenue than its shiny, new, auto-oriented replacement."
"Taxpayers get far greater returns when places are scaled to people instead of cars."
"but there is one thing that must be clearly understood: recreating that old and blighted block and all of its financial productivity is illegal today. The local zoning codes, which–mandated or inspired by state and federal guidelines–require setbacks, coverage limits, greenspace, excessive parking and minimum floor/area ratios, prohibit building in the time-tested, traditional building pattern. Even if people wanted to build something that was more financially productive–and many people do–it can’t be done."
"Through regulations that reinforce false notions on how wealth is created, American cities have mandated their own financial demise."

Removing urban freeways

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
the collection of old and blighted structures has a total value of $1,104,500

But are the taxes being paid on them? If they are, what's blighted about them?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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