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thisbigcity:

urbanfunscape:

A glowing golden forest of trees called Aspire by artist Warren Langley, illuminates a site beneath the Western Distributor at Ultimo, Sydney on May 19, 2010. The permanent artwork is designed to strengthen the pedestrian link between the communities of Pyrmont and Ultimo by providing a brighter, more engaging and safer public space.

Beautiful!

Creating Allies among Active Transportation Users

Now that spring is finally (finally) rolling around, my Twitter feed has been slowly filling up with caution to cyclists to “ride safe” and educate them on how to cycle in a legal manner.

Naturally, I sent out my own tweet along the lines of: “Cyclist safety tip: don’t hit cyclists with your car.” Naturally, someone responded, annoyed that I wasn’t thinking of the pedestrian.

Yes, some cyclists share spaces with pedestrians and indeed some pedestrians are injured. But complaining about that to someone who just wants to see fewer folks hit by cars (whether it’s a bus user, a skateboarder, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, these deaths are horrible) is useless and vitriolic.

Active transportation users need to work together as allies in solidarity and fight for safer spaces. We don’t need wider roads; we need a modal shift on how we get around. Attacking potential allies is not the way to go about it.

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"Cities need to redefine their relationship with the car – shaping cars and driver behaviour to suit cities, not cities to suit cars. This doesn’t mean banning cars outright, but rather reminding people that when they drive into the city they and their car enter it as guests."

- Bruce McVean on reallocating urban space away from cars (via thisbigcity)

(via urbnist)

Ed Levy’s Case for a Regional Relief Line

neptis:

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Toronto’s current subway system cannot be called a “network” thanks to fifty years of deferring a downtown distributor subway line. Today four packed lines converge on two cramped interchanges to access only one downtown loop, limiting peak-period ridership. Operating in parallel but largely independently, the GO system is also constrained by limited capacity particularly at Union Station. Together, these downtown congestion points hamper and threaten to curtail regional transit capacity.

Despite a workforce of 440,000 people and the growing number of residential and office towers and projects in and around the core, the last new downtown subway opened in 1963, a half century ago.

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The Downtown Relief Line proposed by Metrolinx extending from the Danforth subway south-west to the downtown core, offers only partial relief and does nothing to create a full network. It will reduce some of the congestion at Bloor-Yonge station, which is an important piece of the puzzle, but it does nothing to relieve Union Station to the south, or the Yonge subway north of Bloor to Eglinton and beyond. Full trains already pass commuters every morning at Eglinton Station on the Yonge line. This is a problem that will only get worse when the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT opens, not to mention the proposed Yonge subway extension to Richmond Hill.

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If a new subway line is to meaningfully reduce congestion on the Yonge subway line, it has to extend at least as far north as Eglinton Avenue East. The extension to Eglinton would divert riders on the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT and other east-west routes, as well as serve the dense communities of Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park.

In the west, the integration of GO/TTC services and stops on the CN-Georgetown Subdivision (Union Pearson Express) corridor could avoid the need for an entirely new rapid transit line. As in London, where the Overground re-purposes surface rail as rapid transit, with additional stations, more frequent service and fare integration with the TTC, the Union Pearson Express corridor could provide rapid transit to communities from Union Station to Weston (or beyond) with interchanges to the Bloor, and Eglinton lines.

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To relieve pressure on Union Station, the relief subway has to interchange with the western routes of the GO Transit system on the west side of downtown, at a new station near Bathurst and Front Streets. Metrolinx has already identified this possibility because even with expensive renovations underway, no new rail corridor capacity is being planned for Union Station which will get increasingly overcrowded.  To the east a GO/TTC interchange can be built by the mouth of the Don River to accommodate massive retail/commercial development projects being planned for the area. The key to making this work is sensibly-designed interchange stations for true GO-TTC system integration, a discussion that has being going on for almost 50 years. However, it has to be as simple and affordable to change from a GO train to a TTC subway as it is to transfer from one subway line to another today.

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With these modifications – an extension north to Eglinton Avenue, the use of the Union Pearson Express rail corridor and connections with the GO system east and west of Union Station – the proposed Downtown Relief subway becomes a true Regional Relief Line,increasing network capacity in the central area and allowing enhanced service across the region, including Light Rapid Transit lines in Toronto, and expanded region-wide and in-city GO Transit service as well as subway extensions north into York Region.

You can read Ed Levy’s book, Rapid Transit in Toronto: A Century of Plans, Progress, Politics and Paralysis, online.

Notes:

  • GO line totals all exclude Union station.
  • The downtown loop average includes stations from St.George around the loop to Bloor‐Yonge station, and Bay station.

Sources:

(via titularhumour)

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thisbigcity:

It might not look like much, but this pink line represents one of the biggest public transport developments in Seattle since the 1940s. The cable cars are coming back! More here.

City officials in the city of Lancaster, California consulted with the people and worked to create a downtown that reflected their citizens desires. The results? A walkable, upbeat, revitalized downtown.

The redesign of Lancaster Boulevard helped transform downtown Lancaster into a thriving residential and commercial district through investments in new streetscape design, public facilities, affordable homes, and local businesses. Completed after eight months of construction, the project demonstrates how redesigning a corridor guided by a strategic vision can spark new life in a community. The project has generated almost $300 million in economic output and nearly 2,000 jobs.

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blah-city:

“No Ridiculous Car Trips” campaign in Malmo, Sweden. A ridiculously short car trip is one you might do as well on a bike. 

5km trips take most people 10 minutes to bike (or with Vancouver hills a little longer). From downtown Vancouver that means roughly Commercial Drive, Oakridge Centre or 4th & Alma. 

A very interesting and unique campaign shows how cities can be the driver of social change.

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skysix:

Hi there! Do you post about cycling, urbanism, urban planning, urban design, public transportation, walkability, or cities? If so, I want to follow you! Please reblog this post so I (and many others) can follow you!

Thanks!

(via urbanismforall)

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skysix:

Hi there! Do you post about cycling, urbanism, urban planning, urban design, public transportation, walkability, or cities? If so, I want to follow you! Please reblog this post so I (and many others) can follow you!

Thanks!

reblogging this. I want to follow you!

(via urbanismforall)

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skysix:

Hi there! Do you post about cycling, urbanism, urban planning, urban design, public transportation, walkability, or cities? If so, I want to follow you! Please reblog this post so I (and many others) can follow you!

Thanks!

(via urbanismforall)

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Hi there! Do you post about cycling, urbanism, urban planning, urban design, public transportation, walkability, or cities? If so, I want to follow you! Please reblog this post so I (and many others) can follow you!

Thanks!

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thegreenurbanist:

Center running BRT with travel lane removals. Image from the CTA. 
On Grid Chicago

I really like it when buses use the center lanes. Not only does it mean less conflict between buses and cyclists (ESPECIALLY when a bus has to stop IN a bike lane…) but it also means fewer bus shelters to be built! The planters are also a nice touch that should help prevent people from hopping over the barriers.

citymaus:

ebbc doing a demo of the proposed hearst ave. bikeway @sunday streets berkeley14.10.12.

bike boxes and buffered bike lanes! road diet, new sidewalks and pedestrian crossings!
more info on the hearst ave. complete street project here.

LOVE bike boxes! This is so cool to see.

(via urbnist)

the daily snoozer: We Have Cities We Can't Use

militantsnoozer:

There’s few things I despise more than passing a beautiful building and knowing that I have no reason or justification for ever visiting or going inside of it. In these cases, the buildings just act as decorative elements of my urban environment. They don’t serve any other function to me. The only reason I’m glad they’re there is because they’re more aesthetically-pleasing than an empty lot. They and all who visit them are closed off from me by an element of exclusivity. There’s only one reason to ever visit the buildings and so there’s only ever one type of person to live and socialize and consort in those places. Only one type of person can savor and relish and appreciate those little parts of the city. A whole city full of buildings like this makes for a whole city that’s not our own. We can’t use it. It’s like a big house full of doors with windows and only one room is unlocked. What use is the rest of the house, in that case? It might as well not exist at all.

A truly vibrant, thriving, and lively city requires a majority of buildings that are mixed-use. Cities must not only be walkable and liveable, but also patronable. They aren’t only for appreciating; they’re also for experiencing. They’re interactive. They’re the internet, rather than the television.

That’s not to say that single-use doesn’t have a place in cities. It may. For example, in the case of bus, train, and subway stations, where an excess of people can be an inconvenience. But these are more like universal-use than single-use. They’re for use by anybody and everybody. So it’s not actually the same as, for instance, a hotel without ground floor retail space.

I can’t think of any justification for single, non-universal-use buildings. But our cities are full of them. Our cities cannot be justified. This has to change. We have to change them.