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Re: Problems with carfree spaces?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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