Here’s what’s happening around the Streetsblog Network today:
DC Considering 15 MPH Speed Limit on Residential Streets: You’ve heard of the “20′s Plenty” campaign? Well, Washington DC will (possibly) do you one better. According to a report from Network blog Greater Greater Washington, the city is considering reducing the speed limit to 15 miles per hour on all residential streets. Also on the table is a law that would require all drivers to stop, rather than pass in the next lane, when one motorist has stopped for pedestrians at a crosswalk. “Slower speeds reduce the number and severity of injuries to pedestrians hit by drivers,” says GGW’s Eric Fidler.
Sprawl Taxes Existing Florida Homeowners: New development is often touted as economic growth. But it can be far from a blessing for the existing community, especially if it occurs on undeveloped lands that require significant public infrastructure investments in order to make them habitable.
Take this case study from Florida. Network blog Jacksonville Transit explains how new sprawl development must be subsidized by existing residents: “A recent study in the Tischler Report, published on metrojacksonville.com, found that Florida taxpayers pay $1.39-2.45 for every tax dollar paid by a new development,” Jacksonville Transit blogger Bob says. “According to the Florida Department of Transportation a three lane urban arterial road with two travel lanes and a center turn lane will cost $3,774,078.45 per mile, excluding drainage, water, sewer, electric and other services which must follow it.”
According to Bob, the key is to focus development in already urbanized areas. “If we learn to internalize our new developments and build on what is already in place we will be able to continuously improve our financial conditions.”
A Minivan-Free Soccer Mom Speaks: Youth soccer has become sort of a rite of passage for children in America, especially those who grow up in the suburbs, giving rise to a demographic of parents known as soccer moms. Anne at Network blog Car Free Days is challenging some of the stereotypes of this modern identity.
Anne has broken with tradition by eschewing a minivan in favor of an Extracycle. But her kids won’t be deprived of their right to sport shin-guards and swarm grassy fields on Saturday mornings. Not only does Anne ferry her kids to soccer games by bike, she also coaches a team. “Yes, it can be done,” she assures us in her latest post. “You don’t need no stinking mini-van to be a soccer mom.”
Her children play in a neighborhood league where most families come from less than 2.5 miles away. Yet most of the parents still ferry their children by car. Going by bike actually saves her a lot of hassle. “Avoiding the Eckstein [Park] parking lot and all of the traffic is motivation enough for me to ride instead of drive,” she says. “Field side bike parking is an added bonus.” Kudos!