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  #41  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 11:23 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
For Houston, I'd say Midtown. It's still a work in progress but is night and day from what it was a couple of decades ago and there's a ton of dense new development going up.
I like the Museum District myself. Great train and bus access and close to Downtown and the Med Center, my second favorite district.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 11:35 PM
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I'm actually surprised you selected that. And the reason is being, as much as I like K-town, and yes it is dense, it's still not very a pedestrian friendly environment. The blocks are extremely long, the boulevards are very wide, and it's not particularly intimate. Any reason why you didn't count Santa Monica, Hollywood or West Hollywood instead? I feel like WeHo is much more walkable.
I would also have to go with Koreatown. Those other neighborhoods are all good candidates (add the south bay beach cities as well) but what Koreatown has going for it is its central location and transit access. How many people can realistically live in WeHo without a car? There are a lot of charming little walkable neighborhoods throughout the city but they lack transit connectivity and are essentially islands where you still need a car to get around. The purple line and measure M should alleviate some of these issues in the future.

I also think that the sheer size and density of Koreatown gives it an urban, big city feel that you won't find anywhere in the westside. Only DTLA and maybe westlake/pico union can match it. It's really more like a half dozen walkable neighborhoods crammed into the geographic center of the city.



Wilshire Boulevard by A. Wee, on Flickr
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 1:37 AM
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I'll probably get some blowback for this, but I think there are very few urban neighborhoods in the United States in which one can live car-free comfortably. Factoring out NYC since it's such an anomaly, how many cities have a large quantity of neighborhoods that meet all of the following criteria:

1) Within walking distance (0.5 mile, 10 minutes) of quality amenities
2) Within walking distance of quality transit (heavy rail or non-streetcar light rail)
3) Good urban design
4) Safe at all hours
5) Non-ghetto (middle class or higher)
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 2:17 AM
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For SF, I would for sure say North Beach. I think it’s the only area in the city where you’ll find single lane commercial streets.


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Last edited by Cory; Jul 13, 2018 at 9:09 AM.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 2:40 AM
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Downtown Tempe/AZ - the neighborhood with a walk score of 73, a transit score of 67 (light rail plus streetcar coming soon) and a bike score of 96. The area also boasts the largest university campus (ASU) with 55,000+ students.


Image courtesy Urban Realty


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Photo: Nick Bastion/Tempe via Pinterest
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  #46  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 2:46 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
I'll probably get some blowback for this, but I think there are very few urban neighborhoods in the United States in which one can live car-free comfortably. Factoring out NYC since it's such an anomaly, how many cities have a large quantity of neighborhoods that meet all of the following criteria:

1) Within walking distance (0.5 mile, 10 minutes) of quality amenities
2) Within walking distance of quality transit (heavy rail or non-streetcar light rail)
3) Good urban design
4) Safe at all hours
5) Non-ghetto (middle class or higher)
Plenty of cities, even some you wouldn't suspect such as Houston.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 3:09 AM
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Plenty of cities, even some you wouldn't suspect such as Houston.
Did you actually give it some thought or is this just another excuse to bring Houston into the mix?
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  #48  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 3:17 AM
McBane McBane is offline
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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
OK. For the purposes of this thread, consider "downtown" to mean "the skyscraper core." Many cities have skyscraper cores that are not just 9-5 office districts, but have a mix of office and residential towers and are perfectly livable neighborhoods. Also, for many cities the skyscraper core is by-far the most walkable place, but I'm specifically interested in answers beyond that.

So just think of it this way: The cluster of tall buildings in the very center of your city is not eligible. Nearby or adjacent places that are clearly a different character are eligible, regardless of how your particular city draws its subdivision boundaries.

Does that clarify the intent? I'm not sure how more simply to say it but it seems very straightforward to me.
Yes, that's a good definition. But I'd consider Rittenhouse to be part of the high rise core, although I get that there's plenty of low rise buildings, too.

I'd actually nominate Washington Square West/Midtown Village/Gayborhood. Comprised mostly of lowrise walkups and townhomes - some tucked away on narrow lanes - the neighborhood also has midrises and a few highrises. You got tons of great shopping - a mix of independent and chain stores (Macy's, Target, Century21, etc.); the venerable Reading Terminal Market and a Mom's Organic Market; tons of great restaurants; access to nearly every subway/trolley/bus/rail line; Washington Square park; Chinatown is just to the north; and you got the oldest bar in Philly. Its location in the middle of Center City means you're close to pretty much everything.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:13 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
Did you actually give it some thought or is this just another excuse to bring Houston into the mix?
I meant it, including the districts I just mentioned. Just because most of the area is sprawling doesn't mean there aren't some pedestrian friendly areas. I thought of moving to the Museum District because it is possible to live without a car. It'd only be a pain in the rear because of Houston's overall nature.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
I'll probably get some blowback for this, but I think there are very few urban neighborhoods in the United States in which one can live car-free comfortably. Factoring out NYC since it's such an anomaly, how many cities have a large quantity of neighborhoods that meet all of the following criteria:

1) Within walking distance (0.5 mile, 10 minutes) of quality amenities
2) Within walking distance of quality transit (heavy rail or non-streetcar light rail)
3) Good urban design
4) Safe at all hours
5) Non-ghetto (middle class or higher)

Chicago
Philadelphia
Boston
DC
San Francisco
Seattle
Portland

The usual suspects. But yeah, the rest, definitely preferable to have a car given the choice (though still doable without a car in several more cities). I don't think that's too controversial.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
Plenty of cities, even some you wouldn't suspect such as Houston.
True.

I guess it depends on where you are at in life. Here in Norfolk my wife has a 4 minute walking commute to her job. I live downtown where there is over 100 bars and restaurants within a 10 minute walk, there is a 140 store mall 2 blocks from me with a movie theatre, I will be taking LTR and one bus to school(or bike on nice days, about 30 mins away) starting in August. There is plenty of music and art venues within walking distance. Our only *must* for driving(which I guess we could do on a bus, but its complicated) is going to buy groceries.

So for our daily life, living car-free is pretty easy. Since I left my job I am putting about 30 miles a week on my car. My wife puts about 3 miles a week on hers. Of course on the weekends we sometimes get bored and go to the beach or some random store, but we don't *need* that.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Chicago
Philadelphia
Boston
DC
San Francisco
Seattle
Portland

The usual suspects. But yeah, the rest, definitely preferable to have a car given the choice (though still doable without a car in several more cities). I don't think that's too controversial.
It's possible to live car-free in virtually any urban area that has bus lines and ridesharing services.

My question was more rhetorical than anything else. There are very few urban neighborhoods in our country that unequivocally provide for car-free living. There's a difference between a place that's walkable/car-free by default (e.g. car ownership is too much of a hassle) and one that's genuinely friendly and enjoyable for pedestrians. I think the bulk of those cities belong to the former distinction. Who wants to live in SF's Sunset District, Chicago's South Side, or Boston's Dorchester because the pedestrian experience is so great?
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  #53  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Probably Kensington Market.
Interesting... I think Kensington's scale and intensely lived-in aesthetic make it a good candidate but its offerings are almost too fringe-y and unique in my mind to be that "one" neighbourhood.

For Toronto I'd go for the King W area:
https://goo.gl/maps/E1bpcpSGSok
https://goo.gl/maps/P8RY11LWut42
https://goo.gl/maps/nRMtegTkAsJ2
https://goo.gl/maps/qxBp7LmVgBR2
A 5 min walk to Queen W, and you can't go wrong.



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  #54  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 6:06 AM
homebucket homebucket is offline
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
It's possible to live car-free in virtually any urban area that has bus lines and ridesharing services.

My question was more rhetorical than anything else. There are very few urban neighborhoods in our country that unequivocally provide for car-free living. There's a difference between a place that's walkable/car-free by default (e.g. car ownership is too much of a hassle) and one that's genuinely friendly and enjoyable for pedestrians. I think the bulk of those cities belong to the former distinction. Who wants to live in SF's Sunset District, Chicago's South Side, or Boston's Dorchester because the pedestrian experience is so great?
The Sunset is actually quite walkable, especially Inner Sunset (walk score 94, transit score 72), in particular along Irving St. The Outer Sunset, which is less dense still has a respectable walk score of 78 and transit score of 62. But no matter where you are in the Sunset, you are at maximum 2 blocks away from any MUNI bus or metro route. So you can totally live car-free in the Sunset, and many people do.

1) Within walking distance (0.5 mile, 10 minutes) of quality amenities
2) Within walking distance of quality transit (heavy rail or non-streetcar light rail)
3) Good urban design
4) Safe at all hours
5) Non-ghetto (middle class or higher)

Out of the criteria you listed, the only thing is doesn't really meet is #3. But again, it depends which part of the Sunset you're talking about. The Inner Sunset is actually very enjoyable and if you want to mix it up and find greenery, Golden Gate Park is less than a 5 minute walk away.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 8:32 AM
Pavlov's Dog Pavlov's Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
I'll probably get some blowback for this, but I think there are very few urban neighborhoods in the United States in which one can live car-free comfortably. Factoring out NYC since it's such an anomaly, how many cities have a large quantity of neighborhoods that meet all of the following criteria:

1) Within walking distance (0.5 mile, 10 minutes) of quality amenities
2) Within walking distance of quality transit (heavy rail or non-streetcar light rail)
3) Good urban design
4) Safe at all hours
5) Non-ghetto (middle class or higher)
Out of curiosity, what is wrong with streetcars? To me they enhance the urban fabric in a densely populated area. A lot of light-rail functions like streetcars in many US cities. Heavy rail only makes sense if you have a really big city where you already have high densities. Rapid transit, when done poorly, can be almost as bad for a neighborhood as a small freeway.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 8:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov's Dog View Post
Out of curiosity, what is wrong with streetcars? To me they enhance the urban fabric in a densely populated area. A lot of light-rail functions like streetcars in many US cities. Heavy rail only makes sense if you have a really big city where you already have high densities. Rapid transit, when done poorly, can be almost as bad for a neighborhood as a small freeway.
I gather that what the OP is looking for exactly this.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 9:16 AM
Pavlov's Dog Pavlov's Dog is offline
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I gather that what the OP is looking for exactly this.
The OP actually never mentions transit. Cirrus talks about being able to meet ones needs by walking. Quixote has his/her own criteria which I found worthy of discussion.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov's Dog View Post
Out of curiosity, what is wrong with streetcars? To me they enhance the urban fabric in a densely populated area. A lot of light-rail functions like streetcars in many US cities. Heavy rail only makes sense if you have a really big city where you already have high densities. Rapid transit, when done poorly, can be almost as bad for a neighborhood as a small freeway.
Light rail is fine, like all transit modes. But it's low capacity, akin to a bus. You generally aren't going to have high density, transit-oriented urbanity with light rail alone.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 12:59 PM
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Not in America, but in Sydney, Australia there's pedestrian malls and pedestrian-oriented areas everywhere (Newtown, Bondi Junction, Double Bay etc, or further afield you have Manly, Burwood, Cabramatta and so on).

But if you're talking about a neighbourhood as a whole I'd go for the Kings Cross-Potts Point area. An affluent, and one of the densest areas in the city filled with multi-storey terraces (rowhouses) and older apartment blocks, including ones which are pre-war. Pedestrian-oriented streets and laneways with cafes, restaurants and boutique shops. Serviced by Kings Cross railway station and several bus routes, and a high proportion of residents either take public transit or walk to work.

It's the area at the front of this pic:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/844/40...34ec8b71_h.jpg


Some street views:

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

Upon walking into the area you're greeted with this:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

And a little extra:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656


Across the harbour you have an area called Kirribilli which is similar but with less shops and pedestrianised areas. The Rocks, Surry Hills and the Redfern-Chippendale area are other contenders, but they're close to downtown (particularly The Rocks which you might as well call it part of downtown).

Last edited by nameless dude; Jul 13, 2018 at 4:54 PM.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 3:37 PM
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Light rail is fine, like all transit modes. But it's low capacity, akin to a bus. You generally aren't going to have high density, transit-oriented urbanity with light rail alone.
wider cars, quicker headways, and dedicated right of way (off street)/ or subwayed and elevated like in st louis fixes some of that, and absolutely produces TOD even in the “rustbelt.” all of these street running light rail projects are questionable, however.
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