The problem was even worse in the South. So much hot sunshine, so few shade trees along the sidewalks. Frankly, I don't get it.
Here's a youtube of Jelly Roll Morton and his boys playing "The Sidewalk Blues".
It's a Victor recording from 1926.
A friend of mine is involved with the Walldogs project going on now in South Minneapolis along Lyndale Avenue.
Sounds like fun!
The Post-Carbon Institute's 10-point plan to acheive Al Gore's goal of 100% renewable electricity in 10 years includes this:
10. Remobilize: our transportation system needs to run on renewable electricity and human power. This means developing and deploying electric automobiles with related renewable generation and charging infrastructures, reviving and re-investing in electric trolley buses, streetcars, and electric rail - both light and heavy. We also need to revive and re-invest in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and bring in light neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) for both personal and shared use. These measures all have the aim of replacing the petroleum-powered car as quickly as possible in order to produce a transport system designed for the 21st century.
This will require nothing short of a fossil-free transportation revolution, including an electric rail revolution. Cities redesigned for human muscles and electric motors will thrive long after we have run out of fossil fuels.
I think the point about light vehicles is interesting. I'm seeing way more scooters on the streets these days. Are golf cart-esque cars far behind?
Five links to elsewhere:
- Policemen start taking the sidewalks b/c of high gas prices (NY Times)
- Alternative energy subsidies are set up to promote large solar "farms" instead of local, small-scale investment (ILSR)
- The BBC's take on developing rail in the USA (BBC)
- Minneapolis isn't even on the WalkScore list for some reason (Walk Score)
A friend of mine is a cartoonist:
[Click image to em-biggen]
Here's a graph of overall Vehicle Miles Travelled in the USA:
It's amazing how the ups and downs look like the overall seasonal carbon graph (the Al Gore one).
Also worth checking out: a report that connects climate change with reducing overall VMT. The 5 second version: We really can dramatically reduce overall VMT through redesigning how our cities are built. Perhaps an overall reduction of 15% through this one move?
Depending on several factors, from mix of land uses to pedestrian-friendly design, compact development reduces driving from 20 to 40 percent, and more in some instances, according to the forthcoming book Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change. Typically, Americans living in compact urban neighborhoods where cars are not the only transportation option drive a third fewer miles than those in automobile-oriented suburbs, the researchers found.
The Urbanophile: an interesting website out of Indiana that looks at sidewalks, esp. in the Midwest.
[Img of Afton Parade fm. TC Daily Photo]
I marched in the Rice Street Parade this week in support of Instant Runoff Voting in Saint Paul. It was fun, and I've never experienced a parade from the "inside" before.
Things I learned:
- Parades are the only time that the whole neighborhood really gets together
- Kids love candy, but they also live it when you give them stickers (no matter what they say)
- It's difficult to explain Ranked Choice Voting in 5 seconds
- When you're walking in a parade, and you walk a over a mile, it really doesn't seem very far at all
- Saint Paul has a ton of clowns, princesses, marching bands, judo clubs, people who dress up for the Winter Carnival, and people who drink beer
I wish I could have been there for the Edina Parade to see how it compared to hardscrabble Rice Street. More differences, or more similarities? (I'm guessing more similarities.)
1) A "patio" at the U of MN's brutalist Moos Tower [h/t Bldg Minnesota]
2) What the air can look like in Beijing, China. Mmm.... Olympic-licious! [h/t BLDGBLOG]
3) The Thauwald Building on St. Paul's W 7th St. [h/t St. Paul Phototour]