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Old 07-08-2008, 10:30 AM
 
4,794 posts, read 9,927,533 times
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The biggest problem with narrow streets would be access for emergency vehicles. Otherwise, every neighborhood AND street will have different traffic or HOA rules. Gosh.....most OLD neighborhoods have narrow streets and that is especially true of older cities and communities when cars and traffic were not an issue. Look at the East Coast.....holy moly....parking is primo and so are garages! This isn't a "San Antonio" thing.....age and history dictated streets and developments decades and even centuries ago. (think horseback and buggies!)
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:00 AM
 
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Many of the cheaper (homestead and classic) KB communities have narrow streets. That combined with the fact that many of those areas have 20-25 foot long driveways and they feel very crowded. Other builders frequently do this on cheaper and denser communities. Narrow streets allow the builder to get the maximum amount of homes on the land. Of course just about all builders do this on the low end. It was on our list of concerns as we didn't want narrow streets.

Our community has wide streets with plenty of room for vehicles on both sides as well as back and forth traffic. That said - we also have requirements that there is no street parking at night. Either in the garage or on the driveway - but not on the street.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:50 PM
 
683 posts, read 877,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banker View Post
Many of the cheaper (homestead and classic) KB communities have narrow streets. That combined with the fact that many of those areas have 20-25 foot long driveways and they feel very crowded. Other builders frequently do this on cheaper and denser communities. Narrow streets allow the builder to get the maximum amount of homes on the land. Of course just about all builders do this on the low end. It was on our list of concerns as we didn't want narrow streets.
I'm thinking this is what the OP was referring to (at least I'm hoping). I think it is obvious that there is a HUGE difference between the narrow streets in a new subdivision and those in an old neighborhood. I can see why someone would be wary of narrow streets in a new area, but I don't think that it is the street width as much as it is the lot depth/ layout which creates the "crowded" feel.

I respectfully disagree that narrow streets limit access by emergency vehicles. Wait... let me rephrase. Narrow streets in OLD neighborhoods are not an impediment for emergency vehicles. Our local police lieutenant told us that he prefers our streets than those in newer developments (his coverage area includes both). The reason is that when the streets are laid out in a grid (as in most of the older areas), they can get to places quicker - there is always a "wide" street nearby, so the responder only needs to go on the "narrow" street for a short distance, and there are always multiple routes. In a place with culdesacs, the actual journey to a certain address may be much longer even though the streets are all "wide" and free of cars.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:11 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,646,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
In my 'hood, the streets were made for horse and buggy traffic, so they're quite narrow. My own street is on of the widest and you still couldn't have cars on both sides with 2 cars driving.

I really really like narrow streets. I think it promotes neighborhood interaction, not to mention slows down traffic. Our streets have cobblestones, alas, they're all under the asphalt now.

In our area, though, there's not a lot of people parking on the streets in general.

How do you know about the cobblestones? I'm not questioning you at all.. I'm just wondering how you found that out. It's interesting and makes me wonder about my own neighborhood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneSA View Post
The city was going to make my street a "no parking this side" on one side of the street. The neighbors fought it and it still is parking on tqwo sides. The reason to fight it is that it keeps the speeds down. If there are no cars parked, the cars travel at 40 or 50 miles an hour. With cars on both sides, they need to slow down and it keeps it safer. We tried for speed bumps and stop signs, the street goes for 3 blocks with no stops. No go becasue of the driveways and after a survey, the city said there was no need for stop signs.
So, in the end, the parking on both sides makes things a little slow, and that's a good thing.

They tried that on my street when I lived in Tobin Hill. Actually, they DID it and no one knew beforehand... one day, everyone woke up and had parking tickets, and that's how we KNEW! There was a woman on the other side of the street, very active in the Neighborhood Ass'n. and "well connected", apparently, with someone in SA City gov't. and she had gotten this done (not on HER side, mind you).

Well there was another guy who had been there forever and his family before him and they were the original owners of their 100-something year old home, and he raised a ruckus and got petitions and within a month the "no parking this side" signs were gone.

It was especially difficult for us as we lived on a corner in a duplex on a lot that had been overbuilt... the rear garage had long since been turned into another 2 story rental, so there was absolutely NO parking at all for us, and this was an issue for many corner lot people, well except for the one old biddy who caused the signs to go up who had a full concrete drive behind her place.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:26 PM
 
3,716 posts, read 5,246,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_flawless View Post

How do you know about the cobblestones? I'm not questioning you at all.. I'm just wondering how you found that out. It's interesting and makes me wonder about my own neighborhood.


A couple of years ago they repaved many streets because they were so torn up. You could see the cobblestones under the level of the street, where the asphalt had been all broken up. Not all streets seem to have them (for example,t he small N/S street on our corner does not, but the larger E-W street does). I saw maybe 5 streets where the cobblestones were clearly visible before re-paving. Probably more, but I didn't do an inspection.





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Old 07-08-2008, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 18,546,547 times
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A coworker of mine lives in a new development near SeaWorld and the streets are Too narrow if you ask me. The combination of narrow streets and most people parking on the street make it so two vehicles cannot go by eachother if there are cars on the side. It is actually narrow enough that one vehicle has a hard enough time going through. It does slow down the traffic, but at the expense of looking extremely tacky. If I was a prospective home buyer going through that neighborhood I would immediately mark anything in there off my list.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,498,814 times
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The cobblestones sound kinda cool, but they're incredibly bumpy to drive on.

As far as street width goes, I'd be more concerned about that in newer developments than in an older neighborhood. I don't know what it is but in older neighborhoods it doesn't make the place feel overcrowded and like somebody said, there's usually a bigger street just a few blocks away to do the majority of the travel down.

The street and driveway parking thing though, to me that's an incredibly silly thing to ban. But I'm strange and like the grid pattern layout.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 18,546,547 times
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I think the older neighborhoods have more trees and it masks the distance from the street to the house. New neighborhoods tend to destroy all the trees prior to building (serious pet peeve of mine BTW) and the driveways aren't very long so the cars seem like they are up against the house.
So you actually like the uniformed distances of a grid pattern scuba steve? My street winds quite a bit, so there is a variance in driveway lengths and the distance of the houses from the street. To me that looks much better.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:14 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,286 posts, read 1,808,232 times
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My old neighborhood was one of those KB subdivisions with the narrow streets. When I first moved in, on-street parking was allowed, but the fire marshall made the HOA ban on-street parking soon thereafter because the on-street parking made it nearly impossible for fire trucks to get through. The curbs were painted red and NO PARKING signs were installed.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,498,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rd2007 View Post
I think the older neighborhoods have more trees and it masks the distance from the street to the house. New neighborhoods tend to destroy all the trees prior to building (serious pet peeve of mine BTW) and the driveways aren't very long so the cars seem like they are up against the house.
So you actually like the uniformed distances of a grid pattern scuba steve? My street winds quite a bit, so there is a variance in driveway lengths and the distance of the houses from the street. To me that looks much better.
I like the grid pattern a lot more for several reasons. One of the biggest being that it's a whole lot more bike and pedestrian-friendly. If you want to go somewhere outside of your neighborhood or to an adjacent one as most newer development is done, that requires walking all the way out to a main entrance and then down a sidewalk (if there is one) that's typically built right against a main road with traffic running from 40 to 50 mph. Things like walking to school start to take on a lot more risk. Neighborhoods take on their own little world that it becomes hard to ever venture outside of.

It also makes navigating an unfamiliar area a lot harder because if you miss your turn, there's no way to go except to find somewhere on the big road you're going down and doing a turnaround. No just going down to the next block and going back to the road you wanted.
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