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Old 07-08-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
The two cities are very different. Atlanta's walkable footprint is tiny in comparison to DC's. Nearly all of the dense development in Atlanta is concentrated along one corridor (Peachtree) and the built environment reverts back to an auto-centric one rather quickly once you're a couple of blocks away from that corridor (Hollywood Boulevard is similar in this respect). Downtown DC is far structurally denser and walkable over a much larger footprint. In fact, the walkable footprint of Downtown DC alone is larger than all of the walkable places in the Atlanta metropolitan area in aggregate.

While DTDC does empty out after office hours, I'd still say its pedestrian activity as a whole is several orders of magnitude greater than Atlanta's.
I'm talking the function of both cities' downtowns, not their structure; anyone who's been to both cities knows there's a difference when it comes to the latter. Downtown DC functions mainly as an office/tourist center, much like downtown Atlanta (although Atlanta has GSU to help it out somewhat). In terms of after-hours activity, most of it is to be found in the neighborhoods as opposed to downtown in both cities--that's my point. It's for different reasons in each city, but that's another discussion.

And when it comes to downtown Atlanta in particular, there's a respectable amount of development away from Peachtree, namely a good bit of historic commercial lowrise and midrise buildings. Now many of those areas have seen better days, but the bones are still there.

Last edited by Mutiny77; 07-08-2012 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Hollywood Blvd is not a good example... Franklin, Sunset, Santa Monica and Melrose all continue the pedestrian friendly development after it supposedly "breaks down". Not to mention La Brea, Cahuenga, and Vine are pedestrian-friendly north/south streets. There may be a block or two on each street that is not pedestrian friendly, but to say it "breaks down" would be a misstatement - it may break down for half a block or a block, but starts right back up on the next arterial street.
I'll just have to show you what I'm talking about.

Cahuenga and Selma. One block from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Sunset and Cahunenga. Two blocks from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Cahuenga and De Longpre. Three full blocks away from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Cahuenga and Homewood Avenue. Four full blocks away from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
I'm talking the function of both cities' downtowns, not their structure; anyone who's been to both cities knows there's a difference when it comes to the latter. Downtown DC functions mainly as an office/tourist center, much like downtown Atlanta (although Atlanta has GSU to help it out somewhat). In terms of after-hours activity, most of it is to be found in the neighborhoods as opposed to downtown in both cities--that's my point. It's for different reasons in each city, but that's another discussion.
I agree with the language in bold. But I was bringing up the structural density issue because it has a direct bearing on the level of pedestrian activity one sees in Atlanta. You mentioned that both Atlanta and DC have a "ton of activity" and I have never known that to be the case outside of Five Points/Underground Atlanta. There's a pretty wide gap between Downtown DC and Downtown Atlanta and yes, part of that is due to more downtown activity in DTDC, but it's also largely due to the fact that DTDC is better designed for walking.

Quote:
And when it comes to downtown Atlanta in particular, there's a respectable amount of development away from Peachtree, namely a good bit of historic commercial lowrise and midrise buildings. Now many of those areas have seen better days, but the bones are still there.
It depends on how you define "respectable." There's really nowhere in Atlanta like Charleston where you can walk five blocks, turn left and then walk three blocks, then turn right and walk six blocks, then turn left and walk another three blocks and still be in a rather walkable environment with a decent level of pedestrian activity. There's no "multi-dimensional" walkable environment in that sense. Even Peachtree (outside of Five Points) feels like it's been scaled to the automobile. I've never been enticed to walk from Gladys Knight's up to Midtown. In fact, the thought has never crossed my mind even though it's less than a mile away.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,582,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I'll just have to show you what I'm talking about.

Cahuenga and Selma. One block from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Sunset and Cahunenga. Two blocks from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Cahuenga and De Longpre. Three full blocks away from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Cahuenga and Homewood Avenue. Four full blocks away from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps
Got it...

The way you were describing downtown Atlanta had me thinking it drops off like it does at Buckhead where it seems like there are high rises right next to homes on 1/2 acre lots. I have no problem with Hollywood (a residential nabe) being compared to a major city's downtown - I would imagine DT Atlanta has better street presence than Hollywood... it would be a little sad if it didn't (With the exception of Hollywood/Highland, I don't think anywhere in Atlanta matches that crush of people at almost all times, day or night).

Like I said before, what Hollywood turns into is not really "car-centric" (or at least is not "car-friendly), it is just this weird hybrid of old pedestrian dominated areas that have been retrofitted to be more accommodating to the car - making it suck for just about everyone. I've driven through these areas a couple of times - it is pretty much impossible to turn left (one person gets to run a red light per light-cycle), parking is sparse and expensive, and traffic is terrible. It takes just about as long to walk as it does to drive/park.

And, as you go south in Hollywood you start to run into the industrial part of the neighborhood - generally bounded by Santa Monica, Melrose, Wilton and La Brea. This area would fall under the category of "walkable but unpleasant" - it has lots of amenities but also lots of repair-shops and industrial shops relating to the film industry, plus it is probably the most low-income part of Hollywood. Despite this, the area still has pretty strong pedestrian presence, mostly due to the indie/DIY theater scene on SaMo and the smattering of nightclubs, and of course, the residents that take the bus/walk.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:52 PM
 
940 posts, read 1,685,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I'll just have to show you what I'm talking about.

Cahuenga and Selma. One block from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Sunset and Cahunenga. Two blocks from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Cahuenga and De Longpre. Three full blocks away from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps

Cahuenga and Homewood Avenue. Four full blocks away from Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California - Google Maps
Only the last one really is all that pedestrian unfriendly. And in your first two examples there's only one auto-oriented development per intersection. And actually, both of those (the jack in the box and the big wangs strip mall) rely on pedestrians for much of their patronage.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dweebo2220 View Post
Only the last one really is all that pedestrian unfriendly. And in your first two examples there's only one auto-oriented development per intersection. And actually, both of those (the jack in the box and the big wangs strip mall) rely on pedestrians for much of their patronage.
I think the point is that it gets progressively worse as you go further south. Can't really argue with that, though none of those links were to terribly pedestrian-unfriendly areas. They aren't great and the southern portion of Cahuenga (past DeLongpre) has terrible urban design, though it isn't really unwalkable and there are lots of amenities within a block of that area, such as on Vine and DeLongpre: hollywood, ca - Google Maps (this corner has significantly cleaned up since that view was taken), and along DeLongpre: hollywood, ca - Google Maps

And that strip mall probably relies mostly on walk-up patronage. That parking lot has about 20-30 parking spots for about 10 businesses, four of them being restaurants/bars.

Last edited by munchitup; 07-09-2012 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I agree with the language in bold. But I was bringing up the structural density issue because it has a direct bearing on the level of pedestrian activity one sees in Atlanta. You mentioned that both Atlanta and DC have a "ton of activity" and I have never known that to be the case outside of Five Points/Underground Atlanta. There's a pretty wide gap between Downtown DC and Downtown Atlanta and yes, part of that is due to more downtown activity in DTDC, but it's also largely due to the fact that DTDC is better designed for walking.
To be fair, I did say: "Now downtown DC is physically dense and has a ton of daytime activity, which Atlanta does too (although not quite as much due to stronger competition for office workers from the suburbs)..." And note that I said daytime activity in particular because I'm making a contrast between daytime and nighttime activity for both cities' downtowns, in which there is a noticeable drop-off. Again, this is the comparison I'm making: the contrast between daytime and nighttime activity in each city's downtown. They are similar in that respect. I'm not making an argument for both downtowns being the same either in terms of the built environment or level of daytime activity because they aren't; I know this.

Quote:
It depends on how you define "respectable." There's really nowhere in Atlanta like Charleston where you can walk five blocks, turn left and then walk three blocks, then turn right and walk six blocks, then turn left and walk another three blocks and still be in a rather walkable environment with a decent level of pedestrian activity. There's no "multi-dimensional" walkable environment in that sense. Even Peachtree (outside of Five Points) feels like it's been scaled to the automobile. I've never been enticed to walk from Gladys Knight's up to Midtown. In fact, the thought has never crossed my mind even though it's less than a mile away.
Well you could actually do that in downtown Atlanta to an extent, but the problem is that although the areas are walkable, they aren't really areas you'd want to walk in/through for both aesthetic and functional reasons (e.g., south downtown which functions like a government district). And yes, Midtown lacks the structural density of downtown, even along Peachtree, and it takes a while to get into the heart of Midtown where most of the action is walking from Gladys Knight's.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
The way you were describing downtown Atlanta had me thinking it drops off like it does at Buckhead where it seems like there are high rises right next to homes on 1/2 acre lots.
It wouldn't drop off if you only stayed on Peachtree (which runs north-south). It would last a decent number of blocks before becoming almost completely auto-scaled in Midtown. But if you were to walk a couple of blocks away from Peachtree, you would see a very noticeable change in the built environment (i.e. parking lots, wide roads, etc.). Even it's downtown area is a little too spaced out to sustain heavy levels of pedestrian activity during the daytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I have no problem with Hollywood (a residential nabe) being compared to a major city's downtown
That's not really the comparison I was making. I was saying that Peachtree Street and Hollywood Boulevard are similar insofar as the walkable environment being concentrated largely along those routes. Once you're two or three blocks away from those routes, it reverts back to a more auto-centric built environment. The "walkable" development is very linear whereas it's more multi-dimensional in an older city like Charleston.

Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
And, as you go south in Hollywood you start to run into the industrial part of the neighborhood - generally bounded by Santa Monica, Melrose, Wilton and La Brea. This area would fall under the category of "walkable but unpleasant"
I would classify that as purely "unwalkable." But we clearly have different definitions of "walkable." There are many parts of Brooklyn (i.e., Kings Highway, stretches of Atlantic Avenue) that I do not consider walkable despite what the population densities may be.

Here's a good example of a pedestrian-friendly environment quickly transforming into a pedestrian-hostile one.

Aramingo Avenue, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps

Here's another in Brooklyn:

Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, NY - Google Maps

Here's another in the Bronx:

East Gun Hill Road, New York, NY - Google Maps

None of those places generate much pedestrian activity and for good reason. Now compare those places to these:

Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps

Willoughby Street, Brooklyn, New York, NY - Google Maps

Jerome Avenue, Bronx, New York, NY - Google Maps

I hope you see the difference.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,582,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I would classify that as purely "unwalkable." But we clearly have different definitions of "walkable." There are many parts of Brooklyn (i.e., Kings Highway, stretches of Atlantic Avenue) that I do not consider walkable despite what the population densities may be.

Here's a good example of a pedestrian-friendly environment quickly transforming into a pedestrian-hostile one.

Aramingo Avenue, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps

Here's another in Brooklyn:

Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, NY - Google Maps

Here's another in the Bronx:

East Gun Hill Road, New York, NY - Google Maps

None of those places generate much pedestrian activity and for good reason. Now compare those places to these:

Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps

Willoughby Street, Brooklyn, New York, NY - Google Maps

Jerome Avenue, Bronx, New York, NY - Google Maps

I hope you see the difference.
Interestingly enough, the pedestrian activity does not significantly drop off for the most part as you travel south and hit roads like Santa Monica and Melrose. Nothing is on par with the day-in-day-out pedestrian activity of Hollywood Blvd (and some parts of Sunset), but Santa Monica and Melrose have what I would consider "medium" pedestrian activity, which is certainly not bad for what amounts to a mixed use light-industrial/residential neighborhood. It is probably mostly due to the demographic of the neighborhood, the 702/2 bus being a major east/west route in the city and the high amount of DIY theaters.

Plus, traveling in every direction (except north ) from Hollywood Blvd, you will run into an area with heavy pedestrian activity - Thai Town/Little Armenia/Franklin Village to the east, West Hollywood/Fairfax District to the west, Larchmont Village/La Brea Corridor to the south. North you are obviously going to run into some mountains. I would imagine that is also the case for those pedestrian-hostile locations in NYC and Philly, but I'm not so sure that is the case for the Peachtree Corridor. Head east or west, away from the main drag and it only gets worse and worse.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
27,626 posts, read 24,839,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Plus, traveling in every direction (except north ) from Hollywood Blvd, you will run into an area with heavy pedestrian activity - Thai Town/Little Armenia/Franklin Village to the east, West Hollywood/Fairfax District to the west, Larchmont Village/La Brea Corridor to the south. North you are obviously going to run into some mountains. I would imagine that is also the case for those pedestrian-hostile locations in NYC and Philly, but I'm not so sure that is the case for the Peachtree Corridor. Head east or west, away from the main drag and it only gets worse and worse.
Would you consider those stretches of Aramingo and Atlantic Avenues to be "walkable?"
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