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Old 12-08-2008, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Houston
6,867 posts, read 12,821,811 times
Reputation: 5794

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
Need to think in terms of urban regions and fact that often 40-60% of jobs in any urban region are in the suburbs, not in some mythical, dense central urban business dt

Many in NYC region live and work in various, car-centric suburban corridors 30mis away from Manhattan and rarely have need/desire to visit Manhattan....much of the pharma industry is in distant NJ suburbs; IBM, Pepsi, GE, etc are based in distant suburban Westchester and Fairfield suburbs

Many in LA region live and work in car-centric Irvine or 1000 Oaks corridors....and rarely choose to ever visit LA's BevHills/CentCity office corridors, let alone Downtown LA

Atlanta, like Dall and Hou, merely mimics the decentralized urban model of LA....which is essentially found in nearly every US urban region, ranging from SiliconValley to Seattle (Microsoft is in distant suburbs) to old cities like Detroit where nearly the entire economy (whatever's left) is based in the suburbs....and even classic centralized regions like Chicago, where aside from finance and law, most major employers are based in various distant suburbs, not in City

Many major employers seem to prefer car-centric suburban office parks, often <20mins away from the leafy, car-centric suburbs in which many executives and middle-managers prefer to reside w/their families

It's usually a few super-affluent singles who prefer living in "walkable" cities for social reasons, more than by actual preference from any daily/practical standpoint
If this is true, why is there so much traffic going into downtown in the mornings and so much traffic leaving downtown at night? If all the jobs were in the suburbs then there would be no traffic problems. of course there are a few major companies sprinkled around in the suburbs but there are far more corporations in the downtown districts. If you look at the stats of all the major cities i'm sure you will find that the workforce in the downtown districts outnumber any office parks in the suburbs combined.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,705,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAandATL View Post
LA has become a lot more walkable in the recent years. For one thing downtown has cleaned up a lot, is a lot safer, and become more pedestrian friendly, even at night. The Metro subway line, which is barely over a decade old, has made getting around L.A. easier. You really don't need a car in L.A. anymore. Of course Hollywood has always been walkable.

Atlanta isn't unwalkable either, especially in the urban districts along the Peachtree Corridor like Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown. You may have to walk longer distances though.
Well this same thing could be said for Houston and Dallas as well. Unlike Atlanta, the majority of HOU and DAL suburbs include sidewalks.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:01 PM
 
122 posts, read 128,023 times
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Having visited both and studied the urbanization of both regions, I would say Los Angeles - though clearly, neither is "walkable" in any realistic sense of the term.

Like others have said, Los Angeles and Orange counties, for the most part, are a very dense type of sprawl that is rarely seen elsewhere. They exist, but you see relatively few of the isolated from everything, far-flung cul-de-sacs that are ubiquitous in suburban Atlanta. That's more of a Western thing in general, actually, largely related to the relative abundance and ease of providing water in the East as compared to the arid Southwest. So LA's neighborhoods tend to be much more compact than those in Atlanta, and they tend not to be as isolated from basic conveniences like grocery stores, etc. Also, while Atlanta developed around a single urban core - with density generally increasing the further away from that urban core one travels - LA of course never had such a primary urban core. Cities like Long Beach and Burbank are, for all practical purposes, more like independent cities than suburbs or even edge cities.

Also, and maybe this is just my impression, but it seemed like Los Angeles neighborhoods had far, far more sidewalks than is typical in Atlanta.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:33 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,249,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluke65780 View Post
Well this same thing could be said for Houston and Dallas as well. Unlike Atlanta, the majority of HOU and DAL suburbs include sidewalks.
Exactly.

When I moved here (Atlanta) many years ago I was amazed at how few sidewalks there were once you left the city limits. You can go miles and miles without seeing one. In years since I found out from a number of realtors and home builders (I work for a construction-related company), that this is an old and somewhat controversial practice in the area. Sidewalks are seen here as a feature that attracts "undesirables" to an area....people who cannot afford cars (the in-between line thing there would be "blacks and Hispanics"). Therefore, many upper-middle to upper income home buyers will seek out areas with no sidewalks and consider that an amenity to "keep the riff raff out". As more and more people migrate here from other regions, that mentality is slowly fading, but it's still somewhat common here and you still see tons of areas with no sidewalks.

Atlanta city isn't to me, very walkable at all. Sure, there are sidewalks downtown and in Midtown and Buckhead, but the places are spread out, and there are few REAL helpful daily businesses to walk to (like groceries). Downtown, you'll be asked for money several times on a normal short walk due to the huge vagrant problem. So to me, Atlanta is one of the least walkable cities I've been to.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:44 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,511,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
It's usually a few super-affluent singles who prefer living in "walkable" cities for social reasons, more than by actual preference from any daily/practical standpoint
Can you clarify this?

I choose to live in the city because it's stimulating and I don't have to be a slave to my car. I hate having to drive for 10 minutes just to purchase an apple or rent a DVD. Truly urban cities, in my opinion are much more "practical" because one can rely on themselves to get around and not on two tons of steel. So yes, I actually prefer to live here.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:10 AM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,511,503 times
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Atlanta has a few walkable areas, but I would say that a greater percentage (although still a rather small minority) of the LA area is walkable.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:23 AM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,283,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1215 View Post
Ran across this awhile back...

Smart Growth America ranks Atlanta #4 as far as the metropolitan areas with the most sprawl.

Top 10 metros for SPRAWL
1) Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
2) Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC
3) Raleigh-Durham, NC
4) Atlanta, GA
5) Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
6) West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL
7) Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury, CT
8) Knoxville, TN
9) Oxnard-Ventura, CA
10) Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Top 5 metros for COMPACTNESS
1) New York City,
2) Jersey City
3) Providence,
4) San Francisco,
5) Honolulu
6) Omaha
7) Boston,
8) Portland
9) Miami
10) New Orleans.
The biggest problem with Smart Growth America and the Sprawl Index is that they calculate and rank the sprawl of each city using OLD data from the 80s and 90s. Even the report is already 8 years old - published in 2000.

I know that Atlanta has made some great strides in curbing sprawl and has focused on smart growth and development. I think all of the larger cities that were highly ranked years ago have made changes to work toward correcting past mistakes.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:24 AM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,283,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluke65780 View Post
Well this same thing could be said for Houston and Dallas as well. Unlike Atlanta, the majority of HOU and DAL suburbs include sidewalks.
The majority of Atlanta suburbs DO have sidewalks...you may be confusing "suburb" with "subdivision". The old downtown or town center of each suburb and the connected neighborhoods definitely have sidewalks. There are lots of subdivisions in the suburbs that don't have sidewalks...what they do have is very quiet streets with very little traffic, and people walk their dogs, run, and generally use the street as a sidewalk whenever they want or need to walk anywhere. I grew up in a subdivision like that in N.C., and there were always people walk around the neighborhood on the streets. Why build sidewalks when the streets are so free of traffic?

Neighborhoods in the city or inside the Perimeter have sidewalks...they are usually more connected to the main streets and have more traffic than the streets of a suburban subdivision that doesn't have any through traffic.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:36 AM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,283,936 times
Reputation: 2785
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
Atlanta has a few walkable areas, but I would say that a greater percentage (although still a rather small minority) of the LA area is walkable.
In the city of Atlanta there are many walkable areas...Atlantic Station, Midtown, Cabbagetown, Virginia-Highland, Downtown, Fairlie-Poplar, Inman Park, Kirkwood, Little Five Points, Morningside-Lenox Park, Georgia Tech-West Midtown, etc....really too many to list. The Brookings Institute ranked the most walkable cities in the U.S. by counting the number of walkable areas...

Most Walkable Cities Ranking:
  1. Washington
  2. Boston
  3. San Francisco
  4. Denver
  5. Portland, Ore.
  6. Seattle
  7. Chicago
  8. Miami
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. New York
  11. San Diego
  12. Los Angeles
  13. Philadelphia
  14. Atlanta
cbs5.com - Washington Tops U.S. Most Walkable Cities List (http://cbs5.com/national/Most.Walkable.cities.2.602041.html - broken link)
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,705,037 times
Reputation: 7281
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
The majority of Atlanta suburbs DO have sidewalks...you may be confusing "suburb" with "subdivision". The old downtown or town center of each suburb and the connected neighborhoods definitely have sidewalks. There are lots of subdivisions in the suburbs that don't have sidewalks...what they do have is very quiet streets with very little traffic, and people walk their dogs, run, and generally use the street as a sidewalk whenever they want or need to walk anywhere. I grew up in a subdivision like that in N.C., and there were always people walk around the neighborhood on the streets. Why build sidewalks when the streets are so free of traffic?

Neighborhoods in the city or inside the Perimeter have sidewalks...they are usually more connected to the main streets and have more traffic than the streets of a suburban subdivision that doesn't have any through traffic.
Lots of the residental areas in the suburbs in atlanta do not include sidewalks and the house are kind of spread apart. In DAL and HOU the houses are much closer and are following the same design as LA's suburbs. Even their subdivisions have sidewalks.
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