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Old 06-19-2012, 01:22 AM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,490,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I think your suppositions are a bit off.


That's untrue. You can have walkable amenities in places with quite low density. Buckhead Village was a good example of that. Everything was very walkable, but most of Buckhead isn't that dense. All those downtowns like Smyrna and Roswell are all walkable, but not in densely populated areas. Even the mixed use shopping centers like the Forum shops are all walkable, but not in dense areas. All you'd have to do is add a bit more diversity to the businesses there and it would satisfy the desires of many of the people we are talking about. Commercial density is extremely easy to create even in areas where residential density is low. I think that's what people want, they are looking for that commercial density without wanting to give up their own personal residential space.
If that is all they wanted the Mall of Georgia would be popping with the younger folk. We know though that they actually want to be able to go to amenities without having to drive or drive far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I guess you haven't been to downtown Roswell lately. You can do TONS of playing there, it's like a miniature Virginia Highland. It's kind of beside the point, though, because most people just want an area to rally around and go to for festivals and events. Downtown Suwanee is a perfect example, you're not going to eat out there every week, but during the summer there is pretty much something happening in the downtown area every weekend. That's what the residents like. It's not that it has incredible shopping and dining, it's just that it's the center of town, the place where the events take place. Even in high density areas the downtowns basically serve this purpose. It's not like you're going to do tons of shopping and playing in downtown Inman Park, Kirkwood, or Candler Park.
Playing plays a role. I would consider festivals "playing" and those intown neighborhoods have that without there being a festival


Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Yep. The major ones will. The thing is, as people get older, they tend to prefer the smaller more manageable events. In my early 30s I stopped attending Dogwood because it just became such a clusterf*ck and too much trouble. Inman Park festival is the only one I still make it a point to attend, and quite honestly, even it is starting to get to be too much trouble. And that's just for me, I can't even imagine what it would be like trying to keep up with kids there. Couples with children are happy going to the events in Suwanee, Norcross, and Duluth. Maybe there are events here and there like Inman Park they want to go to, but they can commute to those. They aren't going to choose a place to live based on it having festivals and bars. Those things just aren't as important to people trying to raise families.
You seem to have this assumption that people choose places to live for nothing more then price and land. As if nothing else matters about a place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I think you're viewing this through the eyes of a young single man when the article was talking about couples who have children or want to have them.
Not the article I posted. That other article is a total rarity as I've never seen results like that before. Even if you watch shows on the home network, younger couples are settling in close in suburbs vs the outer ones even if they have to fix up the place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
That's because you are a single young man. I don't think couples who have or want children are as concerned with how much nightlife their suburb offers. So long as there are places to get dinner and maybe a dessert or night cap, I don't know how much they care about having pubs that are open until 3am.
I think you confuse "not as big as a concern " for " not a concern". I don't see why anybody would not want to be around places to relax and unwind if it is practical. I don't think most of those hot intown areas are filled with only young single men. Plenty of people of all ages and stages of life in those places.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Personally, I have no problem with Perimeter Center, but I don't see why you would like it since by it's nature it basically completely defies the entire concept of walkability. Sure, Park Place is walkable, but where can you walk from there? I guess maybe over to the mall..... I suppose you CAN walk, it's just that nobody DOES walk. Of course, the very notion of walkability is also completely overrated, particularly in an area like Perimeter where there is ample free parking. In that case, proximity is more important than walkability. If you can get somewhere in under 5 minutes, that's good enough.
No one really walks anywhere in Atlanta as much as they could or should. Perimeter if not for walking is great for biking. There are even loft in the middle of it and an marta station. Keep in mind we are talking about a suburb.

Quote:
Of course, the very notion of walkability is also completely overrated, particularly in an area like Perimeter where there is ample free parking. In that case, proximity is more important than walkability. If you can get somewhere in under 5 minutes, that's good enough.
This pretty much sums up your perception and why you may not care about density. That is fine though, many people when not in a rush like the ability to bike or walk to a shop or restaurant.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,209 posts, read 16,245,820 times
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The forum is not walkable. Its like saying a mall is walkable because all it is an outdoor lifestyle center. There is no way people from peachtree corners walk to the forum. There are places in intown neighborhood business districts that people walk to. Think little 5 people from Inman and Candler park walk there same for EAV. I walk to the pullman in downtown Kirkwood all the time as do other neighbors. Everyone wants something different, its too hard to group everyone in 1 category.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:11 PM
 
7,713 posts, read 9,577,479 times
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Oh, we are referencing different articles....that explains some of the confusion!

As for walkability, it seems like for now you've really got two choices: You can go to walkable center like the Forum or Atlantic Station, but generally you are going to have to drive to them before you can walk.

Or, you can live somewhere that you can walk to retail/dining from your home, but your choices aren't going to be as great as the Atlantic Station type things (I don't know what they are called....lifestyle centers or something?)

I suppose in a few rare instances you can be able to walk to places that do have a large diversity of retail and dining, such as if you actually lived in Atlantic Station, lived in parts of midtown, or lived in Virginia Highland.

Of course, you still have to live in certain parts. For example, I drove around Kirkwood last week, and it's a decently large area. It sounds like cqholt lives in a part where he is walkable to downtown, but there are certainly parts of Kirkwood where that is not a convenient walk at all. I don't know exactly how large the city limits of Decatur are, but I would imagine there are people who live in parts of Decatur who generally choose to drive to downtown Decatur instead of walk there.

What I'm trying to say is, it is possible to live in some far flung suburbs and still be walkable to certain areas, and it is equally possible to live in Kirkwood or Decatur and pretty much be walkable to nothing, unless you consider 2 or 3 miles walkable (most people don't).

Also, walkability seems to be something discussed heavily on this board, but when I read the articles, even the ones talking about people flocking to the cities because of the amenities they want, they will often discuss proximity, but not necessarily walkability. I don't think most people mind getting in their cars so long as the drive is painless and parking is plentiful and free.

I spent many many years being what most people would consider walkable to Lenox Mall (maybe 1/2 mile away). Still, nobody walked there. Everybody in my neighborhood drove to the mall. I did too. Why spend 10 minutes walking and being a sweaty mess by the time you get there when you can be there in 1 minute if you just drive and then you're still fresh when you get there? Maybe if you are trying to make an environmental statement, but most people just drive. Maybe once or twice a year if its an exceptionally nice day and you feel relaxed you would walk.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:33 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,490,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I spent many many years being what most people would consider walkable to Lenox Mall (maybe 1/2 mile away). Still, nobody walked there. Everybody in my neighborhood drove to the mall. I did too. Why spend 10 minutes walking and being a sweaty mess by the time you get there when you can be there in 1 minute if you just drive and then you're still fresh when you get there? Maybe if you are trying to make an environmental statement, but most people just drive. Maybe once or twice a year if its an exceptionally nice day and you feel relaxed you would walk.
As I was saying, this is a Atlanta ( or possibly southern) thing. Many here don't want to walk anywhere and the obesity levels for the south are high in part because of it. It is just not in the culture. Not to mention the cities don't do a good enough job making things safe and desirable for pedestrians.

Last edited by Onthemove2014; 06-19-2012 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,209 posts, read 16,245,820 times
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Kirkwood is 2 square miles, but that's not what the OP is about.
Quote:
Maybe if you are trying to make an environmental statement, but most people just drive. Maybe once or twice a year if its an exceptionally nice day and you feel relaxed you would walk.
I prefer to set a better example to people that you can be environmentally conscious while having retail, restaurant, and entertainment options be convenient to you.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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I think you've hit on something. It's a bit of a combination of things, I don't think it necessarily has to do with the culture per se, but more with the way things are laid out.

In my example, it was hard to justify walking to Lenox because first you had to walk along Roxboro Road, then down East Paces, and then cross Lenox. It's not that it was a super long walk, but just not an interesting one. You go under railroad tracks, by a MARTA station, and then wait forever to cross Lenox Road. Walking the same distance in a place like Chicago or New York doesn't seem as long because you are passing a million interesting things on the way. If you get thirsty, you'll pass a place where you can grab a drink, and so on.

You're also more motivated to walk in a city like that because you know that parking is going to be a disaster and costly once you get to your destination. When there is plenty of free parking, it removes a major motivator to walk.

We also don't really have the climate for it. Most of the year, it's hard to walk for more than 5 minutes without being covered in sweat and grimey when you get wherever you are going. In the winter it's cold, but most people in Atlanta don't have a lot of cold weather gear to spend a lot of time outside the way people in Chicago and NY do.

So yeah, I do think it's kind of a sourthern thing in that we aren't laid out to be walkable and our climate isn't that conducive to being outside for long periods of time. I don't think it's just because southerners are fat, lazy, and disgusting...although there are a few that do fit that description.

I used to know a woman who lived in a loft in Poncey-Highland. I asked her if she walked a lot or still drove everywhere and she said she drove because it just eliminated the annoyance of being hassled for money or hit on. So there may be some of that too.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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Im sure as hell not walking anywhere. I hate walking when I am in NYC during the summer. I do enough working out and running as it is last thing I want to do is be in 90 degree weather walking for miles in my good clothes to only be sweaty. Nope ill do my shopping indoors and save the outdoors for cardio.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,209 posts, read 16,245,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I think you've hit on something. It's a bit of a combination of things, I don't think it necessarily has to do with the culture per se, but more with the way things are laid out.

In my example, it was hard to justify walking to Lenox because first you had to walk along Roxboro Road, then down East Paces, and then cross Lenox. It's not that it was a super long walk, but just not an interesting one. You go under railroad tracks, by a MARTA station, and then wait forever to cross Lenox Road. Walking the same distance in a place like Chicago or New York doesn't seem as long because you are passing a million interesting things on the way. If you get thirsty, you'll pass a place where you can grab a drink, and so on.

You're also more motivated to walk in a city like that because you know that parking is going to be a disaster and costly once you get to your destination. When there is plenty of free parking, it removes a major motivator to walk.

We also don't really have the climate for it. Most of the year, it's hard to walk for more than 5 minutes without being covered in sweat and grimey when you get wherever you are going. In the winter it's cold, but most people in Atlanta don't have a lot of cold weather gear to spend a lot of time outside the way people in Chicago and NY do.

So yeah, I do think it's kind of a sourthern thing in that we aren't laid out to be walkable and our climate isn't that conducive to being outside for long periods of time. I don't think it's just because southerners are fat, lazy, and disgusting...although there are a few that do fit that description.

I used to know a woman who lived in a loft in Poncey-Highland. I asked her if she walked a lot or still drove everywhere and she said she drove because it just eliminated the annoyance of being hassled for money or hit on. So there may be some of that too.
you are right that some walks in Atlanta are very boring and make the time longer. Also the local governments did nothing to make walking safe.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,288,419 times
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I've been silently watching this forum for too long... so many arguments all over the place I'm not sure where to begin...

Firstly, Lets not forget this -IS- happening, there is something different from previously before.... but its a trend and a change in the amount.

This isn't to say all young people are only going intown, in fact with the original article cited it was mainly pointing out that college educated younger people were more likely than those who weren't college educated. (basically one group priced the other group out and there are people in other areas too).

Apartment costs are soaring intown. I get get a 2 bedroom in Gwinnett for $600 easy, but many of the intown locations in the central locations are $1000+.

Yes, there have always been yuppies, but what is different is the amount and the money they have on average. It is why we see midtown transforming into a liveable center, which it wasn't 20 years ago.

The intown locations also don't have enough room for everyone... this is why apartment costs have increased, even with new buildings. Many of the intown neighborhoods are also the first to see rebounding home prices. --The demand is there, but that doesn't mean some of those causing the demand aren't priced out of it.-- Many more people than before would choose to live there if they could, this is why prices have increased so much in the last several decades.


Also, at least for those of us that are still single.... First and foremost -The- most important thing is being around other people our age (more on this in a second). For those that marry, their needs and desires will change over time, but they often will want to hold onto some part of the lifestyle they learned when they were single. This makes the urban single-family neighborhoods the most desirable.

Now I'm 29 and single, which I mentioned in another thread on nearly this same issue. I'm looking at moving right now. The one main reason I'm looking intown is it is the only places I can find where singles are clustered together (and not dispersed and harder to find). That use to not always be the case! My sister who is 12 years older than I am moved into a suburban apartment and it was about half families and half younger singles/couples, however when I'm in that area now all I see are families. I also know back in the 60s-80s there were some popular hotspots in suburban apartment complexes for younger people. Those types of places don't seem to exist much anymore. I feel like we have been pushed out by new growing market demand for apartments from families and immigrants who can't afford or don't have the credit for a home.

My problem is I feel like I need to go intown or to newer exubrban areas to find people closer to my age. One is near lots of job opportunities and the other near limited opportunities. (Keep in mind many of us early in our careers are still finding ourselves and don't know if we will end up working mostly for a downtown company, a perimeter company, or a company in Suwanee, so if we keep ourselves centrally located we can keep our job options open until we find ourselves and a more permanent career path)

The other side to this... I also feel like my generation is attracted to new up and coming urban areas that were originally suburban. There are plenty of young people around Perimeter center too and many in vinings, which is convenient to Cumberland.



A few other remarks about specific things... when we discuss walkability that issue is separate from density and scale somewhat. I think someone made a counterpoint about Mall of Georgia and its amenities.

I think most people are looking for a place where they can casually walk to a neighborhood pub, a restaurant or two, and a coffee house. They don't need everything. The older intown suburban neighborhoods with single family homes and a small tiny retail strip work great in most cities I've visited. They are usually the hot spots.

When we discuss walkability... we don't have to limit ourselves to huge regional centers, like a mall area or Midtown. Many of us can live in a nice walkable neighborhood, but still drive off to a mall once a month when we really need something. I don't really need to or go to a major department store every day... just occasionally. I'm more concerned with things I will do a few times a week. Most of us aren't giving up our cars at all... we are just lowering our reliance on them for all things. We saw our parents come home from work day after day complaining about nothing about traffic and we are scared of that and see it more of a stressful thing to -always- put up with that.

It also isn't about walking for the sake of walking either. It is the charm and character and the aesthetics of an area that made itself a nice area that makes you want to see it, feel it, and not just quickly drive through it.

I'm not sure this is 100% limited my generation though. I think across the bored whether something is walkable or drivable people are growing more concerned about aesthetics, because we are tired of seeing those big box stores and strip malls decaying and make an area look ugly. The newer malls, Avenues, forums, and most new strip malls make themselves look nicer, aesthetically pleasing, and a sense of being somewhat more likely to be permanent since it cost more.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:13 PM
 
1,796 posts, read 2,111,919 times
Reputation: 1325
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I've been silently watching this forum for too long... so many arguments all over the place I'm not sure where to begin...

Firstly, Lets not forget this -IS- happening, there is something different from previously before.... but its a trend and a change in the amount.

This isn't to say all young people are only going intown, in fact with the original article cited it was mainly pointing out that college educated younger people were more likely than those who weren't college educated. (basically one group priced the other group out and there are people in other areas too).

Apartment costs are soaring intown. I get get a 2 bedroom in Gwinnett for $600 easy, but many of the intown locations in the central locations are $1000+.

Yes, there have always been yuppies, but what is different is the amount and the money they have on average. It is why we see midtown transforming into a liveable center, which it wasn't 20 years ago.

The intown locations also don't have enough room for everyone... this is why apartment costs have increased, even with new buildings. Many of the intown neighborhoods are also the first to see rebounding home prices. --The demand is there, but that doesn't mean some of those causing the demand aren't priced out of it.-- Many more people than before would choose to live there if they could, this is why prices have increased so much in the last several decades.


Also, at least for those of us that are still single.... First and foremost -The- most important thing is being around other people our age (more on this in a second). For those that marry, their needs and desires will change over time, but they often will want to hold onto some part of the lifestyle they learned when they were single. This makes the urban single-family neighborhoods the most desirable.

Now I'm 29 and single, which I mentioned in another thread on nearly this same issue. I'm looking at moving right now. The one main reason I'm looking intown is it is the only places I can find where singles are clustered together (and not dispersed and harder to find). That use to not always be the case! My sister who is 12 years older than I am moved into a suburban apartment and it was about half families and half younger singles/couples, however when I'm in that area now all I see are families. I also know back in the 60s-80s there were some popular hotspots in suburban apartment complexes for younger people. Those types of places don't seem to exist much anymore. I feel like we have been pushed out by new growing market demand for apartments from families and immigrants who can't afford or don't have the credit for a home.

My problem is I feel like I need to go intown or to newer exubrban areas to find people closer to my age. One is near lots of job opportunities and the other near limited opportunities. (Keep in mind many of us early in our careers are still finding ourselves and don't know if we will end up working mostly for a downtown company, a perimeter company, or a company in Suwanee, so if we keep ourselves centrally located we can keep our job options open until we find ourselves and a more permanent career path)

The other side to this... I also feel like my generation is attracted to new up and coming urban areas that were originally suburban. There are plenty of young people around Perimeter center too and many in vinings, which is convenient to Cumberland.



A few other remarks about specific things... when we discuss walkability that issue is separate from density and scale somewhat. I think someone made a counterpoint about Mall of Georgia and its amenities.

I think most people are looking for a place where they can casually walk to a neighborhood pub, a restaurant or two, and a coffee house. They don't need everything. The older intown suburban neighborhoods with single family homes and a small tiny retail strip work great in most cities I've visited. They are usually the hot spots.

When we discuss walkability... we don't have to limit ourselves to huge regional centers, like a mall area or Midtown. Many of us can live in a nice walkable neighborhood, but still drive off to a mall once a month when we really need something. I don't really need to or go to a major department store every day... just occasionally. I'm more concerned with things I will do a few times a week. Most of us aren't giving up our cars at all... we are just lowering our reliance on them for all things. We saw our parents come home from work day after day complaining about nothing about traffic and we are scared of that and see it more of a stressful thing to -always- put up with that.

It also isn't about walking for the sake of walking either. It is the charm and character and the aesthetics of an area that made itself a nice area that makes you want to see it, feel it, and not just quickly drive through it.

I'm not sure this is 100% limited my generation though. I think across the bored whether something is walkable or drivable people are growing more concerned about aesthetics, because we are tired of seeing those big box stores and strip malls decaying and make an area look ugly. The newer malls, Avenues, forums, and most new strip malls make themselves look nicer, aesthetically pleasing, and a sense of being somewhat more likely to be permanent since it cost more.
great post,
I bolded the part with which I most agree... and add to that : a walking or biking trail, and in my case public transportation to some sporting and music events
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