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Old 06-10-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,553 posts, read 2,391,002 times
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Coming from Raleigh, NC which is sketchy on mass and public transit like most Sunbelt cities. I have to say my trip to Seattle last Summer was surprisingly easy while not having a car I was there for two weeks and between the light rail and local bus service even all the way out in the suburb of Kent I was very, very impressed. The light rail from the airport to the Center city and all stops betweeen were very clean and service was on time and downtown proper was a dream. I'd vouch for there mass transit any day of the week. Except for maybe really really late at night. Also Vancouver Canada very smooth mass transit.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
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You can get around SF and the rest of the Bay without using a car. The BART is a excellent public transportation system.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:17 PM
 
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DC is definitely doable without a car. Trust me I know. I even lived in the suburbs of Silver Spring and Bethesda without one.

One of the reasons I think DC is so easy to go car free in is because it is relatively small compared to a city like Chicago and it's easier to walk to other neighborhoods. Metro is pretty sufficient and reliable not to mention most busses run every 15 minutes and many are 24 hours.

DC also added rental bikes with SEVERAL stations throughout the city. They are really cheap, the first 30 minutes are free. It's a really neat concept, hopefully more cities adopt this idea.

Not to mention zipcar is on just about every corner. My apartment complex currently has 2 cars in our garage.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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In order I would probably say:

Chicago, DC, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, though some of these like Boston, San Fran, and Philadelphia may be close-ish. I would also say parts of Seattle, Miami, and Los Angeles. I think though it's kind of unfair to compare the entire city of Chicago to DC, Boston, San Fran, or Philadelphia. The closest city in population to Chicago is Philadelphia and it's still twice as large as it. Not only that, but Chicago in area is also a great deal bigger than any of those I mentioned too. The entire north/northwest side is pretty much the size of Boston, San Fran, DC, and even Seattle.


Even so, there are many extremely walkable areas of Chicago, more than just outside of the north/northwest side. Some areas on the south side are actually relatively dense and they aren't on anybody's radar. Even if you were to go to an area of town like Chicago Lawn, Auburn Gresham, Brighton Park, etc you'd still find areas of those that are actually fairly walkable. Although the train system is extensive and doesn't reach everywhere, but there are bus routes on pretty much every "main" street in Chicago.

To give you an idea of some parts of town that are not on the north side and still walkable:
* Lower West Side | 18th & Ashland | Walkscore = 92 | Walk Score of South Ashland Avenue and West 18th Street Chicago IL 60608
* South Lawndale | 26th & Kedzie | Walkscore = 88 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and West 26th Street Chicago IL 60623
* Belmont Cragin | Belmont & Central | Walkscore = 85 | Walk Score of West Belmont Avenue and North Central Avenue Chicago IL 60634
* Portage Park | Irving Park & Austin | Walkscore = 83 | Walk Score of West Irving Park Road and North Austin Avenue Chicago IL 60634
* Brighton Park | Kedzie & Archer | Walkscore = 82 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and South Archer Avenue Chicago IL 60632
* Bridgeport | 35th & Halsted | Walkscore = 82 | Walk Score of S Halsted St and W 35th St Chicago IL 60608
* Englewood | 63rd & Halsted | Walkscore = 78 | Walk Score of South Halsted Street and West 63rd Street Chicago IL 60621
* Greater Grand Crossing | 79th & Cottage Grove | Walkscore = 78 | Walk Score of South Cottage Grove Avenue and East 79th Street Chicago IL 60619
* Gage Park | Kedzie & 55th | Walkscore = 77 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and West 55th Street Chicago IL 60629
* Humboldt Park | Kedzie & North | Walkscore = 75 | Walk Score of West North Avenue and North Kedzie Avenue Chicago IL 60647
* Clearing | Austin & 63rd | Walkscore = 75 | Walk Score of West 63rd Street and South Austin Avenue Chicago IL 60638
* Hermosa | Kostner & Armitage | Walkscore = 74 | Walk Score of West Armitage Avenue and North Kostner Avenue Chicago IL 60639
* Austin | North & Laramie | Walkscore = 74 | Walk Score of West Chicago Avenue and North Laramie Avenue Chicago IL 60644
* Chicago Lawn | Kedzie & 63rd | Walkscore = 72 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and West 63rd Street Chicago IL 60629
* South Shore | 75th & Jeffrey | Walkscore = 72 | Walk Score of South Jeffery Boulevard and East 75th Street Chicago IL 60649
* Auburn Gresham | 79th and Racine | Walkscore = 71 | Walk Score of South Racine Avenue and West 79th Street Chicago IL 60620
* Woodlawn | 63rd & Cottage Grove | Walkscore = 69 | Walk Score of S Cottage Grove Ave and E 63rd St Chicago IL 60637
* Kenwood | 47th & Cottage Grove | Walkscore = 69 | Walk Score of South Cottage Grove Avenue and East 47th Street Chicago IL 60615
* New City | 47th & Ashland | Walkscore = 68 | Walk Score of South Ashland Avenue and West 47th Street Chicago IL 60609


None of these are counting anywhere that is actually known for being really walkable such as

* Loop | Walk Score of South State Street and West Jackson Boulevard Chicago IL 60604
* Near North Side | Walk Score of North State Street and West Illinois Street Chicago IL 60654
* Lakeview | Walk Score of West Belmont Avenue and North Broadway Chicago IL 60657
* Lincoln Park | Walk Score of fullerton and lincoln chicago il
* Uptown | Walk Score of N Broadway St and W Argyle St Chicago IL 60640
* North Center | Walk Score of West Montrose Avenue and North Damen Avenue Chicago IL 60618
* Lincoln Square | Walk Score of North Western Avenue and West Lawrence Avenue Chicago IL 60625
* Edgewater | Walk Score of North Ashland Avenue and West Foster Avenue Chicago IL 60640
* Rogers Park | Walk Score of West Morse Avenue and North Greenview Avenue Chicago IL 60626
* West Ridge | Walk Score of W Devon Ave and N California Ave Chicago IL 60645

etc

Of course there are areas that are not very walkable and you'd need a car for sure, but those are usually on the outskirts of town.

Last edited by marothisu; 06-19-2013 at 12:17 AM..
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,458,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
In order I would probably say:

Chicago, DC, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, though some of these like Boston, San Fran, and Philadelphia may be close-ish. I would also say parts of Seattle, Miami, and Los Angeles. I think though it's kind of unfair to compare the entire city of Chicago to DC, Boston, San Fran, or Philadelphia. The closest city in population to Chicago is Philadelphia and it's still twice as large as it. Not only that, but Chicago in area is also a great deal bigger than any of those I mentioned too. The entire north/northwest side is pretty much the size of Boston, San Fran, DC, and even Seattle.


Even so, there are many extremely walkable areas of Chicago, more than just outside of the north/northwest side. Some areas on the south side are actually relatively dense and they aren't on anybody's radar. Even if you were to go to an area of town like Chicago Lawn, Auburn Gresham, Brighton Park, etc you'd still find areas of those that are actually fairly walkable. Although the train system is extensive and doesn't reach everywhere, but there are bus routes on pretty much every "main" street in Chicago.

To give you an idea of some parts of town that are not on the north side and still walkable:
* Lower West Side | 18th & Ashland | Walkscore = 92 | Walk Score of South Ashland Avenue and West 18th Street Chicago IL 60608
* South Lawndale | 26th & Kedzie | Walkscore = 88 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and West 26th Street Chicago IL 60623
* Belmont Cragin | Belmont & Central | Walkscore = 85 | Walk Score of West Belmont Avenue and North Central Avenue Chicago IL 60634
* Portage Park | Irving Park & Austin | Walkscore = 83 | Walk Score of West Irving Park Road and North Austin Avenue Chicago IL 60634
* Brighton Park | Kedzie & Archer | Walkscore = 82 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and South Archer Avenue Chicago IL 60632
* Bridgeport | 35th & Halsted | Walkscore = 82 | Walk Score of S Halsted St and W 35th St Chicago IL 60608
* Englewood | 63rd & Halsted | Walkscore = 78 | Walk Score of South Halsted Street and West 63rd Street Chicago IL 60621
* Greater Grand Crossing | 79th & Cottage Grove | Walkscore = 78 | Walk Score of South Cottage Grove Avenue and East 79th Street Chicago IL 60619
* Gage Park | Kedzie & 55th | Walkscore = 77 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and West 55th Street Chicago IL 60629
* Humboldt Park | Kedzie & North | Walkscore = 75 | Walk Score of West North Avenue and North Kedzie Avenue Chicago IL 60647
* Clearing | Austin & 63rd | Walkscore = 75 | Walk Score of West 63rd Street and South Austin Avenue Chicago IL 60638
* Hermosa | Kostner & Armitage | Walkscore = 74 | Walk Score of West Armitage Avenue and North Kostner Avenue Chicago IL 60639
* Austin | North & Laramie | Walkscore = 74 | Walk Score of West Chicago Avenue and North Laramie Avenue Chicago IL 60644
* Chicago Lawn | Kedzie & 63rd | Walkscore = 72 | Walk Score of South Kedzie Avenue and West 63rd Street Chicago IL 60629
* South Shore | 75th & Jeffrey | Walkscore = 72 | Walk Score of South Jeffery Boulevard and East 75th Street Chicago IL 60649
* Auburn Gresham | 79th and Racine | Walkscore = 71 | Walk Score of South Racine Avenue and West 79th Street Chicago IL 60620
* Woodlawn | 63rd & Cottage Grove | Walkscore = 69 | Walk Score of S Cottage Grove Ave and E 63rd St Chicago IL 60637
* Kenwood | 47th & Cottage Grove | Walkscore = 69 | Walk Score of South Cottage Grove Avenue and East 47th Street Chicago IL 60615
* New City | 47th & Ashland | Walkscore = 68 | Walk Score of South Ashland Avenue and West 47th Street Chicago IL 60609


None of these are counting anywhere that is actually known for being really walkable such as

* Loop | Walk Score of South State Street and West Jackson Boulevard Chicago IL 60604
* Near North Side | Walk Score of North State Street and West Illinois Street Chicago IL 60654
* Lakeview | Walk Score of West Belmont Avenue and North Broadway Chicago IL 60657
* Lincoln Park | Walk Score of fullerton and lincoln chicago il
* Uptown | Walk Score of N Broadway St and W Argyle St Chicago IL 60640
* North Center | Walk Score of West Montrose Avenue and North Damen Avenue Chicago IL 60618
* Lincoln Square | Walk Score of North Western Avenue and West Lawrence Avenue Chicago IL 60625
* Edgewater | Walk Score of North Ashland Avenue and West Foster Avenue Chicago IL 60640
* Rogers Park | Walk Score of West Morse Avenue and North Greenview Avenue Chicago IL 60626
* West Ridge | Walk Score of W Devon Ave and N California Ave Chicago IL 60645

etc

Of course there are areas that are not very walkable and you'd need a car for sure, but those are usually on the outskirts of town.
Though Chicago has the best transportation out of the cities listed, overall it's probably the least walkable out of the bunch.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:40 AM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,453 posts, read 3,750,975 times
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Default Chicago...

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
IMHO next to New York, DC is the easiest city in the U.S. to not have a car. Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco come close, but it's really only certain sections of each city that it's preferable not to have a car. Sadly (but predictably) the highest-cost areas (which are not ghetto) are the ones it's easiest to live car free. Chicago I'd rate a little more autocentric, but you can do without a car in some parts of North Chicago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoist123 View Post
You can do without a car on the entire northside very easily, and the northside is about the same size of SF so in Chicago you are perfectly fine living without a car. Only half the people I know that are close to my age own a car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintainschaos View Post
Yeah, you can do just fine in a large chunk of Chicago without a car. In fact, Chicago also has a few really nice suburbs that you can do just fine without a car, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Yeah, I lived in Evanston for two years with no car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoist123 View Post
What neighborhoods where you trying to get to?

Well I don't know were you were but the stops are not that far apart, on the southside they can be, on the northside no. Then again you can't expect there to be an El stop on every other block. Boston, SF and NYC don't have that either. Sometimes you have to walk a little more, but for the most part the trains are very convenient in the city.

For example for the Blue Line in regards to walking time, I live literally 5 minutes from one stop, then 12 minutes from another one and then 15 from another one. Then the Belmont bus which runs 24/7 and comes about every 5 minutes, is literally a 2 minute walk from my apartment. And I actually live in Avondale, where in areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown, the Loop, Near North Side, etc, the public transportation is even MORE convenient compared to my current neighborhood.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
People take buses in Chicago. Historically, streetcars carried more passengers than the el in Chicago, and today the buses still have higher ridership than the trains. Compared to other cities, especially NYC, the bus network in Chicago is extensive, and relatively efficient.
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
According to the Census Bureau in 2011 26.4% of households in Chicago had zero vehicles. Now a percentage of that is obviously due to poverty but I would guess that most of it is by choice. The link I am providing is out of date (from 2000) and actually has Chicago's rate higher, at 28.85%.

List of U.S. cities with most households without a car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You definitely do not need a car to live in a large number of neighborhoods in Chicago, and for many people it is preferred to avoid the hassle of car ownership as well as the cost of gas, insurance and parking.
absolutely has a great transportation infrastructure in their neighborhoods and outlying suburbs. In my experience growing up on the southwest side of Chicago (decades ago) we depended exclusively on the public transportation system, particularly bus service; so much so that my parents did not purchase a car until I was a freshman in high school (so us three older children could hone our driving skills).

As far as walkability, yes; when we were not using public transportation we walked everywhere, even for middle of the week grocery purchases.

Best regards, sincerely

HomeIsWhere...
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 18,999,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Though Chicago has the best transportation out of the cities listed, overall it's probably the least walkable out of the bunch.
That is completely incorrect. You need to actually visit Chicago if you truly think that. Least walkable of the bunch? Have to be kidding me...Maybe overall, but Chicago is so much bigger than the other cities on the list in both population and physical area it's not even funny.

Almost all of the walkscores I listed were in areas where people think of Chicago as NOT walkable and you need a car to get around. It's not true and anybody who thinks Chicago is less walkable than Philadelphia, DC, etc needs a reality check. I listed a bunch of areas where people who aren't even familiar with the city would think "oh it's not on the north side and the south side is not walkable."

The equivalent of this would basically to have a suburb of any of the cities DC, Philadelphia, etc to continue to have walkscores in the 70s 6-10 miles away from the edge of the main city still.


You could take the north/northwest side alone out and it's still larger in population than San Fran, Boston, DC,etc (and if you extend a little to the south and west, then it's larger than Philadelphia). Least walkable of the bunch....very, very untrue.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,458,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
That is completely incorrect. You need to actually visit Chicago if you truly think that. Least walkable of the bunch? Have to be kidding me...Maybe overall, but Chicago is so much bigger than the other cities on the list in both population and physical area it's not even funny.
I've been to Chicago many times. I'm not saying that Chicago isn't a walkable city because it is very walkable. It's just that you can make a strong argument that San Francisco, DC, Philly, and Boston are arguably more walkable than Chicago. I'm looking at it from an overall city perspective.

Quote:
Almost all of the walkscores I listed were in areas where people think of Chicago as NOT walkable and you need a car to get around. It's not true and anybody who thinks Chicago is less walkable than Philadelphia, DC, etc needs a reality check. I listed a bunch of areas where people who aren't even familiar with the city would think "oh it's not on the north side and the south side is not walkable."
Chicago is a great city(one of my favorites actually) and nothing changes that but are you seriously going to say that Chicago is more walkable than cities like Philly and Boston? Do we really have to get into street and grid layouts. These cities were built to be walkable cities right down to it's infrastructure. Cities in the Bos-Wash Corridor are on a different level when it comes to walkability as they where built long before the automobile was even thought of. I think most people will also agree that San Francisco is slightly more walkable than Chicago. So I don't know why it's so surprising for you to hear that cities like Philly, Boston, DC and SF are more walkable than Chicago.

Quote:
The equivalent of this would basically to have a suburb of any of the cities DC, Philadelphia, etc to continue to have walkscores in the 70s 6-10 miles away from the edge of the main city still.

You could take the north/northwest side alone out and it's still larger in population than San Fran, Boston, DC,etc (and if you extend a little to the south and west, then it's larger than Philadelphia). Least walkable of the bunch....very, very untrue.
Chicago has a much larger land area than those cities so it's not that surprising.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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And I have been to Boston and Philly many times, while I live in Chicago and Chicago is more walkable than both over a larger area. I am familiar with all these cities. Most people think that only the northside is walkable which is completely untrue and I have shown that for people not familiar with the city. Chicago isn't far ahead of these cities in walkability, but it's slightly ahead.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
443 posts, read 619,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I've been to Chicago many times. I'm not saying that Chicago isn't a walkable city because it is very walkable. It's just that you can make a strong argument that San Francisco, DC, Philly, and Boston are arguably more walkable than Chicago. I'm looking at it from an overall city perspective.


Chicago is a great city(one of my favorites actually) and nothing changes that but are you seriously going to say that Chicago is more walkable than cities like Philly and Boston? Do we really have to get into street and grid layouts. These cities were built to be walkable cities right down to it's infrastructure. Cities in the Bos-Wash Corridor are on a different level when it comes to walkability as they where built long before the automobile was even thought of. I think most people will also agree that San Francisco is slightly more walkable than Chicago. So I don't know why it's so surprising for you to hear that cities like Philly, Boston, DC and SF are more walkable than Chicago.


Chicago has a much larger land area than those cities so it's not that surprising.
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
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