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View Poll Results: Philly vs Bos
Philadelphia 128 46.89%
Boston 145 53.11%
Voters: 273. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Boston
5,269 posts, read 8,615,670 times
Reputation: 5459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summersm343 View Post
Transportation: Slight edge to Boston (because MBTA has less ground to cover and less people to cater to)
How does this (bolded) have anything to do with which city is better for public transportation?

Determining which place has "better" public transit is fairly simple... In which city/metro is it easier to cover more ground and get more places via public transportation? The answer is Boston. Both are among the top in the country and yes, Philadelphia is a larger city, but it's easier to get around Boston and suburbs via public transit than it is in Philadelphia. Regardless of land area or population numbers, the MBTA allows people to cover more of Boston and its suburbs than SEPTA does in the Philadelphia area. By your argument (less ground to cover/ more people to cater to), Los Angeles has better public transit than Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, and San Francisco because those cities have less ground to cover than LA and fewer people to serve. I don't think so.

Quote:
Walkability: Philadelphia (Boston's roads are too windy and hilly)
I think any city planner and would have a good laugh at this. Not so much the fact that you chose Philadelphia (I haven't walked enough of Philadelphia to say that Boston's better and Philadelphia is VERY walkable), but your argument as to why Philadelphia is better. Two very big problems with your argument:

1) Boston's just not that hilly. Certainly not on par with cities like San Francisco or Pittsburgh (both VERY walkable cities, by the way). In fact, I can't think of a single spot in Boston where as a pedestrian I've thought "wow... this is just too hilly!". Boston's topography is gently rolling. The biggest hills (and they weren't even very big back then) in the city have been literally taken down and their contents used to fill in water to create neighborhoods like the Back Bay. The result? Most of the city (especially the core) is fairly flat. But in no way are hills even a slight problem for pedestrians in Boston.

2) "windy roads." This one is the one that makes me laugh a little. Not only are Boston's windy roads not a problem for pedestrians, they're actually part of the reason that Boston is so good for pedestrians. It's pretty simple, really... is it easier for cars to drive fast on long, wide straight roads, or narrow, winding roads? Obviously wide straight roads. Boston's narrow, curving streets act as natural traffic calming which is one of the reasons it's so great to walk in Boston.

Beyond the actual safety aspect of "windy" roads, it provides an ever changing streetscape which is makes the pedestrian experience much more enjoyable. Boston was laid out BY pedestrians for Pedestrians long before the car (Philadelphia was too, but on a grid system). It's why neighborhoods like the North End, Beacon Hill, and the Financial District are a lot of fun to walk around... there's something new on every corner. Boston's crooked streets may be a pain for cars, but certainly not pedestrians. The lack of a grid is actually one of the most appealing things about walking in Boston... it's certainly not a flaw from the pedestrian perspective.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
5,866 posts, read 3,918,356 times
Reputation: 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
How does this (bolded) have anything to do with which city is better for public transportation?

Determining which place has "better" public transit is fairly simple... In which city/metro is it easier to cover more ground and get more places via public transportation? The answer is Boston. Both are among the top in the country and yes, Philadelphia is a larger city, but it's easier to get around Boston and suburbs via public transit than it is in Philadelphia. Regardless of land area or population numbers, the MBTA allows people to cover more of Boston and its suburbs than SEPTA does in the Philadelphia area. By your argument (less ground to cover/ more people to cater to), Los Angeles has better public transit than Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, and San Francisco because those cities have less ground to cover than LA and fewer people to serve. I don't think so.



I think any city planner and would have a good laugh at this. Not so much the fact that you chose Philadelphia (I haven't walked enough of Philadelphia to say that Boston's better and Philadelphia is VERY walkable), but your argument as to why Philadelphia is better. Two very big problems with your argument:

1) Boston's just not that hilly. Certainly not on par with cities like San Francisco or Pittsburgh (both VERY walkable cities, by the way). In fact, I can't think of a single spot in Boston where as a pedestrian I've thought "wow... this is just too hilly!". Boston's topography is gently rolling. The biggest hills (and they weren't even very big back then) in the city have been literally taken down and their contents used to fill in water to create neighborhoods like the Back Bay. The result? Most of the city (especially the core) is fairly flat. But in no way are hills even a slight problem for pedestrians in Boston.

2) "windy roads." This one is the one that makes me laugh a little. Not only are Boston's windy roads not a problem for pedestrians, they're actually part of the reason that Boston is so good for pedestrians. It's pretty simple, really... is it easier for cars to drive fast on long, wide straight roads, or narrow, winding roads? Obviously wide straight roads. Boston's narrow, curving streets act as natural traffic calming which is one of the reasons it's so great to walk in Boston.

Beyond the actual safety aspect of "windy" roads, it provides an ever changing streetscape which is makes the pedestrian experience much more enjoyable. Boston was laid out BY pedestrians for Pedestrians long before the car (Philadelphia was too, but on a grid system). It's why neighborhoods like the North End, Beacon Hill, and the Financial District are a lot of fun to walk around... there's something new on every corner. Boston's crooked streets may be a pain for cars, but certainly not pedestrians. The lack of a grid is actually one of the most appealing things about walking in Boston... it's certainly not a flaw from the pedestrian perspective.
Oh I forgot I'm not aloud to give an opinion on this website
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Boston
5,269 posts, read 8,615,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summersm343 View Post
Oh I forgot I'm not aloud to give an opinion on this website
How we support our opinions is the entire foundation of this forum and what keeps any of these discussions going. I have just as much right to challenge your opinions as you do to write them in the first place. Don't post anything if you don't want people to disagree with you.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
8,709 posts, read 4,830,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post

2) "windy roads." This one is the one that makes me laugh a little. Not only are Boston's windy roads not a problem for pedestrians, they're actually part of the reason that Boston is so good for pedestrians. It's pretty simple, really... is it easier for cars to drive fast on long, wide straight roads, or narrow, winding roads? Obviously wide straight roads. Boston's narrow, curving streets act as natural traffic calming which is one of the reasons it's so great to walk in Boston.

Beyond the actual safety aspect of "windy" roads, it provides an ever changing streetscape which is makes the pedestrian experience much more enjoyable. Boston was laid out BY pedestrians for Pedestrians long before the car (Philadelphia was too, but on a grid system). It's why neighborhoods like the North End, Beacon Hill, and the Financial District are a lot of fun to walk around... there's something new on every corner. Boston's crooked streets may be a pain for cars, but certainly not pedestrians. The lack of a grid is actually one of the most appealing things about walking in Boston... it's certainly not a flaw from the pedestrian perspective.
The windy roads may have been laid out by pedestrians but they are extremely confusing - Even after I lived in the city for a few years I got hopelessly lost a few times in Brookline.

Though the lack of a grid does provide shortcuts to those that know what they are doing. In other words, if you are local, Boston's street network can actually be more useful than Philly's. Otherwise grid FTW every time.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:44 AM
 
423 posts, read 329,788 times
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this is one of those threads where pictures would provide so much more discussion
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:45 PM
 
Location: NY
269 posts, read 151,243 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Maybe Bostonians were not nice to you because your from New York and you think everyone in Boston is a Harvard-grad Beacon Hill snob
They dont know where im from.

Its really a combination of things that I just dont care for. The weather there sucks too.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Boston
5,269 posts, read 8,615,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
The windy roads may have been laid out by pedestrians but they are extremely confusing - Even after I lived in the city for a few years I got hopelessly lost a few times in Brookline.

Though the lack of a grid does provide shortcuts to those that know what they are doing. In other words, if you are local, Boston's street network can actually be more useful than Philly's. Otherwise grid FTW every time.
I know there's a learning curve. It took me a while and there are still places I can get turned around. However, In terms of safety and aesthetic, I still think the crooked streets are better for pedestrians.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:57 PM
 
423 posts, read 329,788 times
Reputation: 275
There's a reason why certain cities fair high amongst walk score. I don't think it has much to do with terrain as it does with nearby amenities within a mile radius. Yes, some would argue in SF that the hills are a deterrent at times. But overall, you really don't have to walk over many to get to where you need to go. The same for Boston, the curvaceous streets could be detrimental to someone that had poor depth perception I suppose, but once again, it's only so many curves that you will walk before you reach your nearby destination. Just my two cents.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
8,709 posts, read 4,830,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75 South View Post
There's a reason why certain cities fair high amongst walk score. I don't think it has much to do with terrain as it does with nearby amenities within a mile radius. Yes, some would argue in SF that the hills are a deterrent at times. But overall, you really don't have to walk over many to get to where you need to go. The same for Boston, the curvaceous streets could be detrimental to someone that had poor depth perception I suppose, but once again, it's only so many curves that you will walk before you reach your nearby destination. Just my two cents.
Walkcore doesn't take hills into account at all.

Generally I found the windy roads in Boston to be a non-factor in walking. More than anything the terrible weather (freezing, icy winters and humid, sweaty summers) was the biggest deterrent when I wanted to walk. Philly has similar weather - though I have heard it is slightly milder than Boston's.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:41 PM
 
5,309 posts, read 3,426,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyGuy85 View Post
They dont know where im from.

Its really a combination of things that I just dont care for. The weather there sucks too.
Bostons weather it not that bad (even S. NH has 2x the snow Boston gets) and isnt that much different than NYC or Philly, just a few degrees.
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