Water & Play: Just Try to Drag Them Away
Part of the interactive playscape at Darling Park, Sydney Australia by Aspect Studios
This what I’m talking about! Creating parks that draw children in and capture their imaginations for hours on end through endless movement, experimentation and, what the designers of Dalring Park call, “acceptable risk taking.” (FastCo. Design)
Can you think of anywhere in your community where some innovation & inspiration is needed?
NOTE: Traverse City is no Sydney Australia and we won’t be matching this output on our waterfront. However, part of the goal from the 2010 planning process was capturing the essence of creating play through out the entire project, namely at Clinch Park. We do this through great design.
For more inspiration:
Improv Everywhere creator Charlie Todd on the power of absurdity in public spaces
* +1 the project shown at the 9 minute mark in this video.
Downtown isn’t going to win big box shoppers and the mall isn’t going to win the person seeking character & history. We could pay someone to park but the Bed, Bath & Beyond shopper still wouldn’t come downtown.”
- Steve Patterson, Poll: Thoughts on On-Street Parking Downtown
Tonight the City Commission will hold a study session concerning the 2012 construction project at Clinch park, including the fate of the mini-steam engine train ride. If you have a concern about what the direction that this space will take over the next 40-50 years, please consider attending or sending an email to the commissioners. At this point, they need to be reminded that people have high expectations for a re-imagined waterfront. For a few, that may include keeping a train ride, for many others it does not.
You can view the City Commission packet here or embedded below.
Same train, two views
Also on the agenda and of interest is a discussion of major projects and a 2-year strategic planning process…I know these two topics don’t jump out at you with excitement, but it is an opportunity to see the direction of staff and the commissioners.
If you want to help get the Bayfront project back on a path towards something great, please take a moment today to contact the City Commissioners. They need to be shown some love and support for a waterfront that City residents can be proud of.
It is astounding the excuses made for the lack of public bathrooms in downtown Traverse City. #JustSayin
The fact that nobody thought of putting bathrooms into the two parking decks and then staff and representatives look around like they don’t know what to do is absurd (Ticker). I understand that as a culture we under value immediate needs and human nature (MyWHaT), it is quite clear in some of the brush-off comments on The Ticker, but at a certain point it becomes obvious that if we are to have a place that goes beyond adequate, then dedicated, attractive and inviting public bathrooms need to happen.
My vote: convert “Lot O” into a park with a LEED certified bathroom/warming area and if another deck goes in, a bathroom is required. Where we pee shouldn’t fall on the backs of businesses, lest they choose to rebel (NYTimes).
(My apologies, there may just be too much here.)
- DDot (Deleware) adopting sharrows through intersections (BikeDe) proving once again that I may be crazy, but others are too (TC Sharrows) while Elly Blue raises the question: Are sharrows half-assed measures? (Grist) * In places…yes.
- Bicycle Speed Limits? (Denver)
- How to destroy your city 1, 2, 3 (NUBlog) and conversely, how to instill confidence in kids through walkable communities (GGRWash) and need a boost to the economy? Look at your bicycle network (BigCity)
with numerous studies from different cities the world over repeatedly suggesting positive economic benefits on a local scale, urban bicycle networks could provide our cities with a much-needed economic boost.”
- Teens to auto industry “meh, just not that into you.“ (NYTimes) and a Chinese billionaire basically says the same thing: “expand public transport vehicles, double parking fees and oil prices.” Then…smashes his car (TransitionVoice)
- 5 myths about the gas tax (CNN) and still relevant, taxing away vulnerability–why $5 per gallon (Economists) and, how the gas tax is like Keyser Soze (Infrastructurist) as it is really a tax-cut creating a mountain of debt & liabilities for the future (NewColonist) Strong Towns nails it, describing the 45 mph world nobody wants, or is able to fund (Strong Towns)
We’ve built a 45 mile per hour world, one that moves too slow to be efficient yet too fast to provide a platform for value. Our transportation system embraces mediocrity, not from a lack of resources, but from a lack of focus. We must quit fooling ourselves, understand what it means to really create value in a transportation system and commit ourselves to building Strong Towns.”
Listen to to the Strong Town’s post:
- From one motor-head to another: “My fellow car lovers…protecting the car as a means of transport requires that we not abuse it at everyone’s expense” (Calgary Herald)
- RT everybodywalk Quote of the Day: “The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.” ~Buddha
- RT stevemouzon One test for potential for greatness is how infrequently someone lets urgent small things trump important big things
- RT transportdata “Social life happens when we walk or bike. It doesn’t happen in a car.”
- RT urbandata $45 of every $100 spent at a locally-owned business stays in local economy. Only $14 of that same $100 spent at chain store stays.
- RT Maddz4planning Not new knowledge. Crime leads to perceived risk and inactivity. Encouraging biking and walking is about more than just lanes and sidewalks
- RT ellyblue Yeah! RT
@remyholwick: elizabeth braun begs to differ; she bikes in heels, dresses, and suits– aggressively– daily, and has for years.
- MT brainpicker “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Have a weekend!
In total, 369,629 people died in crashes between 2001 and 2009.
49,827 of those deaths were people on foot, bicycle or some other non-motorized vehicle.
Dangerous by Design
Get to zero
* Graphic: Screen grab of the The Guardian’s interactive US road accident casualties: every one mapped across America using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
…to all who bother to read. To everyone who contributes to the discussion. To those who contribute with guest posts. To those who contribute to the cause.
…to all who engage and represent in their local governments. To those who engage and represent with area organizations. To those who are all in to protect and improve the commons.
…to all who gleefully use public spaces. Who take an elder to a park, sit on a park bench with a child and occupy our public drinking fountains. To those who stop to linger. To consider.
…to all who feed our brains, minds and bodies. To everyone who challenges us. To the strangers who pass by and leave behind subtle, powerful gifts. To those that become friends.
…to all that believe it is worth the effort, thank you.
After two years, two local high school students have finished their tribute history to Hickory Hills, Traverse City’s municipally operated ski hill. Molly Tompkins and Ryan Ness have collected stories from hundreds of people for the tribute to the hill where they learned to ski.
The result, titled “Light the Night“, will be on the bookshelves this December. The easiest way to purchase a copy is to order direct from their website at Preserve Hickory Hills. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Preserve Hickory organization to work with the City of Traverse City and the Ski Club to ensure that Hickory Hills is preserved for the coming generations.
“We knew Hickory Hills contributed significantly to Traverse City’s heritage, but through the process of writing this book, we have come to realize its history is richer than we ever imagined,“ wrote the authors in the Record Eagle earlier this month.
Some fun facts they came up with:
- Hickory Hills was the first Michigan ski area to have lights for night skiing.
- Traverse City High School was the first school in the state with a varsity ski team.
- Little known, but there are also 5-kilometers of cross-country ski trails.
As a reminder of what type of memories will happen in just a few weeks–how about a face-plant at the 48 second mark of the following video. Oh, the memories, you gotta have them.
Hickory Jumps by tyandjohanna
A big MyWHaT thank you to Molly and Ryan for the book and the continued support of a great community destination and service.
Have a memory of Hickory Hills?
NOTE: Hickory Hills remains a topic of discussion at the City since it was tagged as an “unnecessary subsidy” by some in the COFAC report. Although there is no immediate threat that the City would even think about selling it, that was where some people started. Currently, the City is exploring options of how to raise revenue from the property. Two suggestions out there include designing and building for summer events (mainly an attractive lodge) and the addition of a tubing run. You can view the Tubing study at the City’s Hickory Hills web page. If you’d like to contribute to the discussion, the Parks and Recreation Commission meets every first Thursday of the month or you can send us an email.
Filmed in front of the HUB in New York:
“How not to flash people wearing a skirt on a bike?” via vanmoof
You might recall our visit to the HUB last year when we recorded this insightful discussion with the owner, George Bliss.
Hat tip to B.P. Ding! Ding!
NOTE: I understand that we are gearing up for winter bicycling now, and that this video might not seem time-appropriate, but you never know when a heat wave may come through and inspire spring attire.
Humility is the recognition that we don’t know, even when we think we know.
~ Tony Schwartz, in his article There’s No Such Thing as Constructive Criticism
Worth a read for a reminder of how we are all in this experience of inquiry together.
Hat tip to @joelga for the find. Ding! Ding!