U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-07-2014, 08:07 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33058

Advertisements

They're all commercial streets.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-07-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,148,414 times
Reputation: 7738
^^ Catherine? A commercial street? ok...

this is the commercial street for the neighborhood a few blocks away

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9412...aodofrinlQ!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9414...IcvfmSrC6A!2e0

This is Catherine feet away from my post

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ph...f514d88c3e58c1

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9379...enAxt5tyMw!2e0
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 08:13 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
45,987 posts, read 41,937,844 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
They're all commercial streets.
The first one is more residential than commercial. Outside of that corner, there's not much commercial. The second one in some directions isn't that commercial anyway. In any case, I wasn't sure what exactly "main drag" referred to. Then again, how much commercial do you need for a street to become commercial?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 08:24 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
45,987 posts, read 41,937,844 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Oh, good Lord. By your very own definition, a town square must be in the center of town ... where you will likely be hard pressed to find any highway type roads or anyone moving 45 mph.
Sounds reasonable to me. Not sure what's puzzling about that.

However, while town squares aren't normally by 45mph roads or highway type roads, in some center city areas there are still rather wide and noisy roads. For example here, this is just in a city neighborhood not a downtown area:


Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
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:

Though the latter link I guess counts as a highway-type road, that small park is next to it. Manhattan is worse than most places, but a lot of its public squares are adjacent to very noisy roads even if not that high speed:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Union...341.73,,0,1.56

London is much better at being quiet. One thing I really like about London is you get all the amnetities of a big, dense city, as well a high pedestrian volume and good walkability but together with plenty of quiet low car-trafficed streets. Take a look at Leciester Square. It's surrounded by pedestrian only streets for one block in any direction:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Leice...,95.64,,0,1.06

Images appears to be taken around sunrise, which since it's summer in England, is before 5 am which is why it looks so sleepy. Another another in the city center, Golden Square looks rather nice and cozy:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Leice...36.65,,0,-0.21

small streets next to it. This one is noisier but has more trees:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Leice...208.89,,0,4.67

Parliament Square gets liberal protestors:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Leice...,275.59,,0,6.3

another nice one in the financial district. Trouble with grassy ones is they often fence the grass off to preserve the grass:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Leice...84.89,,0,12.82

Speaking of protestors, who could forget Zucotti Park. A bit dismal in comparison to the London ones.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Zucco...4.19,,0,-12.46

Last edited by nei; 04-07-2014 at 02:26 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,329,932 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
They're all commercial streets.
No, that's what a mixed-use street looks like
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,728,729 times
Reputation: 30796
The reason the European squares are heavily paved in large cities is because they used to be market spaces with intensive use by man and draught animal. Could you imagine what a mess of rotting muck those squares would be without the ability to be washed and drained?

By contrast, the American, park-like square served a different purpose. Where I come from we call them 'greens' (as in village green) as well as 'squares' which reflects their park-like look. In small towns they are still green, often with a bandstand or poduim. This is because they were more for occasional and/or light use gatherings such as speeches, celebrations, and such rather than daily or weekly markets.

Also, prior to the boom in tourism in a lot of European cities in recent decades, many those 'pedestrian' squares were indeed used as parking lots since the markets had moved off site around the same time as the automobile grew in popularity. Just look at pictures of some of those squares from the 80s and earlier. You will see them jam packed with cars, sometimes a vestige of the old arket with a few stands selling flowers or beverages.

A lot of the pedestrian atmosphere of Europe is fairly new in the grand scheme of things.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 11:17 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33058
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
The reason the European squares are heavily paved in large cities is because they used to be market spaces with intensive use by man and draught animal. Could you imagine what a mess of rotting muck those squares would be without the ability to be washed and drained?

By contrast, the American, park-like square served a different purpose. Where I come from we call them 'greens' (as in village green) as well as 'squares' which reflects their park-like look. In small towns they are still green, often with a bandstand or poduim. This is because they were more for occasional and/or light use gatherings such as speeches, celebrations, and such rather than daily or weekly markets.

Also, prior to the boom in tourism in a lot of European cities in recent decades, many those 'pedestrian' squares were indeed used as parking lots since the markets had moved off site around the same time as the automobile grew in popularity. Just look at pictures of some of those squares from the 80s and earlier. You will see them jam packed with cars, sometimes a vestige of the old arket with a few stands selling flowers or beverages.

A lot of the pedestrian atmosphere of Europe is fairly new in the grand scheme of things.
"Man", eh?

Interesting about Europe.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,760,401 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
They're all commercial streets.
The conversation started out with people eating next to traffic though. It's not about whether the street is "commercial" but about how much and how fast the traffic is. A lot of those Philadelphia streets would have relatively light, slow moving traffic, so it's not unpleasant. I ate at a sidewalk restaurant on South Street, which is a "main street" by Philly standards, although it only has one lane of slow moving traffic. Traffic was moderately heavy I guess, although because it was so slow moving (probably 15mph) it was little bother.

Examples from Toronto of sidewalk cafes/restaurants on less busy streets.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.66406...-o5zz0ofzg!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.65609...xTEfKpzNNw!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.65617...TxvVSmRS3g!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.65383...Ah1_mg!2e0!3e5

Hamilton
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.2581,...4JSgxH_4VQ!2e0

Montreal
https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Mon...4e3138211fefef

As for how you can have retail on streets with little traffic, there are places that can get a lot of customers without having to rely on passing traffic... If you have a big downtown population, it can work, or at least it would if the downtown had side streets (often have rather few). You can also have this in denser neighbourhoods adjacent to downtowns, where people get around by foot a lot, or which has spillover pedestrians from downtown. Or you can have them next to big destinations, like Jean Talon Market in Montreal. Yorkville in Toronto is similar (but with fashion boutiques rather than restaurants/cafes), it's at the intersection of two heavily used subway lines (and possibly the busiest transit station in North America?), and next to Bloor street which has department stores and all the big name fashion brands. So several neighbouring side streets have converted their row houses and other buildings into independent fashion boutiques. I think the proximity to Yonge-Bloor and the Bloor street shopping has a lot to do with this, combined with the fact that it's in between Downtown and all the upscale North Toronto neighbourhoods.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,280,389 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
The reason the European squares are heavily paved in large cities is because they used to be market spaces with intensive use by man and draught animal. Could you imagine what a mess of rotting muck those squares would be without the ability to be washed and drained?

By contrast, the American, park-like square served a different purpose. Where I come from we call them 'greens' (as in village green) as well as 'squares' which reflects their park-like look. In small towns they are still green, often with a bandstand or poduim. This is because they were more for occasional and/or light use gatherings such as speeches, celebrations, and such rather than daily or weekly markets.

Also, prior to the boom in tourism in a lot of European cities in recent decades, many those 'pedestrian' squares were indeed used as parking lots since the markets had moved off site around the same time as the automobile grew in popularity. Just look at pictures of some of those squares from the 80s and earlier. You will see them jam packed with cars, sometimes a vestige of the old arket with a few stands selling flowers or beverages.

A lot of the pedestrian atmosphere of Europe is fairly new in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, exactly! I lived in Germany and I would see the paved town squares used on the weekends for farmer's markets, or Christmas markets in December. They weren't always empty.

And my neighborhood has a "green" that is used similarly. The farmer's market is set up around the grassy area (as are other types of temp. markets) and then they set up a stage on the "green" for outdoor movies, concerts and other performances where people just bring blankets to sit on and watch.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 01:24 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33058
Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
The conversation started out with people eating next to traffic though. It's not about whether the street is "commercial" but about how much and how fast the traffic is. A lot of those Philadelphia streets would have relatively light, slow moving traffic, so it's not unpleasant. I ate at a sidewalk restaurant on South Street, which is a "main street" by Philly standards, although it only has one lane of slow moving traffic. Traffic was moderately heavy I guess, although because it was so slow moving (probably 15mph) it was little bother.

Examples from Toronto of sidewalk cafes/restaurants on less busy streets.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.66406...-o5zz0ofzg!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.65609...xTEfKpzNNw!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.65617...TxvVSmRS3g!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.65383...Ah1_mg!2e0!3e5

Hamilton
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.2581,...4JSgxH_4VQ!2e0

Montreal
https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Mon...4e3138211fefef

As for how you can have retail on streets with little traffic, there are places that can get a lot of customers without having to rely on passing traffic... If you have a big downtown population, it can work, or at least it would if the downtown had side streets (often have rather few). You can also have this in denser neighbourhoods adjacent to downtowns, where people get around by foot a lot, or which has spillover pedestrians from downtown. Or you can have them next to big destinations, like Jean Talon Market in Montreal. Yorkville in Toronto is similar (but with fashion boutiques rather than restaurants/cafes), it's at the intersection of two heavily used subway lines (and possibly the busiest transit station in North America?), and next to Bloor street which has department stores and all the big name fashion brands. So several neighbouring side streets have converted their row houses and other buildings into independent fashion boutiques. I think the proximity to Yonge-Bloor and the Bloor street shopping has a lot to do with this, combined with the fact that it's in between Downtown and all the upscale North Toronto neighbourhoods.
Actually, this whole discussion about cafes is off topic, and a lot of us, including me, have participated in it. It started with an off-hand response to someone wanting to restrict traffic around Portland's (all hail!) town square. I agree with ohiogirl81 who said it was ironic that street side cafes were considered so hip yet it's not OK to have auto traffic around a "town square".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top