Cheshire Farm Trail

The Cheshire Farm Trail spans the creek as it flows along the edge of I-85 between Cheshire Bridge Road and Lindbergh Drive. Find it off Cheshire Bridge Road where the road goes under I-85 and becomes Lenox Road.

When the Georgia Department of Peachtree Creek - Cheshire Farm Trail Ribbon Cuttingdecided to build the new flyover ramps for GA 400, some neighbors weren’t pleased. The Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition and the South Fork Conservancy encouraged  community meetings where neighbors discussed how GDOT could make it up to them. After plenty of discussion, two popular mitigation ideas were offered to GDOT: National Register of Historic Places  designation for the Lindridge Martin Manor neighborhood  and the creekside trail. GDOT agreed to both. Heather Alhadeff, a traffic consultant then working for Perkins+Will, helped steer the trail to completion. The cost neared a million dollars for the half-mile trail, including one major and three minor bridges.Peachtree Creek

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Placemaking is Critical for Local Economy

familiesenjoyingspace-provPlacemaking is critical for the local economy. The strongest arguments focus on the market, attracting talent, and the creation of value. Other strong cases can be made on the basis of household economics, health, and the environment.

First, we need a handy definition. Here’s one from Mark Wyckoff of Michigan State University: “Placemaking is the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play, and learn in.” Mixed-use, compact, walkable neighborhoods are fundamental building blocks of communities with a strong sense of place.

The market pendulum has swung towards communities that generate a sense of place. Although placemaking is attractive to a broad range of socio-economic groups, young adults, college educated people, and relocating Boomers are particularly drawn to walkable places. Businesses who want to attract talent are looking to communities with a sense of place. Unless communities want to lose the young and the educated, they’d be wise to invest in ways that enhance, rather than detract from, a sense of place. That goes for cities, suburbs, and towns of all sizes.

The many benefits of placemaking make arguments hard in some ways, because you have to choose what to focus on. The temptation is to throw out too many facts and cover too much ground, and the case becomes overly complicated. The best tack will depend on the audience.

The concept of placemaking itself is relatively easy to communicate, because it is intuitively understandable. People have a sense of place and they react to a finely crafted main street or well-design public space.

The demand for place is driven by private choices. Yet the infrastructure and the zoning decisions are public. That’s why the strongest cases to be made are usually economic. Do you want your community to thrive in the future? If so, placemaking is a key to making that happen.

Robert Steuteville is editor and executive director of Better Cities & Towns.

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Design in Small Increments, Even When Building Big Projects

Designing in small increments, even when building in big chunks is not easy, but these ideas help: Subdivide First, Design Streets, Make Places, Design Boundaries. They can also guide the design of many different projects in Georgia: shopping malls, hospitals, university campuses and much more.

Until about 50 years ago, building towns and cities in Georgia and across America followed a common pattern. Most everyone agreed, even if tacitly, how a city was built and how it appeared. A clear and orderly framework of lots and blocks and streets came first. This framework was filled in, incrementally, either quickly or gradually, with many different buildings, activities and people. General James Oglethorpe’s Savannah is a great example, but the downtowns in Georgia were built the same way.

Now, we often build towns and cities by building “projects,” as Jane Jacobs would call them:  ballparks, big box stores, hospitals, justice centers and even schools. A challenge to architects is how to design these big projects in small increments.

Sport stadiums are good examples to learn from. Take Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. It has the four characteristics of most big projects:

Single purpose – only about baseball and game day activities.
Inwardly focused – turns its back to the adjacent neighborhood; everything happens on the inside.
Barriers and buffers – separated from, not joined to the adjacent neighborhood.
Isolated – surrounded by surface parking lots with more than 3000 spaces.

turner field

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Red Bike Program Kicks Off In Cincinnati

Red bikeSo what is Red Bike? It’s a bike sharing program and they can be found at one of the 30 or so stations in downtown, Over-The-Rhine and uptown Cincinnati.

The program has been successful in other cities as a way for people to make short, point-to-point trips without using their car and searching for a place to park.

The bikes are meant to be shared not rented so people can use them for 60 minutes at a time before they have to dock them at another station. That’s so they will be available for other riders. If people use them for more than an hour at a time, there is a $4 fee for every half hour.

There’s an app people can download to their phone that lets them know where bikes are currently available. If a person doesn’t bring the bike back, there will be a $1200 fee on their credit card.

Read More here.

App That Informs Drivers When Cyclists Are Close

Bike Shield AppIn most accidents between a car and a bike, drivers tend to say the same thing: “They just didn’t see the cyclist until it was too late.”

A new app aims to help by automatically warning drivers several seconds before a bike is visible. Using the ubiquity of smartphones, the app creates a vehicle-to-vehicle communication network between cars, bicycles, and motorcycles on the road.

The designers also plan to work with car insurance companies to integrate the technology into their own apps, and ultimately hopes to build it into cars–either through technology like Apple’s new CarPlay, or by working directly with manufacturers. They also hope to integrate the function into navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps, so drivers will have it without downloading anything new.Bike Shield App


You can read the full story at CoExist.