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View Poll Results: Which of these cities is the best
Columbia SC 13 27.08%
Des Moines IA 10 20.83%
Boise ID 11 22.92%
Madison WI 14 29.17%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-25-2017, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasurevalley92 View Post
Des Moines is a nice place, but I think Boise is prettier.

I also think that Boise is more bike-able and more walk-able than Des Moines, partly because it doesn't have a highway that cuts between downtown and other neighborhoods the way that 235 cuts across Des Moines.

Even though I have never been there I would imagine that Columbia is the most walkable for the city as a whole as it is an older city and appears to have the largest downtown from google maps.

Size isn't everything though and Boise has one of the best compact downtowns that I've been to. Maddison also has an awesome downtown. Both are livelier than Des Moines.

I also think that Boise has more growth potential considering that it gets more out of state migrants which seem to be increasing as Portland gets more and more expensive.

I think opportunity depends on your industry.
I'd have to give Madison and Boise the edge for now, but Des Moines is quickly establishing itself as a bicyclist mecca. A lot of its best paths are on the periphery of the metro (the High Trestle Trail probably beats anything in Madison or Boise) with several more projects planned. And of course there's the yearly RAGBRAI "race" (though granted, it doesn't go through the DSM area every year).
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:36 PM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
I'd have to give Madison and Boise the edge for now, but Des Moines is quickly establishing itself as a bicyclist mecca. A lot of its best paths are on the periphery of the metro (the High Trestle Trail probably beats anything in Madison or Boise) with several more projects planned. And of course there's the yearly RAGBRAI "race" (though granted, it doesn't go through the DSM area every year).
The High Trestle Trail looks cool, but are you familiar with the Boise Greenbelt? Not only is is longer, but it also goes right through downtown, several parks, the university past the main branch library, and more.

Madison now has a 80 mile bike trail to Milwaukee, which is much more impressive than the High Trestle Trail.

I think when considering bikablity there are really two different types of cyclists. Those who ride for sport and those who ride to get around. The greenbelt is great because it caters to both of them. Boise is a great cycling city in general because it caters to both of them. My dad has ridden his bike to work for years and its not that uncommon. The Boise Greenbelt is alot more useful for people getting around town than the Trestle Trail is. In highschool I used to ride it to get downtown hang out with friends etc.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Of those, Madison, Wisconsin, easily.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
I'd have to give Madison and Boise the edge for now, but Des Moines is quickly establishing itself as a bicyclist mecca. A lot of its best paths are on the periphery of the metro (the High Trestle Trail probably beats anything in Madison or Boise) with several more projects planned. And of course there's the yearly RAGBRAI "race" (though granted, it doesn't go through the DSM area every year).
For 2015, the Census had Boise at 2.6% bike commute, and Des Moines at 0.4%. Of course having a sizeable university near the center of town plays a role. The Greenbelt is phenomenal of course.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Boise and Des Moines are both good cities. I'd say as cities, probably on par with Madison all around. All three are good cities. Madison's accessibility to a near megacity like Chicago and to another 2 million + metropolitan area like Milwaukee gives it more variation on things to do over the weekend by having a few more places to visit nearby than the others have available around them. I also think Madison's physical location on an isthmus between two lakes and the hill ranges in the area give it a very awesome setting, though Boise, as well, has a tremendous setting too. All three are booming at the current moment, Boise especially, which has been on a bit of a tear all decade. Madison's core is built up nicely, very attractive city center, very attractive and likable city. That's why it is the most expensive real-estate market in the Midwestern United States. It leaves very little to complain about.

I have been to Columbia as well. It's decent but seems further back from the pack, though its size indicates its on the same general plane as the 3 others. So there's that.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'The Waterfall City'
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I think Columbia has the best geographic location, close to beach and mountains. That and warmer winters make Columbia much more appealing to me than the other three.

I haven't been to the other three but Columbia appears to the most wooded of the 4 areas based on Google maps street view.

Last edited by ClemVegas; 08-26-2017 at 10:26 PM..
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:26 AM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facts Kill Rhetoric View Post
Boise and Des Moines are both good cities. I'd say as cities, probably on par with Madison all around. All three are good cities. Madison's accessibility to a near megacity like Chicago and to another 2 million + metropolitan area like Milwaukee gives it more variation on things to do over the weekend by having a few more places to visit nearby than the others have available around them. I also think Madison's physical location on an isthmus between two lakes and the hill ranges in the area give it a very awesome setting, though Boise, as well, has a tremendous setting too. All three are booming at the current moment, Boise especially, which has been on a bit of a tear all decade. Madison's core is built up nicely, very attractive city center, very attractive and likable city. That's why it is the most expensive real-estate market in the Midwestern United States. It leaves very little to complain about.

I have been to Columbia as well. It's decent but seems further back from the pack, though its size indicates its on the same general plane as the 3 others. So there's that.
That seems pretty fair. I can understand how someone would prefer being close to Chicago and Milwaukee, but Boise has plenty of small or non urban places and a much wider variety of types of landscapes within the rough distance of Madison to Chicago.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasurevalley92 View Post
The High Trestle Trail looks cool, but are you familiar with the Boise Greenbelt? Not only is is longer, but it also goes right through downtown, several parks, the university past the main branch library, and more.

Madison now has a 80 mile bike trail to Milwaukee, which is much more impressive than the High Trestle Trail.

I think when considering bikablity there are really two different types of cyclists. Those who ride for sport and those who ride to get around. The greenbelt is great because it caters to both of them. Boise is a great cycling city in general because it caters to both of them. My dad has ridden his bike to work for years and its not that uncommon. The Boise Greenbelt is alot more useful for people getting around town than the Trestle Trail is. In highschool I used to ride it to get downtown hang out with friends etc.
On a scale of 1-10 how hilly is Madison? I was under the impression it was the flattest city on this list. It's main advantage in terms of scenery is the lakes.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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For geographic and/or scenic options, the hill ranges start just west of the city of Madison. The hills were carved from the glacier ice melt and are pretty nice. Reminds me of the surroundings to Austin and Nashville. For a large body of water with an extensive shoreline and beaches, Lake Michigan is 82 miles away. Plus there are two major lakes on both sides of Madison's core but for that wide open body of water that resembles a sea, that's 82 miles away (give or take 90 minutes of a drive there).

Then with regard to major urban cities, Milwaukee is also 82 miles away and Chicago is 147 miles.

Other than the use of a major international airport though, you don't really have to leave Madison for the two bigger cities in the area for anything else, unless you just wanted to go out and enjoy the bigger city for a weekend or something. The two bigger cities being there though open a door to both variation and nearby offerings that people can take advantage of on a whim. Madison has all the bare essential amenities needed and is quite varied and diverse for a place of its size, so you don't even have to leave it to find ethnic groceries, restaurants, or food. I think it is a great trio of cities of three different size ranges in one geographic area; Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison. Pretty much all you really need city-wise.

Boise is an excellent up-and-coming city too. Its location in the Western United States is profound as the city has great outdoor and geographic variety within striking distance of the city itself. Like Madison, I fully expect Boise to climb above 1 million people in its PCSA as well, which would make it a major place in its own right. The city's downtown is well built, especially for a city of its size, and it has started attracting bigger chunks of the same industries that Madison attracts as well, which is a good progression of Boise's knowledge based economy.

Des Moines has been competing with Hartford for a while as a major center for insurance firms and has been attracting business opportunities and major employers to the region for the last 15 or so years. Which have positioned it well, it is one of the true few booming places in the Midwest. Similar to Boise and Madison, it's PCSA population should also push above 1 million in the coming two decades or so.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 08-27-2017 at 02:27 PM..
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facts Kill Rhetoric View Post
For geographic and/or scenic options, the hill ranges start just west of the city of Madison. The hills were carved from the glacier ice melt and are pretty nice. Reminds me of the surroundings to Austin and Nashville. For a large body of water with an extensive shoreline and beaches, Lake Michigan is 82 miles away. Plus there are two major lakes on both sides of Madison's core but for that wide open body of water that resembles a sea, that's 82 miles away (give or take 90 minutes of a drive there).

Then with regard to major urban cities, Milwaukee is also 82 miles away and Chicago is 147 miles.

Other than the use of a major international airport though, you don't really have to leave Madison for the two bigger cities in the area for anything else, unless you just wanted to go out and enjoy the bigger city for a weekend or something. The two bigger cities being there though open a door to both variation and nearby offerings that people can take advantage of on a whim. Madison has all the bare essential amenities needed and is quite varied and diverse for a place of its size, so you don't even have to leave it to find ethnic groceries, restaurants, or food. I think it is a great trio of cities of three different size ranges in one geographic area; Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison. Pretty much all you really need city-wise.

Boise is an excellent up-and-coming city too. Its location in the Western United States is profound as the city has great outdoor and geographic variety within striking distance of the city itself. Like Madison, I fully expect Boise to climb above 1 million people in its PCSA as well, which would make it a major place in its own right. The city's downtown is well built, especially for a city of its size, and it has started attracting bigger chunks of the same industries that Madison attracts as well, which is a good progression of Boise's knowledge based economy.

Des Moines has been competing with Hartford for a while as a major center for insurance firms and has been attracting business opportunities and major employers to the region for the last 15 or so years. Which have positioned it well, it is one of the true few booming places in the Midwest. Similar to Boise and Madison, it's PCSA population should also push above 1 million in the coming two decades or so.
Nice analysis. I went to Madison again not too long ago, was surprised at how scenic it was.
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