HOW TO GET THE RIGHT ANSWERS TO THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
I give you the efforts of Corvallis Area Metropolitan Planning Organization [ link to portal.ocwtech.net ] agencies' joint effort to solve the "last mile" mass transportation problem generated by the unexamined edicts of city and county land use planning and zoning:
HOW TO GET THE RIGHT ANSWERS TO THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
-- Government agencies which are trying to solve for the "last mile", are working on the wrong issue.
By Jim Miller
During my Stanford Law School days, it was pounded into my head by the surely professors, to examine each case first to determine what the real issues where - of both fact and law. Since the facts were generally given, the issue of issues was our high focus. Apparently, such rigors education is not the foundation of most governmental functionaries or consultants. I give you the efforts of Corvallis Area Metropolitan Planning Organization [ link to portal.ocwtech.net ] agencies' joint effort to solve the "last mile" mass transportation problem generated by the unexamined edicts of city and county land use planning and zoning:
"It is postulated by some residents of the Study Area that jobs are in Corvallis; shops are in Albany, and; housing is expensive in Corvallis. More than anything else, this belief points to a segregated distribution of jobs, houses and shopping opportunities in the Study Area."
Table 3 - Means of Journey to Work
Means of travel Albany % Corvallis
Car, truck, or van: 17,579 92.2% 17,725 75.5%
Drove alone 15,648 82.0% 15,531 66.2%
Carpooled 1,931 10.1% 2,194 9.3%
Public Transportation: 67 0.4% 579 2.5%
Motorcycle 10 0.1% 25 0.1%
Bicycle 132 0.7% 1,669 7.1%
Walked 492 2.6% 2,601 11.1%
Other means 121 0.6% 72 0.3%
Worked at home 673 3.5% 804
Total 19,074 23,475
Table 4 - Means of Journey to Work for the 2 Cities Combined
Means of Travel 2-Cities
Car, truck, or van 35,304
Public Transportation: 646
Other means 193
Worked at home 1,477
These studies show that over 35,000 vehicles start every day for trips to work in the cities of Corvallis and Albany. Now add-in the trips for shopping, education, health, entertainment and "all else". The vast majority of trips are by a single occupant vehicle. This factoid should ring alarm bells all over the state and nation. Just spend a day driving around any large city, especially during late afternoon and early evening rush hour. I've never understand why they call it "rush hour traffic" when it takes a couple of hours to get from one side of a large city to the other (e.g. LA) and most of the time the traffic is stop and go.
The big issue which seems to escape the attention of our city and county planners; the Big Issue is not how to travel the "last mile", but to reduce to the irreducible minimum the existence of the "last mile". The obvious solution (obvious to me, at least) is to Work where you live and live where you work! How much simpler can one get?
Now that we have the real issue in focus, how do we undo 100 plus years of the wide-area distribution of workplace, residence, shopping, medical, government and other "destinations". How do we make it possible for a family of four to lose one car or light pickup? We can't just take an eraser and obliterate our cities and start over. It would take an atomic bomb to do that.
The solution is to start over again with a series of new communities and eventually rebuild the older parts of the cities, some of which are so sadly decimated by buildings which are vacant, falling down, unsanitary and generally well beyond their design life-cycle, that redevelopment on a mini-community wide scale makes economic sense, if not also political sense. If you need proof, just Google "rust belt USA" or industrial ghost towns" or simply "Detroit". My own "proof" is cataloged in my article, Dumbbell Planning versus Integrated Community Planning, http://masallp.wetpaint.com/page/DUMBBELL+PLANNING+VERSUS+INTEGRATED+COMMUNITY+PLANNING
If you need more proof, read Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, or more recently Richard Heinberg's The Party's Over - Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies. If you want a really quick read which skips all the background and gets to the point of the Peak Oil Crisis, read Here comes $500 oil; link to money.cnn.com.
The real issue which has not been addressed by governmental functionaries is "how much energy per capita per year" will the USA have in 2012? The average, world-wide is about 7,800 Kw hr/yr. The average in the U.S. Is about 25,000 Kw hr/yr. We must first set a goal for "sustainable" power domestic production, then see if we can afford enough oil to meet the deficit. My bet is that with $6.00 and $10.00 per gallon gasoline and similar prices for diesel and heating oil, our net energy consumption will drop drastically. Many folks will the homeless, cold and hungry.
We need to plan sustainability with the political and economic power struggles in mind. How tough will the rich and empowered be on the rest of us? Will we be able to form a sufficient number of worker cooperatives ("Bottom-up Capitalists) and create and populate holistic intentional ecovillages which employ permaculture, to make up the difference in loss of oil imports? Do we have the will to change the laws regarding clustering of workspace and living space so we can junk most of our cars? Right now, the land use and zoning laws present a substantial barrier to the formation and operation of permaculture-based, intentional communities.
We have a choice: Stay the course and realize our failure after it is too late to marshal our then greatly diminished resources to make effective changes. See: Terrifying Future Ahead; http://masallp.wetpaint.com/page/Terrifying+future+ahead%3F
Change our land use regulations so as to encourage intentional communities and worker co-operatives. In transition to justice, harmony, productivity, and right living, take heed of the need for transition to a different form of governance and a different form of economic viability.
"It's understandable, isn't it, that workers who come of age in an autocratic, authoritarian, paternalistic environment become reflections of it. It took some time for Camarão to adjust to the innovating, democratic, participative atmosphere at Semco."
MAVERICK, The Success Story Behind the Worlds Most Unusual Workplace, Richardo Semler, Warner Books, 1993, p. 180; ISBN 0-446-51696-1
Your choice. You have one chance. Choose wisely.
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