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Old 01-09-2014, 02:22 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 978,276 times
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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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The links I cited talk about concerns people have about "public perceptions of crime" and becoming " an “uncomfortable and threatening environment,” attracting “loiterers and transients.”" Again, it might be because I'm from the East, but those sound like they could be racial euphemisms.

Well, Britain has a lot of non-white minorities and their communities nowadays too such as Blacks and Asians, which arrived in the 20th century too, and that hasn't been a problem for pedestrian malls there. Let's stop having hang ups about people of different backgrounds mixing. It's the 21st century!
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Ex-ex-ex-urbs
358 posts, read 447,976 times
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The town I grew up near, Kenosha, Wisconsin, did that to three blocks of the main street, 6th Avenue, around 1975 or so. The downtown was dying because the interstate highway was built several miles to the west. Downtown Kenosha used to be very busy and all the stores were there, including Sears, Wards and Penney's. But once the stores started moving out toward the interstate and traffic was essentially taken away decline was inevitable.

So the City decided to try that newfangled pedestrian mall thing, figuring it would draw pedestrians, I guess. But people like to park their cars next to the store, not three blocks away when there's no need for that. What little traffic was left, left.

They finally gave up and tore it out about 15-20 years later. It was too late, but it wouldn't have mattered. Now the downtown is trying to survive on government buildings and boutiques.

But they have done a lot of other nice things and it looks nicer than it ever has in my lifetime.

I'll never forget watching the mentally impaired guys from the halfway house wandering around the mall aimlessly, occasionally standing with their noses against the windows of the shops, mumbling.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:51 PM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,654,079 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?
I don't think it's possible for we Americans to talk about anything that does not inevitably somehow involve our two favourite hot button Race and Automobiles.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Ex-ex-ex-urbs
358 posts, read 447,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I don't think it's possible for we Americans to talk about anything that does not inevitably somehow involve our two favourite hot button Race and Automobiles.
Wisconsin has a couple of fine race tracks, the Milwaukee Mile and Road America. I'm not sure what they have to do with pedestrian streets, though.

Wait.....what?
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,377 posts, read 109,156,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
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.
Some people can find racism in everything. Are you accusing the transit co. of racism?
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,970,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The links I cited talk about concerns people have about "public perceptions of crime" and becoming " an “uncomfortable and threatening environment,” attracting “loiterers and transients.”" Again, it might be because I'm from the East, but those sound like they could be racial euphemisms.

Downtown pedestrian malls were meant to compete with shopping malls. Shopping malls have always had on site security to throw out drunks and homeless people. As pedestrian malls are generally public places, the standards for ejecting people are much higher.
Those sound like euphemisms for drunks, the mentally ill, and the homeless regardless of race.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Ex-ex-ex-urbs
358 posts, read 447,976 times
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In all seriousness, on the question of cutting transit lines because of racism, I would submit that it isn't because they are trying to prevent black or brown people from coming there. It's to prevent gang bangers from coming there. Flash mobs that can rampage a department store in minutes.

Always the few affect the many. It's cheaper to cut service than to increase security. When insurance for businesses goes up, there has to be a choice between sales and overhead.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:05 PM
 
9,864 posts, read 16,438,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbradleyc View Post
In all seriousness, on the question of cutting transit lines because of racism, I would submit that it isn't because they are trying to prevent black or brown people from coming there. It's to prevent gang bangers from coming there. Flash mobs that can rampage a department store in minutes.
Well, it's been racism in the past and I've seen enough racists to know it's racism some of the time now. Not always, though; for instance, there was a lot of opposition to a bike trail where I used to live, and neither race nor gangs were an issue, though some were worried about noisy people coming through. Probably a misplaced concern; there were likely more noisy drunk people on the abandoned rail line before they converted it to a bike trail
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:07 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,996,594 times
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Here in Australia, all of our major cities have at least one pedestrian-only shopping mall in the inner city and they are all very successful and packed with people:

Category:Pedestrian malls in Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and about pedestrian zones in general

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrian_zone

I'm not sure about all the cities and their suburbs but quite a few suburbs of Sydney have pedestrian shopping malls, eg Chatswood, Bankstown, Hornsby to name a few. They seem to increase business rather than take away from it.

Most Australian cities do have good transport links near their malls so that no doubt helps.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:55 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
46,078 posts, read 45,834,896 times
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Here's an article on Australian ones by an American urban planner

Human Transit: on pedestrian malls: look to australia

In Australia, pedestrian malls are utterly routine. I can't think of a major commercial center in any of Australia's major cities that doesn't have one or more pedestrian malls at its core.

One Australian difference not mentioned is one of the downside of outdoor shopping districts mentioned — have to walk out in the weather, isn't really a downside but rather a plus in Australia.
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