Archive for June, 2011

MyWHaT: More Good Than Harm

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment


Blogger Needs Break

After posting 725 posts since January 2010, I’m taking an approximately 2 week break from maintaining an almost daily posting on MyWHaT. It’s a vacation, but a vacation full of work, some of it related and some of it that pays the mortgage. (A few guest posts may squeak in.)

I also need more hammock time.

I’ve created a responsibility to myself to publish on a very regular, if not hyper-active rate, and it is difficult to shut-it-down. If you hear me utter the phrase, “I really need to write about…” quickly cut me off and shove a grissini in my mouth and buy me a beer. Or, scold me and send me to the nearest hammock to contemplate what I’ve done.

Do You Enjoy MyWHaT?

I do. I enjoy putting MyWHaT together. I like the writing, the editing and the aggregating of resources. There is also related work away from the blog that I enjoy, like connecting people, supporting cool ideas and leading discussions on community issues. But, it does take time; a lot more time than I want to admit to…I’ll only admit to 20 hours a week.

It helps that I have a core of underwriters and the generous support of a few readers. To be honest, I could use more. If you find MyWHaT entertaining or valuable, a donation of any amount is appreciated. Donations in the past have ranged from $5-$500 and the average is around $100. More importantly than the amount, a donation validates the effort behind MyWHaT and its value to the community; it makes me relax a little, smile more and feel like I’m at the least, doing more good than harm (Thanks for boost, RS).

MyWHaT: More Good Than Harm.ūüôā

Thank you…see you on the streets and back here in 2 weeks…or so.

Ways to stay in touch


Most directly visited MyWHaT posts of all time:

Village of Elk Rapids Shows Off Some Sharrows

June 22, 2011 6 comments

Elk Rapids: Sharrows

Sharrow in Elk Rapids via The MyWHaT Roaming Reporter

This is the first year of the sharrow program and the village has placed them on all streets leading  into downtown, including the main drag River St. There are a total of 12 of them put in to meet the goal of a more welcoming community to people on bicycles. As far as we know, these are the first sharrows in Northern Michigan.

Kudos!  [Applause]


What’s a sharrow?

Where could Traverse City put them?

City, County And Area Recreational/Parkland Providers Want Your Input

June 22, 2011 Leave a comment


Through July 31st, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is inviting the community to participate in an online survey that is being conducted to determine what citizens name as priorities for recreation, parks, leisure needs, as well as opportunities in Grand Traverse County, TCAPS’ attendance area, and adjacent townships.

Online Community Survey To Identify Traverse Area Recreation Priorities

Grand Traverse County parks and recreation director, Jason Jones in an email introduced the following survey’s goal with:

Ovid said, “In our leisure we reveal what kind of people we are.”… The survey, and the work of our committee is to ask the questions about what kind of people we are, and to hopefully get the answers that will either tell us we are building a strong community¬†through recreation, or what we can do better to reveal the best traits within our community most efficiently.¬†Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns related to this issue.

(GT Parks and Recreation Department at  (231) 922-4818 or

The committee he refers to consists of representatives from the Grand Traverse County Parks & Recreation Department, the City of Traverse City, townships, TCAPS, YMCA, and other recreational providers have come together to form the Grand Traverse Athletic Collaborative Committee. The purpose of the Collaborative is to explore opportunities for organizing health, wellness, recreation, and leisure resources in more coordinated ways. The Committee is looking¬†to better understand the recreational needs and interests of families, couples, and single persons who are residents of Grand Traverse County and TCAPS’ attendance area.

How you define recreation will inform your responses. I take a very inclusive and broad approach to recreation. A walk to work is both transportation and recreational. I don’t just recreate in parks. I tried to put that in my responses.

Help out… take the survey at the following

An Underpass And A Roundabout

June 21, 2011 4 comments

Video Tuesday

Multilevel roundabout in Houten, Netherlands by 

Raise the road a little and lower the¬†separated¬†trail a little to provide a well-lit, welcoming “underpass”. Then, provide some¬†delineation and¬†separate¬†people on foot from people on wheels¬†with a wide underpass that includes a sidewalk and you have an intersection most of us would enjoy using.


What If Public Space Was Designed Like An iPhone?

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Well Put

Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design.‚ÄĚ

~ Dieter Rams, renowned industrial designer

I’m not a designer; I’m a consumer and I¬†appreciate¬†design that is intuitive, informative, sharp. Dieter Rams has inspired clean design that fits this idea for decades.

Design should not dominate things, should not dominate people. It should help people. That‚Äôs its role.‚ÄĚ This applies to tiny gadgets as well as public spaces; entire cities.

Treat yourself for 7 minutes. This video will help you think today.

via BrainPickings (Thank you)


Ram’s Ten Principles of Good Design

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design helps us to understand a product
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is durable
  8. Good design is consequent to the last detail
  9. Good design is concerned with the environment
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

Suburban Ponzi Scheme, People In Conflict, Want Less Traffic Then Build Sidewalks (The Weekly Chatter)

June 17, 2011 1 comment

Unfortunate¬†title: Cycles vs. Cars (N. Express). Unfortunate because it perpetuates the notion, however subtle, that people aren’t involved. It is the human animal that is moving about on a bicycle or in an automobile; we have limitations and breaking points.¬†Missing from the article is reference to the role of¬†infrastructure¬†design. These conflicts are not happening in a vacuum and, as it is quickly becoming a mantra, infrastructure is not¬†neutral.

We Ride On

The issue also¬†includes a story of¬†an asinine¬†harassment¬†of someone on a bike by no other than officer Joseph Soffredine who ticketed the rider for impeding traffic¬†(N.Express). Note: it is legal to ride two abreast¬†(MVC) and it’s unclear what traffic was being impeded (MVC)¬†other than the officer stalking them. How silly.

But, not quite as silly as the national news about the cyclist too¬†sexy¬†to ride a bike…back to the 19th century with this one (TreeHugger) –>

Weekly Chatter

The first generation of suburbia we built on savings and investment, but we built the second — and maintained the first — using debt. Unprecedented levels of debt.¬†“

From the latter: Increasing sidewalk coverage on both sides of 30 percent of all streets to coverage on both sides of 70 percent of all streets was estimated to result in a 3.4 percent decrease in VMT and a 4.9 percent decrease in CO2.


To Wrap

Go to the beach.

Graphic Friday: Mind The Gaps

June 17, 2011 1 comment

Graphic Friday

Sent in via Team Haas

Be careful crossing the alleyways. Mind the Gaps.

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