A short film by an initial and steady MyWHaT underwriter…TC based Higher Grounds.
Not just excellent coffee sourced with a mission to create true partnerships with coffee farmers from the global south, but also delivering a ton of coffee bean by bicycle every year. It’s worth a screen grab from the short:
And, thank you Higher Grounds for your continued support of the blog for a third year–it is greatly appreciated! We will try our best to ensure bicycle deliver is safe, comfortable, and inviting!
If you’re interested in underwriting as a business or organization,
I’m captivated by Boston Public Library’s collection of automotive crash photography from the 1920′s (Flickr). They are a graphic reminder that we humans have crashed cars into trees, buildings, off bridges and into people since automobiles were put on the road and we’ve gawked at the aftermath for just as long.
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
In 2010, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were nearly 33,000 deaths on U.S. roads; the lowest since 1949, but still 90 deaths per day in the name of speed, comfort, and convenience.
Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for young people (NHTSA-PDF). In 2009, car crashes were the leading killer for every age group from 11 to 27 (in 2008, the same was true for ages 13-30).
Globally, 1.3 million die every year on public roads and streets. That’s 3,500 people every single day and the pattern of crashes impacting the young holds, as annually 260,000 people age 10-24 die prematurely because of automobile crashes (Make Roads Safe).
Anyway, apart from the trip into the carnage data (which wasn’t my intention when I started this post–really), what is extremely captivating by many of these images is the awareness the gawkers have of the photographer. There are several, like these below, where onlookers seem eager to be photographed with the wreckage. I can only guess what they are thinking, but I suspect it started with something like, “oh, the tragedy.”
Or, as they likely were passing by these crashes on foot, they are expressing early equivalents of, “What idiots! Do you see this?” What do you see in the crashes and the eyes of the onlookers?
View the collection of 281 images at Boston Public Library’s Flickr site.
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
HT @Brainpicker (always intriguing finds)
Last week I was chatting with a friend about streets in Traverse City and the three-legged, multi-lane intersection of where M-22, M-72 and Bay St. came up (GMap). Irrespective of the mode, it’s a clusterbunch of an intersection. The points of conflict far surpass any normal intersection and at busy times, this is one of the few places with any real congestion in the City. A modern roundabout has been proposed there to address safety and efficiency, but is certainly not on MDOT’s or the City’s work-list.
Over the weekend, there was also another crash at the infamous 11th and Division St. intersection. How many happen there a year? It’s a reminder that community concerns for this corridor are more than just for people on foot; there are real safety concerns for people in cars as well. A modern roundabout has also been proposed for this intersection and still yet may be embraced.
Roundabouts may not be everyone’s favorite, but this community will eventually see their application applied to tricky intersections trying to serve many needs. We’ve tried here on MyWHaT to be a source for information regarding the modern roundabouts and our roundabout resource page continues to be one of the most visited on the site. I’m not saying they need to go in everywhere, but they are a simple, proven tool in need of consideration. The safety results are too overwhelming to ignore.
When we do finally embrace the modern roundabout as an option, perhaps we mimic Oakland County and utilize a local radio host to introduce the tool. Any nominations?
Paul W. Smith of WJR explains roundabouts by TIAMichigan
Things don’t always go right. I know this because I still fall off my bike, not often but it does happen when I am trying something really tricky.
~ 9-year-old Martha Payne of Argyll, NeverSeconds
Have a nice long weekend.
This is kind of dumb.
But…still good addition to the magazine’s Bike Nation series (Good) in honor of National Bike Month (Bike League). A favorite post so far, If You Build Bike Lanes, They Will Ride, reports findings of a study that looked at over 90 of the largest cities in the U.S. to answer the question, “what makes a city bicycle-friendly?”
The answer, ”the more infrastructure exists to encourage biking, the more people bike—and the more society reaps the public health, energy, and lifestyle benefits that come with an increasing share of people-powered transportation.”
Go build it. Go ride.
Well, it looks quite possible that Traverse City will get another auto-centric, box-store, convenience store posing as a pharmacy as a gateway into the City as Walgreens eyes the southeast corner of Front and Garfield Ave (Ticker). Potentially losing one of those locally owned anchors of summer, Bardon’s ice cream.
Unlike CVS across town to the west, set to break ground this summer, this project likely won’t raise too much fuss-who cares about this intersection? It has for a longtime been forgotten despite being one of the most unfriendly intersections in town.
The current C-3 zoning completely allows anything a big store could ever desire–a drive-through, 24-hour service, massive parking lot lighting, ect. At the moment, the City has very little in its tool box to influence the design or impact of development on this corner.
The Walgreens development doesn’t sound for certain, but this development is another reminder that there is a lot weighing on the corridor study, which inlcudes E. Front St. and Garfield Ave. There certainly is support to rethink these corridors and part of that is adopting zoning requirements that don’t restrict use per se, but do influence how private investments interact with and influence public interests.
The corrdidor study isn’t scheduled to end until this fall or the end of the year, but meetings are on-going and need public input. The next Corridor Steering Committee meeting is Tuesday, June 26 at 3pm at the Govermental Center. According to the City Planner, the committee will be reviewing draft framework plans.
What do you think, does a typical Walgreen’s box and parking lot say, “Welcome to Traverse City!” to you?
Reason #72 why we ride (or walk)?…Found money.
Back-story: I was feeling like I lost some money when I left the house for work this morning and so when I came upon this 10-spot in the middle of the street, I couldn’t help smiling at the universe. Certainly, found money and other valuables is a reason to ride. You just don’t find things like this when you’re in a car doing 30-plus in a 25-mph zone.
Reminds me: last week I watched a woman stop on the side of the street and lean over without dismounting her bike to pick up a large piece of litter. Next to her people in cars continued to speed by–oblivious. Oblivious to a lot of things–as is the nature of such things. I’ve never once witnessed a driver stop, get out of their car, and pick-up a piece of random trash. Myself included, except for perhaps in a parking lot.
Back to work; a 10-spot only goes so far.
A reminder: MyWHaT is in need of underwriters to the blog.
If you or your organization are interested, please send us a message.
Tweed Ride TC: 2012
A few images from Saturday’s sultry Tweed Ride. There was less tweed than last year, but you can blame that on the 86 degree temperatures (it’s still May, right?).
Click to open gallery
Next year’s date has already been set and has been moved up a month to improve the need for tweed. Mark your calendar’s for April 27, 2012 and follow Tweed Ride TC for updates.
Saturday’s dignified assembly:
click for large version
These images and more at the MyWHaT Flickr Site
* Photos by GLHJR
Speed kills: What are you gonna do about it?
Always appreciative of Daniel Pink’s emotionally intelligent signage series.
The posting of the above sign was timely because I saw it shortly after a phone call with a friend who called me out of complete frustration with cars speeding by her Traverse City home. She lives near a heavily foot-trafficked intersection and has gone through Traverse City’s traffic committee process, her neighborhood’s traffic committee process, and has reached out repeatedly to the City police department to increase enforcement of the 25-mph zone…nothing has worked to help slow down traffic. The latter doesn’t pull people over unless they are going over 35-mph (more on that
bullshit nonsense later).
At a certain point, taking things into your own hands is the best option. It may or may not be apparently effective, but it adds a bit of fun to the situation (on my street, we experiment with duct-tape delineation (TW) and even the penguin’s were working until stolen).
There is a market for emotional signage…Recently, a reader sent me the following image from Kingsley, Michigan, where the community took the polite route to nudge people to slow down through the village’s main drag and neighborhood.
Kingsley’s emotional plea
In another emotional appeal from Pink’s blog, he highlights a sign from the sign company Drive Like Your Kids Live Here, which sells different versions of the same message. This is certainly a sign I could see being popular in Traverse City.
In the town of Needham, Massachusetts, the community went for the heart-strings of drivers by having children make the appeals to slow down (Boston Globe). The town manager wrote a letter describing the strategy (.doc), “the goal of this project…was to raise awareness of the importance of speeding on local streets, and it is clear that the community is engaged and drivers are noticing these signs and thinking about their purpose.”
Needham making signs personal–do you hate kids?
Signs aren’t going to “solve” the speeding issues in our neighborhoods, but that isn’t really the point of these emotional appeals. It’s more about showing that people, residents, are present and need to be expected to be present by those oblivious to the context of the community they are driving through. So show them. And, don’t be afraid to be a little whacky…
via How We Drive
Signs like the one above would make David Engwicht, who champions creating “intrigue and uncertainty” to reclaim neighborhood streets, proud.
I can get behind that–a little cognitive dissonance created in the minds of drivers is likely to pull them out of their morning commute stupor or their end of the day slog home more than you think. Once you have them thinking about the context they are in, it is only a quick skip and a jump to realizing they are driving a 2-ton machine of death too fast for context.
What messages can you come up with? Please share…
A few from the scribble pad and with a bit more umph:
Just place on tree lawn
Same theme, a little more direct:
I’ll go back to the scribble pad with any ideas shared here. If you’d like to organize a sign-making soiree, I encourage you to do so…keep readers posted or send me a message.
Are we designing communities for the next 50 years or the past 50?
“Almost half of all 18 to 34-year-old drivers are driving less, and nearly two-thirds would drive less if alternative transportation options were available.”
~ Survey: Half of Gen Y would rather text than drive, USA Today
Graphic via Baby Boomers drive boom in new car sales (Freep)
“Those students, who are starting their college life as soon as today, are the youngest of a tech-infused millennial generation who – in sharp contrast to Baby Boomers and other previous generations – no longer view a driver’s license as a rite of passage into adulthood.”
~Marketing shift seen for Millennial generation, SFGate