Climbing Walls, Climbing Hills! Friday Funday: June 13, 2013

This turned out to be a downtown-themed week around here: first a pretty downtown pic of a gleaming red bike after a rainstorm, and then a conversation on what we’d like to see in a downtown. Visit us in the comments; your thoughts are more than welcome, whatever downtown you call home.

Climbing as transportation. Who knew it was a thing? Not climbing the walls, although that’s what we’re experiencing around here, thank you very much summer vacation! The real climb is biking up hills in San Francisco, climbing ladders to get to school in China, and both climbing and cleaning Cincinnati’s old stairways. Enjoy.

One.

San Francisco, Home of the Hills, is looking to get more people on their bikes.

On a popular San Francisco route known as “the Wiggle.” With a name like that, it has to be… well, interesting, right? Click for original source.

Here’s why:

Increasingly, this compact, space-conscious metropolis is seeing the importance of nurturing such change if the economy is to be encouraged to grow. “This isn’t only about saving the environment – it’s about spurring the economy. Just because San Francisco is stuck with limited land space, doesn’t mean we have to stagnate,” says San-Francisco transportation consultant, and regular bicycle commuter, Joe Speaks. “It’s wonderful that San Francisco continues to add new businesses, new jobs, and new housing. But nobody wants more traffic. That means we need more walking, biking, and transit. Making room for bikes and pedestrians is about making room for people, rather than cars.”

Click here to read the whole article.

Two.

Rough commute? Chinese kids climb cliffs to get to school.

Just... WOW.
Just… WOW.

Just in case I’m tempted to complain about our school run…

In this crazy clip from China, little kids climb steep ladders to get to school! I wonder how nervous the parents are each day, or if they are given how normal this undoubtedly is for them. This is so wild I hardly know what to say about it.

Three: Inspiration for the Week!

Cincinnati group turns around “forgotten pedestrian spaces.”

A Cincinnati staircase.

I do love rusty old forgotten things. This article in Atlantic Cities says:

There are more than 400 pedestrian staircases threading through the steep hills of Cincinnati. Today they resemble a kind of skeleton of that city’s once-robust pedestrian infrastructure, originally designed to get workers to and from their factory jobs and afford residents of hillside neighborhoods easy access to the old streetcar system. But the staircases of Cincinnati have long been in decline…

And this is where the group called Spring in Our Steps has come in, by organizing neighbors to clean up and repair the spaces that are special to them.

On their recent clean-up event:

Our mission for Stepping Up in April was this: To show how much a few dedicated individuals can accomplish in one to two hours. Each of our days consist of some excuse as to why we should not donate our services to a community. We’re too tired, too busy, or too far away. As soon as we make that leap toward an act of altruism, the rest is history.

Feeling inspired? What would you do in your town if you had ten people and one hour? Leave a comment and share the inspiration… and have a great weekend.

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