Open air table tennis, parking, parkland, road rage and other chit-chat
- Are parks the answer to boosting the economy? Botanic Gardens of NWMI weighs in. On that note, from the archive is this Project for Public Places article: What If We Built Our Cities Around Places? TC is working towards that as the plano-metircs for Traverse City’s bayfront parkland is complete. It needs champions to avoid the smaller, less sexy projects of the plan from being lost somewhere in 400 Boardman Avenue.
- The Glen Arbor Sun covers the surfacing debate about the future Sleeping Bear Heritage multi-use trail: To pave or not to pave. After riding on some crushed limestone paths in Montreal, I see their potential, but it’s never that easy.
- Did you know it was Road Rage Awareness Week in Michigan? Me either. Todd at M-Live asks, “Why is road rage limited to assaults on other motor vehicle operators and passengers?” Complete the streets, complete the perception.
- Uhg award: Another town is considering banning bicycles on most critical routes in St. Charles County in Missouri. Again, it’s safety concerns being used.
- The Grand Rapids press editorializes in favor of Complete Streets and Grand Rapids has a ribbon cutting for its first complete street.
- In a Record Eagle story about parking woes during the Cherry Festival, it takes the entire article to get to the obvious point: “There’s people driving around for hours. It’s pointless. What is the problem with walking?” Agreed. Buried in the story is the measly $5 ticket for illegal parking. $5? We got a $15 for parking overnight in front of my house! Come on DDA, raise your prices!
- America Walk agrees with the idea of walking, obviously, and their latest calls for a Pedestrian Movement. The focus on walking, something we call do, seemed to be overlooked in the Nimble Cities awards over at slate: narrow cars, smart Buses and bike networks aren’t a bad start though.
- For all the people who don’t ride a bike out of safety concerns, the reality is that the health benefits outweigh the risks. To quote the study:
“For the individuals who shift from car to bicycle, we estimated that beneficial effects of increased physical activity are substantially larger (3 – 14 months gained) than the potential mortality effect of increased inhaled air pollution doses (0.8 – 40 days lost) and the increase in traffic accidents (5 – 9 days lost). Societal benefits are even larger due to a modest reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and traffic accidents.“
To wrap, Ping-Pong (乒乓球): I played a lot of outdoor ping-pong while living in China. The concrete or stone tables are everywhere and when no net is available, bricks are used. Ping! push in London was started to get people playing table tennis in a lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, even installing a table in Heathrow airport’s terminal 3. A Michigan based company out of Alpena is now developing tables for the European and American markets. The company, called Henge, installed Ann Arbor’s first table at the Huron Valley Swim Club and in addition to other venues in America.
What do you think? Anyone interested? Something to pursue for a Traverse City park? Where?
And to show that these are more than single use items, the owner of Henge, Alan Good demonstrates another use.
Correction: Originally mentioned that Henge was participating in the Ping! program London. That wasn’t correct and has been changed.