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 07-22-2014, 01:38 PM
 
43 posts, read 56,529 times
Reputation: 38

Advertisements

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).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-22-2014, 01:55 PM
 
7,282 posts, read 13,521,972 times
Reputation: 3610
Minneapolis and Milwaukee definitely have walkable areas. They're regularly included in top 10-15 lists of walkable US cities. Other cities with walkable areas: St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, KC, Pittsburgh (if you count it as midwest), and even Detroit in spots (or so I'm told).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 02:54 PM
 
3,955 posts, read 3,487,388 times
Reputation: 6331
What about middle size cities? Des Moines-Ann Arbor-Madison-Grand Rapids and others? Are they to small to be walkable? They all seem very pedestrian friendly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 04:01 PM
 
43 posts, read 56,529 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
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."
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
Quote:
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.
So I interpret what you're saying as vibrancy much more than walkability. You are seeking street-level activity. Well, again I'd say nothing is on par with Chicago but every single one of those cities (including St Louis' Downtown, Loop, Central West End, etc) has neighborhoods where you will find hundreds of people on the street at certain times/days of the week. But really there are only a few dozen places where you might expect to find that at all times of the day. Pretty much just the biggest cities and/or tourist areas in the US.

In Jacksonville our downtown is a ghost town during non-lunch hour weekdays and most evenings. Literally ghost town. People are scared to walk around cause they feel vulnerable when they're the only people on the street. But the first Wednesday evening of each month, the first Saturday afternoon, the third Thursday, and on special occasions like gamedays and holidays, you'll easily have thousands of people milling about downtown. That occasional street activity/vibrancy is somehow enough to maintain the thirty or so restaurants/bars in downtown that usually sit empty 75% of the time. It's crazy...and Jax is definitely the least walkable of all the cities in this conversation so far. My point is that consistency is lacking and many of these places can go from the proverbial 0-60 in a few hours...ie, nobody on the street at 3pm to packed sidewalk cafes at 6pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
What about middle size cities? Des Moines-Ann Arbor-Madison-Grand Rapids and others? Are they to small to be walkable? They all seem very pedestrian friendly.
Yes, they obviously can be. Des Moines has tried very hard to have a vibrant downtown and ArtPrize has reshaped GR downtown. I was catering my answer to places as compared to Chicago...and while none of the other Midwest cities can compare equally, there are some that come close.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 05:05 PM
 
56,533 posts, read 80,824,285 times
Reputation: 12482
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
What about middle size cities? Des Moines-Ann Arbor-Madison-Grand Rapids and others? Are they to small to be walkable? They all seem very pedestrian friendly.
East Lansing and Lansing's Old Town neighborhood comes to mind.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 06:30 PM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,746,917 times
Reputation: 1967
Milwaukee has a lot of good traditional neighborhoods. It's inner ring suburbs are also very walkable.
Madison and Minneapolis also come to mind.
Kansas City can be if you're in the right area, but walkability isn't a big part of the local culture.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 06:43 PM
 
43 posts, read 56,529 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
In Jacksonville our downtown is a ghost town during non-lunch hour weekdays and most evenings. Literally ghost town. People are scared to walk around cause they feel vulnerable when they're the only people on the street. But the first Wednesday evening of each month, the first Saturday afternoon, the third Thursday, and on special occasions like gamedays and holidays, you'll easily have thousands of people milling about downtown. That occasional street activity/vibrancy is somehow enough to maintain the thirty or so restaurants/bars in downtown that usually sit empty 75% of the time. It's crazy...and Jax is definitely the least walkable of all the cities in this conversation so far. My point is that consistency is lacking and many of these places can go from the proverbial 0-60 in a few hours...ie, nobody on the street at 3pm to packed sidewalk cafes at 6pm.
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 06:48 PM
 
136 posts, read 287,726 times
Reputation: 173
I live in St. Paul, and both Mpls and St. Paul have extremely walkable neighborhoods. One example is the Linden Hills neighborhood in south Mpls. It is an amazing, walkable neighborhood. My neighborhood is extremely walkable - parks, libraries, stores, restaurants, schools, all within walking distance. Our family has one car that is 7 years old and it has 55,000 miles on it.
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