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)
 
Old 05-25-2014, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,816,840 times
Reputation: 3281

Advertisements

Really, it boils down to not having to walk that far to be able to access a whole bunch of stuff. I live in a neighborhood that I can step outside my apartment and within a 2 block radius have access to a major grocery store, theater, dozens and dozens of bars and cafés, Starbucks, multiple bus stops (and in 2 years a future subway station), clothes stores, pet shops, etc. All of that within a 2 minute walk. That's walkable. Most American cities have simply isolated residential zones so far from all of this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-27-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,504,059 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Really, it boils down to not having to walk that far to be able to access a whole bunch of stuff. I live in a neighborhood that I can step outside my apartment and within a 2 block radius have access to a major grocery store, theater, dozens and dozens of bars and cafés, Starbucks, multiple bus stops (and in 2 years a future subway station), clothes stores, pet shops, etc. All of that within a 2 minute walk. That's walkable. Most American cities have simply isolated residential zones so far from all of this.
The half mile radius is a good rule for walkability. Things within a half mile are more walkable than things further than a half mile. After that it depends on sidewalks, traffic speeds, the number of easy crossing points, and so on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2014, 08:34 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
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
I was on Long Island recently. From all the sidewalk-related posts, I've started looking more carefully at how many local roads lacked sidewalks. I kept finding "disappearing sidewalks", a stretch of sidewalk that would give way to no sidewalk. Sometimes there would be a sidewalk on the other side of the road. But the sidewalk didn't end at a good crosswalk. Often 1/4 mile after the sidewalk disappeared it would reappear.

I used to walk around as a teenager all the time, I think it took the random lack of sidewalks for granted. Would just walk on a lawn if available. Though one sport I saw had a sidewalkless metal barrier.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,913,851 times
Reputation: 10533
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I was on Long Island recently. From all the sidewalk-related posts, I've started looking more carefully at how many local roads lacked sidewalks. I kept finding "disappearing sidewalks", a stretch of sidewalk that would give way to no sidewalk. Sometimes there would be a sidewalk on the other side of the road. But the sidewalk didn't end at a good crosswalk. Often 1/4 mile after the sidewalk disappeared it would reappear.

I used to walk around as a teenager all the time, I think it took the random lack of sidewalks for granted. Would just walk on a lawn if available. Though one sport I saw had a sidewalkless metal barrier.
In Long Island is it up to the property owners to put in sidewalks, or the responsibility of the local government? Here in Pittsburgh you're supposed to maintain the sidewalk in front of your own house, which I always thought was incredibly weird. Makes pushing a stroller really difficult too every time you pass by a cheapskate house who has let their sidewalk crack up and become a weed garden.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2014, 08:44 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
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
In Long Island is it up to the property owners to put in sidewalks, or the responsibility of the local government? Here in Pittsburgh you're supposed to maintain the sidewalk in front of your own house, which I always thought was incredibly weird. Makes pushing a stroller really difficult too every time you pass by a cheapskate house who has let their sidewalk crack up and become a weed garden.
Depends on the town, property owner's responsibility is more common:

Long Island's towns deal with sidewalk repairs - Newsday

The fact property owners have maintain sidewalks makes them less popular. In Massachusetts, the DOT constructs sidewalks but doesn't maintain them.

Safe Crossing | The Recorder

“It’s obviously a large investment,” Dwyer said of the new sidewalks. “I think the biggest question is, how is it going to be maintained?”

Apart from sidewalks associated with movable bridges, MassDOT policies do not include provisions for maintenance and snow removal from the majority of sidewalks that extend along highways and bridges under its jurisdiction, according to the state agency.

“Historically, sidewalks have been installed along state highways in conjunction with roadway reconstruction projects if requested by a community,” Verseckes wrote in an email to the Gazette. “As part of the installation of sidewalks, MassDOT typically requires the community to undertake future maintenance, including snow removal.”
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2014, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,504,059 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I was on Long Island recently. From all the sidewalk-related posts, I've started looking more carefully at how many local roads lacked sidewalks. I kept finding "disappearing sidewalks", a stretch of sidewalk that would give way to no sidewalk. Sometimes there would be a sidewalk on the other side of the road. But the sidewalk didn't end at a good crosswalk. Often 1/4 mile after the sidewalk disappeared it would reappear.

I used to walk around as a teenager all the time, I think it took the random lack of sidewalks for granted. Would just walk on a lawn if available. Though one sport I saw had a sidewalkless metal barrier.
You find that a lot in Jersey too. My favorite is this cross walk by a dangerously busy intersection, but the crosswalk is actually a 100 ft or so from the actual intersection that you would want to cross anyway, but this crosswalk forces you to cross through traffic rather than at an intersection.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,705,729 times
Reputation: 9029
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
For me it does. Walkable areas in which I am surrounded by architecture of towering concrete slabs and acres of glass give me the absolute creeps - and I lived in Manhattan for more than forty years. Decorating these types of areas with trees in huge concrete containers and then having little clots of sitting spaces and umbrella islands doesn't change the vibe for me. Some of Germany's rebuilt post-WW II cities, as well as similar U.S. attempts, make me want to flee, not walk.

I like a mix of very old, old and new. I am immensely fond of Lisbon where you will find people spaces in all sorts of old neighbourhoods and unexpected places.
You guys make things as simple as "walking" so complicated... i thought it was just simply dense environments, sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.. now all of a sudden you guys can't walk because the buildings outside are too new?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2014, 07:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Whatever happened to walking from Point A to Point B? The second half of the 20th century happened, which made Point A and Point B generally so far apart that walking there became far more difficult, so nowadays people typically drive there.

urbanlife78: I'm not that familiar with Portland, but isn't the Pearl District built in an old industrial area, where there are a lot of old brick industrial buildings? The presence of the roof-mounted water tank in that shot suggests the presence of older architecture. Puttering around in Google Maps shows a mixture of older industrial buildings (the one with the water tank is across from a one-story Art Deco building, a mid-rise brick building with arched windows a block or so away) and newer architecture--just the sort of mixture of ages we're talking about here. The best part is that you don't have to know anything about history or architecture to appreciate it--people just seem to like that kind of eclectic visual backdrop. Plus it helps that there is such a mixture of uses, high residential density, and public transit (I love the "Go By Streetcar" sign!) that helps catalyze all the shops and cafes at sidewalk level.
OFGS! I did plenty of walking in the second half of the 20th century, as did my spouse in a different city. When I was a kid, there was no presumed need to be constantly entertained along the walk. You could take along a snack if there weren't any stores along the way and you thought you'd get hungry. If you had to wait for some cars to cross the road, you waited. You gave yourself enough time for such possibilities. There's a lot of excuse making going on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2014, 08:02 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,264,546 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
You guys make things as simple as "walking" so complicated... i thought it was just simply dense environments, sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.. now all of a sudden you guys can't walk because the buildings outside are too new?

It has to be pleasurable to walk. Remember you are competing with the automobile, which will transport you from point A to point B in a great deal of relative comfort and luxury. If the walking or transit experience is not a very pleasant one, than those who can afford to will almost always choose to drive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2014, 09:18 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,193,007 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
It has to be pleasurable to walk. Remember you are competing with the automobile, which will transport you from point A to point B in a great deal of relative comfort and luxury. If the walking or transit experience is not a very pleasant one, than those who can afford to will almost always choose to drive.

Exactly! The concepts of what makes an area walkable are pretty simple. The fact that some people can't (or won't) understand, shows how little some know about the built environment.
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