U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,102,108 times
Reputation: 12647

Advertisements

Who was it that mentioned the FHWA has been really focused on pedestrian safety since the '70s? Again, it's not a new emphasis. It's an increasing emphasis. Under MAP-21 especially safety and intermodal has just become more important than ever. It's not green crayons on maps that's going to get projects funded. It's real data. Where are pedestrians being hit and how have similar projects in the past reduced it.

A Summary of Highway Provisions - MAP-21 - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century | Federal Highway Administration

It's just on an entirely different level than closing a street for a few hours to have a street festival. There's nothing at all wrong with street festivals. They're fun. I'm more interested in the other 364 days of the year and the other 99% of roads that aren't closed as far as safety and road design is concerned.

The GWB, the most heavily traversed bridge in the country, gets closed every year for the GWB challenge. It's a fun event. It also gets partially closed by Chris Christie's staff because a lot of Democrats live there, which isn't fun. The GWB also has a pedestrian/bike walkway. It could use some improvements there, but that puts it ahead of most bridges. Try getting from Oakland to San Francisco on a bike. Can't do it. That's a problem. Closing the Bay Bridge to all vehicles so you can ride around on it for a few hours a year will do nothing to change that for the other 364 days and some odd hours of the year.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,394 posts, read 59,890,532 times
Reputation: 54037
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
It is a matter of perspective. CicLAvia reclaims the street for non-car uses, turning it into a public space for a short period of time.
Big deal. This happens in cities all over the country.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Interesting diction, jade.

As long as we're clear that by reclaim you mean close; that you're aware that streets were always public spaces. It's odd diction but we'd be in agreement. I'd simply say they closed the streets to cars for a short period of time to hold a street festival/other use (cycling race, marathon, parade, madman in a car). If you want to define closing streets to cars (and horses before them) to be an "open street" because we're hold a special event, that's fine. It's not a new idea to close streets for special events.

There's lots of Ciclovia-inspired events in the US. LA was pretty late to the party. I wouldn't really call it an "opening of minds to new uses."
Ciclovía - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nothing wrong with it at all. It's just not a novel idea to close streets for special events. Adaptive use, perhaps. Most people like adaptive use.
I know there are lots....we have some too.

I don't think we see streets as "public" spaces. We see them as spaces for cars. If you look at how we allocate the street space, 75% is for a car use, whether it is road travel or parking. The rest (sidewalks, plazas, sidewalk seating) is for non drivers. "Open streets" change that ratio.

Cars aren't really a "public" use. They are private boxes on wheels. You don't interact with the "public" while you are in your car. So I don't think that car space encourages public usage or interaction. These street "closures" are opening up the streets for more public interaction. And they key difference is the scale. A street fest is still typically a few blocks. LA is closing Wilshire for 3 miles.

I think it is "important" when it happens in LA. Since LA is about as "american" as you can be when it comes to car usage. As they saying goes....no one walks (or takes transit) in LA.

It isn't a surprise to close streets in any city. It is surprising to have those closers extend more than a mile on a regular basis (i.e. the cities that have these Open Streets things on a predictable schedule for a several months or longer). It is even more surprising in a city that is know for a robust driving culture, it is downright shocking.

LA is not the first, but it is a very visible symbol.

**ATL does it too. We will see what lasting changes are happening there, maybe there are, I don't know.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:11 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
Reputation: 14810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post

The street was always open to pedestrians, they just had to share it with cars.
Not really, the pedestrians are on sidewalks except when they're crossing the street. If you look at early 20th century photos of city pedestrians, pedestrians are in the street rather than relegated to the side. Of course, that would make it impossible for car traffic to move any speed much above walking, but they're certainly not sharing. Bicycles are sharing space with cars, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
As far as this being something "new", Boulder, Colorado has been trying to get people out of their cars for at least the last 40 years. The successes have been modest, at best. Boulder has one of the highest, if not THE highest, car ownership rates in Colorado, about 1 car per resident, meaning many have >1 car each.
I don't think closing the street to cars or increasing the space for pedestrians requires less car ownership.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:13 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
Reputation: 14810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
The GWB, the most heavily traversed bridge in the country, gets closed every year for the GWB challenge. It's a fun event. It also gets partially closed by Chris Christie's staff because a lot of Democrats live there, which isn't fun. The GWB also has a pedestrian/bike walkway. It could use some improvements there, but that puts it ahead of most bridges. Try getting from Oakland to San Francisco on a bike. Can't do it. That's a problem. Closing the Bay Bridge to all vehicles so you can ride around on it for a few hours a year will do nothing to change that for the other 364 days and some odd hours of the year.
As a side question, do you know why the Golden Gate Bridge closes one its walkway at times rather than just leaving both open? LOL@ the bolded.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Who was it that mentioned the FHWA has been really focused on pedestrian safety since the '70s? Again, it's not a new emphasis. It's an increasing emphasis. Under MAP-21 especially safety and intermodal has just become more important than ever. It's not green crayons on maps that's going to get projects funded. It's real data. Where are pedestrians being hit and how have similar projects in the past reduced it.

A Summary of Highway Provisions - MAP-21 - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century | Federal Highway Administration

It's just on an entirely different level than closing a street for a few hours to have a street festival. There's nothing at all wrong with street festivals. They're fun. I'm more interested in the other 364 days of the year and the other 99% of roads that aren't closed as far as safety and road design is concerned.

The GWB, the most heavily traversed bridge in the country, gets closed every year for the GWB challenge. It's a fun event. It also gets partially closed by Chris Christie's staff because a lot of Democrats live there, which isn't fun. The GWB also has a pedestrian/bike walkway. It could use some improvements there, but that puts it ahead of most bridges. Try getting from Oakland to San Francisco on a bike. Can't do it. That's a problem. Closing the Bay Bridge to all vehicles so you can ride around on it for a few hours a year will do nothing to change that for the other 364 days and some odd hours of the year.
I agree....but like I mentioned with Time Square, the one day closure snowballed into a permanent closure, with excellent results. I think the "open streets" open up a really good venue to try out new street configurations and see how they work. Like how PARK-ing day leads to Parklets....

Sometimes, you just need some time to shift your perspective to get new ideas...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:19 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not really, the pedestrians are on sidewalks except when they're crossing the street. If you look at early 20th century photos of city pedestrians, pedestrians are in the street rather than relegated to the side. Of course, that would make it impossible for car traffic to move any speed much above walking, but they're certainly not sharing. Bicycles are sharing space with cars, though.




I don't think closing the street to cars or increasing the space for pedestrians requires less car ownership.
I don't think people buy these cars, trucks, SUVs etc to let them sit in their garages. A huge car ownership does imply a lot of driving.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: The City
22,339 posts, read 32,187,488 times
Reputation: 7744
why not just build more roads...

maybe drive through retail everywhere

or maybe close to streets for more parking, could be like tail-gaiting when the streets are closed
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:28 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
Reputation: 14810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I don't think people buy these cars, trucks, SUVs etc to let them sit in their garages. A huge car ownership does imply a lot of driving.
One could have a car mainly for going out of town (true for myself). And closing a few street doesn't mean that it's inaccessible to cars, just that one has to park a couple of blocks away. Or just not use your car for a few places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I don't think people buy these cars, trucks, SUVs etc to let them sit in their garages. A huge car ownership does imply a lot of driving.
This editorial summed up my feelings on depending on driving quite perfectly:
The Evolution of Driving in America - Kaid Benfield - The Atlantic Cities

Quote:
Countrary to the enviro stereotype, I like cars and I like driving. Those who know me well know I'm telling the truth and, if you're looking for a purist manifesto, you’ve found the wrong guy. In fact, maybe it's my 1960s North Carolina upbringing, but I like nice cars and have always managed to have one, thank you very much.

What I would not like, though, is being dependent on a car for every single thing I need or want to do. I also like public transit when it's working well – I've literally met some of my best friends while on public transportation – and I frequently use it for commuting. I love walking places, especially city places, and generally manage my daily chores other than commuting on foot. And I'm passionate about bicycling, too, though I ride for fitness, not everyday transportation. I guess you could say that I'm a multi-modal kind of guy, and I feel lucky that my living conditions allow me to practice a life of transportation-by-choice.
Giving up space to pedestrians doesn't mean we are saying "no one can ever drive again."

We just want to give the option to choose not to drive sometimes......

Driving for fun, not necessity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top