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 03-09-2015, 07:09 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,964,834 times
Reputation: 1954

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
Not sure where this radius number comes from, but it's obviously incorporating a lot of uninhabited areas for Los Angeles since the census-designated UA is 1736 sq miles with a population of 12.1 million.
Similarly, NY has a lot of sparsely populated areas north and west of the city - mostly because the steep slopes discouraged development in the past and now because development is restricted to protect the water supply.

You can get population by radius from a few different sources - I used this one CAPS10C - Missouri Census Data Center - but then I already posted the numbers on the page before this one


Quote:
Would like to see the numbers for this.
I just posted them.

Quote:
If NYC = 8.2 million, 303 sq miles, then the other 7.8 million live in 1342 sq miles? Doesn't seem likely, but who knows?
It only seems unlikely if you aren't familiar with the suburbs of NY. I spent half of my life in and around NYC and I've also spent a lot of time in LA and Orange Co. People who think that the NY suburbs look like where Hillary Clinton lives have never been to Nassau or Union. But yeah, if you don't believe me look it up yourself . . . It would help if you read the rest of the thread but I can save you some time.

NYC has ~8.2 million. Urban Nassau County has ~1.3million, Suffolk has another ~1.3, Hudson 0.6 million, Bergen 0.87, Westchester 0.84. Then there's Essex, Union, Middlesex, Passaic, Rockland, etc. It's really not hard to get to 15 million.

Quote:
This would mean that, per US definitions, the NY UA only adds 1.2 million people in over the next 1000+ sq miles.

New York Urbanized Area = 3450 sq miles, 18.5 million
Yeah, that's my point - that there are some towns out there but, for the most part that next 1000+ square miles is mostly rural/exurban and shouldn't be part of the urbanized area (because it's not urban or suburban).

Look, even if NYC never existed there would still be a residual density. County-by-county it would probably look like counties in PA or MD but it would be a relatively dense patchwork of smaller cities, towns, and rural communities adding up to geographically small counties with populations of 100k - 300k. The residual density of Southern California, in the absence of LA, can be seen in Imperial, Kern, or Santa Barbara Counties. In other words, mostly owing to a lack of water, not many people live there. As I already posted up thread - the unincorporated areas of LA and Orange counties are generally excluded from the urban area even though it's home to about 1.5 million people and would drag down the density of the LA urban area substantially. Because the exurban hinterlands of NYC are slightly more dense owing to it being a larger metro and history (mostly a climate more conducive to water and farming) you wind up with what are actually rural areas included in the NY urban area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-11-2015, 09:28 AM
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
45,993 posts, read 42,158,629 times
Reputation: 14811
Again, why are comparing Los Angeles to New York? Its inner suburbs are rather close in density to Los Angeles' and its outer suburbs are much less dense, but most don't live there. But its much denser core makes a comparison difficult. Comparing Los Angeles to cities with somewhat similar dense cores: San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia would be more interesting than filling the thread with repetitive NYC-LA comparisons. The graph I showed earlier in the thread comparing the census tracts between the two answers most of the debate: its rather clear NYC has more of a range of densities. I think my graph is more useful than trying to comparing pieces or rings of each urban area. And has for Los Angeles being denser because of more people per housing, it's being repeated without any real proof. The difference in people per housing unit isn't big enough unless you're only comparing some of the densest neighborhoods, and the graph I presented of weighted housing density from the center, Los Angeles doesn't stand out.

As for a Bay Area comparison, the high density areas of Los Angeles aren't contiguous — more of the lots of apartment buildings plopped in a neighborhood. But the blob west of downtown LA is still rather large.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,492 posts, read 11,998,900 times
Reputation: 10581
When I look at a neighborhood like Westlake in LA, it clearly does look quite dense from the satellite view. even the street view doesn't look too bad in many cases. Block after block of 2-6+ story apartments buildings which cover almost the entire building footprint.

What LA feels like it's missing though is mixed use. You'll see these streets absolutely full of apartments, but not a single restaurant, cafe, or bodega on a first floor. It makes for a very dead street experience. And the actual commercial streets tend to be wide (four lanes or more) high-speed, and unpleasant areas to walk on. For whatever reason, they seem to be strictly commercial often too - one-to-two story buildings which lack apartments above the retail.

Regardless, all of this I think is a result of when "urban LA" was built out - during the streetcar era, as all of these traits are typical of streetcar neighborhoods. They're overall better at doing the urban thing than postwar neighborhoods, but they were never meant to be neighborhoods primarily interacted with on a pedestrian level.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,156,523 times
Reputation: 3985
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
When I look at a neighborhood like Westlake in LA, it clearly does look quite dense from the satellite view. even the street view doesn't look too bad in many cases. Block after block of 2-6+ story apartments buildings which cover almost the entire building footprint.

What LA feels like it's missing though is mixed use. You'll see these streets absolutely full of apartments, but not a single restaurant, cafe, or bodega on a first floor. It makes for a very dead street experience. And the actual commercial streets tend to be wide (four lanes or more) high-speed, and unpleasant areas to walk on. For whatever reason, they seem to be strictly commercial often too - one-to-two story buildings which lack apartments above the retail.

Regardless, all of this I think is a result of when "urban LA" was built out - during the streetcar era, as all of these traits are typical of streetcar neighborhoods. They're overall better at doing the urban thing than postwar neighborhoods, but they were never meant to be neighborhoods primarily interacted with on a pedestrian level.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that these neighborhoods were formerly majority-SFH, with a smattering of large historic apartments. It also has to do with some strict zoning in Los Angeles, with commercial and residential uses strictly separated. So when these SFHs were torn down, instead of building mixed use like was common in "Old LA," they built strictly residential buildings.

As with every big city, lots of mixed-use buildings are being built all over town - but these are always on the commercial corridors. Residential corridors for the most part strictly forbid commercial development (i.e. mixed use). In other words, it is very unlikely that stretch of Union Street would get any mixed use under the current zoning code, but perpendicular 3rd Street is a highly likely candidate for this sort of new development.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,705,670 times
Reputation: 6288
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
When I look at a neighborhood like Westlake in LA, it clearly does look quite dense from the satellite view. even the street view doesn't look too bad in many cases. Block after block of 2-6+ story apartments buildings which cover almost the entire building footprint.

What LA feels like it's missing though is mixed use. You'll see these streets absolutely full of apartments, but not a single restaurant, cafe, or bodega on a first floor. It makes for a very dead street experience. And the actual commercial streets tend to be wide (four lanes or more) high-speed, and unpleasant areas to walk on. For whatever reason, they seem to be strictly commercial often too - one-to-two story buildings which lack apartments above the retail.

Regardless, all of this I think is a result of when "urban LA" was built out - during the streetcar era, as all of these traits are typical of streetcar neighborhoods. They're overall better at doing the urban thing than postwar neighborhoods, but they were never meant to be neighborhoods primarily interacted with on a pedestrian level.
Purely residential streets are actually quite common in urban neighborhoods across the US. Here's a residential street in Russian Hill for example: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8017..._LWQp5voWw!2e0

What LA lacks (for reasons munchitup stated) is structural density and mixed-used along its commercial boulevards. Commercial thoroughfare in Chinatown SF: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7978...JQ!2e0!6m1!1e1

Westlake equivalent: https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0615...WQ!2e0!6m1!1e1

That commercial street in Westlake is pretty structurally dense by LA standards, but still, the road in Chinatown is a bit narrower, the blocks are bit shorter and, most crucially in terms of perceived urbanity, the streetwalls along it's main thoroughfares are much longer and more cohesive. In fairness to Westlake, the sidewalks are a bit wider, making them more pedestrian friendly.

Driving along Vermont Avenue in Koreatown, even I find it hard to believe it's one of the densest neighborhoods in the US outside NYC. A San Francisco equivalent (Van Ness Avenue) would have hundreds of housing units all along on the street. Vermont Ave has virtually no housing from Wilshire to Hollywood Boulevard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 05:41 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,964,834 times
Reputation: 1954
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Again, why are comparing Los Angeles to New York?
Because LA and NY are the only two cities in the US that are comparable in urban area population. I guess you could compare Chicago to LA in the same way. Or perhaps Chicago to other CSAs like the Bay Area or Balt/Wash.

Comparing LA to Boston doesn't work for the same reason that (as I mentioned earlier) comparing San Antonio to Dallas doesn't work. LA is 3x the size of Boston. Of course the core of LA or Dallas will be larger and more dense than a much smaller city and of course the exurbs of a larger city will sprawl on further.

The only problem in the comparisons is in the way that the data is being aggregated and where to draw boundaries of urban areas. Especially given the high ambient density of a place like southern New England when compared to a place like southern California.

Quote:
The graph I showed earlier in the thread comparing the census tracts between the two answers most of the debate: its rather clear NYC has more of a range of densities. I think my graph is more useful than trying to comparing pieces or rings of each urban area. And has for Los Angeles being denser because of more people per housing, it's being repeated without any real proof. The difference in people per housing unit isn't big enough unless you're only comparing some of the densest neighborhoods, and the graph I presented of weighted housing density from the center, Los Angeles doesn't stand out.

As for a Bay Area comparison, the high density areas of Los Angeles aren't contiguous more of the lots of apartment buildings plopped in a neighborhood. But the blob west of downtown LA is still rather large.

I don't disagree with any of that. I'd just say that I'd like to see density on the LA/SF maps with another cut point or two. Like maybe +20k, +15k and +10k. Because it's not just that the topography of the Bay has forced development into these two main strips of development - it's also that those slightly less dense areas (Berkeley, Oakland, etc) are generally more walkable, closer to each other, and connected by decent and relatively quick transit than comparable places in LA.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 06:22 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,964,834 times
Reputation: 1954
Here you go - I made the cut points 1,000 - 10,000 - 15,000 - 18,000. If you're familiar with Bay Area transit you can clearly see the BART, Muni and Caltrain lines and even where some of the stations are. Even though it's less dense than LA it doesn't feel like it and when you're out and about here you notice the difference. People walk and cycle here - a lot - and not just in downtown Oakland and SF. They might not be walking to work but they're certainly walking other places and it's not at all unusual or a conversation piece to say that you took the train or walked or rode. Whereas it might be strange in the parts of LA that aren't downtown, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice, etc. That's probably due to a region that's grown up around a growing rail network over the last 40 years and a core city that has retained a decent transit culture even through the highway craze.

I think it's an important point to consider when people rave on about density for density's sake. You don't need 50,000 ppsm to have decent low SOV mode share.







Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,156,523 times
Reputation: 3985
While I agree there is more walking and biking in San Francisco and Berkeley / Inner Oakland than most analogous areas in Southern California, I do disagree that there is a huge difference between the rest of the East Bay / Peninsula and your typical non-core Los Angeles neighborhood. Does Richmond or San Leandro have more street-life than Van Nuys or Alhambra? Not really, in my experience.

The one kicker is that SF is a much larger jobs center for the region, which means a lot more people park-and-ride into The City than would in Los Angeles (explaining how one-line Caltrain gets more riders than multi-line Metrolink). As you mentioned, the legacy of BART on the Bay Area's growth has been helpful as well, but it does not really facilitate much street life, most stations outside of DT Berkeley and Oakland's core are very much park-and-ride oriented.

One last thing - you say how you can almost see where the BART and Caltrain lines are on the Bay Area density map. This is also the case in Los Angeles' map, where you can see density following the Gold Line through Pasadena/Highland Park (density is patchy due to mountainous topography) and East LA, along the Blue Line south from DTLA through Compton to Long Beach, west from DTLA along the Red/Purple Lines and southwest along the Expo line to Culver City and then Santa Monica.

The two areas are remarkably similar in my experience.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2015, 12:56 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,964,834 times
Reputation: 1954
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
While I agree there is more walking and biking in San Francisco and Berkeley / Inner Oakland than most analogous areas in Southern California, I do disagree that there is a huge difference between the rest of the East Bay / Peninsula and your typical non-core Los Angeles neighborhood. Does Richmond or San Leandro have more street-life than Van Nuys or Alhambra? Not really, in my experience.
I'm not talking about "street life." I know people can drive to a main street, park, then walk a block to the shop or restaurant they want to visit. I'm talking about people walking around with a purpose (not strolling with their dog) off of the main commercial streets - eg to transit or to their ultimate destination from their house. LA is also a much larger metro than the Bay Area so a town 8 miles from dtLA isn't really analogous to an east bay town that's 10 miles from dtOAK. So, to get at your question, more people walking to work or shopping or transit in Van Nuys than in Richmond? I guess it's possible. More people walking to those things in Alhambra than in San Mateo or Redwood City? I doubt it.

Quote:
The one kicker is that SF is a much larger jobs center for the region, which means a lot more people park-and-ride into The City than would in Los Angeles (explaining how one-line Caltrain gets more riders than multi-line Metrolink). As you mentioned, the legacy of BART on the Bay Area's growth has been helpful as well, but it does not really facilitate much street life, most stations outside of DT Berkeley and Oakland's core are very much park-and-ride oriented.
While the outer BART stations do have sizeable park&rides that doesn't stop a lot of people from walking or biking to them. Here is station access by walk/bike/bus - and this is just for home-based trips (people leaving their house to take the train somewhere). These numbers don't include work-based trips (people who walk to/from these stations to get to work/school) which, since people can't bring a car on the train with them, skews a lot more towards walking.

dt Berkeley - 71/10/9
Ashby - 57/12/1
North Berk - 43/8/1
El Cerrito Plaza - 43/6/1
Macarthur - 35/8/15
Rockridge - 37/5/3
Fruitvale - 17/10/19
Richmond - 24/2/21
San Leandro - 23/3/7
Hayward - 22/1/8
Union City - 17/2/8
Pleasant Hill - 19/3/5
Bayfair - 16/2/10 (this is a real standout since this is essentially the parking lot of a mall)
Fremont - 17/1/8
El Cerrito - 13/3/22
Castro Valley - 14/1/2
Concord - 11/3/7
Walnut Creek - 12/2/7
South Hayward - 12/2/5
Lafayette - 12/2/1
Coliseum - 12/1/19

I didn't include the central OAK stations because it goes without saying that their mode share skews heavily towards peds so I think there are only 3 other east bay stations that are missing from this list because because they didn't break 10% in combined bike/ped. For most of these stations, if you include the non-home trips the number of peds goes up by 50-100%

Quote:
One last thing - you say how you can almost see where the BART and Caltrain lines are on the Bay Area density map. This is also the case in Los Angeles' map, where you can see density following the Gold Line through Pasadena/Highland Park (density is patchy due to mountainous topography) and East LA, along the Blue Line south from DTLA through Compton to Long Beach, west from DTLA along the Red/Purple Lines and southwest along the Expo line to Culver City and then Santa Monica.

The two areas are remarkably similar in my experience.
Sure. But I think it might be more accurate to say that in LA the rail lines are in dense places whereas in SF the dense places are where the rail lines are. In LA there is a lot of density that doesn't seemed too concerned with where the rail lines are. Around SF you don't see much density except for where the rail lines are.

Like Hayward or Fremont for instance - not super dense but then most of that development didn't exist 40 years ago. The Expo Line is going through some pretty old parts of LA and still has that new car smell.

Last edited by drive carephilly; 03-12-2015 at 01:24 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2015, 06:18 AM
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
45,993 posts, read 42,158,629 times
Reputation: 14811
When I was in the Bay Area a bit over a year ago, I met a Dutch guy who found it surprising (or maybe just very different?) how few people biked to the BART stations. While the Bay Area isn't like the Netherlands, bikes do seem rather practical for local trips. I'd assume most BART riders are coming from at most 2-3 miles from the station, except at the end stations. And the weather is very bike friendly. Dutch suburban rail is about 44% bicycle park and ride.
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
Similar Threads
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