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Old 12-05-2014, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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Washington Street United Methodist Church - side door
A side door of Washington Street United Methodist Church - Columbia, South Carolina by Photographs by Matt, on Flickr
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbiadata View Post
001 by Photographs by Matt, on Flickr

Its interesting how wide some of Columbia's Streets are....Assembly Street especially. I know from an urban design standpoint that is not ideal.. but the car is still king in most SC cities, except downtown Charleston.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Athens, Greece (Hometowm: Irmo, SC)
2,132 posts, read 2,274,047 times
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Woodlands, I hear that. I'll take wide and direct streets any day over what Charleston has. I still haven't vented about Charleston's roads when I had to go down there for a Thanksgiving gathering ... It made me fully appreciate Columbia's roads and a planned city over... Well, whatever Charleston is... As if they got the same people that design rollercoasters to switch and engineer the planning of Charleston's inner city roads.

Oh, and by the way, speaking of Charleston, Columbia has it's own version of something "haunted" and spooky. Check out that Hampton-Preston picture. Neat.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:22 PM
 
26 posts, read 32,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithgn View Post
It made me fully appreciate Columbia's roads and a planned city
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but in terms of Urban fabric, Columbia's wide streets are 200% a liability. Ease of driving and walkability may not necessarily be an inverse causal relationship, but they're sure as hell inversely correlated. Main Street v. Assembly Street is a case in point: One is friendlier on foot, and more inviting to business/development/property value, while the other is friendlier to cars, and not much else.

The Atlantic had an article on this subject just this year: Fire Departments Are Standing in the Way of Good Street Design - CityLab

Some people would rather drive to Wal-Mart on a nice wide street, but those things belong in the suburbs (or hell), not downtown where the focus is interaction.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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At least two people can walk side by side on all of Columbia's sidewalks. Columbia's streets are no wider than Washington, DC's, and that city has no pedestrian issues. It's really just a matter of what sits on the corners. Columbia has some gaps to fill in in that respect, but with cross-walk signs and well-marked crossings, there's really no problem. Wide, tree-lined streets add a certain grace. The Richland Library is a great example of how the width of Assembly Street isn't a deterrent to vitality in downtown Columbia. People are in out of of that building constantly and talking on the sidewalk in groups. If all four corners at that intersection and each intersection of Assembly had that vibe, there would be no talk of the street being too wide. There is, after all, a wide median with plenty of room to stand and wait if you can't make it all the way across, but if you cross Assembly from the library, what you're usually doing is heading to Main Street, whereas you could someday be heading to whatever will eventually sit at the southeast corner of Assembly and Hampton. Assembly just happens not to have developed with street-level retail in mind in recent years, but when it does, there's no reason it should be deemed too wide to cross. Could it psychologically be more conducive to a back and forth vibe? Absolutely, and that day is coming, but its width is not standing in the way of its being yet another vibrant street in a downtown that covers a lot of territory in a non-linear pattern.

Last edited by Charlestondata; 12-05-2014 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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You're missing the point. Every city has a wide street, maybe as wide or wider than Assembly Street. Some of them might even be wildly successful. Off the top of my head I can think of East Bay in Charleston and the Champs Elysees in Paris (although the comparison is more than dubious).

The point is that in good cities, cities with more urban character and higher rates of development, tourism, investment, and in-migration, those wide streets are outliers in a greater scheme. Not every road should be four lanes. Almost every road in Columbia is four lanes (the only two-lanes I can think of downtown are Main Street and Lady west of Gervais).

Main Street south of the Capitol doesn't need four lanes. Neither does Lady St, Washington, Blanding, Laurel, Park, Calhoun, Hampton, et cetera ad nauseum. I don't say these things just to pick on Columbia, I say them because I think it can be better. Stop getting so defensive and think critically!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:17 PM
 
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nice pics!
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
12,916 posts, read 18,761,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticus Finch View Post
You're missing the point. Every city has a wide street, maybe as wide or wider than Assembly Street. Some of them might even be wildly successful. Off the top of my head I can think of East Bay in Charleston and the Champs Elysees in Paris (although the comparison is more than dubious).

The point is that in good cities, cities with more urban character and higher rates of development, tourism, investment, and in-migration, those wide streets are outliers in a greater scheme. Not every road should be four lanes. Almost every road in Columbia is four lanes (the only two-lanes I can think of downtown are Main Street and Lady west of Gervais).

Main Street south of the Capitol doesn't need four lanes. Neither does Lady St, Washington, Blanding, Laurel, Park, Calhoun, Hampton, et cetera ad nauseum. I don't say these things just to pick on Columbia, I say them because I think it can be better. Stop getting so defensive and think critically!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You miss the point that both Assembly Street and Huger Street are on the drawing board for major beautification and redesign. Nearly every street I can think of in the huge and wildly successful commercial grid of Washington, DC, has at least four lanes.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
12,916 posts, read 18,761,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmcallister View Post
nice pics!
For my part, thank you, since that is the topic of this thread.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Athens, Greece (Hometowm: Irmo, SC)
2,132 posts, read 2,274,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticus Finch View Post
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but in terms of Urban fabric, Columbia's wide streets are 200% a liability. Ease of driving and walkability may not necessarily be an inverse causal relationship, but they're sure as hell inversely correlated. Main Street v. Assembly Street is a case in point: One is friendlier on foot, and more inviting to business/development/property value, while the other is friendlier to cars, and not much else.

The Atlantic had an article on this subject just this year: Fire Departments Are Standing in the Way of Good Street Design - CityLab

Some people would rather drive to Wal-Mart on a nice wide street, but those things belong in the suburbs (or hell), not downtown where the focus is interaction.
I suppose I'm more frustrated not with the lack of "width" Charleston's roads have to offer, but just the chaotic design and seemingly erratic directions a road will take you and suddenly end, or make 45 degree sharp turn to the right where you suddenly end up on a one way street made of cobblestone that empties into the ocean. It's hectic. Maybe 99% of it all has to do with the fact that I'm unfamiliar with downtown Charleston and Columbia's roads seem to have more of a traditional block design, which I believe Charleston does too, but those roads were unfortunately not driven on on my last escapade to Charleston.

Your point is taken, though, as far as streets like Assembly being not so interactive. As Coladata said, it's changing and for the better.
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