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» Weapons of Mass Urban Destruction

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.

by peter calthorpe, on foreignpolicy, 09.2012.

» groupon deal for car2go in san diego (new members only)

$17 for Car-Sharing Registration and 60 Minutes of Driving (Up to $56 Value)

photo by citymaus

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.

the costs of maintaining highways..
» Man bites dog: one guy gets hit by a bicyclist vs. many more hit by drivers

…In other words, lawlessness and unpleasantness are presumed to be the exclusive preserve of bicycle-riding, who ‘almost uniformly’ break the law. The fact that these traits probably exist amongst the population of bicycle riders in equal proportion to motorists — indeed anyone else — is ignored.

The  Telegraph has also covered the story prominently. This is quite extraordinary for a paper that has not covered a single other pedestrian injury this year

Let’s put this in perspective. If we consult the accident statistics for last year, we will find that nearly 20,000 pedestrians were hit by cars in 2011, of which nearly 4,000 suffered serious injuries. Doubtless a good proportion of those injuries resulted from incidents in which the motorist may have been entirely blameless, but it is reasonable to suppose that there were at least several thousand serious pedestrian injuries last year caused by motorists. The same will be true for this year..

aseasyasridingabike, 06.07.12: man bites dog.


Authorities are still investigating how a Pittsfield Township medical office got in front of the white four door sedan. Firefighters responding to the scene said the building was very lucky it was wearing a helmet.
» "I have seen the future, and it works."

O.K., I know that these days you’re supposed to see the future in China or India, not in the heart of “old Europe.”

But we’re living in a world in which oil prices keep setting records, in which the idea that global oil production will soon peak is rapidly moving from fringe belief to mainstream assumption. And Europeans who have achieved a high standard of living in spite of very high energy prices — gas in Germany costs more than $8 a gallon - have a lot to teach us Americans about how to deal with that world.

If Europe’s example is any guide, here are the two secrets of coping with expensive oil: Own fuel-efficient cars, and don’t drive them too much…

To see what I’m talking about, consider where I am at the moment: in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood consisting mainly of four- or five-story apartment buildings, with easy access to public transit and plenty of local shopping.

It’s the kind of neighborhood in which people don’t have to drive a lot, but it’s also a kind of neighborhood that barely exists in America, even in big metropolitan areas. Greater Atlanta has roughly the same population as Greater Berlin — but Berlin is a city of trains, buses and bikes, while Atlanta is a city of cars, cars and cars.

Paul Krugman: iht/nytimes, 19.05.2008.

Sonnenallee, Berlin, 09.2010. (my own photo)

» Downtown LA's new variable parking pricing

Dynamic parking pricing has hit LA, with the official launch of the ExpressPark program today in four and half square miles of Downtown. Under the year-long pilot, pricing at meters and in city-owned lots will fluctuate in response to demand, and will range from 50 cents up to six dollars an hour (meters are currently $1 to $4 per hour). There are 6,000 meters and 7,500 lot spaces covered by the project. According to a press release quoted in the LA Times, “Parking rates in the project zone will be adjusted by LADOT according to demand in 4 to 6 week increments as necessary; when demand is high parking rates will increase and when it is low rates will drop.” The best part is that you’ll be able to tap into the system and find spaces or pay with your smartphone. Down below, check out a video explaining how it all works. [LAT/ExpressPark]

la.curbed, 21.05.12.

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