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Old 10-06-2014, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,666,018 times
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The fastest time isn't always everything. If I could drive, it would probably take me about 5 minutes to drive to work. But, I don't drive, so it takes about 15 minutes--from door to door--to take transit to work. But, this summer, I decided to walk to work 3-4 times a week. Walking takes about 30 minutes, and it's a very enjoyable 30 minutes.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:25 PM
 
1,971 posts, read 2,494,276 times
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Like most midwestern cities, Chicago was originally designed for streetcars so most of it is just slightly too spread out to truly be called walkable.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,447 posts, read 11,951,877 times
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I think it's unquestionably true that all things being equal, most people would rather drive than use mass transit, and that many people would rather drive than walk under many circumstances (e.g., in bad weather).

That said, all things aren't equal in the real world. The main reason people choose to take mass transit in cities where utilization is high isn't because the transit is faster then a car. It's that finding parking near their work is either too much of a hassle, or spaces in downtown garages are too expensive for them to bother with. You can't even really blame "urbanists" for this, because typically cities have to heavily subsidize downtown parking garages to even get them built - if left to the open market a lot of traditional downtowns would have even less parking.

Similarly, walkable outlying neighborhoods generally have enough parking issues that you'd be crazy, even in bad weather, to get in your car to drive eight blocks. But once again, it's not as if there's any urbanist plot which is causing this. While many of these neighborhoods were built before parking minimums were put into place, they generally do require at least one off-street space per unit for infill construction, and some additional spaces for commercial. Without this parking requirement under zoning, parking would be even more scarce.

People prefer driving if you ensure the built environment is designed around cars, and you remove all disincentives for them to drive everywhere. But if you allow natural urban development to take its course, high-demand areas will get denser on their own, to the point that some mixture of transit and walkability would be required regardless. An autocentric environment is engineered - it's not just a natural outcome of modernity.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,560,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzzz View Post
Like most midwestern cities, Chicago was originally designed for streetcars so most of it is just slightly too spread out to truly be called walkable.
Cities that were built around streetcars are ones you could call bikeable, with walkable neighborhoods.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:03 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,197,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
The fastest time isn't always everything. If I could drive, it would probably take me about 5 minutes to drive to work. But, I don't drive, so it takes about 15 minutes--from door to door--to take transit to work. But, this summer, I decided to walk to work 3-4 times a week. Walking takes about 30 minutes, and it's a very enjoyable 30 minutes.

This is something that is lost on a lot of people. I enjoy walking and biking and think 30 minutes of outdoor fresh air and light exercise daily is essential to my mental well being. I do not care if walking or biking takes a few minutes longer, it is an enjoyable part of my day. I've lived in car centric areas and going to the bank, post office, library, hardware store were all a burden. Now it is an enjoyable part of my day and I will probably run into a few neighbors along the way.

The usual suspects will jump in and say "well that is because you are a young male and have nothing better to do with your time". Well they would be right on one out of three, I am a male. But BECAUSE my time is so valuable I understand the concept of multi tasking, if I can run my errands (or commute) and get some fresh air, exercise and stress reduction all at the same time, that qualifies as time well spent!
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:37 PM
 
1,971 posts, read 2,494,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think it's unquestionably true that all things being equal, most people would rather drive than use mass transit, and that many people would rather drive than walk under many circumstances (e.g., in bad weather).
Neither of those assertions are "unquestionably true." Maybe in america where everyone is unquestionably fat and lazy...
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,560,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzzz View Post
Neither of those assertions are "unquestionably true." Maybe in america where everyone is unquestionably fat and lazy...
That is true, Americans could afford to walk and bike more to help curb our country's path to obesity.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:55 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzzz View Post
Neither of those assertions are "unquestionably true." Maybe in america where everyone is unquestionably fat and lazy...
Talk about something that adds nothing to the conversation! We don't need this "dump on America" stuff any more than we need the "my unhappy childhood is a fault of the suburbs" compost.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,560,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Talk about something that adds nothing to the conversation! We don't need this "dump on America" stuff any more than we need the "my unhappy childhood is a fault of the suburbs" compost.
Obesity is a huge problem in this country and a reason why we should be promoting walkable communities. Americans could afford to lose some weight.

Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Data and Statistics: Adult Obesity - DNPAO - CDC
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:33 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,197,156 times
Reputation: 3351
It is amazing that some people fail to see the connection between our built environment and obesity.
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