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To clarify: salmoning is going the wrong way. Shoaling is pulling in front of another cyclist at a stoplight, particularly if said cyclist is going faster and will have to pass you anyways. Lately, I've had a few close calls on Penn with pedestrians stepping out from behind the signage (in the tiny refuge areas) without looking, often with cameras in hand. Jaywalkers also typically don't look for bikes and blithely step into the cycletrack after clearing one side of the road. And no, if that were the case, I doubt I would have loudly slammed on the brakes, either. (Really, are bicycle brakes always supposed to be loud enough for a bystander to hear? I usually think of loud brakes as a problem, not a feature.) And in other news, the Straight Dope reports that 29 Americans were killed by falling TVs in 2011. That's many more than the few American pedestrians who were killed by bicyclists.
In Wicker Park, the local SSA has been steadily working to make one such street-closure plaza -- Mautene Court, next to Tocco on Milwaukee Avenue north of Division -- into a more inviting public space. Once that's done, the local master plan found several more opportunities to widen sidewalks onto underused street rights of way along Milwaukee. In general, conversations about pedestrianizing typically start from the wrong place. Instead of expecting people to show up, let's find places where pedestrians already are and give them more space; more pedestrians will probably turn up. If that eventually means restricting car access, so be it -- but complete restrictions on car traffic actually aren't that common even in Europe or Asia. Instead, they find ways to make driving so very inconvenient that it becomes unthinkable. Of course, actually restricting car access will be impossible to do in Chicago over the next 73 years, since we the public have signed away control over our public streets.
Wal-Mart on the far west side has a green roof -- and a blacktop parking lot which covers 3.5X as much space. Whoops! BK: That sounds like the Ontario Street McDonald's--a green symbol masking an un-green reality.
Residential conversions are relatively commonplace: Dearborn Tower in the South Loop (an add-on to a cold storage warehouse) stands out in my memory, as does a building at the SW corner of Desplaines and Adams, across from Old St. Pat's. The Montgomery Ward catalog house had a few floors added above it, and a horizontal extension built, as part of its loft conversion. In the vein of Block 37, the Peninsula Hotel was built atop 700-750 N Michigan Ave years after the retail podium was completed. Speaking of that building, the ersatz lineup of facades that Elkus Manfredi designed for Michigan Ave has shifted yet again lately.
And what's the measurement for this metric? Inhabitant-hours? I wouldn't be surprised if many subsidized stadia or convention centers actually have lower PLUMs than mixed neighborhoods. Soldier Field gets a score each of NFL games and giant concerts each year * 60,000 occupied seats * 5 hours per event = 12M inhabitant-hours. (Divide the $587M subsidy by that and it's $48.92 per annual inhabitant-hour.) If we assume that people spend half their time at home, that's equivalent to 2,738 houses, not much more than the 2,346 apartments at Presidential Towers or the 2,033 at Lake Meadows.
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2009 on Popular Land Use Metric (PLUM) at Hyde Park Urbanist