Monday, November 30, 2009

These Are Related

R-E: County won't pay for Boardman trail studies

TheAtlantic: The Geography of Obesity

25% of Michiganders are obese and some Grand Traverse County Commissioners voted against studying an expansion of the Boardman Lake trail because "Many of my constituents have never seen this trail and probably never will in their lifetime".

Well, Commissioner, maybe if they did see the trail they wouldn't be so fat.

This reminds me of a comment overheard this past weekend while taking the shuttle from the Detroit airport to the parking lot across the street "My feet are killing me. That [the walk from the terminal to luggage claim] was the farthest I have walked since the last time we were at the airport".

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Napa Valley Of Hard Ciders

Northern Michigan is seeing more production of delicious hard ciders. See MyNorth: Four Hard Ciders to Try and Leelanau Cider-Maker Dan Young Creates Artisan Hard Ciders.

Yet although Michigan wine country gets promoted, and the brewers are becoming well known, it appears northern Michigan may have missed the opportunity to brand itself as a hard cider capital. See NPR: In New England, Hard Cider Stages A Comeback
Wood envisions New England becoming the Napa Valley of fine cider production. It wouldn't be unprecedented. It was the drink of choice of American colonists, and John Adams was said to consume a tankard a day. In that sense, Wood is like a modern-day Johnny Appleseed. Who, by the way, also planted cider apple trees.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How A Place Looks Is As Important As Schools And Social Opportunities

Via Martin Prosperity Research: Beautiful Places: The Role of Perceived Aesthetic Beauty in Community Satisfaction
A community that satisfies its residents, according to our findings,
appears to be one that provides a solid economic foundation, provides abundant opportunities for social interaction, offers good schools, and is also perceived as beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. While a number of other community characteristics were found to be positive and significant, they were not nearly as strongly related to community satisfaction as these key factors.

New Sidewalks

Traverse City has been replacing sidewalks in some of the core neighborhoods this fall. And I have seen where existing trees have been given wide cutouts so they'll have room to grow.

As an alternative to cutours, I recently read about another option at Homegrown Evolution: Rubber Sidewalks Rescue Trees

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Complete Streets Idea Is Gaining Momentum

The basic idea is that streets are to move people, rather than designing streets to move cars.

Traverse City has used Complete Streets ideas for a small section of Woodmere Ave and there is the possibility of doing it on Eighth St and even Division.

Based on the success with Woodmere Ave and the examples in the following article I hope Traverse City pursues more smart transportation strategies like this.

See Wired: Complete Streets Are Great Streets With Room for All

More information at the Complete Streets Coalition.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Facts To Get In The Way Of Your Traffic Opinions

Here is the presentation The price of anarchy in transportation networks which lays out the math for why closing roads improves traffic flow in a city.

More: The GOOD 100: Fewer Streets