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Found 8 results

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/nyregion/06broadway.html?_r=2&ref=michael_m_grynbaum&pagewanted=all Ceux qui n'aiment pas les "piétonisations" à Mtl devront s'y faire. C'est un mouvement de fond, et généralisé.....
  2. http://www.smart-magazine.com/en/jan-gehl-architect-interview/ Jan_Gehl_Portrait The city whisperer Portrait 3 minutes read - Oliver Herwig on November 3rd, 2015 Jan Gehl champions something that few architects have mastered: cities for people. The Dane favors compact neighborhoods over grand master plans. The 79-year-old city planner values the wishes of residents over architecture. And his resounding success proves him right. Ssssshhhhhrrrrr. In the background, a cordless screwdriver buzzes away. Jan Gehl apologizes for the distraction; “Excuse me, they’re doing some work in the kitchen.” Life is quite busy for the professor emeritus and city planner. As a city planner, Gehl‘s detail orientation and screw-tightening skills come in handy wherever mayors or councilors realize that something needs to change. Over the past few years, they have been beating a path to his door: Gehl is considered a top global expert on humane cities. “I’m an idealist,” states the 79-year-old. “And the projects I’m working on are all about creating better environments for pedestrians and public life.” To Gehl, both of these are intrinsically linked – people should be able to experience their city on foot. He goes on to scoff that we know more about the perfect habitat for Siberian tigers than a good environment for people. His wife Ingrid and he started out studying life in the cities – and then traveled to Italy on a grant in 1965. In 1971, “Livet mellem husene,” life between buildings, was the first result of their studies between streets and squares – and turned out to be quite a flop. Yet Gehl labored on and continued to hone and develop his methods over the years, by then a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts. Jan Gehl Brighton “My projects are all about creating better environments for pedestrians”. Photo: Gehl Architects Gehl’s foremost success is Copenhagen Today, his successes prove him right. And the standout example is Copenhagen – the city of Gehl’s alma mater, teaching career, and a company he co-founded. In a way, it serves as an open-air lab for his ideas: All the way back in 1965, the city – advised by Gehl – created Europe’s longest pedestrian zone, the Strøget. Copenhagen has become a template for the fundamental shift from post war car-centric cities to more pedestrian-friendly 21st century metropolises. “In order to reclaim a human dimension, city planners need to re-evaluate the many capacity-friendly ideas,” he states in the recently released “Cities for People”. This means: Our cities are filled with too many traffic lights, narrow sidewalks, and multi-lane highways that squeeze in pedestrians and force them to cross streets in a rush. According to Gehl, that’s not a given: “There is a good, pedestrian-friendly solution for any traffic planning issue.” And he adds that “it is high time to revisit our priorities.” To this end, Gehl has introduced a check list of small changes that – taken together – produce great results. He favors “polite reminders” (as in Copenhagen) over flashing traffic lights that “encourage hasty crossings” (as in New York City). Gloomy pedestrian underpasses (like the one near Zurich’s train station) should be replaced by sunlit “zebra crossings at street level.” Copenhagen stroget Jan Gehl Advised by Gehl, Copenhagen installed Europe’s longest pedestrian zone, the Strøget. Photo: Yadid Levy / Getty Images From New York City to Shanghai: a globally sought-after urban consultant Gehl knows cities better than most. Paraphrasing a well-known analogy, some people are good with horses and become horse whisperers, while others are good with people. The latter usually become doctors, nurses, or priests. As a city planner, Jan Gehl is a little bit of all. First and foremost, however, he is a self-professed “missionary.” He preaches human scale development and has been consulting for cities around the world for years, helping them to redesign entire neighborhoods to benefit their residents. The formula is simple: go to the city, observe, and listen. And then join together to effect change. A fun video on his website tells the story behind it all. It took the love of developmental psychologist Ingrid to open the builder’s eyes: Architecture should serve people. In this spirit, Jan Gehl draws on insights by sociologists and psychologists to turn ivory tower planning into bona fide collaborations. The Herald Square before Jan Gehl The Herald Square in New York City before … Photo: DOT The Herald Square after Jan Gehl … and after Gehl Architects. Photo: DOT Gehl’s top priority: the human scale His drive really picked up in 2000 when Gehl and Helle Søholt, a former student, joined forces to found the company Gehl Architects. Maybe, it’s all just a question of scale. Modernism delighted in completely redesigning metropolises or conjuring up abstract plans on the drawing board. Builders like Le Corbusier, who considered rented dwellings “housing units” or “living machines,” liked to subdivide cities by function. This is a kind of thinking Gehl would like to leave behind. The architect is less interested in models and buildings than in their residents. Over the years, Gehl came up with a range of basic principles that support and define thriving communities around the world. One of these rules might be not to build skyscrapers since six or more levels up residents lose touch with the street and feel removed from it all. Or: consider the ground floor. It shouldn’t be uniform or forbidding, but varied and full of surprises. MarDelPlata Jan Gehl Gehl’s formula is simple: … Photo: Municipality of Mar del Plata Mar Del Plata Jan Gehl … go to the city, observe, and listen. Photo: Municipality of Mar del Plata “Better city spaces, more city life“ Nowadays, Gehl provides coaching for cities like New York City, Shanghai, Singapore, St. Petersburg, or Almaty. And his insights sound so simple, matter of fact, and even trivial that it can be hard to fathom how our modern cities, divided by functions, could ever have forgotten these wisdoms. “Better city spaces, more city life,” one of his premises states. High quality spaces encourage leisure activities and interactions. “It’s so obvious, we have simply overlooked it.” P.S. The interview was conducted over an old telephone on the fifth floor of a building in the center of Munich. Sao Paulo Jan Gehl “Better city spaces, more city life.“ Phpto: Luis E. S. Brettas Header image: Sandra Henningsson / Rights Gehl Architects sent via Tapatalk
  3. Zig-zag lines being painted on purpose April 20, 2009 - 12:36pm Zig-zag lines being painted in Loudoun. (VDOT) Adam Tuss, wtop.com LOUDOUN -- Behind the wheel, you want the least amount of distraction possible. So why is a local transportation agency painting crooked lines on the road on purpose? The Virginia Department of Transportation says it's part of a safety campaign to get drivers to slow down in a high pedestrian and bicycle area. The 500 feet of zig-zagging lines are painted on the ground on Belmont Ridge Road, where it intersects with the Washington and Old Dominion trail in Loudoun County. "It is a low cost strategy to get motorists to slow down as they approach the bike trail and pedestrian path," says VDOT's Mike Salmon. "While at first motorists may be a little disoriented, the main point is to get them to pay attention and slow down through that area." There are plans to also paint the crooked lines on Sterling Boulevard where it intersects with the W&OD trail. VDOT says similar programs have been successful in the United Kingdom and Australia. The transportation agency will study the zig-zagging lines for a year and see if they actually reduce speeds. If the lines prove effective, you can expect to see more of them on the ground. (Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
  4. Driving in Montreal is an experience Posted By Marshall, Scott Updated 1 hour ago Driving in different places can be difficult to many people. The fear of not knowing where you're going can be very overwhelming. Roads you've never seen before and higher than normal traffic can lead to high anxiety. I was recently in Montreal and if you've ever driven there you'll already know it's an experience of a lifetime. The cab ride from the airport to my hotel was interesting to start with. The driver didn't use his turn signals. Most people will use them at least most of the time. It lets other road users know your intentions. In Montreal, it lets other drivers know what your plans are early enough so they can speed up and block your move. If you're in Montreal you don't signal. That way nobody knows your moves. We all know that fuel prices are higher than we would all like, so the drivers in Montreal decided to work together to save fuel. They follow each other very closely so they can cut down on wind resistance. Race car drivers call this 'drafting'. The cab driver was driving close enough to the traffic in front of them that it looked like they were being towed by the driver in front. I thought it was very nice of the lead driver, or drivers, to avoid suddenly stopping. That was nice of them, don't you think? Most drivers would understand they need to have some response time from the driver in front if they stop suddenly. Wouldn't you? You should leave more of a following distance if the driver ahead of you is unsure of where they are going so they'll have enough room to turn around as necessary. As a side note, following further back also give you more to stop if the lead driver stops suddenly. We should all know that, right? Now, I enjoy playing and watching sports like a lot of people do. I like the competitiveness of sports. Being a pedestrian in Montreal seems like it's a sport to many of the drivers in Montreal, though. When the cab driver was driving along the road and was about to enter an intersection, a pedestrian stepped off the curb right in front of us. There was no horn honking and only a slight swerve was done to avoid hitting them. Maybe you need to drive as close as possible to a pedestrian when you're driving there? I didn't see the rules for this one, so maybe I'm wrong. I may have exaggerated my thoughts here, but every event did actually happen. The bottom line here is no matter where you drive, keep space around your vehicle and communicate to other road users. Plan your route so you know where your turns are and get into the proper lane well in advance. If you do all of this, you'll be safe driving - even while in Montreal! Scott Marshall is the director of training for Young Drivers of Canada. He has spent almost 20 years in driver training. For questions or comments regarding this column e-mail Scott directly at [email protected] http://www.wellandtribune.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=920904
  5. New York set to ban cars from Times Square NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) -- Many New York residents and tourists alike say the city's plan to ban cars from traveling through Times Square is a great idea. The New York Daily News said Saturday some people have applauded the plan to ban all traffic from Broadway between 42nd and 47th Street in Times Square starting Sunday night. "I think it's going to bring more people and they'll be more comfortable," local food vendor John Galanopolous said of the plan, which will also ban cars from 33rd and 35th Street in Herald Square. Pittsburgh resident Bill Buettin agreed the traffic ban in those areas would make pedestrian travel easier in New York. "Not having to worry about crosswalks and stop lights makes it that much easier," the tourist told the Daily News. But at least one New York resident was less than supportive of the plan, which he feels could hinder the city's numerous motorists. "There's going to be more traffic. It's not going to work," taxi driver Rafi Hassan told the Daily News. "Most of our customers are here."
  6. http://spacingmontreal.ca/2011/05/01/saint-pierre-river-site-to-become-montreals-first-woonerf/ Definition of a woonerf: A woonerf (Dutch plural: woonerven) in the Netherlands and Flanders is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. The techniques of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety.
  7. http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2016/02/should-the-law-step-in-to-outlaw-pedestrian-cellphone-use/462669/?utm_source=SFFB From The Atlantic CityLab Officials Keep Trying, and Failing, to Outlaw Distracted Walking A proposed bill in Hawaii is the latest in a doomed line of legislative attempts to deal with pedestrians on their cell phones. EILLIE ANZILOTTI @eillieanzi Feb 15, 2016 4 Comments Image Lori Foxworth/Flickr Lori Foxworth/Flickr You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d say that texting and walking mix well. New York’s (sadly fictitious) Department of Pedestrian Etiquette listed “walking with your face in a map or mobile device,” among its violations. Beyond the annoyance factor, it’s a health risk: 2010 data show that at least 1,500 people a year wound up in the emergency room after taking to the streets on their phones. The Pew Research Center has found that 53 percent of adult cell phone users have bumped into something as a result of distracted walking. And if you still don’t see the hazard, consider the La Crescenta, California, man who nearly texted himself straight into a bear. Yet people keep doing it. And when common sense fails, the law steps in. Or, at least, tries to. A bill introduced in the Hawaii House of Representatives at the end of January would ban pedestrians from crossing a street, road, or highway while using a mobile electronic device. The House Committee on Transportation deferred the bill on Wednesday, bringing to mind a similar ban proposed by the Honolulu City Council in 2011, which never reached approval. Legislative attempts to curtail pedestrian cellphone use do not have very successful track record. Carl Kruger, a former state senator from New York, introduced a proposal in 2007 that would have barred the use of electronics in intersections at the risk of a $100 fine. “Government has an obligation to protect its citizenry,” he said. The bill failed. Similarly, a 2011 Arkansas proposal to outlaw wearing headphones in both ears while walking went nowhere. (Studies have shown that, relative to texting, music isn’t even that great of a distraction.) Jimmy Jeffres, the senator behind the bill, knew it wouldn’t pass but introduced it anyway to raise awareness of the issue. "You might not get the full effect of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with one ear,” he told the Associated Press, “but you at least will be aware of your surroundings." Those lackluster outcomes didn’t stop the Utah Transit Authority from trying to slap a $50 fee on pedestrians using their phones, headphones, and other devices while crossing Salt Lake City’s light rail tracks in 2012. But the ordinance never became statewide law. Craig Frank, a Republican representative who opposed the bill, said at the time: “I never thought the government needed to cite me for using my cellphone in a reasonable manner.” (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Distracted driving laws have had a considerably easier time making it through the legislature; 46 states ban texting and 14 ban hand-held phone use entirely. But attempts to monitor how people conduct themselves while walking (or, for that matter, riding a bike) frustrate safety advocates who view pedestrians and cyclists as the most vulnerable city street users. Numerous states have proposed public awareness campaigns to direct pedestrian attention away from their phone screens and back toward their livelihoods; California’s 2014 campaign implores: “Stay Alert. Stay Alive.” Some researchers have become doubtful that such campaigns can work. Corey Basch of William Patterson University, co-author of a recent report on pedestrian distractedness at five Manhattan intersection, found that “Don’t Walk” signs failed to affect those distracted by their devices; nearly half of observed walkers who crossed against the light were looking at their phones, putting them at a greater risk, she said, than those who were paying attention to their surroundings. Consequently, she’s not sure pedestrians would heed—let alone notice—additional signage encouraging them to watch out for themselves. “The urgency to always be in touch and the fear of missing out on something has grown so strong I'm not even sure they're aware of how dangerous it is," Basch told NJ.com. sent via Tapatalk
  8. Un article, qui, je le sent, fera plaisir à Malek Should Downtown Crossing be reopened to traffic? Would car traffic bring back the crowds? Boston Globe, by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | March 1, 2009 Downtown Crossing's problems have been well-documented: Crime has spawned fear, heightened by a stabbing and shooting in the midst of a bustling afternoon. Shops that once thrived next to Jordan Marsh and Filene's have shuttered, leaving empty storefronts cheek-by-jowl with pushcarts, discount jewelry stalls, and gaping construction sites. Sidewalks that teem with rowdy teenagers and office workers by day lie empty and forbidding at night. For years, city planners have been promising to restore the area to its former grandeur and make it a major urban destination. But as they have attempted solution after solution without success, they have never tried one idea: reopening the streets to traffic. Indeed, Downtown Crossing remains one of the last vestiges of a largely discredited idea, the Ameri can pedestrian mall, which municipal planners once believed would help cities compete with proliferating suburban malls. In the 1970s, at least 220 cities closed downtown thoroughfares, paved them with bricks or cobbles and waited for them to take hold as urban destinations. Since then, all but about two dozen have reopened the malls to traffic, as planners, developers, and municipal officials came to believe that the lack of cars had an effect opposite of what they had intended, driving away shoppers, stifling businesses, and making streets at night seem barren and forlorn. "Pedestrian malls never delivered the type of foot traffic and vitality they had expected," said Doug Loescher, director of The Main Street Center at The National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The sense of movement that a combination of transit modes provides - whether on foot or in car - really does make a difference," he said. "People feel safer, because there's some kind of movement through the district, other than a lone pedestrian at night. It just creates a sense of energy that makes people feel more comfortable and makes the district more appealing." Boston planners are against opening up Downtown Crossing, but as the district suffers the exodus of anchor businesses and a deepening malaise has settled in, some shop owners long for the energy, ease, and excitement they remember before Downtown Crossing closed to most traffic in 1978. "There was a constant flow of cars, stopping and going; it was very active, very busy, like a typical city street," said Steve Centamore, co-owner since 1965 of Bromfield Camera Co., on Bromfield Street, part of which is open only to commercial traffic. "There were people coming and going. It didn't seem to impede any pedestrians. It was a lot busier. People could just pull up and get what they needed. Now, it takes an act of Congress to even get through here." Pellegrino Bondanza, 72, who has sold vegetables in Downtown Crossing since he was a boy, said the pedestrian mall "didn't work out well." He hopes the city will reopen it to traffic. "Maybe it would bring some of the action back in town," he said. "I remember as a kid, I tried to squeeze in with a pushcart and, if I could locate at a corner, I could sell what I had in an hour and make a good living there. You had to be a little careful crossing the streets and everything, but don't forget the cars went slow when they were going up them streets there. There was no fast driving." Boston officials say they considered reopening Downtown Crossing to traffic and, in 2006, hired a team of consultants from London, Toronto, Berkeley, Calif., and Boston to study the idea. The consultants concluded that the mall should stay because the estimated 230,000 people who walk through Downtown Crossing every day should be enough to keep the place lively and economically vital. "What we heard from them pretty loudly was, 'Not just yet. Make it work. Give it your best effort,' " said Andrew Grace, senior planner and urban designer at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. "Lots of cities throughout the world make these districts work. The historic centers in most European cities function, and they thrive." Kristen Keefe, retail sector manager of the BRA, warned that bringing back traffic could squeeze out pedestrians who, she said, already contend with crowded sidewalks. "We just think these two things are in conflict," she said. Boston built its pedestrian mall after a study showed that six times more pedestrians than cars traveled down Washington Street - in front of what was then Filene's and Jordan Marsh - "so the impetus was to reassert the balance for pedestrians a little bit and improve the safety and amenities for pedestrians," said Jane Howard, who helped design the mall for the BRA and is now a planner in a private firm. It was a time when malls were being built across the country. Some are still considered successful - in Burlington, Vt., and Charlottesville, Va., for example. And New York City is experimenting with blocking traffic on Broadway through Times and Herald squares to create pedestrian-only zones. But those are the exceptions. Chicago, which turned downtown State Street into a pedestrian mall in 1979, reopened it to traffic in 1996, convinced that the mall had worsened the area's economic slump and left the street deserted and dangerous. Eugene, Ore., scrapped its mall in 1997, frustrated that "people went around downtown instead of through it," said Mayor Kitty Piercy. Tampa got rid of its mall in 2001 because it "didn't bring back any retail," as the city had hoped, said Christine M. Burdick president of Tampa Downtown Partnership. Buffalo, which has trolley service on its mall on Main Street, is currently reintroducing cars after finding that shoppers avoided stores that were cut off from traffic. "It takes a leap of faith to go somewhere nearby, pay to park, and then walk to someplace you haven't been yet," said Deborah Chernoff, Buffalo's planning director. "All the cities are dealing with the reality of how people actually behave." Downtown Crossing is not even a full pedestrian mall. Because Washington Street, its main thoroughfare, is open to commercial traffic, pedestrians mostly stick to the sidewalks, avoiding the cabs and police cruisers that often ply the route. After dark on a recent weeknight, just after 8:30 p.m., Downtown Crossing resembled a film noir scene, its deserted rain-slick streets glistening with the reflections of neon signs from a shuttered liquor store and a discount jewelry shop. The few pedestrians who hurried by were mostly teenagers and office workers descending into the subway or headed to the bustle on Tremont Street. They walked purposefully, scurrying past darkened store after darkened store with metal gates pulled shut. The only cars were a police cruiser that rumbled past, an idling garbage truck, and the occassional taxi. Yet some say the mall should stay. The developer Ronald M. Druker, who owns buildings on Washington Street, said he has "vivid memories of the conflict between cars and pedestrians," before the mall was built. "If you insinuated cars and trucks on a normal basis into that area, it would not enliven it," he said. "It would create the same problems that it created 30 years ago when we got rid of them." But others, particularly the shop owners struggling to survive the recession say they are eager to try just about anything that would bring back business. "Downtown Crossing definitely needs something - that's for sure," said Harry Gigian owner since 1970 of Harry Gigian Co. jewelers on Washington Street, which has seen a sharp dropoff in sales. "Nobody comes downtown anymore." De mon côté, j'adore les rues piétonnières européennes. Par contre, dans la plupart des cas, plusieurs des éléments qui font leur succès là bas ne sont pas réunis de ce côté ci de l'Altantique: - Bien qu'animées à certains moments de la journée ou de l'année, nos rues principales sont plutôt tranquilles la majorité du temps (les matins, les journées froides d'hiver, etc) - la présence d'itinérants, plus nombreux ici - il n'y a pas de "point focal", de destinations, ou point d'attraction majeure à chaque bout de nos rues qui ont le potentiel de devenir piétonnières. Par contre, il est très agréable de se promener dans la foule, l'été, sur une rue sans traffic automobile. Un compromis: avoir des rues piétonnières temporaires? par exemple, fermer Ste-Catherine les vendredis, samedis et dimanches de l'été, de midi à minuit? Bon, on ouvre les lignes! Les amateurs d'urbanisme, bonjour!