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Old 02-19-2014, 04:35 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,348,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
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.
You continue to prove my point. You use "urban fabric" to mean "wall-to-wall" buildings. You've previously commented that parking lots disrupt or destroy "urban fabric" and insist on excluding them from your definition of "urban fabric" despite the fact that car lots do exist. So instead of being a variable with a value determined/defined by the features of the location, you use the term euphemistically to define how anti-car the area is. What else does your "urban fabric" exclude and how long before "urban fabric" becomes a euphemistic term for eliminating particular businesses, styles of buildings, or demographics of people?

 
Old 02-19-2014, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,894 posts, read 7,654,530 times
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Although I'm not an urban planner, I have used the term "urban fabric" in my educational and professional career. So, here's my take on what it means:

"Urban fabric" is another way of saying "the context of the built environment." When someone says a parking lot disrupts the urban fabric, that's because it's incongruous with the context of the surrounding neighborhood; just like a hole in a pair of jeans is incongruous with the surrounding denim fabric.

For example, strip malls and large parking lots wouldn't disrupt the urban fabric here; they would fit right in:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=board...204.75,,0,7.62
 
Old 02-19-2014, 06:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Although I'm not an urban planner, I have used the term "urban fabric" in my educational and professional career. So, here's my take on what it means:

"Urban fabric" is another way of saying "the context of the built environment." When someone says a parking lot disrupts the urban fabric, that's because it's incongruous with the context of the surrounding neighborhood; just like a hole in a pair of jeans is incongruous with the surrounding denim fabric.
I'm sure the hipsters here will enjoy the analogy to a hole, however your analogy denies function to the hole and is apparently concerned only with aesthetics. Consider that some folks deliberately put holes in their jeans and that you might have to pay a premium for the jeans because of the holes. Finally, the jeans are worn by individuals and are not either a "one size fits all" nor the clothing of choice for all individuals.

Quote:
For example, strip malls and large parking lots wouldn't disrupt the urban fabric here; they would fit right in:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=board...204.75,,0,7.62
Strip malls (including parking lots) are the "urban fabric" in the picture you provided. The urban fabric is defined by all of these features not just by the parts that "aren't parking lots".
 
Old 02-19-2014, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
You continue to prove my point. You use "urban fabric" to mean "wall-to-wall" buildings. You've previously commented that parking lots disrupt or destroy "urban fabric" and insist on excluding them from your definition of "urban fabric" despite the fact that car lots do exist. So instead of being a variable with a value determined/defined by the features of the location, you use the term euphemistically to define how anti-car the area is. What else does your "urban fabric" exclude and how long before "urban fabric" becomes a euphemistic term for eliminating particular businesses, styles of buildings, or demographics of people?
You are trying too hard to make a term mean something that it doesn't. Urban fabric to some extent does mean wall to wall buildings, but to say it exclusively means wall to wall buildings is false.

Putting pedestrians first doesn't mean an area is anti-car, it just means making places for pedestrians, you are still able to drive your car in these places, you will just have to stop for pedestrians, which is the way it should be.
 
Old 02-19-2014, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,894 posts, read 7,654,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
I'm sure the hipsters here will enjoy the analogy to a hole, however your analogy denies function to the hole and is apparently concerned only with aesthetics. Consider that some folks deliberately put holes in their jeans and that you might have to pay a premium for the jeans because of the holes. Finally, the jeans are worn by individuals and are not either a "one size fits
all" nor the clothing of choice for all individuals.
Holes in jeans, if properly designed, can be very functional. (i.e. button holes, pockets, the fly) Some fabrics, like lace, are practically defined by holes. Not everyone likes lace, either. But, the pro-car folks seem to feel that all urban fabric, regardless of type, should be altered to be more like lace, to become more functional for cars. (often to the detriment of functionality for pedestrians)

Quote:
Strip malls (including parking lots) are the "urban fabric" in the
picture you provided. The urban fabric is defined by all of these features not
just by the parts that "aren't parking lots".
I know, that's why I used it as an example of urban fabric that wouldn't be disrupted by more strip malls and parking lots.
 
Old 02-19-2014, 07:24 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,348,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
You are trying too hard to make a term mean something that it doesn't. Urban fabric to some extent does mean wall to wall buildings, but to say it exclusively means wall to wall buildings is false.

Putting pedestrians first doesn't mean an area is anti-car, it just means making places for pedestrians, you are still able to drive your car in these places, you will just have to stop for pedestrians, which is the way it should be.
I'm not trying at all. It excludes parking lots whenever you use it and it's pretty clear that the only pattern in your fabric is end-to-end buildings.

Cars already have to stop for pedestrians - although when pedestrians choose to jay-walk, ignore signal lights, or believe that this is some law of physics rather than a law of man they end up getting injured and being at fault.

The places you describe really aren't open to cars at all. You discourage them with limited "on street" parking that is going to be insufficient in number, metered, and time limited. Your alternative is a garage (only because it fits in with your end-to-end building motif) which is expensive and often inconvenient.

When given choices people avoid the city or at least the "core" in particular. That seems to be a common complaint by people in the urban planning forum - except the planners (especially in this forum) keep coming up with costly, dreamy solutions that are not compatible with reality for the majority of the folks they think they will be reeling in with these proposals.

I seem to recall a prior thread in which you were unhappy that a local store had a parking lot because it "disrupted the urban fabric". The lot provides the function of convenience and access for prospective and returning customers - and fundamentally the lot belongs to the owner not to "planners" . These businesses aren't in business for window shoppers - they are in business to sell products to consumers.

The merchant really doesn't care where you came from or how you got there other than perhaps for marketing purposes if you are buying his products. The merchants in your vision have to rely upon public transportation because the area is designed to discourage cars. The population within 1/10 - 1/4 mile radius (potential walkers) isn't going to be sufficient to support the stores.

These high-density, congested, and difficult to access places are often impractical and encourage folks to do their shopping elsewhere as soon as "elsewhere" is available. When the city realizes the high cost and consequences of the high-density planning agendas, the city tries to stop the exit of sales tax dollars by trying to prohibit growth of "elsewhere". Fortunately, cities have a boundary and can't export their city council mandates and "feel good" ordinances outside the boundaries of the city.

Last edited by IC_deLight; 02-19-2014 at 07:33 AM..
 
Old 02-19-2014, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,894 posts, read 7,654,530 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
When given choices people avoid the city or at least the "core" in particular.
Sorry to focus on one sentence out of your whole post, but it made my think of this Yogi Berra quote, and made me chuckle: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
 
Old 02-19-2014, 08:18 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,937,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post

When given choices people avoid the city or at least the "core" in particular.
Do they if the core is healthy?

Quote:
The merchant really doesn't care where you came from or how you got there other than perhaps for marketing purposes if you are buying his products. The merchants in your vision have to rely upon public transportation because the area is designed to discourage cars.
What if it never had parking lots to begin with? Is that designed to discouraged cars?

Quote:
These high-density, congested, and difficult to access places are often impractical and encourage folks to do their shopping elsewhere as soon as "elsewhere" is available.
How are they difficult to access? The transit system is there for a reason. Back at my parent's home on Long Island I would sometimes go to Long Island because it was rather easy to access, if I was in the boroughs it would be easier. Apparently, in the densest American city, enormous amounts manage to access it?

And wait, if it's congested doesn't that mean lots of people are accessing it?
 
Old 02-19-2014, 08:22 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33058
It's funny that with all the mixed use talk on this forum, some object to a strip mall b/c it doesn't somehow fit in!
 
Old 02-19-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26651
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post

I seem to recall a prior thread in which you were unhappy that a local store had a parking lot because it "disrupted the urban fabric". The lot provides the function of convenience and access for prospective and returning customers - and fundamentally the lot belongs to the owner not to "planners" . These businesses aren't in business for window shoppers - they are in business to sell products to consumers.
I happen to live in a neighborhood with a main street about 1/2 mile away (with a grocery store, CVS, and a bunch of restaurants etc.). Around 1 mile away is a strip mall (with Safeway, CVS, Starbucks, and some shops). And on the other side of the strip mall, about 1/2 a mile away, there is another similar main street. The former albertsons was replaced with Trader Joes and Pharmaca, but otherwise the store mix is relatively similar to my main street.

On my main street, the CVS parking lot is a city lot for the neighborhood. And there is street parking and a couple of paid lots (including lots for the huge Kaiser). The grocery store has a private lot, but they have a sign up that says our lot is fair game for the neighborhood when we are closed. The other main street, the Trader Joes/Pharmaca have their own private lot, and there are 1-2 paid lots. Otherwise it is only street parking.

Here is what is pretty funny. So I have essentially lived pretty close to the strip mall since my college years, as well as in my neighborhood for the past 10. So I have around 18 years of experience with the strip mall if you will. The second main street was only a mile from my college, so in the later years of college, I went there too.

The surrounding neighborhoods for these main streets and strip malls are pretty similar, fairly dense. Although the second main street is less dense than the one I live in.

So in my "18 years" the main streets have had lower vacancy rates than the strip malls. Even though feasibly, anyone who can walk to the main street could walk to the strip mall. (The strip mall surroundings are actually really dense, a mix of 8-10 story buildings and 3-5 story buildings are across the street.). The only commercial corridor doing worse was the strip mall was the auto row, that was a few blocks from main street. But that is a whole separate thing.

Starbucks, which is in the strip mall, actually opened on my main street. This year, Pet Food Express opened a mini store on my main street, and there is a large one in the strip mall. (People complained about the Pet Food express, because it was car oriented in a per oriented neighborhood).

People gripe about the parking situation all the time on the man streets, but the groceries and the CVS are always really busy. And they have been open for years...the grocery store for about 100. And the CVS for 20 that I can account for.

The strip mall is about to be torn down and recreated to be more pedestrian friendly.

So maybe, just maybe, people are willing to put up with the parking "hassles" to be able to walk around on main street. Vacancy rates on my main street are under 10%. The other main street went through a vacancy wave in the early 2000s, at around 18%. But these days it is nearer to 10%, and there are a ton of new things. It has way more turnover than my main street.

The strip mall hovered around 25% and is worse now due to the construction coming soon. But there was a ton of turnover there over the years, besides the Boston Market, Safeway, Payless, Jamba Juice and CVS. (A lot of the strip mall failure could be related to the preponderance of chain stores in an area that hates chains. The new version will have more space for indie businesses too.) People come from all over Oakland (and the neighboring cities) to put up with the parking hassles and visit the main streets for the restaurants and boutiques.
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