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Old 12-30-2019, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Chi > DC > Reno > SEA
2,120 posts, read 1,005,797 times
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There are benefits to population density other than walkability, e.g.

- bikeability
- ease of navigating for tourists
- shorter commutes
- less sprawl --> less unsustainable development and loss of nature preserves and farmland
- reduced crime due to the "eyes on the street" effect (see: Manhattan, the downtowns of cities like Chicago and Detroit vs. other parts of those cities)

 
Old 12-30-2019, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Katy-zuela
5,105 posts, read 9,250,256 times
Reputation: 2603
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
The OP, and a Houston booster at that, helps convince me that Houston is a city I would never aspire to visit. If I find myself there for another reason or am happening to pass through, sure, I’ll check it out and take in some of the museums and maybe a restaurant or bar but if that never happens I won’t think of that as any great loss.
Same with San Diego. It's on the border with bullets flying through the fence from the Mexican side! haha

Tijuana is constantly put down by Mexicans as ugly and dangerous--mostly from the central heartland. But seriously there is nothing astonishing about SD, just sleepier (and hillier) than L.A. and more hectic than Santa Barbara. L.A./O.C. will forever overshadow SD and it doesn't help that it has the national cultural megaphone either! Lots of more things to see and do in L.A.

Quote:
My partner and I walk everywhere in our city, Southern California at that, 10k steps a day is the base norm. The last time I filled up my car has to be at least two months ago- and it’s a bit of a gas guzzler. It’s just sitting on the street with leaves and cobwebs all over it. We walk or bike to daily shop, some of the best restaurants and local watering holes in the city are 3-7 min. walk away in our streetcar neighborhood. Adjacent vibrant neighborhoods and all of downtown and the bay are about 1/2 hour walk. I am rarely enjoying myself while driving or riding in a car and am downright giddy or at least feeling most alive and human while walking..
Yet the post-war SoCal car culture still lives on today. The Jetsons was a parody of a futuristic 21st-Century city full of LAX Theme buildings in the sky with hover cars flying between. Various TV shows and movies have featured Southern California's climate and lifestyle through the decades. There even was a movie franchise based on the street racing SoCal racing car culture--"The Fast and The Furious".

Yet the biggest yapping about being eco-friendly and climate change comes from California, yet they still cling to car culture and sprawl--such unashamed hypocrisy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justabystander View Post
I am getting in line here to explain to you the hype on walkability, since it unfortunately doesn't appear to be a relevant thing in Houston, a car dependent city. I now live in a train line suburb of Chicago where I paid a premium on the price of my house so I would be able to walk to the train each morning ( a quick 5 minutes) to go to work (a ten minute walk from the train station). I also am able to walk to the downtown of my small suburban town that has coffee shops, restaurants and other things like holiday gatherings and parades. My kids are also able to walk to their schools, without a bus. I just leave my car in my garage and use it on weekends or in the evening if I have to. I have saved thousands on gas, parking ($60 a month at the train station) and headaches. If I drove to downtown Chicago without the benefit of a train, I would waste an hour of my life to and an hour from work in traffic, and have to pay at least $18 a day (outer parking lot with a 15 minute walk to work) up to $50 a day ( well located parking 2 minutes to work). I am sure that this is true in cities like New York, Washington, Boston and San Francisco, among others.
Let's talk about Naperville. Route 59's retail strip takes up more space than a similar one in a Houston suburban neighborhood. The streets are wider in most American suburbs than in Houston. The driveways are few and far between on the highway and most of them require entry on a side road along an intersecting thoroughfare--having to wait for a protected left turn behind many cars.

Downtown Naperville is one of the most scenic small-town downtowns in the U.S., but like in the rest of Chicagoland, most people only go there to catch the commuter train. The rehabilitated downtown looks more like the lifestyle center in Cinco Ranch than the authentic one in Downtown Katy.

I doubt that you would be able to take a local bus to the train station to get to work in The Loop--most people drive to the station and don't want the added time for the local bus connection. Heard that there is a few years' long wait for monthly parking passes and limited parking capacity overall to meet demand for the train--so get to the station parking lot as early in the morning as you can!!!

If your company leaves the Loop for the suburbs, you will be at the mercy of the (corrupt) expensive Illinois tollroad system. Imagine Blagojevich's hand in your back pocket or purse taking singles and coins from your wallet every time you pass a toll booth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
I live in a walkable area with single family homes and clean busses. Not uncommon at all.
Some problems with OP’s Houston:
1. never was built to be walkable
2. culturally, the idea of walking somewhere is lost on them perhaps because:
3. the humid weather is awful for walking if you plan on being clean and dry when you arrive to your destination.
It's actually the heat. The humidity doesn't bother us much--I remember a Michigander transplant back in January complaining about the humid winter cold in Texas versus the dry winter cold in the Great Lakes. (I was thinking "WTF?"). Visiting Las Vegas or Phoenix involves an awful hellish adjustment of really chapped skin and dehydration and the sad lack of greenery in the sea of brown, red, and yellow.

But for every modern cul-de-sac suburb (not a rail town turned suburb) which is the majority suburban plan in the U.S., you would have to drive around as it lacks extensive bus routes and has a sea of parking lots in front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
I'm very sincere when I say there are more people on the streets of Chicago, in January, at 1:00 AM than there are in Houston's hottest neighborhoods at any point in time. It's why folks that stay up North like urban, dense, and "walkable".
The only people I saw walking around on a snowy December day in Chicago a few years ago were either Chicagoans or tourists walking around the Loop/Mag Mile. The neighborhoods were empty as people usually spend their weekends in The Loop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPbud View Post
Since nobody has mentioned Los Angeles, downtown LA (DTLA) is an example of someplace where you *wouldn't* take your car just to go someplace 5 or 10 blocks away because it will cost you $14-$28 to park your car when you get there. If you're going 15 blocks or 2 miles, you'd probably catch an Uber/Lyft. But all this depends on your lifestyle, if you go to the Staples Center or similar because you like concerts or sports events. Since DTLA is the nexus of the red/gold/purple/blue line metro, you can go quite a few places and I've met many people who dont even have a car (they are the ones who beg to rideshare/carpool to the far-flung events).
Not very representative of most Angelenos. The Westside has the majority of professional jobs and celebrity/superrich residences. There is an animosity on the hipster Eastside (which includes Downtown L.A.) against the Westside (and the Valley suburbs to a lesser extent).

Plenty of Westside office workers clog up surface streets leading to The 405, the 10, and the 101 both times every day. Their origins are unbelievable--from East Ventura County, Santa Clarita, Palmdale/AV Park-and-riders, South Bay, Northern OC, etc. all the way to the I.E. Despite the denials from inner city hipsters, Angelenos clog up the freeways day and night; weekend or weekday.

I doubt the "beautiful people" board those red/orange faux light-rail buses up and down Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards to go between DT SM, Westwood, CC, BH, and WeHo. Never heard of a Rodeo Drive shopper using the bus to visit Century City to finish their shopping list. But the renovated CC mall architectural design, with the new luxurious stores such as Eataly inside is a sight to behold (and a hole to the common man's wallet)!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylord_Focker View Post
Walkability in Houston centers around the Galleria, which is a mall.
I admire the modern art in NorthPark Mall in Dallas, which has the conveniences of free admission and extended hours, but it's really a mall for rich people since there are few stores that middle-class people can afford. The only similar mall that I have visited is Northbrook Court which is a mall catering to borderline-super rich people--but smaller and more exclusive than NorthPark--for the snottiest demographic of Chicagoland in the North Shore suburbs.

The Galleria has "something for everyone" from strolling Rodeo-esque luxury boutiques in the famous Galleria I; to the typical suburban shopping mall atmosphere of Galleria IV--so unlike NorthPark, it's a working mall. Lots of Latin American shoppers here--this is the closest major American city to Mexico, so lots of CDMXers, Guads, and Monterreyans visiting to buy stuff unavailable or affordable back home.

If I wanted to see art, I would visit the MFAH and other museums in the Museum District. Hermann Park is actually a nice urban park separating the Museum District from the Texas Medical Center that is similarly laid-out to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Houston's multiple skylines shine here--the Texas Medical Center from the lakeside is a beauty while in the opposite direction, Downtown's skyline is only a few miles up the street.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 01:19 AM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
5,190 posts, read 7,934,770 times
Reputation: 9856
^^^
Delirium can result from spending too much time in cars because of living in a sleepy suburb of overtly auto-centric, refinery fogged Houston metroplex. Sympathy is warranted.

Last edited by T. Damon; 12-31-2019 at 01:28 AM..
 
Old 12-31-2019, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Katy-zuela
5,105 posts, read 9,250,256 times
Reputation: 2603
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
^^^
Delirium can result from spending too much time in cars as a result from living in a sleepy suburb of overtly auto-centric, refinery fogged Houston metroplex. Sympathy is warranted.
Gotta love SoCal traffic though! Too bad KNX ignores you on Traffic and Weather on the 5s.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 02:57 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
131 posts, read 24,966 times
Reputation: 182
I have a car but it was snowing hard today so I walked to the grocery store, to get lunch and then to the Asian market. People think that winter is bad for walkability but it is actually the opposite. I love living in a walkable neighborhood on days like today. It is so much better than risking an accident just to run errands.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,868 posts, read 27,777,141 times
Reputation: 9933
I saw a good amount of people walking in midtown and surrounding areas when I visited Houston a couple months ago. It’s actually getting better there since more developments are happening. But you also mentioned uptown. Uptown will remain a suburban edge city type place. It would be in the suburbs if it was any other city in the nation but if course, Texas has large cities. That place will never have a chance to become fully urban and I tried to tell some Houston posters in the Houston forum before.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
1,307 posts, read 2,752,943 times
Reputation: 1231
Default The River Oaks District and The Boulevard.

The River Oaks district/ Westcreek area looks like it's coming along as a nice walkable area. The Boulevard is also turning into a nice walkable area. I like the waterwall park as well


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
I saw a good amount of people walking in midtown and surrounding areas when I visited Houston a couple months ago. It’s actually getting better there since more developments are happening. But you also mentioned uptown. Uptown will remain a suburban edge city type place. It would be in the suburbs if it was any other city in the nation but if course, Texas has large cities. That place will never have a chance to become fully urban and I tried to tell some Houston posters in the Houston forum before.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
1,307 posts, read 2,752,943 times
Reputation: 1231
Default Refinery fogged??

The refineries are east of town and the wind blows north so most of Houston is free from refinery fog.
Now if you live in Pasadena or Baytown then yes that is the "Smell Of Money"


Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
^^^
Delirium can result from spending too much time in cars because of living in a sleepy suburb of overtly auto-centric, refinery fogged Houston metroplex. Sympathy is warranted.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,868 posts, read 27,777,141 times
Reputation: 9933
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd433 View Post
The River Oaks district/ Westcreek area looks like it's coming along as a nice walkable area. The Boulevard is also turning into a nice walkable area. I like the waterwall park as well
Yeah but it’s pretty much the Tyson’s of the Houston area. No matter how much transit you build, it will always be a car centric place. Midtown at least has the better chance as it has better bones.

Kind of sad that this would deter anyone from visiting a city though.
 
Old 12-31-2019, 07:53 AM
 
459 posts, read 224,530 times
Reputation: 253
I walk.
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