Perhaps the only development program devised by government that is more pernicious than the high-density Urban Growth Boundary land use rules is Transit Oriented Development. What is transit oriented development?
Through Transit Oriented Development (TOD), communities encourage higher-density residential and commercial development near bus lines, streetcar routes, and train stations. This proximity increases the likelihood that transit services will be better used by the public. Such increased usage, in turn, makes the construction and operation of transit easier for governments to finance.
Yes, with TOD it makes life easier on government by making it cheaper to finance their pet projects. Notice how it does not make your commute easier, your shopping easier, or your time to destination any faster.
Jennifer L. Dorn, after being introduced by our own Earl "Bow-Tie" Blumenaur had the following things to say in a speech at the Rail-Volution Conference:
The world that liberals dream of:
The traditional nuclear families that made up 40 percent of households in 1970, now comprise less than 25 percent of households. And that percentage is expected to decline even more. In just one generation, the ÂtypicalÂ American household wonÂt have children living in it. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households will not include children. These households will consist of singles, empty nesters, and couples without children. And these are groups with a proven preference for our cities and the transit options they provide.
That icky, non-progressive world that liberals mock, ridicule and would rather leave behind:
When we think about the American Dream, we tend to think about the post-World War II vision. The American Dream was something that Americans would DRIVE to. In the popular lexicon, the American Dream meant a two-parent family with two children (one crew-cut boy and one pig-tailed girl, of course), and a dog -- all ensconced in a suburban tract house with a big yard surrounded by a white picket fence- and a roomy automobile parked in the garage to carry Dad to his job in the city each day.
Remind me again, was AIDS, drive-by's, teenage pregnancy, rampant homelessness, drug use, etc a problem back in "those times?"
There are clear signs that people are getting tired of the isolation that the car culture tends to create, and they are growing weary of having to get in the car for even the simplest of errandsÂ
The fact is, a gallon of gas for a gallon of milk is a terrible exchange rate.
I would venture that Ms. Dorn has never tried to take 3 screaming kids on the bus, in the rain, in December to get a gallon of milk. Rather than have the trip take 15 minutes it will take about 45. And good luck buyicartfullrtful of groceries, you know, the way that most people shop, when taking mass transit.
The transit crowd isn't just about "saving the ozone" but radically changing Americas families and lifestyles. They envision hip 20-somethings who lead selfish lives with no children to burden them, they will dwell in high density condos in the middle of downtowns. The icky suburbs (or sprawl in their language) will be outlawed through land use planning.
On the left and right coast no one will have a yard for the dog. No one will be able to have a car because there will be no where to park it. We will all take the MAX to our jobs with the local government while relying the heartland to continue to supply enough federal tax income to subsidize our urban lifestyles.
Of course, this vision is very flawed. The urban utopia is a farce. The shootings, the aggressive panhandling, the high housing prices, and the mass exodus of families has shown us that Portland is not where normal Americans want to live.