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Texting while driving. Photo (cc) larry zou

News & Notes Replace parking lots with people [Montréal Gazette]

Exterior parking lots are holes in the urban tissue that disfigure the downtown core of a city. All efforts must be deployed to encourage property owners to redevelop these outdoor spaces and at least bring the parking indoors.

For years there was not enough of an incentive for owners of these vacant lots to build. Parking lots are a cash business that can be very lucrative. So when they were prohibited from building the amount of square footage that would maximize their return on the investment, the owners of these lots weren’t willing to take the risk. Thus the status quo prevailed.


Combating the Myth That Complete Streets Are Too Expensive [Streetsblog]

Are complete streets really too expensive? According to Norm Steinman, planning and design manager for the Charlotte Department of Transportation, design elements to turn an incomplete street into one that accommodates all users are usually a very low percentage of the total cost of street planning, design, and construction.


RU1? Texting by drivers is up 50 percent even as states pass laws banning it, government says [The Washington Post]

About half of American drivers between 21 and 24 say they’ve thumbed messages or emailed from the driver’s seat. And what’s more, many drivers don’t think it’s dangerous when they do it – only when others do.


Urban Retail Continues its Evolution [National Real Estate Investor]

The key to creating a successful urban store is flexibility in operation and design, said Michael J. Shanahan, vice president of real estate for Burlington Coat Factory. Adaptive reuse has proven successful for Burlington Coat Factory, but has also presented several challenges, including the presence of wide old-fashioned and unmovable columns in old buildings prohibiting traditional racetracks. In addition, sometimes the retailer has had to fight for or give up street presence when it’s located on the second level of a facility, Shanahan added.

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