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Old 05-28-2012, 11:19 AM
 
2,439 posts, read 5,911,387 times
Reputation: 904
"Sorry, I just find it ridiculous to even argue this, of COURSE people want to be able to walk to the grocery store and walk to restaurants and walk to work. If you disagree, then you are likely in dire need of a good walk. Are there annoying rich people who also live in these areas and still drive every where? Yes they are dumb for dealing with 20 minutes of searching for parking when they could take a 10 minute walk."

Singles might want to walk to the grocery store. Maybe couples who mostly eat out, and foodies who have the time available to stop in the market every day to pick up ingredients for dinner. But anyone buying more than will fit in a small shopping basket is probably going to opt for driving. Why the hostility towards those who make different lifestyle choices? There is a relatively limited group attracted to these "walkable" communities, and suggesting that what they really need is a good walk when they have sensibly decided that the car makes more sense for family shopping or bulk purchases is absurd.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:24 AM
 
942 posts, read 813,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
If I had my way they would close King St to car traffic just East of City Hall and make Union Street a pedestrian/bike mall. It's a mess down there on the weekends.
They did this in Charlottesville and created the Downtown Mall in the 70s. It would be awesome to do this in Old Town and have a metro stop closer to the river.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:41 AM
 
4,485 posts, read 5,029,634 times
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It's important to understand what this study (and the title of this thread) really mean. As I understand it, what it means is that the authors of the study selected a variety of neighborhoods in the DC area (primarily in DC, Maryland, Alexandria and Arlington, with few areas selected from Fairfax or Loudoun), noted their walkability, and correlated their walkability to various factors such as the price of residential and commercial real estate per square foot, the percentage of incomes spent on housing, and income levels.

Based on the neighborhoods selected and the correlations drawn, the authors concluded that residential and commercial real estate in walkable areas is more expensive than residential and commercial and real estate in less walkable areas; people in walkable areas spend more of their income on housing; and people in walkable areas have higher incomes.

It's unclear whether, had the authors selected different neighborhoods, they would have reached all the same conclusions. It's not surprising that walkable areas attract a lot of younger people who want to live near the action and are prepared to spend a lot of their entry-level salaries on housing. It's not surprising that commercial real estate is more expensive in walkable areas that are near other walkable areas. Beyond that, the correlations may be more dependent on the neighborhoods selected and the metrics that were emphasized. Recent reports indicate that the zip codes in the DC area with the most expensive real estate are, with a few exceptions, not in areas that are generally considered very walkable, but instead in places like Great Falls, McLean, Potomac, Chevy Chase and Fairfax Station. The local jurisdiction with the highest incomes is Loudoun County, not Arlington or Alexandria.

The main inferences I'd be willing to draw from this study is that (1) given the demand for walkable neighborhoods, real estate developers might want to consider them as an alternative to building one more subdivision on the periphery of the metropolitan area; and (2) low-income areas that are not walkable might fare better in terms of attracting businesses and higher-income residents if they were more walkable. Beyond that, I think the study is, unfortunately, susceptible to being mischaracterized by those with an agenda as somehow proof that everyone wants to live in a dense neighborhood where they can walk virtually everywhere - which really only applies to a small number of people around here.

Last edited by JEB77; 05-28-2012 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
108 posts, read 94,313 times
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The criticism on this thread against driving in Northern Virginia's "walkable" communities irks me. There will always be some people who choose to walk; there will always be some people who choose to drive; there will always be some people (like me) who alternate depending on the destination and circumstances. There are numerous justifiable reasons for walking or driving somewhere. "Walkable" doesn't mean "Walk Exclusive." This is true even in places like New York and San Francisco -- places 60% to 100% more densely-populated than the District and Old Town Alexandria.

Clearly, the business community understands the importance of catering both to walkers and drivers. That's why you see Old Town establishments like Trader Joe's offer parking. That's why you see plenty of parking options off King Street. That's why high-density apartment and condo communities offer underground garage space.

BTW -- anyone who thinks Old Town is only populated by filthy rich individuals who blaze around in their BMWs clearly doesn't know Old Town.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 15,912,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbros View Post
The City is not going to eliminate street parking for bike lanes, that makes no sense. Non-City residents seem to always want to make Alexandria the "Doormat to DC.". The City has its own identity apart from the drive-thru commuters whether on bike or car. To it's credit, the City has experimented with pedestrian zones in Old Town and they did not work. To get people out of cars, you have to have mixed use development and various transportation options. Arlington and Alexandria have differing approaches, but both are making more of an effort than anybody else in NoVA to make it work.
I don't commute through town but I would like to be able to ride my bike to other parts than just East of Washington St for example to the area around the King St. Metro station.. Riding East to West you take your life in your hands.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
108 posts, read 94,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I don't commute through town but I would like to be able to ride my bike to other parts than just East of Washington St for example to the area around the King St. Metro station.. Riding East to West you take your life in your hands.
While the city lacks bike lanes in Old Town, you can safely utilize a few east-west streets west of Washington. Two that come to mind are Princess and Oronoco. Take either of these west to West Sreet, West Street south to Cameron Street, and Cameron Street west around the Hilton to King Street station. There are enough stop signs and traffic calming measures to keep vehicular traffic slow in Old Town.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 5,424,372 times
Reputation: 3519
Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
"Sorry, I just find it ridiculous to even argue this, of COURSE people want to be able to walk to the grocery store and walk to restaurants and walk to work. If you disagree, then you are likely in dire need of a good walk. Are there annoying rich people who also live in these areas and still drive every where? Yes they are dumb for dealing with 20 minutes of searching for parking when they could take a 10 minute walk."

Singles might want to walk to the grocery store. Maybe couples who mostly eat out, and foodies who have the time available to stop in the market every day to pick up ingredients for dinner. But anyone buying more than will fit in a small shopping basket is probably going to opt for driving. Why the hostility towards those who make different lifestyle choices? There is a relatively limited group attracted to these "walkable" communities, and suggesting that what they really need is a good walk when they have sensibly decided that the car makes more sense for family shopping or bulk purchases is absurd.
This. At one point I lived walking distance to a grocery store (it was maybe a 5 minute walk to my apartment). I still drove, so I could load up on more than one night's purchases at a time. I didn't want to go to the store every day, and I definitely didn't want to limit myself to 2 bags at a time. I grocery shop approximately once every 2 weeks, and buy $150 worth of stuff at a time. Much more time savvy that way. Even if I had bought one of those little foldable carts you see in big cities, it would take 3-4 of them to do a shopping trip.

It was handy to have it there for the odd times where I'd be in the middle of something and realize I was missing a single ingredient. I could send my husband to the store and back without missing a beat. It's not all that different from now though, where it's a 5 minute drive instead of a walk.

And once I moved away from the high density areas, I've never wanted to go back. I LIKE the peace and quiet of suburbia. I don't mind driving 10 minutes to go to dinner, since it means that I never have to worry about noise or crowds or parking or events in my immediate neighborhood. Different strokes for different folks...and that's okay.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:57 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 4,036,936 times
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There is a lot less obesity in the walkable neighborhoods, and you could ad heart disease to the list, too.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,399 posts, read 1,594,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Recent reports indicate that the zip codes in the DC area with the most expensive real estate are, with a few exceptions, not in areas that are generally considered very walkable, but instead in places like Great Falls, McLean, Potomac, Chevy Chase and Fairfax Station. The local jurisdiction with the highest incomes is Loudoun County, not Arlington or Alexandria.

Huge misconception made by false metrics. Great falls is expensive? McLean is expensive? Wrong, Clarendon, eastern market, and DC as a whole are WAY more expensive than any part of great falls when you compare apples to apples.

Comparing a 8000 sf mansion to an 800 sf condo by looking only at total price is an exercise in futility. If you actually compare them on a basis of square footage which means more you see that Great Falls is relatively cheap (not shocking seeing as truly rich people want more than just a dumb compound in the woods), thats why you dont see that many rich people living in Iowa where they could be buying countys let alone properties.

A 2.4 million dollar mansion is impressive, but if it is 8000 sf, that comes out to 300 dollars per sqft. Compare this to a 600,000 2br condo, 1000 sqft which comes out to 600 dollars per sqft.

Location location location people, the sticks and brick of a gaudy house cost basically nothing but the land that it sits and where it is located is EVERYTHING. PS for what its worth I know far richer people who DONT live in great falls than those who do live in that fake den of out of town lobbyists known as the potomac region. No offense for the small minority of people who aren't a-holes who live in Great Falls, huge offense intended if you are one of those out of town government leeches known as lobbyists who live in Great Falls.

If you want to live in the burbs more power to you. But the problem becomes when cities and regions have to change their design policies based on catering to suburbanites, ie Tysons Corner, ie Arlington telling the rest of virginia to stop trying to build more roads through it, ie Alexandria wanting a vibrant route 1 corridor, not a trash dump, by reducing the size of the road. And while we are at it, suburbanites that think all those roads they drive come free. They are subsidized on the backs of the larger population in the cities of this state, all the while when those cities want infrastructure that costs less in capital than the annual maintenance of those monstrosities they are told to go find their own funding. Well suburbs, find YOUR own funding for roads.

Enjoy the tax rates which would be needed to do so, roads cost about 25k per lane mile per year to maintain on average, and thats if you dont have truck traffic. Doing the math on that in a region similar to PWC and Loudoun will blow your mind as to how expensive the hidden costs of roads are. That is why transportation is the single most expensive element of any jurisdiction (though in Virginia some would argue education is larger when viewed as a state obviously) and why VDOT is a 4 billion dollar juggernaut and growing.

Last edited by tysonsengineer; 05-28-2012 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:17 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 4,036,936 times
Reputation: 1088
you forgot to mention the Iranian heroin dealers in Great Falls. I'll dig up the article if I have to. You make excellent points, Engineer. Let's look solely at land prices. Using the example of Clarendon v. Great Falls. Clarendon is 5 million per acre++; Five acres in GF would probably go for 500,000. So there you have a factor of 10. I saw 1.2 acres at the foot of a (Bangkok) Skytrain Station go for 40 million a few years ago. The most popular dish at the sidewalk cafe was chicken feet/noodle soup. 500 per square foot in Shanghai...both places are most walkable and have great mass transit.

http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...6_M64110-29001

countless lots for sale in GF.

Last edited by khuntrevor; 05-28-2012 at 01:34 PM..
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