Bus-Only Shoulders

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Metro Transit wanted a way to get buses through traffic more cost effectively. At the same time, MnDOT was looking for ways to make better use of of existing lanes.

They experimented with bus-only shoulders along Highway 252 and liked the results: bus drivers could stay on schedule, commuters got to work or home faster and ridership increased. Even better, bus-only shoulders cost a fraction of added lanes.

MnDOT found that by allowing transit vehicles to use shoulders, they could move more people more quickly with minimal investment. Now, as roadways are built or reconstructed, shoulders are made to accommodate the extra weight and width of a bus.

via Metro Transit.

Is This America’s Smartest City?

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Dan McAtee and Laura Spoor’s utility bill last year came to $631. That’s not bad considering the average annual electric bill in Austin, the Texas capital, is more than $1,000, largely because air-conditioning may be the only thing locals love more than barbecue. But it’s even more impressive once you realize the bill actually came to negative $631. The solar panels on their roof mean McAtee and Spoor produce more electricity than they consume. “We got the biggest system we could get,” says McAtee, pointing to the array of panels laid atop their one-story home like domino tiles. “Now we’ve got what you might call overgeneration.”

via TIME.

Destruction of Istanbul

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“If I was a businessman, I would do everything I could to be part of this group,” said an official at Turkey’s Treasury, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There’s no way anyone can fail, there’s no way anyone can be out of business. One day you’re dealing with projects worth $1m, the next day you’re a $10bn company.”

via Newsweek.

Urban Reviewer

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This is great work!

596 Acres has teamed up with Partner & Partners and SmartSign to produce a comprehensive online map showing all the adopted neighborhood master plans for New York City. It has taken us nearly two years to follow up on a Freedom of Information Law request for records of those plans and meticulous translation of paper plans into machine-readable spreadsheets to make this map.

The plans were written with a great city in mind. Huge swaths were designated for demolition, to be paid for with federal dollars. Lots that were designated this way to justify the funding for demolition had to be included in a plan that stated what they “should” be – designations like “housing,” “industrial,” and “open space.”

via Urban Reviewer.