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November 21, 2017, 07:52:42 am
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Author Topic: What makes a city pedestrian friendly?  (Read 1462 times)
PonderInc
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« on: September 22, 2008, 11:26:28 am »

Tulsa has a long way to go towards becoming pedestrian-friendly.  A lot of people say they want more sidewalks.  But it takes more than just sidewalks to be pedestrian-friendly.

Building setback affects pedestrians.

Buildings that are returned to their traditional place of honor along city sidewalks encourage pedestrian use by eliminating barriers to the entrance (giant parking lots).

Blank walls discourage pedestrians.

Where would you rather walk?  Along Brookside, where you can windowshop.  Or at a suburban commercial development, where you can enjoy hundreds of feet of blank concrete walls  between entrances?

Giant buildings and parking lots discourage walking.
(see above picture for example)
Human scale counts. If you're at Reasors at 41st and Yale, you'll probably drive to Barnes & Noble in the same development, b/c there's nothing interesting to look at in between, and the buildings are so huge and bland.  A variety of smaller buildings with windows facing the sidewalks make strolling from place to place interesting.

Sidewalks must connect to the destination.

Most sidewalks near commercial developments in Tulsa feed into the "auto-ramp."  This is the last place you want to push your baby stroller when you're walking to the store.

Sidewalks don't equal safe crosswalks.

Some places it's not only NOT FUN to cross the street, it's not safe.  Every day, I see people operating wheelchairs in the streets.

The wider the street, the less safe for pedestrians.
(example coming soon)
At wide, busy intersections, the last thing on a driver's mind is the existence of pedestrians.  People turn right on red without ever looking to the right to see if a pedestrian is trying to cross with the light.  Try to cross Riverside at 71st street during rush hour.  It will take you more than one light sequence to do it, and the folks turning right on red don't care!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 11:32:05 am by PonderInc » Logged
carltonplace
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 12:12:24 pm »

Denver and Riverside has to be one of the worst pedestrian crossings in an otherwise pedestrian area.
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grahambino
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 03:56:12 pm »

not only building set-backs...utilities as well.

I think the 61st - Yale intersection would be a perfect example of a wide street, pedestrian unfriendly intersection.

Major office buildings on the SW Corner, major retail on the NW, major hospital on the SE and a park on the NE...

This area is just screaming to be friendly to pedestrians and I think you' suicidal if you wanted or had to cross there at peak times.
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TheTed
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 04:16:24 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc
The wider the street, the less safe for pedestrians.
(example coming soon)
At wide, busy intersections, the last thing on a driver's mind is the existence of pedestrians.  People turn right on red without ever looking to the right to see if a pedestrian is trying to cross with the light.  Try to cross Riverside at 71st street during rush hour.  It will take you more than one light sequence to do it, and the folks turning right on red don't care!



Yet we continue to have a bunch of extra wide one way streets in downtown that haven't been used to their capacity in decades. I'm shocked nobody's been maimed crossing First Street at Elgin. Drivers frequently blow that light at 40mph.
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