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Old 04-05-2014, 07:19 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
Reputation: 33083

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I don't know of too many sidewalk cafes that aren't on a main drag. That's my experience. Vilify it all you want, but it doesn't change it.

The constant moving of goalposts and changing of definitions in this thread has been quite irritating.
Agreed on all counts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Goalposts, shmoalposts. It's a big country, and easy to find examples of sidewalk cafes on busy or quiet streets, parks that are on busy or quiet streets, and people who like one or the other, or both under different circumstances.

Of the half-dozen Sacramento city parks that I posted, all are of the tree-lined variety, with varying levels of concrete coverage but all with at least some grass, in part as a response to a specific climate (our one experiment with concrete hardscape and no tree cover, the K Street pedestrian mall, was a huge flop in part because concrete with no shade gets hot enough to fry the proverbial egg.) Some are busy (or, during free concerts, very busy) and others are relatively quiet--but they both have uses, and often appeal to the same people at different times. Those folks might enjoy a loud nightclub one night, or a quiet cafe another; or a bustling street fair in one park, or a solitary stroll among the trees in another (or the same park on a different day.) The secret to cities is variety and choice, there is no single best way to do things!
What ohiogirl81 said about sidewalk cafes. I don't know of any in Denver that are not on major city streets. If Sacramento has some tucked away in residential neighborhoods where no one sees them, so be it.

Secondly, as our "thread owner" says, parks are not town squares. Or, not all parks are town squares, just like all whiskeys aren't Wild Turkey. (Or something like that.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Antwerp is one of the European cities I am really fascinated with when it comes to their squares. They have a number of them throughout the city. This is the Grote Markt Town Square, it is the location of the Town Hall and the Church of St Peter. In the European sense, it incorporates all sorts of things, but still manages to put pedestrians first.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grote_Markt_(Leuven)

https://www.google.com/maps?ll=51.22...158.88,,0,1.32
Yes, aren't all those bricks lovely? Who needs trees? Chop 'em down! I happen to have been there. I told my nephew, a landscape architect, not to move to Europe. There's no need for his field over there. Just pave/brick it over and stick up a statue. I was not impressed.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,544,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Agreed on all counts.



What ohiogirl81 said about sidewalk cafes. I don't know of any in Denver that are not on major city streets. If Sacramento has some tucked away in residential neighborhoods where no one sees them, so be it.

Secondly, as our "thread owner" says, parks are not town squares. Or, not all parks are town squares, just like all whiskeys aren't Wild Turkey. (Or something like that.)
I take it you don't know anything about bourbons. ALL whiskeys are bourbons, but not all bourbons are whiskeys. It is common knowledge when it comes to bourbons.


Quote:
Yes, aren't all those bricks lovely? Who needs trees? Chop 'em down! I happen to have been there. I told my nephew, a landscape architect, not to move to Europe. There's no need for his field over there. Just pave/brick it over and stick up a statue. I was not impressed.
Yes, that is what a town square is. What you are looking for is a tree lined park. Those serve a different function than town squares. If you think landscape architecture is just trees and grass, then you don't know much about landscape architecture.

European cities were built before the era of tree filled parks, town squares were commonly found around churches and town halls for people to gather for public events.

If you need grass and trees that would be found in a park, you would go here.
https://www.google.com/maps?ll=51.21...232.49,,0,9.28

Oh look, trees and grass found in the middle of an old European city, and here I thought you said they didn't exist....I am sure your nephew was well aware you were wrong about there not being any landscape architecture in Europe.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:48 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
Reputation: 33083
A number of other people on this thread think that parks can function as "town squares". You are absolutely alone in thinking they can't. Even your fellow urbanist wbug speaks glowingly of the parks in his fair city.

No, I don't know a lot about whiskey. I'm not much of a drinker.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,544,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
A number of other people on this thread think that parks can function as "town squares". You are absolutely alone in thinking they can't. Even your fellow urbanist wbug speaks glowingly of the parks in his fair city.

No, I don't know a lot about whiskey. I'm not much of a drinker.
I agree, parks can function as town squares....but not all parks are town squares.
By the way I LOVE PARKS!!! Just so we are clear, parks are amazing, and they are important to have in every city, but this thread isn't called "parks," it is called "town squares."

Last edited by nei; 04-05-2014 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: bickering
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Having a town square flanked by really busy traffic isn't too pleasant, but slow moving traffic isn't too disruptive. Speed and street design are critical,in determining the comfort of the people on the street (not in a car).
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Or we can make cities more pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly to reduce the need for auto traffic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I don't know of too many sidewalk cafes that aren't on a main drag. That's my experience. Vilify it all you want, but it doesn't change it.

The constant moving of goalposts and changing of definitions in this thread has been quite irritating.
I find most in my city are on main drags with low speed limits. None on 45 mph streets. They are on 25 mph streets. Also more walkable streets.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:42 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
No, I don't know a lot about whiskey. I'm not much of a drinker.
I'm drinking a beer right now.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:36 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I find most in my city are on main drags with low speed limits. None on 45 mph streets. They are on 25 mph streets. Also more walkable streets.
Most downtown streets in most cities have 25-30 mph speed limits. Although I do see some Starbucks, etc in shopping centers on streets with higher speed limits. But the shop itself is in a (gasp!) parking lot.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Most downtown streets in most cities have 25-30 mph speed limits. Although I do see some Starbucks, etc in shopping centers on streets with higher speed limits. But the shop itself is in a (gasp!) parking lot.
Well I think Starbucks is a special case as their goal is to be a 3rd place. But the speed limit in the parking lot is way less than 25.

I work on one of those busy pseudo highways. It's no surprise the street is devoid of sidewalk seating. But perpendicular blocks do have sidewalk seating. Facing the busty street directly (without a parking or grassy median buffer) is very rare for a thriving sidewalk cafe or dining.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:09 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I don't know of too many sidewalk cafes that aren't on a main drag. That's my experience. Vilify it all you want, but it doesn't change it.
Well, you're going to get: you need to get out more.

Here's one local, I could search and find more:

https://maps.google.com/?ll=42.31893...201.11,,0,1.28

do a turn and you'll find another. Even the main Drag isn't always that noisy. Some traffic, but it's not that fast moving nor wide:

https://maps.google.com/?ll=42.31701...,172.6,,0,1.46

But not all commercial roads are equal. I've eaten here:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Prosp...9,,0,1.28&z=16

I still found it too much traffic, but it was nice to be out. The road isn't that wide, and a bit slow going as a through street. One block away would be a horrible spot for a sidewalk cafe:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=4th+A...9,,0,3.75&z=15

It's obviously noiser. Note both avenues have a speed limit 30 mph [if the traffic is clear, I go about 40 mph on 4th, can't go anywhere near that on 5th] , though the average traffic speed isn't the same. It's a better place for a drive-through. Unfortunately, the local block-long park there borders both avenues. No idea how loud it gets inside the park. However, I'd guess the side facing right near the busier road is less pleasant to be in. Not very different from a sidewalk cafe. Here's a photo of that park on a Sunday morning:



Think there was a farmer's market going on. No one else brought up sidewalk cafes before your post, and it wasn't the topic of the thread, so I don't know if these "quieter" examples count as quiet enough for you. I don't really get what you were trying to argue. Less traffic noiser than more traffic noise, at least when possible. What exactly is the hypocrisy? For large parks, I expect than much more free of traffic noise than either, I expect them to be more natural.

I made a bunch of examples of quieter vs noiser streets on a post on another thread, I don't know why that got no response but this back and forth on sidewalk cafes was so interesting:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/34231697-post69.html

Quote:
The constant moving of goalposts and changing of definitions in this thread has been quite irritating.
A bit. I haven't been following too carefully, a lot of it reads like forum noise, as if people are just trying find ways to argue with each other (not just you, but most of the people here) for its own sake than say anything interesting. Rather tedious. Half of this thread was making an argument for its own sake. Let's argue for four pages whether a small park counts as a town square, by doing little more than
contradiction, find ways to call out someone for hypocrisy on things that aren't part of the thread for saying "I don't like traffic noise".
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