What We’re Reading: Park It, Walk It, Bike It, Transit

Downtown Seattle by Alex Green on Flickr.

Park it: The happiest commutes are active commutes, and the car loses the longer the commute while other modes barely budge over time. But surprise! Those who take transit (and walk or bike) are much healthier than their driving counterparts, cuz duh. The US is still a pretty deadly country for vehicular-related deaths, and progress to reduction has been abysmalSightline explores paid parking schemes at local transit centers and park and rides.

Walk it: Hopscotch in the CD is back again this year, today in fact until 6pm! Go hop the full two miles. NYC is rolling out some awesome wayfinding maps undergound to help folks when they go aboveground.

Bike it: The 2nd Avenue bike lanes are on their way, and significant progress has been made this week along Pike Street and 2nd Avenue. The bike lanes should be completed by September 8th. Copenhagenize gathers a bunch of bicycle signs and talks symbolism. An interesting way to put protected bike lanes in a roundabout. Implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan is behind schedule.

TransitGreater Greater Washington discusses train stations with side platforms in detail. Many European passenger railway companies should learn from budget airlines. People who live near transit are much happier than folks without it. For you nerds, there are water bottles out with your favorite transit network systems, including Seattle! La Paz’s “subway” is actually a gondola system. Building transit systems shouldn’t take longer than they did in 1925. A Virginia Railway Express transit-oriented development infill station is basically just new sprawl.

Design it: Seattle-based firm Callison Architecture has been bought by a Dutch firm, but don’t worry, they’ll stick around! Istanbul is so committed to the Haiga Sophia, it plans to demolition a series of new skyscrapers that are impeding those panoramic views. Not a bad Pioneer Square loft if you happen to have $650k laying around….Quaint little Oxford house with bicycle parking in mind. Modern offices go stacked like boxes in Roeselare, Belgium. 13 whimsical hotel designs to leave you scratching your head.

Change it: A four-day work week would be much better for us all, and we could still get just as much done. Most Seattle cops don’t live in Seattle (mine Seattle’s police data report). And Ferguson is a clear case of white power in a black townPerformance-based zoning is a superior avenue to controlling development over arcane zoning regulations. Piggy backing on this, Old Urbanist highlights how zoning went so wrong. As predicted, the developers lost their case on incentive zoning fees. Global instability may be making urban life tougher.

Make it: Mayor Murray details the implementation plan of the Metropolitan Park District in a press conference this week. PARK(ing) Day applications are due in just under a week. An update on the implementation of the parklet program. Maintaining all the landscaped right-of-ways in Seattle is a challenge, mostly because it’s a math problem, but they still get it done. The annual Bridging the Gap report is out, and it’s not too long of a read.

Map it: We’re in the 21st Century and that means we have much better technological resources, and mapping is beginning to standardize in new and better ways. An awesome map showing migration patterns for every state overlaid on the states. A better map for the DC Metro system.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.