Last night, kids who go to school in the neighborhood came out for a civics lesson at CB 7 and to deliver a message about what they want to see change. Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson and Streetsblog publisher Mark Gorton were there.
Posts from the Streetsblog Category
Greetings loyal readers.
This is a friendly public service announcement to let you know that I will be on maternity leave for 12 weeks beginning tomorrow. I’ll be back to a somewhat regular schedule, hopefully still able to form complete sentences, when September rolls around.
In the meantime, we’re very lucky to have veteran Streetsblog USA editor Tanya Snyder filling in, writing daily headline round-ups along with Katie Pearce and posting a few items every week. Tanya has just recently given birth to a baby of her own (her second) so take it easy on her! And if you have any tips, email her at tanya [at] streetsblog [dot] org.
I’m grateful to all our readers and the crew here at Streetsblog, and I’m looking forward to a little uninterrupted time with my first born. (It’s a boy.)
Coincidentally, the timing of this birth aligns nicely with the latest extension of the federal transportation bill expires. Anyone want to take a guess how old junior will be by the time Washington passes a long-term bill?
I’m pleased to welcome the newest member of the Streetsblog collective: Starting Monday, you can get news and commentary about safe streets, effective transit, and walkable development in the Mile High City by pointing your browser to Streetsblog Denver.
Streetsblog Denver arrives at a pivotal moment. The city is growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and it desperately needs streets and transportation policy that respond to these changes with intelligence and foresight. While there’s a huge grassroots appetite for walkable, bikeable neighborhoods and excellent transit access, for the most part the city’s streets remain stuck in the cars-first status quo. Working with an energetic advocacy community and the support of dedicated readers, Streetsblog Denver aims to change that.
Streetsblog Denver is run by a new, Denver-based non-profit of the same name, under the umbrella of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. The site is possible thanks to the generous support of The Gates Family Foundation, the New Belgium Family Foundation, Zeppelin Development, Joel Noble and Julie Hock-Noble, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Editorial guidance and technical support come from Streetsblog’s main office in New York. Many thanks to Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek for getting the ball rolling.
Leading Streetsblog Denver is editor David Sachs, who lives in Congress Park. David brings a background in journalism, communications, and political organizing to the job. As editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times in Virginia, he regularly covered transportation and development. David’s been hard at work cultivating sources and generating story ideas, and starting next week he’ll be cranking out posts every workday.
Denver came of age in the highway era, and its streets still reflect that. Wide, car-centric roads like Colfax, Broadway, Colorado, and Federal feel more like Autobahns than functional urban streets. Key measures of street safety are heading in the wrong direction, with pedestrian deaths on the rise. While the city has a reputation as a bike-friendly place, the truth on the ground doesn’t measure up — bicycling on Denver’s high-speed streets will get your pulse pounding for all the wrong reasons.
While transportation planners have done well connecting the region’s suburbs to downtown via rail, it’s not enough. The Regional Transportation District still caters to Denver’s suburban past. Its rail lines circle the city but barely penetrate it. For city dwellers, Denver’s neighborhoods remain fragmented by a landscape designed for cars, without effective transit to connect them.
But as a young city, Denver is also very capable of envisioning a new way of doing things.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the imperative for Streetsblog to generate more revenue from our website. With so many unsold impressions, ads were a clear opportunity to put Streetsblog’s sizable reach to use strengthening our bottom line. Today I’m pleased to announce that we’ve retained BlankSlate to help us sell ads and make good on that potential.
BlankSlate is an experienced shop that works with several other publishers similar in size to Streetsblog, in addition to owning and operating the Brooklyn real estate site Brownstoner. Their team will be selling ads and setting up ad networks on Streetsblog, and you’ve probably noticed the new ad zones on the site this week. BlankSlate has also set up filters to prevent automotive and fossil fuel industry advertisements from appearing on Streetsblog, which should keep many heads from exploding.
Streetsblog is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and we continue to rely on reader contributions and foundation support to fund our work. Ads are the third leg of the stool, and we’re excited to be working with BlankSlate to build a durable publishing operation.
Congratulations to John Greenfield, Steven Vance, and the readers and supporters who enabled Streetsblog Chicago to pull off a rousing comeback and resume regular publication today.
At the beginning of the year, budget constraints compelled OpenPlans to sever our relationship with the Chicago team after two years of publication. Right off the bat, John told me he would revive Streetsblog Chicago under the umbrella of a new non-profit organization. Volunteering his time, he proceeded to set up a 501(c)3 from scratch and raise the funds necessary to reboot the site. It was a big personal risk for John, and he embraced it. (He even kept posting headline stacks every weekday morning!)
With an outpouring of reader donations, a surge of local sponsorships, and key support from the Chicago Community Trust, which provided a $25,000 challenge grant, the Chicago team has met its initial fundraising targets. Streetsblog Chicago will now be getting back into the swing of chronicling the city’s progress toward more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly streets.
John will continue to serve as both editor- and fundraiser-in-chief for the Chicagoland Streets Project, his newly-formed non-profit. We’re looking forward to more excellent coverage from him, Steven, and the roster of contributors they work with.
In other news from the Streetsblog publishing world, Damien Newton and Melanie Curry launched a new flavor yesterday: Streetsblog California will combine Melanie’s coverage of statewide news out of Sacramento with local stories from the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, and other regions outside the beats of Streetsblog LA and Streetsblog SF. Streetsblog California is funded by The California Endowment and produced by the California Streets Initiative, the non-profit run by Damien that also produces Streetsblog LA.
We’ll have Streetsblog California up in our top menu shortly. No other state is connecting the dots between transportation, land use, and climate change like California right now. We’re seeing momentous changes like Level of Service reform that should be a model for the rest of the country. If you want to keep up with the latest on these advances (as well as helmet law stupidity), Melanie’s coverage is a must-read and you should check it out.
Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards Select Bus Service Public Workshop: Woodhaven Blvd, Queens Blvd to Union Turnpike
Join the NYC Department of Transportation and the MTA to give feedback on the first round of block-by-block street designs and proposed Q52/53 SBS bus stops for the Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevards Select Bus Service project. Each workshop will focus on the section of the corridor noted below; however, input on the entire corridor is welcome.
Riders Alliance members have been working hard with our local elected officials and the MTA to win better C train service.
Brainstorm with your neighbors and fellow riders for faster and more reliable C train service!
The agenda includes:
- Discussion/Vote: Megabus operations at W. 34th Street
- Discussion: Addition of a bus shelter on W. 42nd Street and 9th Avenue (near Manhattan Plaza)
- Discussion: Response to MTA letter re M11 feasibility study request
- Discussion: Preservation of protected bike lanes during street fairs
We asked you to point us to the nation’s worst bus stops and you answered. After receiving dozens of nominees from our readers, Streetsblog editors narrowed the pool down to eight very sorry bus stops.
These bus stops are ugly. Ugly! In a transportation system where public agencies never seem to lack the money for $800 million interchanges or $2 billion highway tunnels, bus stops become an afterthought. Many of these contenders are situated in the midst of car-oriented development without so much as a sidewalk or bench nearby, let alone a shelter. To make transit dignified and comfortable, we need to do better.
Help us crown America’s sorriest bus stop by voting below. Here are the contestants:
Pennsylvania Avenue in Forestville, Maryland
This entry comes to us from author and transit advocate Ben Ross. This is the same Pennsylvania Avenue that runs past the White House:
A little more than six years ago, we launched the Streetsblog Network as a way for people across the country writing about livable streets, sustainable transportation, and smart growth to band together and share ideas. There are many wonderful things about the Streetsblog Network, but I would put this is at the top of my list: It is both profoundly local, full of people working on the nitty-gritty of street design, transit service, and planning issues in their hometowns, and broadly distributed, with hundreds of members operating in cities all over the nation.
For a long time we’ve been thinking about how to build on these strengths. And today we’re going live with a new way to channel the energy of the Streetsblog Network and broadcast it to the world.
We are launching affiliate sites that combine the work of Streetsblog Network members in four regions: St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast. These sites run on a different model than our other city-based Streetsblogs with full-time staff. Each Streetsblog affiliate syndicates material from several blogs in its region and runs a daily dose of headlines to satisfy the universal craving for morning news. Have a look. (Doesn’t it blow your mind to see the words “Streetsblog Texas” in a site banner?)
Our partners in this endeavor are volunteers writing in their spare time, independent media entrepreneurs, and people working at non-profit advocacy organizations and academic institutions. By running their work in this format, on the Streetsblog platform, we aim to help build their audience both nationally and in their home regions. The geographic scope of most of these sites is bigger than the usual Streetsblog city-based beat, but the writers are addressing overlapping issues — a Paleolithic state DOT, for instance, or city leadership that struggles to get Complete Streets right. We believe there will be strength in numbers like there’s been with the national Streetsblog Network.