I had found out only the day before from the facebook group that the ride would be at least 30miles, if you stuck around for all of it.
fuuu~ r u srs?? The most I’d ever biked before at one time was 8-10miles—LEISURELY!
I’d also read that people rode really fast—as if it were a race. …not intimidated! or at least pretending to be..
I got to the Fountain at Balboa Park about half-an-hour before the start time. Tried looking for a friend but couldn’t find him. Was nervous as the hands on my watch crept closer to 8o’clock, while more and more cyclists were circling the fountain.
On time, a horn sounded and we were off. It was exciting to see all the bikes on El Prado— the way it should be, instead of noisy cars (separate post on the pedestrianization of El Prado later).
We had support from the police. They sounded sirens ahead of us to let oncoming cars know of the surge of bicyclists coming toward them.
Went down Sixth into Downtown/the Gaslamp district. It was pretty awesome, going downhill and seeing all the red little bicycle lights in front of me. This vs. car lights? THIS.
We looped the area a few times. Too many cars, there, though. And needing to stop at a crowded intersection, trying to get back on while between rows of cars with cyclist behind and in front was annoying.
Headed near the Harbor, and yes, the airport! Super great to pass under the departures sign close-up on a bicycle.
Got into Point Loma. Ugly, ugly, suburban, strip mall, shopping center Point Loma. We had started losing a lot of people in the airport traffic, and I was in a little group trying to catch up. We were on the opposite sidewalk, and then I see the head group turn out of a shopping center parking lot. I quickly joined them and was glad to have caught up.
We pulled up into Ocean Beach with cheers. This is where we had the first “circle”. Some people in the pack shout out to those in the front to “circle”, and we’d be stopping traffic at an intersection. Riders circle the intersection to prevent cars from going anywhere, and this is used as a pause, short water break to wait for riders to catch up and to do the “bike lift”. This is also an opportunity to suggest the next destination/route.
Next: Mission Beach. Greeted with more cheers from people chilling outside bars. Another circle, and decision to go to the Boardwalk. daaang.. the houses on the Boardwalk..
We continued straight north and I was surprised to find myself/ourselves already in La Jolla. The southern Bird Rock part of it, where successful traffic-calming measures such as bike lanes and planter/roundabouts were implemented. We stopped in a 7-11 parking lot. This was our real break. I ate a small trail mix bar and drank some water. Everyone was sweaty. A guy next to me read off his odometer: 22miles.
That guy and his friends were pissed that we didn’t go into Pacific Beach, and so quickly shouted that aloud as the next destination. Off we went again.
Along the way I met a guy who lives in Mission Hills and is about to graduate from University City High School and attend Cal. Told him I’m from Berkeley, going to school here, living in Hillcrest. Once we got into PB and circled, he told me to follow him and his friends—those other guys were probably trying to route somewhere else.
So then I got to be in the head of the pack. We biked by Mission Bay. That was really cool; I always pass by this on the freeway taking the Hillcrest shuttle to-and-from school. The guy said he does this every day, biking from Mission Hills to his high school in UTC. shiiiit
Once we approached a hill into Old Town, I got passed up. Me and hills: No.
Caught up a bit at the gas station at the bottom of Mission Hills (the Washington Ave freeway exit/entrance, near Lucha Libre). Then: fuuuuu~~ gonna ride up that hill onto University. This is where everyone pretty much passed up on me. On the gradual incline I was able to keep pedaling, however slowly. But on the steep exit ramp, nooo… and I walked my bike up. The rest of the group were waiting. We stayed there a few more minutes before continuing on west on University.
Finally into Hillcrest! Got to Park Blvd where people were turning right back down to Balboa Park, to original starting point. But I turned back there and went home. Down Park Blvd to Balboa Park and back up is an easy ride, but at this point: not really, esp. after that hill.
What a workout. If you ever need one and have a bike: come out to San Diego Critical Mass. Last Friday of every month. 8pm at the Fountain in Balboa Park. (be there a bit early.)
This was a good first ride for me. A bit too fast but I was able to keep up for the most part. Just wish there were less hills.. x_____x;;;;
I did semi-witness a few accidents, though:
passing the trolley tracks near that hotel, a guy got slammed into or something.
at the airport someone ate shit.
along the way, riders of fixies and more specialized bikes went off to the sidewalks to fix their bikes. (why didn’t you make sure your bikes were working properly before CM??)
on the boardwalk, a guy going the opposite direction on his beach cruiser like assaulted three CM riders or something.
going into La Jolla, something happened to some guy or his bike, and he was with a police officer on the corner.
coming back south from La Jolla, I heard something happen behind me.
people drop things and stop to go back to try and pick it up.
Good thing there was the police.
More fun things:
going up a 25ph clover-thing. You know, those freeway exits that make you turn up at an incline and 360º turn. That was kinda tough. But also that was before I faced Mission Hill.
someone saying “shiiit the cops are coming!”
someone’s cigarette went out and asked another guy to light it
a couple bmx bikers— no seats
riding over a bridge, reading a sign and realizing that we were going over the San Diego River (Yes, there is a river in San Diego.)
I’ll definitely go to Critical Mass again. Just hope that people won’t go so fast. We lost a ton of people. I need to bike more so that once-a-month 30+miles rides won’t be as difficult.
This is just route we rode Friday night, 27.05.11. (excuse the paint smudge) Not exactly correct. I don’t remember the names of the smaller streets we went on and how we got across the freeways or whatever. **g.maps doesn’t allow adding any more destinations after ‘U’! lame.** (but at least it was correct in estimating that the route on bicycle takes over three hours. I got home at 23:30.) ***someone just posted the route on the fb group. My map more-or-less corresponds to it.***
From the Fountain in Balboa Park — Downtown/Gaslamp — Airport — Point Loma — Mission Beach — Ocean Beach — La Jolla — Pacific Beach — Mission Bay — Old Town — Mission f-ing HILLs — finally Hillcrest. (—and back to Balboa Park)
Months after regional and national officials agree to a huge plan for improving suburb-to-suburb connections, final decisions are made on future stations for Paris’ future supermetro. Completion of the initial project is planned for 2025.
In the developed world (is the USA included in this category?!), few metropolitan areas are as dependent as Paris on their public transportation networks. Of mechanized trips within and into the central city, transit holds a majority mode share; in the 11.5-million-person Île-de-France region as a whole, almost 60% of all trips are made by foot, bus, or train. Part of the reason is that despite a century of continued development in the suburbs, densities are high throughout: The Petite Couronne (the inner ring of suburbs, with a collective population of about 4.3 million), for instance, is about as dense as the City of San Francisco.
The scale of ambition in this Paris region project is stunning, especially since the hope is to concentrate 95% of the region’s job growth and two-thirds of its population growth within areas adjacent to network stations. Thanks to hard-fought cooperation between the regional and the national government, funding is assured for most of the project, and the result will be a tremendously improved transit system for the region’s inhabitants, especially those who live outside of the center city.
And so Paris (France [Europe]) moves on ahead. ..while socal, California, the US is unresponsive to its crisis of sprawl/oil/freeways and wants to keep its own definition of suburbs as low-density detached single-family housing in the middle of nowhere with dead end roads and cul-de-sacs and boredom and so on.. we’re all too familiar with it.
The French “suburb” is more of what should be aimed for: high-density, a natural growth from the inner city, connected by transit to the whole region.
Thank you for writing to express your support for the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010.” I appreciate hearing your thoughts about this legislation, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
I agree that the United States must take a close look at reforming our nation’s chemical regulatory system to protect vulnerable populations, especially children, from potentially toxic chemicals.
On April 14, 2011, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011" (S. 847), which would require testing of the safety of all industrial chemicals. Under current policy, the burden of proof lies with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prove that a chemical is unsafe rather than on the chemical company to show that it is safe. This legislation would shift that responsibility to industry by requiring manufacturers and processors to test chemicals and submit data to EPA proving the safety of chemicals in order for them to remain in or enter the marketplace.
You may be interested to know that on January 25, 2011, I introduced the “Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2011” (S. 136), which would ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, sippy cups, infant formula, and baby food containers. BPA is a hormone disrupting chemical and is linked to harmful health effects like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and early puberty. I have become especially concerned with the effects this chemical may have on babies and children, who are most at risk because of their smaller size and stage of development.
Please know that I share your concerns and will keep your thoughts in mind should the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” or similar legislation to modernize and strengthen our nation’s chemical regulatory system come to a vote in the Senate.
Again, thank you for writing. Should you have further questions or comments, please contact my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
by Andres Duany, Elization Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. 2000 (2010—10th Anniversary Edition)
reading this book for my Urban Sociology class. good choice, Prof. Linton. hopefully this edges the sociology (the course is cross-listed USP and SOCI) majors more into urban design/planning realm, and gives rise to thoughts about the fail american landscape.
Suburban Nation (the book) is all kinds of good. Written plainly with footnotes that describe notable detail—not just the usual boring footnote listing six sources. Easy read. This should be *required* reading for everyone. From high-schoolers to non-urban planning majors to.. everyone who lives in America. As well as engineers, planners, landscape architects, designers in other countries.
quick excerpt from where I’m at right now in Chapter 5: The American Transportation Mess:
The phenomenon of induced traffic works in reverse as well. When New York’s West Side Highway collapsed in 1973, an NYDOT study showed that 93% of the car trips lost did not reappear elsewhere; people simple stopped driving. A similar result accompanied the destruction of the San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway in the 1989 earthquake. Citizens voted to remove the freeway entirely despite the apocalyptic warnings of traffic engineers. Surprisingly, a recent British study found that downtown road removals tend to boost local economies, while new roads lead to high urban unemployment. So much for road-building as a way to spur the economy. (pg.90)
But let me give you what should be the most relevant data to the current question: the recently constructed cycle track along 9th Avenue in Manhattan. The 9th Ave track has been an unqualified success, showing:
a 36% reduction in pedestrian-related injuries;
a 50% reduction in injuries from all crashes;
a 41% reduction in the total number of crashes; and
an 80% reduction in sidewalk cycling, all of which occurred despite
a 57% increase in cycling traffic on that corridor.
Those are huge numbers, significant enough to allow for the quick conversion of neighboring 8th Avenue to a similar configuration. Indeed, cycle tracks have become a central element of New York City’s bicycle master plan because they have proved to be so safe.
What it comes down to is that in areas where there is high-volume, high-speed automobile traffic, cycle tracks are a necessary safety feature for cyclists, as they can’t hope to integrate into such traffic safely. These arterials are often the most direct route from A to B, meaning they need to be available to cyclists as well as cars if we’re at all serious about posing cycling as a legit transportation option.
Kasey Klimes is a self-described urbanist cycler who lives and breaths cities with passion. In his latest article, he argues by way of demonstration that the best way to get people to think about urban spaces is to plop ‘em on a bike and cruise around. Klimes’ piece, I feel, has a measured elegance that’s missing from modern urbanist writing. Have a look,
Invite a motorist for a bike ride through your city and you’ll be cycling with an urbanist by the end of the day. Even the most eloquent of lectures about livable cities and sustainable design can’t compete with the experience from atop a bicycle saddle.
“These cars are going way too fast,” they may mutter beneath their breath.
“How are we supposed to get across the highway?”
“Wow, look at that cathedral! I didn’t know that was there.”
“I didn’t realize there were so many vacant lots in this part of town.”
“Hey, let’s stop at this cafe for a drink.”
Suddenly livability isn’t an abstract concept, it’s an experience. Human scale, connectivity, land use efficiency, urban fabric, complete streets… all the codewords, catchphrases, and academic jargon can be tossed out the window because now they are one synthesized moment of appreciation. Bicycles matter because they are a catalyst of understanding - become hooked on the thrill of cycling, and everything else follows. Now a new freeway isn’t a convenience but an impediment. Mixed-use development isn’t a threat to privacy but an opportunity for community. And maybe, just maybe, car-free living will eventually be seen not as restrictive, but as a door to newfound freedom.
“Chicago has more than 72,000 on-street vehicle parking spaces occupying a total area of more than 3.6 square miles, about twice the size of Hyde Park. This summer, the city will help even the score for bicyclists by dedicating 140 square feet of roadway in Wicker Park for Chicago’s first on-street bike corral.
The Chicago Department of Transportation plans to install six “inverted U” bike racks protected by curb stops in a 20-by-7-foot swath of street next to a Bank of America branch at 1585 North Milwaukee Avenue, just south of North Avenue. The Wicker Park and Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is donating the racks, curbs and installation at a cost below $5,000, says the chamber’s Eleanor Mayer.”
another thing I want to start a petition for. If there were corrals, I wouldn’t have to ride my bike up the sidewalk so I can more conveniently park at / lock my bike on to a pole and get yelled at for riding on the sidewalk (you think I want to bump into people?!), as opposed to the other option of stopping and standing on the street to lift my bike up the sidewalk (which feels kinda diminishing).
very UNEQUAL treatment. If cars can so smoothly pull up into a parking spot, why can’t bicyclists?
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer would like to ban cars for good, but her proposal has been shot down in the past. The bill would also ban cars from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Cars would still be allowed on Central Park's cross town transverse roads, but would be banned from the East and West drives that make up “The Loop” around the park.
"If we close traffic during that time we’ll have times to compare high periods of traffic and low periods of traffic and see what impact is on city," said Whymore.
For bikers, runners and walkers the trial is way overdue. “People are restricted to this small lane which should be an entire recreational lane,” said Ken Coughlin. Removing cars would also make exercising healthier for cyclists and runners who would breathe in less polluted air, Coughlin said.
Last week, despite an outcry from concerned citizens like you, the House Armed Services Committee moved one frightening step closer to passing a new law for a worldwide war without end.
Outrageously, there have been no hearings on this new legislation, nor has its necessity been explained by Rep. Buck McKeon or anyone else in Congress.
You and more than 25,000 ACLU supporters took action to oppose this dangerous stealth provision in the huge Defense authorization bill. The worldwide war legislation was drafted by President George Bush’s team back in 2008, but now is being jammed through Congress with no debate.
The bill will move to the full House for a vote as early as next week. But right now, members of Congress are at home in their districts.
That’s why we must ramp up the pressure, making sure they know we won’t tolerate Congress giving any president a blank check for declaring war. You wrote your representative. Now, take the next critical steps.
Call your representative’s district office. Rep. Barbara Lee (510) 763-0370 (California)
This worldwide war bill could end up being the single biggest ceding of unchecked war authority to the executive branch in modern American history. And they’re trying to sneak it through without a single hearing.
That’s why we must swing into action while House members are in their home districts. You can help by alerting your friends about this issue, writing a letter to the editor, or calling your representative’s district office to express alarm about this dangerous measure sneaking through the House.
It’s outrageous that, just as the majority of Americans eagerly await the ramping down of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress is acting under the cover of darkness to pass a new law for a worldwide war.
We’re going to have to keep working to make sure this stealth provision never becomes the law of the land. Please do as much as you can this week and remain alert in the days ahead.
Laura W. Murphy Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
Work on the effort has been going on for years, but Tuesday’s meeting is the official start to the project’s environmental review, a prerequisite to the federal funding the streetcar needs to become a reality. Backers estimate that an initial phase would likely cost $100 to $120 million.
Just where that first phase will run is up for debate.
Tuesday’s presentation will offer an array of variations for the proposed streetcar’s tracks. While the line’s three key points—Convention Center / L.A. Live, Broadway and the Music Center—have been roughly agreed upon since 2004, just how to connect the dots is still very much an open question.
A briefing posted online in advance of the meeting (short 10pg PDF with mapping of the segments of the lines) puts the southbound trains on Broadway, with either Hill or Olive for northbound service. Several variations for the Bunker Hill end of the track are shown, as are different ways of connecting through South Park.
Downtowners are encouraged to weigh in with their thoughts on the options either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, voicemail at 213-922-3000 or in person at Tuesday night’s meeting (17.05.11). An open house will run from 4pm to 6pm, and public comments will be taken from 6pm to 7:30pm. The Los Angeles Theatre is at 615 S. Broadway.
blogdowntown, 16.05.11. more event details on the LASI (LA streetcar inc.) website. LA metro's Restoration of Historic Streetcar Service project.
While BART has spent nearly $100 million on the project so far, about 20 percent of its estimated cost, there has been very little construction on the actual connector.
The connector is a tram that will take BART passengers from the Coliseum BART station to the parking lot outside Oakland International Airport. It’s been in the works for a decade. Critics have said it’s a waste of money, while proponents say it would create jobs for Oakland.
goddamn. I’m sure they could’ve flown in and hired at an above-decent salary a couple members of some top engineering/management firm from Germany or Scandinavia and gotten shit done at a pace one could actually call “progress” while spending less money.
WHY BART/the US must always so fail at things like this (exception of Portland, probably)
The development team — headed by Lennar and Wilson Meany Sullivan — has planned 8,000 new condos and townhomes that could accommodate 19,000 residents. Sale prices have been set between $600,000 and $900,000, slightly less than prices in San Francisco.
The upsides include incredible views, the proximity to downtown San Francisco, and the acres of planned parks, as well as organic farm and a wind farm to provide power for the area. The downside is transportation: there will be long waits and high tolls to drive on and off the island whose only exit is onto the already-congested Bay Bridge. And there is the larger question of whether there is enough demand for the new housing.
Although a ferry terminal, more buses, and a five-dollar toll are being touted as the way to reduce congestion, questions still remain about the impact the addition of thousands of cars will have on traffic.
The planning commission approved the Treasure Island redevelopment plan. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on the project May 17. The Supervisors’ budget and finance committee will hold a hearing on the project this Wednesday.
The Sustainable Urban Development Reader edited by Stephan Wheeler and Timothy Beatley (see on amazon)
catching up (or trying to—the prof. basically assigned the entire book, but split and jumps to different sections—in addition to two other books, including “Ecocities”) on reading for my USP171 Sustainable Development class.
Just finished the Transportation section, and I really want to do something.. :
I want to start a petition for separated bike lanes on University Ave. in Hillcrest (and Washington St. as well, then spread it to the complete area and connect to other neighborhoods of San Diego)(g.maps). Separated bike lanes right alongside the sidewalk, with parking pushed back. Bike traffic signals. More signage—painted on the road and roadsigns.
There’s probably some big regional San Diego bike plan, but I want this NOW.
I gotta get on this shit as soon as summer starts—before big partying at EDC in LV and before summer classes. This will be the first big project I impose on myself. (Unless other things vie for my time and this gets pushed to be my USP senior project.)
Being an urban planning student makes me so critical of everything whenever I’m outside (and even when I’m inside thinking about things outside). Walk past this strip-mall style block and hating it—storefronts actually on the sidewalk would attract more people and make it connect better with nearby streets; taking forever to cross the main arterial street; no fucking bike lanes, usw. (and it goes on)..
Whatever the personal style, one thing seems clear: A growing number of riders have thrown away the old prescriptions for specialized shoes and clothing and just grabbed what was in the closet. Torres’ advice to first-time bike commuters puts it most succinctly: “Don’t think about it too much.”
Under the direction of SAMOA (Société d’aménagment de la Métropole Ouest Atlantique) and with essential support through various EU funds, a large-scale redevelopment project was initiated. Even though some parts of this project still have to be completed, Île de Nantes has already become a “Mecca of Sustainable Urban Redevelopment.” Through a multitude of well-sized public-private partnerships, various stakeholders were included into this complex process. Whether you look at the resource-conserving energy systems, the user-friendly infrastructure, the innovative architecture and open space design or the mix of industrial, service sector, residential, educational, and tourism elements – Île de Nantes is a textbook example of sustainability with respect to economy, ecology, and equity.
In contrast to other (often less successful) examples of urban renewal, the stakeholders at Île de Nantes have not disavowed the place’s industrial past. Quite the contrary, they embraced the strong industrial tradition, prevented the eviction of blue-collar workers through substantial social rent housing regulations, supported promising national industries as well as local businesses, and opened up abandoned heavy industry sites to the exploration by citizens and tourists. Besides the courageous implementation of sustainable development guidelines, the Île de Nantes redevelopment project did not strive to create a distinctive uniform brand for this urban place. Rather it’s the coexistence of old industrial sites, spacious greenfields, and colorful buildings that leaves the revival of this place to its various users with their different backgrounds.
Considering the tremendous efforts over the past two decades and the courage of public and private actors to transform Île de Nantes from an economically-desperate heavy industry island to a role model for sustainable redevelopment (including other projects across the city), it only seems consequential that the European Commission declared Nantes as the European Green Capital 2013. The already targeted designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site would crown this exemplary success.
07.05.11. by Renard Teipelke, who was a German exchange student in my USP170 Sustainable Planning class last year.
But that’s not really valid. Can we discuss the future of suburbia (or the future of anything, really) without being critical? Without talking about developing accessible transit or increasing walkability (and community) through mixed-use development, for example? This alas, is not uncommon. Addressing suburban ills requires massive change to systems, to finance, to transportation and infrastructure, and perhaps most challenging, to a culture deeply wedded to suburbia as emblematic of the American Dream.
What was most tangible in Open House was the work that remained most invisible. The design team of EFGH (Hayley Eber and Frank Gesualdi) with Irina Chemyakova explored the potential benefits that changes to code, zoning and other regulatory modifications might have on the existing suburb. The things they proposed, much in keeping with the work of others spearheading the movement to rethink suburbia like Ellen Dunham-Jones, June Williamson and Galina Tachieva, included increasing density, retrofitting existing buildings for new uses, and experimenting with public/private space.
These changes, along with residents’ inclination to improve their own communities, could lead to better models for future development. I’ve observed little glimmers of the possibilities in truly collaborative projects like Farmer D’s suburban agriculture communities in the southeastern United States, the Ainsworth Collective’s efforts to develop a sustainable neighborhood in Portland, Ore., or the livable community projects of the Dallas suburb Oak Cliff.
East Bay Bike Party is supporting the first Oakland Art Ride and would like to invite you out to ride! Rock Paper Scissors (who’ve done Art Murmur) have now created the Oakland Art Ride. It’s like Open Studios meets the bike. Look for this ride on the first Saturday of every month and show your support for Rock Paper Scissors and the Oakland Art Ride.
The Basics: The ride starts at noon at Rock Paper Scissors. It’s a tour through west and north Oakland to view different art galleries.
sat. 07. May 2011 | 12.00–15.00 Rock Paper Scissors Collective 2278 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, Cali