Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kinetic Wave-power Sculpturing

Took a walk along the Edgewater beach this afternoon. Today was a small craft advisory. The gents flying combat wings knew it and the surfers seemed to get it too.

As for transforming that knowledge of wave/wind power into electrical energy, well the
University of Oregon is on it!

A simple idea is to create an aspect of Burning River Fest at the western edge of Edgewater. Burning River Fest currently takes place at Wendy Park which is located on Whiskey Island, which could be considered the far, far eastern edge of Edgewater Park. Many people experienced massive congestion problems near the entrance to Burning River Fest last year, so why not spread the fun out a bit and encourage people to walk/bike?

The Kinetic Wave-power Sculpture event could entail highschool/college engineering groups or hobbyists creating an energy generating sculpture based upon a common platform. The sculptures would showcase the potential energy generation through mechanical movements which could be further enhanced by affixing multicolor led's on the moving sculpture to ensure some really cool night time effects.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Mirages and Driving Don't Mix

Yet another reason to WALK along the shores of our Great Lake, whether downtown, out at Edgewater, or along Dike 14, just for the chance that you might see straight across to Canada!

"Scientists say it's a mirage, but others swear that when the weather is right, Clevelanders can see across Lake Erie and spot Canadian trees and buildings 50 miles away."

Whooo-whooo! If you saw something that crazy in your car, you might just be the cause of an accident! But alas, walking enables an easy slow pace that engenders such discoveries.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

city cycles

To Whom It May Concern:

I have found a new project to put my energies into and it's been sitting under my cybernose this entire time!

I think it's about time Cleveland consider a policy like this one that requires bike parking at new/renovated construction in the city. If we cannot make our mind up about bikelanes, which certainly have their disadvantages (door-jams and broken glass to name a few), then perhaps we can do something about making cycling more convenient in the city! MORE PARKING. Bike parking can certainly masquerade as public art and can be locally designed and built, by vocational students no less!

Consider this evidence which proves the need for said legislation:

-25% of Clevelanders do not own a car
-All RTA mass transit vehicles are bicycle enabled
-With a bicycle a person can move 5X as fast and 5X as far with the same amount of energy when compared to walking
-Mobility = Economic Opportunity
-12 bicycles can fit into one carparking space

If 12 bikes fit into one parking space, I wonder what the ratio could be for eliminating car parking allotments with bike parking? 5 bike parking spots = one car parking spot? I'm sure developers could be persuaded. Car parking certainly isn't free! I've heard estimates at high at $8500 for surface lots! And that's only the upfront costs!

If you would like to help with this endeavor in pushing said legislation through City Council, drop me a line.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

skating through life

As an avid walker and bicyclist, no uni's for me, I appreciate others on wheels. While I don't see many bladers in Clevo, I imagine there a quite a few in the metroparks, I do see lots of skateboarders, especially downtown.

I, for one, like the prescence of skateboarders for they really liven up an area. Skaters have the ability to turn an unsightly urban area into a flowing oasis. Yes, they are a bit disruptive, but they are teenagers afterall. And anyhow, what's wrong with periodic disruption? Can it be any worse than creative destruction?

Actually periodic destruction and creative disruption run perfectly parallel.

Skaters are, or perhaps it should be said; have the potential to be, economic development.

economic development is the holy grail in this town, hey?
in addition to E.D., skateparks improve the quality of life; now that's a goal for democracy!

check out this E.D. bustin', quality of life makin' skatePLAZA in kettering ohio
large pdf >
small jpg >

ah yes, a skatePLAZA. ingenious you say!
yes indeed. skaters love it because it's less like a park and more like the city streets as it incorporates a lot of street features.
good design enables diversity.
looks like it might be fun for folks in wheelchairs too!
dogs would like it if there were more trees.
and even so called regular folks like you and me.
we can all use it together.

I think this would be a fine way to democratize a quadrant of our public square.
if interested, talk to the good cleveland folks who understand old fashioned human centered design.

however, I believe the feasibility of this project would increase greatly if created on a vacant lot somewhere in midtown or asia village. as a walker and occassional sitter, I can appreciate the quality of life enhancement that a well treed, tiered, wifi'd skateplaza can bring to a neighborhood.

a place for outdoor meeting and eating
a place for blogging and dogging
a place for litter and critters
a place to make a joke-a or drink a mocha
do the polka or sniff some coka
talk on the tele.....
get mauled by some kid doin a heli

I strongly believe we can incorporate all sorts of uses, all sorts of organisms, and it'll be a great people magnet for the all the great peeps in clevo!

Of course, we ought ask the local skaters how to best design it, eh?

What think ya?

I think we can build it with some generous folks, a bit of green, lots of hands, some strawbales, and various industrial/urban remnants.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Transit, Parking Lots, and Connectivity

Well, I must confess, revisting the plan for public art potential along the Euclid Corridor has me pretty giddy about the potential of this project to transform Euclid Avenue into a pedestrian friendly street that could very well become a magnet for people rather than an impediment. Take a fresh look here and try to re-envison your favorite Euclid intersection.

However, there appears much work to be done on creating pedestrian friendly (workers, school children, families, etc) linkages between the growing neighborhoods (flats, warehouse district, e.4th, gateway, playhouse/avenue district, & csu)
I recently took a look at the Greater Cleveland Partnership's new site including the "Living Here" section and followed a link to a "New Residents Guide" hosted by
Under "getting around" I think it's humorous that although RTA is first on the list, no map is displayed (maps being integral to mass transit) while the second item on the list, "downtown parking lots", displays a highly descriptive map of area parking complete with a spreadsheet of pricing. Which mode do you suppose the new resident who be lured to use?
And, from a planner's perspective, I think parking lot owners need to get together for the betterment of the city and consolidate lots into structured parking that sits on loop bus routes, which will soon masquerade as oldtime trolleys. While certainly not "real" trolleys, their visibility makes them the perfect vehicle for new residents and downtown workers alike.

And, how about a mention of RTA's beta TripPlanning Service? It is improving as it receives user input

Friday, February 10, 2006

fitting pieces, missing pieces

since my first posting way way back in the fall of 2004, i've taken rather long hiatus and look at what has happened in the life of neo pedestrians!



but hope certainly permeates the air as two new developments with nearly one thousand units between are nearing construction. they have the potential to change the walkability of our downtown over the next 5 years. wolstein's east bank and zaremba's avenue district.

a refocused and slowly awakening Cleveland State University is determined to build a university worthy of it's namesake with promises of a walkable and aesthetically pleasing downtown campus this renwed spirit is evidenced in the parking master plan which proposes the eventual consolidation of 25 acres (30% of CSU's campus) of surface parking to 7.5 acres of structured parking. as CSU practices residential development, the euclid corridor promises connectivity btwn dwntwn and univ circle while Midtown (hopefully) begins to implement its pedestrian friendly zoning overlay. the exciting options surrounding downtown's burgeoning enterntainment hub @ e.4th st. and the arcades should finally begin to connect the gateway district with the warehouse district. all that stands in the way are a few acres of parking lots and word on the street say "mr. crocker park" may just have a fix for that as well. and don't forget all the entreprenurial muster happening on the near east side in our own little asia.

2010 should indeed bring a very different downtown environment for walkers, strollers, cyclists, and hopefully families. the pieces of the puzzle are gradually beginning to fit together.

our Regional Tranist Authority, on the other hand, hasn't changed much, though it has been forced to spread out the same amount of service to an ever sprawling populace. density is certainly a precursor for mass transit.

however, consider the facts from the perspective of a rider:
still frustrating to learn new bus routes (how about maps in/on the bus?)
still not utilizing available technology (announcinng stops sure would be nice)
still not providing riders with expectations (please exit through the rear door)
hence, still an inferior public transit system

what gives?

how will we ever have a truly connected city with an inferior (it's their mindset, i swear) public transit system? what can we do to fix it? aside from attending and voiceing your opinion at the monthly (open to the public) volunteer action committee meetings (VAC), i'm not quite sure....but stay tuned.
also, good conversation on transit happening at REALneo