…could include center islands to provide refuge, crosswalk signage, perhaps curb bump-outs. I’m in favor of any/all of those and more; planters, benches, trees, bushes, grass, bamboo — bring it on! Putting s#!t in the way will be the single best way to slow traffic. Slowing the traffic makes the street more pleasant to cross and to cycle on, and the more bikes and pedestrians there are, the slower the traffic moves — it is a positive feedback loop.
Europe is exporting not only transit hardware and management to America but also vaguely utopian concepts, notably that of a bicycle-centric city. Mr. Grescoe toddles around Copenhagen happily on a bicycle, marveling at the bike infrastructure. It gives the lie, he suggests, to the notion that biking won’t work in northern climes. Indeed, American bicyclists may grow wistful reading about red-cheeked Danes braving winter winds to bike a dozen miles to work—Mr. Grescoe notes that Danes plow bike lanes before car lanes after snowstorms. Also, if you maintain a pace of 12 miles per hour—a good pace on a bike—you won’t hit a red light. (They call this “the green wave.”)
wsj book review, 24.08.12. photo: street art fahrrad ampel in Berlin, 2008.
China’s love affair with the car has blossomed into a torrid romance. In April, nearly a million people poured into the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition to coo over the latest Audis, BMWs, and Toyotas. But China is in danger of making the same mistakes the United States made on its way to superpower status — mistakes that have left Americans reliant on foreign oil from unstable parts of the world, staggering under the cost of unhealthy patterns of living, and struggling to overcome the urban legacy of decades of inner-city decay.
This 高铁 (gaotie), or high speed train, travels at 350km/h. 06.2010.
When will Americans realize we’re losing the infrastructure race to China?
Right now, there is zero prospect of significantly raising infrastructure spending. As part of the 2009 stimulus package, Congress authorized $10.1 billion for the U.S. High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, which would provide grants to states seeking to enhance existing passenger rail service and build new dedicated high-speed railways. Very few states succeeded in securing grants to develop high-speed trains before Congress eliminated funding for the program in 2011. And that was under President Barack Obama. The long-term budget proposed by Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, would halve discretionary spending as a fraction of GDP over the next decade. The document, know as “The Path To Prosperity,” was endorsed by the House of Representatives—and it does not mention the word “infrastructure.” Ryan appears to believe that the private market will supply public transportation, sewer systems and power grids, and repairs bridges and roadways.
Perhaps even more dangerous than the Republican idée fixe over government spending is the chest-thumping braggadocio that insists the United States is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, and has nothing to learn from anyone. When will we wake up? Only, I imagine, when it too late to do much about our plight.
Several times I heard and read reference to the street being “closed,” and at 1:00 I heard repeated announcements that they were going to “open it up again.”
To someone like me, who rarely takes taxis and drives even less, when cars are allowed it doesn’t feel “open” to me. It’s open to me for three mornings a year, and pretty unavailable the rest of the time. Repeating over and over again that Park Avenue will be “opened up again” emphasizes that we don’t belong.
— cap’n transit. summer streets: i want more! 23.08.11.
from the above sign alone, i would assume that “summer streets” begins at 1pm. open the streets up to people. and the sign looks more of a size for people who are walking and cycling by, not for drivers.
It’s hard to not feel how “open” the streets are when you’re having your picture taken in front of the statue of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a spot that is typically closed as far as pedestrians and cyclists are concerned. It’s the same way I feel about how people often refer to Times Square: the city didn’t close it to traffic but rather opened it to people. So if one of the points of Summer Streets is to serve as positive marketing for people-centric streets and the department’s ambitious agenda, let’s hope the next time a new batch of signs needs to be printed DOT changes the wording to say, “Streets re-open to motor vehicles at 1 PM,” or even the completely neutral “Summer Streets ends at 1 PM.”
$17 for Car-Sharing Registration and 60 Minutes of Driving (Up to $56 Value)
maaang i already have car2go. though i did get free registration and some free minutes, too..
but yeah, San Diegans! You can live without owning a car! get this deal for a car2go membership. just be sure you know where the parking boundaries are. (so you won’t make a mistake like i did, and try to park in city heights, which failed and i had to backtrack, and ended up paying more.. which totally negated the whole point and i should’ve biked.) and because it’s probably more reliable than the bus.
My apology to the city of Oakland. I apologize for my preconceived notions. Television shows riots or shootings, one after another. I let the media influence my decision not to travel there, except to go to the airport. I hear how awful the city is. Not true. I apologize that I didn’t see your diverse culture.
One recent Friday, I finally decided to walk downtown and see what’s up. I was shocked.
No riots, no destruction, no protesters — vibrant businesses, smiling faces. I took a free bus from 19th Street to Jack London Square, it was beautiful. From there I walked through Chinatown. Oakland has a Chinatown? Next door was a farmers market. I walked past a store window and caught my reflection. Had I been smiling the entire time?
I apologize for not understanding how wonderful your city is. I spent two hours walking through Uptown, Downtown, Oldtown, Chinatown and Jack London, not understanding why I had not done this before.
I never understood or believed when Oaklanders say “there is more than what you see on television.” I get it. I will return.
Kevin C.L. Jamison Richmond
letters to the editor, contracostatimes, 14.08.12.
well, you know, the negative media also serves to keep certain types of people from coming. missing out! but lets us have more space and more fun! ;)
but also, really? Richmond? that’s hella ghetto. :P
related: Don’t Be Afraid of Oakland. ebx’s uc berkeley student guide, 22.08.12.
The other day, Doug Gordon decided to try a little bike lane experiment. Gordon, author of the Brooklyn Spoke blog, placed red plastic Solo cups (yes, the ones you use when drinking from a keg) along the edge of a painted bike lane that is often blocked by parked livery cars and other drivers.
The conditions were hardly scientific, but these small plastic delineators, stuck to the roadway with duct tape, seemed to be pretty effective in preventing vehicles from entering the bike lane…
The message? Physical barriers, even small ones, have a greater effect on driver behavior than painted lines.
atlantic cities: the case for separated bike lanes, 21.08.12.
hella wanna do this! but can’t think of any place in san diego to do this except for the first ave. bridge. v___v;; car parking everywhere. and no protected/buffered bike lanes anyway. except on PCH north of the Old Town transit center, but that buffer and the road are both wide enough, and not much bike or auto traffic there..
but anyone in Chicago or other cities down to try this?
Mia says, “Thank you all so much for signing my petition to get rid of Styrofoam at Jamba Juice and for your meaningful comments. Your words made me feel so good. It made me feel like anyone of any age in any country can really make a difference in the world. Jamba Juice responded to me within three weeks of starting this petition! I spoke with them on the phone and they just sent me a letter that says very clearly that they will not have polystyrene cups in any of their stores by the end of 2013. Can you believe it??!!! Thanks, again, guys — We Won!!!”
San Jose has just done something unheard of in Silicon Valley—the city converted car lanes on several blocks of 3th, 4th, 10th, and 11th streets in downtown, all busy one-way streets with 3 lanes in each direction—a total of 8 miles—to extra wide bike lanes separated by painted buffers from the remaining two lanes of vehicle traffic. What’s going on?
San Jose’s new wide buffered bike lanes provide much more physical separation from vehicle traffic and parked cars than typical bike lanes.
The new buffered bike lanes are just the first examples of one of the most exciting elements of what the city’s Bike Plan 2020 (adopted late-2009) calls “Primary Bikeways”, which will comprise a network of enhanced cross-town bikeways (bike paths, lanes, and routes) featuring bike boulevards, green bike lanes, urban trails, and physically separated bike lanes…
Is it worth it? Of course bicycling would become more convenient, but how does that benefit everyone else? What about residents who might never even ride a bike?
read more: peninsula transportation alternatives, 15.08.12. map of San Jose Bike Plan 2020.
On Friday, the lower lot at Rockridge BART was overflowing with cyclists of all ages from throughout the East Bay. People were on all types of bikes: road and mountain bikes, tall bikes, track bikes, custom “Burning Man-style” bikes and even a tricycle outfitted with a canvas frame that made it look like a food truck vending donuts throughout the ride…
donut bike!! and oakland-berkeley route! sad I missed it.
but I did get to go to my first bike party, finally—last night at the Pedalfest Afterbike! shorter ride, two stops (middle harbor shoreline park and lake merritt), fun!
and omg there was this little kid, like a 3 year old boy on one of those wooden striders—no pedals but you just push off the ground with your feet, bring them up and then glide—going for blocks! heard he was on that thing the whole day! so cute but my camera was in my bag so i couldn’t take a picture :/
The Journal of Urban Affairs just published a really interesting special issue on the creative underclass.
The creative class has been hailed extensively by urban scholars, planners and policy makers over the past decade, particularly for its supposed ability to have a positive effect on urban development. The almost mythical creatives are seen as relatively easy to ‘deploy’ in areas where regeneration is desired. Moreover, their individual situation is seen as the archetypical successful and desirable urban life.
But reality often deviates from the romanticized professional and private lives of these ‘creatives’ and the urban development mechanisms attributed to their presence in the city frequently have perverse outcomes.
For example, creative actors often work as freelance professionals. Something the creativity advocates hardly take into account is that this freelance situation often is some sort of disguised unemployment. The German book “Wir Nennen es Arbeit: Die Digitale Bohème oder Intelligentes Leben Jenseits der Festanstellung”(We Call it Work: The Digital Bohème or Intelligent Life Beyond the Permanent) beautifully deals with this topic in the case of Berlin, where many (aspiring) creatives migrate to, but many of them are not able to make a living with what they (want to) do…
A cross-section of a suspension cable shows how it is made up of bundles of individual cables. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez
As state lawmakers contemplate an independent inspection of the new Bay Bridge tower foundation, construction crews are beginning what might be called the Big Lift — a major step in building the $6.3 billion east span, scheduled to open by Labor Day 2013.
Workers on Tuesday began the three-month process of lifting the 35,200-ton bridge decks from the temporary steel trestles on which they were assembled onto the tower and main suspension cable that will cradle and support the suspension span. As they started work, a state Senate committee grilled Caltrans over media allegations of irregularities in concrete inspections for the tower’s foundations…
"For the vast majority of people who don't bike regularly, why should they care if the city is bike-friendly?"
We cannot accommodate the population and job growth we’re expecting in the Bay Area by moving everyone around in single-occupancy vehicles. And that’s probably not the city we want to live in, either.
For those people who do need to drive, every person on a bike means it opens up a parking space on the other end of your route. It’s making a little more room on transit. As governments have to tighten their belts, the amount of investment the government needs to make in that [biking] trip is pennies on the dollar compared to a trip by car or by transit.
— Leah Shahum, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition.
Advocate’s Vision for a Bike-Friendly City. wsj, 15.08.12.
and also need to go to a coffee shop tomorrow or friday and buy a flickr account (finally) and upload photos and moar photo posts here! (i am always a week—two months behind on photo uploading -___-;;)
also PEDALFEST @jack london square in oakland on saturday! kids’ bike parade, stunts and other performances, family fun, and beer!
catch me helping out the EBBC tryna get people to vote YES on measure B1 (alameda county) for a one-cent sales tax (currently half-cent) to speed up transportation improvements (transit, streets, bike/ped)!
“Mayor Emanuel’s announcement that the first protected bike lane will be coming to the Loop later this year is cause for celebration!”
“But with the anti-bike crowd calling protected bike lanes “bunk” and a “giant waste of money,” we need your support now. Please sign the petition below asking decision-makers to follow through on plans to build protected bike lanes in the Loop and achieve 100 miles of protected bike lanes across the city by 2015.”
The issue of gated communities in North America is rearing its ugly head again. It started earlier this year with the death of Trevon Martin, the young man visiting family in a gated community who ended up being accused of trespassing and shot dead in an altercation…