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Category Archives: Transportation
Found myself in New York City the other day with a couple hours to spare, so thought I’d explore some of Manhattan’s recent urban planning projects. Two hours turned out to be just enough time to check out the (sort of) newly pedestrianized Times Square, trace the 9th Ave bike lane from 33rd to 20th, walk the length of phase 1 of the High Line, and head back to Port Authority alongside the 8th avenue bike lane.
…in semi-suburban Pacific Palisades. The bicycle revolution is slowly making its way to Los Angeles…
To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of New Urbanism or Seaside until I moved to Florida in 2008. The sunshine state is gaga for New Urbanism, and while any planning discussion walks a tightrope of divisiveness DPZ’s landmark resort was nearly universally praised by those I spoke with. Sure, its utopian urban design made it an easy visual joke as the shooting location of The Truman Show. And, no, it was never intended to be anything more than a wealthy resort town. But I kept hearing how wonderful the experience of actually being there was, and after two years of this finally got to spend a few hours last week exploring it myself.
Los Angeles is strapped for cash. Officials are resorting to the equivalent of digging under sofa cushions for change: ticketing unlicensed dog owners, cracking down with parking tickets, and raising Metro fares. But they’re going about it the wrong way — there’s gold right in LA’s streets, just waiting to be exploited. All that’s needed is a proper vision.
While the bicycle shed is an important conceptual planning tool, it is meaningless without the physical development of bicycle infrastructure. Therefore, each bicycle shed should not be conceived in isolation, but as part of a regional bikeway network. This network should be designed to connect people to important destinations—schools, neighborhood centers, regional centers, open space, and of course, local and regional transit systems.
In general, the bicycle network should be comprised of many bikeways types. These include, but are not limited to shared-use paths, shared lanes (sharrows), bicycle boulevards, bicycle lanes, and physically separated bicycle lanes—sometimes called cycle tracks.
Before assigning bikeway types, the unique characteristics of each thoroughfare and its urban context must be considered holistically. This includes analyzing street width, street type, existing land use and urban form, density, traffic control devices, posted speed limits and actual travel speeds, and traffic volume.
But while the existing conditions of each thoroughfare are important, the urban context is rarely static. Therefore, considering the desired character and urban context is critical to the selection process, as context-specific bikeways can help strengthen a more immersive, accessible, and equitable urban environment. Continue reading