Another Online Event to Know About
Today, at 1:30 p.m., there is a webinar called "Complete Streets Responses to COVID-19." One of the speakers for the webinar is Mike Lydon, a principal with Street Plans. Lydon, who is the author of Tactical Urbanism, spoke in Hudson last year at one of the Future Hudson events. His urban planning and design firm, Street Plans Collaborative, is part of the team that was chosen to undertake the BRIDGE District Connectivity Project which is one of Hudson's DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) projects.
Click here to register for the webinar.
|Photo: Street Plans|
The picture featured is nice, but it simply won't ever be seen in Hudson -- that is, a dedicated, wide bike lane along a sidewalk such as NYC has. Our streets are not even close to wide enough for bike lanes and, perhaps more important, anyone paying one iota of attention at DPW meetings will know that Rob Perry has no interest in this kind of thing. Removing parking spaces for bicyclists isn't going to happen -- there aren't enough cyclists to justify it. This is not NYC, but these discussions make it seem like we are. Bike lanes simply won't happen any time soon in Hudson, if ever. We can't even get the sidewalks in decent condition. These kind of discussions, in my estimation, are a waste of time and I am on my bicycle just about every day and would like to see bike lanes. Let's focus on something achievable and more important -- safe, respectable, walkable sidewalks ALL OVER THE CITY.ReplyDelete
Bike lanes would work well Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday...Delete
There are also a lot of other considerations that politicians in NYC periodically ignore, as they're constantly pressured by the well funded group, Transportation Alternatives, to install more bike lanes. In one case, the City's DOT didn't even bother to take the measurements that would have informed it that the installation of a bike lane against a curb, with a buffer of parked cars protecting that lane, made it impossible for fire engines to get ladder access to higher floors of apartment buildings; the engines were too wide to fit in the planned bike lanes, much less deploy their outriggers. There was also no practical way for EMTs to get people from a building to an ambulance...they would have been forced to cross a two way bike lane and then navigate between parked cars with a gurney or wheelchair, with the ambulance blocking traffic in the single vehicular lane. Traffic would also have stood still on every garbage collection day, as those trucks didn't fit in the bike lane, either. It took the community to muster a month's worth of protests and point this out to the City, which finally withdrew the plan.ReplyDelete
I have been an advocate for Complete Streets for a couple years now, as many know.ReplyDelete
My experience of Hudson as a new father made me aware of how car-centric the city is, and how unprotected that made me feel as a pedestrian.
And, Complete Streets is a way of making streets safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and all abilities.
It includes bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks and traffic signals - and is built on the notion of community input.
But this is too expensive work, so most cities apply what’s called Tactical Urbanism.
This is a big word for low-cost and temporary changes to public space intended to improve local neighborhoods and gathering places.
It’s a way of experimenting cheaply with our great shared resource - street space.
All of the above was true in ordinary times.
In our now extraordinary times, when we all must practice healthy physical distancing to keep each other safe, how we use our space becomes a question that deserves attention.
Seen this way, Complete Streets and Tactical Urbanism become tools for encouraging healthy physical distancing.
My interest in these concepts is in how to make life in our city healthy and vibrant, even as we abide by healthy physical distancing protocols.
As a NYT biker for 20 years BEFORE there were bike lanes, I know how dangerous Hudson's streets now are for two-wheelers and pedestrians -- and how easy it would be to make it safer, with a little effort and planning.ReplyDelete