Oklahoma's Car Culture Forced to Adapt

Oklahoma City residents used to 70-mile commutes are turning to carpooling as gas hovers at $4 a gallon. But with the largest land area of any U.S. city, providing public transit remains a major challenge.

"With several refineries in the region, years of cheap fuel have made it possible for many people to live far from their jobs."

"Now the situation is unraveling."

"Due to its sheer size, public transportation is a tough prospect in Oklahoma City."

"City Manager Jim Couch says that at 627 square miles, Oklahoma City has the third greatest land mass of all U.S. cities."

"It also ranked last among 50 U.S. cities in a recent study on areas best able to cope with high oil prices."

"The study, published by the economic development group Common Current, starts from the premise that cities with strong public transit systems will likely remain competitive in the face of soaring gas prices."

"Best able to survive and thrive are the highly populated cities in which people can get by without cars: San Francisco, New York and Chicago ranked 1, 2 and 3, respectively."

Full Story: Oklahoma's painful car culture

Comments

Comments

70 miles a day?

Wow I'm not sure how anyone ever thought that was wise. Just a thought maybe choosing to live closer to your job would be a better option than driving 70 miles a day. just a thought

http://urbanmilwaukee.com

Oklahoma is a red state. All

Oklahoma is a red state. All of the urbanized areas during the past two presidential elections were blue with the exception of Oklahoma city, Dallas, Houston, and a couple others.

Republicans hate cities because that is where Democrats, gays/lesbians, non-whites, and poor people live. Republicans will be willing to spend half of their income on gasoline just to stay away from the people they don't like. They may even be willing to go without basic necessities such as food just so that they can stay a healthy distance away from the homosexuals and non-whites.

Factors contributing to sprawl:

-dislike of non-republicans
-cheap gasoline
-plentiful undeveloped land

looks like the last two are about gone, but we still have plenty of the first.

Eventually gasoline will get so expensive that republicans will be forced to move back into the city with those that they hate. They may or may not be greeted with open arms by the liberals that they despise.

A good percentage of republicans will opt to move even further out into the country and become subsistence farmers, because they hate city dwellers that much.

Expensive gasoline prices will force many republicans to grow up and learn to get along with those that are different from themselves since they will have to move into denser, urban neighborhoods. They will also have to give up their aristocratic aspirations of a mansion and five acres which was handed down to them from a slave-owning culture.

A lot of people like suburbs because they enjoy the nature. What they don't get is that the suburbs are basically raping the very nature that they are supposedly enjoying. The only way to preserve nature is to keep people out of it. So if you are really green, you will move out of your suburban vinyl shack and into an apartment in the city.

Must be an election year

Yeah, I realize presidential election years bring out strong emotions for partisans but this post ranks up there as a prize example of the silly season.

"Factors contributing to sprawl:

-dislike of non-republicans
-cheap gasoline
-plentiful undeveloped land

looks like the last two are about gone, but we still have plenty of the first."

The same could be said for Democrats on their dislike for non-Democrats living in the suburbs and rural areas. Your post alone typifies the anger. No doubt cheap gas fueled suburban growth. The last part on undeveloped is nonsense. There's always plenty of undeveloped land but how much of it is near enough to a place with jobs and infrastructure? Is more likely new towns would be set up?

"Eventually gasoline will get so expensive that republicans will be forced to move back into the city with those that they hate. They may or may not be greeted with open arms by the liberals that they despise."

People who use the word "hate" often tend to be filled with it themselves.

"A good percentage of republicans will opt to move even further out into the country and become subsistence farmers, because they hate city dwellers that much."

Laughable and without any basis in fact. The number of farmers in America is around 1% of the population far exceeding suburban dwellers. Farming ain't easy and most folks from the suburbs think corn grows in a supermarket. Most of the Republicans you hate will probably end living next to you so you better adapt yourself. If they have more money, they'll gentrify neighborhoods pushing the poor and angry Democrats into ghettos. Naturally, crime will rise which led to a surburban exodus in the first place.

"They will also have to give up their aristocratic aspirations of a mansion and five acres which was handed down to them from a slave-owning culture."

Wrong. Most of the big house and lawn notions came from England and predate the slaveholding plantations of the South.

Michael Lewyn's picture
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And also...

There are plenty of Democratic sprawl suburbs out there. For example, in the DC area you have to get 30 miles out to find a Republican neighborhood; Democrats have taken over not only the walkable inner suburbs like Arlington and Alexandria, but also Prince George's and Montgomery County in Maryland, and Fairfax in Virginia. In Atlanta, DeKalb County is solidly Democratic. Its only in the most conservative parts of America that "suburbia" is synonymous with "Republican."

So its just not true that only conservatives and Republicans dislike urban problems.

"Wrong. Most of the big

"Wrong. Most of the big house and lawn notions came from England and predate the slaveholding plantations of the South."

Right. No one in England ever practiced slavery, right? Have you heard of indentured servants? Besides, most of England's culture and laws came from the slave-owning Roman Empire. The point still stands - there is no way anyone could have five acres and a mansion without exploiting some form of extraneous energy. Before the time of machines and oil, that extraneous energy came from other people. So, the *tradition* of having a mansion with five acres stretches all the way back to the Roman Empire and before, and it originates with slave-owning societies. So stuff it.

"There's always plenty of undeveloped land but how much of it is near enough to a place with jobs and infrastructure? Is more likely new towns would be set up?"

Do you understand ecological footprint? The city of London requires an area of arable land equal to the entire UK. So, just because there is plenty of undeveloped land doesn't mean that you can develop it. The point still stands - we are running out of land to develop. Actually, if you really want to look at ecological footprint, we are already out of land which can be developed because we have already exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet. Developing any more land would increase our footprint causing us to exceed the carrying capacity even more. So, maybe I should have said "we are out of land which we can develop" rather than saying "we are out of undeveloped land".

You think millions of starving urban dwellers are going to take kindly to wealthy people moving in and forcing them out? I think there are a few South American countries you should visit. If you own a Hummer, it had better be bullet-proof. Death squads are going to target the rich, you bet. The anger and resentment
just have to get to a certain level, and buddy, we are not far off. When people start to go hungry, they will do just about anything. Here in Austin, TX it is a common sight in gentrifying East Austin to see a stop sign with the words "Yuppies stay out" spray painted on. There is already a high level of resentment. People can be pushed very far until they reach the breaking point, but there is a breaking point.

A lot of Republicans and Libertarians will become farmers. Your point about farmers representing 1% of the population reveals that you know nothing about peak oil and the changes that will result. This might be news to you but a hell of a lot more than 1% of the population is going to be engaged in farming. Sorry, but that is the inevitable result of running out of cheap oil to keep industrial agriculture operating. I would prefer to sit on my ass all day, too. I think farming will appeal to the individualist mindset of the Republicans and Libertarians, since they tend to believe in things like "every man for himself" and "earn by the sweat of your brow". There will also be a lot of hippy-type Democrats who start farming co-ops, but I think the majority of liberals will remain in the cities where they already are. Every time I have heard something like "I would never live in a city", it has always been a republican or conservative that said it. This leads me to believe that more Republicans than Democrats will opt to become farmers.

"So its just not true that only conservatives and Republicans dislike urban problems."

True, there are many Democrats who move to the suburbs. I never said that Democrats didn't dislike urban problems. Democrats are more likely to remain in the cities and try to fix those problems, rather than flee to the suburbs. Just check out a map of the election results for the past two elections and I think you'll grasp my point. In general, Republicans live in the suburbs, and Democrats live in the cities. I didn't say that *all* democrats lived in cities, but it is a majority. Same thing with republicans and suburbs.

Who started fleeing the cities first? It wasn't the people who are now called Democrats. Face it, the Republican party exists as it does today due to racism. The last "great re-alignment" occurred when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, causing millions of racist southern democrats to switch parties. The demographics of the two parties have remained pretty much the same since then (racist whites are Republican). Do some history homework.

Blame the Romans for Urban Sprawl

"No one in England ever practiced slavery, right? Have you heard of indentured servants? Besides, most of England's culture and laws came from the slave-owning Roman Empire."

You left out serfdom and the Norman Conquest as being more important in English history. In any case, the Romans in Britain didn't have McMansions or slaves as lawnmowers.

"Before the time of machines and oil, that extraneous energy came from other people. So, the *tradition* of having a mansion with five acres stretches all the way back to the Roman Empire and before, and it originates with slave-owning societies. So stuff it."

Sheep and serfs. Haven't you ever heard of oxen either? Technically, serfs were tied to the land unlike slaves. Don't forget the North was far more developed than the slave-based Southern states before the Civil War. Feel free to stuff it to your history teachers and your charm school instructors.

"You think millions of starving urban dwellers are going to take kindly to wealthy people moving in and forcing them out? I think there are a few South American countries you should visit."

There already here if count the Mexicans and we don't shanty towns around our cities. My town is 38% Hispanic so when's the tipping point? 50%, 60%, 70%. . .You must not like Hispanics much.

"If you own a Hummer, it had better be bullet-proof. Death squads are going to target the rich, you bet."

Not too many planners can afford a bullet-proof Hummer so better look at the pay scales again. Death squads in Latin America also target outspoken leftist so you better watch your back.

"Here in Austin, TX it is a common sight in gentrifying East Austin to see a stop sign with the words "Yuppies stay out" spray painted on."

Probably doesn't keep 'em out does it? Most homeowners sell to the highest bidder.

"This might be news to you but a hell of a lot more than 1% of the population is going to be engaged in farming."

I thought we were out of developable land? Ever try to hoe pavement in Austin? How many people do you know living solely on the food they raise?

"I would prefer to sit on my ass all day, too."

I'll bet you do. How exactly will you eat?

"There will also be a lot of hippy-type Democrats who start farming co-ops, but I think the majority of liberals will remain in the cities where they already are."

They are gonna get real hungry. Cannibalism will be the next step. Eat the rich or eat each other? The other possibility is another China or Cambodia where city dwellers serve as forced labor in the countryside. Hope you like rice.

"This leads me to believe that more Republicans than Democrats will opt to become farmers."

Why not pay starving artists and assorted other liberals to toil?

"Democrats are more likely to remain in the cities and try to fix those problems, rather than flee to the suburbs."

Cities can shrink or become ghost towns. Rome, Constantinople. . .they were down to a few thousand residents and they lasted for centuries.

"Face it, the Republican party exists as it does today due to racism. The last "great re-alignment" occurred when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, causing millions of racist southern democrats to switch parties. The demographics of the two parties have remained pretty much the same since then (racist whites are Republican). Do some history homework."

LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act because of Republican support. The Dems had a lot of conservative Dixiecrats until around 1972 so your timeline is off. Sen. Patrick Moynihan (a Democrat) blamed government entitlement programs for doing what slavery and the KKK couldn't do- destroy the Black family. Now, that's racist. If racism has been the backbone of Republican policies, how could Obama get any votes, especially from White folks from rural areas? Obama, more so than Hillary, won in traditionally Republican states. Your crazy black-white theory to explain everything needs a lot of work.

»

Freeyoke that was just about

Freeyoke that was just about the most irrelevant collection of comments you could have come up with. I'm not sure how to respond since you didn't really address anything I said, and you seem to have misunderstood a great deal of what I've said based upon your responses.

"Sheep and serfs. Haven't you ever heard of oxen either? Technically, serfs were tied to the land unlike slaves. Don't forget the North was far more developed than the slave-based Southern states before the Civil War. Feel free to stuff it to your history teachers and your charm school instructors."

What is your point? I was saying that the mansion and five acres thing was unattainable without using extraneous energy. Oxen are a source of extraneous energy, yes, but so what? Those that had mansions had slaves pulling the oxen. Your point about the North/South supports my statement, it doesn't hurt it in any way.

"There already here if count the Mexicans and we don't shanty towns around our cities. My town is 38% Hispanic so when's the tipping point? 50%, 60%, 70%. . .You must not like Hispanics much."

Again, what is your point? I wasn't even talking about immigration. What do you mean I don't like Hispanics? That sure came outta left field.

"I thought we were out of developable land? Ever try to hoe pavement in Austin? How many people do you know living solely on the food they raise?"

You can increase the amount of people engaged in farming and not increase the amount of land dedicated to farming. That is really obvious, though. Stop using machines and you need more people to farm the same area of land. We are not going to keep the machine agriculture running for much longer. The statement about sitting on my ass was meant to be facetious and represent the attitude that most people would have on the issue. I thought that would be apparent from the context but I guess not. Things like sarcasm are difficult to convey over the internet.

Crazy black and white theory = white flight. Not such a crazy theory, but a proven phenomena. Are you going to deny that white flight exists? Because that is basically all I am describing here.

And you're just flat out wrong about LBJ and the civil rights act. When LBJ signed the act he said that he was "signing away the south for 50 years" because he knew that the southern racists would switch parties afterward which proved to be true. Today the descendants of those who switched parties are now republicans along with the neoliberal free-market types and fundamentalist christains. So what I said was true, the Republican party has a legacy of racism. Just an embarrassing little fact of history that you can't sweep under the rug no matter how much you would like to. Your revisionist view of history is interesting but wouldn't fly in a 9th grade history classroom. It was the signing of the act itself that was the pivotal, deciding moment. Of course not everyone switched immediately. It might take 5 or 6 years. An entire re-alignment isn't going to happen overnight.

Loose ends

"Again, what is your point? I wasn't even talking about immigration. What do you mean I don't like Hispanics? That sure came outta left field."

Since most most of your remarks about people living in South America were negative, it was natural to assume you also wouldn't want more Hispanics around.

"You can increase the amount of people engaged in farming and not increase the amount of land dedicated to farming. That is really obvious, though."

You can only yield so much food from a given plot of land. Increasing the number of farm hands ad infinitum to grow food leads to a point of diminishing returns. In your case, you expect the entire city of Austin could feed itself without a major die off first? Also, I used to live in central Texas for four years and it isn't prime cropland. Throughout history cities under siege couldn't survive without an external source of food. They need a rural to city exchange of goods to survive. Engaging in survialism won't work the long run for city dwellers.

"Crazy black and white theory = white flight. Not such a crazy theory, but a proven phenomena. Are you going to deny that white flight exists? Because that is basically all I am describing here."

Again, if a lot of white people fled to surburbs and rural areas becuase they are racists, why were the more rural states more pro-Obama than pro-Hillary? It didn't fit into your theory so you just ignored it.

"And you're just flat out wrong about LBJ and the civil rights act. When LBJ signed the act he said that he was "signing away the south for 50 years" because he knew that the southern racists would switch parties afterward which proved to be true. Today the descendants of those who switched parties are now republicans along with the neoliberal free-market types and fundamentalist christains. So what I said was true, the Republican party has a legacy of racism. Just an embarrassing little fact of history that you can't sweep under the rug no matter how much you would like to. Your revisionist view of history is interesting but wouldn't fly in a 9th grade history classroom. It was the signing of the act itself that was the pivotal, deciding moment. Of course not everyone switched immediately. It might take 5 or 6 years. An entire re-alignment isn't going to happen overnight."

You tend see everything as black/white, city/rural , good/evil or Democrat/Republican so may difficulty following this. Your claim that the Southern Democrats eventually switched to Republican is true but in 1964 that wasn't the case. Both parties voted in favor of the act. The only real opposition came from Southerners in both parties so the division was North/South not Republican/Democrat which was your main argument on evil Republicans not evil southerners as the source of racism. By the way, the current Senate Majority Leader, Robert Byrd (D), voted against the Civil Rights Act. He was also in the KKK but let's sweep that under the rug shall we?

I hoped you have cared about what liberal social programs did to the black family but then again why worry them if they vote 90% Democrat?

Say what you wish on this thread be I have to move on to other tasks.

background info
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID={9C024F95-4ECE-424A-B5B7-0DAA3E049189}

Vote totals
Totals are in "Yea-Nay" format:

The original House version: 290-130 (69%-31%)
The Senate version: 73-27 (73%-27%)
The Senate version, as voted on by the House: 289-126 (70%-30%)

[edit] By party
The original House version:[7]

Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%-39%)
Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)
The Senate version:[7]

Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)
The Senate version, voted on by the House:[7]

Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)

[edit] By party and region
Note : "Southern", as used in this section, refers to members of Congress from the eleven states that made up the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. "Northern" refers to members from the other 39 states, regardless of the geographic location of those states.

The original House version:

Southern Democrats: 7-87 (7%-93%)
Southern Republicans: 0-10 (0%-100%)
Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%-6%)
Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%-15%)
The Senate version:

Southern Democrats: 1-20 (5%-95%) (only Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
Southern Republicans: 0-1 (0%-100%) (this was Senator John Tower of Texas)
Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%-2%) (only Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia opposed the measure)
Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%-16%) (Senators Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Edwin L. Mechem of New Mexico, Milward L. Simpson of Wyoming, and Norris H. Cotton of New Hampshire opposed the measure)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

Final Word

Freeyoke, freeyoke. I will respond one last time to you for the sake of anyone who might be following this ridiculous conversation, but pretty much everything I am about to say I have already said elsewhere here.

"Since most most of your remarks about people living in South America were negative, it was natural to assume you also wouldn't want more Hispanics around."

How did you even come to this conclusion? You're just putting words in my mouth. I've made one comment on South Americans and it wasn't even negative. Besides, South Americans does not = Hispanic. I'm really baffled as to how my comment led you to make the conclusion that you did.

"You can only yield so much food from a given plot of land. Increasing the number of farm hands ad infinitum to grow food leads to a point of diminishing returns. In your case, you expect the entire city of Austin could feed itself without a major die off first? Also, I used to live in central Texas for four years and it isn't prime cropland. Throughout history cities under siege couldn't survive without an external source of food. They need a rural to city exchange of goods to survive. Engaging in survialism won't work the long run for city dwellers."

I never said to increase the number of farm hands ad infinitum. Your favorite debate tactic seems to be straw-man, which is a fine tactic if you are actually full of it and have nothing to back up what you are saying. What I am talking about is the collapse of industrial agriculture. Industrial agriculture allows us to farm a given plot of land with far fewer people. Without the machines, the number of people required to farm a given plot goes up. This is probably one of your more ridiculous statements, since I have never advocated that a city could support itself in food production. Actually, the city of Austin could feed itself just fine with the surrounding land if the suburbs which are choking the city were first removed and converted to agricultural use (farming towns instead of subdivisions). I have always said that what is needed is a more clear distinction between city and country, with a city receiving its food supply from farming towns no more than 200 miles away. This pretty much necessitates that the suburbs which currently choke most urban areas be torn down and converted into agricultural use, since in recent years much of the prime cropland has been paved over to build sprawl.

"Again, if a lot of white people fled to surburbs and rural areas becuase they are racists, why were the more rural states more pro-Obama than pro-Hillary? It didn't fit into your theory so you just ignored it."

Actually, I ignored it because it's an asinine statement. The Re-alignment occurred around 50 years ago, that's a fact. As I said, the majority of racists fled to rural areas but things might have changed a bit in 50 years, right? This might make it so that the majority living in a particular area are not racist. In other words, the majority of racists live in rural areas, but the majority who live in rural areas are not racist. Get it? This fits perfectly fine with everything that I've said, since I've always said that racists are more likely to be southerners and more likely to be republican. I never said "every single person who is a racist is a republican" that's you putting words in my mouth again. There is a significant enough correlation to draw a connection. In other words, not every republican is a racist, but a racist is much more likely to be a republican than a democrat. So when I use the phrase "racist Republicans" I am referring to those republicans which are racist, not labeling the entire party as such. There is a significant enough number of racist republicans that I could label the entire party if I wanted to get into stereotypes, which sometimes I do for literary effect.

"You tend see everything as black/white, city/rural , good/evil or Democrat/Republican so may difficulty following this. Your claim that the Southern Democrats eventually switched to Republican is true but in 1964 that wasn't the case. Both parties voted in favor of the act. The only real opposition came from Southerners in both parties so the division was North/South not Republican/Democrat which was your main argument on evil Republicans not evil southerners as the source of racism. By the way, the current Senate Majority Leader, Robert Byrd (D), voted against the Civil Rights Act. He was also in the KKK but let's sweep that under the rug shall we?"

Okay. What I said was that the signing of the Civil Rights act caused those racist southern democrats to switch parties. You say it was "southerners in both parties" Which is pretty misleading since the majority of southerners at the time were Democrats. After the signing of the act they jumped ship and headed for the Republican party. What's not to understand here? I'm sorry but your attempt to rewrite history has failed. Robert Byrd is like 100 years old and is an example of one of the racist southern democrats that I am talking about. Of course, not every single member would have switched parties due to loyalty and other reasons, but it was above 90%. Robert Byrd is an example of one of the racist southern democrats who remained a democrat for other reasons. So, the Robert Byrd thing actually supports my argument rather than hurting it. I'm stunned that you would bring that up as an argument against me.

"I hoped you have cared about what liberal social programs did to the black family but then again why worry them if they vote 90% Democrat?"

Oh, please. This statement does more than anything else to reveal you for what you really are. Are you a republican or libertarian? Just answer the question before you say anything else to me. I guess in your view all those poor black folks have been decieved by the scheming democrats and should go vote republican? What a joke. Not only is that ridiculous, it's also pretty racist since you assume that millions of black people can't think for themselves or aren't smart enough to figure out where their best interests lie. I guess the white republicans know what is best for the blacks, right?

"Say what you wish on this thread be I have to move on to other tasks."

Mmmmkay, Yokey. It's been fun chatting with you, I guess.

http://sustainablecity.blogspot.com

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