Why even driving through suburbia is soul crushing

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life in a subdivision cul-de-sac keeps children from exploring and becoming conversant with the wider world around them, because it tethers their social lives and activities to their busy parents’ willingness to drive them somewhere. There’s literally nowhere for them to go. The spontaneity of childhood in the courtyard, on the street, or in the square gives way to the managed, curated, prearranged “play-date.” Small wonder that kids retreat within the four walls of their house and lead increasingly electronic lives.

Source: Quartz

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The 9 guidelines for the design of London Tube stations

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Transport for London recently released a document called the London Underground Station Design Idiom, a guide to the design aesthetic of Tube stations. After an introductory chapter called “A manifesto for good design”, the document offers nine main guidelines for how Underground stations should be designed

[Source: Kottke]

Americans Have Taken 23 Million Bike Share Rides and No One Has Died

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With 36 cities across the country now hosting their own systems, bike share is almost becoming an American institution. According to a new report, it’s estimated that Americans have taken 23 million rides since 2007 (wow!), but here’s the most amazing part: Not a single death has been attributed to a bike share system in the U.S. At least not yet.

via Gizmodo.

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.

6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever

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Okay, you’re thinking, but where do all the cars go? It turns out that when you take out a high-occupancy freeway it doesn’t turn the surface streets into the equivalent of the Autobahn. A theory called “induced demand” proves that if you make streets bigger, more people will use them. When you make them smaller, drivers discover and use other routes, and traffic turns out to be about the same. Don’t believe it? Check out these freeway removals in cities all over the world and see for yourself.

Source: Gizmodo.

The real problem in the South isn’t weather, it’s history.

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In light of Atlanta’s snow fiasco:

Then there’s the part about having “too narrow a sense of social responsibility.” Exhibit A here is the failure in 2012 of a massive $7.2 billion transportation initiative, which would have paid for sorely needed regional highway improvements and funneled $600 million into the Atlanta Beltline, an innovative proposal to link neighborhoods in the city by light rail, using 22 miles of abandoned cargo lines left over from Atlanta’s heyday as a railroad hub. To which the voters of the metropolitan Atlanta area said: Hell, no. Here is a region that even without freak snowstorms is choking on its own traffic, which has built its reputation on being a transportation hub, which is looking at a future when gas will never be less than $3 a gallon again, and all voters could think about was how much they hated government and paying taxes. They had their reasons—Georgia has no shortage of political corruption, and in 2012 the economy was still deeply in the tank—but even so, it was like watching folks refuse to get out of a burning house because they objected to the way the firemen were holding the ladder.

Source: Slate.