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Old 12-07-2014, 03:54 AM
eok
 
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Crime is a much bigger factor than most people think. The downtown of a major city has thousands of visitors, who stay in downtown hotels, but most of them avoid doing much walking in downtown, simply to avoid crime. When people get off work, they often go to a local bar or whatever, but it's usually one very close to their office building, because they want to avoid doing a lot of walking through crime-infested areas. And when they drive somewhere other than work, it's usually to a place outside of downtown, for the same reason.

If we could somehow get rid of crime, nearly all downtowns would suddenly come alive again.

Besides crime, the 2nd biggest factor is that downtown real estate is expensive, so a business has to have a lot more income to survive there. The kind of business that makes a place seem alive is often the kind of business that can have a hard time surviving. But that's partly caused by crime too. They get fewer customers because those customers are scared of crime. But another factor is that it can be harder to drive to places in downtown because it's harder to park there. So people who can choose where they go are more inclined to choose a place outside of downtown where it's easier to park. And that can make it harder for some downtown businesses to survive. But crime is a factor in that too. In downtown people want to park closer to their destination, so they don't spend as much time walking through crime-infested areas.

Public transportation is a major factor too, but crime is a factor in that too. A lot of people don't like to take public transportation because of fear of crime. If you sit on a bus bench waiting for a bus, you're a target of crime while waiting. On the bus itself you're a target of crime.

So it's really all mostly caused by crime. And crime is caused by the incompetence of our criminal justice system.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:11 AM
 
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Parking is always a problem , as You go to a shopping mall the parking is free , go downtown and some cities have toll area for cars or busses only or parking is expensive who needs it , cities can have it parking meters but most will not come there ..... Even some on the smaller cities have stopped collecting their parking meters were parking is now free for the downtown brings back the people more
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:51 AM
 
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Quote:
The city needs to focus on a downtown that provides services residents needs not 20 specialty shops.
I don't know, VA, the shopping as entertainment seems to work for Knoxville. There are small markets for grocery essentials but it is expected residents will go to grocery stores outside downtown for primary shopping.

Yes about the parking hljc, when you have a car-centric city parking is essential. I believe it needs to be structured parking, otherwise the businesses are so spread out you lose the appeal of walking around a dense downtown.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:25 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You're missing the point. It does not indicate most people were using horses for transportation regardless of ownership. wburg's post you responded discussed ownership:



I disagreed in the previous post about people walking everywhere here. But from the back and forth, I thought we were were arguing over whether most people in cities before cars were getting around by horse-drawn carriage.
Well what do you think people were using the horses for? Pets? There is no date on the link I posted. Let's assume it was 1900, the final census year before cars became fairly common. NYC's population that year was 3,437,202. Using some "quick math" that's about one horse for every 55 people. Some of those horses "worked" for the city, to power firetrucks and maybe even police vehicles and ambulances. But many of them were used for transporting individuals. And I didn't say "most people", I said "people".
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:40 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well what do you think people were using the horses for? Pets? There is no date on the link I posted. Let's assume it was 1900, the final census year before cars became fairly common. NYC's population that year was 3,437,202. Using some "quick math" that's about one horse for every 55 people. Some of those horses "worked" for the city, to power firetrucks and maybe even police vehicles and ambulances. But many of them were used for transporting individuals. And I didn't say "most people", I said "people".
Yes, I went through this numbers before, that's why I objected. That's really small compared to the population, which was my point. It's a small minority. Obviously, horses were used to transport some people in big cities, I never said they weren't. I thought we were discussing most people. No one made a claim "no one traveled by horse and carriage back then" so I didn't you think were arguing against that.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:04 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yes, I went through this numbers before, that's why I objected. That's really small compared to the population, which was my point. It's a small minority. Obviously, horses were used to transport some people in big cities, I never said they weren't. I thought we were discussing most people. No one made a claim "no one traveled by horse and carriage back then" so I didn't you think were arguing against that.
OK, now everyone else, I almost guarantee that this will be my last post on this subject. I was arguing against the idea posted by wburg that "People didn't necessarily travel downtown for work--if they worked downtown, generally they also lived downtown. The residents of downtown generally didn't leave downtown for daily needs, because, as you say, they had small local stores and had items delivered (furniture, groceries, milk, ice etc.)"

In a city of 3,4,5 million, not everyone could live downtown, even with the existence of tenements. And not every little neighborhood had absolutely everything anyone could ever need! Even these days, most neighborhoods have a grocery, a hardware store, stuff like that, but if you want to buy clothes, especially specific clothes, shoes, jewelry a doctor or dentist visit, etc you may have to leave your immediate few blocks.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
OK, now everyone else, I almost guarantee that this will be my last post on this subject. I was arguing against the idea posted by wburg that "People didn't necessarily travel downtown for work--if they worked downtown, generally they also lived downtown. The residents of downtown generally didn't leave downtown for daily needs, because, as you say, they had small local stores and had items delivered (furniture, groceries, milk, ice etc.)"

In a city of 3,4,5 million, not everyone could live downtown, even with the existence of tenements. And not every little neighborhood had absolutely everything anyone could ever need! Even these days, most neighborhoods have a grocery, a hardware store, stuff like that, but if you want to buy clothes, especially specific clothes, shoes, jewelry a doctor or dentist visit, etc you may have to leave your immediate few blocks.
Yeap and depending on the size of they city Doctors and Dentist were also found in the neighborhoods. Downtown is often where an city was founded and grew out of. Over time policies can move things like factories(there once were factories in Chicago's downtown and near the lake) out to other areas of town. Office buildings,Government buildings and hotels are the least objectionable things and so they remain. Hotels to support tourist and travelers(downtown is often where rail terminated), as well as business. People living downtown full time in some way is an modern idea. Only long ago when public transit was unavailable or limited did people choose to live downtown. Now with an boom of childless office workers is living downtown fashionable again. In the era of factory work esp. once the factories were moved out of downtown, workers lived near factories and a trip downtown was for something special like specific clothes jewelry and so on. The guys left the shifts and went to some local bar to drink.

An downtown bar might only be used for dating or socializing after an movie or show. An downtown restaurant for office workers, tourists, shoppers and again some weekend socializing.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:36 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
"Generally" means "in general", meaning it's not what always happens. Perhaps in some parts of the country "generally" means "universally in every single instance," because it's the only way I can imagine that someone would interpret "If they worked downtown, generally they lived downtown" to mean "In all instances, people always worked downtown without exception, and nobody ever left their own neighborhood for anything." I'm sorry if this regional variation in dialect caused any confusion.
That is not the issue. Many in NYC didn't "generally" live downtown if they worked downtown. There simply wasn't enough room downtown for all of them. 62,000 horses is a lot of horsepower for a city where generally people walked.

For your edification (if you think I'm making this up): Hosed - The New Yorker
"In the eighteen-sixties, the quickest, or at least the most popular, way to get around New York was in a horse-drawn streetcar. . . . New Yorkers made some thirty-five million horsecar trips a year at the start of the decade. By 1870, that figure had tripled. . . . By 1880, there were at least a hundred and fifty thousand horses living in New York, and probably a great many more. . . . George Waring, Jr., who served as the city’s Street Cleaning Commissioner, described Manhattan as stinking “with the emanations of putrefying organic matter.” Another observer wrote that the streets were “literally carpeted with a warm, brown matting . . . smelling to heaven.” "
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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A horsecar is not what most people would think about when they consider horse and carriage. They were basically fixed-rail buses which were pulled by 1-2 horses.



They were an early form of mass transit - the earliest widely-used form actually. Steam ferries basically developed simultaneously, but were only useful in a few places (such as from early Brooklyn to Manhattan). And the earlier "omnibus" (bus carriage without a fixed rail) was much more costly and impractical. They were the dominant form of mass transit from 1832 to 1890.

That said, the horsecar was still more expensive than the later electric streetcar. During the era of the horsecar, commuting via transit was something that only the wealthy and professional class (doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc) did with any regularity. Hence while "horsecar suburbs" (e.g., strictly residential areas, although they didn't look suburban in the modern sense) existed, they only catered to these folks (with perhaps a small working-class area for shopkeepers and servants to live). Most working-class people continued to live in traditional mixed use areas, where they had to be within a 1-2 mile walk of their place of work - during this period.

During the horsecar era, most downtowns were predominantly mixed-use areas with civic buildings, offices, manufacturing, and residences. Most people would not travel downtown to shop unless they worked there or had some other business to attend to. Of course downtown shopping tended to skew upscale, because Downtown had the highest concentration of wealthier workers. But most shopping was probably done closer to home - either in a business district in their neighborhood, or in a closer local nexus of horsecar lines.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:28 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
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Agreed. None of this is really anything to the thread. I think it's rather clear at this point:

1) Most people in big cities did not travel by horse and carriage before cars
2) In larger cities, most did not walk to downtown
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