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View Poll Results: Which feels larger-metro Boston (urban/MSA/CSA) or metro DC (urban/MSA/CSA)?
metro Boston 25 37.88%
metro DC 41 62.12%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-10-2015, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Rockville, MD
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Compare on number and size of CBDs, spread of foottraffic over a large area, number and size of commercial districts, suburban transit use, and spread of urban/inner suburban characteristics over a large area.

I think this is going to boil down to what creates the perception of a larger urban mass- centralized city+many smaller,but self-contained urban nodes (as is the case in metro Boston w/ small highly,but self-contained cities like Lowell,Lawrence,etc.) OR centralized city+large-scale "typical" post-war suburban sprawl (as is the case in metro DC).

Imo, Boston at the core feels larger than DC. Baltimore of course feels much larger than Providence.
Boston's adjacent inner core municipalities (Cambridge,Somerville,Revere,etc.) collectively feel significantly more urban than Arlington/Alexandria/inner Silver Spring/Bethesda, but DC's inner core municipalities feel a little more expansive.

Once you get beyond the inner core, I think it becomes a subjective debate as to whether tightly packed, but very small urban clusters surrounded by very low-density development (metro Boston) feels more or less urban than Houston-style sprawl- with densities similar to Houston outside Houston's inner core (this is the case for more of suburban DC- particularly Montgomery,Fairfax and west/central Prince George's)
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:38 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
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DC felt more like a blend of other cities except the National Mall. Boston metro feels massive (spread ....).
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:37 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
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DC metro seems much more connected via the Beltway and therefore IMO feels much more massive. New Bedford down to the Cape, Fall River, Providence don't seem to add size to Boston's "feel" IMO. DC metro sprawls now beyond Fredericksburg VA and northward almost continuously beyond Baltimore to only 25 miles away from Delaware.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Boston, by far.

Bostonians also seem to be more comfortable with their 'place' in the world, and don't really think about their 'ranking' at all. D.C. seems to be obsessed with this, for some strange reason.

I personally think this is all a wish by SOME in the D.C. area to completely erase any connection to their true Southern roots, by any means they can grab onto to. It appears to be getting more desperate lately, both on C-D and in real life.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the resident09 View Post
DC metro seems much more connected via the Beltway and therefore IMO feels much more massive. New Bedford down to the Cape, Fall River, Providence don't seem to add size to Boston's "feel" IMO. DC metro sprawls now beyond Fredericksburg VA and northward almost continuously beyond Baltimore to only 25 miles away from Delaware.
^^^ This, not to mention westward to near I-66. I'm not sure what all the prior blah-blah on this thread is saying in what "seems like this or that"...look at a map and see.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:12 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
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Oh is that the technical info? Okay. Cool. Boston still felt bigger.

Driving into DC from Alexandria (I mean everything from Richmond to about Alexandria) - none of that felt like DC sprawl. Going past Baltimore (or into it really...), none of that felt like DC. I guess driving through some of the hoods in DC felt a little like DC... but after a point it just felt like you were off into some different kind of sprawl. Like almost a rural sprawl of its own thing.

But Salem, MA felt like Boston Metro. So did everything all the way to Framingham and Hanover.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the resident09 View Post
DC metro seems much more connected via the Beltway and therefore IMO feels much more massive. New Bedford down to the Cape, Fall River, Providence don't seem to add size to Boston's "feel" IMO. DC metro sprawls now beyond Fredericksburg VA and northward almost continuously beyond Baltimore to only 25 miles away from Delaware.
Those places aren't part of Boston's Metro area (except Plymouth the smaller communities of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham). That 195 Corridor is definitely more aligned with Providence and it's part of Providence's MSA. The latter part and Route 25 (a tiny corner of Plymouth, Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham) feels more like an extension of the Cape than part of the metro area (although Plymouth County is part of Boston's MSA). So the Southern edge of Plymouth county doesn't feel like Boston. Not surprising since the MSA numbers are based on commuters and counties and Plymouth County is far more heavily populated further north.

To me, the I-495 beltway generalization seems to be the best way to to get a visualization of what most would consider to be "metro Boston." There are exceptions to that rule. For example, I feel like the gateway cities to "Metro Boston" are as follows (starting in the NE). Newburyport, Haverhill, Salem NH, Tyngsborough, Westford, Boxborough, Hudson, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Milford, Bellingham, Franklin, Attleboro (really the Boston/Providence boundary), Norton, Taunton, Middleborough, Plympton, Plymouth (from downtown Plymouth North). Once you get further from Boston than those cities, you lose the feeling of being in a bigger metro area.

As far as which is bigger, I don't know if it's that I've been here for so long now, but Metro DC feels a little larger, especially as you head South. It's definitely more sprawling whereas much of Metro Boston feels semi-rural. We don't have the same level of urban development in the suburbs that DC does. And most of the urban cities ringing Boston feel more like independent urban centers that have morphed into Boston (Quincy, Lynn, Waltham, etc)- not the result of DC's growth (which is what places, Bethesda, Rockville and much of Arlington along the Metro feel like).

DC overlaps with Baltimore pretty quickly, but Boston does with Providence too. South of Attleboro, it really feels like Providence.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:03 AM
 
Location: BMORE!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the resident09 View Post
DC metro seems much more connected via the Beltway and therefore IMO feels much more massive. New Bedford down to the Cape, Fall River, Providence don't seem to add size to Boston's "feel" IMO. DC metro sprawls now beyond Fredericksburg VA and northward almost continuously beyond Baltimore to only 25 miles away from Delaware.
DC's sprawl stops before it hits Howard County. Baltimore is sprawling to only 25 miles away from Delaware.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:42 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
Boston, by far.

Bostonians also seem to be more comfortable with their 'place' in the world, and don't really think about their 'ranking' at all. D.C. seems to be obsessed with this, for some strange reason.

I personally think this is all a wish by SOME in the D.C. area to completely erase any connection to their true Southern roots, by any means they can grab onto to. It appears to be getting more desperate lately, both on C-D and in real life.
What in the world are you talking about?
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:50 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
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Originally Posted by KodeBlue View Post
DC's sprawl stops before it hits Howard County. Baltimore is sprawling to only 25 miles away from Delaware.
Howard county connects to the northern suburbs in Montgomery county, Central MD is Central, MD regardless. Sure Howard is closer to Bmore but the sprawl has very little separation. BTW my key word was "almost" continuously.

Above the river is Howard and below is Montgomery County:
Attached Thumbnails
Which feels larger- Metro Boston (urban/MSA/CSA) or Metro DC (urban/MSA/CSA)-image.jpg  
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