Yes, I know it’s old

Posted: November 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

but this video has:
1.) Whistling – always fun
2.) Animation
3.) Public Transit use
4.) A guy in a Hulk T-Shirt.


Help take a stand

Posted: October 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Do you hate this?

Of course you don’t. You’re not a heartless bastard. (unless you’re one of my heartless bastard readers, in which case today is not your day, sorry.)

Do you hate this ugly red square?

I know you do. Parking lots are ugly and hot and salty and probably smell like last week’s trash. Trust me, I walked through one barefoot last year and it was NOT a good place to be. It was actually the one in the top left there.

So in a world where those two pictures I’ve shown you are locked in mortal combat, which side are you on?
Are you Luke or are you Darth Vader?

Smog or puppies? (or better yet, cute ASU girls watching you walk your puppy?)

This idea is being spearhead by the energizer of urbanists, Sean Sweat.

Read more Here and Here

Better yet, follow Sean, track someone down and sign a petition. Attend the event. High-five the man with the beard himself. And help the planet be a better place in the meantime.

(Sweet) New Ride

Posted: October 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Several times over the last year I’ve talked about getting a bike.

I’ve looked into it

I’ve researched online

I’ve stared enviously at the cool kids gliding by on their fixies and cruisers and even the crews of Tour de France enthusiasts speeding around downtown like Spandex-ed flocks.

Every time the weather gets “nice” (you know, those 3-4 weeks during spring & fall that we aren’t melting or freezing solid) I tell myself that I should become a bike person.

Alas, for a long time I was a big talker only. Despite encouragement from transit aficionados like Light Rail Blogger, I was still a train or carpool kind of guy.

Then Europe kicked me in the butt and made me wonder why I was being so reluctant. When I went to visit Anie in London & Paris at the end of summer, I was amazed how many people I saw commuting by bike, and I mean seriously commuting, not just cruising a bike lane, but getting out there, taking the round-abouts, skirmishing with buses and cars and owning their share of the road.

The frequency of bike rental stands in both cities was surprising and inspiring. If these folks could casually stroll up, rent a bike for 30 minutes and drop it off one-way, why hadn’t I atleast bought my own for recreation? I mean, hell, we all know I could use the exercise and I love my neighborhood, so why not put the two together?

So when I landed back in town, I set to scouring craigslist daily, looking for a bike that fit my build and intentions and seemed like it wouldn’t kick my ass. After a couple days, I found this guy, I call him Theodore:

(Free glimpse of the foyer at Casa Awesomesauce, too. Lucky you)

Thus far I’ve taken the bike:
to work (17 min commute)
to the grocery store (12 min commute)
out to lunch (made it to Verde & back in <10 min) and on a leisurely stroll around my 'hood. That last one is how I found Jobot Coffee the day after the opened, and took some cool street art pics; does it get any better on a lazy day? So now I've got a platform to build on, and it's time to get to work on making improvements. A new paint job, a tune up, switch out the seat and figure out some kind of rack-option to put my pack on when going to the grocery store. Either way, it's good to finally hop on and move forward with a new chapter in my own urbanism.

The City We Deserve?

Posted: August 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Warning: plenty of opinion below.

This morning as I exited my building, walking to the Light Rail stop, I spotted a bright green flyer announcing a public hearing to discuss the razing of an old, abandoned building to make way for the creation of an interim parking lot.

Previous notices about this topic were ignored by me, because the appeal to “save a piece of mid-century history” didn’t hit home. To me this seemed like one of the several run-down, decaying buildings that dot parts of Downtown. In truth, “mid-century history” didn’t seem remarkable to me, and coupled with the intent to build a new ASU Law school in the heart of the city, it seemed VERY replacable.

However, what I do not agree with is the “interim use” for the space, another huge, likely vacant parking lot. Ignoring the arguments about how the land was bought and purposed, the concept of putting yet another parking lot in an area that needs in-fill and vitality is incredibly stupid.

What I take away from it is that someone honestly thinks we want this. Whoever has the responsibility, authority & accountability in this instance, really thinks that we, the citizens/workers/shoppers all want another parking lot.

If it’s on a 5-year plan, I’d much rather see a park, or a community garden, or hell, make the parking lot, but make it underground and make it to spec with the law school that will go over it someday.

It’s not a huge area, but it is a good opportunity, and could be a symbol, a new jumping on point of the many urbanists that our city needs in order to grow in stature and vibrancy.

Yes, I’m biased because I live downtown, but why should I want to live next to a parking lot? If that was appealing to me, I’d move to the suburbs and live between the Wal-Mart and the car dealerships along the freeway.

Instead of greenery, or history, or creativity, we’re trading a dilapidated building for a heat island. And when we all let this happen, maybe that’s what we deserve.

what we deserve

Something we could use in Phoenix

Posted: June 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I stumbled across Transportation Alternatives as they were being discussed on a design blog I read, and as I dug in, I thought “this is a pretty good idea, why don’t we have a strong group for this here?”.

Our Mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.

Transportation Alternatives was founded in 1973 during the explosion of environmental consciousness that also produced the Clean Air and Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. Since our founding, T.A. has helped win numerous improvements for cyclists and pedestrians and has been the leading voice for reducing car use in the city. T.A.’s roots are in bicycling, and many of our members are everyday cyclists. But winning a cycling-friendly city means changing the overall transportation system, which, even in mass transit-centered New York City, is still dominated by the private automobile.

T.A. seeks to change New York City’s transportation priorities to encourage and increase non-polluting, quiet, city-friendly travel and decrease–not ban–private car use. We seek a rational transportation system based on a “Green Transportation Hierarchy,” which gives preference to modes of travel based on their benefits and costs to society. To achieve our goals, T.A. works in five areas: Bicycling, Walking and Traffic Calming, Car-Free Parks, Safe Streets and Sensible Transportation.

Green Transportation Hierarchy

Of course, lately I’ve heard positive things about more and more people riding their bikes, and I’ve certainly seen an increased number of bike riders, and Light Rail commuters, this year.  Perhaps I’m completely ignorant to a local organization that is already responsible for all of this.

But it never hurts to get the word out.

Book Wheel

Posted: April 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

I have been one-up’ed yet again.  Here I was yesterday pricing bicycles, and this guy has found an even cooler way to get around.  Now I have to figure out where to buy one of these things.  Thanks a lot, Guy!

America Loves Transit

Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on America Loves Transit

The graph above comes courtesy of Transportation for America’s recent comprehensive survey.  Of course, I’ve been writing quite a bit this month about our road systems, urban living, and the effects commuting can have on our lives, and according to T4A, it looks like the vast majority of Americans can at least agree on one solution: better mass transit.

Of course, when you say “mass transit” a lot of people in our part of the country think about dirty buses with smelly hobos urinating on the seats and/or trying to karate-chop you.

The reality, though, is that mass transit is whatever we fund it to become.   As American’s, we’ve been fed the “lure of the open road” and “the ultimate driving experience” in 30-second highlight clips for decades.  We could all probably name some features that we consider “must-haves” in an automobile we were looking to purchase (power windows, sun-roof, cruise-control, seat warmer, cocktail mixer, etc), but how long would you have to think to come up with a list of must-have features for mass-transit?

The charts above and below show that a lot of people agree that mass transit is a good idea, especially if we put our tax dollars to fund it.  I don’t know the math behind federal funding for mass transit, but I’m sure it could benefit from some of the programs being used for endless highway build-outs.

More than four-in-five voters (82 percent) say that “the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system, such as rail and buses” and a solid majority (56 percent) “strongly agree” with that statement. This is a widely held view with overwhelming majorities of voters in every region of the country and in every type of community. Fully 79 percent of rural voters agreed with the statement, despite much lower use of public transportation compared to Americans in urban areas.

When asked about reducing traffic congestion, three-in-five voters choose improving public transportation and making it easier to walk and bike over building more roads and expanding existing roads (59% to 38%). […]

These same respondents would prefer to almost double the allocation to public transportation, saying that 37 cents of every federal transportation dollar is what they think should be the norm. Fully 59% of the electorate cite some amount that is greater than what the federal government currently spends (18 cents or greater). (source)

Think about it, we’ve debated health-care and lack of insurance and how hard it is for working class Americans to get the things they need in life over-and-over-again for the last year.  Here’s a solution that can attack a basic factor in the problem:  Make it easier for someone to get to work/school, and they can use it to get to a better place in life. Instead of addressing the symptoms, let’s attack the disease.

(This is Day 16 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)

I'd like to take HER 6 train

Posted: March 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on I'd like to take HER 6 train

Kidding, a little.

But she does look like a handy gal to have around on a vacation to the big apple.

NYC Subway Map