→ DC Streetsblog: Oregon Takes the Next Step in Moving Beyond the Gas Tax
Rep. Earl Blumenauer likes to say that Oregon was the first state to adopt a gas tax and it will be the first state to get rid of it. In 2006-2007, the state conducted a pilot study of alternative revenue collection methods, with an eye toward moving to a better system. This fall, they’ll do another pilot, fine-tuning their process for replacing the gas tax with a vehicle-miles-traveled fee.
→ The Guardian: Paris to return Seine to the people with car-free riverside plan
The pedestrianisation of one of Europe’s most picturesque urban riversides means the death knell for the Seine’s non-stop riverside expressways. These were the pride of Georges Pompidou in the 60s when France’s love affair with the car was at its height. Opened in 1967 by him, under the slogan “Paris must adapt to the car”, the dual carriageway with perhaps the best view in France allowed a speedy crossing of Paris from west to east. But environmentalists have long complained it was a dreadful, polluting waste of architectural heritage.
→ Kansas City Business Journal: Downtown Kansas City voters back streetcar taxing district
The city envisions building a 2-mile, $101 million line from Union Station to the River Market.
Johnson said the city and the Port Authority of Kansas City now must create a Kansas City Streetcar Authority. The authority would be responsible for holding a second vote, most likely during the November elections, to approve a slate of special property assessments and a sales tax within the district to generate the remaining $75 million for the project.
→ Project for Public Spaces: Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Transform Your Public Spaces Now
“Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC) describes a local development strategy that has produced some of the world’s most successful public spaces — one that is lower risk and lower cost, capitalizing on the creative energy of the community to efficiently generate new uses and revenue for places in transition. It’s a phrase we borrowed from Eric Reynolds at Urban Space Management.
The parklet movement is taking over the country, slowly moving from its birthplace in San Francisco eastwards. A “parklet” refers to a plot of urban land, usually a parking space, that the city government takes over and turns into a small park. Usually situated in front of businesses (and sponsored by them – parklets cost about $20,000 to develop), they offer an urban retreat for pedestrians to sit, chat, eat and enjoy life outside.