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My Placemaking Wishes for 2015

Happy New Year folks! I’m posting this with about 12 hours to go on the East Coast, but I believe we’ll make it just in time. And as always at year’s end, I am here with a few things that I hope all of us placemakers and citizens can see in 2015:

Truly Open Streets

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Remember this picture of me? I was playing on a B-cycle demonstration bike on the street that I helped paint, to have an open streets event there. Yet, from then to now, not just in Greensboro, but in many other cities, the streets haven’t been so open. In fact, many have been hostile. My wish is that we can start looking at people on our streets, not as threats, not as people to shake money out of, not as places to speculate our real estate futures and to shoot to kill, but as places where we can celebrate our achievements and what it means to be human. I might be wishing this every year, but I’m going to get us started there. If we block the streets in 2015, I pray that it’s to have a party, be at peace and be better neighbors.

High-Speed Rail

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I’ve been on more trains and planes than I can count on my fingers this year. I’m reading Tom Zoellner’s Train. I’ve met  and mingled with so many of my transit nerd herd folks this year. Hold the though of mingling with people to my next wish. I want to put out there that it would be nice for at least the routes outlined in green above to get started this year. Thanks to the US High Speed Rail Association for putting the map above together. (Check out the interactive version). Congrats to the Texas Central Railway and California High Speed Rail Authority for breaking ground in 2014. Kudos to All Aboard Florida for setting a 2015 start date. Yes, high-speed rail is a sticky issue. However, it’s an issue that we need to resolve. Streetcars are nice. But a 90 minute trip between major cities like DC and New York would be even better.

Seeing More of You and Making Better Places Together

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As I mentioned above, I flew and rode trains more than I’ve ever done in my life this year and it was great! I gave my first solo keynote,which is pictured above and you can watch here.  I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at Transportation Camp  DC and festivities surrounding the Transportation Review Board Annual Meeting in a few weeks. North Carolina folks, namely those in and around Greensboro are invited to join me at Scuppernong Books at 7 p.m. on January 17th for a book event. I will read from A Black Urbanist and will sign any copies you have. A very limited number will be for sale. Go ahead and grab a print copy here. There will be a DC book event on January 11 at 7 p.m. during the TRB festivities. I’ll post more information in the next few days on both events. CNU, CCDA and New Partners for Smart Growth are also on the tentative agenda as well. And if you want to help me make this wish come true contact me here.

Again, Happy New Year! See you in 2015!

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