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Old 06-19-2013, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,483,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benleis View Post
That logic doesn't really hold up. Chicago just like Boston or Philadelphia was for the most part platted and populated prior to the automobile. Taking as an arbitrary point in time 1920 when cars just were started to achieve mass acceptance: Chicago already had a population of 2.7 million people and a land area: http://tigger.uic.edu/depts/ahaa/ima...s/Chgo1920.gif. Nineteenth century americans had to solve the same transportation problems around the country and used substantially the same technologies and planning philosophies.

This is basically the same reason SF has the layout it does: it also achieved most of its population growth prior to 1920.

And more importantly even the older seaboard cities didn't explode in size until the nineteenth century either. Yes there are earlier neighborhoods in places like Boston or Philadelphia. But these are a small fraction of there land, they too are substantially a 19th century built environment.

Ben
You guys are completely missing the point. I know Chicago has better mass transit but that doesn't mean that the city is automatically more walkable than places like Philly and Boston. Some of you guys should visit the Northeast more often.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
You guys are completely missing the point. I know Chicago has better mass transit but that doesn't mean that the city is automatically more walkable than places like Philly and Boston. Some of you guys should visit the Northeast more often.
None of us are talking about public transit right now. The problem with these is that Boston is a great deal smaller in physical area than Chicago. Boston's land area is just under 50 sq miles while Chicago's is just under 230 sq miles. You can't compare one to another. All of Boston can fit into the entire north side of Chicago and still have room to spare to put some of Boston's suburbs into the same north side area. You just can't compare both at the 100% city level. You have to go down lower since they are a mismatch in sizes. If you look at the stats for the ENTIRE cities and just look at that, then yes Boston appears to be a little more walkable. However, for the reasons I mentioned above, you cannot compare. Since Chicago is literally over 4 times the land area of Boston, it has a lot more opportunity to be less or more walkable in certain areas. You can only compare sections of one to the other. If you do, then you have to branch out into the suburbs of Boston.

For these reasons, you have to do more of a walkability X miles from the core (just like density is done) and that means going into the suburbs of one/both, and taking into consideration of all directions. It's just not fair to compare one city over 4 times the land area and 4.5 times the population. They're completely different types of entities and really the same goes for Philadelphia.

This is basically like trying to compare Boston to Hampton, VA or comparing Philadelphia to Anaheim. It's just not the same.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,168 posts, read 2,537,878 times
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DC and Boston are probably the only other cities to choose to live in without a car. Transit is pretty good and both, and owning a car in both would be a nightmare. Chicago has great transit, the best aside from NYC in my experience, but I would choose to own a car there since it's not that much of a hassle to own a car there as long as you're not parking downtown.

Plenty of people live car free in SF and Philly, but I personally wouldn't. Transit may be good by American standards, but it's still a bit lousy in both. I'm glad I had a car when I lived in SF, because BART isn't useful for most of the city proper and Muni is horrendously slow. Transit was only slightly better in Philly. Also, like Chicago, owning a car in either of these cities is not bad at all as long as you're not parking downtown.

Portland has a nice transit system, but I would never even consider living there without a car since there are too many areas not serviced well by transit. And for that reason, few people in Portland actually live car-free. Same goes for other cities with decent transit such as LA, Seattle, Minneapolis, Baltimore, etc. These are cities where it's easy to use both a car and transit.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,483,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
None of us are talking about public transit right now. The problem with these is that Boston is a great deal smaller in physical area than Chicago. Boston's land area is just under 50 sq miles while Chicago's is just under 230 sq miles. You can't compare one to another. All of Boston can fit into the entire north side of Chicago and still have room to spare to put some of Boston's suburbs into the same north side area. You just can't compare both at the 100% city level. You have to go down lower since they are a mismatch in sizes. If you look at the stats for the ENTIRE cities and just look at that, then yes Boston appears to be a little more walkable. However, for the reasons I mentioned above, you cannot compare. Since Chicago is literally over 4 times the land area of Boston, it has a lot more opportunity to be less or more walkable in certain areas. You can only compare sections of one to the other. If you do, then you have to branch out into the suburbs of Boston.

For these reasons, you have to do more of a walkability X miles from the core (just like density is done) and that means going into the suburbs of one/both, and taking into consideration of all directions. It's just not fair to compare one city over 4 times the land area and 4.5 times the population. They're completely different types of entities and really the same goes for Philadelphia.

This is basically like trying to compare Boston to Hampton, VA or comparing Philadelphia to Anaheim. It's just not the same.
In this case why not just see the cities for how they are. In this type of comparison there is no need double Philly's land area or quadruple Boston land area to make it has big as Chicago. It's not really necessary to do that when it comes to walkability.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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^ There are thousands of people in Chicago who live without a car. Very few of my friends actually own cars, and the ones who do rarely use them. I actually know a handful to sell theirs because they'd use the car once every 3 months maybe. I have never owned a car here and my life is perfectly fine. I actually feel freer without it. I rarely ever need a car. Only every once in awhile need a cab to be honest.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,799 posts, read 19,050,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
In this case why not just see the cities for how they are. In this type of comparison there is no need double Philly's land area or quadruple Boston land area to make it has big as Chicago. It's not really necessary.
Walkability is a local thing. It is just not sufficient enough to look at the entire city (unless the city is a small area) without delving into the more detailed level. Furthermore, again, the cities being compared are completely different in area and size. Imagine if Boston annexed 180 sq miles of land and called it its own. Do you think the overall walkability would change? That still doesn't change the fact that there are LARGE areas that are walkable of the city. On another note, as I showed before, even in areas people aren't familiar with, Chicago is quite walkable. Not everywhere of course, but it extends out a lot further than most people think.

The average visitor to Chicago only ever goes to a small fraction of the north side and is told that everywhere else isn't as walkable. The thing is that the some areas of the south side used to be denser than anything on the north side is today and part of the infrastructure is still there (though some areas weren't as fortunate). I remember the first time I ever drove down 79th street and saw how many shops, stores, markets, etc are in Auburn Gresham (this is a good 9 miles south of the southern part of the Loop). I had a rental car for the record and decided to take a detour. Same deal when I decided to drive down North Avenue in Humboldt Park/Hermosa/Austin. Lot of stuff in some areas.

To the average person, they just automatically think these areas aren't walkable, but they are.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,483,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
^ There are thousands of people in Chicago who live without a car. Very few of my friends actually own cars, and the ones who do rarely use them. I actually know a handful to sell theirs because they'd use the car once every 3 months maybe. I have never owned a car here and my life is perfectly fine. I actually feel freer without it. I rarely ever need a car. Only every once in awhile need a cab to be honest.
That 's fine as Chicago is a walkable city. It's just not as walkable as the cities listed.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
That 's fine as Chicago is a walkable city. It's just not as walkable as the cities listed.
Okay, so show the proof. I showed a number of neighborhoods outside of the notoriously walkable northside that have high walkscores. Anybody can say anything. It's the internet. The point of science is to show proof. Show me areas of Boston and Philadelphia 8-10 miles outside of the downtown cores still with good walk scores in multiple directions.

If you just take the entire cities, then I'd rank it as 1. NYC 2. San Francisco 3. Boston 4. Chicago 5. DC/Philadelphia. As I have mentioned before though, it's not fair to compare cities that are much, much bigger to the smaller ones. You just don't do that. That's why there are averages for statistics and not overall quantity. Overall quantity means jack when you're comparing two things of unequal size. There's a reason why crime is measured in crime rate and not overall counts.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,483,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Okay, so show the proof. I showed a number of neighborhoods outside of the notoriously walkable northside that have high walkscores. Anybody can say anything. It's the internet. The point of science is to show proof. Show me areas of Boston and Philadelphia 8-10 miles outside of the downtown cores still with good walk scores in multiple directions.

If you just take the entire cities, then I'd rank it as 1. NYC 2. San Francisco 3. Boston 4. Chicago 5. DC/Philadelphia. As I have mentioned before though, it's not fair to compare cities that are much, much bigger to the smaller ones. You just don't do that. That's why there are averages for statistics and not overall quantity. Overall quantity means jack when you're comparing two things of unequal size. There's a reason why crime is measured in crime rate and not overall counts.
I had some great pics that showed some very walkable areas in the outer fringes of Philly but unfortunately I had some technical issues uploading them.

Here are some other links.
Most Walkable Cities

America's Most Walkable Cities - Richard Florida - The Atlantic
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,799 posts, read 19,050,097 times
Reputation: 6805
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I had some great pics that showed some very walkable areas in the outer fringes of Philly but unfortunately I had some technical issues uploading them.

Here are some other links.
Most Walkable Cities

America's Most Walkable Cities - Richard Florida - The Atlantic

The first link does not have great measures. It's basically taking census statistics and see how many people commute to work not using a car. IMO that is not the full picture of anything. The second link is about the MSA, not the cities.

Again, I am more concerned with something like this that measures out a certain distance from the cores, since Chicago is a great deal larger than Philadelphia and Boston, it's more scientific to compare this way.


For example, some random points 7 miles from the core:
* Chicago, IL | Argyle & Broadway | Score = 98 | 7 miles from core | Walk Score of N Broadway St and W Argyle St Chicago IL 60640
* Upper Darby, PA | State & Lansdowne | Score = 86 | 7 miles from core | Walk Score of Lansdowne Avenue and North State Road Upper Darby PA 19082
* Newton, MA | Commonwealth & Centre | Score = 83 | 7 miles from core | Walk Score of Commonwealth Avenue and Centre Street Newton MA 02459



8 miles from core:
* Chicago, IL | Bryn Mawr & Ridge | Score = 88 | Walk Score of West Bryn Mawr Avenue and North Ridge Avenue Chicago IL 60640
* Waltham, MA | River & Willow | Score = 86 | Walk Score of River Street and Willow Street Waltham MA 02453
* Havertown, PA | Eagle & West Chester Pike | Score = 83 | http://www.walkscore.com/score/w-che...rtown-pa-19083

etc. I think you'll find they are a lot more similar than you think.
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