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98 articles

Custom racks: a stylish place to park your Cannondale. Or canine.

Bicycles may never become a primary means of getting around in the United States, at least not to the degree that they are in, say, Denmark or Netherlands.  Our cities are too spread out, cars have (at least until recently) been comparatively cheap and easy to own, and—perhaps most important of all—a majority of Americans

DC food desert: South Anacostia has a single holdout supermarket.  Will it survive?

The term itself doesn’t usually require much explanation, even if most people have never used the it in everyday conversation.  They automatically know what a food desert is.  For those who don’t, it takes very little to conceptualize: if a person lives in an urbanized area—and most Americans do—odds are good that he or she

Fort Worth Convention Center: does it fit in its location? Best just to look at the footprint.

On the south end of Fort Worth’s tidy, finely-wrought latticework of a downtown, the mammoth Fort Worth Convention Center Building helps ensure a steady array of visitors whenever a major event is in town.  Why shouldn’t it?  That’s precisely what convention centers do.  This convention center seems to benefit from a slightly greater-than-average effort to

Al fresco platforms: expanding café dining to…former parking spaces? Permanently?

It’s been a mere two weeks since I explored the sacrifice of on-street parking spaces for transportation enhancements in a Washington DC neighborhood.  And here I go at it again.  Why should I delve into the subject so soon?  Well, this time around, it’s not quite identical: instead of bike lanes, the enhancement is more

Protected bike lanes: a plush solution for a pedestrian problem.

Never afraid to rouse the ire of urban activists by challenging their orthodoxy, I’m going to give it a try in what will remain my current stomping grounds at least a little while longer: Washington DC.  Yes, even amidst all the eggheads around these parts, and despite a generally commendable urban fabric (most of DC

Excess parking in strip malls: is it necessary to build out enough space for Black Friday?

Urban planning, like most disciplines, endures its fair share of fads and passing fancies, many of which the advocates manage to elevate to temporary orthodoxy.  And if “temporary orthodoxy” seems like an oxymoron, it shouldn’t require a great deal of introspection to realize that many orthodoxies remain doctrinaire for about a decade.  And then they

Dusk to dawn parking restrictions: why so hard to enforce?

I’ve seen some creative attempts to manage and control on-street parking, most of which don’t seem to work as intended, precisely because they’re creative.  Regulating how people use the margins in a public right-of-way doesn’t really leave much room for creativity, because, when it comes to conveying that law to the lowest common denominator, creativity

Closed bank building, but with a twist: can it thrive with robo-tellers?

I promise—cross my heart and hope to die—that I didn’t plan this blog article in light of recent events.  A single closed bank branch is hardly cause for alarm, especially compared to what’s been happening to the entire operations of some fairly large banks these last few weeks.  And we may still be fully in

Elmira after the flood: sewing together the tatters of a downtown.

A city the size of Elmira, New York isn’t necessarily going to have much in the way of a robust old downtown.  Its population according to the 2020 Decennial Census is a mere 26,523—nothing huge.  Virtually any major metro has at least a few surrounding suburbs of similar size that lack any true organized, historic

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