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  #521  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 7:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
is massive, 4 lanes in each direction
that's not really that massive anymore in the US.

I-94 between chicago and milwaukee is now 4 lanes in each direction the whole way and that shit still goes through miles of cornfields.

and i'm sure there are plenty of other examples of 8-laners running through quasi-rural areas.
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  #522  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 7:54 PM
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I think he's referring more of the recent low density sprawl emanating out from these old towns which began as compact colonial era towns independent of one another. I lived fairly close to Nashua which dates back to the 18th century but most of the city today is shopping areas (for Massholes to escape sales tax) and sprawly exurban areas of Boston, south of the historical city center. The vast majority of Boston's footprint is still pretty green though. Compared to most areas its size.
Boston is very green compared to just about every major city. This is 15 miles from the center of Boston: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4131.../data=!3m1!1e3

You will not find that 15 miles from the center of Atlanta lol. The Boston region developed more like England than a typical U.S. metro.
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  #523  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 8:01 PM
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^ even more extreme is that large lot mansion area of Brookline.

the scene linked to below is only 3 freaking miles from the back bay office district.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3242...7i16384!8i8192

that's just straight up nuts from my chicago perspective, where you don't find that kinda woodsy rural-esque scene until you're at least 15 miles outside of downtown.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; May 12, 2022 at 8:28 PM.
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  #524  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 8:24 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Boston is very green compared to just about every major city. This is 15 miles from the center of Boston: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4131.../data=!3m1!1e3

You will not find that 15 miles from the center of Atlanta lol. The Boston region developed more like England than a typical U.S. metro.
But that's ultra-low density sprawl, with a edge city right and a massive highway nearby. I don't think that's something to brag about it.


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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
that's not really that massive anymore in the US.

I-94 between chicago and milwaukee is now 4 lanes in each direction the whole way and that shit still goes through miles of cornfields.

and i'm sure there are plenty of other examples of 8-laners running through quasi-rural areas.
Chicago and Milwaukee are major metro areas on their own and their urban footprint almost touch each other. Northeast of Essex County there's only the very light populated Maine. The highway is there clearly to serve commuters.

Coincidentally, yesterday I was checking the highway between Dallas and Houston and for my surprise it's only 2x2 for very long sections, so 2x4 is not that ordinary.
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  #525  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 8:37 PM
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And as Boston usually gets a free pass because it's old, cultivated, sophisticated, charming, Atlanta-under-the-tree-canopy ultra low sprawl can be charming as well: https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8491...7i16384!8i8192
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  #526  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 9:05 PM
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But that's ultra-low density sprawl, with a edge city right and a massive highway nearby. I don't think that's something to brag about it.
Well if that's not something to brag about then why do we spend so much time worshipping at the altar of Europe here? lol. That's about as close to a European development pattern as you'll find in the United States.
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  #527  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 9:19 PM
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Well if that's not something to brag about then why do we spend so much time worshipping at the altar of Europe here? lol. That's about as close to a European development pattern as you'll find in the United States.
Not that link you posted. Just outside the frame there is a edge city or whatever it’s called and a massive freeway. That’s the ultra low density exurbia so common east of Mississippi.

If we’re talking about the urban core, then of course is much denser and more sustainable than Atlanta although the latter is also doing a good work densifying it.
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  #528  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 9:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
Not that link you posted. Just outside the frame there is a edge city or whatever it’s called and a massive freeway. That’s the ultra low density exurbia so common east of Mississippi.
This isn't sprawl: https://goo.gl/maps/GzLuHZF7exu1VNLP6
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  #529  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 9:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
And as Boston usually gets a free pass because it's old, cultivated, sophisticated, charming, Atlanta-under-the-tree-canopy ultra low sprawl can be charming as well: https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8491...7i16384!8i8192
Suburban Atlanta literally eats up the landscape with msssive master planned developments and turns everything into concrete, lawns and housing. Suburban Boston grew into one another organically and left much of the natural environment intact. Lincoln (MA) might have newish low density developments but it's nothing like Sandy Springs (GA).
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  #530  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 9:57 PM
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This: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4060...7i16384!8i8192 and this https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3987...7i16384!8i8192 are. It's 1 km away from your link. This whole area is full of the infamous cul-de-sac.

And according to the US Census Bureau (and the massive highways cutting through, and the office campi) they are part of Boston UA.


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Suburban Atlanta literally eats up the landscape with msssive master planned developments and turns everything into concrete, lawns and housing. Suburban Boston grew into one another organically and left much of the natural environment intact. Lincoln (MA) might have newish low density developments but it's nothing like Sandy Springs (GA).
Indeed. Sandy Springs is 5x denser.
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  #531  
Old Posted May 12, 2022, 11:10 PM
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Atlanta is uniformly less dense compared to Boston and while both metros encompass a similar sized footprint, most of Boston is concentrated in smaller denser areas thus freeing up far more greenspace in the overall metro. It's hard to tell where Boston ends and Brookline, Watertown, Chelsea or Cambridge begin. Then it's green areas (with some low density development) until the next old dense town; Framingham, Natick, Lowell, etc. It's a total wicked pissah.
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  #532  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 12:06 AM
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Atlanta is uniformly less dense compared to Boston and while both metros encompass a similar sized footprint, most of Boston is concentrated in smaller denser areas thus freeing up far more greenspace in the overall metro. It's hard to tell where Boston ends and Brookline, Watertown, Chelsea or Cambridge begin. Then it's green areas (with some low density development) until the next old dense town; Framingham, Natick, Lowell, etc. It's a total wicked pissah.
Atlanta city proper has 351 km² and 498,000 inh. (2020). When we add to Boston neighbouring suburbs to make 348 km², we have 1,486,000 inside. Three times denser. It's obvious Boston is way urban than Atlanta on its core.

However, if we put together the 27 municipalities just outside Boston ring road (an arch starting at Hull going up to Salem-Beverly), we have 678,000 people scattered over 855 km² for a 792 inh./km² density. That's very low.

By the way, I found this Sandy Springs street view a bit New England-ish https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9797...7i16384!8i8192
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  #533  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 12:27 AM
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Making the opposite exercise: Atlanta formed by its five inner counties (Clayton, Cobb, De Kalb, Fulton, Gwinnett) has 3.852 million people in 4,420 km²;

Boston, formed by Essex, Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth (the latter three subtracted of tens of their outer municipalities) has 4.042 million people in 4,170 km².

It's clear, even though very different, both cities have ultra-low density sprawl issues.
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  #534  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 1:38 AM
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Yeah, I don’t see the point of trying to argue that Boston’s suburban areas are better off than Atlanta’s. Yeah, Boston’s exurbs are older, but they still suffer from sprawl. It only goes to show that all American metros, even those with the most urban cores, are still sprawling at the periphery.
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  #535  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 2:46 AM
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Yeah, I don’t see the point of trying to argue that Boston’s suburban areas are better off than Atlanta’s. Yeah, Boston’s exurbs are older, but they still suffer from sprawl. It only goes to show that all American metros, even those with the most urban cores, are still sprawling at the periphery.
Boston's old suburban areas are on paper sprawly but they do have centers of towns that aren't. Atlanta does not have that. Of course there are exceptions to both and probably plentiful but still a good conclusion.

Here is a map of Boston's Commuter rail.

https://bostonapartments.com/around-...sportation.htm

Thirty miles from Boston on that commuter rail map. Lowell.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6451...7i16384!8i8192

Atlanta doesn't have commuter rail.
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  #536  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 3:02 AM
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^^^ Actually, in Atlanta, MARTA is sorta of a heavy rail/ commuter rail hybrid, similar to DC’s Metro and BART for SF.

But I do agree that Boston’s commuter rail system is more robust and the towns and edge cities in Massachusetts have better cores than those in Georgia surrounding Atlanta.
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  #537  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 3:09 AM
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^^^ Actually, in Atlanta, MARTA is sorta of a heavy rail/ commuter rail hybrid, similar to DC’s Metro and BART for SF.

But I do agree that Boston’s commuter rail system is more robust and the towns and edge cities in Massachusetts have better cores than those in Georgia surrounding Atlanta.
Yeah I agree that Marta is more of commuter rail than a subway/local heavy rail.

edit. goodness the imbedded images are huge. will fix


Atlanta's train map

https://www.itsmarta.com/uploadedima...s-map-2020.jpg

Boston's Commuter Rail Train map

https://www.mbtagifts.com/products/2...fine-art-print

Boston's Local Train map:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ubway_stations
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Last edited by pip; May 13, 2022 at 3:23 AM.
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  #538  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 4:10 AM
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Atlanta's sprawl was intentional. It was purpose-built to be the low-density, car-centric suburban sprawl that we see today.

That is not generally true of Boston's sprawl. First settled in the 1600s and 1700s, most of the area we now consider metropolitan Boston was already settled. Farms, villages, towns, cities, institutions--they were everywhere, and they operated independently of Boston's commuter shed for, in many cases, over three centuries. For example, the town where my parents met was first settled in 1651 and multiple industries (textiles, shoes, baseballs) came and went in the three centuries before it became part of suburban Boston. It was not built to be, nor did it function as, a suburb of Boston until the big land developers began constructing modern tract homes between the historic areas in the 1960s. It is an accidental suburb, as is so much of today's "sprawl" outside Boston.

How and where Boston could expand its commuter shed in recent decades was dictated by that historic quilt consisting of patches of towns, villages, cities, conservation land, colleges, hospitals and other institutions and stitched together by a colonial road network and 19th century rail system. The regional commuter shed eventually grew with white-collar employment and swallowed up those independent communities, filling the interstices with suburban housing tracts and modern highways.

Today's sprawl outside of Boston was not intended to be what it has become. Atlanta's surely was.
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  #539  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 4:18 AM
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Atlanta's sprawl was intentional. It was purpose-built to be the low-density, car-centric suburban sprawl that we see today.

That is not generally true of Boston's sprawl. First settled in the 1600s and 1700s, most of the area we now consider metropolitan Boston was already settled. Farms, villages, towns, cities, institutions--they were everywhere, and they operated independently of Boston's commuter shed for, in many cases, over three centuries. For example, the town where my parents met was first settled in 1651 and multiple industries (textiles, shoes, baseballs) came and went in the three centuries before it became part of suburban Boston. It was not built to be, nor did it function as, a suburb of Boston until the big land developers began constructing modern tract homes between the historic areas in the 1960s. It is an accidental suburb, as is so much of today's "sprawl" outside Boston.

How and where Boston could expand its commuter shed in recent decades was dictated by that historic quilt consisting of patches of towns, villages, cities, conservation land, colleges, hospitals and other institutions and stitched together by a colonial road network and 19th century rail system. The regional commuter shed eventually grew with white-collar employment and swallowed up those independent communities, filling the interstices with suburban housing tracts and modern highways.

Today's sprawl outside of Boston was not intended to be what it has become. Atlanta's surely was.
Medfield?

Newton where I grew up is 1630. Not turning it into a contest but it does show the history of suburban build. My brother lives in Brookline now which I feel is one of the best suburbs in America.
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  #540  
Old Posted May 13, 2022, 2:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jd3189 View Post
Yeah, I don’t see the point of trying to argue that Boston’s suburban areas are better off than Atlanta’s. Yeah, Boston’s exurbs are older, but they still suffer from sprawl. It only goes to show that all American metros, even those with the most urban cores, are still sprawling at the periphery.
Boston's isn't... real "sprawl". The towns were already there. They were settled 100s of years ago. Atlanta's suburbs didn't exist 70 years ago.

We need better language to differentiate what Boston is from what Atlanta is.
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