Author Archives

The Price We Gladly Pay

This column in today’s New York Times is heartbreaking: There was videotape evidence that the man who killed Cooper did not yield. Witnesses corroborated that the driver was not paying attention. I soon learned, however, that the Manhattan district attorney’s office would most likely not charge the driver who killed my son with criminal negligence. […]

Our LOS(S)

Todd Litman examines the concept of “level of service” in traffic engineering — the idea that streets and roads be designed to mitigate traffic congestion and delay. He writes: This significantly affects transportation and urban planning decisions, and therefore our lives. In practice, the results are often perverse: this indicator favors wider roads with higher […]

The Whole Newspaper Thing

I cannot remember a time when my family did not subscribe to a print newspaper. My parents took both the morning and evening papers in Wilmington, Delaware — where I grew up. I learned about work, responsibility, and earning money as a paper boy delivering the morning edition. I went to college with the intention […]

Cool Moments

It seems like every time I take a walk around downtown (more than once per day), I run into something interesting. That’s part of the attraction of living in a dense, walkable urban environment. Technorati Tags: Springfield Missouri, urban life

Carbon Trace Takes Next Step Forward

I announced a film project with the working title Urban Boom last May. I’m happy to report that my crew and I have made steady progress during the pre-production phase of the project, and we are now ready to begin shooting some interviews locally this month. We also have an emerging new production company called Carbon Trace […]

The Eternal Season

That would be silly season. You know, that special time of year (two times, really) that one can expect the unexpected on Springfield’s streets because the city is full of new college students operating various vehicles in ways that are, quite often, horrifying and dangerous. Also amusing. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow: Shooting […]

Lack of Imagination

We have a new pizza joint and a new sports bar opening soon in downtown Springfield. We don’t need either one. We have enough sports bars and pizza joints. We have enough coffee shops, cupcake stores, bars, party venues, art shops, sandwich shops, vapor shops, and hair stylists. What we don’t have is a drug […]

The Road From Here

Proposed Amendment 7 lost in a squeaker yesterday. Good. Missouri’s roads and bridges need fixing — badly. And this money was going to help get things moving in that direction (including some bicycle and pedestrian projects). The amendment was the result of many months of trying to figure out the best way to raise money […]

Rhetorical Dichotomies and Urbanism

I’m finding the process of writing a script for a documentary film especially interesting in regard to the canon of invention. Much of the advice I’ve been reading — because I’m a total newb at this — says the most you can do early in the process (the research/pre-production phase) is create a general outline. Invention comes before […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 3

For the final installment of this series, let’s take a look at manufactured right-turn conflicts in Portland, Oregon. Two of the three general rules of safe movement are drive on the right and pass on the left. These simple rules are designed to, among other things, keep your attention directed forward into a right hand turn. It also means nothing is […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 2

So, yeah, dangerous infrastructure gets built in places that have good reputations for bicycle friendliness. On my recent trip to Portland, Oregon — a platinum level bicycle friendly community, according to the League of American Bicyclists — I saw infrastructure that violates the rules of safe movement or otherwise creates hazards worse than the street […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 1

I was recently in Portland, Oregon on a vacation. I did not rent a bicycle and ride it around on the various types of infrastructure, but I did walk around and take pictures. This is the first in a short series examining what I saw. As I have discussed before, I believe there are generally […]

Happened In The Wild

I had a bunch of errands to run this morning around the urban core of Springfield and to the suburbs — namely the Battlefield Mall to buy veggies at the farmer’s market. So I drove my bicycle on downtown streets, residential streets, collector streets, 3-lane streets, and a 4-lane arterial. I covered about every type […]

Bicycling is Such a Hassle

So I’ve been living in a loft in downtown Springfield for a year now. Best. Move. Ever. But there is something odd going on. I don’t use my bicycle quite as much as I used to. Sometimes it seems like a hassle. I mean going to the garage, unlocking it, riding it a couple of blocks, locking […]

Urban Boom: A Documentary Film

From: Carbon Trace Productions and The Rhetorica Network The Baby Boomers were children of the post-war suburbs and raised their own children in the sprawling communities at the edges of American cities. Owning an individual home outside of a city has long been an essential part of the American Dream. That dream is changing. The […]