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  1. #1
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    The WOONERFS are coming

    Seattle soon to rebuild street as a woonerven- a 'living yard' for the benefit of all users of public space.

    Public rights of way DO NOT have to be designed exclusively according to the rules of the road for vehicles.

    Oh those pedestrians, those cafe tables aren't being 'vehicular'! WHAAAAA!!!!

    http://archives.seattletimes.nwsourc...&query=WOONERF
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  2. #2
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Seattle soon to rebuild street as a woonerven- a 'living yard' for the benefit of all users of public space.

    Public rights of way DO NOT have to be designed exclusively according to the rules of the road for vehicles.

    Oh those pedestrians, those cafe tables aren't being 'vehicular'! WHAAAAA!!!!

    http://archives.seattletimes.nwsourc...&query=WOONERF
    Those make nice cut-throughs. Just watch out for waiters...

    I'm just kidding, but one does have to be careful.
    No worries

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Well at least it is putting people back into the mix... I'm darn tired of putting cars first.

  4. #4
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    The question is, will they roll these out across the city, or will it remain a woon erf

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Well at least it is putting people back into the mix... I'm darn tired of putting cars first.
    You're not the only one.

    Seems the more we "put cars first," the more we forget that it's people that drive those cars, and people are wasting more and more time stuck in traffic when they could be enjoying time with their families...

    ...and I've already seen that building more and wider roads only serves the businesses that populate those roads, not the people trying to get home on them. More and wider roads only mean more subdivisions and malls to feed their ever widening mouths.

    I'm for downsizing, putting living space, work space, restaurants and shopping all in closer quarters. It's more humane (and a reversal of the sprawl principle.)
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 01-15-08 at 09:21 PM.
    No worries

  6. #6
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    ...Seems the more we "put cars first," the more we forget that it's people that drive those cars, and people are wasting more and more time stuck in traffic when they could be enjoying time with their families...
    So you want to impose your value structure on other people?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    ...and I've already seen that building more and wider roads only serves the businesses that populate those roads, not the people trying to get home on them. More and wider roads only mean more subdivisions and malls to feed their ever widening mouths.

    I'm for downsizing, putting living space, work space, restaurants and shopping all in closer quarters. It's more humane (and a reversal of the sprawl principle.)
    So make the roads smaller and add in spaces...this will cause even more congestion on the roads, because people want to live in a house with a yard. It's the american dream. The malls and restraunts in the new subdivisions does bring jobs closer to where people live, and the widening of their mouths is their choice. Again, why do you want to force your value system on other people?


    [Just playing devil's advocate]

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    So you want to impose your value structure on other people?



    So make the roads smaller and add in spaces...this will cause even more congestion on the roads, because people want to live in a house with a yard. It's the american dream. The malls and restraunts in the new subdivisions does bring jobs closer to where people live, and the widening of their mouths is their choice. Again, why do you want to force your value system on other people?


    [Just playing devil's advocate]

    OK devil, aren't "their" value systems being forced on us? Wide fast roads, single drivers to a huge vehicles, noise and air pollution... even our military and arms for oil? Not to mention the lack of exercise coupled with the drive thru window and "supersizing... " Oy!

    <Just playing Angel's Advocate... >

  8. #8
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    OK devil, aren't "their" value systems being forced on us? Wide fast roads, single drivers to a huge vehicles, noise and air pollution... even our military and arms for oil? Not to mention the lack of exercise coupled with the drive thru window and "supersizing... " Oy!

    <Just playing Angel's Advocate... >
    Their, in this case represents most people. We are a minority.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    My aunt and uncle have lived in a Woonerfen that was put in during the mid 1970's, right about the time when this was the newest idea in urban planning in Holland. I went there all the time and I can tell you that if works wonderfully. There is still a main 2 lane feeder road that passes through the community, but on either side of the main road you enter local housing areas where there isn't road that is longer than 100 yards before it makes a sharp turn or there is some major traffic calming obsticle that hinders cars, but lets pedestrians and cyclists pass along without interferance. The side bennefit is that the neighborhood also tends to look much nicer than the traditional long rows of similar houses that is so typical in much of Europe. Now the houses are broken up into shot streches of no more than 10 units in a row. There is also lots of room for planters which further helps to green up the view of the street.

    I curently consider myself very lucky, because the neighborhood I live in is setup very similar to a Dutch Woonerf. I am sure it is more by accident than by design. By the townhouses are setup to have no more than 6 to 8 in a row and the the road makes a sharp turn. There there are also speed bumps in the middle of each "long" strech, but in the middle there is break in the speed bump so as a cyclists you can easily pass through without having to go over the main bump. I have never seen anyone drive more than about 15 MPH just because you can't. This is very pedestrian and kid friendly. In the green spaces between the backs of the Town houses there are grassy areas that have nice walking paths and lots of trees. The area is very well setup for going for a short strol with a child or a dog. I would not want to move to a "normal" free standing house if only to not lose such a nice neighborhood.

    I hope they start building more neighborhoods with the Woonerf concept in mind. Not only are they good for pedestrians and cyclists, they are also nicer looking since it break up the streets visually so you don't feel like you are on a long strech of street.

    Happy riding,
    André

  10. #10
    Conservative Hippie
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    Sounds interesting, but there would have to be thoroughfares that would allow motor vehicle traffic to by-pass the "woonervened" areas.

    The thoroughfares would also have to be bicycle accessible, because a cyclist shouldn't have to slow to walking speed in an area they need to pass by in order to reach their destination.

  11. #11
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    The malls and restraunts in the new subdivisions does bring jobs closer to where people live...

    sure - but most of the people that work at the mall do not own the homes in the subdivisions... how many cell phone deals a day does it take to own a 300k McMansion? or how many subs do you have to make? or orange julius' do you need to froth?

    maybe the small mall business owner - but those are rare - as most 'mall' stores are chain driven.


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    while it's nice that developers are starting to think outside the box (except for the part where they are going condos on top/retail on the bottom crap that's so in style these days), the area doesn't need one of these magic streets. Yale street is about as dead as a dead end can be, it's pretty much a woonerfen already.

    Some one call me when they make a through street in seattle that (i.e. isn't a dead end) a woonerfen.

    Didn't they try that with Pine St. in front of westlake center for a while? For some reason I remember concrete barriers that had been set up to block traffic. Haven't been up there a while, but I think they took them down to allow cars through again.

  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    So you want to impose your value structure on other people?
    So, by expressing my own opinion, I'm "imposing my value structure on other people?" Maybe you prefer I be a gutless wonder?

    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    So make the roads smaller and add in spaces...this will cause even more congestion on the roads, because people want to live in a house with a yard. It's the american dream. The malls and restraunts in the new subdivisions does bring jobs closer to where people live, and the widening of their mouths is their choice. Again, why do you want to force your value system on other people?
    Dogboy, I sincerely doubt one internet post is going to "force my value system upon other people."

    As far as I remember, the American dream is to have a say in determining your own future. I'm just chipping in my two bucks, like everyone else.

    As a matter of fact, I'd say my opinions are not that dangerous, and the endless arrays of shopping malls and traffic lights have nothing to fear.

    BTW, here in Atlanta, many expensive housing developments are springing up intown that are close to shopping and schools, and some actually have shopping in the same space. Many people who can afford it are moving in, away from the expansive, far-away neighborhoods that take so long to access in rush hour traffic. To some extent, it's the wealthy who live intown, and the less fortunate who live in the burbs, now.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 01-16-08 at 08:49 PM.
    No worries

  14. #14
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    ...Dogboy, I sincerely doubt one internet post is going to "force my value system upon other people."

    As far as I remember, the American dream is to have a say in determining your own future. I'm just chipping in my two bucks, like everyone else.

    As a matter of fact, I'd say my opinions are not that dangerous, and the endless arrays of shopping malls and traffic lights have nothing to fear.

    BTW, here in Atlanta, many expensive housing developments are springing up intown that are close to shopping and schools, and some actually have shopping in the same space. Many people who can afford it are moving in, away from the expansive, far-away neighborhoods that take so long to access in rush hour traffic. To some extent, it's the wealthy who live intown, and the less fortunate who live in the burbs, now.
    First off, I agree with your sentiments, and personally choose to live within cycling distance of work and commute to work often, and regularly use our kid trailer to carry groceries. I like this lifestyle. I'm really just trying to challenge from the point of view of most of my coworkers, who define the american dream as the house, yard white picket fence, two kids and a dog. They resent it when money is spent on transportation facilities other than increasing capacity of roads because, as they put it: "lets face it, that's how almost everyone gets around. Even busses need roads!" They constantly remind me that I'm crazy, and that they don't want to live the way I do. There is a group in town that is trying to push topics like this in terms of land use, and there is quite frankly a lot of anger about the idea that the government would tell them how they could use their land, and who they could sell it to. They very much find that this type of thing is an attempt to "force" the values of the "high-density kooks" on "us normal americans." I guess I can see why it looks that way from their point of view.

    I like the idea, I just think that if it really is viable, that it will happen on its own...as evidenced by your comment about Atlanta.

  15. #15
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    First off, I agree with your sentiments, and personally choose to live within cycling distance of work and commute to work often, and regularly use our kid trailer to carry groceries. I like this lifestyle. I'm really just trying to challenge from the point of view of most of my coworkers...
    Oh.

    Nevermind.
    No worries

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post
    Sounds interesting, but there would have to be thoroughfares that would allow motor vehicle traffic to by-pass the "woonervened" areas.

    The thoroughfares would also have to be bicycle accessible, because a cyclist shouldn't have to slow to walking speed in an area they need to pass by in order to reach their destination.
    I'll give you a link to a place I have visited often: Monnickendam in the The Netherlands (as mentioned in my previous post I have family there and spent at least 1 weekend a month there for the about a decade, and have spent parts of my summers there throughout high school and college):

    http://maps.google.com/ and search for Splitshoorn 30, 1141 Monnickendam, Netherlands

    If you look at where GoogleMaps put the arrow you will notice just above it main road that loops sort of like a large U through the town. The main road (Lijnbaan) is a 2 lane road. There is a median next to the roads with either grass or shrubs. Next to the median on one side (if you switch to Satellite view you can realy see it) there is a nice wide bike path (can't remember the exact dimention, but about 10 to 15 feet wide). Next to the bike path is a low curb, then there is a wide sidewalk. The way the Woonerven are designed is to get the cars easily out to a main road, yet keep the housing areas connected in ways that allow for easy access by pedestrians and cyclists without making it a racing ground for cars. If you need to get around town you basically exit the Woonerf in a similar way to the cars, but you still have nice separated traffic. The bus takes the main loop through town and since the housing is all near the main loop you never have to walk far to get to a bus stop. The bus also runs every 30 minutes, abd double that during rush hour. Shopping for groceries, and some take out food is available centrally (just to the right on Het Spill) as is a Sports facility and a community center. You would be completely MAD to take a car to the local store. You can ride there in minutes no matter where you live in town. With a car you definitely want to stay on the main road and exit the town, but on a bike you can easily and safely criss cross town. The housing area just to the east (across the small canal) was built in the late 1970's and won a number of internation award. The area has lots of different sizes of town houses. Some 4 per unit, some longer streaches, but has been built so that it doesn't look like some boring set of track houses. Also the traffic management and parking facilities for the owners are all setup so that it facilitates a very family friendly environment.

    Happy riding,
    André

  17. #17
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    BTW, here in Atlanta, many expensive housing developments are springing up intown that are close to shopping and schools, and some actually have shopping in the same space. Many people who can afford it are moving in, away from the expansive, far-away neighborhoods that take so long to access in rush hour traffic. To some extent, it's the wealthy who live intown, and the less fortunate who live in the burbs, now.
    it's starting to be the same here. the downtown condos are MUY expensive.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  18. #18
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Bicycling, carpooling, and mass transit can give us energy-efficient commuting without forcing everyone into a barracks. One does not need to drive a Ford Excursion solo to enjoy a suburban American lifestyle.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  19. #19
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Bicycling, carpooling, and mass transit can give us energy-efficient commuting without forcing everyone into a barracks. One does not need to drive a Ford Excursion solo to enjoy a suburban American lifestyle.
    I'm kinda hoping people like me who've been living the lifestyle you mention for years will become mentors to those who find it more reasonable than spending the equivalent of a retirement savings just to get to work. And then there's having the health to enjoy those years...

    Funny thing, if I lived close to work, it'd be fantastic, but then I'd have to find a way to ride as many miles as I do now...I'm not really used to riding in circles just to get in the miles.

    But you're right about how bicycling + mass transit can get you anywhere you want to go, if mass transit has the facilities to transport your bike. And bicycling is the closest thing to motoring as far as independent transportation is concerned. Just multiply the trip time by 2 (and add years in life expectancy.)

    No worries

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Bicycling, carpooling, and mass transit can give us energy-efficient commuting without forcing everyone into a barracks. One does not need to drive a Ford Excursion solo to enjoy a suburban American lifestyle.
    LOL... talk to John Forester and the American Dream Coalition about that... John is somewhat convinced that the automobile is the key to the American lifestyle.... and his friends at ADC are convinced that "key" has to turn at about 50+MPH.

    I am only slightly exaggerating there, sadly.

    I personally think it is only a matter of time before we lock ourselves into gridlock... maybe 20 or 30 years into the future.

    Perhaps at the point where self driving cars become a strong reality... we can just send one around to pick up all the car pool patrons, and be done with about 4-5 of the extra cars on the road per carpool... thus eliminating oh maybe 1/2 to 1/3 of the vehicles out there now.

  21. #21
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Bicycling, carpooling, and mass transit can give us energy-efficient commuting without forcing everyone into a barracks. One does not need to drive a Ford Excursion solo to enjoy a suburban American lifestyle.
    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    LOL... talk to John Forester and the American Dream Coalition about that...
    All I gathered from John E's post was that bicycling was a viable substitute to driving a Hugh Jass SUV.
    No worries

  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    All I gathered from John E's post was that bicycling was a viable substitute to driving a Hugh Jass SUV.
    Good, but some folks believe that having said vehicle is the key to the American way of life. For some odd reason, the idea of cycling as part of that way of life is just "foreign."

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