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Old 05-27-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
Reputation: 6920

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I'm not arguing that walkable isn't better, but I just don't see that much evidence of it in NoVA. As for needing a walk, I'm a guy who rides a bike all the time from Mount Vernon to Old Town to pick up a few items at Trader Joes or the Safeway on Royal. However, I will admit I did enjoy driving my Jeep top down this weekend up and down the Parkway.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,295,425 times
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Well then you wouldn't fit into my argument (since I stated those who do not believe that walkability improves prices). Whether it happens in NOVA is indeed in question, but I again believe there is a difference between slapping lipstick walkability (IE a towncenter next to a highway where everyone still drives there parks and then walks) and an organically formed and walkable mixed use area where people live within 2 or 3 blocks of great retail and grocery options (alexandria and Arlington).

I am definitely not a supporter of Reston Town Center (Of which I think you are mostly referring), and the reason why is because it was half assed. If you are going to go dense, then don't allow development outside of that density, all they have is sprawl of another form. And if you create a towncenter, dont provide a 4000 space parking garage and tons of surface parking because all you do is induce people to drive drive drive.

Either way, those very small areas which are walkable and in great human scale neighborhoods not near freeways are crushing it as far as marketability (even if they aren't the norm in NOVA).
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
Reputation: 6920
I was very interested in the article in the and section on
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:50 PM
 
270 posts, read 905,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I know Old Town pretty well, and most residents have a car or two stashed somewhere. Why do you think it's so hard to find a parking spot? Not just because of the tourists. Same with areas like Capitol Hill. This isn't a non-car culture like you find in NYC. There are no areas in NoVA with a large percentage of car-free residents. Most Old Towners still hop in the car to go to the big box stores in Potomac Yards to do their shopping. The quaint "walkable" zones are really more for the tourists.
There are definitely a lot of non-car people here in Alexandria, especially in the large buildings near the metros. You might not see them on the GW Parkway, but you will definitely see them in places like the Whole Foods on Duke Street. There are even a few in places like Hunting Towers, who drag big baskets of food home from the Safeway on Royal. Second, just because you have a car doesn't mean you have to drive it everywhere. That's why there are so many cars in Old Town all the time. Not because people are driving them but because they are not. Nobody likes losing a parking spot near the house if you don't have to. People combine trips because moving the car and parking it again can be hard. Once you get a good spot, you keep it. Living in a place where we have a car, but don't have to use it has been awesome and well worth the extra real estate cost.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
Reputation: 6920
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I was very interested in the article in the and section on
Just realized I left an orphan. To finish my thought - I was very interested in the other article in that section about the transformation of metro areas to use of bikes to get around. I'd like to see more of that here.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
Reputation: 6920
o
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbros View Post
There are definitely a lot of non-car people here in Alexandria, especially in the large buildings near the metros. You might not see them on the GW Parkway, but you will definitely see them in places like the Whole Foods on Duke Street. There are even a few in places like Hunting Towers, who drag big baskets of food home from the Safeway on Royal. Second, just because you have a car doesn't mean you have to drive it everywhere. That's why there are so many cars in Old Town all the time. Not because people are driving them but because they are not. Nobody likes losing a parking spot near the house if you don't have to. People combine trips because moving the car and parking it again can be hard. Once you get a good spot, you keep it. Living in a place where we have a car, but don't have to use it has been awesome and well worth the extra real estate cost.
I bike past Hunting Towers and on to Royal almost every day and rarely see folks carrying groceries. It's also surrounded by a big parking lot.. Also whenever a new condo goes in in Old Town there's always a big hole dug first for underground parking. I do see quite a few pedestrian shoppers at Trader Joes. They also regularly max out on bike parking and need to expand that.

If the city wanted to get serious about becoming less car oriented they could eliminate street parking on some streets and replace it with bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

Last edited by CAVA1990; 05-28-2012 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,295,425 times
Reputation: 1504
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
o

I bike past Hunting Towers and on to Royal almost every day and rarely see folks carrying groceries. It's also surrounded by a big parking lot.. Also whenever a new condo goes in in Old Town there's always a big hole dug first for underground parking. I do see quite a few pedestrian shoppers at Trader Joes. They also regularly max out on bike parking and need to expand that.

If the city wanted to get serious about becoming less car oriented they could eliminate street parking on some streets and replace it with bike lanes and wider sidewalks.
Amen to that. Problem is, as much as public figures are verbally jumping on board with proper planning, the pens aren't hitting paper on policy. There are still MINIMUM, not maximum parking requirements for 99% of Northern Virginia, and even in Tysons where we are supposed to be imagining people not cars, decision after decision continues to be made which makes the area remain car centric, leading me to believe that more "half assed" concessionary good ole planning will be incorporated for atleast another generation in NOVA.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,102,397 times
Reputation: 6920
If I had my way they would close King St to car traffic just East of City Hall and make Union Street a pedestrian/bike mall. It's a mess down there on the weekends.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,295,425 times
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Honestly, I dont even think it would impact traffic that much. I would make one change, to allow Route 1 traffic cross still (remaining at maximum 4 lanes). Everyone who wants to drive can just use the perfectly fine side roads. The reason king st gets so bad is because out of towners don't realize they could just be going down the other gridded streets so they all funnel down the 1 street.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:06 PM
 
270 posts, read 905,312 times
Reputation: 172
The City is not going to eliminate street parking for bike lanes, that makes no sense. Non-City residents seem to always want to make Alexandria the "Doormat to DC.". The City has its own identity apart from the drive-thru commuters whether on bike or car. To it's credit, the City has experimented with pedestrian zones in Old Town and they did not work. To get people out of cars, you have to have mixed use development and various transportation options. Arlington and Alexandria have differing approaches, but both are making more of an effort than anybody else in NoVA to make it work.
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