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elise

Walkable Communities

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I was looking over the Yahoo! News headlines this morning and I saw an article on why cities can make you skinnier. The article doesn't really give much info aside from saying that people in pedestrian friendly areas are leaner than suburbanites who usually drive to get everywhere.

But the interesting thing was a link next to the article called Walkable Communities that just took me to a yahoo search using those words. It turned up some nifty information on the most walkable cities in the US and ways to make communities more pedestrian friendly.

Of course, they didn't have any cities from Louisiana on the list, but it did get me thinking. Considering how statistically unheathly we Louisianians are, I'm sure we could benefit greatly from such communities.

So what do you think about the 'walkability' of your city? What improvements can be done? Which cities in Louisiana do you think are the most or least pedestrian friendly?

For those cities still in the baby stages or that are currently under the knife, like New Orleans and large parts of Baton Rouge, what can be done and what is being done on a large scale to make them more pedestrian friendly?

.................

I live in Baton Rouge and definitely think we're lacking in the public transportation department. Also, we need more sidewalks. My neighborhood, off Florida, is in a busy part of town and has a few bust stops at either side of the neighborhood, but we don't have sidewalks, just ditches on either side of the street so people have to walk in the street to get to the bus stops or other places they are going. And my last neighborhood was like that too... right on Flannery there were no sidewalks so mothers with strollers and elderly women would walk in the ditch and grass to get to the bus stops on Florida or Goodwood.

I do think improvements are being made to specific communities like Perkins Rowe, which will be rather urban and walker friendly... Also downtown and the bike trail to LSU are steps in the right direction but we still have a long way to go.

I'm moving to Ponchatoula this summer and I'm hoping it will be a bit more pedestrian friendly. But I've only driven through at night so I'm not sure what to expect.

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I'm surprised New Orleans isn't on the list. I consider many parts of New Orleans to be very walkable areas.

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^I agree, it's hard to get more walkable than the French Quarter, or much of downtown New Orleans, the Warehouse District, or even the Garden District. Honestly, the entire city of New Orleans is walkable because of its extreme density, and no "dead spots" anywhere in the city. Of course there are always places you don't want to walk due to crime, and post-Katrina some places are different in terms of being very walkable, but that will change over time as New Orleans continues to recover.

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Many Uptowners like myself don't use their cars because of the St.Charles Ave. Streetcar. Even if you live in the hood, the St.Charles Ave streetcar line is no less than a block or two away. I would use it on the regular going to Tulane. I still use it going into downtown/CBD.

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I was suprised too. I would say New Orleans is one of the most walkable cities in the South. As for Baton Rouge it's pedestrian friendly in some areas. But as a whole it's really bad as far as pedestrian friendly goes. I can't figure out why my neighborhood in the suburbs has sidewalks...while some neighborhoods closer in BR have no sidewalks. Very dangerous for people walking their dogs or riding bikes. Old Goodwood and Southdowns are poor examples of this.

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I was suprised too. I would say New Orleans is one of the most walkable cities in the South. As for Baton Rouge it's pedestrian friendly in some areas. But as a whole it's really bad as far as pedestrian friendly goes. I can't figure out why my neighborhood in the suburbs has sidewalks...while some neighborhoods closer in BR have no sidewalks. Very dangerous for people walking their dogs or riding bikes. Old Goodwood and Southdowns are poor examples of this.

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I agree, parts of Baton Rouge like the LSU-College Town area are very walkable, but it seems like beyond that and some of the older neighborhoods close to the river, you're in car-only territory. I have friends that live in the Jefferson Terrace neighborhood off Bluebonnet, and while that neighborhood is pretty old and has sidewalks throughout, you pretty much have to be in a car if you plan on going further then .25 mile outside of the neighborhood.

Brian, drop some info about your area's walkability for us! I'm not too familiar with the central area's of Shreveport and Bossier City, so I'd like to hear what you think about the walkability of those area's and what you think should be improved.

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Brian, drop some info about your area's walkability for us! I'm not too familiar with the central area's of Shreveport and Bossier City, so I'd like to hear what you think about the walkability of those area's and what you think should be improved.

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^That's what I figured. Just from looking through downtown Shreveport on Google Earth, it seems like once you get out of the downtown area the walkability of the surrounding areas decreases greatly. Though it's great to hear about increased pedestrian traffic throughout Bossier since the addition of the Boardwalk. I actually find it interesting that you still can't see any part of the Boardwalk on Google Maps; someone really needs to update the satelite views for the SBC.

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^That's what I figured. Just from looking through downtown Shreveport on Google Earth, it seems like once you get out of the downtown area the walkability of the surrounding areas decreases greatly. Though it's great to hear about increased pedestrian traffic throughout Bossier since the addition of the Boardwalk. I actually find it interesting that you still can't see any part of the Boardwalk on Google Maps; someone really needs to update the satelite views for the SBC.

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Google Maps are really outdated in Baton Rouge too.

These Traditional Neighborhood Developments and mixed-use urban villages that's popping up everywhere in the U.S. is really a neat concept. The "Anti" sprawl; smart growth, etc. Where one is able to live, work and play and that's pedestrian friendly with narrower streets. Greenspaces with fountains in mini-town squares for people to meet up and hang-out. Walking paths connecting parks along small creeks, bayous and waterways. Connectivity with street grid. Go to the bookstore or health club!!! Maybe the movies, bank or the drugstore right there in one area. How convienaint is that!! No cars to depend on...and YES... more walking to keep everybody skinnier too :thumbsup: But sometimes there are plenty of restuarants too.

People around these hickory dickory dock parts can't grasp not have to jump in a car to travel one block!

Perkins Rowe will actually have lofts above Barnes & Noble's Bookstoreand other retail. A new concept around here. The clock on the tower (clock maker) made a newspaper in Massachutsetts today. 1/2 mile away BR's 1st TND The Settlement at Willow Grove has started. All these places will be pedestrian friendly!

The Woodlands Texas is very nice about 35 miles north of downtown Houston. It was brilliantly planned back in the 70's. They have a water=taxi going along the waterway near the town center and around the convention center and hotels. It's kinda walkable; but there newest development Market Street is an old fashioned wakable downtown. Very nice and worth the visit when going to Houston.

I started a new urbanism thread for Baton Rouge. All these new TND's will be walkable little communities.

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My 2 favorite walking spots are University lakes and downtown.

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I really like those unique areas of BR too :thumbsup:

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