Blogs

The collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis puts the spotlight on the unsexy topic of infrastructure maintenance. But a smart growth policy, "Fix it First," has been focused in the area for some time. The policy, in place in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and for the last four years in Massachusetts, states that no new highways or bridges can be built until all existing infrastructure is in a state of good repair. Opinion
Aug 3, 2007   By Anthony Flint
Every summer I make a pilgrimage to Scott and Zelda's graves, in Rockville, Maryland. Sure, I could pay homage by going to Cap d'Antibes, where they whooped it up every summer, but the Euro is so high. And Rockville is so ... scenic.F. Scott Fitzgerald and his rather nutty wife are buried under a huge live oak next to St. Mary's Church, where their daughter moved them in the 70s. She probably wouldn't have done it if she had known what would happen to Rockville: the Rockville Pike, an endless strip mall that crescendos with Bloomingdale's and eventually fizzles out with Marlo Furniture.  Opinion
Jul 31, 2007   By Margaret Foster
In my last blog post, I talked about some of the challenges and growth pressures coastal communities are facing.  Within 10 years, the coastal population is expected to grow by 12 million people—or by 3,600 people per day.  This growth poses unique opportunities—and challenges—to coastal communities. The issue facing these communities becomes one of balance: how to maximize the opportunities waterfront development can provide to a community and, at the same time, meet the often significant challenges.   Opinion
Jul 26, 2007   By
Should Segways be allowed on sidewalks? Should all bicycles travel only in designated bike lanes? Should motorized scooters be treated as if they are wheelchairs? Where should rollerblades, skateboards, adult tricycles, bikes with trailers or kick scooters travel? The world of personal mobility is expanding. And so is the pressure in favor of alternatives to the grandaddy of personal mobility -- the automobile. In spite of its importance as image-maker and status-definer, a car is just a method for getting a person from Point A to Point B. Moving people -- that’s its basic purpose. Opinion
Jul 24, 2007   By Barbara Knecht
At the opening dinner of an international workshop on building a better national transportation policy, I found myself seated between Charlotte, North Carolina mayor Pat McCrory and Shirley DeLibero, a consultant who headed transit authorities in New Jersey and Houston, and was a deputy in both Dallas and Washington D.C. McCrory's a Republican, Charlotte's first six-term mayor, first elected mayor in 1995. Opinion
Jul 23, 2007   By
Most people use the Summer months to re-connect with pastimes forgotten during winter months. It is this time of the year that sales soar both at the box office and in bookstores. Most normal people I know take trashy novels with them to the beach or submerge themselves in an entire season of 24 (which thanks to Netflix can be accomplished in a few intense evenings). I tend to lean toward the other extreme (although I have indulged in bad TV from time to time). My wife calls me a design geek because my bedside table is always full of design magazines, books and theory. Opinion
Jul 23, 2007   By Scott Page
I couldn’t wait to use the new word, ginormous, which Merriam-Webster recently added to the Collegiate Dictionary.  My spell checker has been trained and now I can get about the business of saving ginormous amounts of energy.  Recent bouts of ecoterrorism in the form of Hummer vandalism in Washington D.C. and the growing media attention to the environmental hypocrisy of the travel and housing habits of card-carrying carbon footprint club members (take a gander at the 10,000 sq. ft. home of Al Gore or the 28,200 sq. Opinion
Jul 21, 2007   By Steven Polzin
I am currently on charrette in Bryant, Arkansas. As a brief primer, Bryant is located approximatley 15 miles to the southwest of Little Rock and is currently the fastest growing city in the state. This is mostly due to a its proximity to major employment centers and its thriving LEED certified school system. Though I could regurgitate a slew of citizen comments regarding the city's lack of communal space and the recent impoverishiment of its public realm, the picture and brief explantation below says it all. Photo Courtesy of Matt Lambert Opinion
Jul 19, 2007   By Mike Lydon
WROCLAW, Poland--I have been swanning about Eastern Europe for the better part of two months, wandering the streets of cities large and small, famous and obscure. As should be apparent to anyone short of Toby Keith or James Inhofe, even the most undistinguished European city could teach any American city a thing or two about charm, walkability, and gracious living. Opinion
Jul 17, 2007   By Josh Stephens
In the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Illinois, an iconic piece of public art featuring a 40-foot spear stabbing through a pileup of eight cars will soon be replaced with a Walgreens pharmacy. Opinion
Jul 12, 2007   By Nate Berg