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Around the world: Dodging and parking

Photo by Jasper.
Cat commuting no more: A hit-and-run driver killed "Casper the commuting cat," a Plymouth, UK cat that had learned to ride the bus on its own, even queueing up politely to board the bus. (Plymouth Herald, Matt')

Electric bikes turning deadly: Electric-powered bicycles are becoming popular in China, but with the growth in the vehicles is coming a spike in fatalities as speeding riders crash into regular cyclists and pedestrians. (WSJ, Ben)

Where all modes meet: Jasper sent along this photograph of an Amsterdam street corner, showing a tram, bicyclists, pedestrians, taxis and private cars interacting.

No meters makes it too hard to park: Augusta, Georgia argues about whether to install parking meters while its downtown customers complain about having to circle the block four or five times before giving up. Is the answer enforcing the two-hour time limit? (NBC Augusta, Michael P)

Nowhere to park... that you can see: Donald Shoup discusses "parking availability bias," the phenomenon where people can think there's nowhere to park when really lots of spaces are full empty, just not the most visible spaces. (How We Drive via Streetsblog LA, Michael P)

Yahoo patents parking sensors: A Yahoo patent application suggests the company might be working on showing Yahoo Maps users real-time parking availability at off-street parking lots equipped with sensors. (übergizmo, Michael P)

Game deciphers parking signs: A Brooklyn resident created an online game to help drivers learn the complex parking rules and signs and learn to park legally. (Parking Ticket Geek, Michael P)

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David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Looks like Amsterdam is a bit street-car-centric and the peds are getting a raw deal.

by ah on Jan 24, 2010 10:53 am • linkreport

I think you mean "lots of spaces are *empty*" in the Shoup entry.

by ah on Jan 24, 2010 10:54 am • linkreport

ah: Oops, right, empty. Thanks.

by David Alpert on Jan 24, 2010 11:48 am • linkreport

One place where some kind of electronic system for parking availability would be very useful is at the garages in Shirlington. More than once I have gone into one of the garages there only to find that EVERY space is full. Then at the top of the garage, everybody who couldn't find a space is attempting to turn around to go back down. Wonder if the merchants there realize this is happening, and might be willing to shoulder the cost of some system that would help them keep their customers.

by red on Jan 24, 2010 11:57 am • linkreport

To follow up on the animals-on-transit theme, Andrew Sullivan recently posted about stray dogs who ride the Moscow subway.

by Stephen Miller on Jan 24, 2010 12:53 pm • linkreport

I'm intrigued about that article on electric bikes in Beijing. It doesn't really say much about what sort of bikes they are, but electrically assisted bikes are becoming quite popular here in the UK, and they're so slow that I always pass them on my pedal bike. I assume that these are more similar to scooters...

Re: the many modes of transport- there is a place along the Regent's Canal in London (here) where you can see high speed trains, planes (it's on the landing route for London City Airport, I think), canal boats, bikes and pedestrians on the shared towpath, and city buses on the bridge parallel to the railroad bridge in the foreground. Unfortunately I was never able to time my shot well enough to get all of them in at once. I was always very excited, in a multi-modal sort of way.

by skiddie on Jan 24, 2010 1:13 pm • linkreport

Yes, the parking lot sensors/lights at BWI are brilliant. I realize it's expensive, but one would think it might be even more valuable at a place with more parking turnover than an airport.

by ah on Jan 24, 2010 10:47 pm • linkreport

ah: That's a shot from the back of the Royal Palace. That particular street is a lot of traffic for the centrum of Amsterdam, but it's still really pedestrian friendly. The Royal Palace itself sits on a big pedestrian plaza and most of the streets (Spui, Niewendyk) are very pedestrian friendly.

One thing that's hard to see from this shot, but its in there where the Spui meets this street, is that there are stoplights for bikes only. In fact all four modes (cars, bikes, peds, trams) have separate lights.

What is really interesting is where Spuistraat meets Vorburgwal, just a little south, is that they all mesh and weave together there with NO SIGNALS! Its amazing to watch, but sitting at the pub there and drinking a beer watching the traffic merge all without accidents is a fun thing to do

by Boots on Jan 24, 2010 11:11 pm • linkreport

@ Boots: Kudos for locating the spot. The picture was actually taken from within the Royal Palace.

The Google view is unfortunately blocked by a streetcar.
[Notice the disgusting wires distorting and blocking the view. How can people live with in?]

View Larger Map

by Jasper on Jan 25, 2010 9:37 am • linkreport

Actually, the streetcar wires are pretty evident in the top pic. Additionally, it's not like Amersterdam is known for its monumental views or even wide, open street. That for which it is known (i.e., it's canals) certainly isn't littered with wires hanging overhead.

by Lance on Jan 26, 2010 11:59 pm • linkreport

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