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Old 08-20-2015, 02:15 PM
 
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Michigan Ave is the busy street in Chicago, though. I could see Wacker or State or some Loop streets seeing high numbers on weekdays (only), but not approaching Michigan Ave. Manhattan seems to maintain Michigan Ave crowds on both E-W (a full 1-2 miles) and N-S (many many miles) throughout much of the entire borough. To me, Chicago is a small cow town when compared to NYC. NYC is just that much larger/more hectic/more crowded over that much larger area. Chicago and SF are very very equivalent, SF having fewer high rises but overall similar scope and feel. Both are a huge drop from New York.
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:45 PM
 
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Most people here seem to comparing the Loop to Midtown Manhattan. Most New Yorkers, unless they work there, avoid Midtown like the plague. Otherwise, Midtown is mostly tourists. In my experience, Chicagoans often travel to the Loop for pleasure, in addition to working there.

Most of Manhattan has as much street activity as the Loop during the day. There are also multiple commercial high-rise areas in NYC that compare to the Loop: Midtown, Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Long Island City. These areas are all a little different. The Financial District, for example, predates the grid and contains narrow streets and alleyways. Union Square is also a candidate for the "heart" of NYC, since you'll find more locals there than Midtown.

Compared to Chicago's streets, NYC's are narrower in addition to being busier at all times of the day. I'd also guess that New Yorkers walk faster than Chicagoans.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:32 PM
 
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For some reason this count of pedestrians was only done from 7:45am to 5:45pm - so obviously there are going to be thousands of people walking on the streets outside these times, especially on Michigan Ave, State Street, and then the streets going towards transit links (it's still very packed at 5:45pm). Some of the street actually showed pedestrian traffic around 5:45pm greater than anything registered from 7:45pm to 4:45pm. Too bad they didn't at least count until 8pm or 9pm to get an accurate count.

North Michigan Ave and State Street counts were actually peaked at 5:45pm, so the counts there are quite a bit understated.

In the loop you can tell where the bridges are that cross to the main stations (going north to south):
Lake: 5,200
Randolph: 11,800
Washington: 11,600
Madison: 34,000
Monroe: 14,100
Adams: 41,700
Jacson: 24,600

Streets in the loop that run north south, you can see how people avoid the ones with the L running overhead:
Wacker: 20,700
Franklin: 22,300
Wells: 16,200
LaSalle: 25,800
Clark: 23,400
Dearborn: 25,900
State: 36,600
Wabash: 20,600
Michigan Ave Bridge: 36,700
South Michigan Ave: 22,200

Passage over all Chicago River Bridges Downtown Average Weekday:
1981: 196,783
1989: 213,309
1999: 229,897
2007: 243,222

Weekday Traffic Across 11 Blocks of North Michigan Ave:
1981: 309,043
1989: 339,323
1999: 427,517
2007: 429,706

Weekend Traffic Across 11 Blocks of North Michigan Ave:
1981: 319,022
1989: 300,987
1999: 549,990
2007: 637,839

Traffic Across 9 Blocks of State Street on a Weekday:
1999: 186,400
2007: 198,300

Traffic Across 6 Blocks of State Treet on a Weekend
1999: 82,800
2007: 118,200

I wish the latest counts weren't 8 years old. Loop employment and college enrollment numbers are at all time highs, there have been thousands of new residential units added since then, thousands of hotel rooms, more tourists, etc.

Last edited by Chicago60614; 08-20-2015 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:42 PM
 
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^^^As is the case with Manhattan, SF, and most prosperous global cities with large downtowns (in terms of growth of students, office workers, tourists, and residents).
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,356,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
For some reason this count of pedestrians was only done from 7:45am to 5:45pm - so obviously there are going to be thousands of people walking on the streets outside these times, especially on Michigan Ave, State Street, and then the streets going towards transit links (it's still very packed at 5:45pm). Some of the street actually showed pedestrian traffic around 5:45pm greater than anything registered from 7:45pm to 4:45pm. Too bad they didn't at least count until 8pm or 9pm to get an accurate count.

North Michigan Ave and State Street counts were actually peaked at 5:45pm, so the counts there are quite a bit understated.

In the loop you can tell where the bridges are that cross to the main stations (going north to south):
Lake: 5,200
Randolph: 11,800
Washington: 11,600
Madison: 34,000
Monroe: 14,100
Adams: 41,700
Jacson: 24,600

Streets in the loop that run north south, you can see how people avoid the ones with the L running overhead:
Wacker: 20,700
Franklin: 22,300
Wells: 16,200
LaSalle: 25,800
Clark: 23,400
Dearborn: 25,900
State: 36,600
Wabash: 20,600
Michigan Ave Bridge: 36,700
South Michigan Ave: 22,200

Passage over all Chicago River Bridges Downtown Average Weekday:
1981: 196,783
1989: 213,309
1999: 229,897
2007: 243,222

Weekday Traffic Across 11 Blocks of North Michigan Ave:
1981: 309,043
1989: 339,323
1999: 427,517
2007: 429,706

Weekend Traffic Across 11 Blocks of North Michigan Ave:
1981: 319,022
1989: 300,987
1999: 549,990
2007: 637,839

Traffic Across 9 Blocks of State Street on a Weekday:
1999: 186,400
2007: 198,300

Traffic Across 6 Blocks of State Treet on a Weekend
1999: 82,800
2007: 118,200

I wish the latest counts weren't 8 years old. Loop employment and college enrollment numbers are at all time highs, there have been thousands of new residential units added since then, thousands of hotel rooms, more tourists, etc.
Impressive findings. I keep hearing that since the recession downtown Chicago has seen a surge of growth when it comes to residential population. The only reason the city is mostly stagnant is because people are leaving the south side in droves, but the downtown population is supposedly at an all time high.

Any chance you could get similar statistics on New York City?
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:38 PM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
2,539 posts, read 2,310,375 times
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Both cities deserve their due. NYC always wins threads. No different here. NYC attained to the World's City. Chicago attained to the Quintessential American city. Especially its Downtown.

People can still have preferences and state why. It is great both cities have their share. I prefer Chicago but surly give NYC its due also.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Impressive findings. I keep hearing that since the recession downtown Chicago has seen a surge of growth when it comes to residential population. The only reason the city is mostly stagnant is because people are leaving the south side in droves, but the downtown population is supposedly at an all time high.

Any chance you could get similar statistics on New York City?
Yeah the downtown population would have to be at an all-time high.

Number of residential units:

1991:
Condo: 21,000
Apartment: 28,000
Total: 49,000

2000:
Condo: 35,000
Apartment: 23,000
Total: 58,000

2007:
Condo: 70,000
Apartment: 22,000
Total: 92,000

2015:
Condo: 79,000
Apartment: 38,000
Total: 117,000
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,356,135 times
Reputation: 4624
Quote:
Originally Posted by steeps View Post
Both cities deserve their due. NYC always wins threads. No different here. NYC attained to the World's City. Chicago attained to the Quintessential American city. Especially its Downtown.

People can still have preferences and state why. It is great both cities have their share. I prefer Chicago but surly give NYC its due also.
I think you misunderstand the question I'm asking. It's not about which one is better, or which one has more activity, or pedestrians on the streets. I'm trying to garner some insight on what sets them apart as a casual person just strolling along the streets of the city.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:29 PM
 
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For one New York is just that much more intensely developed. Like, you won't find areas like River North in NYC with tall buildings with open space and green space around them. Also, New York just has so many more tall buildings - as tall as Chicago is, New York feels taller, even if on average it's not. Just the way the buildings are closer together. The number of cabs, all yellow, on Manhattan streets is higher. The amount of honking in New York is just...a lot. A good amount of honking in Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco, but probably at least 5-10x as much in NYC. It's noisy.

Also the sheer size of NYC (and narrower streets it seems), means you can look in all directions and see endless canyons. As big as Chicago is, it just isn't that big. Plus Chicago's skyline offers large gaps that break it up and more space between buildings. Aside from Park Ave, most of Manhattan is not nearly as manicured as Michigan Ave is during summer. New York/Manhattan also has areas amidst all the skyscrapers that are super old with row house/tenement architecture, which is not something you see anywhere in Chicago.

Chicago and New York use brick differently too. Chicago definitely has a more "prairie style" and lots of lighter brick. New York is an older, darker brick. Chicago's old prewar buildings are all just about shorter than 30-40 stories, mostly ~20 stories. New York has towering 50-60 story old towers in both LOwer Manhattan and Midtown and all up through UES and UWS.

Yes, some similarities, but really a lot of differences. 8+ million people in New York use the trains a day. 1 million people in Chicago do so, but Chicago is not 1/8 the size. Despite all the high rises, Chicago and SF are similar density and SF has higher peaks. Neither approaches NYC and it shows at street level.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,504 posts, read 2,728,798 times
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I badly want to meaningfully comment on this thread, but I feel unqualified, as I've never been to Chicago. Suffice to say, the ONLY developed city I've been to that replicates NYCs street level vibrancy/density, and arguably surpasses it, is Hong Kong. There is NOTHING in this country even close, and I've been to San Francisco, Philadelphia, D.C., Miami and other "contenders" on par with Chicago. In the developed world, NYC has few peers. Based on my studies of Chicago, it's not even close on this metric. This thread, honestly, should just be about aesthetics and layout, which is fine. These Chicago traffic numbers to me, though, are fairly laughable, when NYC literally has 10+ Michigan Avenues.
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