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Old 03-30-2016, 05:09 PM
 
37 posts, read 41,912 times
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Nowadays, walkability score is one of the top rated factors to consider in house hunting, especially for milleniums. However, the walkability score may be overrated, due to the following reasons:

- Taxation: For those neighborhood with high walkability score, taxation is usually higher. In addition to state & federal income tax, you also have to pay very high city tax, which is not applicable to suburbanites.

- Lack of parking spaces: Walkability comes with lack of parking spaces, especially in winter, when the sidewalk is covered with snow.

- Low school rankings: Walkability means low public school rankings.

- Safety: Walkability means more crimes, except that you live in a very upscale and expensive neighborhood.

- More expensive grocery stores: the grocery stores in big cities are usually more expensive than those in the suburbs.

- Noise pollution: Walkability means more noise pollution.

- Lack of privacy: Walkability means lack of privacy, except that you are rich and can afford to buy the entire floor, or a couple floors in a high rise condo building.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:41 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,102 posts, read 23,627,108 times
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So what do you think walkability does get you? It probably makes sense to detail out all the advantages if you are trying to do a comparison with all the disadvantages.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,633,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VADriver14 View Post
Nowadays, walkability score is one of the top rated factors to consider in house hunting, especially for milleniums. However, the walkability score may be overrated, due to the following reasons:

- Taxation: For those neighborhood with high walkability score, taxation is usually higher. In addition to state & federal income tax, you also have to pay very high city tax, which is not applicable to suburbanites.

- Lack of parking spaces: Walkability comes with lack of parking spaces, especially in winter, when the sidewalk is covered with snow.

- Low school rankings: Walkability means low public school rankings.

- Safety: Walkability means more crimes, except that you live in a very upscale and expensive neighborhood.

- More expensive grocery stores: the grocery stores in big cities are usually more expensive than those in the suburbs.

- Noise pollution: Walkability means more noise pollution.

- Lack of privacy: Walkability means lack of privacy, except that you are rich and can afford to buy the entire floor, or a couple floors in a high rise condo building.
Places with good quality walkable areas are generally in older cities where Downtowns were actually at one time, desirable and livable before that whole suburbia and white flight thing. These cities are historically left-leaning, which comes with the correlation of taxation. Walkable areas also use public transportation (and generally need it) and the need for more other city services that would not be AS needed in suburban areas which also encourage the Democratic ideology, and thus encourages taxation, as the people who live in these areas see that they need them and will vote for it accordingly. People vote for what they themselves will need and/or use.

Remember you can't walk forever. To achieve everything you need or want to do in a walkable area, the radius reduces. So density must increase. This usually results in high-rise buildings, small streets (very wide streets don't help walkability score), and as these restaurants, banks, apartments, parks, schools, etc. pack in, it reduces the number of available parking. Think about it this way: is a Walmart with a huge parking lot that you have to cross to go shop all that walkable? Also the small street thing, part of being walkable, reduces the amount of cars and parking lots. Public transit reduces the need for that as well.

Because of that white flight thing, Downtown areas (as they are usually the most walkable) generally have poor quality schools. Some of this is starting to change depending on the area.

Safety thing also has to do with the white flight. Downtown areas fell into urban plight and are just now beginning to recover. The walkable areas that are currently nice have been gentrified and are expensive... The key is to catch it before the gentrification happens to get locked in.

Grocery stores probably have to do with what chain. For an example the cheap grocery stores where I live is Frys. The closest "grocery store" to the Downtown area here is a mom-and-pop locally-grown organic food co-op. It's located on a busy street here (4th Avenue). I don't see a cheaper chain like Frys in these walkable areas. As somewhat already stated, in order to create the factors needed to lead to a walkable region (good public transportation, proper city services, etc.) it encourages taxation. This can lead to higher property tax which would lead to higher rents for the grocery stores in these areas. Also as walkable areas become more gentrified and more desired, the rents themselves will raise outside of taxes. The grocery store, like any other business, will make up for it by increasing the prices on their food.

One of the desirable traits of living in a walkable area is the liveliness of it. In order for a walkable area to be economically vital is to pack people in. This will create more noise in general. In addition, the usual structure of a walkable area (tall buildings, small streets) creates sort of a tunnel effect on noise in comparison to a suburban area. It is similar to dropping a coin into a metal cylinder versus dropping a coin onto a metal platform (no walls). The same noise will be produced, but the tunnel effect will make it seem louder, not too mention there will be more noise in a walkable area in general.

The ultimate downfall of a walkable area is yes, lack of privacy. You can't expect to get a 3,500 square foot SFH on a 1/2 acre WHILE having the amenities of a walkable area without being ridiculously wealthy.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:15 PM
 
473 posts, read 358,439 times
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Rule #1 of science, correlation does not equal causation.

Things like high taxation and public school rankings have nothing to do with walkability, let alone grocery store prices (LOL), and where did you get your statistics that walkability is associated with crime? Poverty is associated with crime. But look at New York City; it's the safest biggest city in the country!
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:05 PM
 
37 posts, read 41,912 times
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Thank you all for your insight.

- Terrorism: Given the recent terrorist attacks in Brussel and Paris, if you want to avoid using public transportation and drive your own car, you have to move to suburbs.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Cbus
1,720 posts, read 1,399,662 times
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A lot of the factors you mentioned are irrelevant or not that important to young people looking to live in urban areas.

- Taxation: I don't know if you can necessarily say outright that taxation is higher in walkable neighborhoods than suburb. Regardless cities that have income tax usually tax people who earn income there, so even if you are a suburbanite if you work in the city you will wind up paying.

- Lack of parking spaces: I don't know why this would matter besides when people visit from out of town. People don't move to walkable areas with the notion that there is going to be plethora of parking or that the neighborhood is super conducive to driving. Also snow is a very region specific issue and even living in Columbus, Ohio I believe it snowed three or four times this entire winter.

- Low school rankings: Young people without children could not care less about this.

- Safety: This is a sweeping generalization.

- More expensive grocery stores: the grocery stores in big cities are usually more expensive than those in the suburbs.

- Noise pollution: I don't think young people would be deterred by this. Noise usually means night life, retail and socialization, things that people live in cities for.

- Lack of privacy: Generalization
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,816,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingFar View Post
Rule #1 of science, correlation does not equal causation.

Things like high taxation and public school rankings have nothing to do with walkability, let alone grocery store prices (LOL), and where did you get your statistics that walkability is associated with crime? Poverty is associated with crime. But look at New York City; it's the safest biggest city in the country!
Agreed on all points. Saying high walkability scores equals low school quality is like saying eating red meat promotes starting wars, since most government officials who have initiated wars also eat red meat. This entire thread is based on a logical fallacy.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,734 posts, read 3,846,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingFar View Post
But look at New York City; it's the safest biggest city in the country!
Not only that, but most of the suburbs actually have the same or higher crime rate than the city (even the more upper class ones)... and they are obviously less dense.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:20 PM
 
37 posts, read 41,912 times
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I still think walkability is associated with crime. A very upscale and expensive neighborhood is only one or two blocks away from the bad neighborhood. Rittenhouse Square, one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Philadelphia, is only a couple blocks away from the other grittier neighborhood.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:02 PM
 
473 posts, read 358,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VADriver14 View Post
I still think walkability is associated with crime. A very upscale and expensive neighborhood is only one or two blocks away from the bad neighborhood. Rittenhouse Square, one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Philadelphia, is only a couple blocks away from the other grittier neighborhood.
Guess what? In car-dependent communities, criminals have cars. I lived in a very ritzy suburb in a Southern city with no sidewalks and no through traffic. We still got hit with burglaries. Again, poverty breeds crime. Inequality breeds crime. Walkability ... does not breed crime. You can "think" what you want but non-walkable neighborhoods ALSO have crime. And you can actually cart off a lot more stuff in a car than your own two arms.
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