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Carfree CITIES

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  • spayne77@yahoo.com
    I have been reading through much of www.carfree.com and am a new member to this group. The sight does well at explaining the proposed carfree utopia, but I
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 6, 2001
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      I have been reading through much of www.carfree.com and am a new
      member to this group.

      The sight does well at explaining the proposed carfree utopia, but I
      couldn't find any spot where it talked of actual cities that have
      made some progress toward a "carfree" environment, besides Venice.

      A year from now, when my current lease expires, I hope to be leaving
      my midwestern town for better pastures. The process of finding a
      good city to live in is getting even more complicated.

      Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
      pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
      question would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you!

      Spayne
    • dearleb@home.com
      ... I ... leaving ... I m afraid we in North America have very meager options for living away from the intrusion of motor vehicles. There is a fine site
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 14, 2001
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        --- In carfree_cities@y..., spayne77@y... wrote:
        > I have been reading through much of www.carfree.com and am a new
        > member to this group.
        >
        > The sight does well at explaining the proposed carfree utopia, but
        I
        > couldn't find any spot where it talked of actual cities that have
        > made some progress toward a "carfree" environment, besides Venice.
        >
        > A year from now, when my current lease expires, I hope to be
        leaving
        > my midwestern town for better pastures. The process of finding a
        > good city to live in is getting even more complicated.
        >
        > Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
        > pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
        > question would be greatly appreciated.
        >
        > Thank you!
        >
        > Spayne

        I'm afraid we in North America have very meager options for living
        away from the intrusion of motor vehicles. There is a fine site
        elsewhere in carfree cities listing car-free areas worldwide. Check
        out http://www.carfree.com/carfree_places.html
        So far in this part of the world we're limited to a few streets here
        and there, or a few tourist resorts.
      • Chris Bradshaw
        ... The answer is, well, any city, anywhere. Every city has a section, usually its center, that was built before the car became ubiquitous. If it is has
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 16, 2001
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          > > A year from now, when my current lease expires, I hope to be
          > leaving
          > > my midwestern town for better pastures. The process of finding a
          > > good city to live in is getting even more complicated.
          > >
          > > Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
          > > pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
          > > question would be greatly appreciated.

          The answer is, well, any city, anywhere.

          Every city has a section, usually its center, that was built before the
          car became ubiquitous. If it is has remained pretty well intact, it
          will have jobs, services, and culture in close proximity, and all this
          will generate lots of foot traffic at all hours, which in turn will make
          it discouraging for drivers to use downtown as a shortcut to other
          places.

          Some of these places are actually places that have been swallowed up by
          adjacent metropolises, such as the many old towns on Long Island (where
          my wife's family lives).

          Finally, I suspect you have such a place close to where you are now.
          Since finding a good place takes less time than getting used to such a
          place, you might want to consider staying pretty much put. Living in a
          place over a long time provides continuity and meaning to your life.
          And a sense of community is something you build, not buy or move to.
          Think about it.

          Chris Bradshaw
          Ottawa (stumbled on this place 32 years ago and stayed; started in
          downtown, lived in the suburbs for 9 years and then returned to the
          original neighbourhood for good; only one of six of my siblings stayed
          in our home town of Aurora, CO).
        • John O. Andersen
          I want to second what Chris wrote. Bloom where you re planted. John Andersen Unconventional Ideas at http://www.unconventionalideas.com ... From: Chris
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 16, 2001
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            I want to second what Chris wrote.

            Bloom where you're planted.

            John Andersen
            Unconventional Ideas at http://www.unconventionalideas.com
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Chris Bradshaw <chris@...>
            To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 9:22 AM
            Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Carfree CITIES


            > > > A year from now, when my current lease expires, I hope to be
            > > leaving
            > > > my midwestern town for better pastures. The process of finding a
            > > > good city to live in is getting even more complicated.
            > > >
            > > > Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
            > > > pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
            > > > question would be greatly appreciated.
            >
            > The answer is, well, any city, anywhere.
            >
            > Every city has a section, usually its center, that was built before the
            > car became ubiquitous. If it is has remained pretty well intact, it
            > will have jobs, services, and culture in close proximity, and all this
            > will generate lots of foot traffic at all hours, which in turn will make
            > it discouraging for drivers to use downtown as a shortcut to other
            > places.
            >
            > Some of these places are actually places that have been swallowed up by
            > adjacent metropolises, such as the many old towns on Long Island (where
            > my wife's family lives).
            >
            > Finally, I suspect you have such a place close to where you are now.
            > Since finding a good place takes less time than getting used to such a
            > place, you might want to consider staying pretty much put. Living in a
            > place over a long time provides continuity and meaning to your life.
            > And a sense of community is something you build, not buy or move to.
            > Think about it.
            >
            > Chris Bradshaw
            > Ottawa (stumbled on this place 32 years ago and stayed; started in
            > downtown, lived in the suburbs for 9 years and then returned to the
            > original neighbourhood for good; only one of six of my siblings stayed
            > in our home town of Aurora, CO).
            >
            > 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/
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
          • Rachel
            Ironically many of the most walkable cities are also the most expensive, such as NYC and San Francisco. You d think people would notice. I agree with the
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 16, 2001
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              Ironically many of the most walkable cities are also the most
              expensive, such as NYC and San Francisco. You'd think people would
              notice. I agree with the previous posts and suggest that you look
              for a walkable area near you. Even Los Angeles has some very
              walkable "towns" that have been swallowed up by greater LA but still
              have their compact downtowns, in wonderfully shabby art deco
              architecture.

              --- In carfree_cities@y..., "John O. Andersen" <editor@u...> wrote:
              > I want to second what Chris wrote.
              >
              > Bloom where you're planted.
              >
              > John Andersen
              > Unconventional Ideas at http://www.unconventionalideas.com
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: Chris Bradshaw <chris@t...>
              > To: <carfree_cities@y...>
              > Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 9:22 AM
              > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Carfree CITIES
              >
              >
              > > > > A year from now, when my current lease expires, I hope to be
              > > > leaving
              > > > > my midwestern town for better pastures. The process of
              finding a
              > > > > good city to live in is getting even more complicated.
              > > > >
              > > > > Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in
              some way
              > > > > pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
              > > > > question would be greatly appreciated.
              > >
              > > The answer is, well, any city, anywhere.
              > >
              > > Every city has a section, usually its center, that was built
              before the
              > > car became ubiquitous. If it is has remained pretty well intact,
              it
              > > will have jobs, services, and culture in close proximity, and all
              this
              > > will generate lots of foot traffic at all hours, which in turn
              will make
              > > it discouraging for drivers to use downtown as a shortcut to other
              > > places.
              > >
              > > Some of these places are actually places that have been swallowed
              up by
              > > adjacent metropolises, such as the many old towns on Long Island
              (where
              > > my wife's family lives).
              > >
              > > Finally, I suspect you have such a place close to where you are
              now.
              > > Since finding a good place takes less time than getting used to
              such a
              > > place, you might want to consider staying pretty much put.
              Living in a
              > > place over a long time provides continuity and meaning to your
              life.
              > > And a sense of community is something you build, not buy or move
              to.
              > > Think about it.
              > >
              > > Chris Bradshaw
              > > Ottawa (stumbled on this place 32 years ago and stayed; started in
              > > downtown, lived in the suburbs for 9 years and then returned to
              the
              > > original neighbourhood for good; only one of six of my siblings
              stayed
              > > in our home town of Aurora, CO).
              > >
              > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@e...
              > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
              > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@e...
              > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
              > >
              > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              > >
              > >
            • Tom Tromey
              ... Chris The answer is, well, any city, anywhere. It depends entirely on what you consider pedestrian friendly . If Venice is your standard then no place in
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 16, 2001
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                >>>>> "Chris" == Chris Bradshaw <chris@...> writes:

                >> Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
                >> pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere.

                Chris> The answer is, well, any city, anywhere.

                It depends entirely on what you consider "pedestrian friendly".

                If Venice is your standard then no place in the US will satisfy.

                There are several cities in the US where you can live comfortably
                without owning an automobile. I know people who do that in San
                Francisco, New York, and Boston. But are these towns "pedestrian
                friendly"? I don't know -- bicycle riding in SF at least seems
                hair-raising to me.

                I live in Boulder, CO. I think it is a pretty pedestrian-friendly
                town. I live downtown though. There are suburban areas away from
                downtown where you'd want a car to get to the grocery, etc (unless you
                enjoy biking a lot, even in weather).

                Denver has several neighborhoods which still have a small nucleus with
                a grocery, restaurant, a few other stores. If you can choose your
                house and neighborhood carefully I imagine you could live there
                without a car.

                Chris> Since finding a good place takes less time than getting used to
                Chris> such a place, you might want to consider staying pretty much
                Chris> put. Living in a place over a long time provides continuity
                Chris> and meaning to your life. And a sense of community is
                Chris> something you build, not buy or move to. Think about it.

                Good points all.

                Lately I've been thinking about what it would take to turn Boulder
                from what it is into a completely car-free city. It seems much too
                hard politically. Where would I start?

                In the 70s Boulder made some long-term plans involving the purchase of
                open space, growth limitation, etc. I wonder now if there is a way to
                implement a new vision leading, in the very long term, to a carless
                city. Is anybody doing this anywhere?

                Tom
              • Mark Jaroski
                ... Yes, the value of living in such a place is much higher of course, so it only goes to figure. When I read Kunstler s extimate of the amount spent on cars
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 16, 2001
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                  Rachel wrote:
                  > Ironically many of the most walkable cities are also the
                  > most expensive, such as NYC and San Francisco. You'd
                  > think people would notice.

                  Yes, the value of living in such a place is much higher of
                  course, so it only goes to figure. When I read Kunstler's
                  extimate of the amount spent on cars over the lifetime of a
                  mortgage (I think it was in "Home from nowhere" I did some
                  simple addition, at which point I decided that the price of
                  a house in S.F. is actually exactly the same as the price of
                  a house in some suburb where car ownership is manditory.

                  --
                  -- mark at geekhive dot net
                  ==================================================================
                • Chris Bradshaw
                  ... Boulder was the host of an annual international pedestrians conference from 1981-1994 (four of which I attended, two as speaker). Bob Whitson is quite a
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 17, 2001
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                    Tom Tromey wrote:

                    > I live in Boulder, CO. I think it is a pretty pedestrian-friendly
                    > town. I live downtown though.

                    > <snip>

                    > Lately I've been thinking about what it would take to turn Boulder
                    > from what it is into a completely car-free city. It seems much too
                    > hard politically. Where would I start?

                    Boulder was the host of an annual "international" pedestrians conference
                    from
                    1981-1994 (four of which I attended, two as speaker). Bob Whitson is
                    quite a
                    visionary, as is Spence Havlik, city councillor.

                    Even though you have a headstart over most other American cities, you
                    still have to
                    argue that a) it will improve the quality of life, b) without hurting
                    the
                    "quantity" of life.

                    The point that the higher cost of housing in ped-friendly areas is more
                    than offset
                    by the reductions in driving costs (mostly reflected by the reduced need
                    to _own_
                    cars) is one to point to. Also, there is a cost to one's _quality_ of
                    life to just
                    drive (stress and time).

                    To realize the reductions in driving costs, one needs to have a company
                    or agency
                    providing car-sharing. I understand Boulder has such a group getting
                    one off the
                    ground.

                    Chris Bradshaw
                  • Mark Rauterkus
                    ... IMHO, not only do you need to live in the right place (pick of cities in the midwest) -- but you also need to live in the right parts of town within that
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 18, 2001
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                      Spayne asked:
                      > Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
                      > pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
                      > question would be greatly appreciated.

                      IMHO, not only do you need to live in the right place (pick of cities in the
                      midwest) -- but you also need to live in the right parts of town within that
                      greater place. For example, in my home in Pittsburgh, I don't need to use
                      the car on many days of the week. But there are very few places within the
                      city that would allow this to happen as I'm a close walk to town, shapping,
                      etc.

                      My best carfree places were Athens, Ohio, and Evanston, Illinois.

                      Athens is a small town and home of Ohio University. It is so small that
                      walking and biking everywhere works. I did have trouble with going to the
                      grocery (supermarket) decades ago as it was a drive.

                      Evanston is great as there is good public transportation (El, train) and it
                      again can be self-contained.

                      Ta.

                      Mark Rauterkus
                      mark@...
                    • Lennie Dusek
                      ... the ... that ... This is so true. Here in Little Rock, you could live in a number of areas that require cars to get around. The sprawl is so bad and has
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 18, 2001
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                        > IMHO, not only do you need to live in the right place (pick of cities in
                        the
                        > midwest) -- but you also need to live in the right parts of town within
                        that
                        > greater place.

                        This is so true. Here in Little Rock, you could live in a number of areas
                        that require cars to get around. The sprawl is so bad and has happened so
                        quickly that bus routes don't even go to many of the new sections of
                        own. --Or, you could live in a few areas that don't require cars, such as
                        Hillcrest, some streets in the Heights, Stifft Station, Capitol View, or
                        downtown. These are referred to as "villages" because of the proximity of
                        houses and offices and retail businesses. I've even heard them called
                        "communities" - which is sad for the other areas of Little Rock that are
                        experienced only from the inside of a car.

                        -Lennie
                      • fort-fun@home.com
                        ... Yeah...one city that i ve not yet seen mentioned is Boulder, Colorado. The whole city (due to the University) is largely compact and is easily walkable and
                        Message 11 of 11 , Sep 18, 2001
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                          --- In carfree_cities@y..., spayne77@y... wrote:
                          > I have been reading through much of www.carfree.com and am a new
                          > member to this group.
                          >
                          > The sight does well at explaining the proposed carfree utopia, but I
                          > couldn't find any spot where it talked of actual cities that have
                          > made some progress toward a "carfree" environment, besides Venice.
                          >
                          > A year from now, when my current lease expires, I hope to be leaving
                          > my midwestern town for better pastures. The process of finding a
                          > good city to live in is getting even more complicated.
                          >
                          > Can anyone give the names of towns in the USA that are in some way
                          > pedestrian-friendly? Any city, anywhere. Any response to my
                          > question would be greatly appreciated.
                          >
                          > Thank you!
                          >
                          > Spayne

                          Yeah...one city that i've not yet seen mentioned is Boulder, Colorado.
                          The whole city (due to the University) is largely compact and is
                          easily walkable and bikeable...there is also the GO Boulder and
                          RTD...both serve boulder very well:

                          Metro Area Regional Service:
                          RTD-B Regional-Boulder-Denver, 10 minutes rush and 30 mins off-peak
                          RTD-D Regional-Boulder-Tech Center (SE Denver), 15-25 mins rush, in
                          rush direction, every hour non-rush and contra-peak direction
                          RTD-F Regional-(Market Street Station) South Boulder-Denver,
                          peak only 30 min
                          H Regional-(Civic Center Station)
                          RTD-G Regional-Golden-Boulder, 30min day only service
                          RTD-J Regional-Longmont-East Boulder, 30 min peak, peak direction
                          RTD-M Regional-All Day-20 or 30 min peak, 1h non-peak
                          RTD-T Regional-Boulder-Greenwood Plaza Area-20 min peak only
                          RTD-Y Regional-Boulder-Lyons-3 hour service(!)
                          RTD-AB Regional-Boulder-DIA-Hour Service

                          Boulder / Surrounding:
                          Bound: 10 min all-day, except 30min in early morning/evening
                          Jump: 10 min Boulder Service; 20mn Peak/30mn Non-peak to Lafayette
                          Leap: 10 min all-day
                          Skip: 6-7 min all-day
                          RTD-200 Serie Service:
                          Outside of Central Boulder
                          Boulder - US 36 Suburb Service (Lafayette, Lousiville, Superior,
                          Broomfield)

                          Also in general, Denver and the older western & southern suburbs
                          (Englewood, Federal Heights, South Federal) are good places to live if
                          you want to live carfree...since there are established patterns of
                          traffic movement. In Denver: the Wash Park, City Park, Platte Valley,
                          LoDo, Five Points, Lowry (NU) Redevelopment, Stapleton (NU-ish)
                          Redevelopment, Old Elitches NU Redevelopment, Lakeside, Uptown,
                          Capitol Hill (Crime, but urban, very urban- 25k per sq mi if
                          extrapolated to a sq mi), or Cherry Creek are urban or urban suburban
                          neighborhoods...(many are gentrified 'though)

                          Most any central area in larger (100K+ cities/towns) with exception to
                          NewBurbs (Aurora, CO is an example as well as Centennial, CO) will
                          prolly be good areas to investigate, anywhere in the US

                          My $14,00 worth...reflected to show the cost of living in colorado and
                          california

                          Andrew Reker
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