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[15 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
A Leading Expert Shares his Vision for a Transit Friendly Northeast Ohio

This post was written by Jason Segedy, head of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study — Akron’s metropolitan planning organization. It was originally published at his blog Notes from the Underground.
Marc Lefkowitz of GreenCityBlueLake was kind enough to ask me to share my views on the future of public transit in Northeast Ohio with him.
Because I think it such an important topic, I’d like to share some of the same thoughts here at Notes from the Underground.
Q: Do we need a big, transformative vision for transit in Northeast Ohio, or …

Public Transportation »

[29 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]

Just a reminder that we still have a lot of really great, really urban places in the rust belt. Here’s a nice feature about eminently walkable Lakewood, Ohio — an inner ring suburb of Cleveland where people prefer to get around on foot and bike.

These kinds of places are rare, in part because of the lousy zoning rules that mandate suburban sprawl we’ve adopted across the U.S. Even Lakewood is guilty of these kinds of sins. Someone told me recently that the city requires houses to have garages.
 

Featured, Public Transportation »

[22 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
Baltimore’s Waterfront to Get Yet More Parking

Fancy office towers, hotels, museums, and tourist attractions line the contours of Baltimore’s Chesapeake Bay harborfront. So too, do massive parking garages and interstate-sized roadways that feed them. What does the future hold? According to a new plan, still more parking.
Like much of America, Baltimore waterfront development since the age of cars has been designed for the age of cars. That looks likely to continue as the waterfront grows.
The Greater Baltimore Committee and Waterfront Partnership hired architecture firm Ayers Saint Gross to prepare Inner Harbor 2.0, an overarching new plan for …

Book Review, Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »

[18 Feb 2014 | No Comment | ]
“Bikenomics” – An Instant Classic for Planners and Bicycling Advocates

Certain books become a classic in their field of study because of their comprehensive nature (i.e. The City in History). Others do from their advocacy and groundbreaking nature (i.e. Silent Spring).  In the case of Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy, both of these reasons apply. Author Elly Blue has written “the” definitive book on bicycle planning that clearly identifies the societal, physical, environmental, and economic benefits of bicycling, while also completely debunking the myths, fables, urban legends, half-truths, and outright lies spread by naysayers and automotive apologists.
Facts are funny things. They tend …

Architecture, Art, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Editorial, Education, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »

[29 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]
Ten Lessons from Boulder, Colorado

 
I had the great pleasure of visiting Boulder, Colorado for the first time over an extended weekend. As an urban planner, I was able to take away many useful lessons for Rust Belt communities from the lovely city abutting the Front Range. Granted, not every place can be set aside majestic mountains, but every community does have unique attributes.
Here are what I would quantify as the top ten. Many of these are remarkably similar to the ten lessons from European industrial cities published earlier this month.

Cherish, protect, enhance, and enjoy …

Architecture, Art, Economic Development, Editorial, Featured, Good Ideas, Politics, Public Transportation, Urban Planning »

[8 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]
Ten Lessons from European Industrial Cities

I have had the distinct privilege and honor of visiting the great cities of Dublin, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; and Manchester, England in the past four years. All three of these industrial revolution-era urban centers can provide America’s Rust Belt will valuable insights about overcoming past malaise and degradation to chart a new economic paradigm. Here are ten lesson I have learned from visiting them and observing what makes all three so vibrant:

Politics, Public Transportation »

[13 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]

What’s sadder guys? The fact that the powers that be in Michigan think widening I-94 and I-75 will help their economy, or the above Youtube video? Tough call, I think.
Michigan expat Erica Flock is allowing us to publish this letter she wrote to Rob Morosi at the Michigan Department of Transportation regarding the Detroit region’s plans to spend close to four billion widening two highways.
 
Dear Mr. Morosi,
Last month during a visit to my family in Michigan, I stood on RiverWalk overlooking the Detroit River. I don’t recall ever …

Architecture, Crime, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Politics, Public Transportation, Race Relations, Real Estate, Sports, Sprawl, The Media, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[5 Aug 2013 | No Comment | ]
Shared Responsibility for Detroit’s Woes

As a Michigander for the past 21 years, I’ve heard my share of Detroit criticisms, jokes, and put downs, both from within and outside the Great Lakes State. While fingers can be  pointed at the lack of past civic and political leadership in Detroit, our collective actions (or lack thereof) can certainly share in the responsibility. Some may scoff at such a notion, but here’re a few reasons why:

As a nation we elected leaders who adopted a tax code and laws that advocated, promoted, and accelerated flight from cities and …

Featured, Public Transportation »

[24 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]
Imagining a Dream Rapid for Cleveland

In March, The Atlantic Cities featured a map by Baltimore resident Chris Nelson that showed every Subway Restaurant as an actual subway stop arrayed nicely into a transit network that extended throughout greater Baltimore. Skip ahead to a few days ago and Business Insider wrote an article on the NYC Subway system plan from the 1970′s that never ended up being built.
These articles inspired me to create what I called the Dream Rapid. Rather than base it on existing Subway Restaurants or plans from decades ago, I instead set out to base in on plausible rail and interstate corridors that could accommodate transit.

A few days ago, I posted the initial Dream Rapid map to Facebook and got a good response. Much of the feedback asked for an even more ambitious map. The next day I posted Dream Rapid 2.0 featuring a beltway line that traced the path of I-480 and I-271 as well as extension of the lines further afield.

Editorial, Public Transportation »

[13 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]

Here’s a handy guide to not putting your foot in your mouth when discussing Cleveland’s “Opportunity Corridor,” a $350 million highway-development scheme that will displace 90 families on the Southeast side. Don’t, under any circumstances, say the following things:
1. “The Forgotten Triangle” …
Can we just stop using this patronizing, culturally biased term? Pretty please? As my friend Akshai pointed out, who exactly “forgot” about these neighborhoods people live in? Was it the people that live in them? Did they forget they live there?
This bs term is being used to make …