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Old 01-08-2014, 06:11 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,568,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Not going to argue over the meaning of the word "anchored" but I read the link to mean a medium size college town, not that the pedestrian mall was attached to the university. After 30+ years downtown Boulder I disagree with you as to the impact of the university on the downtown economy. The students and faculty bring a lot of energy and money to Boulder. All those restaurants and bars don't stay in business from family dinners and business lunches, the late night bar crowd pays the bills. And the number of students that came to Boulder for school and never left is huge. And many or most of the employees in those bars, restaurants and shops are students. College towns have a different feel and energy than most equal size cities.

Your other two points I agree with.
It would be nice if you could buy a pair of shoes or some real clothes there. I have sufficient kites, kitchenware, and the like. I do like the Boulder Bookstore.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:31 PM
 
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The pedestrian mall concept spread like wildfire in the 1970's. But it died out, just like platform shoes, bellbottoms, disco dancing and other fads from that era.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
3,582 posts, read 5,309,036 times
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Actually the pedestrian district in Winchester, VA is the most interesting place in town:

Get A Look At Old Town Winchester - Old Town Winchester | Old Town Winchester
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:07 PM
 
152 posts, read 328,971 times
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Washington st./winter st. downtown Boston is a perfect example of pedestrian streets being awesome! Haha I think they should add more PED only streets in the area.
I'm not arguing that PED only streets are good for growing cities/ urban planning but I think this location is perfect and is busy with people everyday
Downtown Crossing Photos
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:56 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
This honestly does not surprise me. One caveat to consider though (discussed in the first link), is pedestrian malls were historically designed to approximate shopping malls, not European-only pedestrian streets. Often cities tried to put them in areas with few residents in walking distance (downtown, for example) and/or surrounded them by moats of parking. They may be more successful in small cities, and in university settings, because there is typically much more natural foot traffic in said areas.

Basically, you can't have walkable without mixed-use, for the most part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I don't have a good answer to this. Perhaps the U.S. racial paranoia in the mid/late 20th century played a role in why pedestrian-only streets failed? Most successful ones I know of are in smaller towns which have relatively low minority (particularly black) population.
Thinking about your suggested reasons, the Fulton St pedestrian mall violates them in interesting ways. It's in Downtown Brooklyn (a weird downtown with more residents than workers), but has plenty of residents (100,000 in walking distance). Except most of the clientle is not from the local residents. The local residents are white, but for the last few decades the customers have been mostly black. Racial paranoia initially led to the mall catering to blacks? Whites seemed prefer to a short subway ride over to Manhattan for shopping rather shop right nearby.

Not attracting white people doesn't make it a failure, of course. There are a plenty of black customers, north Brooklyn contains the largest black community in the country. By sales volume, it's one of the busiest shopping streets in the city and must be the highest volume pedestrian mall in the country. Some European tourists visit it for bargain shopping.

The main reason it has bus transit running through is by having bus transit it could be considered a transportation corridor and be eligible for federal transportation funds. The city was near bankruptcy at the time so that was the only way it could fund it. Rather creative...

As for a moat of parking, while the Fulton Street mall is very pedestrian friendly and both sides lined with shops many nearby blocks are full of parking garages and a bit of a pedestrian dead zone. Nothing too horrible, but it seemed putting all the retail and pedestrians along one corridor resulted in empty spots nearby. Ithaca's pedestrian mall has a similar pattern where the adjacent roads to the north and south are arterials rather devoid of shops but with a number of garages.

==============================================

The only one in Manhattan is a part-time car-free zone. The street is so narrow is kinda irrelevant whether cars are allowed on it, the lack of car traffic seems natural. I think the city is trying to retail on that street.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Nassa...227.79,,0,2.38
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:05 AM
 
1,128 posts, read 1,520,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey92 View Post
Washington st./winter st. downtown Boston is a perfect example of pedestrian streets being awesome! Haha I think they should add more PED only streets in the area.
I'm not arguing that PED only streets are good for growing cities/ urban planning but I think this location is perfect and is busy with people everyday
Downtown Crossing Photos
Ever actually been there? DTX is not a good example of how to do a Pedestrian Mall, and it doesn't usually look like that. It's usually quite barren and probably one of the least inviting, least safe feeling, and least pleasant places to be in Boston, due to a variety of issues.

Newbury St, is full of cars, yet, is far, far better in every way.

That isn't to say that adding cars would make DTX "better", but you would be hard pressed to find many people in Boston that think DTX is an example of how to do it "right".

Some things have changed in the past 5 years, but many of the points made by posters in this thread are still right: removing Downtown Crossing's pedestrian mall
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
I've been involved in several urban projects that shut down a street and took former auto space and made it into people space.
Not all of these included shopping or restaurants. I'm only making the distinction because the thread title is misleading in that it is about "downtown pedestrian shopping malls" that "almost always fail".
Okay, I admit I made the title a bit more general, because I wanted to get more discussion in the thread.

When you talk about "pedestrian streets" which aren't pedestrian malls, what do you mean? Are you talking merely about turning streets into parkland, or actually having houses front on a walkway rather than a street? The latter is more ambitious, but outside of a few alleys in cities in the Northeast, I haven't heard about it being done anywhere. The former is just plain old greenspace.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,234 posts, read 23,662,203 times
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Pedestrian-only streets are the norm as far as shopping streets in the UK are concerned.

A couple from my city (pop. around 650,000 - around 1.5 mil in the metro area):


PT12_12782 by paulwyi73, on Flickr


Farmer's Market - Briggate by lazygamer, on Flickr

We don't have the car-dependency culture as seen in the US though.

Last edited by dunno what to put here; 01-09-2014 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:38 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,954,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Oh, for God's sake! Talk about "correlation does not equal causation". So people were willing to shop in a regular downtown with other races but not at a pedestrian mall?
Good catch. I was reading quickly and had skipped over that section until you put it in bold. If a city is filled with people that are racist, I can't imagine why their racism would then extend into which type of mall they would share with other people. /mindboggled. Living in a city with so many racists you have to think about it must be awful
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
Good catch. I was reading quickly and had skipped over that section until you put it in bold. If a city is filled with people that are racist, I can't imagine why their racism would then extend into which type of mall they would share with other people. /mindboggled. Living in a city with so many racists you have to think about it must be awful
Actually this is a lot more common than you think. Even impacts bus routes. In many places there is an intentional plan to eliminate transit to shopping centers, particularly from certain neighborhoods, to keep certain people out. I have seen stories on this in Atlanta and plenty of other metro areas.

For example, locally they recently switched the bus routes. There is one trunk bus that basically runs through the worst part of town, to a nearby city with lots of big box shopping. The old route actually ran into the "shopping center." There are 2, and it encompassed a grocery store, target, best buy, ikea, movie theater (2 actually). About 60 stores were at the end of the bus route.

Right before the Target opened, they cut about 1 mile off the route. That one mile was basically all of the stores. It ends at the grocery store, but Target is 1/2 mile down the road, and there are no public buses there. The only transit option is now the free shuttle run by the business improvement district.

As far as I recall, the bus stops near the stores were quite busy, and the route also runs until midnight, so technically the "kids" could easily see a movie, have dinner and still take the last bus.... now transit sucks to these shopping centers, and the only way to go is to drive...... We have our theories on why the buses were rerouted this way...

I have also hear controversy about another nearby suburb blaming shoplifting on bus riders to the mall (which is obviously so unlikely as the bus only runs once every 30 minutes.) Are shoplifters really going to hang out for 30 minutes with their stolen goods in plain site? Come on, criminals have cars and will travel.
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