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Judging the walkability of Fort Worth.


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#1 Austin55

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:07 PM

I made a little map of how I would judge the walkability of Dowtown, why not share it here and see what other forumers think. 

 

(click image to make it bigger)

walkscore_zps23156a13.jpg

 

Green -Great-Lots of pedestrian activity, storefronts on both sides of the street, trees, wide well paved sidewalks, safety from cars, no litter, well lit, tasteful public artwork, good feeling of safety and activity.

Yellow -Acceptable-Streets that typically lack "something to do", usually bordered by parking garages, blank walls, or storefronts without business, less or no trees, less pedestrians, slightly dirty.

Orange -unacceptable-Usually streets with sporadic and short term pedestrians, surrounded by surface lots, dilapidated and abandoned buildings, chain-link fences, less lighting, more crime and vehicle traffic.

Red -Bad-Streets with focus only for cars, small sidewalks, high vehicular speed limits, tight spaces, little to no lighting, higher crime, litter and gang related graffiti, homeless habitations, no trees.

 

I'd say Fort Worth looks pretty good actually, compared to a lot of cities. Most of the "Great" streets are centered around Sundance Square, some of the parks, and Houston and Main streets. 

 

A lot of the yellow areas don't need much to become green. A Lot of the yellow areas appear on the opposite sides of large parking garages and superblocks. Planting some trees in some places (such as on 7th between main and Houston) would really be a simple spice some streets up. Some places could be greatly improved if surface lots where changed into places for people particularly the 3 large lots along Throckmorton between 4th and 8th. More interesting Business in the blocks near 7th nearby Burnett Park would be really nice.

 

Most of the Orange areas just generally lack development along them, and are just surrounded by surface lots.

 

Red, in most cases can't really be helped, but thankfully there isn't to much of it and is all along the freeways. 

 

 

(I'm currently working on making one for the 7th area, and I need to go do some more walking around the Southside and make one down there, or let someone else do it. )


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#2 McHand

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

Cool project! Can't wait to see other neighborhoods.


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#3 Volare

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

There is a real commerical project that does just this thing, with simliar color scheme.

 

http://www.walkscore.com/TX/Fort_Worth



#4 Keller Pirate

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

Ironic, that the transportation centers have lower scores than the retail areas.  I do agree with Austin55's assessment.



#5 Austin55

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

Yea, I am aware of walk-score, but to me it wasn't in depth and feels as if it was generated by a computer. 

I do think walkscore is great for seeing the big picture of places though.

The color scheme is always gonna be that way, Green=Good, red=bad.

It also doesn't really give you a good rank, it's idea of "Downtown" is a bit different than mine, and in reality I think FW has a more interesting, pleasant and walk able "Core" or CBD than a lot of other cities. I'd say, 2nd or 3rd best in the state. (If I get a chance, I'd like to do some more exploring of Dallas and make one to, but I'm not entirely familiar with most of the streets that way)

 

I think Lancaster should get a huge boost soon. It has the disadvantage of being a large avenue vs. the smaller streets that make up most of downtown, but with the new development that is on the way hopefully soon, and that would be helpful to making the T&P station better. Some new projects and infill around the ITC would really be nice to, such as the rumored hotel on 9th.


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#6 Russ Graham

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:41 PM

This is different from Walkscore.com.  Those grades are based only on distance to the nearest stores, entertainment, etc.  It doesn't take into account the actual "walkability" of the streets, in other words it rates a 10-foot-wide sidewalk the same as no sidewalk.  In a lot of cases it does a pretty good job of estimating the walkability of an area anyway, since areas with lots of stores & other things you can walk to tend to have the infrastructure to support walking.  What you're doing is rating the walkability of each block, which is a lot more interesting at the local level - since it shows which streets are built to encourage walking and which ones need some more work. 

 

For instance your map shows it's pretty miserable to walk into downtown from the Firestone apts, mainly because of the wasteland of parking lots between Cherry St and Henderson.  If those parking lots were to get developed with (for example) buildings w/ ground level, sidewalk oriented retail shops, that would be a huge improvement on that part of town.



#7 Keller Pirate

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

I need to clarify, when I used the phrase walk score, I was referring to Austin55's color coding, not walkscore.com.



#8 Austin55

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:17 PM

I need to clarify, when I used the phrase walk score, I was referring to Austin55's color coding, not walkscore.com.

 

 

Well it would be silly to have good being blue and bad being green or something right?

 

If you are going to make a visualization showing something with colors, green>red it usually the way to go.

 

For instance your map shows it's pretty miserable to walk into downtown from the Firestone apts, mainly because of the wasteland of parking lots between Cherry St and Henderson.  If those parking lots were to get developed with (for example) buildings w/ ground level, sidewalk oriented retail shops, that would be a huge improvement on that part of town.

 

And this is one of the important things I think, is connecting the surrounding neighborhoods to downtown via nicer sidewalks and developing on surface lots.

Firestone apartments,  T&P lofts and the surrounding areas and the residential area to the West/Northwest areas of downtown (the Depot, Trinity bluffs area) are fairly nice to walk around on there own, but they are rather separated and nasty feeling from downtown. If you could connect these areas, you could have a lot more of the people who actually live in downtown actually walking into downtown.

 

resimap1_zpsf5bc3291.jpg

 

I highlighted some of the bigger areas here.  Looking at this map and the map in the first post, these areas and downtown are almost all connected by orange streets. 

 

 

My guess, lot of this has to do with Fort Worth's superblocks and spanning garages. If you look at the OP map, almost every yellow or orange street starts on the opposite side of one of these. For example,  on the opposite side of the City Center towers garage's  there is nothing. 


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#9 Austin55

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:39 PM

New relevant map I've made showing parking (red=surface lot, orange=garage) in downtown. 

 

Not counted is underground parking, buildings with garages that have other significant functions, and utility and other service areas. Overall there is around 120 lots in the outlined area. Sure I've missed a few....

 

edit-see below


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#10 cberen1

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:23 PM

Apart from each of the three maps in this thread being oriented in a different direction, this is totally cool.  Austin, could you overlay your walkability and parking maps?



#11 John T Roberts

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

I agree that all of the images should be oriented the same direction.  How about north or plan north being up? 



#12 JKC

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:21 AM

Maybe one day for fun, we could compare this study with the original SSQ study and the subsequent updates.  Also, it might be interesting to compare with actual foot traffic data..... 



#13 Not Sure

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 04:12 PM

Austin55, are you using Google Earth to generate your maps?



#14 Austin55

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 04:57 PM

In part, I use Google Earth for the satellite imagery, then put the layers and colors on in Paint.net.

Google maps has some built in capabilities but right now it's easier to use a paint type program for later images. The

Thank you for the feedback everyone, I'll rotate the images when I get a chance.

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#15 Not Sure

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

Have you considered "painting" the color areas in GE using polygons and paths? You could organize your objects in folders and use the visibility feature to turn selected places on or off depending on what you are trying to convey, much in the same way you'd use layers in AutoCAD or Photoshop. Now, unless you have the Pro version, you are limited to the output image resolution of a screenshot, but that's probably not a dealbreaker.



#16 Austin55

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:47 PM

I used the map maker program of G Maps to make the parking lot map actually. 

I'll experiment with those things, thanks for the tip. 


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#17 Not Sure

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:57 PM

Glad to help. I got hooked on GE Pro toward the end of my time in the civil engineering/surveying field. I used to sketch out paths in the field that would become preliminary alignments for pipelines. GE maps were a good way to communicate the rough ideas to the clients and landowners for feedback, as well as to the surveyors in the field who would collect the topographic data. It's been awhile since I did any of that, but I still like to use GE to retrace old railroads and related structures. Even the free version is way more powerful a tool than I could ever use.



#18 Austin55

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

Glad to help. I got hooked on GE Pro toward the end of my time in the civil engineering/surveying field. I used to sketch out paths in the field that would become preliminary alignments for pipelines. GE maps were a good way to communicate the rough ideas to the clients and landowners for feedback, as well as to the surveyors in the field who would collect the topographic data. It's been awhile since I did any of that, but I still like to use GE to retrace old railroads and related structures. Even the free version is way more powerful a tool than I could ever use.

 

 

Have you seen the new Google Maps engine?

 

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/?


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#19 Not Sure

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:14 PM

 

 

Have you seen the new Google Maps engine?

 

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/?

 

 

I have not seen that. Thanks for the link. I'll have to give it a whirl, maybe import some of my GE stuff into it.



#20 Austin55

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:49 PM

Updated and clearer version of the parking map. It should be noted that this  isn't even complete really. Underground lots are mostly rough estimates. 

Red-Surface Lot

Yellow-Garage
Green-Underground/buildings which are mostly other purpose but with built in parking

Grey-unused space

Within the borders (roughly 35 to the south, Henderson on the West, Jones/Grove on the East, and the Trinity to the North) there are 93 Surface lots, 30 garages, 3 mixed, and 18 unused lots (could easily be more with slightly larger borders) 

pmap3.png

 

 

And a slightly more simple version with just lots and garages, 

10898909583_fc046edcdc_b.jpg
pmap2 by Micro55, on Flickr

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