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Re: What is a carfree area?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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