Anyone want to start a blog? It can be daunting. What do you want to write about? Who is your audience? Will people read? Those are questions that go through many people's heads before they take the plunge. Yonah Freemark who writes the wonderful Transport Politic discusses what he's learned so far in the blogging process. He has some advice for folks looking to start thier own blogs and its definitely worth a listen.
Recently San Francisco got a slight scare. Its most famous tech company was expanding fast and needed space for new workers. However, the amount of office space needed was either split over multiple buildings or outside of the city. We often talk about the need to keep companies in cities and make sure they have incentives to stay, however this might be one of the major challenges of keeping buisinesses in the places where people can take transit or bike/walk to work. Jeff Tumlin of Nelson Nygaard discusses building floor plates and what that means for companies that want to stay in cities.
People are tired of hearing about Portland. But I asked Charlie Hales what he liked best about the region and he mentioned all of the unsung heros that work behind the scenes to make it an amazing place. Of course Portland has its problems and its blemishes just like anyone else, but you have to give their civic infrastructure credit, they do a great job up there.
Tom Low of DPZ in Charlotte discusses the initial places where New Urbanists thought more sustainable infrastructure could be used. He also talks a bit about how to deal with engineers that will try to gold plate the infrastructure as well as the acceptance of more environmental principles.
Jeff Tumlin gives his thoughts on private corporate transportation, such as tech buses in Silicon Valley and Seattle. In his opinion, it's an interesting solution to the problem of job sprawl that we see happening all over the country. But the areas have to be dense and in some instances, you'll see real estate agents noting the proximity of a property to the tech bus stop locations. You'll want to check this video out.
Anyone else ready for the Transportation Bill to be finished? I know I am. But folks like Charlie Hales, currently with HDR Engineering but soon to be running for Mayor of Portland, seem to be happy with what we've gotten out of this administration so far. Over $400 million for streetcars via TIGER and Urban Circulator grants? Sure, we'll take it, even if it is a system somewhat held together with chewing gum and bailing wire as Charlie states in this interview from CNU 19 in Madison.
John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America, hails from Meridian Mississippi. As the former Mayor, he saw how even a small city of 40,000 can be the center of a much larger region, providing services for over 350,000 people. It might give us a little bit of a different perspective when it comes to smaller cities and urban areas.
Following up on his discussion of Santa Monica deciding to take their congestion issue head on, Jeff Tumlin talks about why Santa Monica has the best collection of walkable commercial districts on the West Coast, rivaling San Francisco and Oakland, and how parts of Santa Monica can increase access to them. Additionally, you'll get a little dirt on the mobility of Hollywood producers in the 30s and 40s.
Not everywhere is going to have fixed guideway transit, and in the past we've discussed why it's important to think about frequency as an important part of planning for TOD. In this discussion from CNU 19 in Madison, Lee Einsweiler of Code Studio in Austin talks about how the urban form needs to be right before the transit goes in.
The streets have been so dangerous for so long that until recently only a certain type of cyclist was brave enough to ride them. In order to get more people to use bikes as a main transportation mode, we need to design streets and cycleways with the other riders in mind. In this interview from CNU 19 in Madison, Mike Lydon of the Street Plans Collaborative discusses the who makes up the different types of riders that ride the streets.