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Posts tagged "Pedestrians"

StreetFilms
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Chinatown Families Rally DA’s Office

Today family and friends of Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez, two children killed on January 22, 2009 when an idling van jumped the curb in Chinatown, held a rally calling for the District Attorney's office to convene a grand jury to investigate the crash. Here are a few soundbites from the press conference. Visit streetsblog for a full report.

Related stories:
Anti-Idling Laws Pass in NYC
NYC Street Memorial 2008

StreetFilms
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An Alfresco chat with Jan Gehl

Every time we manage to snag an interview with Jan Gehl, it ends up being one of the coldest days of the Fall. But that didn't stop the Danish livable streets maestro from grabbing a table in New York City's new wonderful public space, Madison Square, to chat with Streetsblog's Editor-in-chief Aaron Naparstek.

It was just a little over two years ago we talked with Mr. Gehl in the iconic Times Square "bowtie" where he offered up a sobering evaluation of the lack of public space in NYC. You can watch that here. But thanks to recent initiatives by the NYC DOT, these days the future looks more promising for pedestrians and cyclists. During their conversation Mr. Gehl and Aaron covered much ground including the rapid pace of the transformation of our streets, the concepts behind the fluidity of traffic, the release of World Class Streets: Remaking New York City's Public Realm, and the democratic process - with a shout out to our future 44th prez!

If you love this, don't miss some of our past interviews. Here are just a few: Janette Sadik-Khan. Enrique Penalosa. Gridlock Sam. Donald Shoup. Randy Cohen.

StreetFilms
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Williamsburg Walks!

If you regularly visit Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue you know that the area is an eclectic mix of shops, people, and synergy. But the sidewalks are often jammed with people. Bikes are clamped to anything that won't move. Consequently, it can be uncomfortable to navigate its density.

This past Saturday (and three more upcoming thru August 9th) Bedford has undergone a livable streets alchemy. From noon to 7 pm, Bedford has been opened up to pedestrians, bikes, and people power between Metropolitan to North 9th Street. On July 19th it was quiet, safe, relaxing, and human. Word of mouth promises to make future weeks even better. I am surely going back again; without a camera so I can chillax in the street too.

One important distinction to make here: this is not a street fair in any sense of the word. It is simply a street that has been de-motorized and opened to allow residents to re-discover, re-imagine their street. They decide what they want to do. Credit goes to many groups, individuals, and businesses, but look to Williamsburg Walks which has done a great job working with everyone to make this possible.

StreetFilms
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Great Public Spaces: Pioneer Courthouse Square

According to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), Portland, Oregon's Pioneer Courthouse Square is one of the Top 10 greatest public spaces in the U.S. & Canada. I couldn't agree more. Affectionately referred to as the city's "living room" the charming and versatile block was once slated to be an 11-story parking garage in the 1960s. Thankfully the residents didn't let that happen.

Recently while grabbing lunch in Portland, I wandered into the "Festival of Flowers" - a beautiful urban meadow installation that was so pleasant and comforting, I just had to shoot some video. Ethan Kent from PPS has often said to me that the key to the success of Pioneer Courthouse Square (and many public spaces) is its amazingly diverse programming. He's right, I've been to Portland a dozen times and there always seems to be something wonderful going on there.

StreetFilms
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Portland’s Sunday Parkways

Despite a very dreary and damp first half of the day, Portland's first Ciclovia-style street closure, Sunday Parkways, was a smashing success with countless thousands of city residents participating. It was like a giant community block party with walkers, bikers, joggers, bladers, families, and pets filling the 6 mile course.

There were plenty of fun activities in four northeast parks that were linked by the circuit, which was opened to bikes and pedestrian traffic only from 8 AM to 2 PM. For cities planning their own Ciclovias, here are some things I liked about Portland's event: knowledgeable volunteers, lots of fun chalk messages on the ground, easy to follow directions, lots of music & entertainment, and a huge number of bike stations for bike repair.