10 bicycling myths de-bunked (Grist)
Kind of fun post tackles the myth that cycling will make men unattractive to the ladies (among other myths). As proof, Grist cites the fact that even Kate Spade sells bikes. The thing is most women I know can find plenty wrong with me without ever considering my biking habits. Grist — a little paranoid are we?
Invest in inter-regional rail (San Bernardino Sun)
In an opinion piece, the chief of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) argues against beginning the under-funded high-speed rail project and that it would be wiser to spend $1 billion this decade expanding capacity and speeding up commuter trains in Southern California.
Restoring the ‘water’ freeway (American Planning Assn.)
A very good overview of the city of Los Angeles’ efforts to restore its namesake river. The plan is rather simple: build several regional parks along the river, which in turn could attract private residential and commercial development. My two cents: it’s worked elsewhere, it could work here and there’s plenty of room for development. The river is already a rail corridor and to some degree a bike corridor. The ingredients are there. Someone just has to figure out how to bake the pie.
This study by UC Irvine is a dense read but its conclusions are interesting: that the single-biggest factor in getting people to walk to South Bay commercial centers was the number of businesses per acre. That’s not exactly shocking, but the study also suggests that this kind of business density needs a lot of economic support — more than the number of walkers can spend. In other words, these kind of business districts need to be accessible to motorists in order to survive — or they need to be highly-accessible to transit and other transpo modes people will actually use.
In plain English: before blokes like me suggest ripping out all the parking along South Lake Avenue in Pasadena — my local commercial district — I should consider that without the parking, many of the businesses along Lake may vanish.