The Joy of Roving

npr:

Red lights in all directions at this intersection allow people to cross diagonally from one corner to the other in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown. This is called a Barnes Dance, as All Things Considered Host Melissa Block learned this week in an interview with Gideon Berger of the Urban Land Institute.

“It’s named after the pioneering traffic engineer, Henry Barnes,” says Berger.

Until last year, the city that had the most intersections of this kind in the United States was Denver, Colo., where Barnes once worked. 

The conversation was part of the NPR Cities Project.

Traffic light timing may seem mundane but it affects us every day. And it’s tricky. Cities used to focus mostly on getting the times right for cars. But increasingly, they’re trying to take all modes of transportation into account.

“As they do that they’re making their jobs a little bit more complicated, but they’re also thinking about how people behave in the real world,” says Berger.

Photos: Franklyn Cater / NPR

A dream project of the Socialist mayor of Paris to reduce car traffic along the banks of the Seine has been unblocked by France’s new Socialist government. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who has pushed the use of bicycles and now electric cars in Paris while increasing the number of bus and bicycle lanes, has wanted to return long stretches of the banks of the Seine to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

atlampa:

China became a majority urban country this year. No nation has shifted so quickly from rural to urban than China, where more than half of the people now live in urban areas. Everyone is familiar with megacities like Beijing and Shanghai, but they are just a tiny part of China’s urbanization story. The country has more than 160 cities with populations of a million or more — places most of the world is only vaguely familiar with, if at all. One such place is Wuhan, a city of about 10 million people — more than New York City — that lies along the Yangtze River about 750 miles inland by high-speed train from Shanghai. Today, cities like Wuhan are among China’s fastest-growing and home to significant economic activity. Local planning officials estimate Wuhan’s economy is growing at about 12.5 percent annually, and that gross domestic product should double in the next five years.

Pretty amazing changes in China. I’ve been to Wuhan and wish it good luck. I’m especially glad to hear that it is building a subway system, which, in truth, every major city should develop, maintain and promote.

If the government’s recommendation of at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week sounds daunting to you, join the club. Fewer than half of Americans meet the government’s physical activity goal, and about one-third report getting no exercise at all. But new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that may be changing. In a new report, the CDC finds that more and more Americans are taking up the simple act of walking for exercise, and that those who get out there and walk are about three times more likely to meet physical activity requirements. The report looked at data from the 2005 and 2010 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS), which included nearly 50,000 adults in total. The data showed that in 2010, 62% of adults reported walking for at least 10 minutes at least once the past week, up from 56% in 2005. Increases in walking were seen among nearly all subgroups of participants surveyed, regardless of age, gender, weight, race, geography or overall health. Even among adults who needed walking assistance, 1 in 4 reported walking. “Fifteen million more Americans were walking in 2010 compared to 2005,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, in a conference call, emphasizing the remarkable benefits of a walk. “There really is no single drug that can do anything like what regular physical activity does and that’s why [walking] really is a wonder drug. It makes you healthier and happier. Even if you don’t lose any weight, getting regular exercise will decrease your risk of getting sick, getting diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many other conditions.”

mothernaturenetwork:

9 peculiar Summer Olympic sports that have been discontinuedKorfball, anyone? Here are a few events you won’t see at London 2012.

mothernaturenetwork:

9 peculiar Summer Olympic sports that have been discontinued
Korfball, anyone? Here are a few events you won’t see at London 2012.

thisbigcity:

urbanfunscape:

People relax on public steps anyway, why not give them a comfortable way to do so? Stair Squares, by Mark Reigelman, were installed at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall in 2007.

人們總會坐在階梯上休息或享受時光,不如讓他們感到更加舒適,美國布魯克林自治廳即於2007年安裝新設施,採用Mark Reigelman設計的作品。

thisbigcity:

urbanfunscape:

People relax on public steps anyway, why not give them a comfortable way to do so? Stair Squares, by Mark Reigelman, were installed at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall in 2007.

人們總會坐在階梯上休息或享受時光,不如讓他們感到更加舒適,美國布魯克林自治廳即於2007年安裝新設施,採用Mark Reigelman設計的作品。

newsweek-paris-france:

The bouquinistes of Notre Dame de Paris this afternoon, photographed from the window of our taxi as it made its way from the Gare de Lyon toward the center of Paris, France.

In a move that could cost him his seven Tour de France titles, former cyclist Lance Armstrong is now facing formal doping charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In a 15-page letter dated June 12 to Armstrong and others, the USADA said that it had the cyclist’s blood samples from 2009 and 2010 and that they were consistent with “blood manipulation.”

Petulia Pugliares lives on a busy residential intersection in Wethersfield, Conn., south of Hartford. Her home sits smack between two elementary schools and a high school. That doesn’t seem to faze the drivers though. “Cars go by way too fast, especially during the morning and evening commute,” says Pugliares, who has witnessed numerous accidents, and was even struck by a car herself as she walked the neighborhood.

Frustrated, she came up with a simple campaign to try to get drivers to slow down. Her message, printed on bright, red lawn and street signs reads ”Drive Like Your Kids Live Here.”

Pugliares’ words seem to work. “It has that hit-home effect. It really resonates and makes them slow down,” she told ABC News.

The kind of scene you would see if you were a boulevardier.
And what’s a boulevardier, you say? According to Dictionary.com, a boulevardier is “A frequenter of city boulevards, especially in Paris.”
bohemiansouth:

newsweek-paris-france:

Bouquiniste in the rain near the Pont des Arts this afternoon in Paris, France.
For more, see Rues de Paradis.

Bohemian South adds: I love these places. Shouldn’t every city have them?

The kind of scene you would see if you were a boulevardier.

And what’s a boulevardier, you say? According to Dictionary.com, a boulevardier is “A frequenter of city boulevards, especially in Paris.”

bohemiansouth:

newsweek-paris-france:

Bouquiniste in the rain near the Pont des Arts this afternoon in Paris, France.

For more, see Rues de Paradis.

Bohemian South adds: I love these places. Shouldn’t every city have them?