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Tom Ed White
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@foo, The way I approached the cost problem you describe was to compromise a little. You mention: cool new sustainable, walkable, transit oriented city cores I set out looking for: sustainable, walkable, transit oriented city cores To help me do this, I used a realtor who specializes in high density residential. The property I ended up purchasing is in a beautiful setting, with easy access to shopping, bars, restaurants etc. It's very kid friendly. I don't have kids, but there are a lot of young families here, with lots of kids running around. The development has a lot of open space for them, and they have safe walking access to parks and a public forest. The cost was manageable because while the condos in the development are sturdy and well designed, with good sound isolation, they are neither cool nor new. The interior design is way out of fashion. For example, the foyer is cramped and not designed to make an impression. The kitchen, while adequate for a family, is smaller than what's currently in vogue. The space saved from the above is in the back, with a lot of open space near the deck entrance. I assume the philosophy at the time was that nobody spends much time in the foyer; it's better to put the space in the living area. As for the external architecture and appearance, it's too new to be quaint and too old to be trendy. There is a lot of new high density development nearby. Even though it does not have the same easy access to parks and forest, it's more expensive by a factor of 5 or more.
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I've spent several years experimenting with possible solutions to the last mile problem. I've tried many things on for size: folding bikes, electric bikes, even folding electric bikes. An excellent solution to many logistical problems is a high quality folding kick scooter. It solves the three problems raised in this post. For distances up to two miles, a high performance scooter can match a bike in point to point travel time. If the segments between origin, transit, and destination are under two miles, the scooter can solve the problems raised in this post. From origin to the transit stop, the only requirement is pavement. The scooter works well on sidewalks, bike lanes, and greenways. It's light enough to carry over obstacles. At the transit stop, the scooter eliminates the need for parking, since it can easily be carried onto transit. On board, the folded scooter will fit under the seat, between knees, or on your lap. It's small size and light weight make it easy to carry on and off, and manage in tight spaces. At the destination, portability really comes in handy. Being able to carry it into work places, bars, and restaurants eliminates security and parking issues. It's also possible to spontaneously hitch a lift, if friends or co-workers are going some place interesting.
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2010 on can we cycle the "last mile"? at Human Transit
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Apr 17, 2010