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)
 
Old 02-18-2014, 01:40 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
Reputation: 3031

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
Also, IC_delight, you don't need to condescendingly suggest that I didn't read your post. I read it quite well, thank you. I never said that YOU personally think that aesthetics are a benefit of density. Yes, it is quite clear you don't like the aesthetics of more density. You are welcome to that opinion.
who said there was anything aesthetic about densification?

Quote:
When I said "the only benefit of density..." I thought it was clear that I meant "benefit CITED BY PROPONENTS" because I was responding to your claim that all the arguments by proponents boil down to aesthetics. I thought that would just be assumed based on the context of our discussion, but obviously I was wrong.
You said aesthetics was not the "only" benefit of density.
I never stated that there was any benefit to density must less aesthetics.

Moreover, it should be obvious that I would never promote aesthetics as justification for re-working the world. A lot of ugly deeds have been done in pursuit of "beauty".

 
Old 02-18-2014, 01:46 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I talk about "urban fabric" and "walkability" as much as anyone on here and I don't consider myself anti-car. I drive a lot. I simply think trading parking spaces for structures is worth it in many cases. Driving somewhere and then parking on the street has never been a big deal to me.

"worth it" to who?

who is making the trade? are you talking about the car driver deciding to park in a structure or are you talking about "planners" using municipal ordinances to prohibit on street or lot parking so that you have to park in a structure, if at all?

when "urban fabric" gets defined to mean only wall-to-wall buildings and you hear claims that parking lots (or parking at all) "disrupts the urban fabric" then urban fabric is not a variable defined by attributes of the place but rather a definition that means "anti-car".
 
Old 02-18-2014, 01:47 PM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,937,953 times
Reputation: 2150
Let's look at these flaws one by one and see if we really can conclude that the door is shut and that there is no relationship between density and accidents, which seems to be what IC_delight wants us to believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post

A. "We recognize that the fatality data studied are based on the location of a crash, whereas the population density and street accessibility data are based on place of residence, which may be different. To the extent that fatalities occurred during the morning or evening commute, a (reassuring) bias toward the null may exist. In other words, because most commuters who cross county borders live in lower-density bedroom communities and work in higher-density central areas, the traffic fatality rate in urban counties would be inflated relative to the population living there. Using these databases, we could not determine the extent to which such bias, if any, existed. "

Increasing population density in the higher density central areas isn't going to affect traffic fatalities from commutes other than to perhaps increase them. More people on the same roads. (The urbanistas tend to oppose adding or expanding roads)
This flaw is saying that there might be a bias in the study that is inflating the amount of accidents in urban areas relative to population. Yet the study still found that non-urban, low-density areas to have more accidents relative to population. So this flaw does not mean the relationship doesn't exist. It means that the relationship could be shown to be even stronger if the measurements were better defined.

Yes, it is possible that increasing density could just put more people on the same roads, but it is also possible that it could cause a higher percentage of people to defer car trips in favor of walking, biking or public transit. The study's findings suggest that the latter is more likely to the extent that lower density areas had more accidents, that, but it doesn't definitively prove it. More study is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post

B. "Finally, the journey-to-work data used to adjust the pedestrian fatality rates may not accurately reflect the overall amount of pedestrian activity occurring within a given county. For example, some people may not walk to work but may prefer this mode for shopping trips, school trips, and errands. Leisure time walking may be prevalent in sprawling places even if there are no shops, workplaces, or other destinations nearby and people are simply walking for exercise. "

So you can't say that increasing density for leisurely-type shopping activities will decrease fatality rates. You can't say that adding buildings or people will decrease fatality rates. You don't know where the accidents are happening or why.
Again, this flaw doesn't disprove the possibility of the relationship between density and accidents. It just means there should be more precision in future study.

So neither of these flaws render the conclusion "meritless." Injuries and deaths from accidents are still a non-aesthetic objection to sprawl worth exploring.
 
Old 02-18-2014, 01:49 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,197,946 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
when "urban fabric" gets defined to mean only wall-to-wall buildings and you hear claims that parking lots (or parking at all) "disrupts the urban fabric" then urban fabric is not a variable defined by attributes of the place but rather a definition that means "anti-car".
or perhaps it means "pro-people".
 
Old 02-18-2014, 01:55 PM
 
358 posts, read 360,440 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
To look at the ghetto towers presently called condos? To look at the desperate and high in the park? To go shopping at expensive grocery stores? There is absolutely no allure whatsoever to drive to downtown Austin. The "once a year" visits that people might make aren't distributed evenly throughout the year. They tend to occur on event dates which only makes your "on street parking" that much more useless.
Ah, so you reveal that you don't like the aesthetics of downtown! It doesn't please you, so that makes everyone that likes it anti-car elitists.
 
Old 02-18-2014, 02:04 PM
 
358 posts, read 360,440 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Usefulness to who? This probably only means a higher volatility of businesses and greater limitations on the type of businesses that might actually survive.
Usefulness to people who are traveling on foot. They have convenient access to a larger amount of stores if they are clustered together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
No the distance is not any shorter. You must traverse the entire distance to get to your destination store regardless of how many other stores you pass along the way. Having a sidewalk in front of the store does not make the distance shorter.
If I have to walk 50 yards down the sidewalk and then 50 yards across the parking lot, that is longer than if I walk 50 yards down the sidewalk and then enter the building from the sidewalk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
As far as using a shopping mall as an example: If Sears is at the other end, you still have to walk to the other end to get to Sears. It doesn't matter whether there are three shoe stores, 5 jewelry stores, 3 department stores, 20 kiosks, a frame shop, or anything else along the way. The existence and number of these stores has ZERO impact on the distance you will be traversing. You will walk the length of the mall to get to your destination. Let's not forget that you took a car to get to the mall to begin with.
In the mall there is no parking lot that I have to cross once I get to Sears. The mall itself is "Main Street" and I can hop into any store directly from Main Street.

(It doesn't matter if I drove, walked, or took the bus to the mall. That's not the point.)
 
Old 02-18-2014, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,720,175 times
Reputation: 26676
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
"worth it" to who?

who is making the trade? are you talking about the car driver deciding to park in a structure or are you talking about "planners" using municipal ordinances to prohibit on street or lot parking so that you have to park in a structure, if at all?

when "urban fabric" gets defined to mean only wall-to-wall buildings and you hear claims that parking lots (or parking at all) "disrupts the urban fabric" then urban fabric is not a variable defined by attributes of the place but rather a definition that means "anti-car".
I am pro-people, not anti car. Car infrastructure can interrupt the "urban fabric." There is a Safeway near my place, that is situated on an awkward lot in a pedestrian oriented neighborhood. At the edge of the lot is a gas station too. Two streets intersect at about a 45 degree angle, and it is like a 5 way stop.

Street view: http://goo.gl/maps/givBD

So in the course of the intersection and the short block with the Safeway on it, there were like 7 driveways. Maybe more. In addition, there were busy bus stops on each side of the street and another gas station across the street. Combine this with the complicated intersection, and it was a mess.

Safeway is redoing the store, it hadn't been remodeled for decades, and the chief complaint about the store was the number of driveways. Drivers are not going to be inconvenienced if they only have 4 driveways instead of 8, and the they have to drive another 6 feet to exit. But the pedestrian experience will improve a ton, you don't have to worry about safely traversing one driveway, only to find your self in another 10 feet later.

Anyway, the new design fits in with the neighborhood a lot better, will be mixed use and include some sidewalk seating and rooftop parking. It will be a great neighborhood gathering space when it is done. Under construction now.
 
Old 02-18-2014, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,573,101 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
"worth it" to who?

who is making the trade? are you talking about the car driver deciding to park in a structure or are you talking about "planners" using municipal ordinances to prohibit on street or lot parking so that you have to park in a structure, if at all?

when "urban fabric" gets defined to mean only wall-to-wall buildings and you hear claims that parking lots (or parking at all) "disrupts the urban fabric" then urban fabric is not a variable defined by attributes of the place but rather a definition that means "anti-car".
I don't agree with this at all, the key with healthy urban areas is the car doesn't come first in a hierarchy. For a healthy urban area, cars should be under pedestrians primarily, and bikes to some extent.

A parking structure makes it easier to place shops along the sidewalk and then stack several surface lots on top of each other in the shape of a garage. This allows parking and still offers places for businesses to keep an urban fabric intact. Street parking should be used for short term parking, those that need to run into an urban area for short periods of time and garages used for longer term visits.
 
Old 02-18-2014, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Ex-ex-ex-urbs
358 posts, read 416,398 times
Reputation: 725
I think strip malls are great. I work in one. There's a Walgreens next door to my store, a Barnes & Noble across the way with it's coffee shop and a few nice restaurants around the square. Parking is easy and free.

If I need to take the train, the station is two blocks away. The post office is three blocks the other way.

I'm sure from an economic POV the strip mall is much easier on stores than having a storefront on a street. The parking lot and walkways are maintained by the property owner rather than by the stores. Easy access for customers. Again, parking is free and easy.

So, I don't see a problem.
 
Old 02-19-2014, 04:24 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete. View Post
Usefulness to people who are traveling on foot. They have convenient access to a larger amount of stores if they are clustered together.
Do you believe that you save "thousands of dollars" with the coupons in the Sunday paper?
Of course not because you aren't going to be buying all those products any more than you would be shopping at all those stores.

Quote:
If I have to walk 50 yards down the sidewalk and then 50 yards across the parking lot, that is longer than if I walk 50 yards down the sidewalk and then enter the building from the sidewalk.
Your arguments were about increasing density not moving the store. So now you want to move the store too?

By that logic all the stores you want to frequent just need to move closer to you.
For the strip mall in the previous example, you can take the sidewalk to one end of the "L" shape and you still have to walk the length of all the stores to get to your destination. Filling the parking lot with buildings doesn't alter the distance you have to walk to your destination.

Quote:
In the mall there is no parking lot that I have to cross once I get to Sears. The mall itself is "Main Street" and I can hop into any store directly from Main Street.

(It doesn't matter if I drove, walked, or took the bus to the mall. That's not the point.)
Well of course it matters if you drove, walked, or took the bus and that is a point. Are you going to "hop" right back out with your vacuum cleaner, appliances, or whatnot or did you just go to be a lookie-lou? Do you plan to lug your goods to the bus pickup so you can be taken back to your car at the park-n-ride so that you can now get home with what's left of your goods?

Or perhaps because you promote smaller stores solely for the sake of densification, this would be one of those Sears catalog stores where you go look at a catalog and order stuff instead of purchasing it and picking it up due to lack of floor space. You might consider a real Sears store that has things instead of the pretend store on display on "Main Street".

You also still must travel the length of Main Street to get to the store.
The Sears store didn't move to accommodate you.
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.


Closed Thread

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