Originally Posted by Proof Sheet
Thanks for your post.I've been to Paris twice (May 1989 and July 2006). The 1st time totally within the Peripheque and the 2nd time both in and out of the Peripheque. I have relatives who live here:
This building was typical of many in the area. The top floor was previously rented out for caretakers of the building, servents etc. I believe the top floor or two were set back a bit as they had more of an area to walk around outside the unit.
I went "exploring" in Google Earth and Streetview from the above link. Eventually I got to this intersection:
What rather concerns me about this is how few pedestrians are about. They certainly exist, but not in anything like substantial numbers. Since the intersection is six-pointed, Streetview went through thrice and the results are about the same every time.
If you look at where this intersection is, it's in the midst of fairly high density development, while at least four of the streets are locally significant. There's an RER station just a quarter kilometre away and a fair amount of the buildings have ground floor retail.
If there's a place that should be showing signs of pedestrian activity, this ought to be it... yet it is relatively quiet. It's the same everywhere else nearby. The biggest pedestrian activity I could find in the area was a group of schoolchildren walking down the street. There's even a market square further west on Foch opposite the church which, if you get on the right view, is setting up and still not much pedestrian activity nearby. It's busier than the average suburb here, but it's not significantly busier given the significantly higher density and apparent walkability.
Perhaps suburbs are always doomed to be suburbs?
The activity we see in central Paris is obviously due to a combination of workers and tourists as well as people who live there.
Parking was all on street through permits. Nearby were some single family homes, but they were generally joined to others. One thing I find about the suburban areas of continental cites in europe is the predominance of high walls in front of homes and gates. Suburban areas in the UK and Ireland tend to have more open front yards with grass and a lack of high walls offering privacy. Just an observation, but the areas in question in Paris are quite sealed off from the street.
The Netherlands isn't like that... it tends to be more open but without the grass. I have the impression the same is true in much of Northern Europe too.