Placebook: The Streets Dream On


However you spent yesterday, I hope it was a great day of service, reflection and gratitude to how far we have come and have to go in human relations and civil rights. Not only did the front page of yesterday’s News and Record address the issue of the MLK Drive dream deferred, but Colorlines has a nice analysis of cities nationwide where roads named after MLK are marginalized. I do want to shout out Chapel Hill, for having what appears to be a prosperous MLK Drive. Also, two major black organizations released statements on energy policy and environmental justice for the King holiday.

Before we get into the rest of the news, a couple of announcements. Greensboro City Council meets tonight at 5:30. Here’s a brief agenda, which entails the spending related items/ordinances. Also, the new citizens advisory board for the police will be presented to the council. You can watch live and get a full agenda by going here.

Also,fellow North Carolinians, make your voice heard about what our transportation investments should be by Wednesday, February 12. Especially if you live in Union County and are for or against this measure.

And now the news:

Next City analyzes the president’s recent visit to North Carolina.

Portland builds the multimodal bridge of the future. Also, how autonomous cars could become a linchpin of public transit.

In other measures of slightly untraditional land and transit management, parts of Staten Island are taking buyouts to allow their continuously flooding neighborhoods to become wetlands and Kansas City is crowdfunding each of their bikeshare stations.

More on how Detroit is branding itself now that it’s bankrupt.  and how Toronto is battling over bike infrastructure.

Check out this old stove on a vintage Toronto railcar. Meanwhile, abandoned space in the NYC subway has been given over to pop-up stores and a photographer documents the changes in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn.

Today in bad ideas and attitudes: juveniles are still receiving stronger sentences even after the laws have changed to reduce them, an elderly man in NYC was beaten by police for jaywalking, a French politician calls London an uglier dangerous suburb of Paris, the US may be weakening environmental protections, and some kids went to school yesterday and only a few actually took time to learn about the significance of the holiday while they were there.

Not quite so bad, but still of note, Chuck Marohn reminds us how some of our beloved chain restaurants don’t really add money back in the community, even if they are franchises.

Scott Bernstein of the CNT comes to Placemakers with a nice longread on how counties similar to Doña Ana County in New Mexico can reduce transportation costs and boost transportation services.

Why farming is not just a 9-5 job and how it needs more women.

And finally, one last reflection on Dr. King and his impact.

About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.