Valerie’s House

8 thoughts on “Valerie’s House”

  1. A little off topic, but Lancaster performed a significant road diet on Lancaster Blvd. The section of road went from five lanes to two lanes with angled parking in the middle and parallel parking on the outside. It appears that Lancaster is trying to make this a traditional downtown walkable main street. The section of road is only one block north of the train station.

    Did you get a chance to visit Lancaster Blvd.? Any thoughts on this project? It looks great in pictures.

    1. Baron Haussmann – I’ve done several blog posts about Lancaster BLVD. and the Antelope Valley in general. Here’s the short version… The majority of the people who live in the AV want large lot single family homes and drive-thru convenience. They HATE density, transit, and anything that smacks of city life. But the post WWII suburban experiment is winding down and much of it is failing. The solution is to return to the traditional Main Street style of development that worked really well for centuries. The financially prudent (conservative) thing would be to expand the BLVD in Lancaster over to the other side of the MetroLink station and build on that kind of economic success. But the vast majority of locals want nothing to do with it. That’s the “wrong side of town” full of “the wrong element” and no one wants “our tax money” being spent on “them”. Blah, blah, blah. My guess is that most of the AV will devalue and devolve over the next couple of generations. The area closest to the old downtown has the best chance of surviving, but it will be surrounded by an sea of suburban decay. So be it.

      https://granolashotgun.com/2014/04/13/adding-value-and-building-a-strong-town-lancaster-blvd-2/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2015/03/17/urban-triage/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2015/03/12/big-box-urbanism/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2014/06/27/garage-apartment-conversion-lancaster-california/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2015/03/19/solutions/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2014/04/19/the-american-dream-architectural-vivisection/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2015/03/14/downward-mobility/

      https://granolashotgun.com/2014/02/15/antelope-valley-infrastructure-and-independence/

  2. Perhaps there will be a near future, partly based in aspiration, partly in civic necessity, of KOA-type campgrounds for “tent-houses on wheels” in place of white favelas. They would be preferable to people sleeping in parks and on bus benches, and to ramshackle cities cobbled from street detritus. The campgrounds could have a central structure of some kind with showers, a mail drop, internet access. Think of an abandoned drive-in converted to this purpose during the week.

    1. I’ve explored the “tent city with showers and mail boxes” thing in several locations and there are always problems. Most recently the town of Santa Rosa opened its fair grounds to people who were living in their cars and RVs. The public bathrooms and endless parking lots were already there so it was a quick fix for a growing problem. It didn’t take long for the city to shut it down due to relentless opposition from home owners in the area. It was politically and socially unacceptable. Period. So the same people are now scattered around town behind strip malls and under freeways and the police play Whack-a-mole pushing them from place to place. That’s how we do it in America. We’ll spend an unlimited amount of time, energy, and money driving problems out of our neighborhoods, but we won’t spend ten cents actually addressing the problem itself. Fine with me.

  3. My view of homelessness is tolerance of it on a large scale is a barbarism and inhumanity that is baffling.

    Back when there was segregation and you could be arrested for homosexual acts the policy of most cities was that “derelicts” were not tolerated.

    Now we have tolerance for everything that was once considered abnormal. Yet we delude and trick our minds into thinking sleeping on a box next to a bus bench is normal.

    We need to go back to the understanding of what can be tolerated and what is right and what is wrong and why people on the street need to end.

    AA #146 3:40pm

    1. Andy – I’m with you. Doing what is required to end homelessness isn’t all that expensive or necessarily complicated. But aside from the barbarism of tolerating people living on the street, it’s just a bad business model for society. But preaching tolerance and goodness just doesn’t work in America. People who can afford to tend to insulate themselves from such things. Fine by me. I’m not a fight City Hall kind of guy.

      The fascinating thing to me is how the insecure middle class takes action to move away from problems, but very often finds itself more impoverished in the process. The reason Americans rejected national health insurance (while Europe, Canada, and Japan embraced it) had everything to do with Southern whites not wanting “undeserving” blacks to get care in white hospitals. In effect poor whites prevented themselves from getting medical care just to maintain the illusion that they were better than “Negros”. What are you going to do?

    2. Did these policies from the “dark ages” really solve the problems, Andy? Or did they, like this article suggests, merely push the people onward and otuward. The hobos riding the rails meme is not a new one.

      I would argue that one reality is that the modern globalized economy has created a large surplus population. What do you suggest we do with people like Valerie? Effectively imprison them against their wills? Is that a better solution?

      I don;t have an easy answer. My town is dealing with this, and many of the people we see are indeed somewhat surplus to modern society. In expensive California markets, are they going to be getting the (few) middle class jobs in order to afford the $1400/month apartments? I am skeptical.

      Which means ultimately your solution is effectively imprisonment.

      1. Utah’s solution is just to give every homeless person a free apartment. Period. With state money.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/04/17/the-surprisingly-simple-way-utah-solved-chronic-homelessness-and-saved-millions/

        I think they managed this because they think of everyone as part of the “Mormon community”, whether they’re Mormon or not. The tendency to think of homeless people as “the other” is what causes the “make them go somewhere else” behavior….

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