Monthly Archives: December 2013

Pedestrian Malls – Success Stories

Some pedestrian malls continue to defy broader trends that have cities re-opening failed streets to traffic. There are good examples of streets that work without the plague of automobility, but they are few and scattered. Pedestrian malls will not rescue failed streets, but can add value to already appealing destinations for human scale traffic.

http://lhoustoun.wordpress.com/public-spaces/chapter-9-public-space-comeback/

Housing affordability compromised by too much parking

19102007327 130Atlantic Cities covers the issue high development costs that are pushing up rents in multi-unit residential buildings in the U.S.  Demand is often far below supply but renters are paying the penalty of too much parking. One study found that rents were inflated by almost $250 per month for every unit, whether used or not. Equally frustrating is the inflexibility of financial services industry players who demand builds meet oversupply of parking on the premise that units without parking are less attractive to the market and will not sell, threatening their investments.

http://m.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/12/how-cost-other-peoples-parking-drives-your-rent/7862/

Truck sideguards – keeping vulnerable road users safe

Sideguards that protect cyclists or pedestrians from being pulled under the wheels of large rigs are standard equipment in Europe.  Olivia Chow, a Member of Parliament from Toronto is promoting her private members bill to make them mandatory in Canada.

Here’s more on the issue:  http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/side-guards-are-smart-investment-truck-owners-who-care-about-their-neighbours-road.html

Seattle study analyzes high cost of free parking

Parking is an expensive piece of the housing puzzle, driving up costs and grabbing land and resources that would be better spent or used to supply housing and other amenities, a particular concern in built cities where historical codes that favoured auto-dependence no longer fit our travel or living habits. The paper provides a nice summary of the economics of parking, focused on multi-unit residential developments such as apartment and condos, a big slice of our housing market.

See the Sightline piece here: http://www.sightline.org/research/who-pays-for-parking/

Bike Share Program Analysis

Analysis of success and failures in Bike Share – a newer concept in getting people on bikes.

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/why-do-some-bike-share-systems-succeed-and-others-fail-bike-sharing-planning-guide-explains.html

Protected bike lanes: graphic representation of benefits

Protected bike lanes are popping up all over North America – here’s an interesting graphic that covers some of the positives.

http://ht.ly/rdmHl

Parallel lanes 20110529 198 218 f tw

 

 

 

 

 

 

See also a new photo gallery of the top protected bike lanes in the U.S.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023223/these-are-americas-10-best-bike-lanes?partner=rss#1

Dense urban land with minimal parking more productive than parking lots

Economic analysis of per acre productivity of urban, walkable and cyclable business districts vs suburban, big box discount retailers with oversupply of parking is covered in this story.

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2013/11/25/the-fool-proof-city.html#.UqjoifRDsXu

Younger generations going carless

Auto insurance industry research finds new generations are less dependent on cars, less interested in purchasing them, and looking for better places to spend their money.

See more at: http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/millennials-driving.aspx?WT.qs_osrc=fxb-177958610

Also, Pacific Northwest leading the way in declining car use:

http://environmentwww.earthfix.info/communities/article/northwest-urban-areas-among-trendsetters-for-commu/

Buildings without cars

Numbers of cities across the U.S. are finding places where they can approve developments that dispense with on site vehicle parking. They typically pop up in neighbourhoods where walking and cycling are viable transportation options for many daily travel needs. Car free and car-light housing also increase affordability by decreasing the significant development costs and misuse of valuable urban land associated with cheap storage for private cars.

 

More at: http://www.planetizen.com/node/66437

Bicycle tourism attracts diverse markets

_Cycle_Tour_Survey

2005 survey at the Seattle Bike Expo taught us about the people who are attracted to cycling on Vancouver Island.