Category Archives: streets

Top planning books of 2012…including the Bikeway Design Guide?

Planetizen just announced its 11th annual list of the ten best books in urban planning, design and development published for 2012. The list selected by Planetizen’s editorial staff covers a range of urgent topics. A couple of reactions:

-Popular press and journalistic authors dominate (not academics and researchers). This is to be expected, but I did not recognize a single academic. I suppose our writing style (or our findings?) really are boring.

…but, speaking of boring:

-Of the ten books listed, the 329 page Urban Bikeway Design Guide by the National Association of City Transportation Officials is one of them. Seriously? A technical manual as a “best of”? Apparently, the editorial staff is stacked w insomniacs. It is great to see a bike reference among the list. And, it is a really useful guide, don’t get me wrong. But still.

Do you live in a city?

A couple of observations about the following diagnostic chart that was  recently released on NPR. Its a really good start. It would be fun to have a few more cultural or socially constructed elements as criteria–as opposed to the primary elements being those of the built environment. Right now, there are more or less three that are not built-environment centrci: starbucks, applebees, pets as livestock. But, notice that it all starts with transportation: how do you get to work. This is telling.

And, from bike you go straight to having animals? I guess there is some psychological/sociological research out there about such? Then, I question if the Applebee’s criteria is all that telling?

Do You Live In A City? Hm. Let's Find Out

It’s not easy being green, especially for a bike lane

One of my favorite Van Morrison cover songs is Bein’ Green (originally by Kermit), expressing that green “blends in with so many ordinary things” and how he wishes to be some other color. Apparently this is not the case for bike lanes (which is a good thing)–especially in LA. They stand out too much!

While it is a shame, I guess I can understand why the movie people think that the streets with bike lanes do not represent anytown USA. ….YET?