Pandemic in the park: did restrictions around DC’s Tidal Basin help flatten the curve?

Given the patchwork of regulatory subcultures that our country’s federalist system inevitable creates, it should come as no surprise that this vast, diverse country is eliciting widely variable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of the key metrics—confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries—and in the fuzzier, day-to-day manifestation of this most acute of public health

Age-restricted bicycling: double-wheeled rules for the single-digit phase in life.

As bicycling becomes an increasingly acceptable—and even fully integrated—mode of transportation, sharing our car-dominated streets, we should expect some enforcement of standards that better facilitate this integration. We’re not there yet—not even close. Plenty of heavily urbanized spaces have yet to acknowledge bicycling as a viable alternative to cars through the provision of infrastructure, even

Colorful commemorations: what do painted bikes mean to the unschooled?

Nearly four months had passed—a long time for me—since my last visit to Pentagon City in Arlington County, Virginia, home to a big, well-situated, and (as malls go) prosperous mall, a booming multifamily housing sector, numerous key big-box retailers, and a variety of office complexes—all within walking distance of the none-too-pedestrian-friendly Pentagon. The area is

Portland: the apex of bike-friendliness—by American standards.

During my first visit to the West Coast in many, many years, I encountered the following sight on an unseasonably cold Friday morning in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood of Portland. It might not seem terribly striking to readers of this blog from other countries—just a normal street scene. And even Americans may see nothing

Two lanes diverge on a road, and I took the time to blog about it.

Generally, when I stumble across an unusual bit of infrastructure, I can figure out what’s gong on after some careful scrutiny. But bicycle and pedestrian markings have gotten so variegated and complicated that, more often than not, I’m left scratching my head. I pondered the rationale for a weird crosswalk in Baltimore a few months

Green street in Seattle: over the long term, will it put the City in the red?

By this point, the term “green building” has more or less entered common parlance: even if a sizable majority of people don’t know exactly what it entails, they can form a reasonably well-educated guess from the adjective. And, extending those contextual cues, they can speculate with similar accuracy on “green design”, since it loosely applies

From the highest rooftops, a call to gimme shelter.

The urbanist blogosphere is chock-full of rants on how new developments compromise pedestrian connectivity—not so much in terms of the final product (where I’m equally guilty of such tirades), but even during the construction process. These days, most mid-sized and large metro areas are gorging on the fruit, born from seeds planted long ago, through

Sharpening the Cut.

My latest appeared at Huffington Post a few days ago, but thanks to persistent wifi problems, only today have I been able to link it.  Sorry about that. It focuses on the Dequindre Cut, a high-profile rail-trail conversion in Detroit, whose Phase I (extending about 1.2 miles, from Gratiot Avenue to the Riverfront) has been

From the highest rooftops, a call to gimme shelter.

The urbanist blogosphere is chock-full of rants on how new developments compromise pedestrian connectivity—not so much in terms of the final product (where I’m equally guilty of such tirades), but even during the

Sharpening the Cut.

My latest appeared at Huffington Post a few days ago, but thanks to persistent wifi problems, only today have I been able to link it.  Sorry about that. It focuses on the Dequindre