Down on Main Street

jsk1983

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#2
No Main Street in Chicago. Evanston just to the north has a Main Street, though its not actually the Main Street there. The British equivalent is High Street.
 

Tide

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#3
Main street is actually not the most common. I always though it was Broad (Way and Street), but no. According to the National League of Cities it's the following.
Taking numbers out of the equation it's Park, Main, Oak, Pine, Maple top five.


This list enumerates the twenty most common street names and the number of nationwide occurrences:

Second (10,866)
Third (10,131)
First (9,898)
Fourth (9,190)
Park (8,926)
Fifth (8,186)
Main (7,644)
Sixth (7,283)
Oak (6,946)
Seventh (6,377)
Pine (6,170)
Maple (6,103)
Cedar (5,644)
Eighth (5,524)
Elm (5,233)
View (5,202)
Washington (4,974)
Ninth (4,908)
Lake (4,901)
Hill (4,877)
 
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#6
No Main Street in Chicago. Evanston just to the north has a Main Street, though its not actually the Main Street there. The British equivalent is High Street.
Interesting this one, because high in that context was meant as "main", but then US/Canada uses the term "Highway" in the same sense, to reflect a main road (I used to think it was a reference to high speed). Britain instead uses the term motorway, even though Highway would arguably make more sense given the existing use of the term "Highstreet". The english language is rarely logical it seems.

Anyway, one thing I find interesting is a couple of new outdoor shopping malls around here have chosen to call themselves "High Street" or have high street somewhere in the name, I guess because it sounds upmarket.

My local "Main Street": https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Fras...oid=1n95N3z2vjUKVvSUOLMjuA&cbp=12,116,,0,6.78
There have been talks about pedestrianizing the whole thing in the past, but there is always resistance from the Business association because customers like to be able to park next to the store they're going to. A shame really because I personally think it would really improve the character of the road, provided that adequate parking was installed elsewhere.
 
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#9
I heard that Main Street was actually not the inspiration for Bob Seger's "Mainstreet", but actually a street called Ann Street in Ann Arbor.
 

JNA

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#10
Is there a common street name that is the dividing line between "North" Main from "South" Main ?

Just as "Main" Street is usually the dividing line for "East _____" and "West _______"
 

Gedunker

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#16
[OT]It's amazing to me how many downtowns have done some or all of the "bricks, banners, benches, bollards, berms, bandstands" of the 1990s urban redevelopment design theme and there are still no pedestrians on the sidewalks. If you don't put the car in its place, people will not walk downtown.[/OT]
 
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#17
Why is it that there are so many times that "main street" is not the primary street for business in a CBD? Marquette Mi, as an example, as a Main Street that is actually a block off of Washington, which is the primary commercial street.
 
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#18
[OT]
It's amazing to me how many downtowns have done some or all of the "bricks, banners, benches, bollards, berms, bandstands" of the 1990s urban redevelopment design theme and there are still no pedestrians on the sidewalks. If you don't put the car in its place, people will not walk downtown.
You do have to consider that Google's car probably takes a lot of these images during the middle of the workday (and probably not during the lunch hour, but rather in the morning or afternoon), when most people are working and not out lolly-gagging. Had they gone out on a summer weekend night around 7pm, or right at the lunch hour on any summer day, you would likely see a ton of pedestrians. Even if all the suburban jobs moved from the interstate office parks to the suburban downtowns, I still think most people would be inside from 9-11:30 and 1:30-5 on a given weekday.

Also, suburbs and small cities are less dense by nature. Only so many people are within walking distance from downtown. The rest have to drive to downtown and either park on the street or in a parking lot or garage. But believe me, for the three Main Streets I posted, they all have large public garages and people use them very heavily, leaving their cars there while they stroll around downtown.[/OT]
 

mendelman

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#19
Why is it that there are so many times that "main street" is not the primary street for business in a CBD? Marquette Mi, as an example, as a Main Street that is actually a block off of Washington, which is the primary commercial street.
Because of a place's specific and unique history and cultural/geographic particularities.

That's why policies or actions or codes, etc are seldom transferable wholesale from place to place.
 
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#20
I'd be curious to see any convincing new Main Streets that have been created within the past 20 years. It seems like the best ones rely on the old-city charm of the smaller grid plans (narrower roads/more corners), heritage buildings and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.
 
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