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Archive for February, 2010

Tuesday Cartoon: The art of experimentation & failure

February 23, 2010 2 comments

(NOTE: I was invited on the Vic McCarty show today at 11:10 to discuss the ongoing 8th St. issue. AM1270 or Streeming Online. The city will meet with MDOT on Thursday.)

He’s not a cartoon, but he is cartoonish. Here’s Pee-Wee Herman demonstrating the art of experiment and failure. And how to spin it.

Pee-Wee Herman was mentioned a few times at the Traverse City Comedy Festival over the weekend. Is there a comeback? If you want more Pee-Wee biking stimulus, here is Pee-Wee riding to “Bicycle Race” by Queen.

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Walk in the road, get somehwere

February 22, 2010 8 comments

Originally published on February 22,  2010.

You have 5 minutes to get to a meeting, where do you walk?

(Two images looking north down Wellington St. in Traverse City: Gary L Howe Feb.19, 2010)

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Street reclaiming: walking is a fundamental right

We spend hundreds of thousands annually to keep the streets almost perfectly clear in the winter. We do this for the privilege of having a network of streets that we have dedicated to automobile use. Due to circumstance and priorities, a cleared neighborhood street vs. an uneven, slippery and inconsistent sidewalk (see above) is the unfortunate norm in Traverse City.

Walk in the road, get somewhere.

If walking is a viable transportation choice for you and you need to get somewhere conveniently and in a timely manner–hop on the fast track…Safety is a concern, but be polite, be visible, be confident-it’s the motorist that by law must yield (meaning: slowing down and passing at a safe distance). US-DOT even suggest that you do it (albeit, they assume that sidewalks are usually cleared–sorry, not really.

When walking in the winter, are you comfortable walking in the street or do you stay strictly to the sidewalks?

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Monday’s Quote: Intentional design from the master

February 22, 2010 1 comment

In a  2008 New Yorker story titled “Dymaxion Man: The visions of Buckminster Fuller“, you can find this gem of a quote that captures the crux of Intentional Design:

I made up my mind . . . that I would never try to reform man—that’s much too difficult. What I would do was to try to modify the environment in such a way as to get man moving in preferred directions.“ – Buckminster Fuller

As this article points out, Fuller’s ideas & life had little concern for the way things have always been done.

Let’s not let legacies of the past get in our way.

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Weekly Chatter: TIGER time, let’s move, bee miles per gallon…

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Happy New Year & enjoy the Chinese Spring Festival! Last Sunday began the Year of the Tiger and it’s being celebrated more ways than one–conservationist and transportation-ist (see below) are grasping the opportunity.

In the NExpress, the Mayor is nicknamed Blunt Bzdok over the current 8th St. debate (some just don’t get it). The needed Change of order is possible, you can Support it Today by writing MDOT and representatives in Lansing. TART Trails also issued an action alert.

To the chatter…

Detroit’s Woodward Avenue Light Rail System is the closest winner for Northern Michigan (despite mostly missing out). The TIGER grants (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) were awarded on  merit based criteria for innovative transportation projects. There are some big projects, but there are many small, yet potentially high impact projects aimed at active modes of transportation that fulfill ‘community livability‘ goal. For an explanation and list of winners: US DOT’s press release (PDF).

Photo of the Week: A nice tie-in with the discussion of rails…

"TRAVELING DANGEROUSLY: A rail commuter stood on the front of a moving train in Soweto, South Africa" via WSJ Photos of the Week-always great...(Themba Hadebe/Associated Press)

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A cart-wheel for every donation? Maybe…

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s not pretty. That’s for certain. But to celebrate MyWHaT’s first Pay Pal donation a cart-wheel along 8th St. was in order–yeh!!!  The form should improve with every new donation.

The editor doing a very humble cart-wheel along 8th St. (Thanks A&J)

Thank you everyone for your support. It has been great!

A big question in the beginning was: “Would anyone read it?“.

In 2 months, MyWHaT has generated more than enough energy to keep it moving forward–mostly through the use of magic… but the over 6000 views, almost 200 comments and many new friends has been a key component.

It’s approaching a time when the scale of the BLOG will either need to scale down or generate some revenue for the combination of daily posting, researching and general mischief.  A plan is developing that should be ready by March, but in the meantime gestures of support— comments, offers of lunch and donations through Pay Pal are really appreciated.

I will continue to do to attempt cart-wheels in appreciation (just off film).

“In creating, the only hard thing’s to begin; A grass-blade’s no easier to make than an oak.” -James Russell Lowell

Pay Pal

One question I have: Do you read MyWHaT daily, occasionally, or wait for a weekly round-up?

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Celebrating ladies that rule…the trails

February 18, 2010 1 comment

Trailer for Awesome Land’s Women of Dirt

Not exactly the focus of MyWHaT, but mountain bike trails are just as good use of public space as anything. And, as these ladies show, it’s about building confidence and having fun doing it. Plus, it’s good to dream of summer.

Who is bringing films to Traverse City for Third Coast Bicycle Festival this August? This is a request…thank you.

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Memory Lane: …know when to run little green-man

February 18, 2010 1 comment

Original version via jasnjay on Youtube

Taiwan’s streets are dominated by cars and scooters. Yet, 小綠人 (xiaoluren) or the Little Green-man is everywhere to assist the walker across the road–set here to a little Colombian chill. Watch close as the animation picks up speed as time approaches.

What most ped crosswalk signals also have is an accompanying audio version for those with poor eyesight that also speeds up as time counts down–click…..click…..click…..click.click.click.

And, in Taiwan, when it says get across the road, you better bust a move…they aren’t known for their good driving skills.

Where was the last countdown signal you saw?

Anyone else want to see the Little Green-man in Northern Michigan?

NOTE: This is the first entry in the Memory Lane series that will spotlight examples from past experiences and travels. If you have yours and want to share, send me an email.

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