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News & Notes

Chicago Sun-Times: City wants to turn streets, alleys, plazas into outdoor fun spots

Designated Chicago streets, alleys, plazas and parking lanes may soon be painted blue with campy white footprints and filled with public seating, music, farmer’s markets and other seasonal activities.


GOOD: Young People Are Driving Less—And Not Just Because They’re Broke

I never got my driver’s license, which makes me an outlier in a nation of car lovers. But I have something in common with today’s teens. Recent studies show that American teenagers are far less likely to have their drivers’ licenses than their counterparts thirty years ago, and the trend continues to a lessening degree through the 20-something cohort. Today only 22 percent of drivers are under 30, down from a third in 1983.


Better Cities & Towns: The conservative case for smart growth

Bacon is right – liberals should not own this issue. There is nothing inherently liberal, or conservative, about compact, mixed-use communities. Human civilization had been building them for thousands of years prior to switching to sprawl in the middle of the 20th Century. This switch was heavily suported by government regulation and infrastructure construction.


PlaceShakers and NewsMakers: The Strip Mall vs. the Multi-Way Boulevard: In Consideration of Subtle Differences

Like its larger cousin the mall, the strip mall has become a symbol for our dysfunctional car-focused suburban environments. Ask any born-again urbanite why, and they’ll tell you that the strip mall’s most damning offense is putting all that parking in front of the store, creating a horrible car-focused environment. But… is it so simple? Take that same urbanite to some of the celebrated boulevards of Paris, Barcelona, or even Chico, California and see those offenses forgiven.

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2 Responses to News & Notes

  1. barry June 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    “today only 22% of drivers are under 30” is a sort of dangling statistic, it doesn’t say what % of driving age people are under 30 for comparison, and how this percentage has changed over time.

    Also I read the public’s comments about the proposed use of some Chicago streets for pedestrians and fun events on the Sun-Times blog page, and like those on the projo site they were almost all very negative, cynical (e.g. its a plot to increase parking lot revenues) and quite nasty about the political leaders who proposed this action. Since it apparently does impact public policy, I think those who do favor the sort of more progressive policies often advocated for on gcpvd should not be giving this kind of forum away – we need to try more to post our ideas more widely than just to each other.

  2. SK June 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I am a 30-year old with a driver’s license. Only reason I got one was because I needed it for getting to work and other events. I couldn’t rely on a transit system as limited as RIPTA to get to every place I want to in a timely manner. I always wanted to work in a bigger city like Boston or Chicago with excellent public transit so I could ditch the car & use the money I earn on a decent place to live instead of car payments, insurance, car maintenance, and gas. I don’t think a lot of people understand that because of having a car is the reason why I can’t afford to live on my own. Most of my friends don’t drive either, so I end up being the default for transportation.

    RIPTA needs to step up their game with their convenience.

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