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Old 10-01-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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Q: What makes a place walkable?
A: An urbanist.

The definition is wholly arbitrary and the subject of personal preferences - a subjective opinion of the observer. Each decides whether a place is "walkable" or not. Very, very few would be situated such that their daily needs could be attended to if they lived in an area they deemed "walkable". The term is not part of the daily vocabulary of the rest of the world.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:48 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
45,988 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
The definition is wholly arbitrary and the subject of personal preferences - a subjective opinion of the observer. Each decides whether a place is "walkable" or not. Very, very few would be situated such that their daily needs could be attended to if they lived in an area they deemed "walkable". The term is not part of the daily vocabulary of the rest of the world.
If you mean only traveling by foot of course not. But many or most daily needs, especially if combined with say transit for a commute trip. The term might be but plenty of places around the world people get around many of their daily trips on foot.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,715,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
The place looks like an run of the mill town and the sidewalks are not narrow. They are normal, about the only problem is perhaps the lack of stop signs or lights to stop the traffic for easy crossing.
Seriously?

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0558...ruz86AjLRg!2e0

The red building on there is a window right there where you can order, lines there get long on a nice weekend in summer and you have to sometimes walk on the street to get around it.
luckily the main bridge in town is going to turn into a pedestrian only bridge so they will probably close that street to traffic. Main street will still be open to traffic but it wont be as busy because a new bridge will be built nowhere near there.

Its a good step, i think the next step should be to make the road very narrow or just get rid of the road and make one big pedestrian and bicycle walkway.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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In my college town, I lived just a short distance from main street and had:

Big park with just about everything a park might have: 2min (some of the facilities are more like 10min though)
Bus stop: 2min
Cafe-bar: 3min
Pizza place: 3min
Indian Restaurant: 4min
Tim Hortons: 4min
Bike Shop: 3min
Single screen theatre: 4 min
Thai Restaurant: 4 min
Each of Canada's big 5 banks: 4-8min
Hairdresser: 5min
Grocery Store: 6 min (about 15-20,000sf, usually good enough, but there are other options - see below)
Chinese restaurant: 6min
Pharmacy: 7min (also contains post office)
Town square with frequent events (several a week from May to Oct): 7 min (also current express bus and future LRT stop, and skating rink in winter)
Burger place: 9min
Ice Cream: 9 min
Large liquor store (LCBO): 9 min
University: 20 min
Clothing: 5-10 for small boutiques, or take the bus to the regional mall (20min) or...
Walmart: 12min
Bigger slightly less expensive grocery store: 13min
Specialty grocery store: 14min (about 10,000 sf, mostly for deli, butcher, cheese, and lots of sauces, for more basic stuff the selection is limited and I go to closer places usually)

Admittedly the average customer of many of these businesses probably lives further than I do.

Places I don't go to as often (or at all) but might be of interest to others

Library: 2min
Elementary school: 4min
Nice large gallery: 4min (free admission)
Many other restaurants, bars, nightclubs: 3-10min
Optometrist, dentist, doctors, law offices: 5-10min
Yoga, martial arts, personal trainers: 5-10min
Rec Centre: 10 min (I just go at my university)
Church: 1-15min (about a dozen)
French bakery: 16 min (9min by bus)
Farmer's market: 25min by bus (5 days a week) or 20min by bike
2nd Farmer's market: 35min by bus (2-3 days a week), sell much more than food, there's also a flea market and antiques market

There's probably more I haven't thought of.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, you don't usually go to the ATM and just pull out $10. I usually get enough to last a while. It's a pain to set up a new bank accounts b/c you've moved.
Honestly I almost never use an ATM. I usually just ask for cash back at the grocery store if I need any (which is not too often).
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:03 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Seriously?

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0558...ruz86AjLRg!2e0

The red building on there is a window right there where you can order, lines there get long on a nice weekend in summer and you have to sometimes walk on the street to get around it.
luckily the main bridge in town is going to turn into a pedestrian only bridge so they will probably close that street to traffic. Main street will still be open to traffic but it wont be as busy because a new bridge will be built nowhere near there.

Its a good step, i think the next step should be to make the road very narrow or just get rid of the road and make one big pedestrian and bicycle walkway.
That is normal. When things are sold on or near the street, lines form and you may have to walk around it. If that is an main street making it too unfriendly to cars could well backfire. Main streets tend to connect one part of an town to another and town to town and thus get an lot of traffic. Get rid of the traffic and unless there is something else there to generate foot traffic business can suffer.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
If you mean only traveling by foot of course not. But many or most daily needs, especially if combined with say transit for a commute trip. The term might be but plenty of places around the world people get around many of their daily trips on foot.
Sure you can, but what you get is small expensive local stores that may or may not have the price, selection or quality you can find elsewhere.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,923,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I note also conspicuously absent from your list is any kind of clothing/department store. When we had little kids, we went to those places a lot.
Oh, there's plenty of expensive women's clothing boutiques in my neighborhood. A few sell men's clothing too, but I do all my shopping online. You can get some onesies and the like at the card store (it's more a locally-made DIY store than anything), and there was a pop-up store which specialized in baby boy/toddler clothing for about six months, which has since moved on.

But yeah, we need to drive to Target or something to get clothing for our kids. Which isn't a long drive (there's one in the city now, has been for around four years, IIRC), but it's still a drive.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,761,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Anyway, to digress, while I am not car-dependent for work commutes, we are car-dependent as a family for most of our shopping/dining needs, even though we theoretically live in one of the top five most walkable neighborhoods in the city. Pittsburgh isn't an incredibly autocentric city either - it's not up to East Coasts standards, but beats any city in the South or any city in the Midwest (barring Chicago). I think you need to have real high levels of density in the modern era for true walkability - basically having a full-service grocery store right within your commercial district.
I think you can easily have 1 full-service grocery store per 15,000 residents, and that's assuming a good number of smaller specialty grocers, delis, etc on top of that. In more suburban settings where there's fewer of the smaller stores, it might be close to 1 per 10,000 residents.

Assuming a perfect street grid, but not diagonal streets, a 10 minute walk at 3 mph covers 0.5 square miles. So you might need a density of 30,000 ppsm at the neighbourhood level. That's about the density of the average neighbourhood in Toronto's inner city. Toronto's greater downtown area has about 25 grocery stores in a 5 square mile area, so on average about 2-3 within walking distance so even better. There's also St Lawrence Market, and easily over a hundred specialty stores (especially in Kensington Market/Chinatown), corner stores and the like in that 5 square mile area.

30,000 ppsm is fairly dense, so typical streetcar suburbia will be stretched thin for grocery stores. But denser row house neighbourhoods, or neighbourhoods with low rise (2-4 storey) multi-family like Brooklyn, parts of Montreal and part of Chicago can get to those densities or higher. In the case of Toronto, it's row houses of a more moderate density, but with bigger apartment buildings mixed in.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:51 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
45,988 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
That is normal. When things are sold on or near the street, lines form and you may have to walk around it. If that is an main street making it too unfriendly to cars could well backfire. Main streets tend to connect one part of an town to another and town to town and thus get an lot of traffic. Get rid of the traffic and unless there is something else there to generate foot traffic business can suffer.
Or the sidewalk should wider. Most of the sidewalks in the center of town are wide enough that a line wouldn't block foot traffic.

It's possible for the parallel streets to geared for foot traffic rather than main street itself, depends on the town.
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