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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!

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Move Over Ancient Wheel Inventor, Someone Just Improved Your Design

David Patrick launches his "perfect cube" as a wheel to replace, well, the wheel.

There's been little need to reinvent the wheel. A few monuments here and a generation of red wagon rides down a hillside there, and all seems well. But inventor David Patrick let chance and his own fascination with the physics of spheres lead him to a redesign; a reinvention of the trusty wheel, the "Shark Wheel."

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Skate for Japan: The Latest Creative Relief Effort

An event in July will support relief efforts in Japan by auctioning off skate decks designed by San Francisco Bay Area artists and creative agencies.

The creative community's outpouring of support for Japan in the wake of March's devastating tsunami and earthquake has been inspiring. From artists to florists to chefs, creative professionals from diverse backgrounds have lent their talents to the relief effort. GOOD has already covered fundraising initiatives involving Japan-inspired T-shirts, bake sales, posters, and pop-up restaurants, but the latest project that's caught our attention is Plywood for Good.

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