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Old 02-06-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,061 posts, read 16,070,870 times
Reputation: 12635

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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.
Vintage pics of NYC kids playing in open fire hydrants (which you're still allowed to do) | 22 Words

Largely we've just improved other public spaces such that there's better options today. If you live where I do it's almost impossible to live a mile from a park, half a mile is more likely the farthest distance. The neighborhood kids are often playing on the street, be it football, basketball, riding bikes around. There's also the park that is like two blocks from my house.

Sidewalks are also part of the street from a design standpoint. Busy streets with fast moving traffic really should have sidewalks. Sometimes that gets taken too far. You see that especially with bike lanes. Sometimes I do not ride in the bike lane for a variety of reasons. Along the Embarcadero in SF it's too crowded with joggers and tourists on beach cruisers so I just ride in a lane with the cars. I haven't had a problem in San Francisco with that, but the presence of bike paths (or even sidewalks) creates an attitude of ownership of the road.

There was that video of DC? where a cyclists vehemently screamed and yelled at cars. Some of them were illegally using the bike lane to double park, that's legitimate. Most of them, however, were doing what they were supposed to. They were entering the bike lane well back from an intended turn so as to avoid a right-hook scenario. That particular bicyclists, however, was ignorant and felt that he had ownership of the bicycle lane and that cars were never allowed in it. That's a two-way street. Sometimes putting up concrete barriers and painting lines telling people where they belong back fires on you.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:46 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
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.
Oh, come on! Yeah, a car for going out of town, and another for driving in town, and maybe another specifically for driving in the mountains. You don't have >1 vehicle unless you're doing a lot of driving. After all, car ownership is expensive, as many on this forum are constantly telling us. The streets of Boulder give ample evidence that people are driving their cars a lot. I don't think I ever said (in this thread) that Boulder has closed off any streets to cars, though it is true Pearl Street is a pedestrian mall for a few blocks. What I said is that Boulder has only had modest success at getting people out of cars after 40 years of trying, and that car ownership is high there.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,061 posts, read 16,070,870 times
Reputation: 12635
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
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...
On the other hand, most pedestrian malls in America have failed. Sacramento doggedly stuck to it for years to its pedestrian mall. There was a similar amount of hoopla about cars returning to the K Street 2 1/2 years ago. Not much really changed. Very few people drive there, the area is still pretty much dead and mostly used by the homeless and the State employees who work there.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:54 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
This editorial summed up my feelings on depending on driving quite perfectly:
The Evolution of Driving in America - Kaid Benfield - The Atlantic Cities



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.
Frankly, although I made read the links people put up from Atlantic Cities for entertainment, that's all it is, IMO. The author is a lawyer. Nothing wrong with that, some of my best friends and all that. But really, do you get legal advice from an urban planner? Why take urban planning advice from a lawyer.

And who's this "we" Kemosabe? Is this some "us vs them" thing? That's how these posts come off.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,328,925 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Malloric already responded to this conspiracy language, so I'll just say, I agree with him.

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.



Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm just saying, the premise of the article was "silly". As far as the US "finally starting to push in that direction. . ", see above.
I never said this was a completely new trend. It's just speeding up and getting more legs...there's more push and support behind it now.

While there may be a good amount of car ownership in Boulder, it has been changing over the years. These things tend to speed up once they hit a tipping point too, so it will be an interesting decade:

The Open Streets Movement-bouldertransitshare.jpg

Quote:
Over the entire study period, the proportion of all trips made by driving alone has shifted 8%,
about half of which occurred in the early 1990s. In 2012, SOV trips accounted for about 36% of
all trips made by Boulder residents, down from about 44% in 1990. Transit trips have more than
doubled over that same period, increasing from less than 2% in 1990 to about 5% in 2012. Large
gains were observed in the proportion of trips made by bicycle over the previous 2 decades, from
9% in 1990 to 19% in 2012.
https://www-static.bouldercolorado.g...1305291129.pdf

Don't worry though, there'll still be plenty of roads with parking in the future.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:42 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,193,007 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
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.
Was discussing this the other day, I rarely use my car in town, it is mainly for going out of town.
In Colorado a lot of recreation is 10-50 miles away so it does get used, just rarely in town.

My town closes down its main downtown street quite often for all types of events (3 to 5 blocks).
The local shop owners claim those are their busiest days because of all the pedestrian traffic.

I'm not sure why some people think having public events on public streets is a conspiracy to take their cars away?
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
On the other hand, most pedestrian malls in America have failed. Sacramento doggedly stuck to it for years to its pedestrian mall. There was a similar amount of hoopla about cars returning to the K Street 2 1/2 years ago. Not much really changed. Very few people drive there, the area is still pretty much dead and mostly used by the homeless and the State employees who work there.
I think "pedestrian mall" is tricky to pull off in the US, for a lot of reasons. A, most are not "organically created" they are owned by a private developer tasks with creating a public space. And of course, in most cases, you have to drive over to the pedestrian mall. Obviously, that isn't really that fun or convenient.

I have spent little time in Sacramento, but I was there a few weeks ago and walking around the Capital on the weekend. I also strolled around many of those downtown apartments. It was dead. Even in those apartments that would have been in walking distance of the pedestrian plaza. Sacramento has lots of other problems, there really isn't anything near hat plaza to generate foot traffic.

But on the other hand, I don't know if you saw this interesting study on the success of Oakland's art murmur in the surrounding business district:
Report: Oakland First Fridays Benefit Restaurants and Vendors, Not Galleries | Culture Spy | East Bay Express

So basically, it has a been a "fail" for the artists. But the arts started a new Saturday walk to lure the real buyers. It just got way too crowded for the serious buyers. But on every other level, it has been a huge success for the neighborhood. Most importantly, vacancies in the area changed from like 40% to 17% in about 2 years. That stretch has been a dead zone since around 1996 or so...so it is huge to see all the new businesses opening up in a sketchy part of downtown.

My takeaway is really that you need some programming to make it work. Telegraph won't be a pedestrian plaza anytime soon, but the city is working on a proposal to reallocate the street space with wider sidewalks, bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes. And the First Friday programing (where the streets were closed for about a mile at the peak every First Friday) really woke people up to the potential of the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Frankly, although I made read the links people put up from Atlantic Cities for entertainment, that's all it is, IMO. The author is a lawyer. Nothing wrong with that, some of my best friends and all that. But really, do you get legal advice from an urban planner? Why take urban planning advice from a lawyer.

And who's this "we" Kemosabe? Is this some "us vs them" thing? That's how these posts come off.
I wouldn't call that planning advice. I like that Atlantic Cities publishes thoughts from a wide range of sources. That was just commentary on our priorities.

You can join in my "we" if you like. It isn't an exclusive club. I think a lot of people think fairly similarly to the way i do, so I use "we" instead of "I." I don't know many "theys" besides the crazy Tea Party people who come out in full force at our planning meetings and act really rude (interrupting any speaker or organizer who doesn't agree with them, with bullhorns). Those people are definitely theys. (And I am totally fine if they have a different perspective, but acting like a brat and throwing a temper tantrum when you are over 2 or 3 definitely puts you in the brat category.).

**In case you need a good laugh: here is some coverage about the yelling. And yes, I did witness a "tea partier" calling anyone who dared to disagree with them "a B**** and told them to ****. I wish I was joking. Protest disrupts regional planning meeting in Santa Rosa | Watch Sonoma County
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:49 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Was discussing this the other day, I rarely use my car in town, it is mainly for going out of town.
In Colorado a lot of recreation is 10-50 miles away so it does get used, just rarely in town.

My town closes down its main downtown street quite often for all types of events (3 to 5 blocks).
The local shop owners claim those are their busiest days because of all the pedestrian traffic.

I'm not sure why some people think having public events on public streets is a conspiracy to take their cars away?
I was talking about people owning more than one vehicle!

I don't think anyone mentioned any conspiracy to take cars away. Did they?
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Was discussing this the other day, I rarely use my car in town, it is mainly for going out of town.
In Colorado a lot of recreation is 10-50 miles away so it does get used, just rarely in town.

My town closes down its main downtown street quite often for all types of events (3 to 5 blocks).
The local shop owners claim those are their busiest days because of all the pedestrian traffic.
I think it is great when people have the option to live this way!
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,366 posts, read 59,807,408 times
Reputation: 54006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
I'm not sure why some people think having public events on public streets is a conspiracy to take their cars away?
Where did you read that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think "pedestrian mall" is tricky to pull off in the US, for a lot of reasons. A, most are not "organically created" they are owned by a private developer tasks with creating a public space. And of course, in most cases, you have to drive over to the pedestrian mall.
Except that the bulk of pedestrian malls were refashioned downtown neighborhoods, accessible by public transit. Oh, well, thar blows another baseless, knee-jerk assumption ...
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