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Old 03-08-2014, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,331,720 times
Reputation: 3562

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I live on a quiet tree lined residential block and Main Street is a few blocks away. A good situation in my book. We need a new word besides city or urban. For many of us the appeal of the city is mostly wrapped up in transportation options, convenience and access in a people friendly scale. And people keep getting caught up in their definition or perception of a city in terms of building form or density or "problems."
I think walkable is the best term when talking with people who understand what it really means. It doesn't work if someone isn't familiar with the term, because IME people typically assume it means you CAN walk (vs. it's as or more convenient than driving). I like "human scale" too.

Actually, after using terms like walkable, human scale, etc., I think it highlights why urban neighborhoods can be so damaged by highways. If a high speed road that's 4 - 8 lanes wide rips through a walkable neighborhood that's built to human scale, it really disjoints the built environment. On/Off ramps create a much less walkable environment (and for bicyclists). To invert the scenario - It would be like putting a crosswalk across a highway and putting those yellow blinking pedestrian signs, expecting high speed cars to stop if someone starts walking. In other words it completely disrupts the inherent nature of the built environment.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:37 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Sidewalks are examples of car dependency? Why would you say that?
Hey, Eddyline, I'm not saying that,your buds are! Sprawl, like suburbs, is whatever the urbanists say it is.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:39 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Sidewalks say little about car dependency. There could be little or nothing besides other houses in walking distance.
A lot of the pictures posted have been of commercial areas. You've seen them.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,169 posts, read 29,669,595 times
Reputation: 26661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
A lot of the pictures posted have been of commercial areas. You've seen them.
Just having a sidewalk doesn't make somewhere walkable.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:57 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Just having a sidewalk doesn't make somewhere walkable.
No,of course not. The area has to be deemed walkable by some committee of urbanists. A commercial area with sidewalks isn't walkable, a residential area with sidewalks isn't walkable, no place is walkable until it's been officially designated by those with the proper credentials, no matter if people are walking there.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:02 PM
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
45,989 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Ok so why does having sidewalks make a place walkable? I've found plenty of pedestrian unfriendly areas with sidewalks in my experience and I actually do get around without a car often. People have mentioned many other factors, try not ignoring their arguements

Pedestrians need to cross the street, have things in a reasonable distance. I don't understand what sidewalks has to dowith car dependency
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:09 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
No,of course not. The area has to be deemed walkable by some committee of urbanists. A commercial area with sidewalks isn't walkable, a residential area with sidewalks isn't walkable, no place is walkable until it's been officially designated by those with the proper credentials, no matter if people are walking there.
Lol, so true. If you have side walks and busses then you could easily travel much farther and much faster than you would if you just had to walk. They want walkable as in can walk to an coffee house, up scale boutique, over priced green grocery store, ect. Walkable as in can walk to an corner store that sells meat that isn't very fresh, or restaurants that are chains then the committee just isn't impressed.

They want an version of an city that faded a long time ago. In olden days there were lots of stores in walking distance because you needed to shop more often(no refrigeration or freezer), workers needed to eat lunch(without a microwave, lunch would be pretty limited unless the place had an cafeteria. and even then the cafeteria might not be available for all shifts.). People simply could not travel as far to find better prices, quality or even hours.

Once the automobile was invented you could have larger stores that sell more and are further apart. People could buy in bulk and with the loss of industry restaurants and bars that served the blue collar workers often closed. Now what we have are some lucky ones left in gentrified areas and stores attempting to cater to higher income folk who think city living is hip.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:21 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
45,989 posts, read 41,967,271 times
Reputation: 14805
Youre missing the point and tossing irrelevant stereotypes. There have been plenty examples of commercial streets with sidewalks that aren't very walkable.

Your final sentence, that are walkable are limited to gentrified areas may be true in Chicago it is not in the northeast if anything the opposite may be true
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:35 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,563,164 times
Reputation: 4048
The only credential necessary is common sense. Unfortunately, it's not that common these days...
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:59 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Ok so why does having sidewalks make a place walkable? I've found plenty of pedestrian unfriendly areas with sidewalks in my experience and I actually do get around without a car often. People have mentioned many other factors, try not ignoring their arguements

Pedestrians need to cross the street, have things in a reasonable distance. I don't understand what sidewalks has to dowith car dependency
Sidewalks provide a walking path separated from street traffic. There is usually some type of light and/or crosswalk at intersections. As jade408 says, in California every intersection is an implied crosswalk, and I believe that is the law in Colorado and some other states as well.

If one is walking from "Point A" to "Point B", and the quickest way to get there is through "Commercial Area C", what difference does it make if Area C is mostly car dealerships and fast food restaurants and doesn't have coffee shops, street musicians, buskers, bars, movie theaters, etc, along the way? Isn't safe passage the objective?
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