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Old 02-05-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,477,338 times
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Actually I have lots of family in Chicago and Denver is comparable to Chicago in walkability. Chicago is a lot more dense, but both cities have plenty of sidewalks, and Chicago has paved trails along Lake Michigan and along the "river" on the north side primarily while Denver has paved trails throughout the city.

You say dense population and compactness makes for greater walkability. Most of the time I hear walkability talked about in planning and development, it refers to availability of paths for walking from point A to point B separated from automobile traffic. Paths usually come in the form of sidewalks, paved trails, center islands for wide roads, pedestrian malls, and other accompanying buffers between traffic and pedestrians. And both cities have ample amounts of those. It's not as if Chicago has a lot of those and Denver hardly has any. And Denver probably has more miles of paved off road trails than Chicago. I know Chicago doesn't have a mile long pedestrian mall in the middle of its downtown.

Both cities have walkable urban places. But on a per resident basis, it makes sense that Denver has more walkable urban places per resident since Denver's ample walkable places get spread out over fewer residents.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,507,705 times
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From the Brooking Report:

New York Metro Area Has the Highest Number of Most Walkable Urban Places--The New York metro area, generally considered to be the most walkable urban metro area in the country, has the most discrete number of places that are walkable urban (21). However, it is ranked as the 10th most number of walkable urban places on a per capita basis. This lower ranking is due to its nearly 19 million population base (for example, compared to Washington’s 5.3 million population), resulting in one walkable urban place for every 896, 000 people (though the major caveat mentioned above in the methodology section needs to be taken into consideration). The extent and availability of drivable sub-urban development, as demonstrated by the metro area’s huge physical size stretching over four states (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut), belies its image as the leading walkable urban metro area in the country. However, the New York metro area has the largest walkable urban places as measured by any criteria. As mentioned above, Midtown Manhattan is the largest walkable urban place in the country regarding office square footage and probably many other kinds of real estate product types. For all of the walkable urbanism that Manhattan is justly known for, the bough is only 8.5 percent of the total population of the metro area.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:51 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,477,338 times
Reputation: 895
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjacobeclark View Post
Please break it down for me kind sir. Number of walkable places relative to population... That sounds like people per square mile to me, which would still put Chicago well ahead of Denver. I just glanced at that stupid list again. Do you honestly think Denver is more walkable than New York City? Seriously?
The difference:

Number of people per square mile is how dense a place is. If you have 12 square city blocks in each of two cities, and city A has 3 story live-work units on all those blocks and city B has 20 story high rises on all those blocks, city B will have more people per square mile. If all 12 square city blocks are equally walkable in city A and in city B, then that area has the same amount of walkable urban places. When you calculate how ample that is based on a per citizen basis, you find that a lot more of city B's people have to use/cram into those same 12 blocks of walking space and a lot fewer of city A's people have to cram into those same 12 blocks of walking space.

So that means that the denser your population is, the more walkable places you have to create to match a city that has a lot of walkable places but a much lower population, if you're looking at walkable places relative to population. Relative to population means per capita. If Chicago has 3 million people and 300,000 of them ride bikes, and Denver has 600k people and 200,000 of them ride bikes, Chicago has more overall bike riders but Denver has more bike riders per capita, ie. bike ridership is participated in by a greater % of Denver residents. Per capita means that the more dense your population is, the greater your denominator in calculating per capita. In the example here, 10% of Chicago residents ride bikes but 33% of Denver residents ride bikes. That is the difference between density, which gives Chicago a numerical advantage, and per capita, which gives Chicago a numerical disadvantage. So not only are they not the same thing, they are inverse things.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,507,705 times
Reputation: 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
Actually I have lots of family in Chicago and Denver is comparable to Chicago in walkability. Chicago is a lot more dense, but both cities have plenty of sidewalks, and Chicago has paved trails along Lake Michigan and along the "river" on the north side primarily while Denver has paved trails throughout the city.

You say dense population and compactness makes for greater walkability. Most of the time I hear walkability talked about in planning and development, it refers to availability of paths for walking from point A to point B separated from automobile traffic. Paths usually come in the form of sidewalks, paved trails, center islands for wide roads, pedestrian malls, and other accompanying buffers between traffic and pedestrians. And both cities have ample amounts of those. It's not as if Chicago has a lot of those and Denver hardly has any. And Denver probably has more miles of paved off road trails than Chicago. I know Chicago doesn't have a mile long pedestrian mall in the middle of its downtown.

Both cities have walkable urban places. But on a per resident basis, it makes sense that Denver has more walkable urban places per resident since Denver's ample walkable places get spread out over fewer residents.
Totally agree with you. I am in Streeterville three times a year, two blocks from the John Hancock and there is a ton of retail and fine dinning around, but no markets, gym or bike paths. I have to walk 2 miles to get to a Trader Joe's to fill the condo I stay at for the week. 3/4 of a mile to get to the El and if I wanted to use my Bally's membership on a weekend, I have to ride the El for 1/2 hour north because the one in the Loop is closed. The area is for those with big money and typically don't walk anywhere except from a cab to a doorway.

Chicago is a beautiful city with tons to do, but the walkability factor is specific to entertainment, not necessities.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,128,510 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
Actually I have lots of family in Chicago and Denver is comparable to Chicago in walkability. Chicago is a lot more dense, but both cities have plenty of sidewalks, and Chicago has paved trails along Lake Michigan and along the "river" on the north side primarily while Denver has paved trails throughout the city.
What's with the quote marks around river? The Chicago River is a real river unlike the South Platte "River" in Denver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
You say dense population and compactness makes for greater walkability. Most of the time I hear walkability talked about in planning and development, it refers to availability of paths for walking from point A to point B separated from automobile traffic.
Why does it have to be separated from automobile traffic to be considered walkable? That's what sidewalks are for. Using that methodology, that basically puts NYC on the bottom of the walkability list because there's no place free from traffic besides Central Park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
I know Chicago doesn't have a mile long pedestrian mall in the middle of its downtown.
That's because big cities like Chicago are already pedestrian friendly and therefore don't need special areas set aside especially for pedestrians. Besides, ped malls are for college towns like Iowa City, Boulder, or Madison. Chicago has the Magnificent Mile along Michigan Ave. that puts the 16th St. Mall to utter shame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
Both cities have walkable urban places. But on a per resident basis, it makes sense that Denver has more walkable urban places per resident since Denver's ample walkable places get spread out over fewer residents.
I just think that most people regard walkability and convenience (from being dense and compact) as being one in the same. FunkyMonk and I share a similar ideal of what a walkable place actually is. Hell, I think even LiveContent would have to agree with me on this one.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,128,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverAztec View Post
Totally agree with you. I am in Streeterville three times a year, two blocks from the John Hancock and there is a ton of retail and fine dinning around, but no markets, gym or bike paths. I have to walk 2 miles to get to a Trader Joe's to fill the condo I stay at for the week. 3/4 of a mile to get to the El and if I wanted to use my Bally's membership on a weekend, I have to ride the El for 1/2 hour north because the one in the Loop is closed. The area is for those with big money and typically don't walk anywhere except from a cab to a doorway.

Chicago is a beautiful city with tons to do, but the walkability factor is specific to entertainment, not necessities.
Trader Joe's, Dominick's, and Whole Foods are both less than one mile from the John Hancock Center. There's also a White Hen and an Osco in the area too. Perhaps you just weren't looking hard enough. I suspect you are purposely contorting the facts to help prove your point that Denver is more walkable, which it isn't.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,507,705 times
Reputation: 1131
Walking 8 to 10 city blocks from the condo I stay at in Chicago to get groceries is not walkable for someone elderly or out of shape. You suspect incorrectly as it is an inconveinence when the gym, groceries and hardware are sought out in Streeterville.

You talk about facts, you still have yet to provide any statistics, reports, or surveys. Your comments are all based on your opinion.

The town you actually live in didn't make the list, maybe your just bitter?

Last edited by DenverAztec; 02-05-2009 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,128,510 times
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Milwaukee didn't make the list because it's the 38th largest metropolitan statistical area in the country and the Brookings study only looked at the 30 largest metros. I'm sure if the study included more than 30 cities, Milwaukee would have scored very well.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,561 posts, read 5,004,438 times
Reputation: 2223
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjacobeclark View Post
Milwaukee didn't make the list because it's the 38th largest metropolitan statistical area in the country and the Brookings study only looked at the 30 largest metros. I'm sure if the study included more than 30 cities, Milwaukee would have scored very well.
Maybe that's true, but I don't know many people begging to walk around Millwaukee
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,507,705 times
Reputation: 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott5280 View Post
Maybe that's true, but I don't know many people begging to walk around Millwaukee
Stubbling from bar to bar and home to home for an entire weekend would not be usable data for a walkability study.

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