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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Transformation of NYC's Madison Square

I've been in a video sharing mood as of late so why stop now when I've got more great material to share. STREETFILMS shares a great piece with us about the transformation of NYC's Madison Square. What was once a mess for autos and a nightmare for pedestrians, bicyclists, etc is now a beautifully landscaped public space.

The street network has been reconfigured and condensed in a way to free up public space that is heavily used. The area has become safer, cleaner, and more pleasant as a result. The film is excellent as it gives a great overview of the transformation and includes fantastic input from the users, of the space, to experts like my favorite - Jan Gehl.

There is another great film about Portland's bicycle parking program. The film looks at on-street bicycle parking and areas known as a 'bicycle oasis.' These are things that could really be looked at as ways of empowering the local bicycling community here in Cincinnati. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of this can be attributed to the social design of the space, as opposed to the physical. A quick search led to an article about the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID), which is responsible for sanitation, security, marketing and social services.

These groups fill a needed gap in areas lacking resources, but the privatization of some of these services is a bit alarming.

Radarman said...

Those StreetFilms are excellent.

Does this mean that there is more than one person interested in Complete Streets in Cincinnati?

THat's encouraging

Randy Simes said...

^Absolutely. I believe that there should be a standard for public right-of-way construction that includes infrastructure for autos, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Too often pedestrians and bicyclists have to fear for their life even though they technically have the right-of-way. Bicyclists need their own dedicated lanes not on the sidewalk so that they can properly share the road and not disturb pedestrians. And pedestrians need their sidewalks so that they can walk, jog, stroll comfortably without having to constantly look over their shoulder.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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