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Old 02-04-2009, 07:59 PM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,081,636 times
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For me walkability just means that everything I need on a daily or weekly basis be within a convienent walking distance. Grocery store, clothes store, restaurants, coffee shop, bars, bus or subway stop, etc.
When it comes to things I do not need all the time, like hospitals, post offices, etc. I don't care if they are further away.
The problem with Denver is that it has these vast residential neighborhoods that just spread for miles in every direction without much shopping at all in them. And if you live in the middle of one of these, it's difficult.
And of all the places I have lived, Denver has been the biggest challenge to live in without a car. I think that the only place that was more difficult was when I was in rural Northern California. But being a rural area, I can't really compare it to Denver.
Although most of the other US cities i've lived in are in the top 10 of that list too. And I lived in a couple cities that are rated at the best in the world. So i'm spoiled.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,950 posts, read 1,973,829 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkyMonk View Post
Some of you all have very different perspectives on this than I do. For me, the nearest grocery shopping is about 4 miles away. Doing it on foot is almost impossible. I am surrounded by houses and apartments for blocks on all sides. And I am in Denver.
Before Denver I lived in dense, urban cities and small towns mostly. I'm not used to this sprawled metropolis yet. I don't like it. It offers the concrete jungle of the city, without the convienence, street life or excitement.
I had a similar experience when I lived in Congress Park. The nearest grocery store was King Soopers located roughly 2 miles away, not at all walkable when you have to carry several bags of groceries. I pretty much lived off food from Chipotle and The Bank because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of riding the #15 bus with groceries. It's so strange because like you said you're literally surrounded by houses and apartments for miles but apparently nobody in Congress Park or City Park West ever have to eat food or fix things around the house. I found the lack of street life to be surprising as well. Aside from Colfax and Broadway, the core of the city is pretty much dead. Depending on what streets you take you can walk forever without seeing a soul.

I also agree with what you said about Denver having the concrete jungle aspect down, minus the conveniences offered by other big cities. Usually there is a trade-off when you choose to live in a big city. You compromise a little safety and aesthetic beauty to have a more exciting, more convenient way of life. Not the case in Denver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkyMonk View Post
The worst thing about the sprawl in Denver is it's side effects. Since people drive everywhere, there isn't really any street life or vibe on the streets outside of the city core. A walk in the city can just be very boring here. It makes the city car-dependent. When people find out I don't have a car they look at me like i'm insane. And lots of people refuse to take public transportation because they think it's too dangerous. And I can see why, there are a lot of creeps on it.
If you live in Denver you had better have a car, because you will be spending a lot of time in it.
I found the majority of the people I met in Denver didn't live in Capitol Hill or the inner city neighborhoods, but rather they were spread out all across the metro area and drove their cars everywhere to get around. The reason people think you're insane for not owning a car is because that means you never make it up to the mountains, which is why the majority of people choose to relocate to Denver in the first place. No car = no access to Rocky Mountains = no way to relate to the majority of people in Denver.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,950 posts, read 1,973,829 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverAztec View Post
A Brookings Institution survey ranks the 30 biggest metropolitan areas according to the number of "walkable urban places" relative to the area's population:

1. Washington
2. Boston
3. San Francisco
4. Denver
5. Portland, Ore.
6. Seattle
7. Chicago
8. Miami
9. Pittsburgh
10. New York
11. San Diego
12. Los Angeles
13. Philadelphia
14. Atlanta
15. Baltimore
16. St. Louis
17. Minneapolis
18. Detroit
19. Columbus, Ohio
20. Las Vegas
21. Houston
22. San Antonio
23. Kansas City, Mo.
24. Orlando, Fla.
25. Dallas
26. Phoenix
27. Sacramento, Calif.
28. Cincinnati
29. Cleveland
30. Tampa, Fla.
- Associated Press
This list isn't even remotely accurate. Denver is more walkable than Chicago? Excuse me did I miss something? Milwaukee isn't even on the list, and I know for a fact my city is more walkable than Denver, Phoenix, or Las Vegas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I have a problem with the ratings because it is done on the amount of businesses within walkable proximity. Unfortunately, many of the top walkable neighborhoods in Denver do not have a good mix of businesses that have basic necessities of life. To me, I believe that a neighborhood, to be considered walkable, must have a basic grocery store. In addition, a good all purpose store, like a Walmart or Kmart is needed. A good hardware store would add to the amenity. It would also nice to have a bank, a drug store.
Exactly. I compared my old apartment in Uptown (80203) to my new apartment in Murray Hill (53211) on Walkscore. My old place in Uptown scored a 92 out of 100, while my new place only scored an 88. I can tell you from firsthand experience that my new neighborhood is more than twice as "walkable" as any place I ever lived in Denver.

These scores can't be trusted since the criterion used to make these assessments is faulty, at best, to begin with. For instance, ACE USA, an insurance company not an Ace Hardware store, is listed under the Hardware Stores category on Walkscore. CHS Inc., a producer of Mexican food items like tortillas is incorrectly listed under the Grocery Stores category. Circuit Media LLC is listed under the Restaurants category, even though it provides media services to law offices. Last but not least, Romantix, the porno arcade, is listed under Movie Theaters. There are so many mistakes, I could go and on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
LODO is at the top of the rating for Denver but it really needs stores for basic necessities.
I've said basically the same thing in previous posts and I got jumped on by the Denver Boosters like you and Aztec.

Last edited by EastSideMKE; 02-04-2009 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:49 PM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,016 posts, read 60,539,184 times
Reputation: 20175
As far as the walkable cities list, these lists always depend on the criteria used. Pittsburgh is a quite walkable city, probably more walkable than Denver, IMO. However, it all depends on your immediate neighborhood.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 2,324,278 times
Reputation: 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjacobeclark View Post
This list isn't even remotely accurate. Denver is more walkable than Chicago? Excuse me did I miss something?
Yes. What you missed is that the explanation was walkable urban places relative to POPULATION. If it's city proper, Denver population = 588,000. Chicago population = 2.8 million.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 2,324,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkyMonk View Post
All of my complaints about Denver are really not that intense. The lack of walkability, and lack of excitement here are the 2 biggest downsides to it for me, and these aren't really even serious problems.
Actually Denver is at the top of my "retire to" list BECAUSE of how pedestrian friendly it is. To me pedestrian friendly/walkable means being able, as a pedestrian, to get from point A to point B without the use of an automobile in a way that protects me from the dangers of pedestrian/auto traffic. That means trails, sidewalks, pedestrian plazas or zones, town center design. Walkability is simply being accommodating of pedestrians. And Denver is certainly that.

Now as far as everything being extremely CONVENIENT to walk or bike to, that's another thing. If I'm in the suburbs I might have to walk or bike a mile or two to get a loaf of bread. That wouldn't be as convenient as walking 3 or 4 blocks. But if the PATH for walking or biking is accommodating to the pedestrian and minimizes pedestrian/traffic interaction, it's walkable.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,950 posts, read 1,973,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
Yes. What you missed is that the explanation was walkable urban places relative to POPULATION. If it's city proper, Denver population = 588,000. Chicago population = 2.8 million.
And your point is...?

I understand the methodology just fine. Relative to population is basically the same as saying people per square mile, which would still place Chicago well ahead of Denver. The list is bogus, plain and simple.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,950 posts, read 1,973,829 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
Walkability is simply being accommodating of pedestrians. And Denver is certainly that.

Now as far as everything being extremely CONVENIENT to walk or bike to, that's another thing. If I'm in the suburbs I might have to walk or bike a mile or two to get a loaf of bread. That wouldn't be as convenient as walking 3 or 4 blocks. But if the PATH for walking or biking is accommodating to the pedestrian and minimizes pedestrian/traffic interaction, it's walkable.
You hit the nail on the head! Denver is most certainly accommodating to people who want to bike 15 miles to work everyday, but it definitely isn't convenient to people who just want to walk to the grocery store.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:30 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 2,324,278 times
Reputation: 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjacobeclark View Post
And your point is...?

I understand it just fine. Relative to population is basically the same as saying people per square mile, which would still place Chicago well ahead of Denver. The list is bogus, plain and simple.
My point is that walkable urban places relative to population puts Denver ahead of Chicago. The list is not bogus if the results are true to what the data says. If the data says Denver has more walkable urban places relative to its 588,000 than Chicago has relative to its 2.8 million, then the numbers are the numbers and the numbers are not bogus.

And it's actually basically the same as saying number of walkable urban places per resident. Denver has more walkable places per resident than Chicago according to that study. Another way of saying it is more people compete for the same walkable space in Chicago than in Denver. Not liking what the calculation is based on is not the same thing as the calculation being bogus. That is also my point.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 2,324,278 times
Reputation: 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjacobeclark View Post
You hit the nail on the head! Denver is most certainly accommodating to people who want to bike 15 miles to work everyday, but it definitely isn't convenient to people who just want to walk to the grocery store.
Right, and convenience and walkability are thus two different things. Denver is very walkable all across town, it's just not always convenient. Take Stapleton. It was built/is being built AS a walkable development. But if you live on one end of the development, it's probably a couple miles walking to the grocery store. That's not convenient to somebody walking. But the store not being on the next block doesn't make Staplenton NOT walkable. Convenience and walkability are two different things.
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