Carfree Designs for Existing Areas [Best viewed at 1024*768]
On this page, I will attempt to show how an existing developed area can be converted to carfree. Below is an image centered on an apartment building I used to live in. This area's official name is "White Subdivision" (no joke; a nearby street is White Dr.), and the area is primarily occupied by single, renting students between the ages of 18 and 25. A few single family houses are visible in this photo, but most residential units are one to four bedroom apartments. This area does have mixed residential and commercial too--a definite asset to a carfree area.
- No confiscation of private property for transportation rights of way.
- Private property owners are welcome to subdivide and sell their property. They are also welcome to convert parking lots into green/garden/paved outdoor space or develop new building on top of them. My assumptions here are that no existing buildings would be razed, but that might happen, especially with some small single-story buildings.
- ADA compliance should be included where feasible.
- Where mass transit and pedestrians need grade separation, the pedestrian bridge should go over mass transit. This is much less expensive and more attractive.
- Tallahassee metro's population is 255,500; the city proper, 156,512. City population density is 1573.8 per square mile. With 12,000 residents in a half-mile diameter "district" in J. H. Crawford's carfree model, that's 61,000 residents per square mile--39 times what we have now. Assuming the existing city limit lines, the city's population would have to grow to 6.1 million to have this density. The area below is much denser than the rest of the city, so its conversion will be a lot easier and less painful than the "leafy suburbs" that seem to make up the rest of the city.
Starting in the NW corner going W, we are on W. Tennessee St., (U.S. 90), a six-lane U.S. highway carrying five city bus routes. Running N-S on the east side of the map is Stadium Dr., a 4-lane road. Both of these streets could be converted into LRT lines, putting thousands of residents within a quarter mile of an LRT stop. Currently, city bus stops are about 1000 feet apart on Tennessee St.; LRT stops could be as far apart as a quarter mile.
All other streets could be converted into buildings. Even two-lane roads here are the width of some of the smaller buildings, so two- to four-story residential and commercial buildings could go up on them, with enough space left over for pedestrian/bike streets. These buildings would be only 25 feet wide, so they would most likely be residential and/or small business.