Moving About

Today, I’m featuring three videos that all relate in some way to how people move through the city.

1) This video is part one of a lecture that Andrés Duany, well known architect/planner and initiator of New Urbanism, gave regarding how we design space and the pitfalls of single use planning in neighbourhoods.  In the first video he uses an image of your typical shopping mall parking lot and notes how these massive expanses of parking never fill up even during the busiest times of the year (the ills of parking minimums).  He also points out that often people who walk in these spaces are marginalized and that we will never be able to reduce traffic congestion by adding more traffic lanes.  Instead, he points out that to reduce traffic issues, we need to shorten or eliminate trips – through better planning. Many of his points are important to think about with regards to how we plan for transportation and mobility and the need for mixed development. I’m part way through part 2 of the lecture and it is just getting better!

2) A short video interview with Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Commissioner of New York City, talking about her perspective on how to create sustainable cities.  If you don’t know who she is – go to Google now. Janette is becoming very well known for her ability to get projects done on tight deadlines and limited budgets – she is behind New York’s recent proliferation of bike lanes, the pop-up cafe’s that I mentioned last week, and is extremely passionate about how to get people from A to B safely, in an efficient manner, and with a view to future sustainability (and financial prudence). Some criticize her for her direct methods, but I say anyone who can transform Times Square into a pedestrian plaza over a long weekend is a little bit magic.  Her commitment to innovating the transportation system overall is a breath of fresh air and something that all cities should aspire to achieve.

Ok – and you should watch this video of her too, it is pretty short and the Urbanophile gives a nice summary of it.

3) A fun, first person perspective video showcasing the 10,000 bicycle parking spaces at the rail station in the city of Groningen (Netherlands).  Their population is 188,000 people…. less than Regina.  I welcome people’s estimates for how many bicycle parking spots we have in the entire city but I feel rather confident guessing it is nowhere near 10,000. It also includes a demo on how these stacked bike racks work (neat!).

It is great to see Regina starting to move toward improving and diversifying our transportation options including the new transit plan, and a focus on walkability and bikability in the downtown.  However, I feel like it is time to stop testing the waters with more and more studies.  Perhaps we need to take a note from Ms. Sadik-Khan – have a strong vision to guide your overall transportation plan well into the future and don’t be afraid to test and play with pilot projects to see what is possible and workable.  Then focus on implementation with aggressive timelines.

**photo credit: Patrick Goossens

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Moving About

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