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Old 10-01-2014, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
Reputation: 7830

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^I was attempting to respond to a post about "making" parking a PITA. This concept was expressed both by eschaton and wburg. This implies some intent by the municipality, IMO.

Boulder Co has had that as a goal for a long time, like at least 30 years. It hasn't worked. People always find a way around it.
Boulder, CO has a walk score of 56, a transit score of 49, and a bike score of 86. It sounds like it has been working in the sense that it is easier for people to bike in Boulder. Providing options doesn't mean people can't drive, it just means walking and biking is a priority. There will always be someone who wants to drive, but that doesn't mean an area needs to be completely car dependent.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:14 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
Reputation: 4048
"Making places somewhat of a PITA to park" does not have to imply restrictions, and certainly doesn't mean a ban on parking. Often, you can de-emphasize parking by removing restrictions. Most cities have minimum regulations for parking for various uses--a certain number of spaces per square foot, or per restaurant table, or other equations that calculate how many parking spaces a business must have to operate. The problem is, these equations aren't based on any demonstrable mathematical principles--they are guesses. They also make using old buildings for new uses more difficult, because old buildings from the days before automobiles don't have parking lots, which means that in order to open a business they have to apply for a waiver of the minimum parking requirements--more bureaucracy, more hassle. Or, even worse, they might have to buy a building next door and knock it down to make a parking lot, which destroys the opportunity for that demolished building to be reused. You can see this done in some old neighborhoods--the parking lots scattered mid-block make the streetscape look like a hockey player's teeth, with gaps here and there where buildings once stood! That's dreadful for a historic district to deal with.

But some cities are revisiting their parking requirements, either reducing the number of required parking spaces or, in certain cases, eliminating the need for parking lots entirely. Developers and businesses can still choose to include a parking lot, but instead of the planner's "scientific" equation determining how many parking spaces they need, the business owner can make that decision. In some cases, parking is needed, and the person running the business probably has a better sense of parking demand than a bureaucrat.

Other means to de-emphasize parking, like discouraging stand-alone parking lots in urban cores (where the land value is too high to justify a vacant lot) or encouraging alley-side parking. By letting businesses know what they want, rather than just prohibiting what they don't want, cities can drive policy without being odious--especially if they also ease the minimum requirements for parking, as above.

Sometimes it's a question of parking management. I have seen rows of adjacent parking lots for different businesses where one is in use from 8 AM-5 PM (an office building) and the one next door from 5 PM-midnight (a restaurant.) Invariably, one is chained and empty while the other is full. By promoting good parking management, and in some cases by facilitating insurance policies that cover the potential additional liability, two adjacent businesses with different hours can use the same parking lot--resulting in the same number of functionally usable parking spaces in half the space!

I like to consider possibilities and options, not restrictions. The mindset of "anything I don't like should be banned!" is overly simplistic, and it is disheartening when people assume that I consider my personal preferences to be universal laws that everyone must obey. I assure you, that isn't the case.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,765,448 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
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.
For what it's worth, living in my college town my transit use was not subsidized. I was using the bus maybe a dozen times a year but as a student had (forced) to pay for a student transit pass at about $220/year. It definitely does not cost $15-20 per trip to provide bus service here (I think it's about $5?). Of course I'm sure plenty of students took the bus hundreds of times per year so they would have been subsidized.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:21 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,354,562 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think this urbanist defines it pretty well:
Walk Appeal | Steve Mouzon


And what is your idea of a walkable place? The shopping aisles at Walmart?
Laughable link.

The website calls itself "original green" and purports to teach "common-sense, plain spoken sustainability"
Now it's not quite clear how narrow buildings, buildings crammed up to the street, or nothing but concrete and brick is "green" or "sustainable" but apparently it's all about the people walking as opposed to the people that actually reside there.

The article compares an aerial view of two locations: the left is termed a "power center" and the right is an aerial of Rome. The Rome picture shows a sea of rooftops and virtually no green. The "power center" has acres and acres and acres of green nearby and yet is repeatedly dissed as less desirable than Rome. Funny how an "original green" site preaching "sustainability" would tout the virtues of a masonry & concrete desert.

"Tips" such as "[n]arrow storefronts change the walkers' view frequently, which is more entertaining than long blank walls or long stretches of the same building" illustrate that this is all about the personal aesthetic viewpoints and "entertainment" of casual passers-by. If anything your site reference confirms my earlier statement.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:55 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
Reputation: 4048
"Green" in the context of sustainability doesn't really have anything to do with the "green" of suburban lawns.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:46 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,269,372 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Laughable link.

The website calls itself "original green" and purports to teach "common-sense, plain spoken sustainability"
Now it's not quite clear how narrow buildings, buildings crammed up to the street, or nothing but concrete and brick is "green" or "sustainable" but apparently it's all about the people walking as opposed to the people that actually reside there.

The article compares an aerial view of two locations: the left is termed a "power center" and the right is an aerial of Rome. The Rome picture shows a sea of rooftops and virtually no green. The "power center" has acres and acres and acres of green nearby and yet is repeatedly dissed as less desirable than Rome. Funny how an "original green" site preaching "sustainability" would tout the virtues of a masonry & concrete desert.

"Tips" such as "[n]arrow storefronts change the walkers' view frequently, which is more entertaining than long blank walls or long stretches of the same building" illustrate that this is all about the personal aesthetic viewpoints and "entertainment" of casual passers-by. If anything your site reference confirms my earlier statement.


The author Steve Mouzon is not associated with Original Green. His articles on walkability were orignally published on a planning website called Better Cities but have since been republished on dozens of other websites as a simple Google search will reveal. I linked to Original Green because it was the first website than came up in the search.

The point is, we're here to talk about what makes a place walkable, not about the environment. Read the title of the thread. The only thing I'll say about it for now is that walking is far more environmentally friendly than driving. Doesn't matter if it's Rome or St. Louis. Other than that this thread and Mr. Mouzon's article has nothing to do with sustainability or environmental issues. If you want to talk about those things start your own thread. What's amusing are your attempts at deflection and trying to change the subject.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:01 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,354,562 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
The author Steve Mouzon is not associated with Original Green. His articles on walkability were orignally published on a planning website called Better Cities but have since been republished on dozens of other websites as a simple Google search will reveal. I linked to Original Green because it was the first website than came up in the search.

The point is, we're here to talk about what makes a place walkable, not about the environment. Read the title of the thread. The only thing I'll say about it for now is that walking is far more environmentally friendly than driving. Doesn't matter if it's Rome or St. Louis. Other than that this thread and Mr. Mouzon's article has nothing to do with sustainability or environmental issues. If you want to talk about those things start your own thread. What's amusing are your attempts at deflection and trying to change the subject.

The subject was "What makes a place or space walkable?". I provided an answer that noted that the answer is at the subjective whim of the observer.

You appeared to not like the answer. You cited the article and provided the link in rebuttal - not me.

As far as "environment" - you absolutely are talking about "the environment". You specifically expect a particular environment all around you and you try to define that environment in terms of "walkable" or "not walkable". Your "walkable" appears to mean retail/concrete/masonry desert (i.e., nothing but) - after all your article cited one as the epitome of "walkable".

The only "moving target" here was the definition of "walkable". Apparently you took issue with my comment about just how subjective your "walkable" term is. Certainly it does not mean "walkable" in the normal sense of the word. I do not know why you would apparently disagree with the comment regarding the subjective nature of the word and then cite an article that supports the proposition that it is in fact very subjective. I maintain my earlier comment.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
The subject was "What makes a place or space walkable?". I provided an answer that noted that the answer is at the subjective whim of the observer.

You appeared to not like the answer. You cited the article and provided the link in rebuttal - not me.

As far as "environment" - you absolutely are talking about "the environment". You specifically expect a particular environment all around you and you try to define that environment in terms of "walkable" or "not walkable". Your "walkable" appears to mean retail/concrete/masonry desert (i.e., nothing but) - after all your article cited one as the epitome of "walkable".

The only "moving target" here was the definition of "walkable". Apparently you took issue with my comment about just how subjective your "walkable" term is. Certainly it does not mean "walkable" in the normal sense of the word. I do not know why you would apparently disagree with the comment regarding the subjective nature of the word and then cite an article that supports the proposition that it is in fact very subjective. I maintain my earlier comment.
You are trying way to hard not to accept any standard form of measuring walkability even though there are ways to measure it.

My neighborhood is very walkable, but it is hardly the masonry desert you seem to think walkable means.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,401 posts, read 59,899,964 times
Reputation: 54046
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Most cities have minimum regulations for parking for various uses--a certain number of spaces per square foot, or per restaurant table, or other equations that calculate how many parking spaces a business must have to operate. The problem is, these equations aren't based on any demonstrable mathematical principles--they are guesses.
If estimating the number of parking spaces needed based on the number of tables in a restaurant isn't based on mathematical principles ...
Quote:
Sometimes it's a question of parking management. I have seen rows of adjacent parking lots for different businesses where one is in use from 8 AM-5 PM (an office building) and the one next door from 5 PM-midnight (a restaurant.) Invariably, one is chained and empty while the other is full. By promoting good parking management, and in some cases by facilitating insurance policies that cover the potential additional liability, two adjacent businesses with different hours can use the same parking lot--resulting in the same number of functionally usable parking spaces in half the space!
I agree this is a great idea. Landowners can be so territorial with their parking, when there's really no need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
You are trying way to hard not to accept any standard form of measuring walkability even though there are ways to measure it.
What I'm getting from IC_deLight's posts is a reaction to the irrational premise that an expanse of lawn or a long building is not "interesting" enough to be walkable.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,443 posts, read 11,944,656 times
Reputation: 10548
I agree that "walkability" probably should not have been the term used by new urbanism to describe traditional neighborhoods. There's plenty of walkable areas which I wouldn't say have much in the way of commercial areas. For example, this is a pleasant place to walk, with sidewalks and greenery, but there's not really a business district super close.

Perhaps better terms should have been "pedestrian-focused business neighborhoods" versus "car-focused neighborhoods." Really, most business districts fall along a spectrum somewhere along this scale. The exceptions are the modern "fake downtowns" which are built for walking, but have ample parking. In lifestyle centers, this is a sea of parking surrounding the back sides of the buildings. In soft urban infill, it's sometimes hidden garages on the upper stories or behind the buildings. In most cases, however, few people can directly walk from their home to the business district, which means they are ultimately car-focused.
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