The old utility-pole-in-the-sidewalk predicament: do we have clearance…Clarence?

I’ve written as a guest contributor at the blog Urban Indy numerous times in the past.  Although the blog is currently only marginally active, and I personally have not dabbled in the topic, other contributors have bemoaned the fact that pedestrian improvements in the very auto-centric city of Indianapolis rarely extend to persons with disabilities,

Maryland House: a posh new travel plaza is already running on empty.

By this point, we’ve all encountered the legions of business closures induced by COVID-prompted shutdowns of commerce and travel over the last year.  I’ve tried to avoid too much of the cynical coverage of vacancies, instead focusing on clever strategies that various storefront retailers have deployed to generate sales from a carryout vantage point, when

Conowingo Dam: where clean energy is not just for the birds.

It’s rare that a major effort in environmental engineering, no matter how noble the intent or how solicitous the conception, yields absolutely no negative environmental consequences.  It’s probably more than rare.  I’d wager that such a feat has never occurred.  It’s all the more unsettling when one considers such vast civil undertakings as the canal

bark park at The Blairs apartments, Silver Spring MD

Pint sized bark parks: when an undefined patch of land is going to the dogs.

I’m not sure what it is, but something about the downtown to the unincorporated Washington DC suburb of Sliver Spring, Maryland seems have spawned a number of unusual urban forms: acute angles, bizarre protrusions, and neglected little corners.  I’ve written about this once before: how a building’s orientation and street frontage created a little storefront

Holiday season supermarket displays: colors, curios, and comestibles.

When most Americans hear the phrase “holiday season” they tend to think of the end of the year—generally the time frame from Thanksgiving to Christmas (or Hanukkah), then to New Year’s Day  But our appetite for celebratory gestures—and the marketplace’s zeal to respond to it through commodification—has essentially expanded the holiday season to Halloween, given

In small biz, do red-letter signs yield red-letter days?

As I prep for a much longer, photo-heavy blog article, I offer this brief filler, with a new take on some familiar material: a declining, heavily vacant strip mall in a suburban area, this time in metro DC (the Maryland side).We’ve all been here before: these days, blighted strip malls are just as common in

Conowingo Dam: where clean energy is not just for the birds.

It’s rare that a major effort in environmental engineering, no matter how noble the intent or how solicitous the conception, yields absolutely no negative environmental consequences.  It’s probably more than rare.  I’d wager