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Old 07-06-2012, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I posted this comment (from a poster in a different forum) in the "Is LA more urban than people think?" thread.

Quote:
What LA lacks is the critical mass and contiguity necessary for a true urban culture to develop. Traveling from node to node (by car no less) makes the experiences in these urban pockets ephemeral at best. What's more, these nodes are more than likely linear commercial strips (i.e. Wilshire through the Miracle Mile or Pasadena's Colorado Blvd). Even if we were to connect these centers through a comprehensive rail network, the experience would be diluted by the long travel times in between.

LA needs to develop its city center. Downtown is the only place in LA where a contiguous, three-dimensional urban environment can sustain itself over several square miles. It is the only place in LA where you would be able to walk in any given direction and not experience a drop-off in action and intensity. This is the mark of pedestrian culture and it's how other cities exist.
This is consistent with my experiences in LA.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relegate View Post
LA has quite a few dense nodes with a good amount of pedestrian activity. But the city also has a ton of areas that are technically dense, but have very little pedestrian activity. And I'm talking some pretty large swaths.
Can you be more specific?

Other than Hancock Park, I cannot think of anywhere in Central LA that is lacking in pedestrian activity. There are some smaller areas near the southwestern portion of West Hollywood that are not exactly impressive, obviously Beverly Hills north of Santa Monica. For Central LA it pretty much all walkable with "nodes" that are not walkable (rich neighborhoods or the Beverly Center ). In West LA, your analysis rings more true. I'd say about half the area has a high number of pedestrians (downtown Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica, Westwood Village, Palms) while the other half is more sparse.

On the Eastside, just about every commercial corridor has a lot of pedestrian activity. Same goes with South LA (the Watts riots starting because of pedestrians).

Other than that, whenever I walk around LA (something I do a lot) there are almost always a handful to a dozen of fellow pedestrians within view.

The largest swath that lacks pedestrian activity is the West San Fernando Valley from the 405 to the west. There are just small hubs of pedestrian activity, mostly along Ventura Blvd. East Valley is not bad from my experience, particularly near the Orange Line stops, up Van Nuys Blvd and in North Hollywood. I'm not sure about north Valley neighborhoods like Arleta and Pacoima.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:57 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
45,740 posts, read 39,621,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post

On the Eastside, just about every commercial corridor has a lot of pedestrian activity. Same goes with South LA (the Watts riots starting because of pedestrians).
Interesting idea. If everyone drove, danger of riots and mayhem is lessened.

Quote:
Other than that, whenever I walk around LA (something I do a lot) there are almost always a handful to a dozen of fellow pedestrians within view.
I'd be curious to see photos of pedestrians in non-downtown not-event areas. Here's a commercial street in Brooklyn on a Sunday morning. I was more interested in the dogs (left out in front of the supermarket) than people but you can see people walking in the background.

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Old 07-06-2012, 11:10 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
On the Eastside, just about every commercial corridor has a lot of pedestrian activity. Same goes with South LA (the Watts riots starting because of pedestrians).
Riots! LA wins at having the most memorable riots. Now that's pedestrian activity.

Watts Riots:


Frank Zappa - Trouble Every Day 1966 - YouTube

Rodney King Riots:


Sublime - April 29, 1992 (Rodney King riots) - YouTube
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,543 posts, read 17,884,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
I have to agree on Miami. At 12k/sq mile it is one of the densest cities in the country - more dense (amazingly) than DC and Philly - yet it doesn't feel that way. You hardly see any people on the streets. Nor does it have the kind of structural density (outside of downtown and Brickell) that one would expect from a city with such high population density. It's quite bizarre.
Miami's footprint is tiny. It's only 36 square miles and contributes just 400K of the county's 2.5 million population. However, MiamiDade's density doesn't only reside within the core of the central city. If, say, Miami was as physically large as Philly, it would encompass some pretty amazing walkabe communities. Miami Beach (and South Beach in particular) is one of the most walkabe places in the country and has foot traffic galore among its full time and part time residents as well as from the tourists and the causeway crowd that comes to enjoy it on a daily basis. But, it's not Miami's only foot traffic area. Coconut Grove, in Miami proper, has a lively pedestrian scene and the core of DT Miami north of the river has a lot of foot traffic daily. Many MiamiDade sea side communities also have lively foot traffic scenes of residents and tourists. Even in the depth of the hurricane season these communities are full of pedestrian activity. Midtown, Wynwood and The Design District within Miami proper have also emerged as pedestrian enclaves in their own right.

A drive down Biscayne and Brickell does not tell the pedestrian story of Miami and its communities. It aso does not represent the dozens of thriving walkable areas across a spectrum of socioeconomic and cultural identities within MiamiDade.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,563,975 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Interesting idea. If everyone drove, danger of riots and mayhem is lessened.

I'd be curious to see photos of pedestrians in non-downtown not-event areas. Here's a commercial street in Brooklyn on a Sunday morning. I was more interested in the dogs (left out in front of the supermarket) than people but you can see people walking in the background.
That looks like about the foot traffic on my street, which is residential with a little commercial thrown in (laundrymat, liquor store).

Here is a picture I took (can't remember why) from Hollywood Blvd. I took it on a random weekday about month or two ago. That is a pretty typical amount for a weeknight, though the activity certainly picks up 4-5 blocks in each direction, at the Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Highland intersections.

At this time of the year I pretty much avoid Hollywood/Highland at all costs - it is not quite at Times Squares' level, but it gets very close. Not to mention people are gawking at the stars or the theaters, so they walk v e r y s l o w l y.
Attached Thumbnails
Fairly dense city lacking pedestrian activity-street.jpg  
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:13 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Also, if you haven't heard it, the first song is a great song about the Watts Riot (and just as general social commentary)
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Cardboard box
1,909 posts, read 3,202,710 times
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LA by far
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 2,995,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
Midtown, Wynwood and The Design District within Miami proper have also emerged as pedestrian enclaves in their own right.
I'd say they're emerging. Most of the time I'm there, there's only a scattering of people walking around (and at least one guy I try to avoid).
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:10 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
I find that these grand pronouncements are usually made by people that have either never been to these downtowns or not for a very long time. The last few times I was in downtown Atlanta, it was quite well trafficed. Among other things, there are three major universities in its vicinity.
Ok then try this logic on for size. Both D.C. and Atlanta are about the same size then tell me why D.C.'s downtown has more pedestrian life than Atlanta's?

While you're at it, tell me why Phoenix lacks that same edge over Seattle even though both are the same size. How about Houston compared to Boston? Dallas compared to Philly? Miami compared to SF? LA compared to NYC or Chicago?

The sunbelt isn't an awful place and I won't sit here trying to convince you that it is BUT its not as traditionally urban. Pedestrian life in the sunbelt exists but every neighborhood takes the energy away from the core to do it. It's possible LA has as many pedestrians as Chicago but you wouldn't ever think that by only looking at the cores of each city, where LA and the rest of the sunbelt cities make up for it are the many districts spread around the metro.

All sunbelt cities for their sizes lack in the core compared to non sunbelt cities of similar sizes.
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