Re: Pedestrian orientation.
From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 94 10:41 CDT
Sharingwood is not a pedestrian community, we have a central cul-de-sac 
road and people have built houses to their own desires, with or without 
garages.  Between the hours of 7-9am and 5-5:30 is when 95% of the 
traffic occurs on our road as people drive off to work and back.  
Awhile back there was an initiative to see if we could get people to 
park at the entrance and make the road a pedestrian place.  No one was 
interested.

I have given maybe 200 tours of Sharingwood in the last couple of 
years.  Less than 10% of the tours the issue of our lack of being a 
pedestrian community came up, mostly from people from out of state.  
The reality is, who wants to walk a long distance in the rain?(or snow, 
or heat or whatever).  As a parent of two small kids I often arrive 
with sleeping child in car and I am glad I can drive right up to the 
front of my house.

Having said this, I suspect that our second phase will have a large 
pedestrian element to it, much more so than our first phase does, and I 
also suspect that some of the houses will have attached garages where 
people can drive right up to the house.  One does not preclude the 
other and having both options available might be the best choice.  
People get infatuated with the Danish architecture of Cohousing as 
promoted by MacCamant and Durret and seem to forget that Americans have 
a very different culture and relationship to our cars than any other 
culture.  The further you get from the cultural norm, the harder it may 
be to resell units in the future.  There is an apartment complex in 
Seattle which bills itself as a "pedestrian village" where cars are on 
the outside perimeter.  I visited a friend who lives there and the 
demographics are interesting. As far as my friend knew, she had never 
seen any elderly and only two out of 25 units had small children. Since 
the rents are not particularly higher in this complex  I got to 
wondering if a pedestrian setting is simply not age friendly.

Musings on a Monday Morn.

Rob Sandelin
Puget Sound Cohousing

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