Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Basic Understanding of Walkability

When referencing Cedar Springs in this post, I noted how adding a median does nothing to address the urban deficiencies of the road itself.

Enter City of Ate, the food and restaurant blog of the Dallas Observer. The entry I link is not at all related to planning or urban design. However, in illustrating how much our cities indirectly affect us all, I quote this:

The roads around Kung Fu are awkward. Five different streets come together and there's construction in the middle of one. Sixth Street is another new bar just across the street and everyone plays Frogger trying to get back and forth between these spots. Not an ideal set up. We need some signs and stuff. Maybe a crossing guard with a whistle.

This problem does not exist in places lining streets that are urban, like McKinney St. in Uptown, Main St. in Downtown or Greenville Ave. in Lower Greenville.

It is this inate understanding that creates the either vibrant urban areas or dead spaces. If one were to ask the food critic what makes a street either a quality urban street or auto-oriented one, she may have a hard time verbalizing it. But instinctively, almost all of us knows what streets feel comfortable to be a pedestrian and which ones do not.

When I say almost, I have to wonder about a select few. Either Dallas City Officials do not understand, or they willfully put the desires of car drivers to go fast through the urban area over pedestrians to walk safely in their own neighborhood.

BTW, can I sue the writer for stealing my Frogger analogy?

No comments: