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Tag Archives | Car-Free

The suburbanization of Olneyville

mcdonalds-rendering

Rendering of proposed McDonald’s and Family Dollar store on Plainfield Street in Olneyville.

The City Plan Commission meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to the impending storm. It is scheduled to take place now on January 28th.

After learning of plans for a drive-thru McDonald’s proposed on Plainfield Street in Olneyville, I requested plans for the proposal from the Planning Department.

The developer is seeking master plan approval from the City Plan Commission for the construction of a McDonald’s and Family Dollar store in a separate building on a site which was cleared of existing structures last year.

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News & Notes

Bixi

Montreal’s bike share system, Bixi. Photo (cc) arcsi

CBC: Bixi to continue despite financial problems

A member of Montreal’s city executive committee says he cannot guarantee the municipal administration will put more money into Bixi if it requires financial assistance.

The bike-sharing program has struggled to make ends meet since it first hit Montreal streets in 2008.

Jean-François Lisée, the provincial minister responsible for Montreal, said Bixi was a valuable service and deserved to be helped out. He said the Quebec government is working on a $5-million bridge loan for the program.

See also: The Atlantic Cities: In Paris, Thefts and Vandalism Could Force Bike-Share to Shrink


The Walking Bostonian: Car-free housing in Boston is natural

I feel strange explaining the concept of a market to someone as old as Tom Keane. The idea that residents could rent or purchase a parking space in a nearby garage should not be that difficult to grasp, and it’s not much different from the many other transactions which take place between residents and local businesses. For example, most apartment buildings are not constructed with grocery store requirements. However, most people seem to understand that when a resident wants a bottle of milk, they can walk down to a nearby store and buy one. We do not need to build “minimum grocery store requirements” into the zoning code because those products are handled perfectly well by normally operating markets. And parking spaces are no different. They are just one type of land use, among many, that can be purchased or leased on the real estate market.

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News & Notes

Spokane: A very clear network map [Human Transit]

Human Transit looks at Spokane, Washington’s new system maps. The combined lines to create frequent service sectors would be apropo for RIPTA for places such as Elmwood Avenue and Charles Street.


In bicycle friendly D.C., going car-free is increasingly common [The Washington Post]

In urban areas nationwide, drivers younger than 24 drove six fewer miles a day in 2009 than in 1990. Drivers 25 to 34 drove almost 2.5 fewer miles a day.

“You don’t have to keep a car,” said Carroll, who takes Metro to work most days but walks the 2.4 miles occasionally on a nice day. “I love that the city is becoming more pedestrian-friendly and more bicycle-friendly. I can rent a bike and ride downhill all the way from work. I haven’t yet, but I’m going to.”

And Zipcar? She’s a longtime member who has never used a Zipcar.

“I have kept up my membership because you never know,” she said. “I might have a visitor who wants to take a trip to Middleburg or someplace. I think it’s a very valuable option.”

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News & Notes

Living Car-Free in a Food Desert [Women’s Health News]

Until I started trying it myself, I honestly did not understand why food deserts are defined in such a short radius – surely people 1-2 miles from a grocery story, even without a car, can’t really have *that* hard a time getting to food, right?

Wrong.


Transit and a shrinking U.S. government [Human Transit]

The recent “deal” intended to cut the US Federal deficit looks like it can only lead to further cuts in Federal spending on almost everything.

Cities, in general, require higher levels of infrastructure, and a range of other spending, than the country as a whole. So the further Federal budget cutting to come is likely to mean further damage to essential services in cities, including public transit. While a powerful cadre of urban economists and thinkers are ready to make the case that the city is essential to the economy of the nation, and the battle for continued Federal funding may well be won, cities and local governments, including transit agencies, should clearly be strategizing for the possibility of permanent decline in Federal investment.

The comments are where this post gets interesting, read those.


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Streetfilms MBA: Transit Oriented Development


Streetfilms has launched a new series of videos, Moving Beyond the Automobile. As Streetfilms releases each video in the series, we’ll be posting them here for you to enjoy.

For the first chapter in our Moving Beyond the Automobile series we’ll take a look at Transit-Oriented Development, more commonly known by its “TOD” acronym in transportation industry circles. TOD is a high-density, mixed-use residential area with access to ample amounts of transportation. There are usually many transportation nodes within its core and contains a walkable and bike-able environment.

We decided to take a look across the Hudson River at New Jersey’s east coast where over the last two decades the amount of development has been booming. Transportation options are as diverse as you can get: the Hudson-Bergen light-rail, multiple ferry lines, PATH station, NJ Transit commuter trains, and buses are all plentiful, while in some areas car ownership is as low as 40% to 45%.

(Note: This series is made possible by funding from The Oram Foundation’s Fund for The Environment & Urban Life.)

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Meet Zozo

Streetfilms has launched a new website aimed at teaching kids about car-free transportation. Meet Zozo:

Today we are happy to announce that Zozo, our purple, livable streets mascot finally has his own website! Just go to meetzozo.com to check out all ten of the Zozo shorts – including films about walking, biking, car sharing and transit as Zozo walks the streets of Park Slope in Brooklyn, NY.

It’s very educational for the youngest ones in your home, but it’s also about Zozo being his Zozo fun self and there’s lots in here that will make the adults smile too. Our staff here at Streetfilms shot & edited all of these and here we present you with a funny montage featuring outtakes and other fun moments that didn’t make the cut. As you will see, Zozo is a charmer.

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