I just learned from a friend that in parts of the downtown, Chicago has multilevel streets. These streets generally have an upper level for local traffic, while the lower level is used for through traffic and deliveries. The most well-known of these is Wacker Drive, which actually has three levels. Here is a map of the multilevel streets, and some photographs of the streets from the side, and from inside them.
Robert Sullivan, in his NYT op-ed piece entitled The City that Never Walks, discusses how New York City has lost its vanguard position in terms of urban innovation. Sullivan focuses on its pedestrian friendliness (or lack thereof), and shows how other cities have been eclipsing New York in their new ideas and approaches to urban life:
And if Boulder, Baltimore, Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Portland, Ore., and Bergen County in New Jersey can build light rails, then why can’t New York finally put one on 42nd Street? Times Square could be the Crossroads of People instead of the Crossroads of Car Congestion.
Some other cities he mentions are Grand Rapids, Chicago, and London. (via kottke)
You can make U-turns in Seoul at any time from the middle lane; here’s a photograph that shows this quite clearly. And here’s a larger version, which shows it even more obviously. The Wikipedia article about U-turns contains some insight into the rules regulating these turns in some areas of the world.
Also, this photographer took a picture of the same place, but this time made it look like a postcard from the 1950’s. It’s a nice effect.
I just came back from New York City, and while walking around the Financial District, I learned all about ticker-tape parades. This could be easily done because engraved black granite strips have been placed along the parade-path with informational tidbits. On thee downside, this causes one to walk face-down, making the readers somewhat of a pedestrian hazard. It turns out that the path taken (from Bowling Green to City Hall), due to its narrow streets and tall buildings, is called the Canyon of Heroes. Such poetry.