GOOD

Skateboarding City Planners Could Radically Improve Transportation

Now that cities have finally acknowledged bikes as viable commuter options, why stop there?

For most of the 20th century, “bicycle planning” was not a thing. Now we have city planners and consultants who specialize in making bikes a part of the transportation conversation. The fact that cyclists are a minority among commuters is not, thankfully, a reason to dismiss bicycles as a transportation priority. Federal, state, and local governments have worked to improve conditions for cyclists, making it safer and easier for people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes—a healthier way to commute in both personal and environmental terms.

Observing the ascendance of the bicycle in transportation planning has made me wonder about other “minority modes.” At one point, I was using a skateboard to get to and from the commuter train I rode to work. The train station was a mile from the office: a 20-minute walk or a 7-minute ride on the board. One day I walked into the elevator of my workplace, a transportation agency, skateboard in tow, and an upper-level manager asked if I had actually ridden it to work. I explained that it was my “last-mile solution” from the train. He chuckled, saying “I guess we don’t have a transportation model for that!

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Walkable Cities are Good News for Small Business

Cities that support getting out of the car are better for small businesses, and the trend towards walkable cities is only speeding up.



When a city is more walkable—supporting pedestrians with narrower streets, wide sidewalks, and nearby recreational outlets—shops are frequented more often and do far better than those in less walkable areas.

A report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that “businesses appear to do better in a walkable commercial areas than in areas attracting mainly drive-to patronage.”

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Four Ways to Make Your Commute More Awesome

We’ve all experienced the cringe-worthy morning commute. Be it a two-hour traffic jam, the delicate squeeze into an overstuffed subway car, or...

We’ve all experienced the cringe-worthy morning commute. Be it a two-hour traffic jam, the delicate squeeze into an overstuffed subway car, or the fifteen-minute late dash to the company meeting. People often say that it’s the journey not the destination, but if the journey is a pain, then we need a call to action. There is simply too much daily travel in life not to enjoy the ride.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

In London, Riding the Underground Turns Into a Game

Commuting: not fun. Playings games: fun. A new app combines the two for Londoners, visualizing a path through the city

Life is often about the journey, not the destination. But that's not the story told by location-based games like FourSquare and Gowalla, which only pay attention to the places we end up, like restaurants, parks, and shops. The result is a collection of data representing points around the city—a useful record of where you've been, but without the information about how you got there.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Yet Another Reason Sprawl Sucks: Long Commutes Cause Divorce

Sprawl development isn't just bad for the environment, but also for relationships.

Here's another reason that our sprawled-out suburban development patterns suck. According to a new study out of Sweden, long distance commutes put a major strain on personal and social relationships, and increase the chances of couples splitting up.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

San Francisco Bikeshare Program: The Specifics

The city has announced that it will pilot an almost $8 million bikeshare pilot, starting next year.


Exciting news out of San Francisco: The city has announced that it will pilot an almost $8 million bikeshare pilot, starting next year. A thousand bicycles will be made available for members with smart cards or credit cards, which they'll swipe to unlock a two-wheeler.

The goal, of course, is to incentivize non-car commuting by making it easier and cheaper. It'll be funded by the transportation commission and the air-quality office. Writes the San Francisco Chronicle:

Keep Reading Show less
Articles