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Old 07-22-2014, 07:34 PM
3,326 posts, read 7,746,917 times
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Originally Posted by Greene85 View Post
I used to live in a small town in SC where people would literally drive four blocks to get to the local grocery store. There was a main street where they once opened a sidewalk cafe but it didn't catch on. That goes for most southern towns. I was wondering if it's the same in the midwest.
The south has a few decent spots, but on average, the midwest is better at this. It's more widespread, even in smaller towns.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Greene85 View Post
Walkable as in people really run errands without using their cars. Also they must be fairly dense and have easy access to public transit. Of course many cities have a few areas like that but in many cases people just DON'T walk.

I was looking at St Louis on street view. There were like 2 "busy" streets downtown and that's it. I could count six people walking on the main street in the supposedly walkable neighborhood west of downtow. That's not how I define walkable.
If you know St. Louis, you'd know that downtown isn't really where the action is after business hours (with a few notable exceptions). The Central West End, Delmar Loop, South Grand, etc have a much more exciting street culture in general. The golden rule of city exploration-- never judge a city solely based on its downtown. Many cities' true character, charm and vibrancy are found in the neighborhoods outside of downtown. I personally find downtowns to typically be the least interesting part of the city.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:15 PM
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,761,283 times
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Originally Posted by Greene85 View Post
Apart from Chicago, which cities have walkable areas? Cities like Minneapolis and Milwaukee come to my mind but I'm not sure if we can call them walkable. I know the Midwest is very car-centric but maybe there are a few exceptions? Maybe some midsized cities?

I know little about the midwest in general... I've been to Cleveland (it looked very run-down and bland) and Des Moines (city seems very liveable but somewhat boring and not walkable at all).
Why can't we call Minneapolis walkable? Of course we can. Linden Hills, St. Anthony Park, Cathedral Hill, Summit-University, Mac-Groveland, Uptown, Dinkytown, Prospect Park? Lowry Hill? Loring Park? That's not even mentioning any of the neighborhoods in either downtown...

Madison, Omaha, and Des Moines are all small to mid-sized cities with numerous very walkable neighborhoods.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:39 PM
Location: Back in Milwaukee
92 posts, read 170,482 times
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I'd say that Milwaukee is pretty walkable. I can literally walk past a few restaurants and a grocery store that is next to my in around 5 minutes. Milwaukee's inner ring suburbs are also walkable, especially Shorewood. Minneapolis/St. Paul is very walkable as well. In Minneapolis Linden Hills is very walkable. Madison is mid sized city that is walkbale, especially with pedestrian only, State Street.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:52 PM
Location: Auburn, New York
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With the exception of maybe Detroit, they all have walkable neighborhoods.

Yes, even Indianapolis. Even Grand Rapids.

And, including Chicago, they all have unwalkable, car-dependent neighborhoods too. Actually, most of Chicago is a sea of suburban bungalows built in the '40s and '50s. As a whole, I'd actually argue that Minneapolis is MORE walkable than Chicago.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:20 PM
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
13,093 posts, read 13,477,370 times
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Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
There's walkable neighborhoods everywhere.

Obviously as a whole, Chicago is the midwest city with the largest walkable areas, but pretty much every major city's downtown areas are walkable, not to mention dozens of smaller towns from IN to KS. This seems like an odd question unless what you're really asking is "are there any cities with a similar level of urban vibrancy and walkability as Chicago."

I'd say certainly none that are on the same level, but worthy of mention for me would be:
Minneapolis and St Louis: both very respectable downtowns, nearby walkable neighborhoods, and decent light rail connections.
Kansas City and Cincinnati : lots of very walkable pockets downtown and elsewhere. Once they both complete their streetcar projects expect a whole lot more corridors.
Indianapolis: fantastic walkable downtown around Lucas Oil Stadium. Supposedly a large factor for keeping the NFL Combine there year after year.
Cleveland and Detroit: I clumped these two rust-belts together as metros on the decline (though perhaps Cleveland is on the rebound now). Detroit's downtown future looks bright with massive private investment turning things around quickly (the rest of the urban core and inner ring neighborhoods are another story however). Cleveland has always been laid out well and served by decent rapid transit. The new BRT line (which I despise) has supposedly drawn hundreds of millions in new development and created a new walkable corridor as well.
Columbus and Milwaukee: definitely a vibrant walkable downtown as well. No fixed rail transit, or really any definitive plans for it, however.

That about sums it up, I think.
Columbus is actually studying it's first rail line, and the city is also involved in a project to get HSR from there to Chicago, so I wouldn't say there aren't any plans in the works.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:59 AM
Location: Cleveland
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Walk scores for midwest cities (Most Walkable Cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia on Walk Score)

Chicago: 74.8
Minneapolis: 65.4
St. Louis: 59.8
Milwaukee: 59.4
Cleveland: 56.8
St. Paul: 56.0
Detroit: 52.2
Madison: 47.4
Toledo: 43.0
Des Moines: 41.8
Omaha: 41.1
Kansas City: 32.1
Indianapolis: 28.7
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:31 AM
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Des Moines, Toledo and Omaha more walkable than Indianapolis? That just blew my mind.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:31 AM
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Ann Arbor 49
Grand Rapids 48
Columbus 40
Fort Wayne 28

I looked up more
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:19 AM
890 posts, read 1,078,796 times
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Cincinnati: 50
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