There were quite a few transport related stories from around the Internet that caught my attention yesterday that I thought readers might like. Here is a summary of them
Truck Blind Spot
This video comes from Transport for London showing the blind spot of a truck
Stupid Scaremongering on the Shore
Some locals on the North Shore are trying to drum up fear about four storey buildings (note: that is not high rise) being built by Ngati Whatua
People on a North Shore street where up to 100 new residences could rise are worried about building height and traffic issues and want the community to rein in the developers.
A flyer distributed along Ngataringa Rd asked locals if they knew three- and four-storey apartment blocks could rise on the empty Wakakura block owned by Ngati Whatua o Orakei above Ngataringa Bay.
Flyer writer and resident Petra Heemskerk wants people to try to stop the intensive housing estate because buildings up to four levels or 14.5m could rise in the centre of the site, up to three storeys or 11m along Ngataringa Rd and up to 8m or two storeys alongside the Lake Rd and Wakakura Cres ends of the site.
“The issue is not the development of the site in itself. I think it is fair to say that most residents here are not opposed to the land being developed,” she said.
“The issue is intensive development. The streets near Wakakura Cres are all dead-end streets with one- or two-storey houses and it is hard to see how apartment blocks will fit in with the character of the neighbouring area.”
Only problem is the stupid residents haven’t bothered to check what’s allowed there and the Unitary Plan pretty clearly lists the site as Mixed Housing Suburban which limits buildings to two storeys in height
A 3d version of Streetmix
You remember streetmix right? this guy is building a something similar but in 3d. It’s fairly limited at this stage but hopefully he is able to give a lot more options as would be superb to use to help show how we can make out cities better.
I must say, I’ve long wondered why we can’t use some of the technology employed to make games to help better visualise making out city better.
A Stroll Around the World
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek is taking on a pretty epic journey, he’s retracing the paths taken by the first humans as they colonised the world and over a 7 year period is walking from Cape Horn in Africa to Tierra del Fuego in South America. In this piece in the New York Times he writes about it and his observations about how we view and interact with the world when behind the wheel of a car, something he calls Car Brain.
“Why did you leave the road?” one Saudi friend asked me, puzzled, when I improvised an obvious shortcut across a mountain range. “The highway is always straighter.”
To him, the earth’s surface beyond the pavement was simply a moving tableau — a gauzy, unreal backdrop for his high-speed travel. He was spatially crippled. The writer Rebecca Solnit nails this mind-set perfectly in her book “Wanderlust: A History of Walking”: “In a sense the car has become a prosthetic, and though prosthetics are usually for injured or missing limbs, the auto-prosthetic is for a conceptually impaired body or a body impaired by the creation of a world that is no longer human in scale.”
I just call it Car Brain
Cocooned inside a bubble of loud noise and a tonnage of steel, members of the internal combustion tribe tend to adopt ownership of all consumable space. They roar too close. They squint with curiosity out of the privacy of their cars as if they themselves were invisible. In Saudi Arabia, this sometimes meant a total loss of privacy as Bedouins in pickups, soldiers in S.U.V.’s and curiosity seekers in sedans circled my desert camps as if visiting an open-air zoo, gaping at the novelty of a man on foot with two cargo camels. Other motorists steered next to my elbow for hundreds of yards, interrogating me through a rolled-down car window. (Not to pick on Saudi Arabia, which is no worse than any other Car Brain society, but exactly one driver in 700 miles of walking in the kingdom bothered to park and stroll along for a while.)
The whole thing is definitely worth a read. The Atlantic Cities piece on the article is quite good too.
You know things are really auto-dependant when….
Two stories from different parts of Tennessee:
The first a dad who walked to pick his kids up from school gets arrested for refusing to wait in a line of cars.
And the second a lady is being threatened with legal action by the council for letting her grandchildren ride their bikes on a quiet residential street.
Charlotte Mayor Bill Davis said it was “absolutely” true that in Charlotte kids can’t ride their bike on roads owned by the town; a resolution passed by the town in 2003 states that no one can “ride an all terrain vehicle, skateboard, roller blades, and roller skates or conduct similar activities on the city streets, in the city park or on the Court Square of Charlotte.”
A law that doesn’t allow children to play outside on rollerblades, skateboards or bicycles interferes with basic play, according to Mathis, who said she was “stunned” when she got the letter from the city. Mathis has lived on Old Columbia Road in Charlotte for 13 years, the first she’s heard of illegal biking.
And even though bikes are not included specifically, Davis said it’s implied in the language “similar activities.”
To both of those cases I just thing Wow