Welcome to Monday! We'll get you caught up on the best of the member blogs in a New York minute.
If all commuters into Manhattan drove instead of taking transit, how many bridges would be required and how much space would need to be devoted to parking? 48 new 8-lane bridges and a two-level underground parking facility below the entire island of Manhattan. Matt Taylor's "Analysis" blog has only been up a few months and it is already making waves.
Several member blogs took on local streets this week - in particular, responses for dealing with a too-fast residential street and a main street where pedestrians are the Rodney Dangerfield of road users - they don't get no respect! What to do? Small Town Urbanism cites the NACTO urban street design guide and suggests raised intersections, while for the residential street, a narrowing of travel lanes from 12' to 10' could be just the environmental signal to cause a change in driver behavior.
Big news in the state DOT world: Florida DOT Secretary Anath Prasad will be resigning January 2nd. His successor inherits a state agency that has been roundly criticized for its poor rankings on measures of road safety and challenged on building 12' lanes in urban environments rather than the safer 10' lanes. A Complete Streets policy is in the works in Florida. This new policy and a new FDOT Secretary will be an opportunity to see if Florida is serious about taking a leadership role in context-sensitive street design, or if it's just an excuse to inflate the cost to build projects by overengineering street design. One argument that could help the cause for 10' lanes is a fiscal argument demonstrating the wastefulness of overly wide lanes. As I see it, the marginal costs of building lanes too wide can be broken into three categories: 1. Direct construction costs 2. Land acquisition costs and 3. Opportunity cost of development inhibited. Any Strong Towner's with the engineering know-how to take this one on?
In California, one entrepreneur is dealing with the headaches that come from 'orderly but dumb' approaches to business regulation. In a case that will make you yank your hair out - I think the little I have left is now gone - an entrepreneur's real estate costs shot from $12,000 to well over $85,000, due to the various inanities of required code. The owner was to run a small 8' X 12' stand without water or electric hookups, and no heating/cooling because this is California, after all. Instead, she is required to make all manner of modifications in order to "meet the energy efficiency standard", even though this tiny structure will not have power. Where have we heard this before? The law of unintended consequences at play. Story from Granola Shotgun.
Hope you have a great week and are enjoying this holiday season.
Add the Strong Towns member blog feed to your RSS reader or read it through ours. If you have a blog that you would like to see appear in this blog roll, let us know.