The City's response exceeded all of my expectations.
The most recent bicycle counts from two of America's most progressive cities, New York City and Portland, have been made public. The results are impressive as much as they are instructive.
This morning I was reading through my daily dose of planning related blogs and dropped in on The Overhead Wire, Jeff Wood's excellent transit soapbox. One of Jeff's most recent posts links to an October 25th Reuters article announcing China's $272 billion dollar investment in new rail infrastructure. Yes, you read that correctly. 272 billion. Can't you see president Hu Jintao bringing his pinky to his lips, à la Dr. Evil?
Jane Jacobs once said, “Songs and cities are the best things
about us. Songs and cities are so indispensable.”
For a long time I thought Mother Jacobs was speaking, as only she could, about two separate, but vital human necessities. Yet after another weekend exploring New York City, I am convinced the two—songs and cities—are inextricably linked. That is, truly great cities play their own songs, and after one listen you can’t get them out of your head.
In a much discussed speech, ‘A Generational Challenge to Repower America,’ Al Gore challenged America to hit the off-switch on foreign oil and re-power itself with home-grown carbon-free energy– namely wind, solar and geothermal.
The predicted outcome Gore said would be a bold, energy independent nation ready to lead the world into the 21st century. However, such an effort, he asserted, would require “commitment to changing not just light bulbs, but laws. And Laws will only change with leadership.”
There are three types of bicyclists: Advanced Bicyclists, Intermediate Bicyclists and Beginner Bicyclists. We need to plan and build facilities to accommodate all of them. Those cities that do are experiencing ridership numbers far above the national average.
Cities are sized-up, measured and analyzed in countless ways. The Economist uses statistics to indicate how New York’s financial sector is faring against its London counterpart. Richard Florida measures the extant of the creative class. Allan Jacobs carefully records intersection densities and Jan Gehl simply counts pedestrians. Some, like Peter Calthorpe, go beyond the city line and take stock of the whole region.
If you think of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, surely you do not think of Miami. In fact, if you have ever been to the "Magic City," or perhaps live here, you probably shudder at the idea of using two wheels instead of four. That may be changing.
Anne Street, Dublin City Center: A mixture of uses prevail
in this pedestrian friendly, human-scaled street.