→ Seniors and the City [Governing]
Have you ever thought the walk signs at street corners weren’t long enough? Probably not. But if you’re over 65 years old, it may be a different matter. What seems like a reasonable amount of time to cross a street is more like an Olympic sprint for the elderly. It’s one of numerous issues that have grown in importance as our population not only ages but becomes increasingly concentrated in cities.
In 2006, just 11 percent of the global population was over the age of 60, but the number is expected to double by 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the number of people living in cities continues to rise. In North America, 81 percent of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and is expected to reach 87 percent by 2030.
→ Gridlock Sam: Too Big to Fall [Blueprint America]
…as pointed out in a new book, Too Big to Fall by Barry LePatner, there are tens of thousands of fracture critical bridges in the United States and nearly 8,000 are structurally deficient, which is a recipe for disaster.
Using the tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis as a starting point, Barry LePatner lays out how our nation has neglected a majority of our 6,000 spans. LePatner presents a complete, well-researched story about the nation’s transportation infrastructure. This book is a must read for anyone in engineering, construction, architecture, and planning. Frankly, it is a must read for any American who is concerned about the continuing strength of our economy and our quality of life.
→ Mn/DOT assessing potential for mileage-based user fee to replace fuel tax; Battelle conducting technology assessment [Green Car Congress]
The state of Minnesota is researching a mileage-based user fee (MBUF) to either supplement or replace their gas tax. The study will look at among other things, technologies for collecting the mileage data.
→ To Get Safer Streets, Traffic Lights and Stop Signs Aren’t the Answer [Streetsblog]
When faced with the question of how to fix a dangerous street, the first instinct of many New Yorkers is to call for the most familiar symbols of regulating cars: the stop sign and the traffic light. Nothing, they think, could more effectively force dangerous drivers to stop speeding through their neighborhood than these familiar red symbols. Just this month a community group in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn asked the city to remove a bike lane and zebra stripes from Oriental Boulevard Ã¢â‚¬â€ measures that have a real traffic-calming effect Ã¢â‚¬â€ and add a new traffic signal where the road intersects with Falmouth Street. But stop signs and traffic signals are usually ineffective, even counterproductive, if the goal is to make streets safer.
→ [Boston] sends ‘tax’ bills to major nonprofits [Boston.com]
For the first time, Boston’s major tax-exempt institutions Ã¢â‚¬â€ its premier hospitals, universities, and cultural centers Ã¢â‚¬â€ are being asked to make regular voluntary payments to the city based on the value of their property to help offset the rising cost of city services and cuts in state financial aid.
Although many of the city’s nonprofit organizations have been making so-called Payments In Lieu of Taxes for decades, this marks a major change to a system that feels to some organizations uncomfortably close to tax bills. Boston officials recently mailed letters to leaders at 40 major nonprofits asking them to pay up to 25 percent of what they would owe if their property were not tax-exempt.