Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The View From Endeavour

On May 28th Astronaut Gregory Johnson (Astro_Box) tweeted from the Space Shuttle:

“A near perfect overflight of Long Lake (Traverse City, MI) from the Cupola yesterday. Very excited!”

รข��A near perfect overflight of Long Lake (Traverse City, MI) f... on Twitpic

I can see my house from here!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Complete Streets Are For Everyone

NPR had a story this week on how Complete Streets make streets safer for pedestrians who are crossing them. Especially for those people who cannot sprint across an intersection.

As America Ages, A Push To Make Streets Safer

Including Seniors and the less mobile.

This is a concept that doesn't get much coverage - social costs.

When pedestrians are unnecessarily injured there is a cost to society that is accrued - lost wages, lost productivity - plus the opportunity cost of having medical personnel respond to an accident that could have been prevented by better design.

Rather some people shout the simpler slogan of "unfunded mandate". Yes, unfunded mandates are a burden but in this case it ignores the fact that it is a concept to guide a design process for when roads are built or repaired so the money is already there. I like to save the unfunded mandate accusation for when it really is a problem.

Do people in earthquake zones call building codes an unfunded mandate? No. Because like the Complete Streets design concept, taking time to do things right the first time saves people from having to pay a lot at some later time.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yampa River, Downtown Steamboat Springs

Photo by John F. Russell

Water rolls over Charlie’s Hole on the Yampa River in front of Bud Werner Memorial Library. The hole is a popular spot for local kayakers this time of year, and has become a draw for swimmers and people who enjoy being around water in summer.

Boardman River, downtown Traverse City

Via wikipedia

Doesn't look like a blue ribbon trout stream to me.

The Steamboat library sits at the edge of downtown and patrons enjoy watching the kayakers and fly anglers as they read. And this one river with its quasi-whitewater park brings $7.2 million to the Steamboat Springs economy each year.

In Traverse City we do a decent job of hiding the Boardman River in concrete and parking lots.

The Boardman deserves better.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Planes And Trains

I doubt that the following two news items are related, but they should be.

If you want cheaper air fares out of Traverse City then there needs to be a viable competitor such as rail.

At the beginning of the week The Ticker reported renewed interest in passenger rail: Passenger Train to TC?

Then later in the week the TC Chamber of Commerce released the letter received from Delta and it was reported in the news that TVC would be seeing lower air fares. See IPR: Delta To Add Seats Into TC

Again, I do not think Delta lowered fares to head off any possibility of passenger rail but in a perfect world that is how it would work.