Greater City Providence

News & Notes

Slate: The Crisis in American Walking

A few years ago, at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Ga., I drifted into a conference room where a sign told me a “Pedestrian Safety” panel was being held.

The speaker was Michael Ronkin, a French-born, Swiss-raised, Oregon-based transportation planner whose firm, as his website notes, “specializes in creating walkable and bikeable streets.” Ronkin began with a simple observation that has stayed with me since. Taking stock of the event – one of the few focused on walking, which gets scant attention at traffic safety conferences – he wondered about that inescapable word: pedestrian. If we were to find ourselves out hiking on a forest trail and spied someone approaching at a distance, he wanted to know, would we think to ourselves, “Here comes a pedestrian”?

Salon: Preserving history, or the 1 percent?

When [Jane] Jacobs’ neighborhood was protected in 1969, it was no tony enclave. In fact, the justification for the urban-renewal project was that Greenwich Village was allegedly a slum. But now that the Village is wealthy, suddenly there are three expansions of its protective boundaries in six years. The timing invites cynical conclusions, bluntly summed up by urbanist Alon Levy on his blog last year: “Let us remember what historic districts are, in practice: They are districts where wealthy people own property that they want to prop up the price of.”

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: ‘Charlie Card’ is on its way to WRTA buses

The WRTA is the latest transit system in the Bay State to adopt the pass. The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority in the Fitchburg and Leominster area has also introduced Charlie Cards.

Integrating the RIPTA and MBTA fare systems is one of the suggestions of the Transit 2020 report.

Original Green: Pedestrian Propulsion

Pedestrian Propulsion is a characteristic of a street that entices you to walk further than you otherwise would on lesser streets… literally propelling you along the way. It’s why you might walk for miles through the streets of Paris on a dreary day, stopping only when the showers come down, and even then under an awning at a little sidewalk cafe where you can continue on your way just as soon as the rain moves off.

The opposite of Pedestrian Propulsion is Pedestrian Obstruction. This is what happens in the parking lot of a “power center,” where the pedestrian experience is so bad that we all get in our cars to drive from the Old Navy to the Best Buy.

Slate: Cincinnati May Scrap Parking Minimums Downtown

Cincinnati City Councilor Roxanne Qualls is leading the charge to abolish parking minimums for developers building homes in the downtown and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods.

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