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Old 05-16-2014, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,257 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11711

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Here's another big wide street in Europe. This one is from Barcelona.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Passe...=12,230.2,,0,0

Here's a slightly narrower street in Downtown Houston.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=houst...12,207.57,,0,0

When it comes to these two streetviews, I don't think street width has anything to do with the quality of the walking environment.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:49 PM
 
1,264 posts, read 2,150,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
This has nothing to do with the design elements of the street. People were calling it "auto-scaled," but that makes no sense to me as the basic form of the built environment has been largely unaltered since the 19th Century.
Avenue des Champs Elysées really became a commercial street in the early of the 20th century before it was bordered by big mansion.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,257 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato ku View Post
Avenue des Champs Elysées really became a commercial street in the early of the 20th century before it was bordered by big mansion.
Again, that has nothing to do with the design elements of the street. How can a street be "auto-scaled" if its urban form has been in place since before the auto?

And I posted this sketch of the Champs from Circa 1860. It looks the same then as it does now. Calling it "auto scaled" because cars now run down it (which is to be expected in 2014) rather than horses is silly.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...circa_1860.jpg

This is an example of auto-centric design.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Atlan...bp=12,312,,0,0

This section of Peachtree may actually be narrower than the Champs. But it makes no difference. One on side, there are a hundreds of parking spaces to keep you entertained. On the other side of the street, there's a building with an inconspicuous street entrance. Go a little farther up the street and you get to the drive thru Walgreen's. This whole area was built for people to drive cars. The width of the street, however, is not what really makes it auto-centric.
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,105,724 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Champs is an exception rather than the rule. Paris is highly dense and also has an astronomical amount of tourists walking the streets daily. Also, Champs is a world-renowned place so that itself will attract people to walk it. Therefore, DESPITE the fact that Champs is a huge highway full of cars, there are many pedestrians. Hollywood BLVD is a similar case; it is a famous street with many tourist attractions along it, so obviously there will be pedestrians. These are exceptions. Your average wide street offers no benefits to promoting walkers; it simply makes walkers walk farther. When a city has too many wide streets, if you account for all the space wasted for vehicular traffic, you lose land that could go to be developed upon. So in general, when designing a city and laying down city blocks, the goal is to make streets only as wide as is necessary for proper transportation because streets theoretically are a waste of space.
Actually wide streets with lower-rise buildings can help pedestrians in that they avoid the creation of wind-tunnels and allow sunlight to hit the street.

Another benefit of building with wider streets is that the street can go on a "street diet" which increases the width of the sidewalk and allows for more pedestrian space (as Los Angeles is doing on Broadway downtown). A very narrow street cannot do so unless they completely eliminate vehicle traffic - of course as Bajan noted if the majority of the development is auto-oriented then wider sidewalks do not instantly make a place more walkable.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:22 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
That would cut the number of pedestrians in most places to near zero, outside of big city CBDs, and even then it would be cut to about 50% or so in most cities.
That seems to be the problem with CBDs in many modern cities - urban zoning. People may commute to them for work and entertainment, but few actually live in them. But when you look at the rate of car ownership in a place like NYC - only 50% - it shows that people can and do get round without a car. The way NY is built makes it easier to walk to your destination and not have to own a car. OTOH the way LA is built makes it virtually impossible to live without a car.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,105,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
That seems to be the problem with CBDs in many modern cities - urban zoning. People may commute to them for work and entertainment, but few actually live in them. But when you look at the rate of car ownership in a place like NYC - only 50% - it shows that people can and do get round without a car. The way NY is built makes it easier to walk to your destination and not have to own a car. OTOH the way LA is built makes it virtually impossible to live without a car.
Here is a really interesting article that refutes the specific point about LA while also bolstering the general argument that land use effects car ownership rates -

http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/carlessmajority.htm

Quote:
Los Angeles has always been streotyped as the "city on wheels" where "everyone has a car." But this is actually misleading. In reality, in the old central part of Los Angeles — the area originally built up around streetcars before 1930 — a slight majority (51 percent) of driving age residents (i.e. 16 years or older) don't have a personal motor vehicle (according to the 2000 census). Los Angeles actually is similar to other older, large metropolitan areas in the USA in that there is a very great difference in auto ownership and public transit use between the old central city and the newer layers of development in more outlying parts of the region.
Quote:
The various successive layers of auto-oriented investment around major American cities since World War 2 has created a pattern where there is typically a very different level of public transit use and auto ownership in the old central city versus the newer rings of outlying development. Los Angeles also exhibits this pattern. But it is hard to get statistics to show this because the old central city at the heart of greater Los Angeles doesn't correspond to municipal boundaries, unlike San Francisco for example. This came about because the capitalist elite in Los Angeles were able to get the city to absorb vast areas of the city's rural hinterland during World War 1.
Quote:
Neighborhood Driving-age residents
with no vehicle Hollywood Hills 9% Hollywood flatlands 54% Boyle Heights 57% Westlake-Pico-Union 74% Los Feliz-Silverlake 23% South-Central
(north of Slauson Ave) 63%
Quote:
This pattern seems to be a general characteristic of large American cities. For example, in San Francisco 46 percent of the driving age residents don't have a vehicle. Despite the advantages San Francisco provides for not relying on cars, it has a slightly higher level of car ownership than central Los Angeles. Two ossible explainers for this are the conversion of San Francisco into a bedroom suburb of Silicon Valley in recent years and higher average income levels. Meanwhile, in suburban Santa Clara County — the area around San Jose — only about 15 percent of the driving age residents lack cars — the same level as Los Angeles County as a whole.


The auto ownership level is affected by the land use pattern because in older, denser city areas there are likely to be lots of shops and services nearby, the buses run frequently, and jobs are nearby also. If there's a bodega at the end of the block, you don't have to jump into a car to get milk. And it may be harder to find parking.


Cars are expensive to own. It's hard to do if you're working a low wage job. In the highly dispersed San Fernando Valley, for example, only 27 percent of the driving age residents don't have their own wheels — almost half as large a proportion as in central Los Angeles. But in Pacoima, a low-income neighborhood in the Valley, 44 percent of the driving-age residents lack a motor vehicle. This is high compared to the Valley as a whole, but lower than neighborhoods in central Los Angeles with a similar income level.
Quote:
Back in the early '30s, Los Angeles had the highest level of auto ownership of any large city in the world. Typically at least twice as high as other large American cities. To put this in perspective, however, the auto ownership level in early '30s Los Angeles was similar to some of the more well-off third world cities today, such as Curitiba, in southern Brazil. From 1930 to 1988 the number of registered motor vehicles per 1000 residents in Los Angeles County increased by 53 percent. Changes in the land use pattern, higher real wages after World War 2, and the big increase in the proportion of women in wage work all are likely explainers for this increase. With the decline in real working class wages since the '70s and large investments in public transit since 1980, the auto ownership rate in Los Angeles County has declined somewhat from its all-time high in the late '80s. But a high level of reliance on cars is sustained by the massive investment in an auto-oriented layout of malls, business parks, and free parking, plus hundreds of miles of freeway designed to carry a high volume of traffic.
I'd love to see what the rates of car-ownership in Central LA are today, as large parts of Central LA have gentrified heavily (Hollywood, Koreatown, Echo Park) or been completely revitalized in the last 15 years (DTLA). This undoubtedly has lead to higher car ownership rates - but at the same time the rail network has expanded significantly with the Gold Line and Expo Line being built and the Red & Purple Lines only completed in 2000, making carless-living easier.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:51 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Here is a really interesting article that refutes the specific point about LA while also bolstering the general argument that land use effects car ownership rates -

http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/carlessmajority.htm



I'd love to see what the rates of car-ownership in Central LA are today, as large parts of Central LA have gentrified heavily (Hollywood, Koreatown, Echo Park) or been completely revitalized in the last 15 years (DTLA). This undoubtedly has lead to higher car ownership rates - but at the same time the rail network has expanded significantly with the Gold Line and Expo Line being built and the Red & Purple Lines only completed in 2000, making carless-living easier.
Interesting article but I suspect that the supposed low level of car ownership has more to do with high concentrations of Mexican immigrants and/or poverty in certain parts of LA then it has with those who are carless by choice. Going by my own experience I find it hard to believe how anyone can live without a car in the LA area. Perhaps possible, but very, very difficult.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26651
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Interesting article but I suspect that the supposed low level of car ownership has more to do with high concentrations of Mexican immigrants and/or poverty in certain parts of LA then it has with those who are carless by choice. Going by my own experience I find it hard to believe how anyone can live without a car in the LA area. Perhaps possible, but very, very difficult.
In LA transit is extremely segregated by class. It is exceedingly rare for any one to use transit by "choice" or to be middle income or higher on LA transit. That's why it is portrayed as a car only city.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,817,736 times
Reputation: 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
In LA transit is extremely segregated by class. It is exceedingly rare for any one to use transit by "choice" or to be middle income or higher on LA transit. That's why it is portrayed as a car only city.
I ride Seattle buses every day. You'd never catch me riding a bus in LA. Some of my colleagues from here visited SoCal for Spring break and relied on the bus system and reportedly were "terrified" at the people they rode the bus with down there. Obvuously that's revealing of the lower tolerance for people of other backgrounds, but still... It's an experience that's worlds apart from riding a bus or subway in London or Paris. Certainly not as enjoyable... And it's also a bit depressing.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,257 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11711
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I'd love to see what the rates of car-ownership in Central LA are today, as large parts of Central LA have gentrified heavily (Hollywood, Koreatown, Echo Park) or been completely revitalized in the last 15 years (DTLA). This undoubtedly has lead to higher car ownership rates - but at the same time the rail network has expanded significantly with the Gold Line and Expo Line being built and the Red & Purple Lines only completed in 2000, making carless-living easier.
I did that here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I didn't mean just density stats. I mean that we can make any comparison apples-to-apples by comparing the same amount of land area. We can simply treat Central LA, which is about 60 sq. miles, as its own stand alone city.

If we do that, Central LA has a transit share of 15.54% with 68,150 transit commuters (compared to 10.86% and 188,342 citywide). Transit ridership seems to have a fairly even distribution throughout the city. 24.9% of households in Central LA are without a vehicle (compared to 13.59% citywide). To put that percentage in perspective, 26.2% of Detroit households are without a vehicle. In Cleveland, it's 26.7%. In Miami, it's 21.6%.

Minority vehicle ownership is almost always lower in any U.S. city with Blacks and Hispanics having the lowest rates of vehicle ownership. In Los Angeles, 7.1% of non-Hispanic White households don't own a vehicle. In San Francisco, 27.1% of non-Hispanic White households don't own a vehicle. In Boston, 30.9% of non-Hispanic White households don't own a vehicle.
I went back and looked at a few larger cities. 21.8% of non-Hispanic White households in Chicago don't own a car. In Philadelphia, 25.6% of non-Hispanic White households don't own a car. In New York, 50.2% of non-Hispanic White households don't own a car.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 05-17-2014 at 10:19 AM..
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