Tag Archives: David Byrne

Build it and They Will Ride: The Importance of Bicycle Networks

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

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Food for Thought: David Byrne (Again)

I sense the world might be more dreamlike, metaphorical, and poetic than we currently believe—but just as irrational as sympathetic magic when looked at in a typically scientific way. I wouldn’t be surprised if poetry—poetry in the broadest sense, in the sense of a world filled with metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs—is how the world works. The world isn’t logical, it’s a song.
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Food for Thought: David Byrne

Throughout the world the International Style, as the Museum of Modern Art calls it, has been used as an excuse for every bunkerlike structure, atrocious housing project, lifeless office building, and ubiquitous, crumbling third-world concrete housing block and office. Crap the world over has the imprimatur of quality because it apes, albeit badly, a prestigious style…
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Universal Beauty and the Responsibility of Cities

In chapter eight of Anthony M. Tung’s erudite and impressive Preserving the World’s Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis, there is a passage that stopped me in my proverbial tracks and hasn’t left my thoughts since. Tung is writing about Amsterdam at the dawn of the 20th century:

As parts of the inner city became slums and were threatened with clearance, and as picturesque canals were filled in to create new roads and better circulation, elements of the historic environment began to be eliminated. Growing numbers of citizens became alarmed and called for preservation of the historic center. In addition, a new ring of speculative housing began to surround the old metropolis. Numerous Amsterdammers began to ask that the expansion of the city meet a reasonable standard of beauty. Continue reading

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from FASLANYC: You Only Go to Midtown if You’re a Masochist

The NYALSA President’s Dinner was held in NYC this past week and one of the guests of honor was DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. In the last three years Sadik-Khan has reached cult status here in the city; she is a potent combination of geeky transportation guru, guerilla designer, and hipster chic. She gives talks with Mitchell Joachim and David Byrne, Transportation Alternatives chief Paul Steely “Don’t call me Steely” White is a big fan, and she initiated the popular Summer Streets program, all while holding court in Albany and ruthlessly expanding bike lines and pedestrian amenities throughout the city. She’s got a cadre of young upstarts in her department that think bikers and pedestrians have priority over the maniacal cab drivers and trash trucks, and sometimes she even takes their side.

But, I’m not here to list her accomplishments. I am here to critique the tangible results. Continue reading

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