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BarracksSi 06-08-08 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 6841363)
Its funny how the parking lot is an overlooked evil. They tear apart places, expand the distances that need to be covered. They are ecological deadzones.

It would've been nice to put the parking lots behind the stores & strip malls. Then again, the big box stores are so big that it takes a while just to walk from one to another...

wahoonc 06-08-08 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarracksSi (Post 6841535)
It would've been nice to put the parking lots behind the stores & strip malls. Then again, the big box stores are so big that it takes a while just to walk from one to another...

I have wondered if it would make sense to have two entrances to stores, one for the people that have enough sense to walk or ride a bike or utilize mass transit; possibly via a greenway? And then another attached to the current massive parking lots. But the parking lots take up so much realestate the stores have to be far apart. I know of only one "vertical" mall in the US, Crystal City Mall in Crystal City, VA. Haven't been there in a while so my memory may be faulty. All other malls I can recall are surrounded by acres and acres of parking lots, in many cases 2-3 times as much parking lot as mall space:(

Aaron:)

BarracksSi 06-08-08 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 6843662)
I know of only one "vertical" mall in the US, Crystal City Mall in Crystal City, VA. Haven't been there in a while so my memory may be faulty.

I think it could be faulty, since you might be thinking of Pentagon City instead. ;) Its acres of parking lots are actually a multi-story parking garage in back of a five-story mall. Behind that is Pentagon Row, which has higher-end stores (including a Red Door, Bally's and Hudson Trail Outfitters) with a small lot on the surface and a an underground garage that covers the entire property.

The Crystal City shops are cool, though -- you can get to a lot of them through underground passageways. However, I think that they're all one level, plus some of the restaurants and whatnot are above ground.

There's also the Ballston Common mall, which has several stories and a sort of back entrance for parking. You can arrive by Metro and not even cross a street, let alone a parking lot.

There's also the Shops At Georgetown (I think that's what they call it), which doesn't look like anything until you walk inside and see all the stores.

gerv 06-08-08 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 6838550)
I've heard that if you park your car at the mall and do your shopping there, you'll often walk farther than if you had parked at a central location downtown and gone to the various shops there. The mall designers put numerous angles and corners into their floor plans so shoppers don't think they're going all that far.

One reason for starting this thread is an observation I've had numerous times lately. You can walk from my current office building to a complex of gas station/restaurant/hotels that are across a busy street. I have often seen people take this trip via automobile (it is perhaps 1/10 of a mile). Funny thing is that their automobiles are parked about 2/10 of a mile away. This goes beyond laziness, it speaks to a kind of dislocation that is inflicted on people who drive a lot. They are unable to measure because they don't actually come in contact with what they are measuring. In the same way that I can measure my desk, say, by using my forearm laid against it, so too can I measure a walking distance by actually applying feet to pavement... But many cagers will resort to ridiculous detours that they could easily navigate without a cage!!

Platy 06-08-08 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 6843662)
I have wondered if it would make sense to have two entrances to stores, one for the people that have enough sense to walk or ride a bike or utilize mass transit; possibly via a greenway? And then another attached to the current massive parking lots...

Yes, this is an excellent idea. There are a couple of retail strips in Austin that have the main car entrances on the parking lot side and what amounts to bike/ped entrances on the back side. I don't think they were planned that way, they just happened.

This is a great way to lay out retail strips. You have a big arterial road out front that feeds the parking lots. Then you have all the shops. If there are bike/ped entrances to the rear, that means they can connect to the nearby residential neighborhoods and thus to the alternate routes favored by many cyclists.

slowjoe66 06-08-08 07:41 PM

My wife's cousin and I work at the same place. It is 7 miles each way for me and about 9 for him. He has seen me commute by bike for a few years. He used to laugh at me and call me "Schwinn Armstrong". It was good natured kidding. Till his yearly physical; he was told he was very very unhealthy. Blood pressure, body weight, on and on. He bought a bike at the pawn shop and outfitted it by asking me a bunch of questions, and also picking the brain of the guy at the bike shop. Now he rides whenever the weather is decent; which is more often than not in Spring and Summer. He is loving it. It's amazing how many people have, and COULD have such dramatic lifestyle changes if they were somehow forced, or nudged enough to do it. 9 miles seemed like a big hassle to him until the doctor told him he wouldn't outlive his two young kids if he didn't make changes.

wahoonc 06-08-08 08:08 PM

I have less issue with a parking garage than with the typical acres and acres of single level surface parking. IMHO they are still an expensive waste of real estate but at least the density is improved and you can build them below ground under retail space or above ground and put retail space on the ground floor for the people that walk.

Aaron:)

Newspaperguy 06-08-08 08:45 PM

Good story, slowjoe66. We all have our own reasons for cycling. For some, it's health and for others it's about environmental responsibility, concern about rising fuel prices, a love of the bike or something else. When I see or hear of people beginning to cycle, my hope is that it quickly turns into something pleasant and positive for them. Once that happens, they will look forward to cycling and they will continue with it for many years.

wahoonc 06-09-08 03:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarracksSi (Post 6843776)
I think it could be faulty, since you might be thinking of Pentagon City instead. ;) Its acres of parking lots are actually a multi-story parking garage in back of a five-story mall. Behind that is Pentagon Row, which has higher-end stores (including a Red Door, Bally's and Hudson Trail Outfitters) with a small lot on the surface and a an underground garage that covers the entire property.

The Crystal City shops are cool, though -- you can get to a lot of them through underground passageways. However, I think that they're all one level, plus some of the restaurants and whatnot are above ground.

There's also the Ballston Common mall, which has several stories and a sort of back entrance for parking. You can arrive by Metro and not even cross a street, let alone a parking lot.

There's also the Shops At Georgetown (I think that's what they call it), which doesn't look like anything until you walk inside and see all the stores.

Which ever one it was...it was within a couple of blocks of The Lennox Club apartments in Arlington. The wife used to live there and we ended up there one night when our flight(s) out of DCA canceled. I just remember walking to the mall then to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then taking the Double Tree's hotel van back to the airport the next morning:innocent:

Aaron:)

gwd 06-09-08 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerv (Post 6843836)
One reason for starting this thread is an observation I've had numerous times lately. You can walk from my current office building to a complex of gas station/restaurant/hotels that are across a busy street. I have often seen people take this trip via automobile (it is perhaps 1/10 of a mile). Funny thing is that their automobiles are parked about 2/10 of a mile away. This goes beyond laziness, it speaks to a kind of dislocation that is inflicted on people who drive a lot
............
.... But many cagers will resort to ridiculous detours that they could easily navigate without a cage!!

We get into habits or reflexive actions so we don't have to think about what we are doing. Some people just drive or bike or use a certain tool so often that they stop thinking in each and every usage whether or not it is the best way to get the job done. People who regularly use multiple modes of transport naturally get used to deciding which mode to use for any trip. Although I have a mental map of my neighborhood labeled with "bike here" "walk there" I sometimes use the other option for a change of pace. Sometimes it is good to make a decision once and stick to it always to save decision making time. Some busy people always carry the same thing in their lunch sack so they don't have to waste time thinking about lunch or going out for lunch. The same thing must happen with car drivers who never get around any other way, they just get in their cars even when it would be easier to walk directly to the destination.

Az B 06-09-08 11:41 AM

The other strange phenomenon involves those huge malls. When we first got married, my wife would drive around the parking lot looking for a really close space, often taking 10-15 minutes doing so if the mall was crowded. I always just park at the first spot I see, even if it's far out, and just walk.

But the bizarre part to me is that we would then go inside and proceed to walk around for the rest of the day. So that extra 50 feet in the parking lot is a deal breaker, but walking like 5 miles inside the mall is nothing.

It's all about perception. Reality is so different for different people.

My wife has long since seen the light, but her previous attitude is fairly typical of mall goers.

Az

BarracksSi 06-09-08 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Az B (Post 6847808)
The other strange phenomenon involves those huge malls. When we first got married, my wife would drive around the parking lot looking for a really close space, often taking 10-15 minutes doing so if the mall was crowded. I always just park at the first spot I see, even if it's far out, and just walk.

What's funny is when I park at one of the first spots I see, get out, and as I'm walking, I see the car that had entered the lot before me still cruising around, looking for a closer spot. ;)

chephy 06-09-08 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowjoe66 (Post 6844151)
9 miles seemed like a big hassle to him until the doctor told him he wouldn't outlive his two young kids if he didn't make changes.

LOL, since when are you supposed to outlive your children? :D

Roody 06-10-08 04:46 PM

A lot of people ask me how far I bike to work. If I say "four miles" they think I'm a martyr. If I say "15 minutes" they think I live only a couple blocks away. (Of course, both answers are accurate.)

Roody 06-10-08 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerv (Post 6843836)
One reason for starting this thread is an observation I've had numerous times lately. You can walk from my current office building to a complex of gas station/restaurant/hotels that are across a busy street. I have often seen people take this trip via automobile (it is perhaps 1/10 of a mile). Funny thing is that their automobiles are parked about 2/10 of a mile away. This goes beyond laziness, it speaks to a kind of dislocation that is inflicted on people who drive a lot. They are unable to measure because they don't actually come in contact with what they are measuring. In the same way that I can measure my desk, say, by using my forearm laid against it, so too can I measure a walking distance by actually applying feet to pavement... But many cagers will resort to ridiculous detours that they could easily navigate without a cage!!

Maybe they're just scared to cross that busy street on foot. That seems reasonable to me. Walking is a very dangerous way to travel in many suburbs.

wahoonc 06-10-08 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 6856628)
Maybe they're just scared to cross that busy street on foot. That seems reasonable to me. Walking is a very dangerous way to travel in many suburbs.

+1:thumb:

The hotel I stay at in SC is not in a pedestrian friendly area at all. It is a 1/2 mile to the nearest grocery store, a very walkable distance...however that includes having to cross a 6 lane highway with no pedestrian crosswalks or lights (I think it is actually safer to cross in the middle of the block) and almost a 1/4 mile of walking across a huge parking lot to get to the front door of the store.

Aaron:)

Newspaperguy 06-10-08 07:29 PM

I'll sometimes refer to Harvey Avenue in Kelowna as "The World's Longest Strip Mall." The road is part of Highway 97 and it has commercial developments from one end of the city to the other. The sidewalks are in place, but getting around by foot is going to be a long chore since every shop or mall has its own extensive parking lot.

The ironic part of this is Kelowna has a beautiful downtown area which is almost unnoticed. It also has a great system of bike lanes.

The Central Okanagan Regional District and the City of Kelowna have been working hard over the last few years to promote cleaner transportation, including cycling. I applaud their efforts but the biggest hurdle will be Harvey Avenue.

robinthehippie 06-11-08 12:39 AM

About perception, people who only drive don't realize there are other routes to take from point A to point B when they're used to the "convenient" car trip. I tell people I bike from downtown to the suburb where I work, and they think I'm absolutely insane. It's ~15 miles on the highways. It makes a little more sense to them once I explain I ride through town, quiet residential areas with the occasional coffee shop or park, and it's half that distance.


Also agree with the stigma that walking or biking means you're poor. The other day a girl told me I didn't have to throw in for a co-worker's present because she thought I didn't have the money (since I apparently can't afford to drive and I pack my lunch.) I said, "Are you kidding? I have next to no expenses! I set it up like that on purpose so I can spend money on silly stuff without stressing about where my rent money's coming from!"

gemini 06-12-08 08:51 AM

Quote:

My last job I commuted 32 miles round trip and people there thought I was superman.
When I was a kid, the woman next door used to do this. She only rode when the weather was fair but the distance was about the same. She was a somewhat overweight middle-aged mother of three. This was in Finland in the 80s and cycling that distance wasn't considered anything that special. (Let me tell you that someone looking like her was not mistaken for superman or even the bionic woman.) She probably did get a lot of 'must be good exercise' comments. Just goes to show that you really don't have to be in a good shape. The trip will just take a little more time at first.

murphstahoe 06-12-08 01:54 PM

This sums it up for me. A friend works at Genentech in South San Francisco (a distinctly different city from SF - 10 miles south) and lives above the Safeway at 4th/King St in San Francisco. I expressed my astonishment that she didn't take the train to work, she is across the street from the train station. It's a 15 minute train ride to SSF, and I knew the company had a shuttle that would meet the train there and take her to the front door.

I decided I was going to scope out the logistics for her. I googled "Genentech Caltrain Shuttle" and what came up confused me. Finally I figured it out. In addition to the shuttles that run from the South San Francisco station, Genentech has a corporate shuttle that picks up at the San Francisco Caltrain station and runs directly to Genentech. The pickup spot is closer to her front door than her parking spot at home, the dropoff spot is at the front door of her office, which is obviously closer than wherever she would park. Four departures every morning and afternoon.

Sheesh.

Lamplight 06-12-08 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 6856604)
A lot of people ask me how far I bike to work. If I say "four miles" they think I'm a martyr. If I say "15 minutes" they think I live only a couple blocks away. (Of course, both answers are accurate.)

I've had people at work ask me how far I ride to get there, and I used to say 3 miles (it's actually more like 2.75). Most found this completely amazing, as if 3 miles by bicycle was unreal! They would usually say, "Geez, you sure are getting lots of exercise!" :rolleyes: Now I just tell people I live "down the street" or "around the corner". It seems to be easier for them to comprehend than *gasp* 3 whole miles.

Machka 01-27-14 05:19 AM

You had some good topics gerv. :)

Where we live now, a lot of people walk and cycle to and from work, and elsewhere. There are a lot who don't, of course, but I've been a bit surprised by the numbers who do. I thought, for example, I might be the only one walking home from downtown across the bridge, but I'm not. There has been another woman out there just about every day ... plus several others who have been out now and then. And the cyclists come by in a steady stream.

Parking downtown is limited, so there are quite a few people who drive in from some distance away, park on the outskirts of the downtown area, and walk in from there ... maybe 2 or 3 km.

And at lunch, a lot of people walk ... the downtown sidewalks, malls and shopping centres are chock full of people.

Roody 01-27-14 06:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 6836531)
I was having a similar conversation with my son today. He is home for a couple of weeks on break from his studies at Leeds University, Leeds, UK. He walks, or uses mass transit in the UK. He is very frustrated with the scale and sprawl here in the US. He was staying at his mother's apartment which is on the outskirts of the town. Seven miles from the nearest shopping district (mall) no bus service. Wanted to go grocery shopping, closest store is a mile or so away (very walkable) However the 8 lane road with no sidewalks and overgrown shoulders is not conductive to walking.

He cannot wait to get back to school and "normal" life that involves walking to the local pub, pizza joint or what ever.

America has done a good job of limiting the pedestrian lifestyle in so many of our cities and towns...and we are going to have to pay the price.

Aaron:)

Very good points. Roads are built only for cars in most places. And maybe for good vehicular cyclists, but not for most cyclists or walkers. I don't think it's fair to call people lazy. A lot of people I know do enjoy walking, and will take a one mile or two mile walk everyday in their quiet neighborhood streets. Many also take longer walks at times, such as nature hikes or walks on the beach or do a lot of walking/hiking on their vacations. It's similar with bikes. I know middle-aged couples who take 10 or20 mile bike rides on a trail, but would never dream of riding on city streets or busy roads.

Roody 01-27-14 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16443601)
You had some good topics gerv. :)

Where we live now, a lot of people walk and cycle to and from work, and elsewhere. There are a lot who don't, of course, but I've been a bit surprised by the numbers who do. I thought, for example, I might be the only one walking home from downtown across the bridge, but I'm not. There has been another woman out there just about every day ... plus several others who have been out now and then. And the cyclists come by in a steady stream.

Parking downtown is limited, so there are quite a few people who drive in from some distance away, park on the outskirts of the downtown area, and walk in from there ... maybe 2 or 3 km.

And at lunch, a lot of people walk ... the downtown sidewalks, malls and shopping centres are chock full of people.

Yes, if things aren't too far apart, people will walk. If it's pleasant, more people will walk. Charming architecture, shade trees, or beautiful scenery (like you have) make walking joyful and relaxing.

eofelis 01-27-14 11:32 AM

One or two miles is certainly a walkable distance, if I have the time. Riding a bike is quicker. I'll easily hike 5-10 miles. I ride my bike to work most days, 4.5 miles. None of my co-workers ride a bike to work but they are not slouches. All of them are archaeologists and during the field season when they are in the field they routinely walk 5-10 miles per day for a session that can last up to 9 days.


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