Monday, October 19, 2009

End of Weekend Sausage Links

NYC is thinking about Light Rail. Something it really doesn't have yet.

StLou is rolling out a "sustainable street" prototype that does all the right things and gets funded by the stimulus for doing so:

The new design reduces four traffic lanes to three, changes the timing of traffic lights, adds curb “bulb-outs” to reduce the amount of yardage pedestrians need to cross from 56 to 40 feet, and increases lighting and landscaping. About $2.7 million in federal stimulus funds have been awarded for the work.

“The goal is to have 50 percent of the new sections porous surfacing or plantings,” Culbertson said. “If we do that, then the majority of the water that falls will actually percolate into the ground.” St. Louis has a combined sewage-stormwater system, which can be overwhelmed during downpours. The landscaping and permeable pavements are seen as key to improved drainage. New trees will get bigger rootbeds to soak up more water. Rain gardens will be built into the sidewalks. Downspouts will empty into landscaped areas.

CNU has approved LEED-ND. I need to see how the project or two I worked on in the pilot phase faired.

NYT is burning up the frequent flyer miles reviewing Dallas's latest and greatest, this time, what lelse? The Arts District. On the Raccoon Trap:

"The walls and ceiling of an upper-level terrace are covered in artificial turf, a superficial flourish that is out of character with the rest of the design." And: "The building's unevenly striated aluminum surface, meanwhile, feels dull and its facades surprisingly tame."

Denver has doubled its transit ridership:

Instead, Blueprint Denver took the radical tact of not projecting how many vehicles would be needed to get people around the growing city, but instead projected the number of "person trips": driving, transit, walking and riding bikes.

Another strategy was the Living Streets program, created by the public works department in collaboration with a range of civic and commercial organizations, including Kaiser Permanente. "The idea was that roads are for cars: streets are for people," said Park

I'll give credit where it's due, the same group did Denver's plan as is doing Downtown Dallas's plan even though they weren't ranked first after any of the rounds of interviews.

Lastly, an op-blog(?) at DMN, can Dallas duplicate Zurich?

It really is exciting to see the transformation of the Arts District with the new opera house and new performing arts center. But sooner or later, the newness will wear off. When it does, I'm worried that we'll be left with knock-your-socks-off Arts District that is detached from the rest of downtown. Which is why we have to get busy and support efforts to get streetcars up and running in downtown Dallas.