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Urban lipstick on the suburban pig.

In the large American cities that lack a robust public transportation system—which is most of them—we justifiably celebrate every minor victory toward shifting development away from auto-centrism.  Mid-sized cities in the Midwest and South seem to be among the most susceptible: most of them have a “Midtown” district that predates the automobile.  If it is …Read more…

Not all interstate highways are perpetuated equal.

While transportation infrastructure has long elicited a highly politicized debate in the US, particularly in regards to government funding of alternative methods (Amtrak and rail, supporting the persistently ailing airline industry), only in recent years have the discussions migrated more heavily toward inadequacies in road and highway infrastructure.  The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge …Read more…

Blotting out the by-line.

Keeping the theme of gently altered signs, I offer a follow-up on the “Huge Condos” blog post from two months ago. Though not as funny as the advertisement in Dayton, this sign manifests a completely different kind of error in judgment pertaining to real estate. For developers with comparatively low dependency on equity partners, with …Read more…

Let the feet do the wayfinding.

Among the quietest, most modest recent additions to the American landscape are aids for the visually impaired. With little fanfare, they have proliferated in the past decade; perhaps it is to be expected that this has happened discreetly, since the target constituent cannot see them. In an increasing number of downtowns, one hears a voice …Read more…