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» The Evolution of Driving in America

atlanticcities, 18.11.13.
excerpted by kaid benfield’s forthcoming book: People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities.

San Diego’s long-awaited Central Library was dedicated Saturday in front of thousands of area residents…
It also features an outdoor garden courtyard and cafe and 250 parking spaces on two levels. 

cbs8, 28.09.13.
wtf???! i have never heard of any public library that provides a carpark. even a suburban library i might remember passing by had only a small surface parking lot.
like, holy f—, is this a shopping mall??!!
downtown residents, prepare to deal with more traffic clogging the streets. (see: induced traffic)
» The U.S. Can’t Afford Nice Transit, So Everyone’s Fawning Over BRT

nextcity, 24.09.13.

» Protest> Driving Toward Bankruptcy

Decades of development and sprawl are rightfully blamed for the degradation of our quality of life, and for our near unbearable congestion. This has turned many Angelenos against development and into NIMBY activists ready to object anytime to anything. But contrary to NIMBY creed, we cannot do nothing. The path we are on is really an economic fiasco in waiting.

In greater Los Angeles, we are using more than 60 percent of our land for our automobiles (roads, parking lots, landscaped buffers, traffic islands, etc.). According to Christopher Alexander’s book Pattern Language, the ideal percentage of land given over to automobiles in a city with balanced transit options (that also include cars) is 19 to 20 percent of the land area…

Imagine our city with bustling pedestrian zones, coffee shops, and corner stores, markets, plazas, and lots of housing options surrounding our public transit hubs. Then imagine those hubs separated by low-density areas filled with picturesque narrow residential streets, bicycle networks, community gardens, and parks. All could be connected with public transit, and all of this in our near-perfect climate, and you could still drive, if you chose to.

read more: Architect and urban designer, Gerhard W. Mayer, calls for a revolution in California’s car country. archpaper, 28.08.13.

San Diego tech and land use vs. Seattle’s

There was another article today about Amazon’s massive project in downtown Seattle, which includes bike lanes paid for by the company. It’s a marked contrast to San Diego’s respective technology leader, Qualcomm, who continues to expand its suburban campus and is completing this parking garage monstrosity that’s two city blocks long: 


Qualcomm’s Sorrento Valley is a traffic-choked nightmare, accessed by gridlocked Mira Mesa Boulevard, and the I-805 freeway that’s at a standstill for hours a day.

Solution? More parking – and lots of it! Instead of following the lead of many companies across the US that are moving downtown and/or embracing alternative transportation options (like the Silicon Valley shuttles that are changing the future of transit), Qualcomm’s racing toward the 1950′s. Leading the way is founder Irwin Jacobs, a man who loves cars so much he nearly built a bridge through the heart of Balboa Park to yet another parking garage. I’d suggest Qualcomm employee/future mayor Nathan Fletcher talk some sense into Irwin about Qualcomm’s insanity, but Nathan was riding shotgun on Jacobs’ Plaza de Panama folly. 

sdurban, 26.08.13.


Amazon, by contrast, is both local and global. By encouraging its employees to live within walking distance, it could help Seattle meet its goals for energy efficiency and conservation, city officials said. As part of its development agreement, Amazon also plans to buy a new streetcar for the light rail line that runs past its properties and pay for a stretch of dedicated bicycle lane.

“I think they’ve single-handedly defined a whole region,” said Bryan Trussel, the chief executive of Glympse, an Internet start-up with offices next to Amazon. “Now everyone wants to be there.”

As Amazon Stretches, Seattle’s Downtown Is Reshaped. nytimes, 25.08.13.

Parking for Places of graphing parking
via thisbigcity via secretrepublic via imaginingcities
what they must have said: let’s build an altar for god cars! 
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