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Old 08-16-2012, 10:37 PM
 
19,602 posts, read 16,153,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSwede View Post
I live in a small town and I walk where ever I need to go, whether it is -25F or 85F.
But I also live only 3 blocks from the mid town area.
The way I see it, "3 blocks" by European standards is not the same as "3 blocks" by American standards.
The first ones were built with walking in mind, the other three - with car ride in mind.
I mean walking 10 blocks in European city is not a big deal, where walking 10 blocks in American city might be already problematic; the distance is quite different.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob702 View Post
In some areas (like the one I grew up in) it definitely is a necessity and even in the big cities public transportation can be a hassle, depending on where you want to go and how much time you have for that. It would've been impossible for me, even as a student, to accept a job anywhere outside of town if I hadn't had access to a car.
Are you telling me that in American cities public transportation is "less hassle" and less time consuming?
Lol, the only case you can live without the car in the US, is when you are retired to wait an hour for the next bus running once an hour, that takes you through points F,D, and C when you really need to make it from A to B. What takes 20 minutes in a car, takes 1,5 on a bus - at least that was my experience with public transportation on the West Coast.
As for the smaller cities - it was actually much better; the problem is, the bus routes are simply not reaching each and every destination in town, not to mention their sketchy schedules on the week-ends.
And of course walking distance to places that buses don't reach are huge ( comparably to walking distances in European cities) plus walking/crossing highways at that makes it pretty clear that the US streets/cities were not meant for public transportation and walking.


Quote:
A car isn't a necessity in the US either, it all depends on where you live and what your expectations are.
A car isn't a necessity in the US?
If someone like me is already driving, it sure is)))
I'm looking here at this article -

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/sc...pagewanted=all

It actually sums it all up pretty well;

"Cities including Vienna to Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic. Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded by popular bike-sharing programs. Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges just for entering the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities have joined a national network of “environmental zones” where only cars with low carbon dioxide emissions may enter."

“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”

It becomes obvious to me that what's done in the European cities simply can't be done in American cities - they are designed differently.

"Europe’s cities generally have stronger incentives to act. Built for the most part before the advent of cars, their narrow roads are poor at handling heavy traffic. Public transportation is generally better in Europe than in the United States, and gas often costs over $8 a gallon, contributing to driving costs that are two to three times greater per mile than in the United States, Dr. Schipper said."

OK, I think that it answers my question, but thank you for the input.

Last edited by erasure; 08-17-2012 at 12:00 AM..
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:47 PM
 
19,602 posts, read 16,153,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
Large parts of Britain (excluding rural areas of which there are many) are able to be lived in without owning a car quite comfortably. It's not a necessity just a convenience. Sadly using public transport all year works out to be just as expensive as car ownership but without the flexibility.
I hear you, thanks;
Here is another article that proves your words and gives pretty good insight on cities ( and public transportation) in Britain;

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | US v European cities



[SIZE=2]"The UK's policy-makers are starting to wake up to this fact. Recently, there's been a lot more interest in what's going on across the Channel, instead of across the pond. Rather than just admiring the paintwork of the best European cities, ministers are now starting to look under the bonnet.

[/SIZE]So how can we get more of the European city feel here in the UK? What are Munich's lessons for Manchester, and Bilbao's inspirations for Birmingham?
We need to do a better job of understanding European cities.
We can't bring Barcelona to Britain, but there are a number of transferable ideas that politicians, officials and the public can bring home from their mini-breaks. More investment in local transport, parks and public spaces would be a start, as would more mixed-use development, with homes, shops, and cultural amenities clustered together"
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX/London, UK
709 posts, read 1,227,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
The way I see it, "3 blocks" by European standards is not the same as "3 blocks" by American standards.
The first ones were built with walking in mind, the other three - with car ride in mind.
I mean walking 10 blocks in European city is not a big deal, where walking 10 blocks in American city might be already problematic; the distance is quite different.
This has not been my experience at all. At least not for the central parts of the cities, and in the small towns. American cities and towns did exist prior to WWII. Austin which was designed and had its street laid in 1832 (well before cars) uses 100x80 meter grid patern for its streets. That is smaller than the ones where I live in London although it is pretty hard to compare to London since London has no grid to speak of. Just a big mess of streets going every which way. lol. But like my block where my flat is, is 150x110 meters.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
The way I see it, "3 blocks" by European standards is not the same as "3 blocks" by American standards.
The first ones were built with walking in mind, the other three - with car ride in mind.
I mean walking 10 blocks in European city is not a big deal, where walking 10 blocks in American city might be already problematic; the distance is quite different.
It's a 10 minute walk.
How long, in general, is a block in an american small town?
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:42 AM
 
Location: the dairyland
1,229 posts, read 2,063,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Are you telling me that in American cities public transportation is "less hassle" and less time consuming?
No I'm not. I'm just saying that public transportation in Europe can be pretty bad, too, depending on where you're at. Obviously, if you compare Frankfurt or Vienna to Missoula, Montana, Europe scores much better. But that's apples to oranges. Europe still scores better overall, but in many larger US cities you can live without a car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Lol, the only case you can live without the car in the US, is when you are retired to wait an hour for the next bus running once an hour
Like I said, I lived in Milwaukee without a car for quite some time. It was sometimes annoying, but it was doable because I lived close to several bus lines. I know plenty of people who don't own a car and commute by bus, some even from the suburbs. And Milwaukee is not really a public transportation mecca. Not all of my friends in cities like Madison, Cincinnati, Minneapolis or St. Louis own cars either and don't get me started about Chicago. It all depends on where you live. In the US and in Europe.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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Depends on the country and what you view as a small city. In Somewhere like Germany I don't think you would need a car for a small city. But in Ireland or the UK you really would need a car. We do have buses and stuff but the buses stop at a certain time and aren't that frequent in small cities. In the UK though it depends if you are in England or outside England, In england you really wouldn't need a car but outside there yes you probably would.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:53 AM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,512,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
The way I see it, "3 blocks" by European standards is not the same as "3 blocks" by American standards.
The first ones were built with walking in mind, the other three - with car ride in mind.
Are you trying to say that most American cities were built in XX century were cars became popular???? That's simply beyond funny....

By the way, the size of a city block varies from town to town and city to city.

Last edited by rebel12; 08-17-2012 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:55 AM
 
231 posts, read 453,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BevoLJ View Post
This has not been my experience at all. At least not for the central parts of the cities, and in the small towns. American cities and towns did exist prior to WWII. Austin which was designed and had its street laid in 1832 (well before cars) uses 100x80 meter grid patern for its streets. That is smaller than the ones where I live in London although it is pretty hard to compare to London since London has no grid to speak of. Just a big mess of streets going every which way. lol. But like my block where my flat is, is 150x110 meters.

Yeah..but back then (18th and 19th Centuries), American cities were conceived for carts and horses. America, including Latin America, was far richer than Europe and horses and carts were common. In Europe, commoners walked and unless America, people rarely travelled 5 miles from the place they were born.

European cities are based on a Roman, preroman or medieval pattern always traced by the perimeter of the walled enclosure, and then the "off the wall or burg", the city built off the wall generally by merchants.

So there's no comparison whatsoever, more so after the suburban explosion in the US that took place in the 20's. In the US, most people had a car when in Europe it was a luxury item, so cities being developed during the 20's and 30's in Europe were conceived for public transportation.

And yes, you need a car in America, absolutely essential. You can live without a car in Europe, but having a car is not a luxury or a trivial item, but for most of the people is also essential.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:06 AM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,512,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquemation View Post
Yeah..but back then (18th and 19th Centuries), American cities were conceived for carts and horses. America, including Latin America, was far richer than Europe and horses and carts were common. In Europe, commoners walked and unless America, people rarely travelled 5 miles from the place they were born.

European cities are based on a Roman, preroman or medieval pattern always traced by the perimeter of the walled enclosure, and then the "off the wall or burg", the city built off the wall generally by merchants.
Yeah, however most European cities expanded beyond the city walls about a thousand years ago...




Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquemation View Post
And yes, you need a car in America, absolutely essential. You can live without a car in Europe, but having a car is not a luxury or a trivial item, but for most of the people is also essential.
I agree. All of the people I know and deal with in Europe, most of them living in cities own cars.
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