Calls for Action From Milwaukee to Manhattan

Whether it’s the end of bike month or the open data enthusiasm spurred by Obama’s new "Democratizing Data" initiative, the Livable Streets Community is full of calls to action this week.

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Milwaukee’s new interactive mapping project

Dan Knauss of the Cream Citizen group — "Milwaukee’s open source think tank for progressive urbanist policy,
sustainable development, regional transit solutions, and open
government." — is asking people to comment on this blog post about a new Milwaukee County interactive mapping site. MCAMLIS (Milwaukee County Automated Mapping and Land Information System) provides valuable geographic data, but currently charges the public for certain types of access because the copyright is held by private utility companies. As Knauss tells Streetsblog:

Municipal and county governments accumulate a large amount of data that
is relevant to many public interest issues, like land use and planning
or neighborhood health and stability. This data is public record and is
produced at the taxpayers’ expense. As such, the public has a right to
have this data, and when the public has it in highly usable structured
data formats (like XML and KML), it becomes a basis for greater public
awareness, participation, and investment in our cities and counties.

In the Poconos, Scott Dietrich has started a map workgroup for community planning of bicycle and pedestrian trails in the Smithfield Township. He invites resident members to view the proposed trail system on this handy Google map. Residents are asked to give their own suggestions on the group’s discussion page. Dietrich is also getting the word about about National Trails Day on June 6. 

Meanwhile in New York, Lisa Sladkus is urging Upper West Siders to come out on June 2 to ask Manhattan Community Board 7 to support protected bike lanes. Her request has spurred some lively discussion, with Tila Duhaime making a great case for the importance of separated bike lanes for riders at all skill levels. Maggie Clarke is forging connections between this group and the livable streets campaign up in Inwood & Washington Heights.

And rounding up, Kasia shares some great lessons from the Municipal Art Society’s recent Livable Neighborhoods program on the Transportation Alternatives Brooklyn blog.

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