U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-23-2014, 12:09 PM
 
10 posts, read 11,456 times
Reputation: 60

Advertisements

I lived in the Twin Cities for nearly 20 years so I can attest to the fact that Minneapolis and Saint Paul are VERY walkable, in spite of the skewed "Walkability scores". Both cities consist of neatly compact neighborhoods each with a distinct feel. Being at the juncture of two major rivers, and graced with an abundance of ponds and lakes, gives both cities the advantage of a lot of green space and parks, both large and small. There are ample bike and multi-use paths and "destinations" that make living in either city a great place for walkers. The variety of walking opportunities are something unique to the Twin Cities--you can go from the busy downtown skyscrapers and nightclubs to a flat, easy neighborhood walk among historic mansions to a huff 'n puff hill climb on rugged paths along the undeveloped river bluffs to a romantic stroll through some beautiful public gardens and beaches. Either city is a great choice for an avid walker or biker.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-23-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
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.
Yeah, again this is no knock on Columbus and I'm not involved in what's going on there, but...pretty much every single city has some kind of plan in the works, whether it's a govt feasibility study, a TPO long-range study, or some kind of community/private organization advocacy group. I said definitive plans as in, serious, near-term project that stands a reasonable chance of happening. To my knowledge, there's none in Columbus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greene85 View Post
Des Moines, Toledo and Omaha more walkable than Indianapolis? That just blew my mind.
City walkscore has nothing to do with what your question is, though. First, those numbers are for entire city limits...all of those cities have particular addresses/neighborhoods that score extremely high. Secondly, the walkscore is merely a calculation of proximity to all essential needs and non-essential amenities. It does not take into account the environment (sidewalks, shade, aesthetic beauty) and says nothing of the vibrancy (how many people are actually walking) which seems to be what you want to know.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2014, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,761,283 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greene85 View Post
Des Moines, Toledo and Omaha more walkable than Indianapolis? That just blew my mind.
Walkscore is always skewed because all it can go by is city limits. That said, it's a peer to Omaha and Des Moines in a lot of ways (not size), so it wouldn't be a surprise if they were similar.

Another way to quantify this is by looking at the neighborhood-level statistics Walkscore provides. These are the core cities from the 19 biggest MSAs in the Midwest organized by the average of each cities top ten most walkable neighborhoods according to Walkscore (NOT scientific, not even CLOSE to scientific, but it might provide at least a marginally more accurate view?):

Chicago
Minneapolis/St. Paul (taken together)
Milwaukee
Columbus
Kansas City
St. Louis
Madison
Detroit
Cincinnati
Grand Rapids
Des Moines
Cleveland
Dayton
Wichita
Toledo
Omaha
Akron
Youngstown
Indianapolis

The obvious problem with this is that the definition of "neighborhood" is of course far from consistent. Another major problem is that Indianapolis and Omaha's "neighborhoods" are actually zip codes, which I'm guessing are much bigger, so they are dragged disproportionately down.

It's a different perspective, though. Interesting to think about.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
^I like your breakdown. It's certainly more telling than listing the city walkscores, though, as you say there's no consistency in "neighborhood" size so still lots of issues.

If only there were a way (or actually, I'm sure there is a way but we're not privy to the data) to see the average walkscores broken down by 5-block radius or something.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,311,571 times
Reputation: 4270
I'm surprised Cleveland is as low as it is. I wonder how much of that could be driven by blight and deteriorating n'hoods, because the city -- where intact -- is quite dense infrastructurally and is seemingly geared toward pedestrians in most nodes. Yes, the city exploded AFTER the car became a household necessity (which may be why it looks so different from Pittsburgh, right around the corner), but even cities designed around the automobile can be quite walkable and pedestrian friendly. Mpls and Chicago are no different in that regard.

I don't know where I would have ranked Cleveland but not this low, and probably not below Columbus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Cleveland
3,178 posts, read 3,845,228 times
Reputation: 2473
Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
I'm surprised Cleveland is as low as it is. I wonder how much of that could be driven by blight and deteriorating n'hoods, because the city -- where intact -- is quite dense infrastructurally and is seemingly geared toward pedestrians in most nodes. Yes, the city exploded AFTER the car became a household necessity (which may be why it looks so different from Pittsburgh, right around the corner), but even cities designed around the automobile can be quite walkable and pedestrian friendly. Mpls and Chicago are no different in that regard.

I don't know where I would have ranked Cleveland but not this low, and probably not below Columbus.
The list he made is skewed because he averaged only the walk scores for the 10 most walkable neighborhoods, not the city as a whole. Cleveland ranks a lot better when looking at the city as a whole.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
I'm surprised Cleveland is as low as it is. I wonder how much of that could be driven by blight and deteriorating n'hoods, because the city -- where intact -- is quite dense infrastructurally and is seemingly geared toward pedestrians in most nodes. Yes, the city exploded AFTER the car became a household necessity (which may be why it looks so different from Pittsburgh, right around the corner), but even cities designed around the automobile can be quite walkable and pedestrian friendly. Mpls and Chicago are no different in that regard.

I don't know where I would have ranked Cleveland but not this low, and probably not below Columbus.
It's because, as we keep saying, this type of comparison doesn't actually measure what we're all picturing in our heads. First of all, the deteriorating hoods in Cleveland might affect the score for those neighborhoods, but steel03 was only using the top scores for each city so it probably didnt factor into that ranking. Secondly, walkscore simply quantifies the number of registered destinations (businesses, schools, churches, etc) and the distance to walk to each of those from a given address. When you take city limits, you're comparing "arbitrary" boundaries that in some cases extend beyond the urbanized area of a city. And when you compare top neighborhoods you're definitely using arbitrary boundaries. This is far from scientific. Add to that the fact that he used just the top ten neighborhood scores and you realize the sample can be skewed even more by a few of those arbitrary neighborhoods boundaries. He didnt post actual scores, but I'd imagine all of them were well above national average. Think of it this way, if we ranked all Midwestern cities by the highest walkscore available in the city it would be kind of a silly ranking because I'd imagine all of them would be 97-100.

Not to mention walkscore in general, while cool, has a very limited usefulness. An apt that happens to be located next to a strip mall with a grocery store, a gym, etc will automatically have a decent walkscore even if it's in an extremely pedestrian-unfriendly area. Walkscore does not care about street design, sidewalks, traffic-calming techniques, safety, whether a highway overpass leaves a deadzone, climate, etc. It's strictly the distance to places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 02:44 PM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,363,867 times
Reputation: 10919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn.Davenport View Post
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.
?? Single family homes are 25% of Chicago's housing stock. There are many areas in the bungalow belt that are nice wakable neighborhoods with good transit access.

Are you arguing Minneapolis is more walkable just because the city limits are so much smaller and it has a core more tight arond the downtown area than Chicago? Even then, there's nothing more walkable about Minneapolis' single family homes area than Chicago. Single family homes are roughly half of the units in Minneapolis. Chicago's vast multi-unit neighborhoods, which are 75% of all housing, are much more expansive and walkable than almost anywhere in Minneapolis outside a few core sections. Or do you just mean in general Minneapolis is more walkable because it doesn't have the vast areas of vacant land and industrial areas like Chicago? People don't have any reason to walk through those, just the commercial and residential areas.

Last edited by Chicago60614; 07-24-2014 at 02:56 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
13,093 posts, read 13,477,370 times
Reputation: 5766
While this doesn't measure walkability exactly, here are the densities of 14 core major Midwestern cities if they are measured by the same area size.

78.54 Square Miles (Using a 5 mile radius around the core)
1. Chicago: 13,591.0
2. Minneapolis: 7,455.9
3. Milwaukee: 7,029.1
4. Columbus: 5,152.1
5. Cincinnati: 5,096.2
6. Cleveland: 4,602.4
7. St. Louis: 4,285.4
8. Indianapolis: 4,086.1
9. Omaha: 3,962.2
10. Grand Rapids: 3,887.3
11. Akron: 3,778.8
12. Detroit: 3,603.1
13. Toledo: 3,452.9
14. Dayton: 3,336.8

Take it for what you will, but there is usually some level of correlation between density and walkability.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2014, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,144 posts, read 2,825,168 times
Reputation: 2858
Small college towns in Ohio and Western PA (Which is stuck somewhere between Midwest and East Coast). Extremely walkable with really cool downtown areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top