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Old 02-26-2013, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217

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Here's a form of parking that would look good in any city, and does not push pedestrians off the street


Episode 20: Parking Garage - YouTube

Chuck Marohn of StrongTowns.org comments

A parking garage in downtown Kansas City does not excessively detract from the street life.

(Personally, I am not crazy about the gray exterior. But it beats the outdoor parking lot, consuming all that precious space, and lengthening distances for pedestrians.)
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,708 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
That is because the people that advocate these things don't live in the real world(tm). I suspect many are higher income or childless. In the case of higher income things like zip car are readily available or taxies are abundant.

I live two blocks from a grocery store and walked to it. I had loaned my car out and wanted some items that I had missed in the weekly gocercy shopping. It was quite cold that day, and the store did not have all the items I wanted. If I had driven it would be easy to solve this problem just drive to the other store just 4 blocks down the street. However given that it was like in the teens or twenties and windy and those 4 blocks would increase the distance I had to walk home from 2.5 blocks to 6.5 blocks I did not go to that store. In addition both stores while convenient are not cheap in terms of prices, I could easily burn a gallon or two worth of gas and it would be worth it if I were buying for the week.

Live on top of the barber wouldn't be bad there are worse things. The trouble with apartments esp.
older ones is that the noise. i.e. Work nights and want to hear the upstairs toddler running and playing? In addition where I live apartment buildings can lack laundry faculties so now you need to haul your clothes to the Laundromat and do that without a car or easy parking there! And my own Barber is out of a 10 min walk, without my car it would be a short bus ride (in fact I can think of no barber less than a 15 min. walk away).

Need to carry an infant? try doing that on the bus with the infant and itís stuff (diaper bag ect..) vs. just driving. Need to carry a small child(who can't keep up walking) again driving is better.

Need to carry more than you can hold or an heavy item or bulky item you have bought driving is better.

And this area is the south side of Chicago, while not extremely dense, it is denser than many other places(esp. burbs) in the US.
Exactly, I agree that some of these people are not necessarily living in the real world, or at least the world in which millions of Americans (not all, but many) enjoy their lifestyle. I've been in many "dense, walkable, mixed-use" places, and I've found that its more inconvenient to access a variety of shopping, since driving/parking is inconvenient or expensive...and I'm not taking a bus to Best Buy to pick up a new TV, or the supermarket that I like (which may not be the one in "walking distance") to bring home 6 bags of groceries. People point to delivery services as the answer, but I'd rather not have to wait for someone else to bring me something I can just put in my trunk or back seat and go right home with.

Now, there are people who enjoy the "dense, walkable, mixed-use" format of living, and for them, I say go enjoy it in many of our wonderful cities. If there isn't enough housing there, become a local politician or developer, figure out the local political game and see if you can spur some new development that you think like-minded people would like. There are those who get out there and do things, rather than bemoan about why other people don't share their vision on an internet forum. Instead of trying to convince a couple of strangers on a forum like this by repeating the same tired "arguments" and linking a bunch of similarly-opinionated podcasts, go out and join your local city council...get a civil engineering degree...find a developer willing to work with your plans and make some place cool that you really think people will love. Instead of telling people on the internet that you don't like the parking lot at their local Target, kind of obvious to me which is more effective...lol
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,708 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Btw KeepRightPassLeft, do you really think many people would find a grocery store 2 blocks away undesirable or did you just mean some people don't care much if it's 2 blocks or 20.
Yes, I do believe that a lot of people would find having commercial development within a short walking distance to be undesirable, just as I would expect many people would find it to be the only way that they would want to live. That's why, for people who don't want it (like myself) we have suburban style developments, and for all of those who like walking 2 blocks to the Whole Foods instead, we have plenty of urban areas.

In my own optimal scenario, I wouldn't mind having some convenience store/gas station/7-11 type store within 2 minute drive/10 minute walk of my house, I typically abhor having to walk to the store because driving is quicker, but on a nice sunny day when I have nothing else better to do...the walk to the store could be enjoyable. I'm looking to relocate to suburban Cincinnati within the next few years for work, and many of the apartment complexes that I've looked at are quiet and suburban in nature, however are extremely quick/convenient drive or walk to nearby UDF's (United Dairy Farmers, like their version of 7-11 lol). Of course, commuting would be a breeze too, because all of the complexes I've researched are within a 10-15 minute drive (in "traffic" lol) to the office complex, and a 20-30 minute drive downtown.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,104,114 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Yes, I do believe that a lot of people would find having commercial development within a short walking distance to be undesirable, just as I would expect many people would find it to be the only way that they would want to live. That's why, for people who don't want it (like myself) we have suburban style developments, and for all of those who like walking 2 blocks to the Whole Foods instead, we have plenty of urban areas.
I would argue that there is a real deficit of walkable areas that provide amentites commonly found in auto-centric suburbia. I think there's a real scarcity of this.

PS why does it have to be Whole Foods?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Now, there are people who enjoy the "dense, walkable, mixed-use" format of living, and for them, I say go enjoy it in many of our wonderful cities. If there isn't enough housing there, become a local politician or developer, figure out the local political game and see if you can spur some new development that you think like-minded people would like. There are those who get out there and do things, rather than bemoan about why other people don't share their vision on an internet forum. Instead of trying to convince a couple of strangers on a forum like this by repeating the same tired "arguments" and linking a bunch of similarly-opinionated podcasts, go out and join your local city council...get a civil engineering degree...find a developer willing to work with your plans and make some place cool that you really think people will love. Instead of telling people on the internet that you don't like the parking lot at their local Target, kind of obvious to me which is more effective...lol
Or...
Invest your own money in a place you think has a bright future.
And if you are right, the value will grow as others discover "the virtues" you saw along, and bid the price up.

You don't have to convince anyone. But like-minded people who share your vision, can share in the wealth to. Or simply sit back and watch.

It is still: mostly a free country
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Yes, I do believe that a lot of people would find having commercial development within a short walking distance to be undesirable, just as I would expect many people would find it to be the only way that they would want to live. That's why, for people who don't want it (like myself) we have suburban style developments, and for all of those who like walking 2 blocks to the Whole Foods instead, we have plenty of urban areas.
Fine. Suit yourself. I only really wish you well.
But for those who are interested, I have reason for believing the future of suburban living is not bright. And the omens may even be worse for many (but not all) of the outer ring suburban areas.

Having said that, I have friends whose opinions I respect, who tell me I am crazy to want to live in an urban area - they think it is too risky in TLE sort of future. But I enjoy a respective discussion or debate with them. And want to learn more about what they see as a non-urban utopia.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:22 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,419,189 times
Reputation: 6702
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
[color=black][font=Verdana]That is because the people that advocate these things don't live in the real world(tm). I suspect many are higher income or childless. In the case of higher income things like zip car are readily available or taxies are abundant....
Need to carry an infant? try doing that on the bus with the infant and itís stuff (diaper bag ect..) vs. just driving. Need to carry a small child(who can't keep up walking) again driving is better. ..
For what it's worth, we watch our pennies and my child grew up going on public transportation (bus to his baby checkups, train to daycare, bus to all sorts of other places, and most of our shopping on foot -- much easier to do than with a car, as you can sling your bags over the handles and then just walk home!). I know it's a matter of personal opinion, but I HATE getting a kid strapped into a car. One of the appeals of a compact walkable neighborhood that is also connected to the rest of the metro area via good public transportation is that you don't have to pay for a car. And while I realize that not everyone prefers walkable and compact, it's something that appeals to people beyond just the wealthy and childless.

If someone likes driving-mandatory suburbia, well, there's lots of that to go around. There isn't, however, nearly as many options for those of us who prefer a more "old-fashioned" neighborhood, one where it's safe and enjoyable to walk to what we need. This development wasn't an accident; zoning laws and government decisions contributed, in part through parking requirements, street redesigns intended to speed up traffic through urban areas, etc. Now there is movement to correct some of those mistakes. That doesn't mean that people are trying to come into your average sprawl-ville and forcing the big box stores to rebuild themselves on a main street.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,708 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I would argue that there is a real deficit of walkable areas that provide amentites commonly found in auto-centric suburbia. I think there's a real scarcity of this.
A valid argument, in my opinion...however we do have hundreds of established urban areas in the United States, and I think that redeveloping them into places where like-minded people can enjoy a better, walkable existence can be happy is a very profitable incentive for developers and local governments as well. For example, I work in the Newport-Pavonia area of Jersey City, personally I can't stand it as the parking is expensive and the transit from my house is slow and terrible (also, not riding my bike 18 miles each way lol). The area was redeveloped from a shuttered industrial wasteland starting in the late '80s, and now contains many residential and commercial towers with some retail development on the first floor, decent transit access and minutes away from midtown Manhattan. Rents are a little high, but there are many options once you get a little further from the waterfront, an established residential area which seems to have improved greatly thanks to the nearby development. You can probably live and work here (many of my co-workers do) without a car, or at least without having to drive every day. For me, this environment would be like hell, and that's my opinion, but I can see the desire for a lot of people and I'm glad we're building some places like this so that everyone has a nice place to live.

Quote:
PS why does it have to be Whole Foods?
Ah, sorry, didn't mean to imply anything.. could be any supermarket. Personally, I do tend to see a lot more Whole Foods locations when I'm in Brooklyn or Manhattan compared to Staten Island and the Jersey suburbs where I usually spend most of my time.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
If someone likes driving-mandatory suburbia, well, there's lots of that to go around. There isn't, however, nearly as many options for those of us who prefer a more "old-fashioned" neighborhood, one where it's safe and enjoyable to walk to what we need.

This development wasn't an accident; zoning laws and government decisions contributed, in part through parking requirements, street redesigns intended to speed up traffic through urban areas, etc. Now there is movement to correct some of those mistakes. That doesn't mean that people are trying to come into your average sprawl-ville and forcing the big box stores to rebuild themselves on a main street.
Excellent points - thank you for expressing it so clearly.
I whole-heartedly agree.
There seems to be a rising demand for "more traditional neighborhoods, where it's safe and enjoyable to walk around." This seems to be particularly true for those 30 and under. I'm not in that age bracket, but I appreciate these sorts of walkable, New Urban environments too. And frankly, it surprises me a little that some still chose a car-dependent suburb. But it does not alarm me, since it helps to add liquidity to a market when people have different opinions.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,708 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Fine. Suit yourself. I only really wish you well.
But for those who are interested, I have reason for believing the future of suburban living is not bright. And the omens may even be worse for many (but not all) of the outer ring suburban areas.

Having said that, I have friends whose opinions I respect, who tell me I am crazy to want to live in an urban area - they think it is too risky in TLE sort of future. But I enjoy a respective discussion or debate with them. And want to learn more about what they see as a non-urban utopia.
I strongly believe that it's a matter of the opinions and values of the populace..the United States grew up with a culture of individualism, private property, the whole "lone wolf" idea, and even if the government helps people out to be able to live a pretty autocentric, individualist lifestyle, I'm okay with that. Now there are many people like yourself who feel that the urban lifestyle is the best way to live (for me, it'd be hell lol) and for those of you who feel this way, you have two options...move to an established city and work towards improving the urban lifestyle there to fit your needs....or move to a more blighted, fragmented urban area and help be part of the driving force that gets people back into that city. I'd be willing to bet that in this country, you will still have huge numbers of people who wish to stay and enjoy their suburbia, but for those who don't like it, get out and find your "place" that makes you happy. Go into a struggling city like Detroit, Cleveland or Buffalo and be part of a driving force that could give Portland a run for its money.
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