Fun Friday Five: Polka-Dot Streets and Love Are All You Need (March 1, 2013)

It’s March already! Holy Hannah, when did that happen??

One.

Okay, first off, let’s talk polka-dotted streets. Honestly, I don’t even care why they have polka dots on them. I love them, and want them in my neighborhood.

Polka-dot streets in Copenhagen

These are, of course, in the very cool city of Copenhagen, may I one day ride their streets. And the polka dots indicate that this is a car-free street. Can you imagine? (Don’t strain your imagination so much that you end up with a migraine.) Okay, so car-free streets don’t work in America. But the polka dots. We need to figure out how to work in the polka dots.

Two.

I think I’m going to go to theTransportation Bonanza next month. Anyone want to come? We can carpool. It’s in Lansing, only costs $55, and is all about “connect[ing] around the topic of community building for health and accessibility.” Which is exactly what WE are all about here! I think it’ll be fun; seriously, let me know if you want to go.

Three.

The old (and now abandoned) City Hall Station in New York City.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This is one of the original twenty-eight stations of the New York City subway, opened in 1904. Unfortunately, as train cars got longer they became incompatible with the tight curves of the subway platform and the station was closed. There are more pics of this station here.

Have you noticed that we don’t build much like this anymore? It seems like we’ve become a short-term society, building for this quarter’s profit rather than seeking to leave a legacy for posterity. I mean… nobody’s going to be ooo-ing or aaah-ing over the now-defunct Home Depot north of town in sixty years. On the other hand, nobody will complain about tearing it down to build something better, either! Onward and upward.

Four.

Ever heard of a “snowy neckdown” before? No, me neither. As it turns out, they’re curb extensions that go out into the road at corners. They force cars to slow down by tightening the turn radius, thus making it safer for anyone who is traveling not-in-a-car blahblahblah… Anyway, snowstorms create them without getting any kind of pesky approvals, so we can see how they work! The folks over at StreetFilms made a neat little video about them here. They say

In many ways the snow acts like tracing paper on our streets and records road user movements: at each intersection where the snow ends up piled can teach us a lot about where people drive and chose to walk.

In other words, the snow helps reveal some new, pedestrian-friendly possibilities. Pretty cool.

Five.

I saved the best for last! This one is on another kind of beauty, this time the beauty of true love.

This is a story of a man and woman who have been married for fifty years. He’s now caring for her as she descends into Alzheimer’s. The bike that he has made so they can continue to ride together is just so amazing…I LOVE this. And you just have to see her helmet! They have a website describing the bikes here. At this point they’re only available in Australia, but they’re looking for an American distributor and checking into shipping costs as we speak.

And on that note, have a wonderful weekend. May every footfall be free of ice, and the snowplow not spray on your path.

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