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Old 06-20-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,454 posts, read 7,520,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp1188 View Post
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.
I will certainly agree that DC's public transit, and to a lesser extent, Boston's, is a notch above Philly's. However, if you've ever been to the tight, narrow neighborhoods of South Philadelphia, you'd quickly realize that street parking is extremely difficult and a very contentious issue. This is also quickly becoming the case in burgeoning neighborhoods north of Center City as they become re-populated.

At any rate, what the subway system lacks in SF and Philly, they definitely make up for in walkability (and bikeability), which should not be forgotten in this conversation.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,464,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I will certainly agree that DC's public transit, and to a lesser extent, Boston's, is a notch above Philly's. However, if you've ever been to the tight, narrow neighborhoods of South Philadelphia, you'd quickly realize that street parking is extremely difficult and a very contentious issue. This is also quickly becoming the case in burgeoning neighborhoods north of Center City as they become re-populated.

At any rate, what the subway system lacks in SF and Philly, they definitely make up for in walkability (and bikeability), which should not be forgotten in this conversation.
I also think walk scores for cities is a little overrated since the rankings seem to change every year.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:17 PM
 
9,839 posts, read 11,433,869 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.

Washington D.C. as a region (not city) leads the nation in the ability to live without a car. If you look at transit use, D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria are all ranked in the top 14 for cities in the nation for transit use. It's easier to get around the D.C. area without a car because of Metro's 3-5 minute subway frequencies in the suburbs which even the New York region does not have. There are many areas that don't have metro line's, but anything you would need to see or do is around Metro in the D.C. area. The addition of the silver line in Virginia really pushes D.C. to the next level in transit coverage and the frequency in the suburbs is unmated in the United States.

List of U.S. cities with high transit ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by MDAllstar; 06-20-2013 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,010,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDAllstar View Post
Washington D.C. as a region leads the nation in the ability to live without a car. If you look at transit use, D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria are all ranked in the top 14 for cities in the nation for transit use. It's easier to get around the D.C. area without a car because of Metro's 3-5 minute subway frequencies in the suburbs which even the New York region does not have. The addition of the silver line in Virginia really pushes D.C. to the next level in transit coverage and the frequency in the suburbs is unmated in the United States.

List of U.S. cities with high transit ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yep, I agree.

Regarding walkability: Another thing to look at though is the prevalence of consultants in a city. I happen to be a consultant and most of us when not travelling work from home, so not using public transit at all at least to get to work because the work is at home. Some people I work with if they do come into the office, only do so once or twice a week at most. Many people work from home in this realm and some cities have more than others, like NYC and Chicago.

Public transit is one type of good indicator, but there's so many factors sometimes in some cities that it's not the end all be all, but alas good data.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:53 PM
 
1,303 posts, read 1,572,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Yep, I agree.

Regarding walkability: Another thing to look at though is the prevalence of consultants in a city. I happen to be a consultant and most of us when not travelling work from home, so not using public transit at all at least to get to work because the work is at home. Some people I work with if they do come into the office, only do so once or twice a week at most. Many people work from home in this realm and some cities have more than others, like NYC and Chicago.

Public transit is one type of good indicator, but there's so many factors sometimes in some cities that it's not the end all be all, but alas good data.
That's a good point, but DC has more consultants than any other city in the country.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,143,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
8 miles from core:
* Havertown, PA | Eagle & West Chester Pike | Score = 83 | Walk Score of West Chester Pike and South Eagle Road Havertown PA 19083
I grew up maybe 2 miles from there. People wouldn't consider that Philadelphia at all, though.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,010,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAReastcoast View Post
That's a good point, but DC has more consultants than any other city in the country.
Are you sure about that, or do you mean percentage? I know DC has a lot, but NYC and Chicago have a ton both too. Actually Accenture's worldwide operations are headquartered in Chicago as are Aon Hewitt's (well in Lincolnshire), and Deloitte sponsors a 50 story building. Deloitte is HQ'd in NYC though as is KPMG's US office.

There are a ton of contractors in DC of course...depends on how you define both I guess. They can become blurred.

Last edited by marothisu; 06-20-2013 at 10:27 PM..
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:47 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,152,919 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
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 | Walk Score of West Chester Pike and South Eagle Road Havertown PA 19083

etc. I think you'll find they are a lot more similar than you think.
makes sense the scale of Chicago is larger, If you looked north in Philly instead of west the numbers would likely be higher (not much) in NE Philly as opposed to Montgomery county.

Also the 98 at 7 miles for Chicago, that cant be the norm at that distance
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:20 AM
 
178 posts, read 237,665 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDAllstar View Post
Washington D.C. as a region (not city) leads the nation in the ability to live without a car. If you look at transit use, D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria are all ranked in the top 14 for cities in the nation for transit use. It's easier to get around the D.C. area without a car because of Metro's 3-5 minute subway frequencies in the suburbs which even the New York region does not have. There are many areas that don't have metro line's, but anything you would need to see or do is around Metro in the D.C. area. The addition of the silver line in Virginia really pushes D.C. to the next level in transit coverage and the frequency in the suburbs is unmated in the United States.

List of U.S. cities with high transit ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is ridiculous. Washington Metro does not have 3-5 minute frequencies, and car ownership in Metro Washington is much higher than Metro New York.

And 90% of suburban Washington isn't within walking distance of a rail station anyways, so irrelevant.

Obviously the New York area is much more transit-oriented than Metro Washington.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:28 AM
 
178 posts, read 237,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp1188 View Post
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.
I agree pretty much 100% with this post.
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