bike ped

Robert W. Coburn :: The press snipe (on back) reads, “Before the days of the bicycle built for two – was the ped-cycle, and here are two young ladies about due for a fall from their high saddle. They’re Radio Pictures featured beauties, Roberta Gale and Rochelle Hudson, and they rode the thing – after a fashion – in a comedy.”, 1931 / source: Grapefruit Moon Gallery


One Thousand and One Villages

Follow-up to my post One Thousand Villages, separated out so Tumblr won’t harm my precious, precious PNGs, so let’s tag some people from the last one. @wirehead-wannabe @mailadreapta @bambamramfan Let’s also tag @xhxhxhx in case he finds it interesting or discovers some glaring flaw or something.

We’ll borrow Mailadreapta’s word here and refer to the new model as a Quad - it’s a 500m x 500m area as part of a larger 1km x 1km pattern.  I decided to revisit the subject and get a better sense of the scale and proportions, and in doing so, I realized that 1km x 1km is just too big for a single unit (and also too big to start with as an experiment if someone were to attempt this).  We’ll call the collection of four quads a Klick.

In the above images, green is residential, blue is mixed-use/commercial, yellow is light industrial, white is civic buildings, and orange is public transit.

Noting some feedback from @mailadreapta

I think the biggest problem is employment: there’s just no way you can ensure that everyone works in their own quad, so most people will still need to leave in order to work. I assume that a high-speed thoroughfare lie along the boundaries of the square (with transit) to accommodate this.

For a similar reason, I would put the commercial and civic buildings (except for the school) among the edge: these are these are places that will be visited often by people from other villages, so keep them away from the residential center.

This is, in fact, roughly the plan.  Although I did have the civic center in the middle last time.

Now then, now that that’s out of the way, let’s do some uncredentialed urban planning!

EDIT: Got a couple of numbers wrong.  That’s what I get for being so desperate to post this at 5AM in the morning.

Keep reading

Newly-paved portion of the Atlanta Beltline as seen from Edgewood Avenue.

I’m going to sound like an awful person here: the laying down of pavement on new portions of the Beltline is losing some luster for me. It’s not as exciting as it used to be.

I’m looking forward to seeing this right-of-way get some tracks laid down for transit – and seeing new ped/bike infrastructure on streets so that people can safely reach that rail.

This doesn’t mean the Beltline loses its multiuse path – the ROW is intentionally wide enough for both that and rail. And the path is great. It’s just not what I’m most excited about. I’m really into the rail possibilities, and I’m also keen to see the interest in walking and biking among Atlantans (an interest that the path has made clear) accommodated on streets via improved bike/ped infrastructure.

The mayor referred to the Beltline as an “attraction” this week. I get that it’ll be that at first, because of its new-ness and because of how (unfortunately) unique it is to have safe and inviting places to walk and ride a bike across city neighborhoods. But if it remains an attraction and not an essential piece of transportation infrastructure for Atlantans, we’ve done it wrong. And given the scale of the route, rail is what will make this truly essential. 

Reducing car ownership brings big rewards for local economy

Via Urbandata: According to data from AAA, if you reduce car ownership by 15,000 cars, over $127 million will stay in your local economy – per year.

So how is it that this goal not on the radar of every local politician everywhere?

For most large US cities (ones that aren’t already paragons of compact walkability), successfully reducing car ownership to this degree would probably require a significant increase in affordable urban infill housing in attractive environments, connected with ped/bike/transit infrastructure. Basically: good urbanism.

It’s a big, complex task with many hurdles in place, but it has been done and can be done again. Luckily, urban planners have documented the processes. I’ve enjoyed attending the APA Conference in Atlanta this week and finding out what strategies exist for making more ‘good urbanism’ happen in cities like Atlanta.

I’m hoping to post some highlights from the conference this week.