South Miami, needed a change and a facelift. It is a suburb of Miami that was once a desirable place full of stores and busy streets. Now, these stores are empty and the streets look like parking lots with wide lanes. The suburb has lost its appeal. So, the firm Dover, Kohl & Partners decided to give South Miami its much needed makeover, creating the “Hometown” 20-year plan.…Read More
Tag Archives: “suburban retrofit”
The latest poll from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), released in late October, focused on Americans’ housing and community preferences. It seems that Americans prefer mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods over subdivisions that require driving as the main source of transportation when they have a choice.
Robert Steuteville points out in his Better!…Read More
Earlier this month, NYC’s Department of Transportation released a major report, “Making Safer Streets” which outlines the various ways the department has re-imagined and redesigned their streets. The results include:
- 30% decline in fatalities since 2001
- 29% decline in people killed or severely injured since 2001
- 1,000 NYC lives have been saved by the decrease in traffic fatalities since 2001—including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, drivers, and passengers
The overarching aspect of safer streets is “[creating] the opportunity for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to move through the street network simply and easily, minimizing the unexpected, the confusing, and the potential for surprises.” More specifically, here are the five basic principles highlighted in the report:
- Make the street easy to use by accommodating desire lines and minimizing the complexity of driving, walking, and biking, thus reducing crash risk by providing a direct, simple way to move through the street network.
One of the challenges in transforming White Flint into an urban place is that it largely developed after World War II, when car culture really took hold. Not only are there lots of big, fast roads and strip malls that are hard to navigate without a car, but there are fewer examples of how to redesign it.…Read More
A report from a University of Ottawa research and policy network released last month reveals that suburban sprawl comes with a bigger price tag than many might expect. While (understandably) the report largely focuses on development in Canada, the big picture holds true for the U.S. as well. Author David Thompson notes in an interview that transportation is a major hidden cost; long commutes and needing more cars per household (and subsequently, the taxes to create the infrastructure to support these cars) is a huge expense.…Read More
Today, the Montgomery County Planning Board reviews plans for a second phase of Pike + Rose. Meanwhile, the first phase of the new urban neighborhood at Rockville Pike and Montrose Road inches closer to completion.
When finished, Pike + Rose will have housing, offices, shops and restaurants, a high-end movie theatre, and a hotel, along with several public open spaces.…Read More
We’ve written before about how young families are increasingly seeking an urban lifestyle, though there are some challenges those parents may face (namely school choices). These preferences are particularly relevant to our region – while Montgomery County aims to attract more Millennials to this jurisdiction, a recent Streetsblog Capitol Hill article suggests that many of our neighbors in D.C.…Read More
Like many suburban communities built after World War II, Montgomery County developed based on the assumption that everyone would have a car. However, many households have just one, or none at all. While some are in the county’s urban centers, a surprising number are in very car-dependent places.
According to the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, a sort of annual census, there are over 374,000 households in Montgomery County, and 91.8% of them have cars.…Read More
Last week the Today Show featured a book by Leigh Gallagher titled The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving. In her book Gallagher points to a number of social and economic trends that contribute to the increasing preference for an urban lifestyle including the rise of energy prices, an increasing awareness of environmental issues, lengthy commutes, and a preference for a livelier neighborhood with a sense of community.…Read More
When finished, Pike + Rose will be a new neighborhood 5 times the size of Bethesda Row. But for now, the 24-acre site at Rockville Pike and Montrose Parkway is doing double duty. On one side, it’s still Mid-Pike Plaza, a 1960’s-era strip mall that continues to do business. But at the end of the shopping center, where Toys ‘R’ Us used to be, it abruptly becomes a construction site.…Read More