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Posts tagged "Best Practices"

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Melbourne: A Pedestrian Paradise

Finally cajoled into taking the long trip to Melbourne, I was told to expect a city where walking abounded, where the streets were flowing with energy, where the quality of public space would blow my mind. Little did I know my already high expectations would be pleasantly exceeded.

Melbourne is simply wonderful. You can get lost in the nooks and crannies that permeate the city. As you walk you feel like free-flowing air with no impediments to your enjoyment. For a city with nearly 4 million people, the streets feel much like the hustle and bustle of New York City but without omnipresent danger and stress cars cause.

Read more...

StreetFilms
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Transforming NY City Streets

Neighborhood activists, professional planners, and experienced advocates gathered this week at the New-York Historical Society to share their secrets on how New Yorkers can transform the public realm. The event was hosted by NYC Streets Renaissance and was moderated by Streetsblog editor Aaron Naparstek. Here are some of their thoughts.

Panelists included:

Christine Berthet (Clinton Hells Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety)
Joshua David (Friends of the High Line)
Penny Lee (Department of City Planning)
Milton Puryear (Brooklyn Greenway Initiative)
Paul Steely White (Transportation Alternatives)
Robert Witherwax (Grand Army Plaza Coalition)
Chauncy Young (Highbridge Community Life Center)

StreetFilms
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Bus Rapid Transit: Bogotá

Want to learn more about Bus Rapid Transit? Watch this video and let Streetsblog editor Aaron Naparstek show you how BRT works in Bogotá, Colombia. Take a gander and you'll see an efficient, modern and -- relatively speaking -- inexpensive way of moving 1.3 million people per day.

In Bogotá, where the BRT system goes by the much more sexy name, TransMilenio, you'll travel almost three times the speed of the typical New York City bus. The average TransMilenio vehicle travels at 17.4 mph. In New York City, buses poke along at 6.2 mph. Some TransMilenio routes average nearly 25 mph!

For quite a few years now, New York City's Department of Transportation and the MTA have been studying and studying and, sigh... studying the possibility of implementing BRT routes on selected corridors. And if Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan passes, a significant portion of the promised $354 million in federal funds will go towards launching new BRT lines.

Hopefully, New York City's BRT system will offer many of the excellent features that we saw in Bogotá; features like physically-separated bus lanes, pre-boarding fare payment, wide doors that open at boarding level and a control room nerve center that monitors and manages the entire system. These features give Bogotá a bus system that really works. Take a look.

StreetFilms
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Chicane – Animated Traffic Calming

Do you know what a chicane is?

This 24 second stop-animation Streetfilm can show you almost as fast as I can describe it. A chicane is a sequence of tight curves in a roadway used to slow cars. Sidewalk extensions jog from one side of a street to the other to create a circuitous route. Literally, the word chicane comes from the German word schikane, meaning harassment.

The Project for Public Spaces has more on chicanes and various traffic calming techniques.

In the near future, please look for other educational claymations here on Streetfilms. Also: let us know in the comments field below what other traffic calming techniques you would like to see animated.

StreetFilms
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Ninth Avenue Gets a Physically Separated Bike Lane

With Ninth Avenue getting a physically-separated cycle track, The NYC Department of Transportation has set the bar high for the nation. Though the innovation is still being rolled out - eventually there'll be green pedestrian refuges, exclusive light signals for cyclists, signage, stencils and more - that didn't stop StreetFilms and the cycling denizens of Gotham from using it today. Looks good!

Even not complete, drivers seemed to generally get the idea. Lots of smiling riders; food delivery specialists seemed to really get a real kick out of it.

I am sure the debate will begin. Good, let it. Also, a special thanks to Au Revior Simone for lending us a tune to celebrate this happy occasion.

Oh, and in case you were wondering how we got here, here's proof video activism works!

StreetFilms
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Trading Car Parking for Bike Racks

In a historic first for New York City, the Department of Transportation has replaced three car parking spaces in Williamsburg with bike racks to accommodate about 30 bicycles.

The on-street bike parking, which is right next to the Bedford Avenue stop on the L train, will greatly benefit the burgeoning bicycling mecca of Billyburg. As any visitor or person in the community knows, it is very hard to find a legal spot to lock up your bike there. Hopefully, we will see other places in NYC getting this same treatment.

For more on the history of the project, please see the entry on our sister site Streetsblog.

StreetFilms
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Take a Virtual Tour of NYC’s First Chartreuse Bike Lane

The Henry Street bike lane in Brooklyn Heights has gone lime!

This is a new high visibility bike lane from NYC DOT. We like. Lots. It gets us psyched. If you can't have a physically separated lane, then we think curbside with paint like this comes a very close second. Come and take a short virtual journey with StreetFilms.

StreetFilms
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Intersection Repair

Ever dreamed of making the streets outside your abode more livable, pedestrian-friendly, and community-oriented?City Repair in Portland, Oregon hosts an annual Village Building Convergence where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communites and to take back their streets via a process known as the Intersection Repair.This involves painting streets with a high-visiblity mural that creates a public square for residents to gather and one which gently encourages drivers to slow down when approaching these spaces. Over time the neighbors further enhance the transformation by adding amenities like benches, community bulletin boards, and introducing gardens & art. As you'll see, the possibilites are endless.StreetFilms visited three of the Intersection Repairs and spoke with Mark Lakeman co-founder of City Repair, Greg Raisman, the Portland DOT Liason, and scores of residents & volunteers about why they were doing it.

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Physically Separated Bike Lanes

Advocates from Transportation Alternatives, The Project for Public Spaces, and The Open Planning Project join "Gridlock Sam" Schwartz and Enrique Penalosa to call for New York City to consider experimenting with some form of physically separated bike lanes in the near future.

Physically Separated Bike Lanes - Paul White

Featuring ample footage and photos from over a dozen cities worldwide, this video makes the case that America is woefully behind the curve in protecting its cyclists in big cities.

Physically Separated Bike Lanes - Diagram

Though this video is NYC-centric in nature, all lessons and video easily apply to cities across the U.S.

StreetFilms
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Berkeley Bike Boulevards

In Berkeley, Calif. a citywide network of bicycle priority streets called Bicycle Boulevards allow cyclists to navigate safely. They are marked by smart traffic management, bountiful traffic calming, and the aura of livability and putting people first, cars second. Among their most unique trademarks are the purple signage and street stencils larger than a car!

In this trip to Berkeley, StreetFilms' Clarence Eckerson Jr. talks to advocates and users of the boulevards about their history and benefits.

 

Bike Blvd Sign

StreetFilms
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Interview with Enrique Peñalosa

As mayor of Bogota, Colombia, Enrique Peñalosa accomplished remarkable changes of monumental proportions for the people of his country in just three years.

Penalosa BRT

Peñalosa changed the way Bogota treated its non-driving citizens by restricting automobile use and instituting a bus rapid transit system which now carries a 1/2 million residents daily. Among other improvements: he widened and rebuilt sidewalks, created grand public spaces, and implemented over one hundred miles of bicycle paths.

Penalosa Bike Lanes

TOPP Executive Director Mark Gorton discusses with Penalosa some of these transportation achievements and asks what the future could hold for NYC if similar improvements were made here.

StreetFilms
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Portland, Ore. – Festival Streets

The Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) recently completed work on two Festival Streets, a new experiment that uses traffic calming and unique streetscape features to create a street that can easily be converted to public use on weekends or for special events. Here, Ellen Vanderslice (PDOT Project Management) and Lloyd D. Lindley (Urban Designer/Landscape Architect) explain a few of the street's pedestrian features and why it is so important for the surrounding Old Town/Chinatown community.

StreetFilms
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Portland, Ore. – Bicycle Boulevards

Bicycle Boulevards in Portland are a thing of beauty, safety, and tranquility. They are also wonderful streets to live on. Mia Birk, former manager of City of Portland's Bicycle Program (1993-99), and Mark Lear of the Portland Office of Transportation explain a few of the many strategies employed to keep thru traffic off the boulevards and to make the riders using them safe.

StreetFilms
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Portland, Ore. – Crosswalk Enforcement Actions

Sharon White of the Portland Office of Transportation briefly explains how the city, the community, and police department work together on monthly Crosswalk Enforcement Actions. Those who fail to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian receive a citation for $242! That fine applies not only to drivers, but cyclists and other pedestrians who violate traffic codes.

Even Portland Mayor Tom Potter gets in on the action, volunteering to be a "decoy" during one such event.

StreetFilms
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Portland, Ore. – Safe Routes to School

The students and faculty of Sunnyside Environmental have an entire curriculum dedicated to bike safety that emphasizes using non-motorized when traveling to school. As early as second grade, the children ride their bicycles to school thanks to neighborhood traffic calming. Students also arrive by foot, skateboard, and scooter. In the morning, it's a fabulous melange of energy watching scores of parents drop off their children by bike!