lonniesm.jpgAbout the author

Lonnie Chu is a resident of Eastwood who, with her husband Dave, chose to move to the city from the suburbs because it’s more interesting and more walkable. She teaches Spanish at Onondaga Community College and English at Syracuse University when she’s not out walking around.

About Eastwood: Eastwood is a neighborhood that is located in the northeast corner of the city of Syracuse, in the central part of New York State. This puts it within 100 miles of Canada, while New York city is 250 miles away. Eastwood was originally a village that was incorporated into the city of Syracuse early in the 20th century. It still retains its village feel, with a business corridor, a complete diversity of businesses, and many styles of residential mini-neighborhoods. Eastwood has a great number of community organizations, including Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT), the Eastwood Neighborhood Association (ENA), the Sunnycrest Park Association, the Eastwood Chamber of Commerce and many Neighborhood Watch Groups. You are encouraged to join the Walkable Eastwood email group to learn more about this welcoming, cohesive neighborhood.

About pedestrian-friendly vs. auto-centric streetscapes This blog has been created for the purpose of having one spot in which information in support of developing a walkable community can be gathered and published. We hope that this site will contribute to communication among Eastwood (Syracuse, NY) neighbors as well as be a source of information for other neighborhoods in Syracuse and beyond. We like… Pedestrian-friendly streets designed on a human scale: Pedestrian-friendly street scene, businesses close to the sidewalk
Human scale: How big the buildings, open spaces and streets are (especially intersections) in comparison to the human body and… how safe and happy you feel when walking through those spaces. A more accurate definition: The proportional relationship of a particular building, structure, or streetscape element to the human form and function. “Human scale” often refers to the subjective objective that the relationship between a person and his or her natural or man-made environment should be comfortable, intimate, and contribute to the individual’s sense of accessibility.We don’t like… …businesses set back from the curb on huge lots:
dystopia2sm.jpg This area is designed on an automobile scale. The distances are huge for anyone walking. Would you try to cross this road? Even getting from one business to the next on foot is nearly impossible unless the weather is perfect and you’re in excellent shape. Imagine this building on a city corner…. in winter. Or in blazing summer heat:
Drug store with access only for cars, set back far from street There is no place for pedestrians. They have to cross an auto-friendly wasteland to get to an overlarge building.

Sign reads: Boring Rexall Drugs. Store is up against sidewalk.Okay, so this is a “Boring Rexall” drug store. But to anyone walking on this city street, it’s fun to look in the window and easy to get in. And the next store is right next door.

Remember when Eastwood was even more pedestrian-friendly? Eastwood in the 1930’s Eastwood’s James St. in the 1930’s


Ingredients of a Walkable Street

“How does a community create “walkable” streets? Streets that feels safe for all – particularly seniors and children? Streets that are sociable due to large numbers of pedestrian users? Streets that are richly interesting? Streets that provide comfort? Streets that breed a strong sense of civic pride?

“There are a number of essential ingredients that a community must use to craft and sustain a walkable street.”

Urban Advantage
Photo-realistic visualizations that make development visions palpably real and understandable. One of the very best sites I’ve seen on walkability.

Economic Benefits of a Walkable Community
“Economic development planning in communities of all size should recognize the importance of walkability. Local investment in pedestrian-oriented infrastructure and land uses can improve walkability and economic viability.

The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities
This is actually a different but no less interesting article.

“According to a 1998 analysis by ERE Yarmouth and Real Estate Research Corporation, real estate values over the next 25 years will rise fastest in “smart communities” that incorporate traditional characteristics of successful cities including a mix of residential and commercial districts and a ‘pedestrian-friendly configuration.'”

Economic Value of Walkability
An in-depth look at the same issue as above.

Center for Community Economic Development
A set of excellent articles. “The Center for Community Economic Development, University of Wisconsin Extension, creates, applies and transfers multidisciplinary knowledge to help people understand community change and identify opportunities.”

Walkable Communities, Inc’s website What walkable communities are, where they can be found, economic benefits, health benefits.

Take a good look at the picture. Watch it for a minute. This is the essence of what makes an urban community walkable or not: the location of the parking.

What does this look like on a real street? Click here.

See the City Comforts Blog, Parking is the tail that wags the building.

Living in the Suburbs Can Make You Sick
To improve our health, the study suggests we should build cities where people feel comfortable walking and are not so dependent on cars

WalkArlington: website full of resources to help us understand why “walkability is one critical aspect of a healthy, vibrant and sustainable community.”

Eastwood’s Last Stand
An old-fashioned neighborhood embraces urban planning to control its destiny (includes history of Sunnycrest Golf Course)

“Regional and national business leaders say that low-density, discontinuous and automobile-dependent land use patterns can cause higher direct business costs and taxes. The federal Office of Technology Assessment estimates that a single house built on the urban fringe requires $10,000 more in public services than one built in the urban core.” Economic Benefits of a Walkable Community

8 thoughts on “About”

  1. I think there are lots of ideas in the heads of Eastwood residents. This would be a great topic to bring up in the email group. If you’re not a part of that group, please join and pose your question there! You can join through the “Contact” page of this website: http://walkeastwood.org/index.php/contact/ The problem absolutely can be solved if enough people feel strongly about it, come up with creative solutions, and act on them. Looks like we could learn a few things from the folks at “Keep Houston Beautiful”: http://walkeastwood.org/index.php/contact/

  2. Well that was fun!
    At the “Urban Advantage” link on this page, click on the first site, then click on “Store.”

    Check out p1, T002 and p4, T032 (this one is 4 clicks of improvements)- probably the closest to our business district. It’s all about signage, awnings, diversity in building facades, trees, methods of calming traffic to create pedestrian walks and crossing areas, even a biker- as in bicycle.

    Hopefully, one day the trolley will run the length of our business district again- even if it’s a motorized version. Sure would keep cars at home and get residents and visitors from the eastern to the
    western gateways with lots of stops in between.

  3. what business stood on the corner where the Walgreens wants to be? was it not a grocery store in the past?

  4. The planner, Duany, was hired by the City of Sarasota, FL where I now live for the same purpose as described here.
    Guess what ?? He recommended a round-about at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Sarasota. Ringling Blvd & US 41.
    The intersection carries traffic off 3 barrier islands which are magnets for our tourists. 41 is the main north-south corridor for local commuter traffic and, in tourist season, for tourists as well. It is also the main road to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport. A main thoroughfare leading to I-75 is just 1 block west of this intersection. I do not remember the traffic counts, but I do know that they are among the highest for intersections in the area.
    Further, while the average & median age here has declined significantly over the last 20 years, it is still at about 55 years old. So 1/2 the population is older than 55. I am 65 myself, so don’t get on me about the age thing.
    Couple the traffic counts, the average age and that tourists typically have a difficult time navigating a strange city this idea becomes an accident looking for a place to happen.
    This guy must have a thing for round-abouts – I know they have been popular in Europe for years, so I can see where he gets it from. However, a lot of those cities with the constantly grid-locking round-abouts are now exploring other alternatives. Does that tell one anything ??
    My earlier comments about traffic just flowing through, etc. bear some merit also.

  5. Frank,

    The roundabouts are used in Europe to avoid gridlock. The traffic keeps flowing, rather than taking turns to move forward, and it also means that people don’t have to fight to make cross-traffic turns. Urban planners that I often work with here (Dublin, Ireland) prefer them because they actually reduce accidents at intersections by making everyone slow down and yet they don’t have to stop and wait for the light to change. Also, nobody has to make a left across traffic, and you don’t have the problem of people running red lights.

    Andres Duany is kind of dogmatic and not a very good planner. He’s an architect who has a lot of good ideas but he needs to work more with other specilizations in his urban plans.

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