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!


9.11.01 – In Memory

It has been six years since the fateful day of September 11, 2001 and it may be easy to forget the pain, grief and agony that struck the lives of so many. It was more than two superstructures being brought to their knees…it was an entire nation that was taken back and stunned by the events that transpired.

I’m not great with words, but I thought it should be mentioned. Here are some pictures I took of the towers about 1 month prior to their collapse. 2,973 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001 as a result of the attacks. Please remember.

Business News Politics

A billboard battle looms…

A number of City Council members seem poised to take on the billboard industry in Cincinnati. Councilman Chris Bortz thinks billboards, along with those advertising benches at bus stops and racks that hold newspapers, cut into Cincinnati’s overall curb appeal. I would strongly agree with that notion. The problem doesn’t lie with the stance, but rather the billboard powers at be. Taking on this industry has proven to be a very difficult task to say the least.

For some communities its the superfluous newspaper stands and bus benches that restrict pedestrian flow/activity in their business districts. For others its the brightly illuminated billboards that prove to be undesirable for residents living nearby. Not to mention these billboards are almost always an eyesore for everyone who has to see them on a regular basis.

Maybe what the city should do is look into creating a streetscaping plan that requires all streetscaping items to have a specific look/appeal to them (much like what is done for lighting and signage). This has been done recently in places like NYC and Toronto, where they are striving to improve the curb appeal of their cities by creating coordinated street-furniture plans.

An important piece to this effort, in my opinion, is that the city include the neighborhood business districts that make the city special and not just put it into action downtown. Downtown is great, but these neighborhood centers are the foundation of our great city. I’m sure they will lend much support to this effort!