Get on the Bike Bus!
In Sydney, Australia multiple groups of commuter bicyclists have gotten organized and adopted routes with scheduled stops calling themselves a "bike bus".
The brilliance is the purposeful combination of the age-old tactic of safety in numbers, social interaction, and scheduled stops along the routes to include others in the pack of riders. After about a year of group rides the number of riders in each group or “bus” has significantly grown. Perhaps it can be said that timid riders are encouraged to commute on bicycles when they can cluster with lead riders who provide confident leadership within the flow of car traffic?MORE...
Mainstream Recognition of Groundwater System in Wisconsin
Pabst Farms is NOT brilliant. It's yet another exurban zone of tacky strip malls and low-grade McMansions. Well, is has a few minor merits - a bit more greenspace than average, for example. But basically it's another tragic waste of prime countryside adjacent to a major urban area - Milwaukee.
What's momentarily brilliant is the fact that the Journal Sentinel thankfully had the foresight to publish this article outlining the likely effects on groundwater if several hundred acres in the area are paved. Basically it will wreck the already strained and radium tainted well water for a great deal of Waukesha County. Kudos for making some effort to get the public to start connecting the dots and understanding how systems work.
Now back to pessimism mode. Given the local myopia (Although Milwaukee is reasonably thoughtful, its western suburbs are anything but) I doubt anything will change. What's worse is that after wrecking their own aquifer the suburbs will likely go after Lake Michigan. C'est la vie.
The Tulsa Channels
Take a look at this. I don't know anything about Tulsa, but this is one of the most well thought out urban renewal ideas I've seen in a while and to see it coming out of the bible belt is particularily impressive and encouraging. Who knows if it will actually get built, but the fact that it's gotten as much attention as it has is proof that a few good minds and a decent website can go a long way!
There's little I can say about this other than it's awesome. A welcome maship from google.
Boston Sidewalks May go All-Rubber
Rubber Sidewalks seem to be taking off. The city of Boston may start requiring them - article here. That's a pretty bold step for something relatively unproven, but will be very useful for other cities to watch and represents the perfect marriage between utility and environmental responsibility - the sidewalks should save the city a fortune, and they represent a way to recycle used tires and other detritous.
This article's gotten a lot of play and it sound's like a truly brilliant idea: Make sidewalks out of recycled tires - it's cheap, they apparantly last longer, they are easier on the feet, they don't have freeze/thaw issues in the winter and to top it off they bend around trees and roots so you don't have to prune as much. I'm ready for 'em now! (Full Article Here)