Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on June 15th, 2010 at 8:42 am

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:

– The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has continued to worsen, and apparently to nearly overshadow news of another major oil spill in Alaska, when a pipeline largely owned by BP burst.

– As NYC closes streets to cars, people walking and bicycling suddenly have greater challenges in sharing the road…with each other. Pedestrian grumblings are starting to rise to the surface.

– A small town in Colorado has banned bicycles from several of its main streets.

– In Glendale, California, a school has implemented a “Park and Walk” system, asking parents to park several blocks away from the school and walk to pick up their kids.

– Folding bikes got some nice mainstream press for “making green travel greener.”

– When transit systems get cut back, private operators often jump in to the gap—as is happening with Dollar Vans in New York.

– There are all sorts of different flavors of Bus Rapid Transit. Systems like Bogota’s devote an entire lane to buses only. The proposed system in Barcelona will instead give buses priority similar to emergency vehicles.

– Portland and Vancouver, BC are pioneering a new kind of urban density centered around legalizing and encouraging the use of small houses in the back yards of existing lots.

– So what’s really the difference between boys’ and girls’ bikes, hmm?

– Utility bikes keep getting cooler, and the Taco Bike—a full kitchen on three wheels—might be the coolest one yet.

– An upscale take on the mobile bicycle home.

– And the feel good story of the week…this stolen bike made national headlines, and was found and returned last week.

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6 Comments
  • mbsf June 15, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Park & Bike: We tried that system at our school during “Walk and Bike” month – it not only eradicated drop off congestion in front of our school, but also made life for our school cyclists easier and safer. It also furthered community ties: We used the parking lot of a nearby church that is usually empty during the week and got talking about other collaborations…

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  • Dave June 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Maybe it makes me a hypocrite, but I love urban growth boundaries and high density development, but I hate infill development. I’ve watched so many houses on double lots in my neighborhood get ruined by cramming some little shotgun in where the garden/yard used to be, and it’s depressing.

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  • noah June 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Dave,

    I agree! Inner Portland’s density is already just right. It’s the new, annexed area east of Gateway TC that needs infill.

    But if inner Portland is going to get infill, does it always have to be so ugly and cheap-looking?

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  • D.R. Miller June 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What they are talking about here (the Sightline article about tiny homes in Portland and Vancouver) is not “infill development” in the sense that you (and I, and any sensible person) are against, i.e. ugly lot-line maximizing boxes. What we’re talking about here is tiny homes, 200 sq. feet or less. Portland has a lot of them hidden away, and they are an integral part of creating humane and ecologically viable living scenarios. Check out the Tiny Homes of SE ride next Sunday 6/20 at 10:00 AM to get a picture of what is possible in this realm. The NE version of the ride this last Sunday had nearly 100 people, which tells me that people are craving information and inspiration from these kinds of radically right-sized dwellings. (Disclaimer: I live in a 200 sq. foot backyard tiny house.)

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  • Bryan McLellan June 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Seattle began allowing backyard cottages city-wide in December of 2009.

    http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/BackyardCottages/Overview/default.asp

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  • Pete June 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Dave – some people call it urban density, cities call it “revenue”.

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