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Posts tagged "Livable Streets"

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People Friendly Design in London

Streetfilms voyaged across the pond to visit some of London’s innovative transportation and public realm projects. We interviewed Paul Harper, a head urban designer at Design for London, who was in charge of the 100 Public Spaces Programme.

The 100 Public Spaces Programme improved the public realm of London through streetscaping, transportation and public space planning. In this interview, we take a special look at—and a visionary zoom around—Aldgate, a neighborhood in East London undergoing considerable change, including an inclusive transformation from car-dominated streets to a large public park.

Design for London is now part of the London Development Agency's Design, Development and Environment Directorate. The 100 Public Spaces Programme has transformed into new public space initiatives under the current mayor, Boris Johnson, with a focus on the legacy of the Olympics site in East London. The Aldgate neighborhood's public realm continues to become more people friendly with transportation planning and parks.

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Enrique Peñalosa Brings Inspiration to Boston

Streetfilms' Robin Urban Smith hopped a bus to Boston to hear world renowned urban strategist and champion of the livable streets movement, Enrique Peñalosa speak at the Boston Public Library. According to our friends at the LivableStreets Alliance, who organized his four day visit, more than 1,000 Bostonians attended the various events planned in his name.

Aptly nicknamed the "The Hub," or "The Walking City," Boston boasts the oldest subway system in North America and has the highest light rail ridership of any U.S. city.

Check out these other great Streetfilms for more on Enrique Peñalosa: Interview with Peñalosa, Bus Rapid Transit: Bogota, Physically Separated Bike Lanes, Enrique Penalosa talks with COMMUTErs, Ciclovia.

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The Transformation of NYC’s Madison Square

We figured we'd hit at least one spectacularly warm day during the doldrums of winter, and yesterday was it. So Streetfilms ventured out to Madison Square to remind the denizens of Gotham just how sassy some of these new public spaces are - and how much support they have.

We already touched on Madison Square in our in-depth interview with Janette Sadik-Khan last fall, but we always felt that it deserved a much closer examination based upon all the footage we couldn't use in that Streetfilm. In fact, I feel like even at this length, this short doesn't really do it justice. It also hit me while editing that I've started to forget what an ugly nightmare that nexus of Broadway & 23rd used to look like. Chances are you have to, so here is a reminder of the great work NYC DOT has done there. Take a gander, then go out in your community or city and spread the word that well designed public spaces work.

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NYS DOT Commissioner, Astrid Glynn

Today I had the opportunity to sit down with New York State DOT Commissioner, Astrid Glynn. We set out discussing the greenway projects in the Bronx and the future of the Sheridan Expressway. (Note: Streetfilms will be bringing you a comprehensive video on these topics in the upcoming weeks.) Here you will find excerpts from our discussion on a host of other issues including, smart growth, the budget, testifying on the stimulus package, State DOT project timelines, and the SafeSeniors program on Long Island.

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Anti-Idling Laws Pass in NYC

On Wednesday, the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection approved two measures to curb idling. One bill cuts Idling times near schools to one minute and the other expands the enforcement agencies to include both the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Sanitation. Before the bills were passed on Wednesday, Council Member John Liu held a rally at City Hall. Hear some of the support for the bill in this brief roundup.

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Daylighting: Make Your Crosswalks Safer

Daylighting is a simple pedestrian safety measure achieved by removing parking spaces adjacent to curbs around an intersection, increasing visibility for pedestrians and drivers and minimizing conflicts. It's beneficial to young and old, but is especially helpful to children, who often cannot see, or be seen by, oncoming traffic. By removing parking adjacent to the crosswalk, the child does not have to wade into the street to see vehicles entering the intersection. At the same time, drivers don't have to roll into the crosswalk to see if pedestrians are waiting to cross.

Compare the photos below, showing the sight line difference with and without a parked car.

Neighborhoods around NYC and beyond are nearly shouting for daylighting to be implemented for safer streets. Streetfilms went to Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan to check out what some neighborhood leaders have to say. And though we love the concept, we think the term, Daylighting, is a little stale. So how about some suggestions? As you'll see, we came up with one, "Pedestrian Peek-a-boo," but we're sure there are others out there.

Learn about daylighting on Streetswiki.

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Streetsblog Comes to San Francisco

While on the West Coast in October for the Railvolution Conference, the announcement went out that San Francisco would become the third chapter in the Streetsblog sisterhood. Hip Hip Hooray!

On Halloween morning, yours truly was invited out to do the person-on-the-street gig at the final Gas-Free Friday event being held by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. We interviewed cyclists and passersby as to what they thought Streetsblog presence would do for the Bay Area and the types of stories they'd like to see. Here is the pulse of their comments.

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Boulder Goes Bike Platinum

Add Boulder, Colorado to the League of American Bicyclists' cities to achieve Platinum Bike Status. This Fall, they were bestowed the nation's highest rank for U.S. cities and joined Portland, Oregon and Davis, California as the only three cities to have that honor.

I spent five days on a bike in Boulder in October and can testify it is close to bicycling nirvana. The resulting Streetfilm is only a taste of what is going on in the bike culture universe. You'll get to sample what its like to ride some of their amazing bike amenities including its wonderful greenway system with its emphasis on continuity and an uninterrupted commute.

Having produced Streetfilms on all three Platinum bike cities, one thing that is beginning to emerge as a sure tell tale sign you got a healthy biking city: the numbers of youngsters riding bicycles. Boulder has numerous programs to encourage kids to walk and bike and we were lucky enough to include two of them here. Don't miss our Boulder Streetfilms series as well as our long-form pieces on Davis and Portland.

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A New Vision for the Upper West Side

Supporters of a greener, safer and more livable Upper West Side were joined by elected officials, renowned urban planner Jan Gehl and P.S. 87 students in the Livable Streets Education program, to celebrate the launch of the "Blueprint for the Upper West Side: A Roadmap for Truly Livable Streets," at P.S. 87 on Thursday. Check out The Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign on Livable Streets to learn more about the plan and how you can take action to make changes in your neighborhood.

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Sunday Parkways Chicago

Streetfilms contributor Nicholas Whitaker went to Chicago to see how thousands of Chicago residents learned what happens when streets turn into parks for Sunday Parkways on Oct 5th and 26th.

By closing down over three miles of parkways to cars for four hours, the event allowed people of all ages and walks of life to step into the streets and experience the richness of these neighborhoods in a more livable way.

Spanning from Garfield Park, through North Lawndale and Little Village, participants danced, rode bikes, played games, exercised, walked, talked and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  After years of hard work, the organizers of this even were able to bring together community groups and citizens to put on this beautiful experiment in livable streets. Here is to an even longer and more frequent Sunday Parkways Chicago next year!

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Transforming NYC Streets: A Conversation with Janette Sadik-Khan

Since taking over as New York City's Commissioner of the Department of Transportation in mid-2007, Janette Sadik-Khan has taken on the challenge of making NYC streets more bike & pedestrian friendly while emphasizing livable streets and re-orienting them to accommodate all modes. She and her staff have done it quickly with innovative concepts, thinking outside the box and drawing on successful street designs from around the world to come up with a NYC model that is already changing the way our city feels.

In our exclusive Streetfilms interview, she talks with The Open Planning Project's Executive Director, Mark Gorton, about some of the highlights her department has achieved in a very short period of time including a physically-separated bike lane on Ninth Avenue, multiple pedestrian plazas (including Madison Square and Broadway Boulevard), new efforts to boost efficiency and speeds on some bus routes, and the city's phenomenally successful, Ciclovia-style closure "Summer Streets".

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Mobilized Moms for a Car-Free Central Park

Transportation Alternatives Car-Free Central Park Campaign got a booster shot from a group of mothers and families calling themselves the Mobilized Moms. With a group of nearly 50 supporters, they marched from Central Park West and 72nd Street, through Strawberry Fields and rallied at the Bandshell on Tuesday afternoon, pleading for a car-free Central Park. Mobilized Moms draw inspiration from author, community activist and mother, Jane Jacobs and other mothers, who in 1956 effectively stopped Robert Moses' plans to pave part of Central Park for a parking lot.

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Wikis Take Manhattan

Wikis Take Manhattan is a photo scavenger hunt aimed at gathering photos for over 500 Wikipedia and Streetswiki articles that lack them. On Saturday, teams spread all over the city in search of target items to photograph. All of the photos are released under a Creative Commons' Attribution-ShareAlike license, which allows for free and easy reuse. This years event was organized by The Open Planning Project, Free Culture @ Columbia, Free Culture @ NYU, NYC Wikimedia Meetup, and Creative Commons.

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San Francisco Does Sunday Streets

For two glorious Sundays, San Francisco closed streets along a stretch of its waterfront to cars – and opened them to humanity. A second "Sunday Streets San Francisco" event on September 14th reprised an August 31st street party, both of which saw thousands of people come out to run, skate, cycle, dance, or stroll their way through a cityscape transformed. Organizers styled the event of Bogota's
Ciclovia,
as San Francisco became the latest U.S. city to participate in a growing movement to liberate urban space from automobiles.

Check out Streetswiki for more.

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PARK(ing) Day 2007 NYC (en español)

Park(ing) Day fue un gran éxito en la ciudad de Nueva York el año pasado. Se convirtieron muchos espacios de estacionamiento en espacios verdes para la gente. Se acerca Park(ing)Day 2008, viernes, el 19 de septiembre ocuparemos 50 espacios en los 5 condados de la ciudad.

To watch in English with no subtitles, click here.