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Old 09-25-2015, 08:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Right, but the later suburbs are, almost always, neither close enough nor with a comfortable/safe enough route to walk or bike. This is simply a function of an auto-centric built form--two-car garages, wide arterials, lots of parking--reinforcing itself because these features tend to discourage walking and biking and encourage driving.

So, again, I ask which is ultimately superior for the health and well-being of a family, having an area where driving is the norm and a necessity or one where it is safe and comfortable and proximate enough to walk or bike to amenities?
Maybe people are tired of being told "what's best for them". Surely the family can decide that for itself. Seems to me many have.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
What?! How on earth is that unfounded? Compare two opposite ends; a neighborhood where most everyone lives in 1/2+ acre lots and businesses well separated from residences. And one where the residential densities above 15k/sq mile (either single family homes on very small lots or quite of multifamily dwellings mixed in) and commercial not that separated. In the first, almost all probably get around by car; it would be very difficult for most to otherwise. The second, less so.



Heavier traffic is slower traffic. Maybe not necessarily, but it's more likely to.
The speed limits in my suburban city are 25 mph in the residential areas, 30 mph on feeder streets with no houses fronting them, and there are a couple of 40-45 mph arterials. The speed limit on Main Street (the main thoroughfare) is 25 mph. Speed limits in Denver and Boulder are similar. In fact, in Boulder there's been a big and I do mean big brou-ha-ha about "right sizing" a major north-south arterial in the downtown shopping area to make it safer for bicyclists. It was brought up that the cars go to fast. Finally, after much foolishness, the mayor said maybe they should enforce the speed limit.

Today: Boulder staff recommends scaling back much of Folsom 'right-sizing' project - Boulder Daily Camera

Many more if you wish to search the archives.

ETA: In the city, there is also a lot more traffic, period. Bumper to bumper stopping and starting at 25 mph can be a challenge to navigate, even for an experienced adult biker, let alone a child.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:10 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
The speed limits in my suburban city are 25 mph in the residential areas, 30 mph on feeder streets with no houses fronting them, and there are a couple of 40-45 mph arterials. The speed limit on Main Street (the main thoroughfare) is 25 mph.
I was talking about the actual speed of traffic, not the speed limit. If the traffic is heavy and congested, it's not reaching the speed limit.

Quote:
ETA: In the city, there is also a lot more traffic, period. Bumper to bumper stopping and starting at 25 mph can be a challenge to navigate, even for an experienced adult biker, let alone a child.
It's usually less challenging than suburban arterials going at 45 mph at least in my experience. Cities typically have less congested, quieter side streets parallel. Sububarn areas often have decent alternates as well. Each area is different, but I've found bicycling often gets worse as you get out of the city.

But I thought your post was about walking not bicycling.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I was talking about the actual speed of traffic, not the speed limit. If the traffic is heavy and congested, it's not reaching the speed limit.



It's usually less challenging than suburban arterials going at 45 mph at least in my experience. Cities typically have less congested, quieter side streets parallel. Sububarn areas often have decent alternates as well. Each area is different, but I've found bicycling often gets worse as you get out of the city.

But I thought your post was about walking not bicycling.
Oh, but sometimes it is!

darkeconomist was talking about both. I would not want to send young children walking through a sea of cars, either. in the "wherever" you'll probably have sidewalks (as in most suburban cities in the west, as well), but you may have to cross a busy street. There has been research done that kids can't judge speed until about age 10.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I don't think these affect biking much. Walking, yes, because walking is miserably slow and to make it practical to walk to all amenities you have to have them all (and all the housing) within a 1 mile circle or so. This isn't true even in most major cities.


It's not a major factor.
People don't like to spend time as cyclists riding alongside 40 or 60 MPH traffic on arterials. Nor do they generally enjoy navigating parking lots. As either cyclists or pedestrians, we're squishy sacks of flesh without much protection and, whether some of the members of this forum will admit it or not, pedestrians and cyclists have an aversion to areas designed for and in use by cars because the pedestrian and the cyclist are in a weak position in such locations. The cyclist on a roadway lives or dies based upon drivers exercising due care; the pedestrian's safety depends on both parties being attentive to their situation.

As to your other response, I didn't ask if it was a factor. We here all know by now that schools and apparent (if not actual) safety are the top concerns for parents nationwide. But I didn't ask about factors in deciding where to live. I asked if, given the choice between two built forms, one designed for the car and one designed for pedestrians and cyclists, which would be superior for a family.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
People don't like to spend time as cyclists riding alongside 40 or 60 MPH traffic on arterials. Nor do they generally enjoy navigating parking lots. As either cyclists or pedestrians, we're squishy sacks of flesh without much protection and, whether some of the members of this forum will admit it or not, pedestrians and cyclists have an aversion to areas designed for and in use by cars because the pedestrian and the cyclist are in a weak position in such locations. The cyclist on a roadway lives or dies based upon drivers exercising due care; the pedestrian's safety depends on both parties being attentive to their situation.

As to your other response, I didn't ask if it was a factor. We here all know by now that schools and apparent (if not actual) safety are the top concerns for parents nationwide. But I didn't ask about factors in deciding where to live. I asked if, given the choice between two built forms, one designed for the car and one designed for pedestrians and cyclists, which would be superior for a family.
That supposes there has to be one best way. Why not leave it up to people to decide what they like best? Just from my anecdotal experience the answering overwhelmingly seems to be the car. The families I personally know in San Francisco all greatly increased their car usage once the children came along. In my experience even in San Francisco when the kids coming along, car usage goes up among those who remain. Most people find it better to leave San Francisco when they have a family so that's a pretty small group with an unusual preference and even among them the car becomes much more important by and large. But yeah, car-centric seems to be the superior choice for most families.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
That supposes there has to be one best way. Why not leave it up to people to decide what they like best? Just from my anecdotal experience the answering overwhelmingly seems to be the car. The families I personally know in San Francisco all greatly increased their car usage once the children came along. In my experience even in San Francisco when the kids coming along, car usage goes up among those who remain. Most people find it better to leave San Francisco when they have a family so that's a pretty small group with an unusual preference and even among them the car becomes much more important by and large. But yeah, car-centric seems to be the superior choice for most families.
Exactly what I was thinking as I rode in the car. Too hard to answer w/my phone. Now I'm at a better computer. You're giving a false dichotomy, darkecon. If you would take the time to "smell the roses" in a residential area of a nearby suburb, you'd probably find lots to walk or at least bike to; e.g. a grocery store which in the burbs is almost always in a strip mall with other retail and often a non-chain restaurant ( or some restaurant anyway. Almost every neighborhood has a park in walking/biking distance.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:31 PM
 
9,524 posts, read 14,881,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
People don't like to spend time as cyclists riding alongside 40 or 60 MPH traffic on arterials. Nor do they generally enjoy navigating parking lots.
I thought we were talking about density here, not arterials or parking lots. Lots of people don't like to ride down the avenues in Manhattan (despite the protected bike lanes), and that's as dense as it comes in this country.

Quote:
As to your other response, I didn't ask if it was a factor. We here all know by now that schools and apparent (if not actual) safety are the top concerns for parents nationwide. But I didn't ask about factors in deciding where to live. I asked if, given the choice between two built forms, one designed for the car and one designed for pedestrians and cyclists, which would be superior for a family.
Probably the one designed for the car. Because it's so hard to get a family (especially with young children) anywhere walking or on bicycles.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:34 PM
 
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Really? Since when is cycling considered inappropriate for children?
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Really? Since when is cycling considered inappropriate for children?
Up to parental decision. If you had kids, you might be a-okay sending your 8-year-old out riding in Manhattan streets. I suspect most parents, however, would feel much better about their 8-year-old riding around on their bike around the block after school here than they would in Manhattan, however.
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