Monday, August 29, 2016

New Argyle Explained - Udated with Rain Pics

(Edited to answer two questions I had posed.)

Here is the new Argyle. Not totally done but "officially" done enough to call it done or at least open for business although it was never closed for business.

At night (actually the end of twilight, see the dark blue at the end of the street?) from the el looking east:
 OK so Explanation number one: See the squarish darker gray pavers aligned side by side in two rows? That is meant to demark the border between the "sidewalk" and "the street."
 'Splain 2: See the whitish line with the wet spots that passes under the first car's tire? That is what one might call a gutter. In the picture above some parkers considered it the demarcation line between the sidewalk and the street. They might have looked askance at the SUV for crossing the line. What would they then think of these cars here who are way over the gutter line? Yet these cars are carefully aligned on the street side of the double dark paver line.
 'Splain 3: These cars too are carefully parked on the street side, but, of the gutter line. I will come back to this ambiguity which is pretty obviously intentional on the designers parts.
 'Splain 4: Looky here! The dark double paver line shifts from well away from the gutter line to right next to the gutter line. Hmmmm?

 Here's a pretty night lights picture. The classic antique 50's liquors sign really does not fit with the Asian theme I suspect many of the rest of the businesses are going for. But it's pretty and historic. On the left are the new ultra-modern downward facing whitish LED lighting. In the distance against the building is a orangish sodium vapor light that we are leaving behind "thank the gods" as some say.
 'Splain 5: Note how the gutter line crosses to the inside of the black double paver line. See those bollards? Well that is a pretty good sign from the designers that yes when push comes to shove the black line demarks the sidewalk from the street and not the gutter line.
 'Splain 5 continued: This is the other side of the street from the previous picture. See? They just put the gutter wherever they feel like. Or wherever they think they want the water to go. We will see where mother nature decides to put the water in a real good new ole climate change rainfall. Oh and look. They have just willy nilly shifted the black line.
Ok back to the ambiguity I promised to talk more about back there in 'splain 3. Notice that everybody is dutifully parallel parking. But what if someone decided that if their car can stick that far out into the street then why not diagonal park with your car's nose edging the black line and its tail no further out than the passenger side door of a parallel parked car?

What you can't see in this night time picture is the paver colors. The sidewalk pavers are darkest and the street pavers are lightest. But there is a third color paver that lies between the two in what one might call the "parking" areas. And some times that third color in on one side of the gutter and some times on the other.

I hope Alderman Osterman urges the cops to apply a light hand at "enforcement" of the rules. Wait what rules? Exactly. Isn't part of the idea here blurred lines. Lets see how thinks evolve here before going all "law and order" on us.

And here's another thing about the blurred lines. A merchant may well decide to start occupying the extra space (is it parking, is it sidewalk?) as if it is sidewalk and load it with tables of wares for sale the cars be damned. A little third-world crazy disorder will certainly add authenticity here. Ok so much of Asia has moved into at least the second world if not the first. Still you know what I mean.

One last thing on the rules. The rules are going to arrive in the form of signs. At the moment the street is clean of signage. It will be interesting to see if they can use the same light ambiguous touch in signage as well.

EDIT - 8/30/2016 

OK so here are the rain pics:

But first the enforcement picture. Now that didn't take long. Though granted this is for past sins not necessarily for current ones.
 Those cute planters? Well they serve as storm water collection basins.
 Close up of water entering the planter basin. This is after a good down pour and then a continuing steady rain. The water in the "gutter" was typical throughout Argyle.
Conclusion. The street is ready for phase one of Climate Change.I saw no large puddles anywhere.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Granville Avenue Greenway

Granville between Clark and Broadway, four blocks, a half mile, has two schools, two churches a mosque, a theater two bus stops and a Divvy. Kids, parishioners, viewers, bikers and cabbies at many hours of the day, on foot and pedal and in their cars. Two more blocks to the west are traffic circles. And to the east is a small downtown with restaurants, groceries, drugstore, high-rises, a lake-front park and an el-stop. 

This stretch of Granville between Ridge and Shreridan is an urban environment of the highest quality. I cannot tell you the number of times I have either waited on a crossing guard protecting children or driven slowly behind a biker because there is not enough room to pass safely.

Because so much going on forces cars to navigate cautiously it has become a favored biking route by many.

It is time to give it an official status such as an Urban Greenway.

Lets change the paradigm from a street that tolerates pedestrians and bikers to one that tolerates cars. Lets put the bikers in the middle of the lane rather than off to the edge where they tempt cars to pass. Lets make it formal that cars are not allowed to pass bikers, no matter how slowly they may be going. Lets put down paint and cobble together crosswalks with texture that make the new sharing dynamic clear as day. Lets pass the ordinances needed to radically reduce the automobile speed limit.

Lets bring together the experts already existing within the cycling community who know what cutting edge design looks like with the alderman, Harry Osterman, and the experts within CDOT who are themselves at the cutting edge of complete streets design.

Granville can become a synergistic part of a Greenway already proposed for Glenwood. We have here an opportunity to do something that once again puts Edgewater firmly on the forefront of urban design.


Scroll Down Past the Map for two illustrative pictures.



"bike street - cars are guests". These are popping up all over Utrecht, including this one, created a few weeks ago.