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Old 04-01-2014, 09:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
What are some differences?
Eastern PA is much older, the towns are older and laid out differently, e.g. with town squares. The east is separated from the west by a mountain range. The west is more Midwestern looking, more grids (though Philly has a grid).
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:28 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Eastern PA is much older, the towns are older and laid out differently, e.g. with town squares. The east is separated from the west by a mountain range. The west is more Midwestern looking, more grids (though Philly has a grid).
I assume I'd find eastern PA more familiar. One thing I noticed in streetview is even the smallest eastern PA cities tend to have rowhouses. The oldest parts of eastern PA cities have grids:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Allen...vania&t=m&z=13

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lanca...vania&t=m&z=14

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=york+...vania&t=m&z=15

Not as consistent as maybe some of the midwest and west, but a lot more than New England, where grids are almost entirely absent. Some New England towns have "town squares" others don't.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
3000psm is not nearly dense enough. There's tons of suburbs in Northern New Jersey with that kind of density, and it isn't really practical to live without a car in most of them. The places where it is practical tend to be more like 10,000ppm and above.

I live in such a suburb. The nearest train station is 3 miles away. It's a LONG walk, I've done it. Not a bad bike ride... if it weren't for the 400+ foot elevation change. But hey, only 2 miles to the grocery store, or a 1.1 mile walk and a 20 minute bus ride..
You can't live without a car in Northern New Jersey because the transit system, especially rail transit, is very poor. The region is basically built around the car, even though the area would be dense enough to handle transit.

Portland is a little over 4000psm and they handle transit in the city just fine, so it is possible with good planning and an adequate transit system.

Why isn't there a train station closer than 3 miles to you? Is the grocery store 2 miles or 1.1 miles? Why isn't there a grocery store closer? Many of these things can be accomplished at 3000psm or more quite easily, it just requires planning.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Denver has

Civic Center Park, which functions as a timeshare doublespeak, but the eastern towns have actual squares. I'll post some pictures when I'm not on my kindle.
Please do when you get the chance because I am not sure I understand what you are saying, I have seen town squares on the east coast and they look similar to what can be found on the west coast.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:58 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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
And how many people can get to Bay Ridge on a straight shot on the R? That's not being realistic. Anything that involves a transfer (which is most places in Brooklyn) is going to take significantly longer. If you're making that same trip from Flatbush or Bed-Stuy, it would save you a ridiculous amount of time to just drive there. The advantage of the car is that it beats transit from practically any starting point (which for most people is their front door) whereas transit can only compete with cars under very specific conditions.
I chose it because it's a trip I've done several times. Plenty of trips are clumsy without a car, however, if you don't go frequently from a neighborhood at one of the borough to another, a car may not be worth it. This Brooklyn trip takes about twice as long without a car ignoring parking and non-jammed traffic, but if it's an occasional thing it could be tolerable (did this trip by subway one way, then going back past midnight guy I was with was: we're taking a cab):

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=O...nsit:2&start=0

Another more general scenario: you walk to a nearby shopping area where the stores don't have their own parking. After you're done and need to go elsewhere (where there's a direct transit connection) instead going back to your car, why not just catch the transit line running on the street?
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Really, how do you suggest doing such? They're all up and running now. Aren't any new ones being started that I know of.

Regarding town squares:
What is a Town Square? (with pictures)

The only place I've seen true "town squares" is in eastern Pennsylvania, a different breed of cat altogether than W. PA.
I have seen strip mall infill lately.

Here is a mini case study.
See a strip mall become a neighborhood in White Flint - Greater Greater Washington

They are actually just about done with a similar project in Sunnyvale California. I think it is called the Sunnyvale Town Center. A decade ago it was a regular enclosed mall. Now they have added housing and walkable shopping.

The best opportunity for development these days is infill and repurposing. How many cities have former borders or Circuit City or Good Guys or Expo Design Centers floating around?

As for the town square? It doesn't have to be a literal square . Older cities had all of the main stuff organized around one. It could just as easily be a train or transit center. Something that people need to or want to go to regularly.

Last edited by jade408; 04-01-2014 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,268 posts, read 18,809,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
That was a thorough post! However, most of those choices are grade separated (such as the bus 110) so that's why transit is almost comparable.
It's not thorough, everything is stated on that public transport software, and it's one of the most visited sites in Helsinki. I just copied it. Really convenient, you only have to state your departing and arriving destination, and the software finds the most convenient or fastest method of travel. That lowers the threshold of using public transport tremendously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Your own timeline indicates your trip took well over 45 minutes; over an hour in fact.

If I were to leave right now for a destination that's 13 miles away, it would take at least an hour under the most ideal circumstances if I used public transportation -- and this in one of the best mass-transit cities in the USA. Or I could hop in my car and be there in half the time or less.
45 minutes if I don't miss the first train. But I know that the situation is very different there, and public transport can't be competitive here either if it takes much longer than by car. But we have a lot of single-lane streets, bus lanes, parking especially in the center is super expensive, it's something like $5 an hour. And, the city administration sometimes desynchronize the traffic lights just to make driving uncomfortable. So, today only 40% of households in Helsinki have a car. And simply, the city can't manage more cars.

And my intention with my post was not to say "look how good we are, copy us", but if US cities would start with well-synchronized bus lines to core areas, that could already help a lot. Start from there and let's see what happens. Of course, the situation in the US vs Europe isn't comparable, I know that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
He starts at 9:20. His last connection leaves at 10:16. Do the math. Unless that last leg is less than 5 minutes his trip takes over an hour.
No, no. 9:20 was just the time when I started writing that post. Sorry for the confusion. But yes, maybe an hour if it takes 15 minutes to walk to the station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I think the over an hour is if he misses the first train. Also why does the bus terminal not at a train station, that lowers the convenience a lot.
It can't fit there. There's hundreds of bus lines. Some local buses depart from the railway station, while the bus terminal is also for intercity connections.

Railway station:




Bus terminal:


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Old 04-02-2014, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,544,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
https://www.google.com/search?q=bloo...w=1760&bih=856

https://foursquare.com/v/chambersbur...e028944/photos

Greencastle and Waynesboro have town squares, too, but I can't find any decent pictures.

I was saying these squares are not like Civic Center Park.
Those are just fountains in the middle of the road. Not really a model one would want to repeat. Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland is much more of a town square than these fountains.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:34 AM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,862,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
It's not thorough, everything is stated on that public transport software, and it's one of the most visited sites in Helsinki. I just copied it. Really convenient, you only have to state your departing and arriving destination, and the software finds the most convenient or fastest method of travel. That lowers the threshold of using public transport tremendously.



45 minutes if I don't miss the first train. But I know that the situation is very different there, and public transport can't be competitive here either if it takes much longer than by car. But we have a lot of single-lane streets, bus lanes, parking especially in the center is super expensive, it's something like $5 an hour. And, the city administration sometimes desynchronize the traffic lights just to make driving uncomfortable. So, today only 40% of households in Helsinki have a car. And simply, the city can't manage more cars.
Locally the situation in Chicago where Drover and I are from can be summed up as two different worlds. The CBD (the loop, downtown) and the rest of the city(excluding maybe Gold Coast, River North and Lincoln Park). The parking situation in the CBD is similar in cost though you can get discounts that could lower it to around $200 a month if you arrive before 7 or need night time parking. The CBD lacks free parking and even finding an open meter can sometimes be hard.

Outside the CBD parking is usually free or if there is an employee lot there might be an optional charge included in the paycheck but it isn’t hundreds a month. On the street parking may or may not be metered or restricted depending on area.

The only single lane roads are residential streets. Most thoroughfares are two way streets(one lane going each way) and an spattering of larger one way streets(two lanes) in the CBD. Some thoroughfares are two lanes in each direction not the mention the expressway system(limited access 3-6 lanes in each direction speed limit hardly enforced of 55MPH).


Lights are mostly not synchronized or if they are synchronized they are for traffic flow about 70% of households own cars in Chicago and outside of a few hot neighborhoods there is still plenty capacity.

For trips to the CBD during rush hour public transit can manage to hold it’s own, elsewhere and at other times not so much. Also because there is so much traffic heading around the town, public transit can win if the trip if from burb to the CBD.

Last edited by chirack; 04-02-2014 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,243,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
. . . And, the city administration sometimes desynchronize the traffic lights just to make driving uncomfortable . . .
If that's true, that is genuinely obnoxious.
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