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Old 04-12-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
1,993 posts, read 2,675,663 times
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Plenty of Chick-Fil-A out here. One in Sterling, one inside the Dulles Town Center, one across the street from Dulles Town Center by Lowes, new one in Ashburn at the GW campus on Route 7, and a new one in Leesburg by Costco. All closed on Sunday, of course.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 13,791,193 times
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I was responding to this paragraph, which is most definitely about Reston's walkability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
With that being said for all of NoVA's benefits I was personally never able to reconcile the area's inability to understand what a "walkable community" really was. Vienna and Falls Church aren't it, despite their inflated housing prices. Sorry. Reston? You've got to be kidding me. That place is great if you want to take a leisurely stroll through the woods on a trail, but if you want to just get from Point A to Point B to Point C easily the place sucked. The areas that WERE "walkable" were all insanely expensive.
I've never understood why SCR felt his apartment was not walkable. For one thing, he posted about walking to a variety of stores and restaurants when he lived there. I recall during Snowmageddon he walked to Home Depot to buy a snow shovel.

For another thing, the neighborhood he lived in has sidewalks, walking trails, tunnels under the busier roads, and crossing signals. That seems pedestrian friendly to me.

And, for a third thing, look at all the stores/services within a mile of his apartment (list at end of post). There are so many, I'll just list the ones at RTC. However, it should be noted that in addition to RTC, there are 3-4 other shopping plazas within a mile of SCR's old apartment. Best Buy, Home Depot, grocery stores, Reston Library, Reston Hospital, Reston Medical Center are all right there and definitely within walking distance of his apartment building. Oh, and let's not forget all the stores and businesses (and museums and boat rental) at Lake Anne Plaza. Seems like plenty of things within walking distance to me.

Regarding affordability, here is a quote from SCR about his apartment there. Compared to other places in northern VA it sounds quite affordable to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Location: I honestly can't think of a better part of Reston in which to reside. I can (and have) walked out my door and walked to Reston Town Center, Lake Anne, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, Harris Teeter, and various other stores and restaurants. I live a short walk from a couple of public pools, tennis courts, and a softball field, as well as the Reston YMCA. I feel like I'm playing a game of "*******" trying to cross the interminably congested Reston Parkway at rush-hour, but otherwise it's a VERY walkable area (much better than I had given it credit for beforehand). I regularly go running along tree-lined streets, and I'm hoping to scope out one of two nearby churches next Sunday to begin to worship there. I can relax on my rear patio overlooking a private country club or get all dressed up and head over to the town center on a Friday night to see a movie, enjoy a festival, or knock a few drinks back with good company before walking home.

Pricing: Granted I just beat the summer "rush" on rentals so I snagged a better deal than one might be able to get now, but I'm very happy paying only $1,135/month for a 960-square foot apartment whereas I also toured many rentals that were about the same price but only had perhaps 700 square feet. You quite honestly get more bang for your buck with this complex.
Here's a partial list of the businesses he could walk to from that apartment:

Services at Reston Town Center:

BB&T Bank
Bike Lane
Capital One Bank
Charles Schwab
Edibles Incredible! Desserts
The Eyewear Gallery
Faber, Coe & Gregg Newsstand and Sundries
FedEx Office
Fidelity Investments
Gift Card Kiosk Vending Machine
Hyatt Shoe Shine
Jouvence/Aveda Spa
Le Shoppe for Hair, Nails and Skin Care
Mayflowers Florist
One to One Fitness Center
Origins
Paper-Source
PNC Bank
PR at Partners (Hair Salon)
Prime Cleaners
Salon Nordine & Day Spa
Smiles Dentistry
Wells Fargo
Information Center/Lockers/and other public services


Stores at Reston Town Center:

Allen Edmonds Great American Shoe Company
Ann Taylor
Anthropologie
Appalachian Spring
Apple Computers
Athleta
at&t wireless
Banana Republic
bebe
Brighton
Chico’s
Cigar Town
Dandelion Patch
Davelle Clothiers
Dawn Price Baby
Francesca's Collections
Gap & Gap Kids/Baby Gap
J. Crew
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
L'Occitane
Lou Lou
Market Cellars Wine
Midtown Jewelers
Potomac River Running
Pottery Barn
Sephora
South Moon Under
Talbots & Petites
Teavana
Victoria’s Secret

Cultural/Entertainment at RTC:

RTC Ice Rink
ArtInsights Animation & Film Art Gallery
Bow Tie Cinemas
Greater Reston Arts Center

Other Businesses at RTC:
Hyatt Regency Reston
Also, at least a dozen office buildings.

And we haven't even begun to list the restaurants at Reston Town Center. That list is even longer.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:50 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,458,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post

Also worth noting is whether or not people actually do walk to work. as most of you know, I'm an example of a person in northern VA who walks to work and frequently picks up groceries or something from Rite Aid on my way home. SCR, on the other hand, drives to work. And he has frequently complained that the stores in his neighborhood are not terribly useful. He has a comic book store, a music store and some bars and coffee shops--fun places but not terribly practical. He has complained that he needs to drive for laundromat, groceries, Chick Fil-A, and other such needs.
I just google mapped the Strip section of PBurgh, which he says he is near, and there are several places to buy groceries, though no chain supermarkets.

As for walking to work, if you could both give the number of your census tract, we could do a direct comparison of percent who commute by foot. I guess, though i havent used census tract level journey to work data.


meanwhile according to this http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/committ...0518101606.pdf walking mode share for commtuing in Loudoun was 3.6% in 2007/2008, (DOWN from 5% in 1994)

For all of metro Pittsburgh it was 5% in 2000

Chapter 4. MEANS OF TRAVEL TO WORK - Journey To Work - Data Products - CTPP - Census Issues - Planning - FHWA

In the city of pittsburgh it was 11.1% in 2008.


The Bike Pittsburgh Blog Archives 2008 City commuting trends are in: How does Pittsburgh stack up nationally?



So, for the city of Pittsburgh, the percentage of bike commuters was about 3 times as high as for Loudoun County. IIUC SCRs neighborhood is more walking focused than the rest of pitt (?) Its possible your neighborhood is more walking focused than the rest of LC, I don't know.

Drivers of walkability include density, mix of destinations, and "design" (which can include physical protection from traffic, sidewalk width, etc - but also can include aesthetic factors impacting the majority of walkers). I think central Pittsburgh probably stands out on some of those factors.

Last edited by brooklynborndad; 04-12-2012 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:52 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,458,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
I was responding to this paragraph, which is most definitely about Reston's walkability.
.
then why did you post pictures of Leesburg?
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,458,557 times
Reputation: 2169
"The areas that WERE "walkable" were all insanely expensive."


"I've never understood why SCR felt his apartment was not walkable. For one thing, he posted about walking to a variety of stores and restaurants when he lived there. I recall during Snowmageddon he walked to Home Depot to buy a snow shovel.

For another thing, the neighborhood he lived in has sidewalks, walking trails, tunnels under the busier roads, and crossing signals. That seems pedestrian friendly to me. "

I guess his definition of walkable included not just the physical ability to get somewhere, and the distance, but factors of aesthetics, critical mass of walkers, etc, etc.

Its fine that you and many other people do not share those criteria. I think you will find that many people do. I bet a realtor asked about the most walkable parts of Reston would point them to the units at and adjoining RTC, and not only for the shorter distance.

I know those factors matter to me and my wife.

That they matter to many others is shown by discussions on CD, by considerable discussion in the literature, and, I would say, by the proof in actual use. Certainly the journey to work data are suggestive. There is no national data on walking other than the journey to work data. I have presented my own empirical experiences and impressions in the past, which would tend to agree with that, but they were not considered valid here (some assertions in this forum need to be backed up with scientific research, but for others "you just have to live here to get it" is quite enough)

Again, humans are diverse, and I am GLAD that there are people who like to walk in places I or others might not find the most walkable - if it increases their exercise, and decreases their Green House Gas production, YAY! But I find it odd that the criteria apparently held by some posters is so puzzling, when it is consistent with both the tastes of many others, and with much in the literature on designing walkbale areas.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 13,791,193 times
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LOL I think there are too many responses to too many different questions here. Bbd, to clarify-- my lengthy response with the photos was in response to the paragraph about walkability in Reston.

Regarding Leesburg, you're right that I mistakenly thought he was also talking about Leesburg. Probably because it was a lengthy post to scan through and also because most people I know call it Rt. 7 and not Leesburg Pike. So, no biggie! Feel free to ignore the photos of Leesburg. The photos of Reston more than prove it is a walkable area, which was my point.

Whether we're talking about Leesburg or Leesburg Pike I'm still confused by the gap teeth comment. Granted I don't drive that much in Falls Church so maybe my memory is faulty, but I don't recall a lot of vacant lots along Rt. 7. I also don't recall any rowhouses where a unit in the middle has been torn down and the lot left vacant--which is what "gap teeth" usually means when they use this term on the Pittsburgh forum. Here are some photos of Rt. 7 in Falls Church to use as a reference point. What areas near these photos is he referring to that would be considered "gap teeth"?









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Old 04-12-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,458,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
LOL I think there are too many responses to too many different questions here. Bbd, to clarify my lengthy response with the photos was in response to the paragraph about walkability in Reston.

Regarding Leesburg, I'll give you that one. I mistakenly thought he was also talking about Leesburg. It was a long post that I was responding to, sorry that I did not see he said Leesburg Pike not Leesburg. My bad, most people I know call it Rt. 7 and not Leesburg Pike so I didn't catch it.

Anyway-- no biggie! Take Leesburg out of the equation and substitute Falls Church. Here are some photos of Rt. 7 in Falls Church. What is he referring to that would be considered "gap teeth"? Granted I don't drive that much in Falls Church so maybe my memory is faulty, but I don't recall a lot of vacant lots along Rt. 7.
to really get the effect, you have to walk it, not drive it.

Im not sure about vacant lots - there is at least one place I recall where there is one of those tiny businesses in a little hut on the back of a somewhat decrepit looking parking lot. There are also a couple of old suburban style shopping centers, IIRC - I think your pic is of the better one, with a smaller parking lot, and shops at least somewhat closer to the street. Though even that disrupts the urban aesthetic somewhat. Note also your pic of townhomes - with driveways crossing the sidewalk. Hardly an advantage to walkability on that sidewalk (though I think thats on the west side of route 7, the somewhat less redeveloped side).

That stretch of City of Falls Church is far more attractive than say, LRT in Annandale - the sidewalk is at least continous and in good condition, IIRC, and many of the gap teeth have been replaced with new construction (probably the worst gap teeth). But I can see why someone like SCR would question it being offered as a walkable alternative for people craving urbanism.

If I were to move to Falls Church, it would be for its relative affordability and convenience, and for its prospects for improvement as the remaining gap teeth get filled in (with the growth of the new Tysons, and with likely transit improvements) - I wouldnt consider it my walkability ideal right now.

And BTW, down here people its not uncommon to refer to rte 7 as Leesburg pike, esp for the section between City of Falls Church and City of Alexandria (in Falls Church it's Main Street I think, and of course in Alex (not just in Old Town) its King Street)
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 13,791,193 times
Reputation: 42285
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I guess his definition of walkable included not just the physical ability to get somewhere, and the distance, but factors of aesthetics, critical mass of walkers, etc, etc.
The bottom line is, he posted himself that he found the area very walkable and frequently walked to stores and restaurants. I bolded a few sentences you might find especially interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I can (and have) walked out my door and walked to Reston Town Center, Lake Anne, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, Harris Teeter, and various other stores and restaurants. I live a short walk from a couple of public pools, tennis courts, and a softball field, as well as the Reston YMCA. I feel like I'm playing a game of "*******" trying to cross the interminably congested Reston Parkway at rush-hour, but otherwise it's a VERY walkable area (much better than I had given it credit for beforehand). I regularly go running along tree-lined streets, and I'm hoping to scope out one of two nearby churches next Sunday to begin to worship there. I can relax on my rear patio overlooking a private country club or get all dressed up and head over to the town center on a Friday night to see a movie, enjoy a festival, or knock a few drinks back with good company before walking home.
As for the critical mass of walkers--you're taking a guess that this is his criteria, and it seems like a dubious reason to claim an area is walkable or not walkable. But ok. Let's run with it for a second. Looking at the photos of Pittsburgh and the photos of Reston I do not see a big difference in the critical mass of walkers. In fact, the photo in SCR's post does not have a single pedestrian at all.

Sorry, I just don't see any evidence to support his post this morning that the area near Reston Town Center isn't walkable. Which was, after all, what I was disputing.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:29 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,458,557 times
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reveiwing by looking at google maps

Ah, the Exxon station, which takes up a whole block - not a joy to walk by.

just past that a block long shopping center recessed from the sidewalk, parking lot in front - and then an old fashioned road side motel.

those are right between the intersection of broad (NOT main!) and maple which is kind of the center of old falls church, and the new developments.

looking at the map, I think the business I recall behind the lot is beedles leatherworks - actually in an old house with a small parking lot, so not bad at all, but looks kind of odd between two new developments - I may be conflating it with something further NW on Broad.

then theres the papa johns with the drive through.

then the block from lee to oak is very "gapy"

then more new development, than St James Catholic Church

I would not want to aestheticially criticize anyones house of worship, but the layout of its parking lot does not contribute to walkability on Broad street.

once you get past there its more gapy than walkable upto the W&OD and beyond.

BUT BUT BUT - even the gappiest areas have some improvements already, the sidewalk is well done throughout, and the prospects for further improvement are strong.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:32 AM
 
4,376 posts, read 4,672,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
And BTW, down here people its not uncommon to refer to rte 7 as Leesburg pike, esp for the section between City of Falls Church and City of Alexandria (in Falls Church it's Main Street I think, and of course in Alex (not just in Old Town) its King Street)
Route 7 is called Broad Street, not Main Street, in the City of Falls Church (Route 236, called Duke Street in Alexandria and Little River Turnpike in Fairfax County, is called Main Street in the City of Fairfax).

And here I thought people in Loudoun called Leesburg Pike "Harry Flood Byrd Highway" rather than "the 7" or something else that makes you think you ought to be able to spot Big Sur if you just looked hard enough!

Last edited by JEB77; 04-12-2012 at 10:42 AM..
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