How did jaywalking become a crime?

“In the early days of the automobile, it was drivers’ job to avoid you, not your job to avoid them,” says Peter Norton, a historian at the University of Virginia and author of Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. “But under the new model, streets became a place for cars — and as a pedestrian, it’s your fault if you get hit.”

Click here to read the forgotten history of jaywalking.

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“Mini Cities” Around DC

In recent articles in The Washington Post and Greater Greater Washington, smaller cities and towns around the DC area were highlighted for their walkable and mixed-used communities that they refer to as “mini-cities.” These articles focused on the positive elements of various communities and how they continue to grow without relying on being in relatively close proximity to DC.

One of the mini cities, Frederick, Maryland, has always been a very walkable community. As more people become aware of the importance of walkable, connected communities, this will continue to be a wonderful benefit for this mini city. Another city, Alexandria, Virginia, continues to grow with more shops, restaurants, and new housing units everyday.

As we have discussed in past blog posts, millennials and baby boomers are drawn to cities because the cities offer places to live, work, and play. These mini cities are quite capable of providing these amenities, which is a definite draw.

Do these mini cities sound familiar? The White Flint sector?

The White Flint sector is clearly on its way to becoming a great, walkable, and flourishing urban area.

South Miami Suburb Revitalization

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. The plan gave the suburb an extreme “diet,” making it a very desirable location for residents of the area to frequent once again.

In a video provided by the firm, we learn about the strategies they used to revitalize this suburb, which sound very similar to strategies included in our White Flint Sector Plan. These strategies are:

1) Build walkable streets
2) Require street-oriented architecture
3) Embrace a mix of uses
4) Share parking with garages
5) Embrace transit

This is a great example for White Flint as we can see that the changes have certainly paid off.  Check out the video and look for the similarities to the redeveloping happening here in the White Flint district.