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Old Posted Feb 6, 2022, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Most NYC households are car-free. That's particularly notable in the auto-crazed U.S. context, as even European transit meccas like Paris don't have higher core splits. The % of car-free households is also pretty high in urban North Jersey; comparable to % car-free in the most transit oriented U.S. city propers excepting NYC.

Yeah, there are sizable portions of NYC (and inner suburbs) with driveways, but a relatively small % of the overall population lives in those areas. Obviously those types of neighborhoods don't have density remotely comparable to the more urban enclaves. The southern half of Staten Island and the really suburban parts of Northeast Queens might have 125,000-150,000 people each. Outside of those two areas there aren't any large suburban geographies in city proper.
Only 55.4% of NYC households have "no vehicle available," per the 2019 ACS 1-year estimate. Yes, that qualifies as "most" (majority), but that means 45.6% of all households owning at least one vehicle... that's a fairly even split. Also consider that out of a total 3,998,051 commuters, only 1,836,721 had "no vehicle available."

The other cities (DC, Boston, Philly, Chicago, SF), yes, have relatively high vehicle ownership. But they're different from LA in that they A. Have a high(er) share of non-poor choice riders; B. Have a traditional dominant core that's ideal for transit corridors; and C. Have a significant share of urban landscape built pre-auto and not particularly adapted to auto age.
Household car ownership for context:

Chicago: 72.2%
Philly: 70.6%
SF: 67.7%
DC: 65.1%
Boston: 64.3%

SF and DC are the most accurate because they are neatly defined geopolitical entities.

Philly is also coterminous with a higher-level jurisdiction, but its numbers are skewed by the post-war Far Northeast section of the city.

Chicago also makes a pretty clear distinction between city/suburb; its borders are a little more arbitrary, but the city doesn't have suburban sprawl.

Boston's the most difficult to assess because transit availability and density patterns are quite different than municipal geography. But places like Cambridge and Somerville follow a similar urban structure to outer Boston; I don't think the addition of those two would alter the percentage by more than 2 points, if at that.

As for your other points, LA's rail system hasn't reached more affluent parts of the city yet. And a pre-war urban landscape doesn't automatically translate to car-freedom. Among the 5 cities, Philly is: A) the poorest, B) has far and away the best urban bones, and C) is the least sprawly metro.

It would be difficult to envision LA overcoming these factors. Doesn't mean it isn't worth trying, but it would be a fundamental rethinking of the region, which is tough when a region is mature and developed. LA Koreatown just isn't built like SF Nob Hill, even if the densities are roughly comparable, and I'm not sure how you'd make such a transition.
No, but Koreatown is located between DT and Hollywood and already has 4 heavy rail subway stops. Conventional wisdom has it that auto-centric elements like driveways and curb cuts foster an urban environment less conducive for car-free living, yet I pointed out that the best-designed U.S. city (by far) has a 71% car ownership rate.

And what about Tokyo, the most functionally urban city there is? Lots of curb cuts and car ports and no elevated sidewalks along single-lane roads.
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