84 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: South Bronx Rising”

  1. Since I’m sure some others will look it up, here’s a site about the Bronx Melrose project:


    Also Duane Reade Inc., a subsidiary of the Walgreen Company, is a chain of pharmacy and convenience stores.

    By the way SPL has an interesting DVD set “New York, A Documentary Film” by Ric Burns (Ken’s brother). I’ve only watched the 8th disc which is about Moses and covers the “Bronx burning” period.

    According to the source book’s author, Mahler, at the time property taxes were so high landlords would burn down their buildings for the insurance money, and some tenants would set a fire in a decrepit, privately-owned building in order to get priority for the newer public housing. However, the burning of tenement housing in New York City in the 1970s was the end-game of urban renewal. After a building was red-lined, it was deemed unsuitable for sale in the eyes of the mortgage banking industry. A building’s owner could not sell his building unless he received a cash payment. Landlords were forced to maintain a building that they couldn’t afford to keep. Taxes collected by the city were greater than what could be charged to tenants (an unintended consequence of rent control laws). With nobody paying cash to buy the building, and no way to sell the building to a conventional buyer, the landlord’s only recourse was to set it on fire.

  2. Large sidewalk-level retail? They’re doing it wrong. I know they’re trying to attract larger retailers, but they’ll end up killing their street activity. Who wants to walk past a single large retailer for an entire block, when you can be walking by a dozen interesting small businesses?

    1. I mostly disagree. Certainly you want those small interesting businesses, but you also want to be able to do everything you can within your neighborhood. If all you’ve got is restaurants, convenience stores, and specialty shops, where do you go to get your groceries, prescription drugs, clothing, and household items? I think a mix of the two is idea. I love that I have all the little places near me in Capitol Hill, but I also love that I have 3 or 4 grocery stores all within walking distance. Bigger often equals cheaper, and that’s extremely important in what appears to be a working class neighborhood like the South Bronx.

      1. I agree with Matt. In the summer I live in Paris. Paris is chock full of tiny stores and I can walk out the door of my apartment (in the 7th arrondisment) and get everything I need for the day from 6 different shops and be back home faster than I can get from a car at Fred Meyer into the store and back.

        Small speciality stores actually do work. The one stop shopping is a poor idea that doesn’t really work because you have sellers only interested in moving volume, they don’t care about the product (which is their livelihood).

      2. That’s fine if you get have the right mix of shops. But if every third shop is either a Subway, a nail shop or a laundromat, it’s not a substitute for a supermarket. If instead you could attract a butcher, a baker and a candlestick makergreen grocer it would would work out much better.

      3. Unfortunately, the ideal you describe is not likely to return to the US anytime soon because the concept of a convenience store has come to mean to provide some commodity that you need sooner than you can get it by going to the supermarket. These stores charge a premium price for this “convenience”. Case in point, the convience store in the basement mall of the building that I lived in in Chicago charges about 150% of what the Dominicks store that was 3 blocks away. So when it was cold and nasty outside, you could pay for not having to go outside. But the merchandise was often poorer quality than the market. you also have to realize wholesale distributors are leveraged towards big stores.

      4. aw: the problem you describe is almost entirely due to the shallowness of the footprint. Butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers all need extensive back rooms where the butchering/baking/etc. can happen. With Subways, nail shops, and laundromats, what you see is what you get.

        You could easily build a mixed-use building where the retail lots were sized to attract the kinds of businesses you’ve described. But that just doesn’t happen.

      5. Skinny, and deep. 20′ wide, full building deep with a backside entrance for deliveries. The reason you don’t see much of that is modern owners are trying to attract large chains, which want a large storefront (the more storefront, the more likely you are to attract a customer). That might be good for the owner, but bad for the neighborhood. This is why small storefronts should be mandated at the zoning or neighborhood planning level, not left for developers.

      6. There needs to be a mix of small and large shops. Americans switched to one-stop shopping decades ago and aren’t going to switch back. So there must be a supermarket and drugstore within walking distance. But that doesn’t mean everything should be national chains. But it has to get better than Broadway, were most of the small retail shops target the same narrow clientele, selling overpriced “stylish” clothing that’s irrelevant to 90% of the people walking past those shops.

      7. Head to almost any old neighborhood to find something better. I walked around Fremont today, and many storefronts are 10′ wide. Orpheus books has its entire 3-story shop in that width. Dusty Strings has nothing more than a door, leading down to stairs to their underground shop.

        Regarding supermarkets, the supermarket on 3rd downtown is a good example of a solution. Small storefront, large store (in this case underground, but certainly could be 2nd story). Try to name a supermarket that’s enjoyable to walk past – there are very few (DeLaurenti in Pike Place Market comes to mind – also a small storefront).

  3. From Josh’s link: “At a public meeting in October 1992, a number of community residents—homeowners, tenants and businesses—vented their anger at the plan to take over their neighborhood. They demanded that any new development slated for the area include them.” Not unlike Seattle’s urban villages demanding a say in how their business/residence location should be developed. I agree with Matt, that big stores at street level kill the street-life. Where they walked in the video for the most part seemed to be car oriented development. Not to say it won’t work in New York. But I don’t think most people come to Seattle to “climb the ladder.”

    1. I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t come here to sit on my hands. I could have done that just as well where I was in Arizona.

    2. Big stores at street level, with the associated monolithic walls, can be mitigated by street vendors and other such things along the wall. Street vendors, as much as they are hated by established businesses, do wonderful things to activate streets, and even drive retail traffic to the area. We could require one or two small nooks off the sidewalk per block-face for street vendors – auction off licenses to use them annually. We should already be doing this with designated spaces in underused pocket parks.

      Or simply have the big stores massed in the middle of the building, with smaller stores lining the edges of the building. For good examples look at the Broadway and Pike facing sides of the Harvard Market QFC, or the Weller and 6th facing sides of the International District Uwajimaya. Both of those examples are imperfect; they still have sections that are heavily vehicle oriented, but they are proof that a large store can fit in quite nicely.

      And even if a large

      1. Help me understand this. I seem to recall that Seattle had upsize incentives for amenities like setback and greenspace, or facade decor. How does a wall either of stone or glass to the sidewalk make that an improvement? It creates closed in caverns that often create their own weather effects. Is that what people want in a neighborhood?

      2. Blank walls, and buildings not oriented toward the street, are fortunately a thing of the past. A decorated wall is better than a blank wall, windows are better than that, and doors with people constantly walking in and out are even better. A chain store like Urban Outfitters with a large space and windows all along it, may be worse than several deep narrow shops, but it’s better than a blank wall.

    1. The powdered fuel’s actually quite interesting. But I’m afraid of efficiency issues. Start with grid power, convert to hydrogen, convert to powder, convert to hydrogen, convert to electricity, drive motor. That’s a lot of steps between the grid and the motor, and each step has power losses.

      They also don’t talk about the actual fuel cell at all. These generally use platinum to keep from corroding – platinum isn’t exactly cheap or plentiful.

      1. The efficiency issue precludes this from being a panacea for all needs but the energy density is pretty astounding. For certain niche examples this holds a lot of promise.

    2. Alternative fuel Bike/scooter/motorcycles are a much more responsible form of personal vehicles than the full size cars you usually post about. They don’t have the same negative land-use implications, and are overall less energy consuming. Not perfect, but better.

      Although, we’d get most of the benefit now, if people used currently available lithium-battery electric vehicles. Even with all the inherent electricity storage and transportation inefficiencies, it beats the hell out of the efficiency of a gasoline engine.

      1. Except when said electricity is also being produced by fossil fuels. Here in the northwest, we often forget about this because nearly 100% of our electricity comes from renewable sources. But in the vast majority of the country it’s coal, natural gas or nuclear.

        I am encouraged though because we are finding that wind and solar can rapidly grow to power a big chunk of our energy requirements if we don’t let certain monolithic corporations interfere in the making of new energy markets.

      2. Amtrak did a study to show the benefits of electrifying it’s lines. There was no improvement in Co2 production country wide because to generate that kind of electricity we’d just burn more coal. Getting the east off of coal would help.

      3. With electricity, you have the potential to produce fuel in more sustainable ways. With conventional engines, there’s nothing you can do.

        In particular, the best ways to produce power — including wind, geothermal, and hydro — simply aren’t practical at a small scale. There are only two types of wind-powered vehicles; one uses electricity, and the other is a boat.

        And don’t forget that most electricity in the US is produced from domestic fuel, rather than imports. So there are none of the thorny political issues. Think about how many people died in the Iraq War (and how much greenhouse gas was emitted by the planes and vehicles used in that effort) before saying that coal is dirtier than oil.

      4. You all presume that current fossil fuels will remain steady in cost. Green energy is the fixed cost, everything else will go up, up, up.

        And not-designed-in-the-1950’s-by-GE nuclear actually has potential.

      5. Except when said electricity is also being produced by fossil fuels.

        Well, the efficiency of a gasoline engine is so atrocious that even if the electricity is coming from a typical American coal power plant, it’s still a net gain. Not a dramatic gain, but a gain nonetheless. And down the road it’ll be easier to update a few hundred power plants to newer, cleaner tech than to update a few hundred million cars.

        Amtrak did a study to show the benefits of electrifying it’s lines. There was no improvement in Co2

        Amtrak’s diesel-electrics are much more efficient than the car engines we’re talking about.

        You all presume that current fossil fuels will remain steady in cost. Green energy is the fixed cost, everything else will go up, up, up.

        Except for coal, which is our major power source. We’re sitting on so much goddamn coal that if the market is left to its own devices, coal will to continue to be dirt cheap for at least another century or two. We’re going to need serious government intervention to reduce the US’s coal consumption in our lifetimes, because the market will not help us there.

      6. There is a niche for hydrogen when there’s periodic excess energy. It’s like the reverse water pump at some renewable-power plants, that pumps water uphill when there’s an excess of electricity, then lets it flow down when more electricity is needed. With hydrogen, what some utilities in Europe are doing is to connect a solar/wind farm to a hydrolysis plant. When there’s excess power, it extracts hydrogen from water and stores it. When power is needed, it lets the hydrogen recombine and releases energy.

  4. Where is the best place to stand if you are waiting to board a bus and suspect that people will be exiting out the front door?

    1. Stand where the driver can see you. When I usually catch the 592 into DuPont from the SR 512 Park & Ride, the bus is always dropping off coming straight from the SODO Busway. I wait right at the bus stop sign, to make it clear to the operator that yes, I want to ride.

      1. Problem is sometimes that seems to be right in front of where the departing passengers are trying to leave. Oh well.

      2. Well, you always have a bit of time, as passengers are supposed to stay behind the yellow line until the bus is stopped.

        That gives you a second or so as the bus is pulling up to look through the door, see if anyone is waiting at the line, and move to the side if necessary.

  5. ORCA Humor from Friday:

    “Permit to Travel” at King Street to catch Sounder heading to Tacoma, as usual. When I get to Tacoma Dome Station, the ORCA Reader displayed “Permit to Travel” as well when I was tapping out, instead of the correct Pass usage for traveling from King Street to Tacoma. Ideas as to what happened anyone? (not that it matters to me since I use a monthly pass, but I thought it was curious)

    1. You might be able to figure it out by looking at your transactions on the ORCA website. Maybe your tap at KSS didn’t get reported to the backend, or maybe it thought you double tapped there.

      1. Does Sounder work like Link, where it charges the maximum fare if you don’t tap off? Maybe it recorded your tap at Tacoma Dome as the start of a new trip because it figured you didn’t need to tap off.

        Was your trip especially late?

      2. Yes. When I rode Sounder to Kent and forgot to tap out, it charged me the full fare. I was unfamiliar with the station and didn’t see the ORCA readers on my way out, and I didn’t remember them until after I’d gotten on the next bus. Seattle is the only city I’ve seen that puts the readers in obscure locations where you have to hunt for them or walk out of your way to use them.

  6. It’s my understanding riders can exit out the back door anytime if the bus is outside the Ride Free Area. However I still see many drivers enforcing the front door only policy after 7 p.m., even in places like Bellevue. I even saw a driver going so far as to announce on the PA system to use the front door as passengers were waiting to use the back door in Bellevue. That happed last week. What’s going on?

    1. I saw this a couple of days ago on a 16 in Wallingford even though it was one one of the buses that had the new decals.

    2. What’s going on is that Metro is inconsistent at applying their own policies. IMO, they have serious internal communication issues.

      Theoretically, if you see it happen you’re supposed to fill out Metro’s online customer feedback form, and then someone at Metro goes ahead and re-communicates the new policy to the driver.

      From what I understand though, the reality is that about half the time you’ll just get an e-mail back from customer service quoting the old policy.

      1. Whenever I see something about Metro Transit that needs to be corrected, I e-mail my King County Councilman. I generally get two responses, one from him, and one from Metro.

        Hard to quantify, but I get the feeling a phone call to agency staff from someone in authority carries a shade more weight than the average customer complaint.

        Also removes deniablity from everyone involved.

        Remembering my own driving days, I still hesitate to file a complaint against an individual driver. I understand that slashed recovery time has seriously raised the stress level for drivers, along with accident rate.

        With that in mind, it would be beneficial all around to finish every criticism of service with reference to this matter.

        But being refused use of the rear door after I’ve already paid a fare is starting to seriously try my patience, especially when I’ve got luggage or a heavy pack.

        It especially raises my hackles to be refused rear-door exit in the Tunnel, where platform guards and bright lighting make unobserved fare evasion difficult. Another message best passed along via your Council member.

        Might also remind your Sound Transit Board member that after 7, turning a 60′ two door bus into a 60′ one-door bus for exiting, added to the time spent collecting fares, both delays trains and makes inbound LINK passengers miss bus connections.

        Be persistent. Demanding an end to inconvenience is for the transit system’s own good. Like with werewolves and the Undead: an insulted passenger comes back as a Tim Eyman voter to drink the blood of public service.

        Mark Dublin

  7. Metro made a big mistake routing the B Line along 152nd and 156th ave and 40th street. I know they wanted to service the OTC, but Microsoft is nothing more than a giant office park, and office parks die on the weekend and after 7 PM, so the B Line goes through about two miles of dead space weeknights and all weekend. No apartments, no businesses. No passengers. It’s completely dead.

    1. Hmmm, all the Microsoft employees I know work many weekends and weeknights!
      …and use the bus!

      [We’ll be talking on the phone and “ah, gotta go, gotta catch the 11:20[pm] bus…”]

    2. 156th, I’m ok with, but going down 152nd feels strange. On a Sunday morning, the time penalty of going down 152nd is probably negligible, but on a weekday, the jog down 152nd subjects the bus to waiting in an unpredictably-long line of cars at lights to turn left and 152nd St. or 31st St. and the line of cars at the roundabout can take awhile to get through too. The inevitable result of this is bunching, meaning unpredictable wait times for anyone getting on after the 152nd stretch. (Signal priority on the left turns would help, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t seem to be there today).

      Which would be ok if going down 152nd actually provided access to a significant number of riders that would otherwise not be served. However, given that:
      1) The bus stop on 152nd St. is less than a 5 minute walk from the bus stop on 156th and 24th St., which would still be there if the bus went straight through

      2) The extent of the development on 152nd St. is an abandoned GroupHealth campus, some low-density office space, a safeway, plus a small, low-density shopping center. Not the kind of stuff that warrents service delays for everyone else just so people going to those specific destinations avoid a 5 minute walk.

      3) By providing an official pedestrian path through the abandoned GroupHealth campus (or whatever replaces it), you can significantly shorten the walk to 156th St. There is already an official pedestrian path through the area that I’ve observed quite a few people using.

      I’ve heard about plans for TOD in the area, but making a bus route unnecessarily circuitous to come a little bit closer to TOD that might happen, but isn’t even there seems a bit crazy to me. And even if it were there, investments to make the walk to the bus stop more direct (for example, a path from 152nd to 156, a back entrance to whatever housing project goes up on 152nd to allow direct access to 156th, etc.) seem more productive than muddying up the bus route.

  8. aw, thanks for that, but I can tell you haven’t ridden the route, otherwise you try to being defending this alignment. It is a complete dead zone between 24th and 152nd, and 40th and 148th on the weekends. That’s almost a three mile stretch.

    The correct routing should have been to stay on 24th, then turned north on 148th.

    The transit planners made a mistake.

    1. For better or worse, OTC is a major transfer point, especially for freeway buses. It’s a stupid place for a transfer point, but it’s there.

      I wonder if Metro considered building a freeway flyer stop at 148th? I’m not immediately sure how it would work, but that seems like it would be a useful thing to have in general. And it also would have more readily enabled the alignment you’re talking about.

      1. If we are going to have a freeway stop on 148th, we would need to significantly improve the pedestrian quality of crossing the bridge. A narrow sidewalk on one side right up against very heavy traffic, with no sidewalk whatsoever on the other side is not acceptable.

        That being said, I support the idea of improving the sidewalk on that bridge anyway and a freeway station there would certainly be useful. The main thing to be careful about, though, is not to build something that’s going to be torn down in a few years and rebuilt when East Link comes through.

      2. A sidewalk on the east side of 148th is in Redmonds plans. The new NE 36th street helps too. The problem with using NE 24th to 148th is that that is probably the single biggest choke point in the entire Overlake area. You could be 15-20 minutes getting through on a bad typical weeknight.

    2. yes, there is a marked difference in demand between Downtown Bellevue to Crossroads versus points north. Also, would it be useful to the route if the B line terminated/turned around at Redmond Town Center instead of the Transit Center?

  9. I waited in Lynnwood for the 511 yesterday and it was about 10 minutes late. Returning from 45th street I waited one hour for any bus going north (510/511) before one showed up. In that time 3 scheduled buses were supposed to arrive.

    Going down I thought it was traffic around the game that was holding the buses up but watching a huge line of people all board the bus one at at a time, ask the driver how much, then dig in their pockets for the right change was painful. It took us nearly 10 minutes to board 20 people. I think my service to the transit industry next time I see this is to go to each person and calculate how much money to get out and educate them about ORCA. If nothing else we’ll get on the bus faster.

    1. I’ve had similar stories, but the ultimate was a 71/72/73 bus (I forgot exactly which) taking over 30 minutes to get from the International District station to Convention Place station. It was after a mariner’s game and rate that more people were coming exceeded the rate that the people already there could pay the fare (it was after 7, so no ride free area). So, the bus sat there and didn’t move until it was crush-loaded and literally couldn’t hold anymore.

      In general, I try to pay attention to event calendars and avoid any bus originating from downtown after the conclusion of a Mariner’s game and avoid any bus that traveled through anywhere around the U-district to get to my stop around Husky football games.

      The long-term solution for this is the completion of Link and kicking buses out of the tunnel, but until this happens, a bicycle will have to do as a tool for avoiding such delays.

    2. I was on a 574 at Tac Dome heading to the airport and there were about 10 people all fumbling – two of them wanted to know why they didn’t get their change back (one paid $5 and the other paid with 4 $1 bills). One didn’t have full fare and got a hissy-fit when the driver refused to transport. Meanwhile, the 20 of us already on the bus (most of us had ORCA, I think I was riding a trip during a shift change – appeared to be a bunch of airport employees) were growing impatient.

      Later (same trip), on one of those stops after SeaTac City Hall, this one guy refused to believe the driver when he refused to accept a Metro $2.50 ticket.

      1. Even though for a game the ORCA card wouldn’t save anyone money it would keep each one of them from having to ask “How much?”. I felt like telling them to all get on the bus and we’d pass around a hat.

  10. As far as I can tell, Initiative 1125 never explicitly states that light rail is not a “highway use” as mentioned in the state constitution. Can anyone tell me if there is anything in state law that might prevent the state supreme court from deciding that light rail on I-90 (and everywhere) is “highway use”?

    If it doesn’t I see no reason not to vote for it. It would cut funding for unnecessary road projects and not change anything to do with light rail.

    1. “highway uses” is the same terminology used for the gas tax. So this is a term that’s been well explored.

      So far, Washington has considered only things that carry cars & trucks to be highway uses. The ferry system is the closest thing to transit they’ve ever considered a highway use – ferries both carry cars, and have their routes numbered as state highways.

      Nothing pa

      1. Highway lanes and ramps for buses are still highway lanes and ramps. Rails are a different animal.

        I think it’s a stupid delineation. But that’s how it’s been interpreted by the state.

      2. I think it’s a pretty clear delineation. A P&R lot by and large is built to serve a driver. Driver pays gas tax, driver gets benefit (free parking and highly subsidized hop for the rest of the trip). Same with the [car] ferry system. Driver pays tax, driver uses ferry to replace function of bridge. Except with bridges we used to set tolls so that they would pay off the entire cost of building the bridge. We don’t do that anymore (which is a mistake) and WSF seized a profitable business and turned it into a give-away to motorists.

      3. Were the P&Rs and flyer stops built with money from the motor vehicle fund or from the multimodal fund? I’d argue they’re a valid use of gas tax dollars since they reduce congestion, but I doubt that the state sees it that way.

        I would also argue that RR-highway grade crossing improvements could be funded with gas taxes, but they aren’t.

    2. Also it would effectively ban congestion pricing. That on it’s own is enough to convince me, even without all the other crap.

      1. Also it would…

        The guy is a master at scamming the system. Even if the initiative passes it will fail on the multiple issues clause so he can run it again. Where is Rob McKenna on this? I thought the AG was supposed to vet all initiatives prior to being put on the ballot. Of course if he did reject initiatives without judicial review that would be bad too so I guess there is a case to just let it ride. Mostly that’s how courts operate too; see if you can just avoid ruling on a subject.

  11. Kinda random, having not ridden Link in awhile, but does anyone know of a grocery store within a 4-5 block walk of a station? A full-size store, not a bodega/convenience store/small market etc. Any station south of the stadiums…

    1. There’s a Red Apple near the Beacon Hill station. There is a Safeway near one of the Rainier Valley stations, Othello, I think.

      Not south of the stadiums, but Uijimaya is next to ID station.

    2. And in the future… (drumroll)… QFC will be two blocks from Capitol Hill station (and it has some housewares too. Safeway will be two blocks from Brooklyn station. And both Whole Foods and QFC will be within two blocks of Roosevelt station. The Safeway at Othello looks like it was renovated this year. At least from the outside it looks like that.

      Re hardware stores (one of the other things in short supply in the inner city), there’s one at 12th and I think Denny. If the 60 is rerouted onto 12th (or a 36/9/49 route), it would go past it. In the U-district, Hardwick’s is on Roosevelt around 42nd or so, and a Tru-Value on University Way around 47th or 50th.

      1. There is the giant Lowes near Mt. Baker and the Home Depot at SODO Center (near SODO Station).

      2. City Hardware in SLU at 9th Ave N near Denny Way isn’t all that close to a link station, but it’s a great store and easy to get to by streetcar, bus, or bike. Or foot or car too I guess. :)

    3. There are two grocery stores in Rainier Beach, one fairly large Safeway and a smaller supermarket (Saar’s?). A bit of a hike from the Link station though. Henderson has fairly frequent bus service if yonu don’t want to walk.

      Othello has a Safeway right next to the station.

      While not near a station the Viet Wa at Graham is worth noting and the 8 does stop there.
      There is a PCC in Seward Park right on the 39 route.

      There is a Safeway on Rainier about halfway between Mt. Baker station and the commercial center of Columbia City. The 7 stops there.

      Mt. Baker has a QFC a few blocks North of the station.

      The Beacon Hill Red Apple is right across from Beacon Hill station.

      I believe there is a Grocery Outlet on 4th within an easy walk of SODO station.

      Uwajimaya is right next to IDS. Kress IGA and the Pike Place market are an easy walk from Westlake.

      There are some other ethnic markets in Rainier Valley, on Beacon Hill, and in the International District. While many are small they manage to pack a pretty good selection in a small space, especially if you are after meat, seafood, and produce. Prices are often very reasonable especially for ethnic ingredients and produce.

  12. I rode the 44 to its western terminus yesterday (I think around 2:30) and encountered, briefly, three 44s all laying over in a row. The front one took off shortly thereafter after the two behind needled him. I was on the backmost one of the three, which was running right behind the middle one at least as far as I-5 and probably could have passed it if they weren’t all trolleys. Clearly, the route was having trouble staying on schedule… I wonder when the backmost bus took off? When the middle one did, or a little later?

    1. Or could be a schedule change and one was going to deadhead back to base, that’s happened to me before on weekdays after peak. Seems a bit unlikely Sunday afternoon though. Can’t blame 520 traffic. :)

  13. Study concludes tire and road wear have no adverse effects on people’s health.

    Environmental testing shows no acute environmental toxicity from tire wear or roadway particles. Testing of particles smaller than 10 microns on human health impact will be conducted. The results and conclusions from the tire wear particle research will be presented at upcoming scientific conferences.

    I’m not sure I buy it but the research group is fairly independent. Of course tail pipe emissions are a different story.

    1. This does not particularly surprise me. I think the biggest non-tailpipe environmental impact would be polluted rainwater runoff from the roads. And that doesn’t directly impact human health.

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