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New York and Lack of Urban Innovation

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)

U-Turns in Seoul

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.

Canyon of Heroes

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.