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Old 04-26-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Michigan
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I generally consider it to be a place were I can actually walk in the literal sense.

I consider it to be a different criteria when judging whether or not a place is pedestrian-friendly. A place can be pedestrian-friendly, but not walkable (ie; large concrete plazas or a lack of establishments) or perhaps walkable but not pedestrian-friendly (an area with sidewalks but many wide high-speed roads).
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:38 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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Thinking back on my posts here, I think I'd put quite a bit of weight on whether there are people out walking. If people can walk to places but few actually do, then something about the place is making walking a poor option. And a lack of pedestrians detracts from one of the main appeals of a walkable place, the fact the streets aren't dead and sterile but you can actually see people out and about.

Taken to its logical extreme, by this measure a large suburban downtown in a low density environment (in the sense that not many people are in walking distance to the "main street") where people park and then walk around would score better in a walkabilty sense than a denser area where more live in walking distance but fewer walk (perhaps because all businesses have their own parking so there's little need to walk). Not sure if that's completely right but both are lacking in different ways.

This post has an interesting graphic:

Human Transit: cul-de-sac hell and the radius of demand

Note how much the interconnected road design in the right side improves pedestrian access, while the left side makes very little be in walking distance. The Canberra, Australia example at the end of the post shows how pedestrian connections can improve walkabilty for non-interconnected street layouts.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:50 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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While walkabilty in the sense you don't access to a car (local area doesn't require a large machine to move around) is what's usually mentioned, I think often when people say they are looking for a walkable area, they are interested in them for other reasons as well not just a utilitarian sense of I don't have a car. Reposting, with some editting:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Why is one interested in walking? I'm thinking two possibilities:

1) you don't have access to a car.

Then yes, safe passage is the main objective. However, sidewalks aren't the only factor in safe access. And it is a plus that where youre walking is at least somewhat appealing.

2) you care about walkable places because you like being out in your community or whereever you're visiting. In a car, you whiz by a place or are shielded from the area in a way you're not on foot. On foot, you're outdoors and feel like you're experiencing the place you live in at a smaller scale. Having other pedestrians (which = activity) is a huge plus, you get to see other locals going about their day. Not buskers. If you're walking isn't the least bit interesting or appealing, why would I care about walking there? For most, people aren't going to choose walking if it takes much longer. But walking past an area that's ugly and no other people isn't going to be walkability I'm as interested in; I have a car.

Amount of other people on the street, interesting architecture, and just stores against the street are all pluses from the perspective of #2 and have been mentioned frequently before.

I think many posters care more about 2. I care about 2 more, but 1 is still important. Sometimes the walking environment switches to less appealing but I'm already there, I want to safely walk on the road and cross.

Last edited by nei; 04-26-2014 at 01:15 PM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
lol at plane. I'm imagining someone who walks for local trips and commutes by plane
Probably exists in Alaska, actually.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:06 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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Probably exists in Alaska, actually.
Hmm. Don't think the Census survey has a specific question on plane commuting. It's no the list of citydata.com choices, and I don't think it's on quickfacts.

http://gizmodo.com/the-rise-of-the-a...-fl-1469849163
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:59 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Since you edited your post from a previous forum, I'll post your edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Why is one interested in walking? I'm thinking two possibilities:

1) you don't have access to a car.

Then yes, safe passage is the main objective. However, sidewalks aren't the only factor in safe access. And it is a plus that where youre walking is at least somewhat appealing.

2) you care about walkable places because you like being out in your community or whereever you're visiting. In a car, you whiz by a place or are shielded from the area in a way you're not on foot. On foot, you're outdoors and feel like you're experiencing the place you live in at a smaller scale. Having other pedestrians (which = activity) is a huge plus, you get to see other locals going about their day. Not buskers. If you're walking isn't the least bit interesting or appealing, why would I care about walking there? For most, people aren't going to choose walking if it takes much longer. But walking past an area that's ugly and no other people isn't going to be walkability I'm as interested in; I have a car.

Amount of other people on the street, interesting architecture, and just stores against the street are all pluses from the perspective of #2 and have been mentioned frequently before.

I think many posters care more about 2. I care about 2 more, but 1 is still important. Sometimes the walking environment switches to less appealing but I'm already, I want to safely walk on the road and cross.
Then two posts later, truer words were never spoken:

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
You realize that the very posters who are the ones who state what you listed will come on and deny ever having said or proposed any of it.

Then, when you go back and find the quotes, you'll be accused of taking them out of context.
Am I going way out on a limb here to say that if we define walkability, on this thread or any other, that we can presume the same definition on another thread on Urban Planning? Is that too crazy? Does that not give one the sense of the forum, so to speak? We have several people talking about walking needing to be interesting and appealing. Am I nuts to say that should apply to all uses of the word, not just uses in specific threads?
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:08 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
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I said appealing is a plus for (1), I did not say it was a necessity. I wish people would actually discuss the ideas in my post, instead some general forum discussion. It makes me feel like I'm wasting me time hoping for an interesting discussion. Any ideas details, nuances something people want to add the subject, instead?
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:12 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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Am I going way out on a limb here to say that if we define walkability, on this thread or any other, that we can presume the same definition on another thread on Urban Planning? Is that too crazy? Does that not give one the sense of the forum, so to speak?
This thread has had a number of definitons. I've given multiple ones myself on the thread.

Quote:
We have several people talking about walking needing to be interesting and appealing. Am I nuts to say that should apply to all uses of the word, not just uses in specific threads?
And we had other people mention other things. Perhaps, in other threads, you can go by the specifics of whatever someone said in that post.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:11 PM
 
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no crime
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:51 PM
 
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To me, "walkable" has less to do with sidewalks or traffic-patterns favoring pedestrians, than with close proximity of stores and places of interest, places essential for basic livelihood. Mere density isn't enough. Downtown Manhattan is very dense, but in my opinion not walkable. Where is the local supermarket, or at least individual shops such as butcher, baker, green-grocer and the like. Dry-cleaners? Public library? Post-office, drug store, coffee shop? If it's just office buildings and high-end restaurants, it's not walkable.

I work in a large area surrounded by a fence. No it's not a prison, though the infrastructure is similar. A few hearty souls cycle into the facility, especially when the weather is decent. Otherwise a car is essential, even if somebody lives in an enclave immediately adjacent to the facility. The point is that a neighborhood my internally be walkable, in the sense of supplying the aforementioned essential services within walking distance, but its denizens must nevertheless make daily recourse to cars.
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