The primary mode of travel.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet "doesn't do" roundabouts. That's too bad because they are the silver-bullet miracle cure of medium sized intersection design. They have the following advantages over stoplights:
Registration is required, but the talk is free and there's good food.
According to whas11.com, a man has been arrested for sending his 6-year-old daughter to school on foot. Normally she takes the bus, but when she missed it he sent her down a 2-lane road with no sidewalk. Hat tip and more information at Broken Sidewalk.
The girl is unharmed, she was identified by an alert school bus driver.
While the satellite view makes this route look way, way, way beyond the capabilities of a 6-year-old to walk, we feel rather the police got the wrong man. The real culprit is sprawl. Our human habitat is no longer designed for humans. It is designed for cars. According to the design, if you don't have the car, you're not a citizen. If you try to get somewhere as a human without a car, you are so wierd that the police are called in, and your father is arrested.
Not arrested are the following co-conspirators:
Hit 'Read More' for the map of the fateful trip...
Writer Bill Bunn gives a number of interesting reasons why people should walk in this thought-provoking article recently posted on Salon.com. A small sample:
Bunn has a great reverence for the oldest form of transport, as shown in this quote:
A walker is not likely to "run over" a gopher when she walks. If she waded into a stream, she's unlikely to step on a fish. All creatures, in this sense, understand walking. Walking is a primal transport, expected by the world's animals and the land itself, evidence of an ancient arrangement between humans and their world.
He doesn't use any of the standard, overused (and kinda boring) arguments why people should walk, such as lowering one's body-mass index, avoiding the production of greenhouse gases, etc. etc. It's quite refreshing.
Flint is planning to condense itself. According to a New York Times article, in 1965 the population was 200,000 and now it's 110,000--with about a third of those people living in poverty. The result is a scattered city of 75 neighborhoods spread out over 34 square miles. Other than a mention of sidewalk maintenance the article does not mention transportation.
The Park DuValle neighborhood (southwest of downtown Louisville) was named after Lucie DuValle, the first female principal of a high school in Louisville. I tutor students at the Park DuValle clubhouse, but the other day I learned something new there.
Like several other neighborhoods in Louisville, Park DuValle is the result of hundreds of public housing units being rebuilt as a mixed-income community. A large sign in the clubhouse lobby says, "Like many of Louisville's great neighborhoods, the Villages of Park DuValle are designed to be walkable and easy to get around in. A well-planned system of sidewalks and interconnected streets encourages walking and reduces the dependence on cars. It's cleaner, quieter and friendlier." The sign is what got my attention.
Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, but Park DuValle is the only Louisville neighborhood I know of that was formally designed to reduce dependence on cars. Do you know of any others?
Villages of Park DuValle website: http://morethanhouses.com/villagesofparkduvalle/index.php
Strolling is almost a lost art in New York; at least, in the manner in which it is so generally practised in Harlem. Strolling in Harlem does not mean merely walking along Lenox or upper Seventh Avenue or One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Street; it means that those streets are places for socializing. One puts on one’s best clothes and fares forth to pass the time pleasantly with the friends and acquaintances and, most important of all, the strangers he is sure of meeting. One saunters along, he hails this one, exchanges a word or two with that one, stops for a short chat with the other one. He comes up to a laughing, chattering group, in which he may have only one friend or acquaintance, but that gives him the privilege of joining in. He does join in and takes part in the joking, the small talk and gossip, and makes new acquaintances. He passes on and arrives in front of one of the theatres, studies the bill for a while, undecided about going in.
This is a innovative reimagining of the dense urban midblock crosswalk:
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels are exploring a cooperative, bi-state request for federal Stimulus Funds for the completion of the Big Four Bridge.
The Big Four Bridge is the abandoned six-span railroad truss bridge that crosses the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, KY and Jeffersonville, IN. It gets its name from the defunct Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, which was nicknamed the "Big Four Railroad".
Since the 1990’s, the plan has been to convert the bridge for access by pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles only, including wheelchairs, tricycles, bicycles, strollers, unicycles - no cars or trucks. Fixing the Big Four Bridge involves ramps on both sides and is expected to cost several million. The ramp foundation on the Kentucky side is already done.
Show your support for finishing this project by contacting any or all of the following. Say that you want the governors to use stimulus money to complete the plan for the Big Four Bridge.
KY Governor Beshear’s office 502-564-2611
From a City Press Release:
A second round of federal stimulus projects will create 1,300 jobs by building new walking paths, sidewalks and bike lanes across Louisville, Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today.
The $14.7 million in projects including extending the walking and biking path through Seneca Park; bike lanes along a portion of Taylorsville Road and $7.4 million worth of new sidewalks in various neighborhoods.
“These projects put people back to work – and they help us create a healthier hometown by encouraging walking and biking,” Abramson said.
Amen to that.