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Old 10-01-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
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.
Not used to small towns, but I have dodged lines in downtown Chicago and other places. It is easy to block foot traffic when selling via an window.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
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.
Pittsburgh suffers from "patchy density" This can be seen on this map of density by block group...



Essentially while there may be very high local densities within the rowhouse neighborhoods, there are periodically blocks with very little or zero density, due to intervening topography, industrial zones, institutional areas, etc. The result is mostly little "pocket neighborhoods" of a few hundred to few thousand people which don't have the best connectivity to one another.

Take, for example, my own neighborhood, Lawrenceville. It's officially split up by the city into three neighborhoods, Lower, Central, and Upper, based upon how high they are up the Allegheny River. In 2010 Lower Lawrenceville had a population of 2,341, Central Lawrenceville a population of 4,482, and Upper Lawrenceville a population of 2,669. Although they share a common business district, it's broken up into bits by a couple bad intersections here, and a dead edge from a cemetery here which goes for 4+ blocks. As a result, each segment of the neighborhood is sort of semi-independent. You can walk from one to another, but really you're talking about a fairly narrow 25+ block span of dense development, which isn't the best for pedestrians, although the existing infrastructure makes work somewhat.

The best areas in terms of connectivity, but not the densest in terms of population, are found in and around East Liberty. And perhaps not as a surprise, most of the grocery stores in the eastern part of the city are clustered around there.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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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.
The sidewalks are fairly narrow... You could remove on-street parking from one side, or remove turning lanes, or make the streets one-way couplets with a single lane of traffic. Examples of commercial streets with 1 lane of traffic and parking on each side can be found in much of Philadelphia, Galena, IL, and several small cities/towns in Quebec like Saint-Hyacinthe and Joliette.

Victoriaville and Terrebone instead went with just parking on one side and 1 lane each way. Trois-Rivieres has 2 lanes one way only with one lane for deliveries but otherwise no on-street parking. The parking is a little further, on other streets, parking garages and a few parking lots. Trois-Riviere's Rue des Forges has lots of patios using the extra sidewalk space which is nice. Rue Saint-Joseph in Quebec City has 1 lane one way with parking on one side as does parts of Rue Saint-Jean and Baldwin and Kensington Ave in Toronto are the same. Sherbrooke's Wellington Street is pretty similar, although I think the traffic lanes are a bit narrower and sidewalks a bit wider, but also, they have patios instead of parking spaces (at least in the summer) in many places. King St in Kitchener, ON has the parking at the same level as the sidewalks, so if the parking spots aren't being used they become part of the pedestrian realm and the sidewalks seem wider even though the ROW seems about the same.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm not sure I'd even say that, because I think a walkable business district, by nature, needs to make it somewhat of a PITA to drive to, or rather to park.

Studies have shown that if you need to walk more than 5-10 minutes to get to a business district, you're liable to drive instead, provided it's not a hassle. Providing ample parking makes it less of a hassle. Being pretty sure that you won't be able to find an available space near the place of business makes you more more likely to walk.

This is before even considering the damage that parking can do to the walking experience. If placed in front of a building, or to the side, it breaks up the street wall and makes the pedestrian experience less fun. Even if placed behind, it creates a "parking moat" which ensures that there will be no residences immediately behind retail, reducing substantially the number of people who live within the most convenient walking distance.
Making places somewhat of a PITA to park doesn't mean you can't drive there, just that the automobile is not the Lord High God-King of All Creation, which is the basic assumption of 20th-century road engineering. This was done because people were getting killed a lot by cars in the early 20th century, as people weren't used to dodging fast-moving metal things that could kill them. A massive media campaign was necessary to teach people to be afraid of being in the street--and "play grounds" were invented so kids wouldn't play in the street. The term "jaywalking" was invented as a way to chide people who crossed mid-block, the way they had done it for the previous 7000 years. Social engineering changed people's minds as roadway engineering separated pedestrian uses from the street, based on the assumption that fast-moving cars on separate grades were safer--as the death toll from automobile accidents rose. Cars are safer now, for their occupants if not for pedestrians, so deaths from accidents have dropped, but design to accommodate the automobile at slower speeds, common practice in Europe, is still rare on this side of the Atlantic.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:55 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.
If your definition of "walkable" is "short distance to alternative mode of transportation that can get me there more efficiently than walking", then there is no reason to limit "walkable" to incorporating public transit. Anywhere someone lives within walking distance of a garage and a car qualifies as "walkable".

"Many" is a far cry from "all".
I do not dispute that there are many places around the world where people get around many of their daily trips on foot. However, the "walkable" crowd here tend to be elitists that expect the shops and view to accommodate their personal tastes. Then there is the "cheat" of allowing public transportation to qualify a place as "walkable" because public transit dependency is viewed as a positive thing by many that post to this forum. These folks expect subsidized public transit to be available to whisk them about wherever they want to go. There are places where LOTS of folks walk 4-5 miles to get the water they will need for the day. By definition these places are "walkable" because that is the only mode of transport available. Of course despite the fact that all the folks there walk wherever they need to go for all their daily needs, the urbanistas here would never declare such a place to be "walkable" because they expect small, pretty shops, entertainment, and views they find personally aesthetically pleasing along the path of their aimless venture. "Walkable" is not really the correct term for what these urbanists are seeking.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:59 PM
Status: "Happy New Year!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Making places somewhat of a PITA to park doesn't mean you can't drive there, just that the automobile is not the Lord High God-King of All Creation, which is the basic assumption of 20th-century road engineering. This was done because people were getting killed a lot by cars in the early 20th century, as people weren't used to dodging fast-moving metal things that could kill them. A massive media campaign was necessary to teach people to be afraid of being in the street--and "play grounds" were invented so kids wouldn't play in the street. The term "jaywalking" was invented as a way to chide people who crossed mid-block, the way they had done it for the previous 7000 years. Social engineering changed people's minds as roadway engineering separated pedestrian uses from the street, based on the assumption that fast-moving cars on separate grades were safer--as the death toll from automobile accidents rose. Cars are safer now, for their occupants if not for pedestrians, so deaths from accidents have dropped, but design to accommodate the automobile at slower speeds, common practice in Europe, is still rare on this side of the Atlantic.
Well, you social engineers may want to make it hard to park, but businesses want to make money. If their customers want parking, they should be allowed to put it in. Most pharmacies have their own parking lots, even in Denver. Lots of pharmacy customers are sick, aged, infirm, etc.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wa...8e34fb!6m1!1e1
(Click on the little man)
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge
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Safe and direct walking routes to and from the nearby business district, parks, urban residences, educational institutions, public buildings and public transportation stations. At night these walking routes must provide lighting and visibly marked crosswalks to make it walkable.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:35 PM
 
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Why is it not ok to expect subsidized public transit to be available, but it is ok to expect subsidized roads to be available?

Why is enjoying walking to shops any more "elitist" than preferring driving to shops?
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:38 PM
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Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, you social engineers may want to make it hard to park, but businesses want to make money. If their customers want parking, they should be allowed to put it in. Most pharmacies have their own parking lots, even in Denver. Lots of pharmacy customers are sick, aged, infirm, etc.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wa...8e34fb!6m1!1e1
(Click on the little man)
Wburg's post said nothing about banning parking, and in many cities businesses are required to have parking whether the businesses wish to or not. One pharmacy near me doesn't have parking, it's in a town center district and easy to walk to and combine with other trips. It's the one I normally go to, and it's the most convenient one, especially before I had a car.

Denver is much less dense than some older cities, say Boston. Many, perhaps even most pharmacies in Boston do not have parking.
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
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.
Depends on who you bank with, we have three accounts, two are at credit unions and one is at a chance bank so there is always a bank near us. Plus our primary credit union is a common one in town so it isn't hard to be near one. We are lucky enough to have two of our three banks in our neighborhood making it very easy for me to bike to the bank, run some errands, grab a cup of coffee, and pick up a few things we might need for dinner at the grocery store.

Though we go to the grocery store each week, sometimes I get a great idea for dinner and need to pick up some key things.

Again, it is not impossible to have a neighborhood that is walkable thag has all these things, and just because a neighborhood is walkable doesn't mean you can't drive to everything. If someone feels the need to drive three block down, park, then drive two blocks to the next thing, park, and then drive 5 blocks home, and park. I have no issue with that. What I do have an issue with are neighborhoods that are car dependent, where it is near impossible to do all those things without the use of a car. I am confused why anyone would have an issue with what I am saying a neighborhood should be like.
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