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Old 02-13-2014, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
While I agree with your point of view, strip malls with large parking lots are not pedestrian friendly. It isn't the cars, more the distance that the pedestrian needs to walk If from the wrong direction or if the store is way in the middle the whole lot. They also sometimes lack a access to a sidewalk and so a pedestrian is going to either dodge cars coming in and out or walk across some landscaping(assume the place has no fence) to get in. That being said the Automobile has been invented and people are not going to build buildings that do not take into consideration the car and sometimes that means buildings that are not pedestrian friendly. I can think of some strip malls I wouldn't care to walk across, thank god I have a car!
How do you get from your car to the store?

I'll admit, I'm one of those people that always parks out in the sticks as I'd much rather walk across a pedestrian unfriendly parking lot that than pick up even more door dings than I already have. So basically, I walk across usually 2/3 to 3/4 of the parking lot by choice even though I have a car. It never bothers me. The way I figure, if you can't be bothered to walk 1/16th of a mile from the street to the store, you'd never have walked to the store anyway so it's a total non-issue. That's the same demographic that spends several minutes driving up and down aisles and then waits for someone to leave so they can avoid walking for an extra 15 seconds. There's just no way someone who is that lazy would ever walk to a strip mall.

Quote:
There are plenty of ways strip malls can making walking difficult. Narrow entrances that force you to walk where cars enter/exit. Worse, if going between strip malls. As mentioned fences and landscaping can force a circuitous path. Or on roads that are hard to cross, the worst case that it's impractical or unsafe to get to the store on the other side of the street.
I've personally never encountered a strip mall that I would call difficult to walk in. Even most of the older strip malls have been made handicapped accessible so people in wheelchairs can get into them. Admittedly, this is a retrofit, but it would not be particularly hard to go a few feet down. It's true that pedestrians, which make up less than 5% of the customers, are not put front and center on the pedestal. Big deal. I don't see people starting threads about the "Main Street Problem" because cars have to go and park on an offsite parking lot and walk, find street parking a few blocks down and walk. Downtown San Mateo can sometimes be difficult to park in. That doesn't mean there's a "Main Street Problem." It just has different priorities than say Borel Square a few miles away, which is one of the few big strip malls in San Mateo. If it's a problem for you, don't go there. That's usually the approach I take with, say, the Haight in San Francisco. It just isn't convenient by either transit or car so I don't go. It works for plenty of other folks though, so I'm not so completely self-absorbed to actually think it should be torn down so I can have a parking garage built for me.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.5881...3Qn9FhoynA!2e0

 
Old 02-14-2014, 06:31 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post

I've personally never encountered a strip mall that I would call difficult to walk in. Even most of the older strip malls have been made handicapped accessible so people in wheelchairs can get into them.
Handicapped accessible is for handicapped customers in cars, who park right by the entrance.

You didn't really address my points, and the rest of the point was a bit of a tangent. That's really strange you've never encountered a difficult strip mall to walk in. I've encountered many. I suppose if you mean not impossible to walk in, then I guess that makes sense. It's a huge pain to get from a store from one side to the other:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wendy...239.57,,0,2.28

If I'm remembering correctly, to get from the Verizon Store to the adjacent store is a barrier of landscaping. To get from one strip mall to the other, crossing the road is difficult:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Paner...98.77,,0,-2.65

not going there is hard, if that's most of the businesses in the neighborhood. Plus, they're generally eyesores, but it seems like other posters idea of ugly can be rather different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
You posted a rather pedestrian friendly example for a strip mall with large stores, a lot of those stores have pedestrian connections to the sidewalk and don't have the barrier problem I described. Not really what I was talking about.
 
Old 02-14-2014, 07:26 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
There are plenty of ways strip malls can making walking difficult. Narrow entrances that force you to walk where cars enter/exit. Worse, if going between strip malls. As mentioned fences and landscaping can force a circuitous path. Or on roads that are hard to cross, the worst case that it's impractical or unsafe to get to the store on the other side of the street.
If the entrance is wide enough for a car, it should be wide enough for a pedestrian! I can think of a few examples of the latter on busy highways. The strip malls I'm familiar with all have pedestrian sidewalks in front of the stores.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=villa...ed=0CAcQ_AUoAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
How do you get from your car to the store?

I'll admit, I'm one of those people that always parks out in the sticks as I'd much rather walk across a pedestrian unfriendly parking lot that than pick up even more door dings than I already have. So basically, I walk across usually 2/3 to 3/4 of the parking lot by choice even though I have a car. It never bothers me. The way I figure, if you can't be bothered to walk 1/16th of a mile from the street to the store, you'd never have walked to the store anyway so it's a total non-issue. That's the same demographic that spends several minutes driving up and down aisles and then waits for someone to leave so they can avoid walking for an extra 15 seconds. There's just no way someone who is that lazy would ever walk to a strip mall.


I've personally never encountered a strip mall that I would call difficult to walk in. Even most of the older strip malls have been made handicapped accessible so people in wheelchairs can get into them. Admittedly, this is a retrofit, but it would not be particularly hard to go a few feet down. It's true that pedestrians, which make up less than 5% of the customers, are not put front and center on the pedestal. Big deal. I don't see people starting threads about the "Main Street Problem" because cars have to go and park on an offsite parking lot and walk, find street parking a few blocks down and walk. Downtown San Mateo can sometimes be difficult to park in. That doesn't mean there's a "Main Street Problem." It just has different priorities than say Borel Square a few miles away, which is one of the few big strip malls in San Mateo. If it's a problem for you, don't go there. That's usually the approach I take with, say, the Haight in San Francisco. It just isn't convenient by either transit or car so I don't go. It works for plenty of other folks though, so I'm not so completely self-absorbed to actually think it should be torn down so I can have a parking garage built for me.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.5881...3Qn9FhoynA!2e0
Agreed.
 
Old 02-14-2014, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Handicapped accessible is for handicapped customers in cars, who park right by the entrance.

You didn't really address my points, and the rest of the point was a bit of a tangent. That's really strange you've never encountered a difficult strip mall to walk in. I've encountered many. I suppose if you mean not impossible to walk in, then I guess that makes sense. It's a huge pain to get from a store from one side to the other:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wendy...239.57,,0,2.28

If I'm remembering correctly, to get from the Verizon Store to the adjacent store is a barrier of landscaping. To get from one strip mall to the other, crossing the road is difficult:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Paner...98.77,,0,-2.65

not going there is hard, if that's most of the businesses in the neighborhood. Plus, they're generally eyesores, but it seems like other posters idea of ugly can be rather different.



You posted a rather pedestrian friendly example for a strip mall with large stores, a lot of those stores have pedestrian connections to the sidewalk and don't have the barrier problem I described. Not really what I was talking about.
I think that mostly depends on your definition of difficult more than it does anything else. Since I park in the back end of strip mall lots and walk through them anyway, I suppose I just don't see anything difficult about it. It takes 15 seconds and I save on door dings. It's an easy trade for me since walking for 15 seconds is not hard or difficult or strenuous or daunting or insert other word to describe such a lengthy walk.

Unless they're parking on the street in a no parking zone, it's for handicapped people who might be arriving via transit. I have no idea why I handicapped person in a wheelchair would illegally park on the street to make use of a wheelchair accessible ramp. I really don't.

And no, I would say those strip malls are not at all in any way shape or form difficult to walk in. They're actually easier than most. What would be difficult is walking to the strip mall due to the road design and lack of sidewalk. But that looks like pretty rural area, and often those are lacking in pedestrian amenities. I don't know why anyone would be surprised at walking being a bit inconvenient in rural areas. They'res not a whole lot of people to spread extensive infrastructure amongst. Your second example looks like a typical strip mall area. It's not hard to walk through either. As an urban comparison, many cities have created midblock pedestrian walkways so you don't have the inconvenience of having to walk all the way around a block. A block is generally longer than the detour one would have to make to the street at a strip mall (although it does depend, the new strip malls are very, very large). To me the absence of a pedestrian midblock walkway doesn't mean a place is difficult to walk in or pedestrian unfriendly. It may to someone else. I don't know.
 
Old 02-14-2014, 08:47 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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I think that mostly depends on your definition of difficult more than it does anything else. Since I park in the back end of strip mall lots and walk through them anyway, I suppose I just don't see anything difficult about it. It takes 15 seconds and I save on door dings. It's an easy trade for me since walking for 15 seconds is not hard or difficult or strenuous or daunting or insert other word to describe such a lengthy walk.
The difference is you're just walking in a strip mall parking lot rather than to a strip mall, or between them. For entering, if the entrance is on the road (your example had a pedestrian walkway, not something I've seen much of) and it's busy, you'll walking through cars entering and exitting in a rather narrow space, so who may be turning rather quickly. And going between strip malls could involve a long detour through multiple parking lots, which adds up more than just one parking lot walk. Your posts seem focused on just walking within the strip mall parking lot.

Quote:
Unless they're parking on the street in a no parking zone, it's for handicapped people who might be arriving via transit. I have no idea why I handicapped person in a wheelchair would illegally park on the street to make use of a wheelchair accessible ramp. I really don't.
I thought you meant handicapped parking spaces, that makes more sense.


Quote:
And no, I would say those strip malls are not at all in any way shape or form difficult to walk in. They're actually easier than most. What would be difficult is walking to the strip mall due to the road design and lack of sidewalk.
If you mean within the strip mall, I guess they're fine. That wasn't what I was referring to. I've walked in both and found them pedestrian hostile. The second one, yes from the road design.

Quote:
But that looks like pretty rural area, and often those are lacking in pedestrian amenities. I don't know why anyone would be surprised at walking being a bit inconvenient in rural areas. They'res not a whole lot of people to spread extensive infrastructure amongst. Your second example looks like a typical strip mall area. It's not hard to walk through either. As an urban comparison, many cities have created midblock pedestrian walkways so you don't have the inconvenience of having to walk all the way around a block. A block is generally longer than the detour one would have to make to the street at a strip mall (although it does depend, the new strip malls are very, very large). To me the absence of a pedestrian midblock walkway doesn't mean a place is difficult to walk in or pedestrian unfriendly. It may to someone else. I don't know.
The first example may be surrounded by rural land, however it's one of the biggest shopping areas for the rather large college town and on a rather congested road. Older development was mainly focused in and around town centers It does get pedestrians, if only because there's a large population of carless students. And yes, I'd consider the lack of a midblock walkway means it could be pedestrian unfriendly if only because, it forces pedestrians to make large detours.
 
Old 02-14-2014, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,763,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Though strip malls are quite ubiquitous in Los Angeles and probably one of the things it is best known for along with traffic and palm trees, they are quite different in form and function than the ones being shown in this thread.

Typically the strip malls are much smaller in nature, and sometimes are more like traditional "main street" commercial which has just been pushed back behind a 20-30 space parking lot. Often they actually pack in more businesses than typical street facing retail, and about 1/3 to 1/2 of the time they are two+ stories. They don't usually feel all that sterile, and get a decent chunk of business from foot traffic. However, they are hideous as it gets, and will stop pickier "urbanists" from walking to them because it has been found that people prefer to walk more in areas that look walkable.
There's a few multi storey "strip malls" here too.

http://goo.gl/maps/v2JJL
http://goo.gl/maps/n9qaK
http://goo.gl/maps/BgjIq

These ones seem to actually have residential (others office) above, mostly a feature of 50s vintage GTA suburbia.
http://goo.gl/maps/tFtwk
http://goo.gl/maps/GfZGZ
http://goo.gl/maps/N72cw
http://goo.gl/maps/JOfLv

You also have the mini-strip malls in Toronto's core that are also similar to LA's.
http://goo.gl/maps/fjVtf

And the neighbourhood plaza strip malls
http://goo.gl/maps/b5XiU
http://goo.gl/maps/oM30C

The one near where I grew up is bigger. It has a pretty pedestrian friendly entrance.
http://goo.gl/maps/RiRlD
There's also a back entrance so that pedestrians don't have to go all the way around (as is often the case elsewhere) if they're coming from local streets.
http://goo.gl/maps/haj6R

I think there's no inherent reason why strip malls should be as pedestrian hostile as some of the ones shown here (it seems like the ones out East are worse than those in the West and Canada). Kind of like how there's no inherent reason why inner city schools would be worse than suburban ones. Of course strip malls in autocentric settings are likely to have parking lots out front, if the parking lots were at the back (plus some on street) like it often is on main streets, most customers (those arriving by car) would likely have to go all around the mall to get to their store so the back is likely to become functionally more like the front since that's where most customers will enter.
http://goo.gl/maps/N2f99

Anyways, a lot of these suburban strip malls are on big high speed arterials. I think I'd rather walk along a sea of immobile parked cars than along a sea of high speed roaring traffic. I don't think walking across strip malls is that bad, much of the walk can be along the sidewalks that line the stores, and even whatever distance you have to walk across a parking lot, the drivers know they should watch for pedestrians (often walking from their cars) and cars backing out of parking spots so they drive slowly and carefully, at least in my experience.

I say this as someone who got honked at a few days ago by a driver while I was walking along the side of a parking aisle because apparently 3/4 of the aisle wasn't enough for her giant SUV... but you'll occasionally encounter idiots on the sidewalks too, not much you can do about that, it's not like I felt my safety was threatened.

It's true that there are strip mall parking lots that are often a waste of space though. My city has a mall downtown with parking lots that take up almost as much space as all the main street buildings. The one next to my university gets probably 80%+ of its customers walking from the university and student housing surrounding it, and its parking lots seem to be mostly filled with cars illegally using it as university parking. The standard suburban parking lot can be said to "waste" space too, although there's plenty of other space "wasted" in the suburbs anyways.
 
Old 02-14-2014, 10:29 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
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this is one of the few double-decker strip malls I've seen

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=pizza...04.59,,0,-1.66
 
Old 02-14-2014, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
5,483 posts, read 3,916,921 times
Reputation: 4057
My biggest problem with strip malls is when there are a bunch of them in a fairly small area. I find them ugly from an aesthetic point of view; a community with lots of them runs the risk of being thought of as ugly as a whole. (I suppose that's because that if one is driving around, or even riding on a bus, their eyes are on strip malls a good deal of the time, due to their horizontal nature. The brain thus is filled with lots of individual images of strip malls).
 
Old 02-14-2014, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Northeast
1,887 posts, read 1,794,319 times
Reputation: 3737
Many strip malls in my area have a second level used for office space and MANY are under construction now within
the route 128 corridor is MA. I find it fascinating that there is so much interest in strip malls.

The ones currently under construction are being built for maximum energy efficiency..a good thing for the owner or prospective tenant..
And of course the "green space" which IMO are nothing but a car wrecker..

Some under construction are close to massive apartment complexes, so it's viable folks could walk to em..but being out there
every day, I don't see people walking to the strip malls or any place in general. Some bikers..I guess that's suburban living
at it's finest. Especially living in a harsh environment, where the winters (like this year) are nasty..

Urban planning and such i think is a good thing for new communities with pleasant weather year round, but around here...if the shoe doesn't fit, don't where it..
 
Old 02-14-2014, 12:25 PM
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
45,990 posts, read 41,998,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brienzi View Post

Some under construction are close to massive apartment complexes, so it's viable folks could walk to em..but being out there
every day, I don't see people walking to the strip malls or any place in general. Some bikers..I guess that's suburban living
at it's finest. Especially living in a harsh environment, where the winters (like this year) are nasty..

Urban planning and such i think is a good thing for new communities with pleasant weather year round, but around here...if the shoe doesn't fit, don't where it..
Yet people walk outside fine in Boston, don't see how the weather makes much of a difference.
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