Thursday, September 10, 2009

090910 – This American Life – Indeed

Today’s transport –

Bike: 9.8

I didn’t go many places today. I got to play in the street though; Frisbee with The Boy 11.

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Did you hear the recent broadcast of This American Life - The Rest Stop episode? She said what?

When asked about entertainment on his weekly four hour drive?

Driver: “Well truthfully…I usually read the newspaper on the way up, or a book.”

Interviewer: “Are you kidding me? And you've been doing it for six or seven years and you’ve not had an accident?”

THAT WOULD NOT BE AN ACCIDENT. I'm just sayin'.

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This image demonstrates the ground a person can cover in one mile by walking in a compact neighborhood and a suburban sprawl neighborhood. I like this because I drew almost this exact picture as a comment at the Shape Sioux Falls Open House.

I live in a sprawl type neighborhood. A few blocks away is an assisted living center. The square footage of the building requires a certain amount of parking lot – which is always dreadfully empty because the residents don’t have cars.

It also makes me sad because the residents that are able to walk can go north to the mostly featureless, treeless and entirely walkway-less park across the street or they go up and down the 45mph treeless sidewalk.

Rip out the parking lot and grow some trees!

Here’s the good news. When the baby boomers are 75 years old I expect they will shed new light on the value of walkability in neighborhoods.

The page I thefted the image from is “Quantifying the value of walking” It begins, “CEOs for Cities just released a study showing that homes located close to shops, schools, churches, offices, libraries, parks, and restaurants are worth more than similar homes in less-walkable neighborhoods.”

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Speaking of walking there's a new blogger in town. He walks.

3 comments:

My Own Two Feet said...

Aww, thanks for the shoutout! I was just reading your blog for the day and saw a link to my blog and was just like, wait.. what?

Hopefully walking will soon turn into jogging, and then eventually running. And then at tax time, cycling again!

Thanks again,
Josh

gobucky said...

Well I live in a neighborhood somewhere between compact and suburban sprawl (but in city limits, 7 miles from downtown, and on the bus line). Interestingly we have an assisted living home too! It is what I would call somewhat walkable - there are businesses nearby, but alas no bodega or pharmacy. That would make it tops. Alas, those compact neighborhoods (of which there are many, with many businesses, grocery stores, and bus and bike path access) in our city are not affordable to the average person.

gobucky said...

One more ramble - we have 1-2 "new urbanism" developments in our area which incorporate compact design with walking access to businesses. Three ironies:
1) They were built next to a conservancy, taking up some of the land.
2) Not a one can be had for under $350,000 (Pretty pricey for a 1700 sq ft house in the upper midwest).
3) Yes, the neighborhood has its own sustained businesses, but to actually leave this new urbanism development, you really need to drive. It's off a fairly busy road with no sidewalks and a bit dangerous for an inexperienced biker.

We need to solve that problem.