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Old 09-02-2010, 02:07 PM
 
27,629 posts, read 63,123,705 times
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The Village of Barrington is a little like the core of Naperville was back a decade or two ago, in some ways that is a good thing and close to what the OP seems to miss from their native land, BUT (and these are some biggies..) Barrignton is every bit as expensive as Naperville if not more so, both the typical train commute for work AND and a reliance on the public transit in / around Barrington for exploring is more challenge, and to experience the full variety of shops/ offices / services that are available in the NW burbs will require driving much greater distances (though over less populated routes...) through the various towns that spread around Barrington and environs .

So I guess my bottom line is that since the OP and his family is already in one of the towns where cars are NOT the only way to go it would be counter productive to suggest another one...


That said I do agree homes within the core of the Village of Barrington compare favorably on a walkability level.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:36 PM
 
14,794 posts, read 15,262,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
These are (to me) the essentials for a walkable neighborhood/town:
1. Grocery store, preferably both high-end - (Whole Foods), and regular - (Jewel/Dominicks)
2. Convenience store/drug store
3. Dry cleaners
4. Bookstore
5. Multiple coffee shops
6. Multiple eateries/restaurants
7. Library
8. Metra or CTA station
9. Bank (or at least multiple ATMs)
10. School (if you have kids)

These are the places I go to a lot, possibly every single day. Of these, the hardest to locate in walkable neighborhoods are grocery stores due to their large foot print and inherent automobile nature of grocery shopping (bulky, heavy goods).
Most parts of Oak Park south of Augusta St are within walking distance of all of these amenities.

These are (to me) nice amenities but not essential for a walkable neighborhood/town.
1. Post Office
2. Movie Theater
3. Doctor's office
4. Tavern/Bar
5. Hotel
6. Gym/exercise facility
7. Art Gallery
8. Ice Cream store
9. Bicycle store
10. Church, temple, shrine, ziggurat, whatever.

Downtown Oak Park has all of these amenities (uh, except for the ziggurat. That would be cool.)

These are (to me) things I need within a close drive as I have no expectation of these being placed in a walkable neighborhood (or at least not in my walkable neighborhood).
1. Costco
2. Apple Store
3. Target
4. Home Depot or Lowes
5. Airport

Costco will be opening in Melrose Park soon, unfortunately Apple will probably never be closer than Oak Brook Mall. Other than that, all the others are reasonably close.
Evanston has all of the walkables in their Davis street downtown area. Of the *nice* but not essential, I am pretty sure there is no bar/tavern though there are some restaurants that *might* have bars inside. All the rest are in the same area there. The close drive stuff is available but not walkable too.

So both Oak Park and Evanston look reasonable for the OP, except for finding a house depending on price range.

I *think* Oak Park is more affordable.

Dorothy
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,481 posts, read 9,538,819 times
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Excellent criteria Oakparkdude. Most of the towns mentioned, Oak Park, Evanston, Naperville fit the criteria. Thought I would plug Arlington Heights and see how it fits since there is housing in the OP's budget within several blocks of downtown AH, especially south of the Metra tracks. Granted these will be older homes, but should also be primarily or completely updated as well. Distances are using Campbell and Vail as origin.

These are (to me) the essentials for a walkable neighborhood/town:
1. Grocery store, preferably both high-end - (Whole Foods), and regular - (Jewel/Dominicks)- AH has Jewel and Marino's about 3/4 mile away.
2. Convenience store/drug store-about 3/4 mile away Walgreens
3. Dry cleaners-YES
4. Bookstore-Not Sure
5. Multiple coffee shops-YES
6. Multiple eateries/restaurants-YES
7. Library-YES
8. Metra or CTA station-Metra
9. Bank (or at least multiple ATMs)-YES
10. School (if you have kids)-Possibly south of the Metra tracks

These are the places I go to a lot, possibly every single day. Of these, the hardest to locate in walkable neighborhoods are grocery stores due to their large foot print and inherent automobile nature of grocery shopping (bulky, heavy goods).
Most parts of Oak Park south of Augusta St are within walking distance of all of these amenities.

These are (to me) nice amenities but not essential for a walkable neighborhood/town.
1. Post Office-About a mile
2. Movie Theater-YES & Live Theater also
3. Doctor's office-?, probably
4. Tavern/Bar-YES
5. Hotel-No, about 3 miles south
6. Gym/exercise facility-yes
7. Art Gallery-??
8. Ice Cream store-YES
9. Bicycle store-YES
10. Church, temple, shrine, ziggurat, whatever.Churches from 4 denominations.

Downtown Arlington Heights has all of these amenities (uh, except for the ziggurat. That would be cool.)

These are (to me) things I need within a close drive as I have no expectation of these being placed in a walkable neighborhood (or at least not in my walkable neighborhood).
1. Costco-Close drive
2. Apple Store-about 30 minutes in Deer Park
3. Target -Close Drive
4. Home Depot or Lowes-Close Drive
5. Airport-20-30 minutes if you stay off I-90

ALSO, parks are within walking distance and a swimming pool as well.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Good point about the parks. Parks fall under the essential category (#11). Need to have some green space nearby even in the heart of the business district.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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Downtown Arlington Heights is like a village in comparison to a typical British town, but it does have a lot. You would still end up getting in your car and driving any time you wanted to hit Woodfield Mall, Trader Joes or Whole Foods if you lived within walking distance of downtown though.

Arlington Heights is however one of the best suburbs for commuting to Chicago though, they have some great express services that get you to Arlington Park within 40 minutes.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:09 PM
 
11,971 posts, read 25,687,039 times
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The Harding Woods section of La Grange Park is really quite walkable (it's the area just north of Downtown La Grange with older homes on tree-lined streets). In some ways it's advantageous to be north of Downtown La Grange... You can walk more easily to the Jewel, Trader Joes, Public LIbrary, large parks, Borders Book Store, Coffee Shops, etc. But it's quite hard to find a suburb in the United States that matches the walkability of a typical European town. This is quite unfortunate, in my opinion. Older suburbs in the Northeast, like Cambridge Mass., are probably the closest you will get.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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It's funny how everyone is fussing amongst each other over which suburb can be "walkable" and most like Europe. If you have ever been to the UK or Europe, it is obvious that the OP is not going to find anything that he and his wife are looking for in ANY American suburb.

How often do you see people on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods? The answer is never, unless they are going for a 3 mile run or taking their kids trick or treating in their depressing subdivision.

OP, it pains me to say what you do not want to hear, but the only practical way to get your shopping and chores done is to you use your car. Don't forget to grab that $1 Jr. Whopper at the Burger King drive thru on your way back from the dry cleaners. Welcome to America.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:56 PM
 
641 posts, read 1,673,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zizu View Post
It's funny how everyone is fussing amongst each other over which suburb can be "walkable" and most like Europe. If you have ever been to the UK or Europe, it is obvious that the OP is not going to find anything that he and his wife are looking for in ANY American suburb.

How often do you see people on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods? The answer is never, unless they are going for a 3 mile run or taking their kids trick or treating in their depressing subdivision.

OP, it pains me to say what you do not want to hear, but the only practical way to get your shopping and chores done is to you use your car. Don't forget to grab that $1 Jr. Whopper at the Burger King drive thru on your way back from the dry cleaners. Welcome to America.
Walkable suburban towns with community centers do exist. Around Chicago, Barrington and Libertyville come to mind.

Considering the USA as a whole, the colonial era towns were laid out by the British. So yes, they are similar to the UK in many respects. Life in those towns still revolves around a community center, be it Main St., or the town green, or a central market district. When I lived in one of those towns, I often did not need my car for anything.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zizu View Post
How often do you see people on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods? The answer is never, unless they are going for a 3 mile run or taking their kids trick or treating in their depressing subdivision.
It really does depend on the town. There are many suburbs of Chicago that at least have walkable portions with vibrant sidewalk traffic. The overall walkable land mass in suburban Chicago is small compared to the car-oriented sprawl zones, but it does exist.

But you are absolutely correct that even the most walkable suburbs of Chicago have very little in common with the older towns of western Europe. I may love walking the streets of Oak Park, but I'm not ever going to confuse it with a quaint English village.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:07 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 32,625,945 times
Reputation: 42187
Quote:
Originally Posted by zizu View Post
It's funny how everyone is fussing amongst each other over which suburb can be "walkable" and most like Europe. If you have ever been to the UK or Europe, it is obvious that the OP is not going to find anything that he and his wife are looking for in ANY American suburb.
I agree. We have more space, so we spread out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zizu View Post
How often do you see people on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods? The answer is never, unless they are going for a 3 mile run or taking their kids trick or treating in their depressing subdivision.
Constantly. You must not visit Naperville. One of the things I love best about our neighborhood is how everyone is out and about.
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