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Problems with carfree spaces?

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  • Simon Baddeley
    The Greek English speaking news reports that pedestrian only areas have been causing problems!
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 16, 2007
      The Greek English speaking news reports that pedestrian only areas have been
      causing problems!

      http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/ell__3552426KathiLev&xml/&aspKath/ell
      .asp?fdate=16/07/2007

      Comments

      Simon


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Matt Hohmeister
      A few thoughts come to my mind here: - The Yogi Berra effect; one of his famous sayings was Nobody goes there anymore because it s too crowded. Even in
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 16, 2007
        A few thoughts come to my mind here:

        - The Yogi Berra effect; one of his famous sayings was "Nobody goes
        there anymore because it's too crowded." Even in Tallahassee,
        temporary downtown street closures for festivals are very popular
        (crowded)--unfortunately, this also involves street-side parking
        covering a massive radius around the site.

        - Unfortunate as that ambulance incident was, Joel's website mentions
        maintaining a clear access lane for emergency vehicles. I can imagine
        this being done similar to the "fire lanes" found on streets in
        Manhattan: a lane that has to be cleared immediately for emergency
        vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists could use it, but I'd imagine it
        would have to be off-limits to things like pallet trucks, which can be
        awkward to move out of the way quickly. And obviously, no attended
        vending carts, unattended vending machines, or restaurant tables.

        Just recently, I changed jobs, trading a 1000-foot commute in for a
        1.0-mile commute--I walk from my house at one edge of downtown to my
        office on the other edge of downtown. Fortunately, it's a quite
        pleasant walk, most of it going straight down the Park Ave. "chain of
        parks". Making this one-mile walk twice a day, I've realized the City
        of Tallahassee's interest in non-vehicular traffic anywhere, even in
        the CBD:

        - I have seen flower bed irrigation system was operating in one of the
        parks during morning and afternoon rush hour. A few places on the
        surrounding grass were actually getting soggy/muddy, so the irrigation
        system had obviously already done its job. I'm just glad I don't have
        to wear a suit to work. They should have chosen flora that doesn't
        require irrigation, or they should water by hand. If they must use
        automatic irrigation, it should be run late at night--the parks are
        "closed" from 0230 to sunup.

        - It is not an uncommon occurrence to see zero pedestrians in the
        course of one mile--through the CBD, during rush hour. Typically, the
        only people in the park are homeless and sitting on the park benches,
        generally keeping to themselves.

        - The "chain of parks" is in the Park Ave. median, and goes for
        several blocks. At the worst point, I have to cross US 27 during rush
        hour. Unpleasant, smelly, and noisy. Five lanes, speed limit 25 mph.

        - At one time in the past, state employees could get transit passes
        for $10-15 per month--now they have to pay $41.50 like everybody else.
        If I had a parking space at my office, I'd be paying $4 per month for
        a garage space--which is most likely a lot less than the cost to the
        state. Chalk this up to Jeb's legacy.

        Several of these problems can be chalked up to local politics--nobody
        wants to narrow or introduce traffic calming to any of these streets,
        and there's no way the City Commission would consider making any
        downtown streets carfree. Same goes for irrigation--they're more
        concerned with making a flower bed look perfect (to drivers going by
        at 30+ mph) than with the park's actual usability.

        The homeless "problem" is a separate issue, practically beyond the
        constraints of this discussion board. A lot of people are driven away
        from walking anywhere in "fear" of being near "them", and resistance
        to making an area carfree will probably include how we'll suddenly be
        forced to come face to face with "them". Not to mention that nobody
        wants to live or have a business anywhere near the homeless
        shelter--and efforts are made every once in a while to relocate the
        homeless shelter to some suburban strip mall about 3 miles away from
        downtown (on a bus route, of course), thus freeing up the area for
        something more "useful".

        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Simon Baddeley
        <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:
        >
        > The Greek English speaking news reports that pedestrian only areas
        have been
        > causing problems!
      • drewski_30312
        Where is the reference to : ... pedestrian only areas have been ... provided. Thanks, Andrew ... have been ...
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 18, 2007
          Where is the reference to : "... pedestrian only areas have been
          > causing problems! "? I could not locate at at the link you
          provided.

          Thanks,

          Andrew

          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Simon Baddeley
          <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:
          >
          > The Greek English speaking news reports that pedestrian only areas
          have been
          > causing problems!
          >
          >
          http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/ell__3552426KathiLev&xml/&aspK
          ath/ell
          > .asp?fdate=16/07/2007
          >
          > Comments
          >
          > Simon
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Christopher Miller
          Hi, The link was cut in two and the second part was orphaned outside the clickable link formatting. Try clicking on this repaired link for the article:
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 27, 2007
            Hi,

            The link was cut in two and the second part was "orphaned" outside
            the clickable link formatting. Try clicking on this "repaired" link
            for the article:

            http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/ell__3552426KathiLev&xml/&aspK
            ath/ell.asp?fdate=16/07/2007

            Regards,

            Chris Miller


            On 18-Jul-07, at 8:52 PM, drewski_30312 wrote:

            > Where is the reference to : "... pedestrian only areas have been
            > > causing problems! "? I could not locate at at the link you
            > provided.
            >



            >




            Christopher Miller
            Montreal QC Canada



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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