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Thread: Pedestrian bridges

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Pedestrian bridges

    Honestly it is shame how pedestrians can no longer walk around in cities, today's american cities as you all know are made for automobiles, but how but us that like walking and enjoying the fresh air as u do. How do you get from one side of the interstate or highway to the other, come on you are going to get killed if you attempt to this walking. I want your honest opinions on building pedestrian bridges over interstates and highways, and major bolevards like they do in Mexico. In Mexico its a great place to get aroung wheter your in a car or if your walking. I think the United States should use Mexico as an example of how cities should be built. Im not saying that Mexico does not have urban problems such as the united states, but some Mexican Cities have very well planned city, but its not really noticed because of the condition it is in.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Have you been to Las Vegas? They use this concept at the worst of their intersections.

    We have one freeway with large parks on top of it. It is in an area where there are many conservative jews who walk to temple. This provides for a pleasureable walking experience and helps mitigate some of the parkland lost when the freeway was built.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Toronto has a few good examples, one over lakeshore blvd/gardiner expressway giving access to the lakefront and one over the Don Valley Parkway and Don River.

    They both are highly used.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    My experience in Sweden was more under than over... many busy intersections have cut/cover tunnels with passageways for peds/cyclists. Improves safety and traffic flow.

    The biggest drawback is the 'dark alley' issue, but in Sweden that's not as big of an issue as the US.

    (not that there are fewer assaults, rather there's less fear of assault)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Too many planners view pedestrian bridges as a modernist horror of sorts but I think they would go a long way towards making suburban settings more livable. Especially when we have people making suicide dashes across six lane arterials in places such as Orlando and Atlanta.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Here is a ped bridge over an Interstate in Denver (It is large, so go to my gallery to see the bigger picture).

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Ped. bridges are better than zero consideration for pedestrians, but seem to me like an interim measure - eventual goal should be 2 lanes of auto traffic at 10 m.p.h. in the urban environment (or completely pedestrianized). Maybe it's Jan Gehl who writes about the necessity of combining all modes onto the same right of way, though taming the cars of course so as not to destroy the viability of walking/biking. Cars in an urban environment should be made to feel like trespassers in the pedestrian's domain and behave accordingly.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    I don't like them as a rule and they are problematic for wheelchairs unless you build elevators into them, which makes them even larger.

    Nonetheless, if you insist on having roads with more than 2-3 lanes going through cities (which is insane), they are a safety necessity.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  9. #9
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    I think that I have shown this pic here before, but this is the Pfluger Ped Bridge here in Austin...

    https://webspace.utexas.edu/woodas/Pics/ped.jpg

    It is the weird looking one between the street bridge and the rail bridge.

    Oh, and the fact that it looks like a light rail bridge is 100% absolute COINCIDENCE!!!


    ............

  10. #10
    Here's one in Germany. It's a little different, because it's shared by boats.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Water_Bridge.gif  

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Here's a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the I-4 in Seminole County FL. Sorry, not a great pic.

    Annoyingly insensitive

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Powered by Sweat
    Here's one in Germany. It's a little different, because it's shared by boats.
    WHAT THE HECK??? IS THAT A BOAT FREEWAY????

    Come on man, you have to spill the beans about this one. Where is it? Why does it exist? Why the different grades in the watercourses??
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    WHAT THE HECK??? IS THAT A BOAT FREEWAY????

    Come on man, you have to spill the beans about this one. Where is it? Why does it exist? Why the different grades in the watercourses??
    I found this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdeburg_Water_Bridge
    That bridge is to cool

  14. #14
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    WHAT THE HECK??? IS THAT A BOAT FREEWAY????

    Come on man, you have to spill the beans about this one. Where is it? Why does it exist? Why the different grades in the watercourses??
    This article is a little better. It took 6 years to build.
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/archite...aterbridge.asp

  15. #15
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    There is a well-used pedestrian bridge at the end of South Street in Philadelphia, which connects Penn's Landing to South Street and crosses I-95.

    http://philadelphia.about.com/librar...uthStreet1.htm

  16. #16
    Cyburbian The Terminator's avatar
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    Sorry for for having no posts here, but i just felt i had to chime in on this


    [QUOTE=nyustudent]There is a well-used pedestrian bridge at the end of South Street in Philadelphia, which connects Penn's Landing to South Street and crosses I-95.


    Its not really a real Pedestrian bridge. ive been on it, it just extends out partially over I-95, and serves as a nice point to take pictures and gawk at the delaware river.

    However here in New York we have a bridge by the intrepid that is actually a suspension pedestrian bridge, it goes over 12th Avenue and connects to the Museum so people dont have to get run over by the non stop traffic there.

  17. #17
         
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    Chicago Ped way, Minnesota Too

    Chicago has tons of Pedestrian traffic areas. Several Miles of underground tunnels open to the public connect City Hall, The Dirksen Federal Building, Marshall Fields, THe State Of Illinois Building, etc etc. Also there are dozens of tunnels under Lake Shore Drive connecting the city to the giant park that is the Lakefront. Several of the Expressways have these where bridges are far apart.

    In Minneapolis, every major building is connected by Skyways, and in Duluth, especially at UMD you can get around under ground. Near where I go to school in Rural Minnesota past Saint Cloud, a foot bridge over I-94 connects two peices of our large wooded property

  18. #18
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Pedestrian bridges in the Vancouver area are primarily for bridging over watercourses, though crossings over highways and arterial roads are also sprinkled about.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Terminator
    Its not really a real Pedestrian bridge. ive been on it, it just extends out partially over I-95, and serves as a nice point to take pictures and gawk at the delaware river.
    Sorry, but you are wrong here. I have been on that bridge many times and it indeed does have stairs and a ramp on the river side.

    See: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...03369&t=k&om=1

  20. #20
    from my experience Cincinnati has a nice set up, namely the Sky Walk, that connects a number of buildings in the downtown area via pedestian walkways. I really loved it during my visit there. the walkways were great for shopping. however, from what I know the walkways have fell out of favor with planners because it keeps people off the streets and away from other shopping developments in the central city.

    In Montreal, I really loved the malls I found underground, and the connectivity with rail.

  21. #21
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    safety

    One tough issue with pedestrian bridges is that they're awfully hard to make inviting or safe-feeling.

    Even when they're well lit and highly accessible, they basically turn you into a sitting duck, stuck above a freeway in a caged-in bridge...if it's night, or you're alone on one of the bridges and someone wants to harrass you, then you're basically stuck without an escape route.

    Tunnels have the major drawback of limited visibility. Plus a lot of them have drainage issues in heavy rains.

    Streetscapes pleeaase!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blian
    One tough issue with pedestrian bridges is that they're awfully hard to make inviting or safe-feeling.
    The bridge over I-95 at the foot of South Street in Philly has great art work (large metal people walking) and concrete benches and other amenities specifically for this reason. It seems to work as this area is a prime tourist/weekender spot.

  23. #23
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Blian
    One tough issue with pedestrian bridges is that they're awfully hard to make inviting or safe-feeling.

    Even when they're well lit and highly accessible, they basically turn you into a sitting duck, stuck above a freeway in a caged-in bridge...if it's night, or you're alone on one of the bridges and someone wants to harrass you, then you're basically stuck without an escape route.

    Tunnels have the major drawback of limited visibility. Plus a lot of them have drainage issues in heavy rains.

    Streetscapes pleeaase!
    You're talking about many of the slightly older bridges and I agree, 3 or 4 specifically come to mind in Chicago. But there are ways out. Widening them, making just the sides caged, even putting an emergency beacon like you see at any college campus in America would be a lot better

  24. #24
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    My City has a ped/bike bridge crossing over the railroad tracks that cut through town. Since it was installed in the early 1990's the areas "on the wrong side of the tracts" have gone from being backwater and rather blighted to being desireable places close to downtown but without all the vehicle traffic. And now it is faster to get downtown walking or by bike than in a car, which has to drive to one of two at-grade crossings.

    We are now looking into using TIF (traffic impact fees) to install another bike/ped bridge to encourage more walking and biking

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by Blian
    One tough issue with pedestrian bridges is that they're awfully hard to make inviting or safe-feeling.
    so true. it's interesting because for the same reasons those pedways came about. at least from what I know about Cincinnati. a lot of the tourists wanted a safe place to roam around to do their shopping. the streets were a little scary for some. especially with the thoughts of riots some years back. and the proximity of Over The Rhine to the CBD.

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