Eclectic Edition: Bikes, Buses, Roads, and Malls (Friday Five, March 15, 2013)

One.

Let’s begin with a beautiful post about how a visit to Copenhagen (may I one day ride her streets) inspired a family to take up the bike for transportation.

The first day we rode with our children through the city was one of the best of our lives. …We could go anywhere we wanted, and the kids were screaming with joy and hugging us from their child seats behind us, and sometimes the sun came out, and it was glorious.

…There are lots of reasons that people tell me it doesn’t make sense for them to ride bikes (not that I ask). I think of these now as the “yes, buts.” They are all the reasons that we didn’t think it made sense to ride our bikes before that day changed our lives.

This is the year that I want to move from that “yes, but” place in riding in the kids. I don’t know what our year is going to look like, or if I’m going to be able to ride with the girls the way that I’d like, but being on that bike is FUN.

Two.

Congratulations to our own MAX Transit, who just won the Lights, Camera, Transportation contest sponsored by Trans4M (Transportation for Michigan). The contest was designed to capture what we the people think of our commutes and our transportation infrastructure so we can share these thoughts with our elected officials. MAX’s video, along with all the other submissions, will be posted on YouTube on March 18 – we’ll post the link when we get it, so stay tuned! It should be fun to watch.

Three.

The poetry of road… in Ireland, not America. In America, we’d bulldoze the shnizzit out of that cliff. Cost savings.

I found this next post, on the topic of roads in Ireland, inexplicably poetic. Lovely Bicycle is one of my favorite bicycle blogs – a pleasure to read, every time.

Four.

Thinking smart about transit – a map of key choices.

We’ve been talking a lot about bikes in the last few weeks, but transit is an essential component of efficient local transportation systems. Jarrett Walker, of Human Transit fame, recently published this diagram showing what the effects are of the choices we make regarding transit, and how they either support or undermine the gold standard of “abundant access.” Easy to understand and a great reference. Also, his whole blog is helpful if you wonder why you sometimes see buses running empty – you can find it under discussions of peak-first or all-day.

Five.

This mall has been converted into micro-apartments on the top floor, with micro-retail below.

Ohhh, the shopping mall. Hallmark of the eighties, now killing us softly. Here in Holland we have a sad disaster of a mall with something like a 90% vacancy rate. Popular opinion on it ranges from “ugh” to “why don’t they just tear it down.” So creative ideas are welcome in this realm.

Which is why this project, which is converting one of America’s oldest shopping malls to micro apartments, is so intriguing. The 550-square foot apartments are sold in this article as a great option for someone just moving out of a dorm, but I also see promise for an older person who wants to stay independent as long as possible. Interesting stuff.

Aaaaaand that’s a wrap! We’ll see you back on Tuesday for a story about French artists, swimming lessons, and the cost of transportation. Have a great weekend.

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