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The Week’s Links

4:05 PM EST on December 15, 2006

bike_oasis.jpg

A Bike Parking Building Boom in Portland (and Brooklyn Too) 
BikePortland.org reports that four new "Bike Oases," sleek, roof-covered, bicycle parking facilities (pictured above) will be installed on a popular shopping boulevard by spring. PDOT has also been converting car parking spaces into on-street bike parking. This is something that bicycle commuters who park-and-ride to the Bedford Avenue L subway stop in Brooklyn have been trying to get for a couple of years now. Well, good news: Last night DOT informed Brooklyn Community Board 1 that they will be eliminating five car-lengths of parking space on the southeast corner of N. 7th Street and Bedford Avenue and installing bike racks. As far as I know, the project sets two new precedents: First, DOT's creation of a bike park-and-ride at a subway stop and second, an outer borough neighborhood willingly giving up car parking spaces to bicycles or, well, anything, for that matter. Details to come.

No Justice for Brooklyn Law Professor Slaughtered by Garbage Truck 
I happened upon the scene shortly after it occurred and saw Sara Robbins' body covered in a sheet about 10 to 15 feet south of the crosswalk and the green private garbage truck some ways down the block. It was pretty gruesome and has affected me the past few days. Today, I read the cover story in the Brooklyn Heights newspaper and was outraged (though not surprised) that the cops didn't even issue a summons to the driver. The paper reports, "Officials said that the truck had the light as it made a left from Montague Street onto Henry." This was after mentioning that the woman had been IN THE CROSSWALK. There was no mention that the ped had the green light too nor that she had the right of way. The paper and "officials" make it seem like the driver did nothing wrong -- he had the green light after all. I am beyond livid by this. It's nice to know, however, that the City is concerned about people's consuming trans-fats. I don't know anyone who was killed suddenly, violently and involuntarily by consuming too many french fries.

The UK's Eddington Report Links Transport, Climate & Economic Development
A corespondent returns from London with news of the Eddington Report (PDF), a rigorous independent review of the effect of transport policy on the next 20 years of economic growth in the UK. The report provides the intellectual architecture for expanding the congestion zone out of London and across the entire British road network. "In general," our correspondent writes, "the discussion in England right now on things like carbon footprint (air travel as well as road) is at such an elevated level compared to here it almost seems like another planet."

Urban Artwork To Psych-Out Dangerous Drivers (NYT)
Artwork commissioned this summer by the city of Cambridge, Mass. is aimed at reducing traffic speeds at a busy intersection. The junction in question is in residential West Cambridge. Six thousand cars pass through it every weekday. People were aware that neighborhood street murals in Portland, Ore., had had the unintended consequence of slowing drivers down, and they decided to experiment. Residents selected the semi-abstract composition of the local artist Wen-ti Tsen. Tsen says that he initially thought of proposing a giant trompe l'oeil pothole.

Green Roof or Parking Deck for Brooklyn's New Whole Foods? via Curbed
Nevermind the 1,800 cars an hour expected at the Gowanus Whole Foods when it opens in 2008 or the 480-car parking garage and rooftop parking. There's a new group organizing to make the grocery's roof a sea of green instead of blacktop. Wouldn't it be great if we had a city government that did some pushing (and incentivizing) for design ideas like this as well?

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