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ironchapman

Atlanta 6th Most Walkable American City

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According to this article on MSN.com, Atlanta ranks as the 6th most walkable city in America for a city between 200,000 and 500,000 people.

Any thoughts?

I find this particularly interesting, seeing as lots of people complain about getting aroud in Atlanta. I suppose we were wrong, then. I personally have never had much of a problem getting aroud the city.

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I'm surprised to see it ranked so high.

Then again I think of the area of midtown and downtown and it is quite walkable. You could easily walk from Centennial Olympic Park to Piedmont. I have done it before. There is so much more pedistrian development since I last did it so I'm sure it's a much more pleasurable walk now.

I was in the Buckhead business district this Sunday and I was surprised to see the number of people walking around along Peachtree and Piedmont where the Kroger is. There were even three different people crossing Piedmont coming from the Kroger shopping center carrying bags heading towards either the hotels or condominium towers in the area. I was pleasantly surprised.

Clearly they did not include the suburbs.....hence the 200,000-500,000 range. To walk in Alpharetta....especially along North Point Pkwy, Windward Pkwy and Mansell Rd is not advised. :o

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Clearly they did not include the suburbs.....hence the 200,000-500,000 range. To walk in Alpharetta....especially along North Point Pkwy, Windward Pkwy and Mansell Rd is not advised.  :o

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The also measured by central/hub city only. The most walkable city in this category, for example, was Jersey City, typically thought of as a suburb of NYC.

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Ok - you're running away with this story just a bit - it is best 'walking' cities, not 'most walkable' - their is a slight but BIG difference. I've seen this poll before a year ago where Atlanta had ranked high before. This poll is highly fraudelent, it includes a variety of indicators that has little to do with a pedestrian oriented urban environment but with various criteriam that measures various levels of walking oriented exercises. This includes rankings of people who walk their dogs, golfing, & bicycling. Not that their is some indication that it is some good news - but to consider this a ranking of being 'walkable' is absolutely false.

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Great thread! Can't wait to strap on my walking shoes and head up to Atlanta for a weekend. :D

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I think the vast majority in Atlanta haven't heard the news. They're probably stuck in traffic on I-285. :rofl:

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I think the vast majority in Atlanta haven't heard the news.

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Is it me or am I the only metro Atlantan who doesn't think that traffic is as horrible as people make it out to be. Maybe it's because I know alternative routes but I don't find Atlanta's traffic to be all that bad. After you have been in traffic a couple of times you just become immune to it or you drive another route.

My advice to any newcomer to the city. Every Sunday when you have nothing to do, drive around metro Atlanta. The more you do this the more you become aware that there are many other routes to one destination. :thumbsup:

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Is it me or am I the only metro Atlantan who doesn't think that traffic is as horrible as people make it out to be. Maybe it's because I know alternative routes but I don't find Atlanta's traffic to be all that bad. After you have been in traffic a couple of times you just become immune to it or you drive another route.

I'm just usually being sarcastic. That said, I usually encounter traffic on I-20 West when I'm heading home from my trips to the city. The streets themselves don't usually give me much grief unless I'm trying to figure out which way to go.

My advice to any newcomer to the city. Every Sunday when you have nothing to do, drive around metro Atlanta. The more you do this the more you become aware that there are many other routes to one destination.  :thumbsup:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The more you will also become aware that there are an infinite number of streets called "Peachtree". :rofl:

That seems to be good advice, though. I wish I could do it more often.

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I think the vast majority in Atlanta haven't heard the news.  They're probably stuck in traffic on I-285.  :rofl:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is ranking of actual walking activity in a city, so the people that are doing the walking don't NEED to be told and wouldn't be on 285 in the first place.

Is it me or am I the only metro Atlantan who doesn't think that traffic is as horrible as people make it out to be. Maybe it's because I know alternative routes but I don't find Atlanta's traffic to be all that bad. After you have been in traffic a couple of times you just become immune to it or you drive another route.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ive found that many aspects of Atlanta tend be exaggerated on this forum.

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Ive found that many aspects of Atlanta tend be exaggerated on this forum.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Indeed, and I must say that I myself have contributed to that several times, IMO.

I don't mean to exaggerate because of ignorance. I only do it because I have a very sarcastic/caustic sense of humor about our city.

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Is it me or am I the only metro Atlantan who doesn't think that traffic is as horrible as people make it out to be. Maybe it's because I know alternative routes but I don't find Atlanta's traffic to be all that bad. After you have been in traffic a couple of times you just become immune to it or you drive another route.

My advice to any newcomer to the city. Every Sunday when you have nothing to do, drive around metro Atlanta. The more you do this the more you become aware that there are many other routes to one destination.  :thumbsup:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't know... I found traffic in Atlanta to be hell on earth. Had I lived in the center city, I'd have thought it was just occasionally irritating. The worst part about its traffic though is that, unlike other cities, it is the most thickly and consistently congested in the suburbs. I lived in northeast Fulton county and commuted to school in College Park, and the traffic was only bad half of the time within I-285, but beyond that there was simply no way to avoid it. There ARE no good alternate routes; to where I lived, there were Ga. 400 and 141, and that's it. 400 is a parking lot, of course -- usually before Roswell, but ALWAYS if you're trying to get to Windward.

Anyway, there are parts of Atlanta that are seriously walkable even though I do find this survey highly dubious -- the other cities on the list, notice, aren't exactly the most compact, pedestrian friendly ones. Midtown, Va-Highland, Little Five Points/Inman, Downtown to the extent that there's anything there, even some commercial parts of Buckhead are all walkable. Plus you could add central Decatur to that list. The problem is these neighborhoods are so spread out, and public transportation is stigmatized, ineffective, or a combination of both, so the end effect is to create a city where car travel is the most desirable. The fact is in the best "walkable" cities, this is not the case. Because of a combination of good public transit, compact/dense environments, and (for better or worse) difficult parking, the best walking cities like Boston, NYC, San Francisco, etc., actually make foot travel on balance more desirable than driving.

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I guess it really depends on what part of Atlanta you're talking about

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I guess it really depends on what part of Atlanta you're talking about

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I suppose........

I live in Alpharetta.

I'm not saying that there is no traffic but I have resigned myself to the fact that there is traffic. So instead of it bothering me, I either deal with it or take an alternate route. Oddly enough, my husband still gets really irrated when we get in traffic. I just say to him "when are you going to get used to it? We live in metro Atlanta, it's not going away."

Dixiecupdrinking, as far as other routes out of Alpharetta.....I assume you were probably in or near the same location as I am now. I take multiple routes out of Alpharetta. I can take GA 400, Roswell Rd (GA 19) and GA 141 southboud. There's also GA 23, better known as Buford Hwy. If they are bad, I take GA 20 east into Gwinnett and I travel south on I-985 or I take GA 92 west across Alpharetta into Cherokee and I take I-575 to I-75 south. You just have to be creative.

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I suppose........

I live in Alpharetta.

I'm not saying that there is no traffic but I have resigned myself to the fact that there is traffic. So instead of it bothering me, I either deal with it or take an alternate route. Oddly enough, my husband still gets really irrated when we get in traffic. I just say to him "when are you going to get used to it? We live in metro Atlanta, it's not going away."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Good point. After living in Atlanta for all of your life, I guess the traffic becomes a part o your life just as much as a job or school.

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Dixiecupdrinking, as far as other routes out of Alpharetta.....I assume you were probably in or near the same location as I am now. I take multiple routes out of Alpharetta. I can take GA 400, Roswell Rd (GA 19) and GA 141 southboud. There's also GA 23, better known as Buford Hwy. If they are bad, I take GA 20 east into Gwinnett and I travel south on I-985 or I take GA 92 west across Alpharetta into Cherokee and I take I-575 to I-75 south. You just have to be creative.

How creative can you afford to be when gas is near $3 per gallon. What happens at $4, $5...

Do you ever think there will be a time that Americans are forced to rearrange their settlements patterns?

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How creative can you afford to be when gas is near $3 per gallon. What happens at $4, $5...

Do you ever think there will be a time that Americans are forced to rearrange their settlements patterns?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So idling in traffic is going to be any better?

I mean now really.....we choose to live way out in the suburbs. Of course our decision was not based on gas prices. Also my advice to be creative was not basing one's driving habits on $3, $5 or $80 a gallon. If anyone knows about the cost of gas it's me. My parents live 40 miles from me in one location and my place of worship is 40 miles in another location. I usually drive alot during the week as well.....and on weekends.

I would love to live closer to the city. I'm sure many people would love to live near or in the city. For those of us with children, schools and cost of like housing almost prohibits it. At one time my husband and I had imagined living in a highrise condominium.....and we still do.

p.s.- the routes that I gave to Dixiecup were easy backroad drives. The amount of gas used in those routes would probably be a little more than the GA 400 route.....but once you add that it can take you 60 minutes to get from Wiindward Pkwy to I-285, it more than makes up for the difference.

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I agree with Lady Celeste.....traffic there isn't that bad....you just have to know a route besides the interstate.....traveling east-west and at diaganols is the way to avoid gridlock.......the area pales in comparison to DC as far as traffic.

Now how it got rated 6th most walkable is beyond me.....while there are certainly some nice walkable areas in the city, I would say that passing several blocks of "no mans land" between areas severly decreases the walkability based on perception alone.

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I agree with Lady Celeste.....traffic there isn't that bad....you just have to know a route besides the interstate.....traveling east-west and at diaganols is the way to avoid gridlock.......the area pales in comparison to DC as far as traffic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree all you have to do is avoid the N/S routes and certain Interstates (ie 75/85). I usually travel E/W when possible. I-275 seems to bad no matter what. (especially on the north side)

A2

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Is it me or am I the only metro Atlantan who doesn't think that traffic is as horrible as people make it out to be. Maybe it's because I know alternative routes but I don't find Atlanta's traffic to be all that bad. After you have been in traffic a couple of times you just become immune to it or you drive another route.

My advice to any newcomer to the city. Every Sunday when you have nothing to do, drive around metro Atlanta. The more you do this the more you become aware that there are many other routes to one destination.  :thumbsup:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry to get off topic, but Lady Celeste you are correct! I am not an Atlantan, but I visit Atlanta often and I don't find the traffic to be that bad.

Maybe Atlantans (especially recent transplants) need to heed your advice and take alternate routes instead of depending solely on interstates.

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Again, this not a rating of most walkable city, it is a rating of the most WALKING cities meaning that a good percentage of the citys residents DO walk, in this case, primarily to commute to work via mass transit.

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I suppose........

I live in Alpharetta.

I'm not saying that there is no traffic but I have resigned myself to the fact that there is traffic. So instead of it bothering me, I either deal with it or take an alternate route. Oddly enough, my husband still gets really irrated when we get in traffic. I just say to him "when are you going to get used to it? We live in metro Atlanta, it's not going away."

Dixiecupdrinking, as far as other routes out of Alpharetta.....I assume you were probably in or near the same location as I am now. I take multiple routes out of Alpharetta. I can take GA 400, Roswell Rd (GA 19) and GA 141 southboud. There's also GA 23, better known as Buford Hwy. If they are bad, I take GA 20 east into Gwinnett and I travel south on I-985 or I take GA 92 west across Alpharetta into Cherokee and I take I-575 to I-75 south. You just have to be creative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The routes you're talking about would involve travelling at least 15 minutes out of the way -- to get on roads with only marginally better traffic flow! I lived near the corners of Fulton, Forsyth, and Gwinnett -- near the intersection of McGinnis Ferry and 141, Johns Creek area. Granted, this is pretty far out in suburbia. IMO that makes it even worse that traffic is so terrible in the area. Traffic is one thing in an urban environment because then at least there tend to be legitimate, nearby arterial routes that can be used as alternates. In the suburbs, I could drive 10 minutes to 400, 15-20 minutes to Ga. 9, 5 minutes to 141, 10-15 minutes to P'tree Industrial, 15-20 minutes to Buford Highway, etc., but it's not as if any of those roads isn't likely to be gridlocked from 7:30-9 am or from 4-6 pm. It's even more frustrating to drive east 15 minutes out of your way, likely get stuck in traffic GETTING to that alt. route (Ga. 120 anybody??), then find that the other road isn't any better and is possibly even worse.

I agree that it is something you have to learn to live with if you choose to live in the area, but that doesn't make it any better. Shootings and robberies are things you have to learn to live with in some neighborhoods, but they still seriously impact lives even when you learn to sleep through gunshots in the night.

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Again, this not a rating of most walkable city, it is a rating of the most WALKING cities meaning that a good percentage of the citys residents DO walk, in this case, primarily to commute to work via mass transit.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for trying to clear that up as have I. This ranking has NOTHING to do with a city itself being walkable or pedestrian oriented. Most likely Atlanta would rank in the top 10 on NON-walkable cities. People (& I don't mean to pick on any specific people) too often run with a story that just isn't there, the report clearly states what the premise of the ranking is & it places far more importance on the number of golfers than it does for new urbanist developments.

Also - admit it everyone - Atlanta's traffic is terrible. It might be better than Washington or New York, but that still doesn't say much. The transport system is far too reliant on freeways than it is on arterial roads.

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That's not so hard to believe when you think of the downtown area. But like Lady Celeste said, walking in the suburbs is not advised!! In my town, Newnan, which is in Coweta county, the older, more residential area of the town is very walkable while the newer commercial sprawling area is a death trap for pedestrians. I guess this is the case in alot of towns around Atlanta.

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That's not so hard to believe when you think of the downtown area. But like Lady Celeste said, walking in the suburbs is not advised!! In my town, Newnan, which is in Coweta county, the older, more residential area of the town is very walkable while the newer commercial  sprawling area is a death trap for pedestrians. I guess this is the case in  alot of towns around Atlanta.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's the same way it is in Douglasville. The downtown along the train tracks still has buildings from the 1890's and 1900's and shows quite a bit of urban planning, but the area along Highway 5, Chapel Hill Road (no relation to the NC city), and ouglas Boulevard are very much unwalkable........unless you're just going to the next store in the strip mall. :P

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