7.8.09

*** Sidewalk Weekend ***

Sidewalk Rating: Pacific Northwest

It's like Seattle out there, folks. I'm sure you own an umbrella. Now's the time to take it out.
And, if its going to get hot out tomorrow, you can trade it in for a parasol.

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I'd like to see more of this kinds of 'foots-on' approach to sidewalk advocacy...



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As if I didn't loathe Denny Hecker already, now I get to read about his trial for "reckless driving."

On Dec. 3, Hecker crashed his SUV into a pole near his home in Plymouth. He spent several days in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

We later found out this man's bloodstream was a mobile pharmacy. A state lab reporter a plethora of prescription drugs in his system including three painkillers, a stimulant, an anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills.


I'm sorry Hecker apologists, but this guy personifies everything that's wrong with America today. Watching him go down in flames is the very personification of schadenfreude.


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National Night Out is an awesome idea, but I'm not sure why all the news reports about it always emphasize crime. It's as if these people are desperate, starving pioneers clinging to each
other for protection in the big, harsh nasty world of the the city, surrounded by thugs, arming themselves like against a mob of bad guys like its the Alamo.

Rather, NNO should be a simple chance to meet your neighbors. This report by the TC Daily Planet got it right, by emphasizing the simple fact that people who live near each other are meeting each other and saying hello. There's no need to turn that experience into a horror movie.


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Very similar to the burgeoning TC Open Streets movement, play street sounds like a great idea, too. (You know, for kids!) It's like the block party suggestion I happened across a little while ago. Can't we make places where you actually interact with people who live around you...

[Kids playing in the street is a sign of a good neighborhood.]


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This is an angle I never thought of before: the idea that the increasing concentration of industry and fincance in 'global cities' and in the Global South (e.g. China), means that many of the second-tier cities end up dominated by 'pro-growth' business interests. So that really the only people left with memberships at the Minneapolis Club are people who make their living building suburban developments, and that local city 'growth machines' end up being intractable interests lobbying for ever-expanding sprawl.

Just a thought...


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I don't know about you, but red light cameras always seemed like a good idea to me. It's awfully hard to take the side of the dude running the red light. That's a hard position to defend, even if you're taking some sort of constitutional stand.*

It reminds me of this post by Cam Gordon, about how cities need to start taking advantage of all their revenue streams if they're going to get increasingly budgetarily reamed by the state.


* (And on that note, why wouldn't the same sort of rights issue apply to the automatic ticketing of people using the MN Pass lanes illegally?)


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A nice op-ed about the twilight of the automobile era (from Canada). I can't really believe that this is happening anytime soon, though, particularly with the CARS bill proving so popular.


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A nice thought about how much more pleasant transit can be than driving in your single-passenger vehicle.


[A dude using a laptop at a bus stop. Img. fm. Roadguy.]

It's hard to use a laptop while your driving. (Though many people do this regularly.)


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Three photos for you:

1) Cedar Avenue Hockney collage. Img. fm WBSC.


2) The Stone Arch Bridge in 1886. Img. via. WeLikeItHere.


3) A nice CU of the 7th Street sidewalk in St. Paul. Img. fm. TCDailyPhoto.

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