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Monday, July 29, 2013

Book One: Walkability by Jeff Speck

Posted by on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 8:36 AM

This point is made in the book...

At the end of Walkability, you are left with the feeling that only three things can save the world as we know it (a world that is known precisely because it is knowable—worlds can come and go without being known): the concentration of humans in cities, a sharp reduction in cars, and massive increase in trees.


Comments (22) RSS

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Sounds good to me.
Posted by LMcGuff on July 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 2
Kids no longer walk to school for one reason and one reason only — their parents are scared shitless that their kids will be abducted. While this fear may or may not be justified, there's probably little argument that there's anything else behind this trend.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on July 29, 2013 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 3
I live near an elementary school. A lot of overweight kids get chauffeured by their overweight parents.

Guess times change. When I was in school you were considered a sissy if your parents had to drop you off.
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on July 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM · Report this
lark 4
Good Morning Charles,
That last statement intrigued me. I think I'll check out "Walkability". Agree with more trees and less cars.

Posted by lark on July 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this
The school district now has a neighborhood plan to encourage students to bike and walk to school. As has been pointed out by candidate Kate Martin, putting in sidewalks in areas of the city where there are none would really help.
Posted by westello on July 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
I walked to school. In Chicago. In winter. I would piss my pants because the struggle would take me so long. You can't run in snow drifts. Especially when you have short legs. My hands and face and feet would get so cold, I would scream in pain when they started to warm. When the weather would warm there was always opportunities for trouble. Real trouble. No, I'd rather drive my kids.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 29, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 7
Yes, school buses are eeeevil. All yellow and stuff. Shudder.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on July 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 8
@2: look at me, agreeing with you on something.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
I used to walk to school, by myself, starting in the first grade, along with virtually all of my classmates. It was only about a half mile through a quiet neighborhood. A few years later I had to start taking the bus to a different school, which required me to walk about a mile through the High Street area and then wait on a corner across from the public park men's room, which saw a quiet steady stream of rough trade. No-one thought anything of it at the time.

These days, according to my co-workers with children, it's illegal to send your kid to school by themselves under the age of ten or something.
Posted by tiktok on July 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 10
My extensive discussions about walkability with the transitistas at STB lead me to conclude that walkability means sitting down a lot.

For example, here in Kent, where lots of people really do walk and can walk long distances to bus stops, on sidewalks, to jobs, to stores...that is not walkable.

But if I take an elevator from my 42nd story condo, and go half a block to Starbucks, whip out a tablet and have a drink and lounge, that's walkable.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on July 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
@10: Which part of Kent in particular were you thinking of?

"Walk Score: 48. Most errands require a car."
Posted by tiktok on July 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 12


Your bat, your ball, your ballpark.

I'm not playing there.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on July 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
I was thinking about this while walking to the grocery store yesterday. I used to live in downtown everett. All jokes aside, the only thing I could walk to were bars and eateries. I moved to the 'suburbs' and can now walk to grocery stores, banks, malls, hardware stores, etc. I had several friends living in the Pioneer Square area, and they had to do a lot of driving for things like laundry and groceries (at reasonable prices anyhow). Cities are great, but they often fail on human-scale things like washing your clothes.
Posted by Chris Jury on July 29, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
@13: Good thing all "cities" aren't like Everett. Look on the bright side though: you could be living in Kent.

Everett has an average Walk Score of 54 with 103,019 residents.
Somewhat Walkable
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
The most walkable Everett neighborhoods are Port Gardner, Bayside and Cascade View.
Posted by tiktok on July 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Dougsf 15
What what I can tell, #2 is right. Even in the suburbs most people live within a healthy walk to a school— ours was about a mile away, and we started walking there in second grade.
It's a little strange that children of people that successfully walked to school all their lives won't allow their children to, but television has really made a science out of the whole let's-scare-them-shitless, then-they'll-watch thing.
Posted by Dougsf on July 29, 2013 at 12:14 PM · Report this
seandr 16
@2: Bingo.

Also - in Seattle, 25% of kids attend private school. To the extent that this reflects a broader trend of upper-middle class flight from public schools, that isn't going to help the numbers.
Posted by seandr on July 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
@14- not sure why a "City" with over 100,000 people needs the quotes. Having lived in Port Gardner, and now living in CascadeView, I can assure you whatever metric they are using is not useful. There is nothing in Port Gardner to walk to, besides some cafes and the bars downtown. Sounds great, but tough to accomplish any of the things you actually need to live a life w/o a car, much like elsewhere
Posted by Chris Jury on July 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
@17: 100,000 is a small town persons' idea of a city, that's why.

You can enter a specific zip code, say 98201 for Port Gardner and see a specific break down of the average distance to Restaurants, Bars, Coffee, Groceries, Schools, Outdoor Places, etc.

Posted by tiktok on July 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
DOUG. 19
I walked five miles to school. Uphill each way. Kids these days...
Posted by DOUG. on July 29, 2013 at 3:00 PM · Report this
NaFun 20
Walkability was one of the primary considerations in sending my daughter to the local Seattle middle school instead of staying in the Bellevue School District. Kids need to develop a sense of place and belonging in their neighborhoods, and being chauffeured doesn't do it.
Posted by NaFun on July 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
NaFun 21
@2 - sorta, though I think car/suburban cul-de-sac sprawl culture is tied in with that. That fear is HUGE, while actual crime is at a 40 or 50 year low (also mooting the need for everyone to carry a Glock at all times, but whatevs).

Posted by NaFun on July 29, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
south downtown 22
right. because everyone knows that 50 years ago all the schools were in a downtown...
Posted by south downtown on July 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM · Report this

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