Greater City Providence

News & Notes

VIDEOS: Atop Washington Monument, Visitors Scrambled During Quake [NPR]

Shaking starts around 1:45

Video from the National Park Service

When a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook states from the mid-Atlantic into New England on Aug. 23, one of the places not to be was near the top of the Washington Monument.

Visit the NPR website for more information and another video.

Manhattan’s Stalled Construction Sites Could Become Urban Oases [Gothamist]

There are currently more than 600 stalled construction sites around NYC according to the Department of Buildings, and given the moribund economy, it doesn’t look like they’ll unstall anytime soon. So in the meantime, why don’t we do turn lemons into lemonade, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wants to know!

I like that the article is illustrated with a concept from Boston.

Deputy DOT Commish: No American Manufacturers Produce Track for Light Rail [Transportation Nation]

Buy America is a provision in U.S. law to “ensure that transportation infrastructure projects are built with American-made products.”

But [John Porcari, the Department of Transportation deputy secretary,] said there’s no American manufacturer who currently produces girder rail | the type of on-street rail used for streetcars and light rail. Speaking this morning at the Building the Future: New York State Transit Manufacturing conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Porcari said he’s been working to change that.

Maybe Capco should make lightrail tracks…

Times Square Redesign Plan Unveiled []

The Times Square of the future will feature dark, concrete flooring punctuated by small metal rivets designed to bring some of the grit back to the Great White Way, according to a multi-million-dollar redesign plan unveiled Monday night.

The plan, which will officially cement the plazas as permanent structures, calls for the leveling of surfaces across the plazas from 42nd to 47th street to create a continuous pedestrian space, with no vestiges of the old curbs and sidewalks that used to mark the roadway.

See renderings at the link.

Google to finance home solar systems [Yahoo! News | AP]

Google wants to buy solar panels for your house.
The search giant announced Tuesday that it will provide $75 million to build 3,000 residential solar electricity systems across the country. Google will own the panels, and get paid over time by customers who purchase the electricity the panels produce.

Removing Signals and Signs from Intersections Just Might Make Us Safer [The Atlantic Cities]

A handful of towns there have embraced a radical idea, originally the brainchild of the late Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman: Remove all the traffic lights, signs, curbs and lane markings from roads, and people will share them more effectively.

Drivers, bikers and pedestrians will make eye contact with one another. They’ll cooperate. They’ll move through public space with a greater sense of its communal utility. In Europe, the result has proven to be safer and more efficient – and more social – for everyone involved.

That’s what I said!

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

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