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ProvPlan’s new Community Profiles

prov-plan

I spent some time playing with this new tool from ProvPlan yesterday and it is sure to be something that many of us are going to spend a lot of time with.

Web App Provides New Perspective on Rhode Island Communities

PROVIDENCE – A new web app released today will provide Rhode Islanders with easy access to in-depth data on their neighborhoods. Created and released by the nonprofit The Providence Plan (ProvPlan), Rhode Island Community Profiles (http://profiles.provplan.org) provides fast access to comprehensive, mappable information about communities across the state including data on race, age, income, employment, poverty, housing, health, education, transportation and more. Visitors can create and share maps that compare their neighborhoods with surrounding areas, or reveal changes in their own communities over time.

Rhode Island Community Profiles is the latest in a suite of online tools created by ProvPlan. “These tools democratize data by putting information into the hands of community members,” explained Patrick McGuigan, ProvPlan Executive Director. “We hope that this site will empower our residents, nonprofits, businesses and government to identify local needs, prioritize investments, and advocate for the kinds of community change they want to see.”

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News & Notes

News & Notes

→ Temporary uses can enliven city neighborhoods [Greater Greater Washington]

Imagine you have a long-vacant storefront or empty lot in your neighborhood. What if, just for a few months, it could become a plant nursery, a food garden, a beer garden, a sculpture garden, a playground, a clothing boutique or a tiny movie theater?

These small, temporary projects have the ability to revitalize vacant spaces, enliven neighborhoods, and provide small entrepreneurs a way test out their ideas with relatively small capital investments. This is what’s called “temporary urbanism” and shows how we can put vacant space back into productive use, even if only temporarily.


→ Transportation groups want to increase gas tax [Politico]

Voinovich also makes a point raised by others: Most drivers won’t even notice a gas tax increase.

A BP station in the Cleveland area was selling gas for $3.45 per gallon the day Voinovich spoke to POLITICO. The day before, he said, it was 25 cents cheaper. “It’s all over the lot,” he said of gas prices.

A 2009 poll conducted for Building America’s Future found that 60 percent of people think the federal gas tax is increased every year. It has remained unchanged – at 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel – since 1993. It’s also not indexed for inflation, so as construction costs rise, the flat tax buys even less in infrastructure repairs and upgrades.


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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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Crowdsourcing the Improbable Providence Subway Map

Map Key

Providence Subway Map Key

You may remember a couple years ago I was all excited about the fake Cape Cod subway map by Transit Authority Figures. I know have a print of that map hanging in my home office.

Shortly after that Robert Stewart, the creator of the Cape Cod and a collection of other small town improbable subway maps contacted me. He was looking to do slightly less improbable subway maps and wanted to start with Providence. After being waylayed a bit on the project, Robert now has a draft of his Providence subway map that he is working on finalizing.

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Like: Greater Greater Washington Metro Map Contest

If you’re like me, you love maps (and ice cream, and gin & tonic, and Law & Order UK). And if you love maps, you’re gonna love the DC Metro Map redesign contest being hosted at Greater Greater Washington.

Metro is working now on new Silver Line service which will eventually reach Dulles Airport in Virginia also, new rush hour services are being introduced. These changes prompted the redesign contest.

You can see all the entries on their Contest Page (voting is closed), and see the first two posts on winners in different categories here and here.

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Rhode Island Bikeways Map

Speaking of bike paths…

This post may not actually work, first time I’ve tried to host a .kmz file to embed a map on the site, so if nothing shows up on this map, well then, nevermind.

A reader forwarded me a .kmz file he created of the Rhode Island bike network (map key over there on the right). You can download the file here. If the Google Maps embed below does not work, you can download the .kmz file and open it with Google Earth to view the map.


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Sometimes, you get a map

Bus Tunnel Map

Way back in February I wrote about the need for a map at the bottom of the bus tunnel to tell you where all those buses zooming through it are going to. I even doodled up a little map as a suggestion for what such a map should look like.

When RIPTA contacted me the other day to let me know they were hanging a map, I was pleased. When I went down to check it out last night, I saw that it was my map they hung. :)

Bus Tunnel Map

Along with the map, they’ve hung a handy schedule.

Now I think I might should get to drawing some more maps.

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