A New Type of Streetsblog in St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast? Yep.

A little more than six years ago, we launched the Streetsblog Network as a way for people across the country writing about livable streets, sustainable transportation, and smart growth to band together and share ideas. There are many wonderful things about the Streetsblog Network, but I would put this is at the top of my list: It is both profoundly local, full of people working on the nitty-gritty of street design, transit service, and planning issues in their hometowns, and broadly distributed, with hundreds of members operating in cities all over the nation.

For a long time we’ve been thinking about how to build on these strengths. And today we’re going live with a new way to channel the energy of the Streetsblog Network and broadcast it to the world.

We are launching affiliate sites that combine the work of Streetsblog Network members in four regions: St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast. These sites run on a different model than our other city-based Streetsblogs with full-time staff. Each Streetsblog affiliate syndicates material from several blogs in its region and runs a daily dose of headlines to satisfy the universal craving for morning news. Have a look. (Doesn’t it blow your mind to see the words “Streetsblog Texas” in a site banner?)

streetsblog_ohiosblog_se

streetsblog_texassblog_stl

Our partners in this endeavor are volunteers writing in their spare time, independent media entrepreneurs, and people working at non-profit advocacy organizations and academic institutions. By running their work in this format, on the Streetsblog platform, we aim to help build their audience both nationally and in their home regions. The geographic scope of most of these sites is bigger than the usual Streetsblog city-based beat, but the writers are addressing overlapping issues — a Paleolithic state DOT, for instance, or city leadership that struggles to get Complete Streets right. We believe there will be strength in numbers like there’s been with the national Streetsblog Network.

For readers, we hope these sites will unearth stories that might have been overlooked before. So much good stuff comes over the wire of the Streetsblog Network, which now collects feeds from more than 400 member blogs, we just can’t highlight all of it. The new format should bring more of this reporting and commentary to the surface for our audience.

For Streetsblog, putting together these affiliate sites has enabled us to reconnect and strengthen ties with partners doing excellent work in regions we want to pay closer attention to. We’re grateful to the Summit Foundation, whose support made this project happen (and which continues to fund training sessions where Streetsblog editors and Streetsblog Network members trade advice about how to make an impact on streets and transportation policy using online media). Streetsblog USA Editor Angie Schmitt has been our point person and wrangler as we’ve put this all together.

So, today is the first official day of publication for Streetsblog St. Louis, Streetsblog Texas, Streetsblog Ohio, and Streetsblog Southeast. These sites are a collaborative effort drawing from the work of the following partners. Huge thanks to all of them for taking this leap with us.

Streetsblog St. Louis:

Streetsblog Ohio:

Streetsblog Texas:

Streetsblog Southeast (mostly Atlanta, Charlotte, and Florida north of Miami):

A really talented bunch. We can’t wait to see where things go from here.

  • Eric McClure

    Great stuff, Ben! Taking back America’s streets, one region at a time.

  • SteveVaccaro

    Congratulations and best of luck! Looking forward to lots of great cross-listed content.

  • Hey, please consider me for inclusion in the Texas site:

    m1ek.dahmus.org

    Been blogging on Austin, mostly transportation and urbanism, since 2004.

  • Please email angie at streetsblog dot org.

  • Adam Herstein

    You can’t afford to keep Streetsblog Chicago running, and three weeks after shutting it down, you’re launching four new blogs? What a joke Streetsblog has become.

  • Funding for each site comes from separate sources.

    We did not have a sufficient source of funding for Streetsblog Chicago in the form that we’d been running it. (John G is pulling together the funding to reboot in a slightly different form.)

    We do have funding to run these sites.

  • Ian Turner
  • molly

    Yet here you are.

  • Brad Aaron

    If you read what Ben wrote, or look at the new sites, you’ll see they are not the same as Streetsblog Chicago or our other sites. That’s why it says “A New Type of Streetsblog” right there in the headline.

    Probably too much to ask from a guy who upvotes his own comments.

  • Yes, the fundraising is moving along steady and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to resume full operations by early April. In fact, our friends at Moxie Chicago and the Active Transportation Alliance are hosting a tour of Chicago’s Pedway system as a benefit for SBC this evening — should be a good time! More info about the Chicago fundraising effort: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2015/01/08/so-long-for-now-but-hopefully-not-for-long/

  • Yay! Go, John!

  • Adam Herstein

    It’s ironic that you’re giving a tour of an anti-urban, anti-street life element (the Pedway) to raise money for Streetsblog…

  • LyleLanley

    Congrats! A lot of good to be done in those locations.

  • Alex Brideau III

    I dunno. I think a pedestrian-oriented venue of any stripe is certainly a valid and conversation-worthy venue for a Streetsblog fundraiser.

  • Kenny Easwaran

    Surely people have just as much interest in visiting and understanding a site that gets urbanism wrong and understanding what is wrong about it, as visiting and understanding a site that gets urbanism right. The only way to learn what works and what doesn’t is to compare and contrast them, and see what things are shared (and thus likely irrelevant) and what things are different (and thus possibly relevant).

  • bikecar101.com

    Thank you ‘Streetsblog’ for all of the wonderful news/advocacy that you provide for concerned citizens across the nation. Keep up the wonderful work.

  • Adam Herstein

    Good point, as long as the tour is given with that mindset and not “look how great our system of underground tunnels is”.

  • Aron

    The next blog I’d like to see is a blog where ALL the Streetblog posts from every local blog can be seen. (Maybe the streetsblog.org default page?) I always want to be up to date and now I have to click on each blog seperately and scroll past all the posts that do get posted on every blog (the ones from Streetsblog Network, right?) so I get to see multiple times. The idea is so simple and it seems so easy to implement. I guess there must be a reason why you want to keep things seperate, but it would add so much convenience.

  • This is an ongoing project. It’s not as simple as you might think, but it will happen in 2015.

  • Aron

    Ok, thanks!

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