→ The Atlantic Cities: What Real Respect for Bicyclists Looks Like
Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all compete for space and safety on the streets and roads of the world’s cities and suburbs. It’s a contentious and sometimes ugly coexistence, which is why so many government agencies and advocacy groups periodically mount public-awareness campaigns with messages like “share the road” or “don’t be a jerk” or “respect other road users.”
In the end, those are just words. The ultimate form of respect for any road user is properly designed infrastructure that allows that a person to travel with comfort and safety using their preferred mode. In the United States, it’s clear who gets real respect (and infrastructure spending) on a regular basis. That would be the people driving cars.
The platform approved by Republicans on Tuesday calls for the elimination of funding for Amtrak passenger rail service, private airport security screening and stopping the use of money earmarked for highway construction for other purposes.
The more than 30,000-word document was approved on the first full day of the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa, Fla. It includes many provisions that were pushed by Republicans in the House during recent negotiations over the new $105 billion transportation bill that was approved by lawmakers in June.
Among them are reducing environmental regulations to expedite construction projects and using more money that is earmarked for transportation for road and highway projects, rather than other forms of transportation such as public transit or bicycling and pedestrian programs.
→ Next American City: Urban Roulette
The debate is just the latest in a decades-long controversy over what role, if any, casinos can play in the revival of America’s cities. The economic downturn has given states an impetus to open up new sources of revenue, with gambling often viewed as low-hanging fruit. Twelve states have expanded gambling options in the last three years, 22 now permit commercial casinos (up from two in 1974), and Hawaii’s legislature is currently considering plans that would leave Utah as the sole state without some form of legalized gambling.
→ Greater Greater Washington: More people will only ride buses if information gets better
A lot of people don’t ride the bus today, especially for trips outside their usual commute. They find it too confusing and too scary to stand at a random street corner, unsure when a bus going to show up, if ever.
Rather than blaming these people for being impatient or not planning better, we need see this as reasons to push for better information, and to support efforts to make better apps that spread that information.
→ The Wall Street Journal: The Joys of Urban Tech
For as long as many of us can remember, high-tech industries have flourished in the suburban office parks that are so ubiquitous in Silicon Valley, North Carolina’s Research Triangle and other “nerdistans.” But in recent years, high-tech has been taking a decidedly urban turn.
Silicon Valley remains the world’s pre-eminent center of high-tech industry, of course. But even in the Valley, denser, more mixed-use and walkable places, like downtown Palo Alto, are becoming the preferred locations for start-ups and smaller firms. And many other start-ups—Pinterest, Zynga, Yelp, Square and Salesforce.com, to name just a notable few—are taking up residence in downtown San Francisco.