Streetfilms Shorties: Why Don’t We Plant Trees in the Road?

Clarence recently dug up a few unused nuggets from last year’s junket to Melbourne, Australia. Watch and see how curbside space in residential neighborhoods has been repurposed for plantings that double as traffic calming treatments. Whatever red tape they had to hack through to plant trees in the roadbed, not just on the sidewalk, they’ve hacked through it in Melbourne. Have to say, though, the trees planted in the bike lane (or the bike lane painted around the trees) had me scratching my head.

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Feds Propose Major Rule Changes to Eliminate Barriers to Safer Streets

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Applying highway design standards to city streets has been a disaster for urban neighborhoods. The same things that make highways safer for driving at 65 mph — wide lanes, “clear zones” running alongside the road that have no trees or other “obstacles” — make surface streets dangerous and dreadful for walking, killing street life. The one-size-fits-all approach to […]
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It Just Got Easier for Cities to Design Walkable, Bikeable Streets

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We probably haven’t seen the last of engineers who insist on designing local streets like surface highways. But at least now they can’t claim their hands are tied by federal regulations. Last week, the Federal Highway Administration struck 11 of the 13 design rules for “national highways” — a 230,000-mile network of roads that includes many urban streets. The rule change eliminates […]

ITDP: New York a World Leader in Sustainable Transport

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Photo: Walter Hook, ITDP New York is one of five cities nominated by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy for its 2009 Sustainable Transport Award. Click through to see what measures taken by other nominees — Beijing, Istanbul, Mexico City and Milan — merited ITDP consideration. As for NYC’s breakthrough year, we couldn’t sum […]
The Mandarin-speaking table at last night's workshop. Photo: Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

Crowded, Car-Choked Downtown Flushing Shouldn’t Be a Void in the Bike Network

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At a DOT forum to plan for better bicycling conditions in downtown Flushing, Council Member Peter Koo told the packed room he doesn't believe bike lanes belong in the area. Koo did not stick around for the rest of the meeting, but if he had, he would have heard a different story from his constituents, many of whom see biking as the only viable way to get to Flushing's dense downtown core.

Melbourne’s Complete Streets

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In August, I had the pleasure of spending a little more than two weeks in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is the country’s second-largest city, with 3.8 million residents in the metropolitan area. Despite its size, from a walking and transportation standpoint (to say nothing of a coffee-drinking perspective), Melbourne almost defines the term "livable city." Trams […]