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New urban street patterns

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
What a great presentation, thanks for the suggestion.

The download takes a couple of minutes -I'm not sure what speed or supermegachip my computer has.
 

garethace

Cyburbian
Messages
137
Points
6
It isn't the 'Powerful' chip so much as the bandwidth of your connection. Average 56k dial up users can only get around 3-4 KBs per sec. And there is 1000KBs in a megabyte, and those PowerPoints seem to be 13,000KBs or 13MB with the pictures included.

Even a slow computer, would download a PowerPoint file for you, if it had a fast enough connection. Think cars, and transmission/engine power. I have a very fast connection here, and a fast computer. But the download is painfully slow - meaning that the website itself is actually not on a very fast connection.

But you tend to get that we many of the good independently minded web sites around these days. Who don't accept hand out money from larger corps, for advertising etc. It is harder to keep an independent voice. So presumably worth the extra two minutes waiting for something worth reading! :)

Downloads from MicroSofts web sites, as 100 times faster, but still I never like having to download the latest MS patch to stop yet another MS vunerability!

It is interesting to note, that most broadband home consumer subscriptions nowadays in Europe, come from kids connecting to online XBOX gaming web sites, with their little XBOXs. These have only an old 733Mhz Pentium III chip! (circa 1999 vintage) Which is plenty to run the games artificial intelligence engine, and connect to other gamers onlline over faster broadband connections.

These game web sites for the XBOX are of course hosted by the Darth Vader of the IT world - MicroSoft!

Brian O' Hanlon.
 
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SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
JNL - thanks for the PowerPoint presentation link.

I love the concept, but wish I had the presenters' notes included in the PP file. :(

About the only thing I question from the PP file is the claim that the fused grid pattern would provide more room for wildlife (slide #52).

Well, yes, with more greenspace you get more wildlife. But in a development pattern that remains primarily urban by density & design, it's not like you'll be attracting elk herds into the area with the added greenspace. (Sorry, elk herds.)

The greenspace's use will be primarily for human enjoyment, with any benefits to traditionally urban/suburban wildlife being secondary.

Now, who maintains the greenspace realm? And will it be public or private greenspace? (Just say nay to HOAs!)
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Re: Re: New urban street patterns

Alan said:
Indeed, it is an example of it - "one of 12 possible layouts" apparently. And your link is much easier to get into! However, the PP presentation is more recent and has more pictures.

The streets are all straight and the issue of vehicle speed is supposedly addressed by having looped, narrow streets.

What do people think of the location of the three parks laid out diagonally in the centre? They are meant to achieve "open space as [a] structuring element".

And look, it's got alleys.........!
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,915
Points
36
I don't like it - there are no through street connections. Traffic from the subdivision is still being dumped out onto the arterials via a few access streets. Sure it may look prettier than the average post-war development, but it doesn't create a cohesive neighbourhood street pattern. Pedestrian linkages should be provided via public streets, not pathways - just MHO.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Tranplanner said:
I don't like it - there are no through street connections. Traffic from the subdivision is still being dumped out onto the arterials via a few access streets. Sure it may look prettier than the average post-war development, but it doesn't create a cohesive neighbourhood street pattern. Pedestrian linkages should be provided via public streets, not pathways - just MHO.
Yup.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
It may work in Nebraska, but we have glacial kettle-moraine topography associated with the late pliestocene epoch. It just wouldn't fit the landscape.

*weee I got to use my geology education for once*
 

Cirrus

Cyburbian
Messages
303
Points
11
All the disadvantages of a grid combined with all the disadvantages of loopy suburban patterns... and none of the advantages of either.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
WARNING: Rant to follow.

That is just terrible.

I promote all grid, all the time. With streets and avenues number 1, 2, 3, 4, etc….

This way you know exactly where 715 SW 2nd Street is, instead of hunting dead end cul-de-sacs for 17 Shady Maple Leaf Winding Trail. (WTF).

Also, When you go for a walk or ridet your bike you always know how far you have gone, 10 blocks = 1 mile. And you never get a dead end where you have to turn around.

That’s my rant.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
That doesn't look very well...There has to be a little bit of interconectivity within the area between the main roads... I mean if you have to drive (or walk) from house 1 that's in one corner of the development to a house 2 that's in the middle of the opposing edge od the development, it's quite a drive (or walk*)

*at least you can walk through a park while going there, but still it ensures problems within, and the evident stressing of the main roads...
 

B'lieve

Cyburbian
Messages
219
Points
9
This is essentially a superblock with house-lined lanes into the interior, a park in the center, and zero through-traffic. Hmmm, other than the houses, where have we seen that before.....

That's right folks: Housing Projects! Both the low-income ones built in most big cities and the higher-income ones built in a few of the biggest like New York. We all know how those turned out, especially the former: the residents avoided the interior dead spaces (originally "open spaces") like the plague, and often tried to do their shopping and any outdoor socializing in the surrounding neighborhood.

If you want to limit through auto traffic (and its speed), make most of the cross streets too narrow for high speeds (with only every third street, in both directions, a little wider to handle more traffic). To limit the risk of accidents and the possibility of fire trucks unable to get through because the cars in its way can't go anywhere b/c of parked cars, make provisions for some off-street parking (and beef up the transit a little) and ban on-street parking on those streets.

But I'm a newbie, and not even a planner :-$ , so correct me if I got something wrong

C'mon, don't be shy :-D ...
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
do people automatically assume that just because a park's there, people will use it?

there are sooooooo many dead parks in plano, many of them positioned like in that map: near a concentration of dead ends and barriers.

my mom complained alot about plano's "lack of parks," but it wasn't that. she loved carrollton, but we only had one pond. by comparison, plano has many many more, but they all seem like they were used by the government to turn unused lots into something "useful." by comparison, carrollton's pond saw lots of relative use (there was a church and i want to say school along with some houses, so it was a nice gathering point), and all of plano's (which are generally awkwardly in the midst of residential swaths) see very little.
 

OfficialPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
940
Points
24
Fully agree, citys seem to take the cheap way out and allow developers to build their greenspace requirements on the worse possible lands and locations as shown in the subdivision pic above.

Some areas have far too much parks that are always empty except for the illegal activity at night while other areas have none what-so-ever.

Solipsa said:
do people automatically assume that just because a park's there, people will use it?

there are sooooooo many dead parks in plano, many of them positioned like in that map: near a concentration of dead ends and barriers.

my mom complained alot about plano's "lack of parks," but it wasn't that. she loved carrollton, but we only had one pond. by comparison, plano has many many more, but they all seem like they were used by the government to turn unused lots into something "useful." by comparison, carrollton's pond saw lots of relative use (there was a church and i want to say school along with some houses, so it was a nice gathering point), and all of plano's (which are generally awkwardly in the midst of residential swaths) see very little.
 

rwaltermyer

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
that's ridiculous....could you imagine the congestion???!!! There is literally no other choice other than the arterials! That's is.... I can't put into words how stupid that idea is.

But basically modern suburbia already resembles that (at least in Chester County) No one would ever turn into a subdivision as a short cut....you'd wind around for days in there. And, as a result of this lack of connectivity, congestion on the arterials.

randy
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
that does look really bad.

to their credit, though, maybe we're missing something about the scale of how that graphic fits into the bigger picture. maybe the density would be such that most people would be walking - or at least walking to a transit stop? Maybe the arterials would be super ped friendly commercial zones?

One thing that i think is clear is that, without high density to support a steady ped flow, you need a certain amount of (auto)traffic to sustain a certain level of street life - otherwise the place becomes "dead" and people just stop using it all together.

We had that on Chestnut St. in Philly - they made 15 blocks of it Bus & Bike only and business on the street took a nose dive. They brought back the parking and one lane of traffic and ped activity (and business) bumped back up. I think the main reason it didn't work is because, for the most part, Chestnut St. was retail only. There was a serious lack of offices and more importantly, residential, on that street.
 

rwaltermyer

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
jresta said:
There was a serious lack of offices and more importantly,
residential, on that street.
off topic of the street pattern....but I sometimes think its funny to hear us planners championing residential in downtown...well, my ppl wouldn't live about parts of Chestnut St. if someone paid us to.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,915
Points
36
rwaltermyer said:
off topic of the street pattern....but I sometimes think its funny to hear us planners championing residential in downtown...well, my ppl wouldn't live about parts of Chestnut St. if someone paid us to.
my people?
 

rwaltermyer

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
rwaltermyer said:
off topic of the street pattern....but I sometimes think its funny to hear us planners championing residential in downtown...well, [edit] MOST[/edit] ppl wouldn't live about parts of Chestnut St. if someone paid us to.
oppps. Thanks.
 

Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
Here's a rant for you all:

First of all, Yes, I agree, this design is ALL Wrong. Who comes up with this stuff?

This quoted from the conclusions of the report that was linked to earlier:

"the study concludes: first, that it is possible to maintain the efficiency and quality of the conventional suburb while adopting the geometry of the grid; and second, that it is feasible and desirable to combine the tradition of the main street and the convenience of the commercial strip in a zone of mixed land uses that both relies on and supports transportation. By fusing the street patterns of conventional suburbs with those of the traditional grided city, and by recasting the arterial street in the light of its activity generation potential, it is possible to create communities that are efficient, viable, livable, healthy and highly marketable."

Some questions for these authors:

1)Since when has the 'conventional suburb' shown any kind of efficiency or quality? I mean, the conventional suburb is the LEAST efficient design is every aspect imaginable - especially monetary, environmental, and social. And by quality do you mean buildings that are built to last 30 years???

2)Since when is the commercial strip convenient? Only if you ahve a car and there aren't too many other commercial strips on the road to create ANY traffic!

3)By recasting the arterial into its activity generating potential, aren't you completely compromising its transportation value???

While those designs might be "highly marketable" do the brain-dead denizens of Generica, I fail to see how these could ever be efficient, viable, livable, or healthy.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
jresta said:

One thing that i think is clear is that, without high density to support a steady ped flow, you need a certain amount of (auto)traffic to sustain a certain level of street life - otherwise the place becomes "dead" and people just stop using it all together.

We had that on Chestnut St. in Philly - they made 15 blocks of it Bus & Bike only and business on the street took a nose dive. They brought back the parking and one lane of traffic and ped activity (and business) bumped back up. I think the main reason it didn't work is because, for the most part, Chestnut St. was retail only. There was a serious lack of offices and more importantly, residential, on that street.
-We sort of have the same situation on Main St here in Buffalo. The street is closed to traffic from where the light rail emerges above ground all the way to HSBC Arena (Go Sabres). Basically the train was suppose to be underground once it got downtown and the street was suppose to be turned into a covered pedestrian mall according to the City's Comprehensive Plan back in the early 70's.
Well needless to say they did it the other way around and the rail runs above ground downtown. No cars were allowed on this stretch although they used to be allowed when trolleys ran up and down the street. Retail died and the street was a ghost town when office workers went home. Finally though, some buildings are being converted into apartments and vehicular traffic will be introduced to the street once again. Some say this will cure Main st, but I think its going talk alot more than that to fix its problems.
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
Chet said:
It may work in Nebraska, but we have glacial kettle-moraine topography associated with the late pliestocene epoch. It just wouldn't fit the landscape.
Not all grid systems need to abide by Midwestern strictness. Grids can break their continuity to dodge hillsides and valleys. I think the nicest small cities are made up of little neighborhood grids that abut the edge of mountains and end there.


Pottsville, PA, nestled in the Appalachians.
 

jmello

Cyburbian
Messages
2,583
Points
22
H said:
That is just terrible.

I promote all grid, all the time. With streets and avenues number 1, 2, 3, 4, etc….

This way you know exactly where 715 SW 2nd Street is, instead of hunting dead end cul-de-sacs for 17 Shady Maple Leaf Winding Trail. (WTF).

Also, When you go for a walk or ridet your bike you always know how far you have gone, 10 blocks = 1 mile. And you never get a dead end where you have to turn around.

That’s my rant.
With that also comes a lack of character for streets, neighborhoods and addresses. I would much rather live on 23 Maple Street than 13456 West 114 Street North.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a place: ceaseless monotony in the name of efficiency OR inefficiency in the name of varied character and a defined sense of place. I think it is bad enough that our modern commercial and residential structures lack variety, couple that with a sterile public realm and what do you get?
 
Messages
1,580
Points
21
Does anyone else hate using % of land that is street as indicator of efficiency of form? It's comparing apples and oranges. Sure, technically suburban lollipop cul-de-sacs are more efficient than a grid, in terms of street area, but this measure does not recognize AT ALL the transference of outdoor space from the unused backyards and sideyards to the common, active street.
 
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