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Re: [carfree_cities] What is a carfree area?

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... There s a much simpler test, IMHO: if you can walk down the middle of the street without worrying about what s bearing down on you, you re in an area
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 3, 2001
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      Will Stewart said:

      >Mike Lacey wrote:
      >
      >>A car free neighborhood is not (in my opinion) a single use
      >>development that bans cars. Thus I think that a car free shopping
      >>street in Ottawa or Tokyo, while a good thing, is no more a car
      >>free neighborhood than a suburban shopping mall or airport,
      >>especially if these streets rely on nearby parking garages to
      >>service them.
      >
      >This does bring up the point about gray areas, i.e., instead of being completely carfree, most
      >places I've heard discussed still have limited car-enabled transportation, even if it means
      >car-sharing. So if a 14 block area does not have automobile traffic and is served effectively
      >by rail/bus, is it primary carfree? Do we need to come up with quantifying factors to give a
      >sense of measurement?
      >
      >Some factors that are obvious;
      >1. Ratio of cars per capita (adult): includes both shared and private. We should actually refer
      >to vehicles, as my area seems to be almost carfree, with everyone driving SUVs, pickups, and
      >minivans...
      >2. Ratio of mass transit use: the percentage of the persons entering/exiting the area do so by
      >this manner, instead of driving to a nearby parking lot and walking/shuttling in.
      >3. Amount of parking spots and vehicle trips within the area per day.
      >4. Mixed Use: Should include, as a minimum, residential and retail, with office space getting
      >bonus points. Otherwise, it's just a pedestrian friendly area. Of course, I'm sure there are
      >mix percentages of each that would be optimal, probably based on units, types of retail
      >(grocery, pharmacy, other frequently visited places) within walking distance, and square
      >footage. This probably requires a minimum number each for a critical mass effect, in order to
      >bring in the basic necessary retail.
      >5. Open Space: active and passive parks within/adjacent to the area. This is more of a
      >livability issue.
      >
      >Of course, some of the factors above effect each other, such as 2 and 3

      There's a much simpler test, IMHO: if you can walk down the middle of
      the street without worrying about what's bearing down on you, you're
      in an area that's effectively carfree. Of course, just because it's
      carfree doesn't mean that it's mixed use or has good public transport,
      but these things tend to go hand-in-hand.



      ###

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      postmaster@... Carfree.com
    • Mike Lacey
      ... of ... transport, ... I agree although I would look for a carfree area to be more than just a main street (I know you would too but I just want to clarify
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 3, 2001
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        --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@c...>
        wrote:
        > There's a much simpler test, IMHO: if you can walk down the middle
        of
        > the street without worrying about what's bearing down on you, you're
        > in an area that's effectively carfree. Of course, just because it's
        > carfree doesn't mean that it's mixed use or has good public
        transport,
        > but these things tend to go hand-in-hand.

        I agree although I would look for a carfree area to be more than just
        a main street (I know you would too but I just want to clarify that
        point)

        Regarding mixed use, I am inclined to agrree with Will that we must
        emphasize its important. Universal City Walk in North Hollywood is
        nominally carfree, yet it is little more than a glorified shopping
        mall. It is privately owned and maybe private ownership is where the
        carfree = mixed use rule breaks down. Lets just be careful what we
        wish for.
      • J.H. Crawford
        Re the discussion of what makes an area carfree: First of all, I d suggest ruling out any area that is not open 24 hours a day to any member of the public free
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 4, 2001
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          Re the discussion of what makes an area carfree:

          First of all, I'd suggest ruling out any area that
          is not open 24 hours a day to any member of the public
          free of charge. No Disneylands.

          Second, I'd rather not be absolutist about carfreedom.
          We should, however, note any exceptions to true
          carfree status. This ought to include delivery vehicles,
          residents, etc.

          Third, the quesiton of the size of the area is important.
          Single streets, unless unusually long, don't qualify IMHO.

          Fourth, "busways" are not carfree areas. Take the
          bus-and-taxi-only street in Vancounver. It's really
          no better than an ordinary car-infested street, except
          that the traffic is a little lighter.

          Fifth, rural areas are not relevant. That doesn't mean,
          however, that small, dense towns in rural areas shouldn't
          be included if they are substantially carfree.


          I don't think Manhattan deserves a listing. It's true that
          one can (must, even!) live carfree in Manhattan, but car,
          truck, and bus traffic is a huge quality-of-life issue in
          Manhattan.


          Let's decide on the important criteria. Stickerguy Pete has
          proposed to develop a database. In the mean time, I'll maintain
          the listing at:

          http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html

          which has recently been further revised.

          This whole topic generated a lot of discussion last summer
          at Ecoplan:

          http://www.ecoplan.org/access/general/honor-roll.htm

          but no final result was generated. Those following this
          discussion should probably have a look at the Ecoplan
          discussion for further thoughts and ideas.

          Let's build a set of criteria (as simple as possible)
          and set up a matrix. Suggested criteria:

          degree of carfree-ness
          size of carfree area
          population
          nature of the area (residential, mixed use, shopping area, etc.)

          Further thoughts?



          ###

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          postmaster@... Carfree.com
        • Stickerguy Pete
          Joel, I should have waited to open this can of worms, because I can t REALLY work on this project the way I want to until I get to Italy. I should have a lot
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 4, 2001
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            Joel,
            I should have waited to open this can of worms,
            because I can't REALLY work on this project the
            way I want to until I get to Italy. I should have a lot
            of free time there.

            So if I seem quiet about all of this over the next coupla
            weeks, don't think my heart's not in it... I'll be in Italy
            on Feb 6, so I imagine that soon after that I'll get to
            start work on this project.

            - Pete


            At 01:48 PM 01/04/2001 +0000, you wrote:

            >Re the discussion of what makes an area carfree:
            >
            >First of all, I'd suggest ruling out any area that
            >is not open 24 hours a day to any member of the public
            >free of charge. No Disneylands.
            >
            >Second, I'd rather not be absolutist about carfreedom.
            >We should, however, note any exceptions to true
            >carfree status. This ought to include delivery vehicles,
            >residents, etc.
            >
            >Third, the quesiton of the size of the area is important.
            >Single streets, unless unusually long, don't qualify IMHO.
            >
            >Fourth, "busways" are not carfree areas. Take the
            >bus-and-taxi-only street in Vancounver. It's really
            >no better than an ordinary car-infested street, except
            >that the traffic is a little lighter.
            >
            >Fifth, rural areas are not relevant. That doesn't mean,
            >however, that small, dense towns in rural areas shouldn't
            >be included if they are substantially carfree.
            >
            >
            >I don't think Manhattan deserves a listing. It's true that
            >one can (must, even!) live carfree in Manhattan, but car,
            >truck, and bus traffic is a huge quality-of-life issue in
            >Manhattan.
            >
            >
            >Let's decide on the important criteria. Stickerguy Pete has
            >proposed to develop a database. In the mean time, I'll maintain
            >the listing at:
            >
            > http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
            >
            >which has recently been further revised.
            >
            >This whole topic generated a lot of discussion last summer
            >at Ecoplan:
            >
            > http://www.ecoplan.org/access/general/honor-roll.htm
            >
            >but no final result was generated. Those following this
            >discussion should probably have a look at the Ecoplan
            >discussion for further thoughts and ideas.
            >
            >Let's build a set of criteria (as simple as possible)
            >and set up a matrix. Suggested criteria:
            >
            >degree of carfree-ness
            >size of carfree area
            >population
            >nature of the area (residential, mixed use, shopping area, etc.)
            >
            >Further thoughts?
            >
            >
            >
            > ###
            >
            >J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            >postmaster@... Carfree.com
            >
            >
            >To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
            >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            >carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
            >Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/


            --
            Sticker Guy! / 702 Records
            Po Box 204 Reno NV 89504
            ph 775-358-7865 fx 775-358-2453
            www.stickerguy.com

            PLEASE: Quote my message in your reply!
          • 3L
            ... Joel, Can Montreal Underground walkway network linking the metro and a vast number of buildings be part of the list? I m aware it s just beneath or over a
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 4, 2001
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              > >
              > >I don't think Manhattan deserves a listing. It's true that
              > >one can (must, even!) live carfree in Manhattan, but car,
              > >truck, and bus traffic is a huge quality-of-life issue in
              > >Manhattan.
              > >
              > >
              > >Let's decide on the important criteria. Stickerguy Pete has
              > >proposed to develop a database. In the mean time, I'll maintain
              > >the listing at:
              > >
              > > http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
              > >
              Joel,
              Can Montreal Underground walkway network linking the metro and a vast number
              of buildings be part of the list?

              I'm aware it's just beneath or over a car-infested street network, but one
              can access a vast number of places without knowing about the existance of
              autos. Once it's on the list, it should be known worldwide, and we'll hope
              for more tunnels and outdoor carfree walkways or squares to link to the
              actual pedestrian network. It'll be cool when Montreal's outdoor carfree
              network will be as large as the indoor network.

              Louis-Luc
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... Hmmmm. Odd case. I supppose that it s interesting enought to warrant a mention, with a caveat about the nature of it. How large is the area in question?
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 5, 2001
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                Louis-Luc said:

                >Can Montreal Underground walkway network linking the metro and a vast number
                >of buildings be part of the list?
                >
                >I'm aware it's just beneath or over a car-infested street network, but one
                >can access a vast number of places without knowing about the existance of
                >autos. Once it's on the list, it should be known worldwide, and we'll hope
                >for more tunnels and outdoor carfree walkways or squares to link to the
                >actual pedestrian network. It'll be cool when Montreal's outdoor carfree

                Hmmmm. Odd case. I supppose that it's interesting enought to
                warrant a mention, with a caveat about the nature of it.
                How large is the area in question? (It was still pretty
                small when I was last in Montreal in about 1976.)


                ###

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                postmaster@... Carfree.com
              • Lanyon, Ryan
                I would argue that grade separation does not make an area carfree. I m not familiar with too much of Montreal s underground network, but I do know Toronto s
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 5, 2001
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                  I would argue that grade separation does not make an area carfree. I'm not
                  familiar with too much of Montreal's underground network, but I do know
                  Toronto's PATH (I think) system and discussions regarding the Linkages
                  project in Ottawa (to link buildings by enclosed pedestrian over- and
                  under-passes).

                  Removing pedestrians from the public right-of-way into a largely private or
                  commercial sphere (like a shopping mall) only serves to 'improve' conditions
                  for motorists. If those pesky pedestrians aren't spilling over the sidewalk
                  anymore, then cars can speed by faster and roads can be widened. This often
                  kills or reduces the healthy type of streetlife that Jane Jacobs describes,
                  since the eyes and ears are all indoors, and not in the community.

                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: 3L [SMTP:exqmtl@...]
                  > Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 12:32 AM
                  > To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
                  > Subject: RE: [carfree_cities] Re: What is a carfree area?
                  >
                  > > >
                  > > >I don't think Manhattan deserves a listing. It's true that
                  > > >one can (must, even!) live carfree in Manhattan, but car,
                  > > >truck, and bus traffic is a huge quality-of-life issue in
                  > > >Manhattan.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >Let's decide on the important criteria. Stickerguy Pete has
                  > > >proposed to develop a database. In the mean time, I'll maintain
                  > > >the listing at:
                  > > >
                  > > > http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
                  > > >
                  > Joel,
                  > Can Montreal Underground walkway network linking the metro and a vast
                  > number
                  > of buildings be part of the list?
                  >
                  > I'm aware it's just beneath or over a car-infested street network, but one
                  > can access a vast number of places without knowing about the existance of
                  > autos. Once it's on the list, it should be known worldwide, and we'll hope
                  > for more tunnels and outdoor carfree walkways or squares to link to the
                  > actual pedestrian network. It'll be cool when Montreal's outdoor carfree
                  > network will be as large as the indoor network.
                  >
                  > Louis-Luc
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                  > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                • J.H. Crawford
                  ... I generally agree, but in the case of Montreal, the underground streets are so vast and heavily used that they ve taken on a life of their own, and the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 5, 2001
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                    Ryan Lanyon said:

                    >I would argue that grade separation does not make an area carfree. I'm not
                    >familiar with too much of Montreal's underground network, but I do know
                    >Toronto's PATH (I think) system and discussions regarding the Linkages
                    >project in Ottawa (to link buildings by enclosed pedestrian over- and
                    >under-passes).
                    >
                    >Removing pedestrians from the public right-of-way into a largely private or
                    >commercial sphere (like a shopping mall) only serves to 'improve' conditions
                    >for motorists. If those pesky pedestrians aren't spilling over the sidewalk
                    >anymore, then cars can speed by faster and roads can be widened. This often
                    >kills or reduces the healthy type of streetlife that Jane Jacobs describes,
                    >since the eyes and ears are all indoors, and not in the community.

                    I generally agree, but in the case of Montreal, the underground
                    streets are so vast and heavily used that they've taken on a life
                    of their own, and the area IS truly carfree. I think it's worth
                    including (when it's at this scale) even though I don't regard
                    it as a highly desirable condition. Even that having been said,
                    it's not an unreasonable solution in places where the winters
                    are bitterly cold.


                    ###

                    J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                    postmaster@... Carfree.com
                  • 3L
                    ... You make a good point. I ve already thought about that, and the fact there remain less pedestrians in the streets is the only disadvantage of an
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 5, 2001
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                      > Removing pedestrians from the public right-of-way into a largely
                      > private or
                      > commercial sphere (like a shopping mall) only serves to 'improve'
                      > conditions
                      > for motorists. If those pesky pedestrians aren't spilling over
                      > the sidewalk
                      > anymore, then cars can speed by faster and roads can be widened.
                      > This often
                      > kills or reduces the healthy type of streetlife that Jane Jacobs
                      > describes,
                      > since the eyes and ears are all indoors, and not in the community.
                      >
                      You make a good point. I've already thought about that, and the fact there
                      remain less pedestrians in the streets is the only disadvantage of an
                      underground network. However, to the eyes of a citizen like me, I find it
                      much more attractive now to use the underground or metro, because it is
                      carfree (and not because it's weatherproof). I sometimes feel sad because my
                      absence from outdoor streetlife doesn't contribute to improve it, but I'm
                      attracted by *true* carfree areas because of the high quality of real-time
                      life it provides; no stress at all about potential danger, so 100% of your
                      attention is directed to you, you feel free like a bird, that flies over (or
                      under) the danger. I know that's not natural because we have legs (not
                      wings) and God gave them to us to use on the ground, and didn't ask us to
                      dig tunnels to be able to walk naturally.

                      Our job here (and everywhere else) is to discourage driving, widen sidewalks
                      on boulevards, turn smaller streets into free walkways, encourage bicycling,
                      severely punish bad drivers where cars are still allowed. When streets will
                      be as attractive as the underground, many people will choose the street.

                      Louis-Luc
                    • 3L
                      ... I ve heard there are 30 km of walkways. When you were there in 1976, there was only Place Ville-Marie - Queen Elizabeth - Gare Centrale, and Place-des-Arts
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 5, 2001
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                        > Hmmmm. Odd case. I supppose that it's interesting enought to
                        > warrant a mention, with a caveat about the nature of it.
                        > How large is the area in question? (It was still pretty
                        > small when I was last in Montreal in about 1976.)
                        >
                        >
                        > ###
                        >
                        > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                        > postmaster@... Carfree.com
                        I've heard there are 30 km of walkways. When you were there in 1976, there
                        was only Place Ville-Marie - Queen Elizabeth - Gare Centrale, and
                        Place-des-Arts - Complexe Desjardins - Complexe Guy Favreau links. Now you
                        can walk from Peel station, through McGill station down to Place Bonaventure
                        station. Very soon there will be a link between Bonaventure and
                        Square-Victoria stations, and by 2002 another walkway will link the World
                        Trade Centre to the Palais des Congres at Place d'Armes station.

                        Download the map of metro stations (listed above) and the grey lines show
                        all the pedestrian links.

                        http://www.stcum.qc.ca/metro/mapmetro.htm

                        Click the station of your choice on the main map, then the map of the
                        station is at the bottom of the page. The maps date from 1994, so some links
                        are missing. They should update the maps soon.

                        Louis-Luc
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