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Old 12-08-2008, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
313 posts, read 1,146,571 times
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I created a poll, just out of my own curiosity, for the LA forum on whether or not people reading the blog have an opportunity to walk to any destinations or not...I was suprised how many really can walk to destinations there.

I asked the same question for Atlanta (my hometown), poll questions worded the same, and quite a bit less came back as walkable.

Is Los Angeles really more walkable than Atlanta, and thus less sprawlly?

How bad would traffic and smog be in LA if their responces mirriored Atlanta's?

Is this just a useless observation and doesnt really tell us anything about the differences between the development patterns in LA and Atl?

here are the questions I asked and the responces (as of 12-8-08):

I need a car for everything! Atlanta = 13...LA = 3

I can walk to some destinations (ie church, corner store or park) Atlanta = 7...LA = 15

I can walk to most places, mass transit may be available, and may or may not have a car (but dont need it!) Atlanta = 6...LA 10
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:58 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,053,448 times
Reputation: 3485
I think it's a good question, definitely worth exploring. Here's my take:

No doubt both cities are poster children for sprawl, but maybe LA is more of a multi-modal type of sprawl, i.e., sprawled concentrations of retail and employment areas that are walkable within the area, as opposed to sprawled retail, employment and residential areas between which you cannot easily walk.

This may be due to zoning restrictions that prohibit the physical integration of ret/empl/res. LA led the rest of the nation's cities down the sprawl path, and LA is among the first to realize the implications and consequences of sprawl. For this reason, I think LA may be in the vanguard among American cities in finding ways to mitigate the effects of sprawl.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:10 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
15,470 posts, read 25,425,564 times
Reputation: 8936
LA sprawls but its DENSE sprawl, the densest sprawl in the country of any metropolitan region actually.

Most of the sprawl in LA is on a grid street pattern rather than meandering, curvilinear streets and cul-de-sacs, help making it more walkable and neighborhoods more accessible.

LA is denser and more walkable than a lot of people realize or give it credit for.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,522 posts, read 12,290,708 times
Reputation: 3827
Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
LA sprawls but its DENSE sprawl, the densest sprawl in the country of any metropolitan region actually.

Most of the sprawl in LA is on a grid street pattern rather than meandering, curvilinear streets and cul-de-sacs, help making it more walkable and neighborhoods more accessible.

LA is denser and more walkable than a lot of people realize or give it credit for.
That's definitely true. On average, the LA metro area is the densest in the country. Thats because the suburbs as well as the city of LA have a relatively high density. In contrast, other metro areas (such as Chicago and NYC) have very high densities in the city proper, but much lower densities in the suburbs.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Dallas
1,365 posts, read 2,301,989 times
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I have to say that while LA is sprawled it is DEFINITELY and EXTREMELY walkable. Not that I am an expert but when I visited I was impressed with all of the truly walkable spaces. The city isn't as inviting to be walkable as opposed to New York for instance, but I tell you what, if we were to go into an extreme crisis where driving were not an option, many people would still be able to get around to many destinations. Unfortunately I can't say the same for where I live and from what I gather it's not the same for Atlanta either. But, I don't think all hope is lost, I think cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, etc. can be very walkable, like they are the brink for that kind of development. It's all gonna be up to these individual cities to make it happen though.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Houston
6,867 posts, read 12,813,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portyhead24 View Post
I have to say that while LA is sprawled it is DEFINITELY and EXTREMELY walkable. Not that I am an expert but when I visited I was impressed with all of the truly walkable spaces. The city isn't as inviting to be walkable as opposed to New York for instance, but I tell you what, if we were to go into an extreme crisis where driving were not an option, many people would still be able to get around to many destinations. Unfortunately I can't say the same for where I live and from what I gather it's not the same for Atlanta either. But, I don't think all hope is lost, I think cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, etc. can be very walkable, like they are the brink for that kind of development. It's all gonna be up to these individual cities to make it happen though.

great post
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,545,182 times
Reputation: 890
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.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:12 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,352,102 times
Reputation: 1518
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
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Chicago metro
3,509 posts, read 7,317,426 times
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LA is denser than Atlanta. La have more than twice the density as Atlanta with 8200 vs. 4000 in density.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:29 PM
 
3,669 posts, read 8,845,388 times
Reputation: 2138
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.

Last edited by SEAandATL; 12-08-2008 at 04:32 PM.. Reason: Adding more to write
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