What is “progressive” urbanism? How does it differ from New Urbanism?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION What is “progressive” urbanism? How does it differ from New Urbanism?

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    Trace One

    Yes, Roland, I am saying pedestrians have been ripped off for decades, at the expense of cars, and the shared street concept has contributed to the fight against sidewalks.. It just isn’t fair – people need to get as much money in a development as cars, if not more..

    and shared streets in low -volume areas, I personally don’t even like that – yes, you will not convince me..A kid is not safe in a street with cars..Nothing like the urban sidealk for a great playground..

    But the bicycle lobby is against separated roads at any speed..For them the bike is a vehicle, and should take the same roadsas cars – like I said, I was amazed when I came up against it, but if you look it up, it is a very prevalent attitude among bikers..It is actually hindering the development of separated bike lanes, which I think should be really high priortiy..

    Not that there is anything wrong with having an opinion..I wish we had more lively design debate – I think LA could benefit greatly from a written tradition, we are sorely lacking in theory..

    Roland Beinert

    The thing is that separation is just an ideal in cities. Even with sidewalks and bike lanes there will still be people running across the street without a cross walk and bicyclists going around cars parked in bike lanes. Drivers are led to believe that they have the road to themselves or that they theoretically should. So they assume it’s ok to speed and ignore what’s going on around them. It’s assumed that pedestrians and bike riders will never break laws or make mistakes, and so that makes drivers think it’s ok for them to break the law. It’s a very unrealistic point of view.
    I’ve never had an accident on my bike, but I’ve come close two times this year. Both times I was actually riding on the sidewalk, and the drivers were coming out of parking lots. The first driver just wasn’t paying attention and didn’t stop at the stop sign before he went into the street like I expected him to. The second time I was riding past a bank and the driver came zooming out of the parking lot at top speed. Neither one of us could see each other because of a blind corner. We both barely stopped in time.
    In both cases the problem was expectations. I expected drivers in parking lots to drive slowly and see me before I saw them. They expected me to not exist. Separation is important on major streets, but it doesn’t really address this problem of false expectations. In fact, in most cases, it adds to the problem. But if bicylists ride in the street they are fairly obvious to drivers, and only have to worry about the drivers getting road rage and intentionally hitting them.

    Trace One

    Roland! You are a biker and you don’t admit how obnoxious and agressive bikers can be? Half the time, when I see report of an accident with a bike/car, i wonder what the heck the biker was doing – all the bikers at ucsd said they don’t stop at stop signs, etc..I do not want to depend on the car seeing me, as a biker..(I love to bike, and have been on many cross-europe trips.). I want my own, safe. lane, where I am the bike queen, not dealing with cars abiltiy to see me, or my desire to speed, as a cyclist..
    separated lanes!! spend the money!! Davis, Ca., from what I hear, and have glancingly seen, is the ideal – lights on separated lanes for bikers.. Europe goes for it..
    but you can’t tell me bikers aren’t out there acting crazy…
    I want to be an eighty year old lady biking to the theater, and biking home, in the evening..or an eight year old boy, biking to school, on a separated lane..
    I think bikes and pedestrians CAN mix, although sometimes I wonder..but bikes, pedestrians and cars..no way..never, no way..in an ideal world..
    bikers are not in the least obvious to drivers, they are little blips, and if you add legal texting, forget it..
    Like I said before, one of the beauties of Olmsteds Prospect Park is the divine separation of methods of transportation..they weave together like a lovely tapestry, intersecting at different levels, never disturbing each other – horses, cars, pedestrians, water..


    Pedestrians and store owners dont want bikes on the sidewalk, car drivers dont want them on the street. Bikers get the in between no mans land-arguably the most hazardous portion of public space. There are car doors opening, peds crossing the street between parked cars, vehicles turning through your lane, swerving motorists, cars pulling out of parking lots, etc, etc.

    Larimer county has seen a growing animosity among drivers against bikers in recent years. It’s relatively common in northern colorado to be swerved at on purpose or get a ticket for ‘rolling’ a stop sign. They treat bikes like cars here, and I’m not sure it’s so great either. There have been a number of fatal accidents in the past two or three years in larimer as well involving aggressive/ irresponsible drivers and bikers.

    Bikes, cars and peds can mix, but we havent gotten the formula right.

    Trace One

    Olmsted got it right, and included horses and water-ways.. separated! bridges!
    I do not deny road rage against cyclists.. But cyclists can act extremely agressively
    . The only problem is, in the fight between cyclists and cars, the sentence for the cyclists is death..obviously..for the car, a dented fender..


    I agree with that.

    Roland Beinert

    I know bikers can be obnoxious, but I don’t think that’s the norm. Would you say those near accidents I had were my fault? I wasn’t even in the street!
    I still think drivers and bikers can mix. I’m not talking about highways or huge city streets with speed limits above 20 mph. I think obstacles to drivers are a given in cities, even without bikers. Accidents happen when drivers let their guard down because of infrequent obstacles. So on city streets they should be faced with many obstacles. Will that slow them down and make them nervous? Yes. That’s the whole point. I think if you are the one hurtling along in a several ton vehicle, it’s mostly your responsibility to avoid accidents. Not entirely, but mostly.
    I’m sure you think I’m nuts for saying that. But I have my reasons. It’s based mostly on the work of Ben Hamilton-Bailey in the UK and Hans Monderman in the Netherlands.
    I admire Olmsted, too, but you’re talking about parks, not complex city streets.

    Trace One

    maybe biker agression is a function of where you live..In California, they are an extremely agressive lot..
    My question is, if given a choice between constructing a separated lane for bikers, and keeping them on the street with cars, do you think it is actually better to keep bikers on the street? That is what I cannot understand..For me, the separated bike path opens up biking to all, the young and the old, night and day..yet bikers will fight against separated paths..!!???.I’m like, here’ s the money guys, you can do this, and the bikers are like, we don’t want the money..!!!??
    anyway, thank you for the reference to Monderman..I will def. take the time to read it..
    Yes, prospect Park is a park, but it has cars..I think the lessons of traffic planning still apply..Ok, we don’t need the water-way..

    Roland Beinert

    I think it depends on the street. If you’re talking about a residential street like the one I live on, then no, there is no need for a bike lane. It gets maybe one car an hour. If you’re talking about a highway that passes through the city, then yes you definitely need a bike lane. It all depends on the purpose of the street. Some streets are used as social spaces like that portion of a street that’s kind of like a shared street in Boise. They use that portion of Eighth St. for the farmers market and other events on weekends, so they tried to make the street unattractive to drivers.
    The important thing to me is that I can get anywhere on my bike. I don’t ride just for recreation. Fully separated bike paths often lead nowhere at least in my experience. I go to the grocery store and the library. A bike path that just goes east and west along a river like the one in Boise serves no purpose to me a lot of the time.
    I have no idea why those bikers didn’t support you, since I don’t know what the exact situation was. It may have just been laziness for all I know.

    Trace One

    Roland, there is an interesting story on NPR about this exact topic – two bikers experienced severe road rage from a vehicle, the guy pulled in front of them and stopped, they crashed into him, and it went to court – the vehicle guy suffered some penalties.. it is called “road rage case highlights cyclist vs. driver tension” on todays NPR news web site..the comments on this article illustrate what I am talking about ..
    But my point is, eight year olds can bike…We don’t want eight year olds to bike where cars go…Why can’t we provide separated lanes for bikes everywhere, to the store, to the mall..I don’t want just the separated leisure drive to nowhere – I want all of us to be able to bike..!
    You seem sort of innocent about the biker wars..The above article plus the comments pretty much ilustrates the state of things..It definitlye comes out, how bikers insist that they be ‘on the road, w ith the cars..”..I’m like, why? Why not demand a safe separated, elevated, bridges lane for bikers to get to the mall..I do not want to be on the road with cars anywhere..
    It also illustrates the obnoxiousness of bikers – they will bike two to a lane, doing five mph on a 35mph road, and expect cars to deal with them…Wrong! A vehicle doing 35 mph has trouble negotiating around the slowbes..
    Plus telling bikers not to bike in the gutter..I don’t know..It is all wrong..Bikes need their OWN dedicated lanes for normal transport..
    Check out the article and the comments..
    and the bikers at UCSD were far from LAZY…that is too weird an analysis..they are hyped up bikers..really agressive. with tenured faculty positions, so they don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks of them..

    Chad Crutcher

    A timely comment…
    Just heard on PBS News of a court case in LA wherein a driver has been convicted of 5 felony counts associated with a car/biker road rage incident, including the charge of using his car as a deadly weapon. Google the story. Applies in spades to this thread in terms of the intensity of the conflict, as evidenced by the commentary preceding.

    Food for thought….

    Do well doing good.

    Roland Beinert

    I am aware of the bike wars, but don’t think they are quite as bad in Boise. That’s more of a Portland thing. Please remember I never said there shouldn’t be bike lanes on 35 mph roads. Also remember that most people who criticize bikers are not even trying to help them get bike lanes.

    Trace One

    but my experience is, even bikers are not helping get bike lanes! the whole shared street thing has gone crazy! it ultimately benefits the developer – a shared street has got to be way cheaper..I don’t even want them at 10 mph..I want kids in the streets, and safe, and as far as I am concerned, that means separated with a grade change and barriers, from cars..checked out all the hamilton baillie stuff – very intimidating..I just disagree.

    luke booth

    I’d guess that if you couldn’t find a good description of “progressive urbanism” then there probably isn’t one to be found. It sounds like it could be any urban idea that is deemed progressive. If that’s true, it would have no particular relationship to New Urbanism or any other idea, I suppose. The term and idea of “landscape urbanism” has a much more contemplated and documented history. It isn’t as specific as new urbanism though. Landscape urbanism was recently coined (by Waldheim) to describe the idea that approaching the built environment as a “landscape” (rather than architecture or anything else) is most suitable. Charles Waldheim and James Corner can obviously describe it much better than I. For anyone who hasn’t read into it, I’d strongly suggest The Landscape Urbanism Reader (Waldheim) and Recovering Landscapes (Corner) to start with.

    Vanessa Ruiz

    Thanks for the book recommendations!

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