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Old 10-25-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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There are many walkable communities in the suburbs and in Denver.

I am a strong advocate of public transit and I try to walk, as much as possible. In the suburbs, a neighborhood is more defined and anchored by a grocery store. A large grocery store would be equivalent to 5-12 small stores in a neighborhood, over 50 years ago.

You have the butcher, you have a bakery, there is a deli, a flower shop, a dry grocer, a green grocer, a pharmacy, now we have a video store, a bank----and that is in a standard size King Soopers or Safeway.

When we look at super stores like a super Walmart--we have an addition of a hardware store, an auto service center, clothing store, appliances, sewing center, hardware sho, even now medical offices , optician, photo shop
restaurants, etc.

So what I am saying a grocery store, in itself, is a small community of stores that are bigger and have more then small neighborhoods of the past. A walkable communty can be only a grocery store that is easily walkable and have numerous stores. If you live in older areas of the suburbs, you will see grocery stores surrounded by housing vs. off a main traffic street.

I live in Arvada, I am .3 miles from a supermarket, in a small plaza which has other stores. I can walk to a movie theatre, numerous banks, fast food restaurants, large pharmacy, more churches then I want or need, auto repair shops--all within .3 to .5 miles. A park is .2 miles, large reservoir with hiking--.4 miles and access to a main bike trail off a creek that connects to the platt, within 1 mile with a new regional park being plan there.

In addition a main RTD busstop, .3 miles and the best of all a new commuter rail station will be built within .33 miles of my house.

So, if you want a walkable neighborhood, look at older, denser neighborhoods, in the suburbs, that have been around for years. There are many amenities in these older areas. Arvada, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Westminster have many of these older neighborhoods. I particularly like Applewood (Youngfield), in Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, West 58th and Ralston in Arvada, Midway in Broomfield, Southwest Plaza area in Lakewood, West 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge, Old Town Westminster. I know some of you would consider these areas boring.

Of course if you want a large brand new home, many times you have only the choice of developments where you have to drive to stores and you will not a walkable community--or

you can look at some new infill developments that are in older areas--then you can have some of the best, a new home and a walkable neghborhood. or

If you are smart, find an older home or go into a new infill near a coming commuter rail station and let a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) grow around you. There are many bargains out there, where the new stations are coming, and you can ride the appreciation when the station is built.

I am not impressed by any builder who defines a walkable neighborhood with only overpriced yuppie stores, surrounded by a overpriced development and away from public transit and accessible only by highways.

I have problems with some gentrification neigborhoods that have developed such high rents that the only stores that are there are overpriced fancy little shops that do not serve everyday needs. However, if they are on the edge of less expensive shopping then they are nice. I think Highland, Berkley, Platt Park, South Gaylord, 9th and Corona, etc. fit these descriptions. It what appeals to you.

I think Stapelton is nice, because it has some real stores, like King Soopers, but it is too new for me--but would appeal to many people.

I think some new malls and developments are considered walkable, as long as they have stores for everyone and include a common priced grocery store in the mix; I think Cherry Creek in Denver is a beautiful walkable area but too pricey for me.

Livecontent
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,892 posts, read 102,319,187 times
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I agree with you, livecontent. That is a very good way to put it, that a grocery store is a collection of small stores that one could find, say, in my hometown 50 yrs ago. The old Wal-Mart in Lafayette was bus/bike/walking accessible. Unfortunately, they moved it and it's not so much like that any more. Many of the small strip malls in Louisville and Boulder are walking accessible. Actually, I think what you describe in Arvada is the way it is in most suburbs, even newer ones. Even Superior has a grocery store near the homes, in a small center with a coffee shop and other stores.

Quote:
I am not impressed by any builder who defines a walkable neighborhood with only overpriced yuppie stores, surrounded by a overpriced development and away from public transit and accessible only by highways.
I completely agree. Some builder is even trying to do that in Erie, however, last I heard, they were having trouble attracting stores. A store does need a certain population density to stay in business. The "new urban" development has to be pretty big to keep a store going.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,435,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denver_hacker View Post
Nope, you're not crazy.

Stapleton and Lowry are both 'new urbanism' types of developments in Denver. In the area there's also Bel Mar in Lakewood and Bradburn Village in Westminster.

Now, they are not going to be as walkable as San Francisco, New York, Boston, London, or Paris by any stretch. But they are at least try to be non-car centric.
to add to this one, you have Belle creek, Dakota Ridge Village, Holiday sub-division, and the strangest of them all is Prospect.

They are out there, the movement is called New-Urbanism. I love designing homes in these sub-divisions due to the nature of the Architecture, you hide the garage. bring out the beauty of the house without obscuring it behind a 16' overhead door. (aka garage)

I have designed a couple homes in Bradburn Village, that place has a home in my heart, such a great community
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:55 PM
 
694 posts, read 1,789,253 times
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Default Life in a new urbanist neighborhood

Pittnurse: What a great question! To answer:

The charter school is a public school, although they do have a waiting list for entry (a VERY long one). Many kids in the neighborhood attend that school and most walk. There is another public school planned for inside the neighborhood (an elementary) which we were supposed to get from the bond issue in 2004, but the school district told us they were moving the new school to the other side of the district as we didn't have the numbers to support a neighborhood school yet, currently no news on when it will open, only that it will at some future date. Some kids are bused out of the neighborhood to our home elementary for now, once the new school in the neighborhood opens, they will be able to walk.

Yes, I do use the dentist and he is wonderful! Many of my neighbors do as well. I don't use the childcare center, as my kid is too old, but many people in the neighborhood do (I know of at least 8 families that do, and they walk to it for the most part). The places right in the neighborhood I walk to the most are the restaurants (I ate at one tonight-Ted's Montana Grill which is my favorite). We eat at a neighborhood place probably about 3 or 4 times a week (for lunch or dinner) and we always walk (from my house is 5 minutes, is awesome), we also have a Coldstone Creamery in our downtown which sufficed to say, is dangerous.

Moving to a new urbanist community from a standard sprawl subdivision changed my life. In my old neighborhood people were never outside and even though I lived there for four years I knew almost no one. I only recognized their cars. It was very lonely and isolating when I was staying at home with my infant. I couldn't walk anywhere and the place was a ghost town during the day.

In Bradburn, people have reasons to be outside in public--you can walk to lots of interesting things and parks--so people meet each other. I know all my neighbors and we have very frequent social events. I can't even count the ways in which knowing my neighbors is a benefit, but last winter when we had that 3 foot snow storm, one of my neighbors borrowed a snow blower from another and plowed all our sidewalks, and since I couldn't get my sad little sedan out of the driveway, another neighbor with a truck went to get my spouse at the park and ride (coming home from airport).

Now, don't get me wrong, new urbanist neighborhoods aren't for everyone, and there are lots of places in suburbia you can find in older, established neighborhoods that are walkable (as livecontent's great list demonstrates), but I love where I live with a passion and really believe it's a great choice for people who want to know their neighbors, and want to walk instead of drive everywhere (I do use my car, just a lot less than I used to!).
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,435,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradburn1 View Post
Pittnurse: What a great question! To answer:

The charter school is a public school, although they do have a waiting list for entry (a VERY long one). Many kids in the neighborhood attend that school and most walk. There is another public school planned for inside the neighborhood (an elementary) which we were supposed to get from the bond issue in 2004, but the school district told us they were moving the new school to the other side of the district as we didn't have the numbers to support a neighborhood school yet, currently no news on when it will open, only that it will at some future date. Some kids are bused out of the neighborhood to our home elementary for now, once the new school in the neighborhood opens, they will be able to walk.

Yes, I do use the dentist and he is wonderful! Many of my neighbors do as well. I don't use the childcare center, as my kid is too old, but many people in the neighborhood do (I know of at least 8 families that do, and they walk to it for the most part). The places right in the neighborhood I walk to the most are the restaurants (I ate at one tonight-Ted's Montana Grill which is my favorite). We eat at a neighborhood place probably about 3 or 4 times a week (for lunch or dinner) and we always walk (from my house is 5 minutes, is awesome), we also have a Coldstone Creamery in our downtown which sufficed to say, is dangerous.

Moving to a new urbanist community from a standard sprawl subdivision changed my life. In my old neighborhood people were never outside and even though I lived there for four years I knew almost no one. I only recognized their cars. It was very lonely and isolating when I was staying at home with my infant. I couldn't walk anywhere and the place was a ghost town during the day.

In Bradburn, people have reasons to be outside in public--you can walk to lots of interesting things and parks--so people meet each other. I know all my neighbors and we have very frequent social events. I can't even count the ways in which knowing my neighbors is a benefit, but last winter when we had that 3 foot snow storm, one of my neighbors borrowed a snow blower from another and plowed all our sidewalks, and since I couldn't get my sad little sedan out of the driveway, another neighbor with a truck went to get my spouse at the park and ride (coming home from airport).

Now, don't get me wrong, new urbanist neighborhoods aren't for everyone, and there are lots of places in suburbia you can find in older, established neighborhoods that are walkable (as livecontent's great list demonstrates), but I love where I live with a passion and really believe it's a great choice for people who want to know their neighbors, and want to walk instead of drive everywhere (I do use my car, just a lot less than I used to!).
this is exactly the reason for New-urbanism sub-divisions. Believe it or not, there are set parameters to be able to designate a sub-division as a new-urbanism sub-division.

bradburn1 Which builder did you buy your home from? I have done 7 home designs in the neighborhood so far. The first two of the Work/Live lofts, and the rest were homes in the eastern edge. The builder is Sunburst Design.

I would very much love to move into Bradburn, but the home prices are a tad out of our range. So we are going to Belle Creek a few miles away, which is another new-urbanism sub-division.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Thanks, bradburn1.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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I find this facsinating. Why would anyone plan a neighborhood without sidewalks? What's the advantage of that?
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:05 AM
 
694 posts, read 1,789,253 times
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Default Bradburn

I bought a New Town Builders home which I've been very happy with. I got in early before the prices went crazy, otherwise I wouldn't be able to live here either! Noahma, I heard New Town is bringing back their first series of homes in Bradburn (the smaller, less expensive ones), but there are only 18 lots left. Right now I'm trying to see if New Town will build the smallest house they used to build in here (1500 sq feet) for my mom--she doesn't need or want anything larger than that.

This brings up one of the negatives of new urbanism-price. Because well designed new urbanist neighborhoods (some neighborhoods say they are new urbanist for marketing, but really aren't) are great places to live, that drives up prices. For example, Bradburn borders a traditional subdivision (we refer to it as "the beige subdivision") which is a nice neighborhood, but fairly bland. Price per sq foot in there is around $120-140 for a single family home. In Bradburn, price per sq foot is $160-180; a big difference when you have 2,000 sq feet!

Lisak: Builders build subdivisions without sidewalks because it's cheaper (a lot cheaper) and people don't often notice they are missing until they move in and then try to walk somewhere. Most subdivisions in Denver do have sidewalks, but often they are too small for two people to walk side by side, and they are right on the edge of the road with no buffer, making them unfriendly to pedestrians. My mom's retirement community in Goodyear, Arizona doesn't have sidewalks which is crazy because so many people there like to walk for exercise--they walk in the street!

Builders don't think about sidewalks because most buyers don't demand them: we've become a totally car-centric culture. I think that is starting to change though hopefully.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Denver,Co
676 posts, read 2,538,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisak64 View Post
I find this facsinating. Why would anyone plan a neighborhood without sidewalks? What's the advantage of that?
You don't really see that happen anymore. The only reason I can think of this happening is in older developments that wanted to save money by not having to lay miles and miles of sidewalk which I imagine could be fairly expensive
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:00 AM
 
Location: New York
2,731 posts, read 2,829,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
As far as the "new urbanism" places, my DD (in her 20s) said she thought it would be awful to live somewhere and never leave the bubble. Not that you can't, but if the stores, dry cleaners, etc are all in the 'hood, you won't. I have seen BelMar and didn't think it was all that. It's just a bunch of apts around a shopping center. My nephew and his family lived in Lowry. Of course, they had to leave anyway to go to work. It's fine for some people. I don't know about schools in Stalpeton/Lowry, or if there even are any. Kids may have to be bused somewhere else.
The idea isn't to never leave the bubble of your neighborhood.

The idea is not to be self-contained in a bubble called your house, your car and your job. To have a chance to meet your neighbors and not just use your house as a place where you sleep, but be part of a community.
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