"If you don’t have sufficient population and income density, you can’t support urban neighborhood retail; if you can’t support neighborhood urban retail, you don’t have any real walkability; if you don’t have walkability, you are car dependent; if you are car dependent, then you are in direct competition with the suburbs; if you are in direct competition with the suburbs, you are probably going to lose. You can’t have a walkable neighborhood if there is not, in fact, anything to walk to, no matter how many sidewalks you put in."
from Density Reconsidered
SFWeekly is running a tremendously in-depth (and long) article about their TARC equivalent, MUNI. It's called "The MUNI Death Spiral", and some words apply equally well to River City:
This leads to the last group of people responsible for Muni's woes: its owners, we the riders. We enjoy boasting about how you never need to walk more than two blocks to find a stop, but we don't seem to ponder how costly and inefficient this is. We are quick to rail against moves affecting the most vulnerable among us — but we seem to accept hardships affecting everyone, which render the system unreliable. ...
Once again, Muni exists for you. Not the drivers, not the managers, not the politicians — you. And you have some difficult decisions to make about what kind of transit service you want to have, and what, if anything, you'll do to get it. Complaining about Muni is easy. Owning it is not.
311 is a good service, I use it often.
SeeClickFix.com is now my preferred portal to 311. Why? Because it allows me to interact with other users besides the government, and hold them to a higher standard than a civil servant would. For example, here's a driver that is complaining that the school zone on Southern Parkway is (gasp) half a mile long. Slowing down to 25mph from 35mph will cost him or her ... wait for it ... 20.6 seconds! So they filed a complaint with SeeClickFix that the school zone was too big, and that it should be contracted.
No one from government is going to tell this motorist they're assuming a car-centric vision of roads. But with SeeClickFix I don't need them to. I can do it myself. Here is my reply:
Yes, children do walk a half mile to school. It takes a staggering 10 minutes for them to do so. So slow down and give em' a break, because they don't have a perfect grasp of traffic law yet. Remember, you are a licensed driver, trained and responsible for the 2-ton piece of metal that you send hurtling through space at high velocity. Your responsibility is to drive carefully and anticipate errors on the part of other road users, especially our most vulnerable.
And I prefer SeeClickFix for other reasons as well. It lets you upload pictures and video, which are worth 1000 words. Also, there's less shenanigans where you have to fill out your blood type, date of birth, etc. It's short and to the point. Hooray!
"Stuck in traffic in Washington, D.C. in 1959, President Eisenhower was shocked to learn that the delay was being caused by Interstate Highway construction. Surely the Interstates were being built between cities, not in them. The President demanded to know who was responsible for this state of affairs, only to be told he was; it was the result of legislation he had signed three years earlier. Aghast, Eisenhower attempted to get the federal government out of the urban freeway business. But it was too late: the program had built up momentum that not even he could halt.
Fifty years later, many planners and urbanists are still asking Eisenhower's question: Why did the United States, unlike every other developed country, choose to mass-produce freeways in cities?"
From: Paved With Good Intentions.
Yonah Freemark writes:
"It’s nothing less than a roaring comeback for public transportation in St. Louis: After a narrow loss at the polls for a proposed tax increase for transit in 2008, voters came out massively yesterday for similar measure, with 63% in favor. This approval will increase sales taxes by half a cent in St. Louis County, increasing contributions to the Metro transit agency by an estimated $75 million a year."
"St. Louis’ passage of a sales tax increase in the midst of a serious economic downturn serves as a powerful rebuke to anti-tax zealotry such as is promoted by conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party. More than that, though, it demonstrates that a well-run campaign premised on the promise of palpable improvements in a public service can succeed, even in a difficult environment."
The media blacked out last Sunday NPP Citizen Bridges meeting, but LEO refused to play along. You can read Meador's summary of the meeting here, with his signature editorializing as well.
Thursday is the big ORBP meeting, your last, best hope to be heard as a citizen on this topic. Come get in your 2c:
Thursday, April 8, 2010
10:00am - 12:00pm
IUS, University Center N, Hoosier Room
4201 Grant Lane Rd
New Albany, IN
Public Meetings are scheduled to discuss the proposal. See this article on the KIPDA blog for details.
Saturday, April 3rd - 11 A.M.
Meet at St Marks - 2822 Frankfort Ave.
All are welcome! Kids especially!