I would like to expand a bit on a few points which Todd has already made:
On 24 June 2012 19:23, Todd Alexander Litman <litman@...> wrote:
> • Pedestrian areas require a critical mass of users. They should be
> both a destination and a thoroughfare that connects diverse attractions
> (housing, shops, offices, etc.). Encourage development that attracts a
> broad range of customers and clients, including retail, housing, education
> and employment. Apartments and offices can often be located over shops.
I think that there are two fundamentally different types of development
here: specific places such as a square or even and individual street, or
along entire corridors which are crucial for providing continuity (car
drivers do not like stop and go traffic, why should this be the norm for
pedestrians?). Many European cities have entire networks of contiguous
pedestrian areas which permit people to move about the city without being
exposed to vehicular traffic at every intersection. These are truly
separate networks, not just individual streets....
Concerning mixed uses, it is hugely important to bring more than just
commercial and housing to the area! Office space, services (health and even
educational), and cultural uses can all animate the area at different times
> • Allow motor vehicles as required for access, with appropriate
> restrictions based on need, time and vehicle type. This may include
> unrestricted motor vehicle traffic during morning hours, transit vehicles,
> resident and hotel pickup, service and emergency vehicles, or other
> appropriate categories.
It is very important to provide some flexibility in access and to recognize
that there are different needs at different times of day.
> "Merchants on a particular street often object to parking-to-bike-lane
> conversions out of fear that they will lose customers who use on-street
> parking. This is often untrue or inappropriate. In many cases, on-street
> parking serves only a small portion of their total customers, alternative
> parking is available nearby, and some of their customers who currently
> drive will shift to cycling if suitable facilities are available
> (Sztabinski 2009). This is actually a debate between very local costs (the
> merchants who lose a few parking spaces) versus widely distributed benefits
> (businesses throughout the area who will benefit from reduced automobile
> parking demand, travelers who benefit from financial savings and health
> benefits, and all residents who benefit from reduced traffic congestion,
> accident risk and pollution emissions)."
In Montreal, most of the pedestrian projects are in central areas which
have quite high property values. The small commerce owners often cannot
afford to live in such areas, and have moved to more distant car-oriented
suburbs. Thus, the owners arrive at their commerces by car and naturally
assume that most of their clientele arrive in a similar manner. Access to
parking spaces is a very important concern for these people.... But in my
opinion, the larger issue is the fact that small business owners cannot
afford to live in the area where their businesses are located.
Richard has also made a number of excellent points. The link between
pedestrian and cycling improvements (or any transportation project) and
economic "development" is far from direct. There are many other factors at
work, and many perverse incentives <http://perversecities.ca/> which
encourage or discourage certain development outcomes.....
> 1. Well, in the US, there were a number of pedestrianized malls created
> in the 1960s and 1970s. With a couple of exceptions, most have been
> removed. They weren't successful for multiple reasons: (1) cities were
> depopulating; (2) locally-owned stores in downtowns were decamping to the
> suburbs; (3) community mental health facilities weren't created as a part
> of the deinstitutionalization movement and so center cities became a kind
> of holding place for "street people" (people with health and substance
> abuse issues that made it difficult for them to live "normally"); (4)
> locally owned department stores failed, further reducing the impact of
> downtown as a commercial destination.
> So basically, streets were pedestrianized simultaneously with a severe
> decrease in the number of pedestrians, and an increase in other problems.
> As someone said on a now defunct Project for Public Spaces e-list on
> public space (maybe it's another list topic to pick up and run with as part
> of the New Mobility Agenda), plants don't animate places, people do. And
> so having motorized traffic has been considered to be an important albeit
> not lovingly component of place activation.
> 4. When I was in Montreal for vacation in July 2010, some merchants on
> St. Catherine Street had a campaign against the Art Festival on the street,
> which banned cars for many blocks (from the Rue Berri-UQAM station pretty
> far down but not all the way (I think) to the Papineau Station.
> And Montreal has a number of other pedestrian street initiatives--near
> McGill U, and in the Old City. I bet Zvi Leve could offer some insights as
> to what merchants think today.
Pedestrian and cyclist development in Montreal has become a *highly*
contentious topic. Projet
won all of the seats in the central Plateau Mont-Royal borough has
been pushing non-stop to get as many progressive transportation things done
while they can, but they are encountering significant push-back from many
directions (from merchants on one of the pedestrian
example). On the other hand, Jimmy Zoubris who is a small commerce
owner on Parc Ave (a long-struggling commercial artery) recognizes that we
are in for a "rough ride" but he has thrown his support fully behind the
Projet Montreal team.
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