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77 articles

Cycle tracks in small towns: North Beach, Maryland has one, but does it really work?

Do you remember the good old days of bicycle advocacy, back when the prevailing ambition was the introduction of bike lanes, buy applying solid stripes on the pavement?  If you’re older than twenty, you probably should remember those days; they weren’t that long ago.  As recently as the mid-2000s, the standard for bike-friendliness was bike

Crested Butte main street: a shopper’s oasis amidst the lingering retail drought.

More times than I can count, I’ve explored the country’s mismatch between the supply of retail-oriented real estate and the broader public’s demand.  We just have too many shopping centers.  And it’s always been that way.  Even in the best of times—the peak of the suburban mall during the 1970s and 80s—our historic downtown storefronts

The skeletons of West Virginia’s film industry finally come out of the storefront.

The streetscape of downtown Martinsburg, the largest municipality (population 17,500) in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, doesn’t exactly boast an occupancy level one would rate as thriving.  But it’s hardly plagued by persistent plywood in the windows of the commercial buildings, and the majority of them look like they benefit from regular maintenance and upkeep. I

Bars on the windows in comfy little Malvern, you say? Have we come this far?

In these economically fraught times, it’s not always easy to find an urbanized restaurant/retail district where one can comfortably kick back a burger and a brew and feel safe, either from crime, civil unrest, or inconsistent enforcement of COVID precautions (depending on what you perceive is the greatest threat).  In 2021, the suburbs of large

Chipotle bucks the struggling restaurant trend, by predicting the future. What’s so tricky about that?!

A year ago, the prevailing wisdom among urban analysts was that restaurants would serve as the lodestar for any further downtown revitalization.  I shared this sentiment, particularly in recognizing the recent, fashionable emergence of the food hall–a smattering of diverse small-kitchen eateries under one roof.  The reality seemed, then as now, that most other retail—certainly