Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Getting there blog from Friends of the Earth

Public art under a railroad overpass, Georgia Avenue, Silver SpringPhoto courtesy of Ryan Shuler. Building on a transportation theme connecting Silver Spring’s locomotive past to its commuter and freight-line present, this mural, created by 24 students with help from renowned Washington, D.C., muralist G. Byron Peck and arts educator Carien Quiroga in the Arts on the Block program, was installed recently on the underpass between Blair Mill Road and Sligo Avenue on Georgia Avenue. From "Near Metro and MARC, leaving their mark: Railroad overpass art lets students share in downtown rebirth" in the Gazette. (Silver Spring)

Getting There, a transportation blog from Friends of the Earth, is another great blog that I don't read enough. Its current "news" roundup has these interesting entries:

1. Leading the list today, resident on the island of Oahu Hawaii have made their feelings known about the prospect of light rail in a local poll. Many of the poll's 495 respondents replied that they would not use the system, unless it came to their part of the island. More interesting than that, those who had previously lived in cites with transit systems such as New York, Washington D.C., San Fransisco, or even Minneapolis or Baltimore were much more likely to express interest in the plans.

[Note that this finding jibes with the point that I make that transit advocates need to utilize the fact that so many people visit Washingotn (and NYC, San Francisco, and Boston), sample public transit, and can go home, if properly armed, as people interested in advocating for transit in their own communities.]

2. Students in Montgomery County, north of Washington D.C., have teamed up with a famous muralist and a local arts educator to add some color to area rail overpasses. Their work can be seen above.

4. North has information on the cause of several recent power failures on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. I've said it before, but this is what will continue to happen in Amtrak continues to be forced to defer maintenance due to insufficient funding. (Yes Adron, I said insufficient funding...)

10. Their hearts may be in the right place, but legislators who passed a $32 a year tax break for commuters who use eastern Massachusetts's rail system are going to need to bump their price a bit if it is to give a meaningful incentive. [I understand this point that it's not much of an incentive, but at least it's fundamentally different than offering rebates on gasoline taxes because of the rising cost of gasoline...]

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