Thank you, Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, for this righteous and oddly poignant look at the dangers — and drudgery — caused by auto-centric urban design. Bravo, sir. You should get an honorary urban planning degree for this.
Posts from the Cartoon Tuesday Category
Editor’s note: With bike tolls being a hot topic recently, Streetsblog cartoonist, transportation engineer, and Loeb Fellow Ian Lockwood was inspired to submit two items for this installment of Cartoon Tuesday. Ian writes of the second toon:
I kept thinking about the bike toll issue and came up with this cartoon. It’s strange how motorists care about equity when it comes to paying a bridge toll but when it comes to inequity for randomly killing and maiming cyclists, they are indifferent at best. What would happen if one were to achieve equity for the latter? Would anyone be concerned then? Would indifference prevail? Would cyclists be concerned that the field has been leveled?
This November ‘toon from Ward Sutton, who skewers conventional editorial cartooning for The Onion, hits all the notes — the myth of cyclist privilege, the disparity between the amount of space allotted to cars vs. other modes, and the waste and helplessness that comes with sitting in traffic. The coup de grâce of Sutton’s “Kelly” panels has got to be the cartoonist “self-portrait,” breaking the fourth wall with a pithy bon mot. Also note the Statue of Liberty, crying as cyclists whiz by.
Take that, Bill Bramhall.
This XtraNormal animation from the folks at StrongTowns expertly picks apart the logic underpinning car-centric street design and planning. I saw it and felt compelled to revive our weekly cartoon feature after an extended hiatus. It clocks in at more than eight minutes, which allows the sense of dread to creep up on you gradually. There’s also a shorter version if you have a YouTube-era attention span.
Sometimes it takes an outsider's perspective to see things clearly. So what would an extra-terrestrial think of humankind's dependence on fossil fuels? In light of the devastation being unleashed off the shores of the Gulf states, cartoonist and recent Pulitzer recipient Mark Fiore files this brilliant summation of the absurdly self-destructive lengths we earthlings go to for our "lizard squeezins."
This project takes the spirit of intersection repair to new heights. You're looking at the Elevado Costa e Silva, a two-mile stretch of 1970s-vintage elevated highway in the middle of gridlocked Sao Paulo, Brazil. It's known informally as the minhocão ("giant worm"), and according to local blog Inside Sao Paulo, a project to remove the structure is on hold despite some form of support from the City Council. For now, the minhocão is closed to traffic on Sundays, when it opens to the public for ciclovia-style recreation.
About a week ago, local artist Felipe Morozini organized this massive pavement-painting endeavor, covering a swath of the minhocão with 75 enormous flowers (more pictures here). Unlike your usual pavement paintings and intersection repairs, which calm traffic by adding a layer of intrigue to existing spaces, the Sao Paulo paintjob feels like an assertion of what else could spring to life if the highway disappeared.
So, who wants to lay down a work of art on the Sheridan Expressway?
They're not super heroes per se, but in the livable streets universe, David Byrne, Janette Sadik-Khan and Paul Steely White are about as close as they come. You can catch them tonight at a free panel called "Cities, Bicycles and the Future of Getting Around" at the Union Square Barnes & Noble at 7 p.m.
Speaking of livable streets super heroes: any ideas? Bikeman? Woonerf Woman? Livable Streets League?
Today's toon combo comes to us via the Times' By Design blog, where Allison Arieff has posted a paean to Steven M. Johnson, an inventor, author, cartoonist and former urban planner described by Arieff as "a sort of R. Crumb meets R. Buckminster Fuller." Many of Johnson's "whimsical musings" are transportation related, and at least one of them (which Johnson called the "Treadaround") has become reality.
As for auto abandonment zones and the bike vest (seen after the jump), we'll keep our eyes peeled.Read more...