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Old 11-02-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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What are the advantages and disadvantages to a curving street network versus a common street grid? How does traffic flow in Boston's financial district compared to center city? Which one is more walkable or are they both the same?

I'm asking this because an experiment is basically going on currently where an urban downtown area around the same size as these is being built from the ground up over sprawling office parks in Tyson's Corner. The plan is the largest urban redevelopment in the country and really has never been attempted. The success of creating a planned urban downtown from sprawled out office parks is yet to be determined. The plan is to adopt the curving network of streets like the Boston Financial district planned around 4 metro stops. Can the curving street network be seen as an advantage in some ways or a disadvantage compared to a normal street grid like Center City? They don't have a choice but to have curving streets but how successful can that be? Boston is successful so maybe it will work.

http://www.craigsrealtylist.com/img/tysons%20plan.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3165/...92dd10d2bf.jpg
http://www.cassidypinkard.com/user-assets/Images/properties_for_sale/The%20Plaza%20at%20Tysons%20Photos/Building_Photo_LG.jpg (broken link)
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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Curving roads (should) slow down vehical traffic making it safer for the pedestrians, also it funnels people into the busiest parts of the city because of the natural wheel and spoke kind of roads.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Curving roads (should) slow down vehical traffic making it safer for the pedestrians, also it funnels people into the busiest parts of the city because of the natural wheel and spoke kind of roads.
I was thinking it would make it more walkable. It seems like the financial district in Boston was made for pedestrians and not cars which is unique to Boston. Public transit would be the focus then with this curving design I would think.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:06 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Boston's city layout is curving because it was built up at a time when that was the fashion. I think it's one of the few American cities to feature such a layout. Think London or Paris. The grid pattern was just the most practical for transport and are obviously easier to navigate. I think Boston's streets make it interesting to explore, but can be annoying without a map.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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Originally Posted by MDAllstar View Post
I was thinking it would make it more walkable. It seems like the financial district in Boston was made for pedestrians and not cars which is unique to Boston. Public transit would be the focus then with this curving design I would think.
Its not unique to Boston at all. Just a feature of older cities. It is actually very common in Europe.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:13 PM
 
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Its not unique to Boston at all. Just a feature of older cities. It is actually very common in Europe.
So then, this design should work then. There has been some debate about the makeshift curving streets made to resemble a grid versus a natural grid. If it has worked in other cities, I see no reason it can't work in Tyson's Corner then.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:15 PM
 
Location: So California
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I prefer the modified grid with landmark transition points.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:18 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
Its not unique to Boston at all. Just a feature of older cities. It is actually very common in Europe.
It's pretty unique in the US, because Boston was one of the few cities to become somewhat large in the early colonial period.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
It's pretty unique in the US, because Boston was one of the few cities to become somewhat large in the early colonial period.
There are US cities older than Boston. They didn't have to be large to have that design. Many of the Spanish settlements had that type of layout.

Granted some cities have made efforts to straighten their streets (happened a lot in Houston and San Antonio), but curvy streets were not unique to Boston man.

I think SA and Houston took more of their cues from Savannah though. Savannah is a beautifully planned city
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:30 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
There are US cities older than Boston. They didn't have to be large to have that design. Many of the Spanish settlements had that type of layout.

Granted some cities have made efforts to straighten their streets (happened a lot in Houston and San Antonio), but curvy streets were not unique to Boston man.

I think SA and Houston took more of their cues from Savannah though. Savannah is a beautifully planned city
Maybe not totally unique, but I can't think of any major US city without a central grid pattern.
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