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City block in feet

zeth01

What is the average size of lets say a major city block. does an average size exist?

 
Sep 17, 05 6:24 pm
sameolddoctor
there you go
Sep 17, 05 7:42 pm  · 
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liberty bell

Yep, Zeth, this seems like a good research topic. Portland, Oregon is often lauded for its relatively small block dimensions, I think it's 200', which make it very walkable. Philadelphia had a great range of block sizes, obviously significantly smaller in the more historic areas. I alwyas think of NYC having enormously long blocks. Detroit named its streets outside the city by mile distance from the core, thus the famous "8 Mile" all the way trhough "16 Mile". Not blocks, I know, but psychologically it affects the reading of the city.

Good luck.

Sep 17, 05 11:06 pm  · 
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eeayeeayo

In NYC there are about 20 "short" blocks to the mile - walking north-south. But there are only about 3 to 4 "long" blocks to the mile - meaning the east-west blocks. The distance between short blocks is much shorter than in many cities, while the long blocks are longer...

Sep 17, 05 11:22 pm  · 
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Janosh

In the US they are usually ten unit increments of the rod, which is 16.5', or later, the surveyor's chain which is 66 feet.

Sep 18, 05 9:16 pm  · 
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A Center for Ants?

use google earth. they have a distance tool. start measuring

Sep 19, 05 1:07 pm  · 
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ochona

in chicago a "block" in terms of addresses/house numbers is 1/8th of a mile. so the "1200 block" of, say, north clark street is 1/8th of a mile long. the system starts at state & madison and radiates therefrom.

so you can be freezing your ass off at the berwyn el station (5400 N / 1200 W, if i remember correctly) and know that you are 7.75 miles north and 1.5 miles west of the wallet that you left at carsons.

and since the red line goes, like, 10 miles an hour with all the stops you know that the lady behind you has all the time in the world to use your jewel-osco preferred card.

Sep 19, 05 1:20 pm  · 
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Alan Loomis

300'x300' is the block size (not including streets) for lots of cities in the southwest US (Santa Fe, Santa Barbara, Albuquerque, more) - more or less that is the standard imperial Spanish size.

300' or 250' x 500' or 600' is also common

Sep 19, 05 1:34 pm  · 
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a lot of variety here in louisville: 300x300, 400x400, 250 x 500, 400x500, 500x500, etc.

in the business districts the larger blocks work out ok because there is potential for a lot of activity to break up the distance and keep the sidewalk activated, but as you get to the first tier urban neighborhoods these big blocks become cumbersome. they're less friendly for pedestrians in a situation where there isn't a lot of commercial activity and the center areas of the block tend to be too large and end up being dead space. there have been some attempts at remedial planning to either break up these larger blocks into smaller ones or occupy the centers with a different kind of residential development - more density, pedestrian-only, etc.

if the blocks are too shallow, it's difficult to integrate alleys. louisville's 400' deep blocks allow two properties to be 180' deep and still be served by an alley, freeing up the street from parking and services. lexington, ky, has 300' deep blocks in some areas, meaning that 150' deep lots have no alleys and all these function put more pressure on the street.

so it's important, when looking at block size, to determine what the job is and what is the urban condition you're seeking to foster.

Sep 19, 05 4:42 pm  · 
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MysteryMan

For the Atlanta area: 200', then 159', then 356', then 1000',....very few are 'linear', but we lead the nation in the 'curvillinear'.

Sep 19, 05 5:03 pm  · 
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zeth01

thanks everyone for the good information

Sep 19, 05 5:05 pm  · 
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liberty bell

Aww, zeth, are you trying to kill this thread? I'm such a geek I was really enjoying this one! Anyone else have any block size anecdotes?

Sep 19, 05 5:14 pm  · 
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ochona

me too. austin's waller plan of 1839 called for 276' square blocks. lots are 46' x 128' and each block has a 20' alley (in general).

Sep 19, 05 6:01 pm  · 
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MMatt

ochana, your post makes me homesick.

According to the Chicago Public Library's website (which I came across after all of 2.7 seconds of googling, zeth), a Chicago city block 330' x 660' or 5 acres. That grid doesn't work in the Loop, though, but I just checked it vs. Greektown on Google Earth and it pretty much matched up.

.mm

Sep 19, 05 10:55 pm  · 
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Living in Gin

Within the Chicago Loop, the blocks are roughly 400 x 400.

Sep 19, 05 11:39 pm  · 
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AP

Savannah's wards are 600'x600', roughlly, but they aren't really blocks...

Sep 20, 05 12:17 am  · 
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AP

they're are 8 blocks to a ward...

Sep 20, 05 12:22 am  · 
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mdler

I thought that around 8" was average size

Sep 20, 05 12:46 pm  · 
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debbiecagney

I'm trying to figure out the distance of a city block & ward today as opposed to the same words being used (ward) in the days of the Apostle Peter...Acts 12:10.

Jun 25, 22 12:28 pm  · 
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rcz1001

In response to the original post question:

There is not a standard lot size in the United States that is universal across the country across different states. There are some lot dimensions that are more common than others. There are some more common block dimensions but they are not exactly standard. In Astoria, Oregon, there is several different lot sizes. Most such blocks were largely defined by each owner of a donation land claim especially in the fledgling Astoria. Each donation land claim owner subdivided their claim how they wanted to into blocks and in cases, individual lots. How each town or city would reflect its history. What I have noticed is common blocks are dividable by 50 or 100 because those numbers are easy numbers that are preferred units of numbers. 


Jun 25, 22 11:33 pm  · 
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rcz1001

In general, lots are going to vary and so does blocks. In some of the developments, the lot or block sizes were decided by and determined by the initial land development. For a city like Carson, California, the blocks and lots are determined by the land developer such as the housing developer and such. They plat out so lots were suitable for their development and blocks are suitable for how they want the lots to be as well as where they want the public right-of-ways to be. So it varies a lot throughout the U.S. Some lot sizes and block sizes have become more common than others.

Jun 25, 22 11:39 pm  · 
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Here's an informative video on NYC blocks via brownstones.

Jul 12, 22 7:14 pm  · 
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