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View Poll Results: Have you lived in the suburbs?
Yes, as a child or teenager 106 80.92%
Yes, as an adult 73 55.73%
I have never lived in the suburbs 8 6.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-08-2014, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Paris
8,133 posts, read 6,679,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The birth rate in France is high due to immigrants. The non-immigrant French birth rate is fairly low. A similar situation exists in the UK. [i]"Alp Mehmet, of campaign group Migration Watch, claimed that immigration was "the main driver of population growth in the UK".
What does this have to do with the presence of kids or not in the streets? Kids of immigrant parents are still as likely as the others to be playing outside.

Re: "the French birth rate is high due to immigrants", here's a fertility rate map of western Europe from 2007:
http://mapage.noos.fr/euro2004/demog...rope-ouest.jpg

Those greenish subdivisions (above replacement) in western France are lilly white. The department with the highest TFR (Mayenne) is far from being an immigrant hotspot. Conversely, some of the orange ones (1.71-1.90) in the northeast near Germany have quite a lot of "former immigrants" because of their industrial past. Doesn't help apparently.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Agreed that kids are kids. It was more a discussion of European birth rates at the time of my post. None of this has anything to do with the thread topic, not kids playing in the streets, or European birth rates or immigrant birth rates. I acknowledge my part in it.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:50 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
And I disagree. Roads, even neighborhood roads, are primarily for transportation, and use of the roads for transportation should take priority over other uses.

I have to drive about 3000 feet on neighborhood roads to get to the main road so I can get to the train station to get to work. Having to drive at a walking pace and stop and wait for people playing in the street every couple hundred feet would be a major negative. I'm not accusing you, but I think for a lot of urbanists, the problems for cars this would cause is the reason they propose it.
First, before I even respond with a philosophical argument, let's ask if your example is even realistic or reasonably problematic. Will you have to stop for children with high frequency? Probably not. Now, say you drive at 10 MPH and assume you drive 2/3 of a mile in your neighborhood. Is it really that much worse driving for 4 minutes, or thereabouts, in the neighborhood instead of for 1.6 minutes (25 MPH)?

Philosophically, this comes down to a question of lifestyle preference. Is a neighborhood a place you live or a place we live?

The former implies a home--specifically your square of property--is your base of operations where you store things and from which you go do other things and that the public spaces around and between homes are not places where time is spent. It is an individualistic, but also anti-social viewpoint; the spaces in between are for drivers, first and foremost, not for people.

The latter implies that the neighborhood, not just our own property, is a place residents want to spend time. This requires having a space that is not just for one user (drivers), but for all users, equally.

I fit in with the latter. I say that the small amount of time I spend--and we should all acknowledge that it is a small amount of time spent actually driving in a neighborhood--as a driver within my neighborhood is not more important than the safety and health and peace of mind of my neighbors, and I expect the same consideration from those neighbors; that a family should feel safe going for a bicycle ride with children in tow; that kids should be relatively and reasonably safe playing in a neighborhood street; that I should feel relatively and reasonably safe crossing said street mid-block.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:25 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,830,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
First, before I even respond with a philosophical argument, let's ask if your example is even realistic or reasonably problematic. Will you have to stop for children with high frequency? Probably not.
Why not? In the scenario you propose, playing in the street, and not yielding to vehicles, is perfectly acceptable.

Quote:
Now, say you drive at 10 MPH and assume you drive 2/3 of a mile in your neighborhood. Is it really that much worse driving for 4 minutes, or thereabouts, in the neighborhood instead of for 1.6 minutes (25 MPH)?
Can easily be the difference between missing my train and making it. And the variability added means if I leave earlier, I'm probably wasting more time. Personally I would rather not spend more time sitting around at the train station; I would also like to not spend time in my car crawling at 10mph. And, since a lot of people tend to leave the neighborhood at the same time, all this slowness and obstacles could cause traffic jams within the neighborhood and make it considerably more

Quote:
Philosophically, this comes down to a question of lifestyle preference. Is a neighborhood a place you live or a place we live?
No. The question is whether the neighborhood road is infrastructure for transportation primarily or if it is for (incompatible) recreation at least equally. Not the neighborhood as a whole, the roads.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
First, before I even respond with a philosophical argument, let's ask if your example is even realistic or reasonably problematic. Will you have to stop for children with high frequency? Probably not. Now, say you drive at 10 MPH and assume you drive 2/3 of a mile in your neighborhood. Is it really that much worse driving for 4 minutes, or thereabouts, in the neighborhood instead of for 1.6 minutes (25 MPH)?

Philosophically, this comes down to a question of lifestyle preference. Is a neighborhood a place you live or a place we live?

The former implies a home--specifically your square of property--is your base of operations where you store things and from which you go do other things and that the public spaces around and between homes are not places where time is spent. It is an individualistic, but also anti-social viewpoint; the spaces in between are for drivers, first and foremost, not for people.

The latter implies that the neighborhood, not just our own property, is a place residents want to spend time. This requires having a space that is not just for one user (drivers), but for all users, equally.

I fit in with the latter. I say that the small amount of time I spend--and we should all acknowledge that it is a small amount of time spent actually driving in a neighborhood--as a driver within my neighborhood is not more important than the safety and health and peace of mind of my neighbors, and I expect the same consideration from those neighbors; that a family should feel safe going for a bicycle ride with children in tow; that kids should be relatively and reasonably safe playing in a neighborhood street; that I should feel relatively and reasonably safe crossing said street mid-block.
I don't follow that line of reasoning. I think it's better for the neighborhood to have a pubic space where kids (and adults) can play safely, e.g. a park AND roads for vehicular (car, truck, delivery vehicles, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, bicycles) travel.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:55 AM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,194,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Philosophically, this comes down to a question of lifestyle preference. Is a neighborhood a place you live or a place we live?

The former implies a home--specifically your square of property--is your base of operations where you store things and from which you go do other things and that the public spaces around and between homes are not places where time is spent. It is an individualistic, but also anti-social viewpoint; the spaces in between are for drivers, first and foremost, not for people.

The latter implies that the neighborhood, not just our own property, is a place residents want to spend time. This requires having a space that is not just for one user (drivers), but for all users, equally.

I fit in with the latter. I say that the small amount of time I spend--and we should all acknowledge that it is a small amount of time spent actually driving in a neighborhood--as a driver within my neighborhood is not more important than the safety and health and peace of mind of my neighbors, and I expect the same consideration from those neighbors; that a family should feel safe going for a bicycle ride with children in tow; that kids should be relatively and reasonably safe playing in a neighborhood street; that I should feel relatively and reasonably safe crossing said street mid-block.
Good post, interesting perspective on two ways of looking at the concept of neighborhood.

Another thought on the "use of streets' in a residential neighborhood.

Newer neighborhoods have streets designed by traffic engineers for smooth traffic flow.
Big front setbacks mean the traffic flow is a distance from front door.
They have bigger yards for kids to play in.
The neighborhood was designed with parks and trails or paths to the parks.
Houses have rec rooms, family rooms, big patios and private yards.
Driveways might be 20 to 30 feet wide, plenty of room to wash a car and play basketball.
Most family outdoor time is in private back yard.
Things are well defined: my home is my castle, kids play in the yard and streets are for cars & trucks.

Older neighborhoods have narrow streets and intersections every 200' or so.
Front setbacks are typically small and traffic is closer to front door.
Lots are small and house and garage leave little yards.
Parks are not as in grained in the neighborhood.
Streets have sidewalks but there is seldom greenways and trails.
Homes are smaller and more likely to have a functional front porch.
People spend outdoor time on front porch with eyes on street.
Often no driveway, cars are parked on street (or alley).
Since houses are smaller, yards are smaller, garages and driveways (if any) are smaller,
everthing needs to serve more than one function.
Cars get washed/fixed in the street, kids learn to ride a bike in the street, kids play in the street.
Older neighborhoods use streets differently, things are less well defined, activities spill into the street.

Many residential neighborhoods devote about one third or more of the land area to streets.
Since we spend so little time actually entering and exiting the neighborhood we have allocated
a disproportionate amount of land to that function. Seems reasonable that residential streets
should serve more than one function. My street is closed twice a year for block parties and once a year for a group yard sale.

These are very general thoughts based on my experience and certainly to not apply
universally to "all" newer or older neighborhoods.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:44 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Why not? In the scenario you propose, playing in the street, and not yielding to vehicles, is perfectly acceptable.
I didn't ask if residents, kids included, would cross the street and, in so doing, not yield to vehicles. I did ask if residents crossing the street would be so frequent as to be a persistent cause of vehicle congestion. And I hold that, with the exception of being near a school, it would not be so frequent (during commuting hours).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Can easily be the difference between missing my train and making it. And the variability added means if I leave earlier, I'm probably wasting more time. Personally I would rather not spend more time sitting around at the train station; I would also like to not spend time in my car crawling at 10mph. And, since a lot of people tend to leave the neighborhood at the same time, all this slowness and obstacles could cause traffic jams within the neighborhood and make it considerably more
It would be surprising to find that your schedule is so precisely timed that 3-5 minutes will break it.

Anecdotally, I don't find that my neighborhood departs in such a way that slower speeds would cause congestion. People depart in a slow, steady stream between 6 and 10 am, using a multiplicity of exits from the neighborhood. The pattern was similar in my previous neighborhood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
No. The question is whether the neighborhood road is infrastructure for transportation primarily or if it is for (incompatible) recreation at least equally. Not the neighborhood as a whole, the roads.
As the road is built, so goes the neighborhood. A road built for cars means a neighborhood built for easy access by car and that the driver take precedence over residents. Vehicle-centricity is negatively correlated with walking and biking. The design of the neighborhood street cannot be separated from the feel of the neighborhood. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Again, that neighborhood roads are auto-centric is by design--by choice--and is not an inherent quality to neighborhood roads. We build segregated spaces because we choose to, not because we must. It is entirely possible, and, in reality, safer for everyone, to build spaces wherein the driver has no clear partition, must share space with other users--pedestrians, bicyclists--and must drive accordingly.

Whether one thinks the idea of shared space or the segregate model is best is a choice up to each of us.

It is my opinion that neighborhoods are built for all residents, not just those who happen to be driving at any given moment. Thus, I see neighborhood roads as having a different purpose than the pure utility of arterials, and should be built as such.

While I respect your right to your opinion, I politely, if vehemently, disagree with your position.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:50 PM
nei nei started this thread nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,988 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
It would be surprising to find that your schedule is so precisely timed that 3-5 minutes will break it.
I take it you never drove to a commuter rail station regularly, or know any that do. Even the times I've biked/walked to scheduled transit, 3-5 minutes would break it. Why would anyone want to sit around waiting for the train? People leave at the same time in his neighborhood because they're trying to catch the same train.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:22 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Good post, interesting perspective on two ways of looking at the concept of neighborhood.

Another thought on the "use of streets' in a residential neighborhood.

Newer neighborhoods have streets designed by traffic engineers for smooth traffic flow.
And that is bad why? Smooth flowing traffic uses less fuel.

Big front setbacks mean the traffic flow is a distance from front door.
Yes. Now tell me where in Colorado you have yards with big front setbacks. The newer the house, the smaller the setback, IME.

They have bigger yards for kids to play in.
See above. Also, the newer the house, the smaller the yard.

The neighborhood was designed with parks and trails or paths to the parks.
And that is bad, why?

Houses have rec rooms, family rooms, big patios and private yards.
Most of the newest houses just have a "great room" instead of separate family rooms, living rooms and rec rooms at least here in CO. The average person doesn't live in a "McMansion".

Driveways might be 20 to 30 feet wide, plenty of room to wash a car and play basketball.
My driveway, as most of the driveways in my neighborhood, is two car-widths plus a few feet for clearance wide.


Most family outdoor time is in private back yard.
And that is bad why?

Things are well defined: my home is my castle, kids play in the yard and streets are for cars & trucks.
Kids can play in the yard, at the park, at the rec center, etc. Do you think kids should be allowed to play on the railroad tracks, too?


Older neighborhoods have narrow streets and intersections every 200' or so.
In some cases. Not all of Denver is laid out like that.

Front setbacks are typically small and traffic is closer to front door.
And that is good why? Is that safer for kids?

Lots are small and house and garage leave little yards.
In some cases.

Parks are not as in grained in the neighborhood.
That is a good thing?

Streets have sidewalks but there is seldom greenways and trails.
And that is good why?

Homes are smaller and more likely to have a functional front porch.
Many have nothing more than a front "stoop".

People spend outdoor time on front porch with eyes on street.
The stereotypical man sitting on the stoop wearing a wife-beater and drinking a beer, the wife inside doing the dishes.

Often no driveway, cars are parked on street (or alley).
This is good why?

Since houses are smaller, yards are smaller, garages and driveways (if any) are smaller,
everthing needs to serve more than one function.
LOL! They're multifunctional but smaller? A garage has to be a certain size to get the car inside. Ditto the driveway has to be a certain width for same.

Cars get washed/fixed in the street, kids learn to ride a bike in the street, kids play in the street.
Older neighborhoods use streets differently, things are less well defined, activities spill into the street.
No parent in their right mind would teach their kid to ride a bike on a city street, no matter how little the traffic. Kids learn to ride bikes on sidewalks, or church parking lots, or somewhere else where there is no traffic. I've never seen anyone washing a car right out on the street in Denver. Some summers you're not even allowed to wash cars at home. You have to go to a car wash where the water gets recycled. I've never seen kids playing in the street in Denver, either.

Many residential neighborhoods devote about one third or more of the land area to streets.
Since we spend so little time actually entering and exiting the neighborhood we have allocated
a disproportionate amount of land to that function. Seems reasonable that residential streets
should serve more than one function. My street is closed twice a year for block parties and once a year for a group yard sale.
We can ask for a street closure in Louisville for block parties and the like.

These are very general thoughts based on my experience and certainly to not apply
universally to "all" newer or older neighborhoods.

Mine in blue.
When I was a very small child, in the early 1950s, the older kids in my neighborhood did play "kick the can" in the street, which was fairly wide, in the evening. My street was the main route to a steel mill two blocks away, and during the day large trucks went up and down the street to and from the mill. You better believe kids were not allowed to play in the street. There's "mixed use" for you. There was a playground right before the mill entrance. When we move to the 'burbs, my brother and a friend would hit wiffleballs in the street sometimes, into the early 60s. However, there was very little traffic then, most families only had one car and the father took said car to work. The guys were also old enough (10 or so) to get out of the way if a car did come along. You couldn't hit a baseball b/c you might send it into the side of someone's house or through a window.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
29,124 posts, read 22,035,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You couldn't hit a baseball b/c you might send it into the side of someone's house or through a window.
Harrier did this a couple times.
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