U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-14-2015, 05:36 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
The other flaw is the assumption that the downtown area all by itself can generate all the pedestrian traffic needed. One of the reasons why Chicago's State street failed was because it was difficult to drive to and not everyone wanted to use public transit to get there. Two big groups were excluded from state street. One group are tourist who drove into town(often the best way to travel if you are coming from some rural area) and the other was suburban visitors who didn't want to be dependent on Metra.
That's a good point. If Pearl St. businesses counted on the students to stay afloat, they'd probably sink. They're poor, and they're cheap. Besides, Pearl St. doesn't really sell anything most people need/want. There are a few specialty clothing stores (workout clothes for women, special down jackets), a great bookstore, and a lot of restaurants and "artsy" shops.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-14-2015 at 06:11 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-14-2015, 05:54 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,266,407 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
The other flaw is the assumption that the downtown area all by itself can generate all the pedestrian traffic needed. One of the reasons why Chicago's State street failed was because it was difficult to drive to and not everyone wanted to use public transit to get there. Two big groups were excluded from state street. One group are tourist who drove into town(often the best way to travel if you are coming from some rural area) and the other was suburban visitors who didn't want to be dependent on Metra.
What you are saying is flawed because I said no such thing.

State Street failed because no one wanted to visit a crime ridden ghetto area that was abandoned by
businesses and investors (white flight). It had nothing to do with it being accessible to cars or not.
That and the lack of good transit options.

Driving into downtown Chicago or the downtown of any big city is pure torture.
Why anyone wants to do it is beyond me. I'd much rather walk or take transit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 06:09 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post


Yes. Simpy prohibiting cars on a street that was designed for cars is not a good way to create a pedestrian experience. An autocentric street with no cars on it just looks odd because you can tell it was obviously made for cars yet there are no cars. So it just looks like an abandoned street.
For state street they did more than simply prohibit cars and that street was designed for horse carriages not automobiles. They widened the side walk, added sculptures and all sorts of niceties. Didn't work because the buildings are not small and near each other and the buses made crossing the street tricky and there was nothing beyond the office workers to generate traffic(that and a few city dewelers who put up with the changes).

Pedestrian malls only work in very limited circumstances and accommodation must be made for the car in some form. People don't mind an nice stroll down an tiny street but there must be some means to get there and the automobile is one heck of an useful means to get anywhere. Public transit and biking are nice, but not for everyone.

In an college town they work well because there are students there to create some traffic and from the looks of it parking is free/cheap and plentiful on peal street with rates like $1.25 an hour and free sat., sun. and city holidays. It also looks aimed at tourists another group that can go car less or car lite.

If there is an draw that makes sense to be car less or car lite such as an beach nearby then it can work. If you simply plop it down willey nilly without care for what could create pedestrian traffic and assume that people living in the area can do it(very few people can live in an downtown due to high rent prices.) It will fail.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 06:19 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
What you are saying is flawed because I said no such thing.

State Street failed because no one wanted to visit a crime ridden ghetto area that was abandoned by
businesses and investors (white flight). It had nothing to do with it being accessible to cars or not.
That and the lack of good transit options.

Driving into downtown Chicago or the downtown of any big city is pure torture.
Why anyone wants to do it is beyond me. I'd much rather walk or take transit.
Not really. Downtown Chicago is one of the safer parts of town. Not often you have shoot outs in the loop and there still are plenty of homeless people there despite the changes. It depends on what your goal is downtown. People who work downtown usually don't drive there because of the traffic and the parking.

People who VISIT downtown might. Transit only works if there is transit on both ends of the trip and depending on what burb or rural area you are talking about there might not be and Metra stops running at around 11:00p.m. People also drive downtown when they plan to do other things in the day. Say you need to run to city hall for something then head somewhere outside of downtown then driving could be the most time efficient means of doing this and you might say head over to State Street , park and eat at an restaurant or something.

People also generally feel less safe about transit at night and so you might drive on an date downtown, park and head to see an play(done this before. ). Parking is expensive but you only plan to be there for about 2-3 hours anyway and there is not much traffic after the work day is over. And there are people who would rather die than take the bus(I am not one of them but I know some) and frankly I can't blame them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 06:44 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,266,407 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
For state street they did more than simply prohibit cars and that street was designed for horse carriages not automobiles. They widened the side walk, added sculptures and all sorts of niceties. Didn't work because the buildings are not small and near each other and the buses made crossing the street tricky and there was nothing beyond the office workers to generate traffic(that and a few city dewelers who put up with the changes).

State Street has the look and feel of a glorified office park.
The scale and height of the buildings give it a cold and impersonal feel.
Not a fun or ideal kind of place to go for a walk.

Seems like a place to just work 9 to 5 and go home, like a robot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 07:51 PM
 
2,970 posts, read 2,749,954 times
Reputation: 6563
The pedestrian examples that work best have the following characteristics:
1) College or Government town of modest size but with an inherent large daytime / seasonal and transient population (students, alumni, family and government workers / visitors) usually predominantly food convenience retail
2) Urban location that is an inherent destination / tourist location (NY Times Square / Fremont Street, Las Vegas) predominantly flagship retail

The majority of other towns that tried this were all going through de- densification as urban populations and their pedestrian buying patterns (higher frequency/ small volume) transitioned to suburbs and the resultant buying patterns correlated to auto access (less frequency / larger volume). Once people realized they could optimize time by making purchases in volume many of the pedestrian based shopping areas (which is what this movement tried to retain) were found to be bottle neck creators for a population that wanted to move around more via autos.

That's not to say some can not maintain or reinvigorate the 'pedestrian downtown character'. Naperville, IL, is a good example of pedestrian downtown shopping districts in a rejuvenated downtown. They strategically control the traffic flow through the designated area and place structured parking at key access nodes on the periphery. Though, Naperville benefits by being an affluent large suburb (140k + population) of Chicago with a high enough percent of what I'd call boutique retail buying power i.e. more of the leisure class socio economic per capita to make it work.

OP if you wanted to do what you asked in Bend, OR, you'd want to study and get data on the following:
How much traffic is generated by the businesses within the area you'd want to designate 'pedestrian'? What are the types of commercial uses and employment / daytime / resident traffic as well as auto traffic volume.

You'd want to see if there is an opportunity to create a 'food / convenience centric retail center based upon the mix and whether the traffic issues you seemed to indicate are more an issue of traffic engineering. i.e. growth in population and volume of vehicles surpassing the design and whether there is a better solution (expand an arterial to get volume into a certain point and whether there is enough interest in the type of concentration of commercial businesses that warrant it.

From the satellite view it looks to me that the low density of the built environment will not support making it a destination unless there are some factors (a la college population or large government / hospital campus perhaps that can make it viable. Otherwise, it appears mostly a traffic civil engineering issue.

European cities have good ways to deal with these issues as many will create limited access at certain hours via bollards that deploy to cordon off streets to create pedestrian only areas for special events or during busy pedestrian traffic times.

Last, the only places a 'pedestrian only' downtown works is when the density (employment and residential) makes transit options more viable and the municipality can actually designate a premium for auto (tax) or no auto zones, a la, City of London.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 09:03 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
Reputation: 14805
Here's a pedestrian only street in Granada, Spain. It was 11 am, so not the busiest. Busiest is around 9 pm, of course. The street is immaculately clean, and it's cleaning time.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 09:21 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
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
For state street they did more than simply prohibit cars and that street was designed for horse carriages not automobiles. They widened the side walk, added sculptures and all sorts of niceties. Didn't work because the buildings are not small and near each other and the buses made crossing the street tricky and there was nothing beyond the office workers to generate traffic(that and a few city dewelers who put up with the changes).

Pedestrian malls only work in very limited circumstances and accommodation must be made for the car in some form. People don't mind an nice stroll down an tiny street but there must be some means to get there and the automobile is one heck of an useful means to get anywhere. Public transit and biking are nice, but not for everyone.
This doesn't really make sense to me. They closed one street for a number of blocks to cars not the whole area. What prevented visitors from driving nearby and parking? It's rare for any busier shopping downtown where you can park in front of your destination; I usually can't in my town nor in the suburban one by my parent's home. You end up walking a block or two and then in between stores. I'm not very familiar with State Street, but I'm puzzled how removing traffic from the streets would cause such a change.

================================================== =

One French poster, can't remember where said that French towns with pedestrian mall shopping districts gotten many of its visitors from driving. Often the town would combine the pedestrian mall with an underground parking garage for drivers. Obviously a different situation in the sense that the layout of the old town isn't good for accommodating cars in the first place so the downside of removing cars is less.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 09:26 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
State Street has the look and feel of a glorified office park.
The scale and height of the buildings give it a cold and impersonal feel.
Not a fun or ideal kind of place to go for a walk.

Seems like a place to just work 9 to 5 and go home, like a robot.
Nah there are theaters and restaurants and many things to do on State street but when they banned the auto that is precisely what it turned into. A place people worked and went back home because it was difficult to access when traffic isn't an issue. Retail suffered. You don't need to attract people for an walk, you need a reason why the people are walking there period.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2015, 09:29 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
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Yes. Simpy prohibiting cars on a street that was designed for cars is not a good way to create a pedestrian experience. An autocentric street with no cars on it just looks odd because you can tell it was obviously made for cars yet there are no cars. So it just looks like an abandoned street.
It doesn't sound like the most attractive design (if you're going to close to traffic, why not use the space for some plants or interesting public markers). But it can be successful going by pedestrian volume. Here's a few view of Brooklyn's Fulton Street pedestrian mall, which allows buses:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=fulto...282.28,,0,6.86

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=fulto...302.12,,0,0.76
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top