Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Race and ethnicity: Albuquerque

This has been discussed around the intarwebs but I thought I would post again because it really provides us with an image of ourselves. From one resolution we're a bicultural metropolitan area, but at the highest resolution you can make out the blue and green dots all over. I have always been proud of our multicultural, integrated community. Now, compare our map with Chicago, or even worse, Portland. Yikes.

Voter Apathy

So far voter apathy has resulted in the death of the streetcar, the arena and convention center hotel, and now there are threats aimed at the RailRunner. Unbelievable. No Susana, this isn't Las Cruces anymore, or a family business. Meanwhile, Mayor Barry is traveling to other cities to see how they approached urban development...ironically, in cities that used large scale public facilities (see: arenas, football stadia, and convention centers) as a part of their plans.

In other news, local property owner, Jim Long, is crying about his hefty, required contributions to the downtown Business Improvement District. As one of the largest property holders it doesn't take much to understand that he's also the largest benefactor of the benefits of a BID. Having a difficult time maintaining clients, Jim? Perhaps you should stop with your horrendous signage and lighting.

Hopefully this worst possible scenario will result in a hefty swing back to the left in 2-4 years. Hopefully. Did they legalize marijane.....?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Poor Pedestrian Environment

I was browsing the blogs and came across an article with a photo that was immediately recognizable. The photo is from a pedestrian's perspective at the corner of Menaul and San Mateo, with bus users awaiting the next bus at the barren bench right next to the arterial. The article, in brief, says a poor pedestrian environment exacerbates poor mobility. It is time for drastic changes in our street design. We cannot afford to be the posterchild for bad urban design. Lead and Coal, although the construction process will be a bit of a headache, will result in a friendlier environment that encourages people to utilize several mobility options given its safer design. Better living through design? Yes please.