Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Ann Arbor - An example of a great walkable city! Previous Next
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Username: Illwill

Post Number: 115
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 12:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =VsrqBHEOT0k&feature=related

I thought this was pretty interesting. They touched on a lot of issues and probably answered many questions that I read on this site daily. Ann Arbor is definitely one of the greater walkable cities around.
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 513
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 7:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Creating a walkable city really isn't that difficult. You require sidewalks in all developments. You connect the sidewalks so people can get from Point A to Point B. You don't turn roads into mini-expressways so that people can't cross them safely. You have good transit so people aren't so dependent on cars so that the city doesn't require massive amounts of parking and roads turned into mini-expressways. Even in the suburbs, these principals will get you a walkable environment.
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4759
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 8:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is probably the best walking city in Michigan, but objectively it is good, not great. After three years (and about 5 miles of walking yesterday), I could talk all day about this.

I agree with Novine's principal.

A2 has a decent ways to go in terms of fostering downtown density, getting more diverse retail (i.e. neccesities), and making more comprehensive and frequent transit...thankfully, a number of proposals are on the table that will help.

And, in the end, I'd much rather walk around in a much bigger city, like Detroit, everyday, but that's just my preference.
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Username: Waymooreland

Post Number: 50
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 9:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I felt that the central argument in this film was that Ann Arbor's Main Street area is successful primarily because it's packed with small storefronts that are visually stimulating and close to 100% occupied. The density and variety create the vibrancy that attracts people who, in turn, attract more people.

To compare, Greektown has density, stimuli, and vibrancy, but it's almost exclusively an entertainment district, whereas Main Street has about a 50/50 mix of retail and restaurants/venues. I always think of Lower Woodward, between Grand Circus and Campus Martius, as having the potential to support that kind of mix. It already has the infrastructure mentioned in the Ann Arbor video -- wide sidewalks, big trees, good lighting, no surface parking lots, etc. Hearing about the Elliott and Pepper Shoe projects is encouraging. I think that getting the Hudson's block developed would also spur more much-needed development in the retail space on the west side of Woodward.

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