Sunday, August 19, 2007

What cars do to cities.

In the previous post "Save Our Scenic Drive", we pointed out the transformation happening with Wyandotte road in the name of moving more cars. Todays post is taken from a blog entitled "Naparstek", and further illustrates how our urban environment is being altered to make room for the personal automobile.

Aaron Naparstek: "The two photos above were part of a presentation I did on Wednesday, November 16 for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council's monthly brown bag lunch seminar." In the first photo, New York City's Park Avenue was once... a park! This photo is looking north on Park Avenue at about 50th Street some time before 1922. The photo next to it is Park Avenue post-1922 after "improvements" to accomodate motor vehicle traffic. You might say that these two photos tell the story of 20th century New York City public space about as eloquently as it can be told. In my presentation I argued that New York City's current surface transportation system is broken, dysfunctional and in increasingly urgent need of repair. Then I offered five ideas that could go along way towards fixing it:

- Better Bike infrastructure
- Traffic-calming
- Pedestrian & public space improvements
- Bus rapid transit
- Congestion charging"

So, you see, there are many lessons to be learned all over the place about how to treat your urban spaces. Looking at the list the author provides that could "fix" our broken, dysfunctional transportation system, how do you feel Windsor is doing? We have talked about and started some policy initiatives that address some of these issues, but that's about it. We must fight for bike lanes. There has been a traffic-calming policy passed, but is it being implemented? The other three just aren't worth discussing as Windsor has been starving these unwanted children in a closet under the stairs for generations.

Unfortunately, Windsor seems to think they're something "special" and are somehow beyond learning from the experiences of others.

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