One Street News
Vol. 10, Issue 2
1. First Kind Communities Models
2. Resources – Five Resources for Ending Parking Minimums
3. Hot Topics - Vision Zero Blind to Racism
First Kind Communities Models
By: Sue Knaup, Executive Director
When we launched our Kind Communities program at the start of this year, we knew it would be a long haul. Researching and capturing elements that lead to kindness in communities could be a rather nebulous target to reach for. With the status quo to displace people in favor of profitable projects and to level old neighborhoods to build speedways, talking about kind places was sure to bring only blank stares.
Wrong! I have been thrilled by the response. Nearly everyone I have spoken to about Kind Communities gets it. They have either lived in such a place and miss it terribly or they have been angered by the lack of kindness in their own communities and have envisioned similar changes. A common comment is that few people talk to each other anymore, not even neighbors. Others note the loneliness of living in isolated places where houses are far apart and driving is the only way to reach community services.
During my recent trip to Washington, D.C., I met with staff at the nonprofit development firm Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC). A few minutes into my introduction to our program, they jumped in to tell me about the success they’d had at one of their affordable housing projects—Edgewood Commons. After a horrible murder, CPDC took the opposite approach from the normal lock down. They engaged the tenants as experts for solving their community's problems.
Two years later, they have dozens of active tenant groups teaching classes, starting businesses, and keeping their community safe. They captured their success in this white paper including the steps they took to engage residents. CPDC is also looking at ways to bring similar processes to their other developments in the D.C. area, including bicycle initiatives so residents can obtain their own bicycle as well as career training in bicycle businesses. Can you imagine how excited I was to connect with them?
After that meeting and follow up calls, I convinced myself that CPDC is a special case and to lower my expectations again. Then I asked a Japanese friend who lives here in Prescott, whether he had any connections in Okinawa. Okinawa had made our list of potential models because citizens control the economy through local trade and their culture is to take care of each other…
Read the rest of this post here.
Or find it on our Cures for Ailing Organizations blog under Blogs at www.OneStreet.org
Resources – Five Resources for Ending Parking Minimums
Strong Towns took on the plague of parking minimums in this recent article. The parking minimum requirements that are drowning U.S. cities in asphalt were established in the 1960s through ridiculous measurements. Each type of business must provide a particular number of free parking spaces without regard to parking spaces nearby. Check out the article for great examples where city officials are standing up against the flood of asphalt to preserve beauty and livability in their cities. And read more about this serious problem on One Street’s Car Parking Regulations resources page.
Hot Topics - Vision Zero Blind to Racism
By: Sue Knaup, Executive Director
I’ve been uneasy about Vision Zero initiatives since the first policy was adopted in Sweden in the late ‘90s. A government policy that mandates zero traffic deaths creates a system that supports corrupt and brutal tactics in order to reach such a drastic goal.
My initial concern was that Vision Zero is the perfect backdrop for mandating bicycle helmets, even though bike helmets offer little if any protection in crashes. Such laws do immeasurable damage to bicycle advocacy by creating a barrier to bicycling, blaming the victims in crashes, and making bicycling seem far more dangerous than it is.
But until a few days ago, I had not associated my unease over Vision Zero with racism and enabling police brutality. Thanks to this article (pasted below) from Neighborhood Bike Works in Philadelphia, my concern over Vision Zero has more than doubled.
I clicked on the Vision Zero link in the article, then the action plan for Philadelphia to find that the term “enforcement” is used 34 times in as many pages. Not a good sign. In communities where people care about each other, enforcement must be the lowest priority.
Read through the article and if you have further ideas and other concerns about Vision Zero, please offer them in the comments section. And if you live in Philadelphia, be sure to take the survey linked on that Vision Zero page.
Read the article here
Or find it on our Defying Poverty with Bicycles blog under Blogs at www.OneStreet.org