Mid-Week Links: Building the Future

Photo from pumpkincat210

Marin County

  • Roadwork is coming to the County, which will lead to delays but also better roads.  Total cost is more than $1.1 million
  • Mill Valley took a giant step forward with its new plan for Miller Avenue, one of two arteries through town.  It’s not perfect, of course, but it will emphasize bus and bicycle access.  Hopefully the city will work with Golden Gate Transit to improve travel times and headways, too.
  • Want to join a planning board?  TAM and Fairfax are both looking for citizen volunteers.
  • Two amazing things, parks and beer, are coming together.  Lagunitas Brewing Company is looking to operate and maintain Samuel P. Taylor State Park, which is threatened with closure due to state budget cuts.

California

  • Napa County will receive some CalTrans money to study traffic flow for Highway 29, which runs from the city of Napa to American Canyon.
  • San Francisco’s cable car fleet has entered the digital age, as they now accept Clipper Cards for payment.  Won’t make them any cheaper, though.
  • Also in The City, Muni is trying to speed its abysmally slow transit fleet through all-door boarding, letting people pay at the back or front or middle of the vehicle.
  • California’s High-speed rail will be more expensive thanks to changes sought by Central Valley communities, including a 42-mile stretch of elevated rail, leading lawmakers to question whether the state can afford the project.  CA HSR Blog fires back at the criticism, saying, “If we want to build high speed rail and provide the basis of sustainable 21st century prosperity, we need to figure out how to get this built, and not make excuses for doing nothing.”  They also have a list of the new documents that detail the added costs.
  • The Central Valley is known for its Midwestern flair for sprawling communities, and UC Berkeley examined why in a working paper examined by Half-Mile Circles.  Its conclusion?  Despite a desire for high-end transit, “Unless considerably higher densities are embraced and politically accepted, high-end transit services will remain a pipedream in settings like Stockton.”  Reminds me of a streetcar project a few years back.

The Greater Marin

  • Lastly, we have a good example of how a building’s perceived size can be altered substatially by modifications to the façade.  DCMud, Washington, DC’s local real-estate blog, looked at an impending project in the popular and developing 14th Street Corridor.  The local community thought the original design was too over-bearing on local streets of rowhouses, so developer Eric Colbert reworked the design and, without losing much square footage, created a very different building.
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About David Edmondson
A native Marinite working in Washington, DC, I am fascinated by how one might apply smart-growth and urbanist thinking to the low-density towns of my home.

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