It’s not pleasant on Division, but at least people aren’t banned from it: weekly chatter…
Quick reflection: At least one thing was confirmed on the Division St. observational walk: spending 2-hours in this ‘place’ is nerve-racking; it’s not a pleasant place.
Is this what the community intended? Did the collective ‘we’ make a choice at some point to devote this place to simply moving ‘goods and people’ by means of motorized traffic, a method that in such single-use concentration undermines the human element? In spots on the route, best observed where the 7-foot walls, vacant lots, lack of landscaping, boarded-off entrances are located, it’s evident that at-the-least we have given-up on this place and accepted that passing through this corridor in steel boxes is more valued than slowing down, stopping and creating a community.
It’s hard not to be pessimistic after standing next to a freeway for two-hours. I only trust that the community will make an intentional choice to begin reclaiming this corridor as a place for people, while still serving our mobility needs. More follow-up on the walk next week…
Seeking reader input: Where should the next observational walk be?
- Speaking of Division St. Ann Arbor’s own has an interesting history (video).
- Passenger rail to Traverse City? Not quite, but over 100 people turned out to the Michigan By Rail Forum last night.
- Can you see the walker’s paradise of Milwaukee from your house? Me either, but plane tickets are cheap from Manistee and the people focused development seems worth a trip. Anyone for a weekend get-away?
- Please, no mandatory helmet laws, which are road blocks to easy transportation. A better option is helmet design competitions–go Mackinac Island!
- You can’t walk or bike to heaven, well at least not to the Heaven Fest. Ignoring the primary safety threat (motorized traffic), festival bans walking and biking to their event.
- Self-propelled unite! Digital version of Momentum launched.
- Towns are recovering from oil addiction, here’s one town’s story.
- City of Detroit to spend $41 million to update and fix its sidewalk ramps. The scale is mind-boggling.
- The cycling mayor of LA has a crash, and uses it to proclaim “Bikes Belong”. Meanwhile, the crash highlights the accidental language of journalists who continually confuse the issue. And, perhaps the LA mayor himself needs a lesson: crashes CAN BE someone’s fault. Not that Traverse City would know anything about that.
- Bike parking is the latest realization of how to encourage more ridership. Melbourne, AU is blowing the concept out of the water. Hey DDA, can we carve out part of the next $10 million for west end parking deck for something like this?
- China, competing with United States on ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. Now, with its own major oil spill.
To wrap, when ever you think something is impossible or someone else is telling you so, remember this visualization from Information is Beautiful that was inspired by the creator while “listening to writer Clay Shirky talk about cognitive surplus – the idea of spare brainpower in the world’s collective mind just sitting there waiting, wanting, to be harnessed.”
Have a weekend.