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  #81  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 7:00 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
NW indiana, particularly the part that the indiana toll road goes through, is largely industrial wastelands. gigantic steel mills, huge refineries, vast fields of long-ago abandoned slag, etc.

it's one of the most industrially-scarred landscapes in the nation.

but Lake County, IN is home to nearly a half million people, so they are there, but not always apparent from the expressways through all of the industry.
I always forget Michael Jackson grew up in Chicagoland, just across the lake from the City. That's how forgettable the Indiana portion of Chicago's MSA is.

Last edited by ThePhun1; Sep 25, 2019 at 7:17 AM.
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  #82  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 7:15 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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State line doesn't mean much when it comes to metro areas. The fact that the city of Chicago almost borders Indiana, you'd think the 'city' would go on for several miles in that direction, not taper off pretty dramatically. Then again. that side of town isn't exactly attractive much like here in Houston where it also tapers off on the east side much quicker than it does in the other directions. I'm 30 miles north of downtown and in the suburbs. 30 miles east of downtown is quasi rural.
There's a virtual complete dropoff east of Baytown, it's incredible. Even some areas in the east along the Beltway seem lightly suburban or even totally rural.
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  #83  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 1:36 PM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by skysoar View Post
Of course the city drops off, you are at the Indiana border not far from the cities southern corporation limits.Another thing about Chicago is that it is in the Midwest, but it is dense and resembles a more East coast feel because of the way the housing is constructed and the bustle is continual. When I lived in L.A it was a huge city, but I always felt like I was in suburbia. I guess that is a part of the attraction for many.
Gonna disagree there. There are several quiet neighborhoods in the Chicago city limits, and then you have the bombed out and industrial neighborhoods. There's not much "continual" about it, unless you're talking about going north/northwest from downtown.

And LA always feeling like suburbia is weird as well. But that's your opinion. But to say Chicago bustles everywhere and LA doesn't, when it has more activity nodes, is strange.
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  #84  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 1:57 PM
Crawford Crawford is online now
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Chicago's core is extremely dense and huge, but it drops off almost immediately in most directions but N/NW.

If you take, say, the Stevenson Expressway west, you go from downtown--endless warehouses--suburbia. You can actually be in woodsy suburbia like Burr Ridge in maybe 30 minutes (obviously excepting rush hour). If you work off-hours, it's actually quite easy to have a big suburban house and drive downtown to work.

LA's core is rather inconsequential, and doesn't even feel like the real center. But 30 miles from the core doesn't look/feel much different than two miles from the core.
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  #85  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 1:58 PM
IrishIllini IrishIllini is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Gonna disagree there. There are several quiet neighborhoods in the Chicago city limits, and then you have the bombed out and industrial neighborhoods. There's not much "continual" about it, unless you're talking about going north/northwest from downtown.

And LA always feeling like suburbia is weird as well. But that's your opinion. But to say Chicago bustles everywhere and LA doesn't, when it has more activity nodes, is strange.
The bustle ebbs and flows west, southwest, and south of downtown as well. If you go north or northwest of downtown, there’s buzz along the commercial corridors all the way to the city limits and beyond. The residential streets are quiet everywhere - even in a place like River North or Streeterville.
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  #86  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 2:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Chicago's core is extremely dense and huge, but it drops off almost immediately in most directions but N/NW.
actually, the middle and outer ring western burbs are, on average, a little bit denser than their northern counterparts, with the exception of the waukegan area.

https://www.socialexplorer.com/c1ee92b1e2/view


but yes, generally speaking, the contrast between "the city" and "the burbs" is MUCH starker in chicagoland than it is in metro LA.

once again, hyper centralization vs. hyper poly-centrism.
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  #87  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 2:10 PM
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There is, but that's how LA is too, on a different level. There's just more of it.
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  #88  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 2:48 PM
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Conclusions from the past couple of pages:

If you drive in LA in certain directions, the built environment goes on for a while. If you drive in other directions, you are quickly in sparsely populated forests.

If you drive in Chicago in certain directions, the built environment goes on for a while. If you drive in other directions, you are quickly in sparsely populated cornfields.

Interesting, ha.
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  #89  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 2:49 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by chris08876 View Post
Ah yes, the 4-5 hour drive to the country side, very true.

I find its easier to enter the city, but harder to escape it. When one is on the BQE/Belt Parkway/Cross-Bronx/LIC Expressway ... there's a thing called NYC special relativity that kicks in. When sitting in mind numbing traffic, time slows down. 20 minute delays feel like an hour. Hour long delays feel like 3 hours. Usually time slows down the faster one goes, but remember, this is NYC special relativity. There's a difference!!!
Yeah, this summer I spent a lot of time at the beaches on Long Island. The drive out would vary from 40 minutes to over 2 hours, and most of the traffic bottlenecks were within NYC itself. The drive back into the city was a little more consistent, usually around 1-1.5 hours.

I've had many horrendous, hours long experiences waiting to cross the GWB into NY, though. But I'm more likely to be driving into the city on a Sunday night when there are a lot of people trying to get home.
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  #90  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 2:56 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Most people who grew up out west just don't understand why eastern cities are the way they are.

Cities like Chicago started at their core and were built up densely for well over a century until the car took over, and almost overnight some very low density suburbs were built. That explains why there is a stark difference.

Most California cities saw a majority of their growth after car ownership was already prevalent, so it's obvious that their towns and cities tend to be more spread out as far as density goes--you just won't see the contrast between city and burbs like you will with older cities; San Francisco being the major exception.

Another thing that makes Chicago's burbs seem artificially less dense than places in California is the fact that the region is geographically flat.

So if I'm in the Bay Area driving on the expressways, for example, I see hills all around me with houses on them. To me, then, it visually seems like there are more homes around me.

Take the same drive along Chicagoland's expressways and you are surrounded by flatlands. Some of that is Forest Preserve Land (hence disallowed from private development), and the rest is low density suburbia that you probably just can't see because these neighborhoods aren't up on hills like they are in many of California's bigger metros.
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  #91  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:09 PM
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^ tree cover in suburbia also tends to be much heavier in the humid east as well.

and at least in chicagoland, there are some places where thin lines of forest are planted along the expressways to shield residential areas from the noise. so for someone who might not know any better, they might just think they're driving through a forest when in fact there are thousands of people living on the other side of the tree line that you simply cannot see driving by at 70 mph. this phenomenon is most apparent on northern sections of the tri-state.

just a regular old 8 lane expressway through an uninhabitted forest, right?

not exactly, when you zoom out.



here's another example from the lake street extension in the western burbs

but when you zoom out........
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 25, 2019 at 3:50 PM.
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  #92  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:14 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ Exactly

I am particularly tuned to this because I am in northern California regularly.

The homes in the Bay Area are propped up on "stilts" (ie hills) for everyone to see, so naturally you just assume that the Bay area is flooded with people while in suburban Chicago you're just driving through forests. But for the latter case it's a misconception--the homes are there, you just can't see them from the expressways.
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  #93  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:18 PM
homebucket homebucket is offline
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Originally Posted by Handro View Post
Conclusions from the past couple of pages:

If you drive in LA in certain directions, the built environment goes on for a while. If you drive in other directions, you are quickly in sparsely populated forests.
Well not just forests. Within 1.5 hours of DTLA you can be here:
https://goo.gl/maps/P2NFShKb5ama1fpA8

Miles and miles of farmland. Aka Bakersfield.
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  #94  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:36 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handro View Post
If you drive in LA in certain directions, the built environment goes on for a while. If you drive in other directions, you are quickly in sparsely populated forests.

If you drive in Chicago in certain directions, the built environment goes on for a while. If you drive in other directions, you are quickly in sparsely populated cornfields.

Interesting, ha.
The barrier north of L.A. is a mountain range. If you go north of L.A. on I-5 you quickly reach the mountains, some of which are in L.A. County itself, and on the other side of the mountains is the desert.
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  #95  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:46 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
Most people who grew up out west just don't understand why eastern cities are the way they are.

Cities like Chicago started at their core and were built up densely for well over a century until the car took over, and almost overnight some very low density suburbs were built. That explains why there is a stark difference.

Most California cities saw a majority of their growth after car ownership was already prevalent, so it's obvious that their towns and cities tend to be more spread out as far as density goes--you just won't see the contrast between city and burbs like you will with older cities; San Francisco being the major exception.

Another thing that makes Chicago's burbs seem artificially less dense than places in California is the fact that the region is geographically flat.

So if I'm in the Bay Area driving on the expressways, for example, I see hills all around me with houses on them. To me, then, it visually seems like there are more homes around me.

Take the same drive along Chicagoland's expressways and you are surrounded by flatlands. Some of that is Forest Preserve Land (hence disallowed from private development), and the rest is low density suburbia that you probably just can't see because these neighborhoods aren't up on hills like they are in many of California's bigger metros.
I can see this. But I'm from Northern Virigina, which builds it's denser development near the freeways. So when I moved to Chicago, I didn't see the same development patterns. As you said, alot of forest preserves near the expressways.

LA is somewhere in the middle. It's not like Northern Virigina either. LA built around it's boulevards.
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  #96  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:54 PM
homebucket homebucket is offline
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There are trees in the Bay Area too.

just a regular old 8 lane expressway through an uninhabited forest, right?
not exactly, when you zoom out.

here's another example
but when you zoom out

Not sure if you can find this in LA though. I don't recall there being as many trees around its freeways.
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  #97  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 4:05 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
I can see this. But I'm from Northern Virigina, which builds it's denser development near the freeways. So when I moved to Chicago, I didn't see the same development patterns. As you said, alot of forest preserves near the expressways.

LA is somewhere in the middle. It's not like Northern Virigina either. LA built around it's boulevards.
Northern Virginia is also a tad bit hillier than Chicagoland, though--although not as hilly as coastal California. The hills to me make a big difference--if you see houses around you on hills, then psychologically it feels like you're in a more populated area.

Also, you are correct that in Chicago's suburbs there is not much density near expressways. I believe that is intentional--being next to expressway is considered undesirable. Yes, people drive and they want to be near it, but not too near it. Other than a few spots here and there, you will see very little actual housing near any of the area's major expressways. It's usually either Forest Preserve land or commercial real estate (warehouses, office/hotel, shopping centers, etc).

As far as residential density in Chicagoland--in the burbs there really isn't any. The only real clusters you'll see in the burbs are around the Metra stations.
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  #98  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 4:53 PM
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Yeah, this summer I spent a lot of time at the beaches on Long Island. The drive out would vary from 40 minutes to over 2 hours, and most of the traffic bottlenecks were within NYC itself. The drive back into the city was a little more consistent, usually around 1-1.5 hours.

I've had many horrendous, hours long experiences waiting to cross the GWB into NY, though. But I'm more likely to be driving into the city on a Sunday night when there are a lot of people trying to get home.
Which really makes we wonder how the city is going to alleviate this traffic and congenstion issue in the future.

The city is getting denser, and I guess while we are on the topic of dense, a lot of our cities are at the point where the roads can't handle the volume, point-blank.

Places like LA, NYC, and even D.C. based on my latest visit. Its just insanity and I don't see it getting better. Like take the Cross-Bronx for example, the way its designed, with constant merges and elevated walls on both sides. How does one fix that mess? Its a nightmare.

I do hope on the GWB they get rid of the toll booths and do something like EZ-Pass only or instead of cash, toll-by-mail. The tolls are such a bottle neck. Not just entering the GWB, but on the NJ side where the Turnpike divides where one section leads to the Holland, the other Lincoln/GWB.

They really need to speed up the rate of completion for these road projects. They take way to long, literally years, and some of the things going on have not helped. The completion of the Koscuiuszko Bridge yielded nothing positive. Its still a terrible section. They also need to revamp the city traffic light timing. Some of those lights, especially the ones that are near the exit lanes are too short in timing. It causes nothing but delays and backups.
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  #99  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 5:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chris08876 View Post
I do hope on the GWB they get rid of the toll booths and do something like EZ-Pass only or instead of cash, toll-by-mail. The tolls are such a bottle neck. Not just entering the GWB, but on the NJ side where the Turnpike divides where one section leads to the Holland, the other Lincoln/GWB.
The GWB does have EZ-Pass. I used it every time I drive into the city. It's just a cluster because the crush of traffic.
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  #100  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 5:02 PM
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I thought NYC was doing something (congestion pricing).
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