Traffic Calming

I am a member of the Sebastopol General Plan Advisory Committee. Circulation was the topic of our meeting last month. It was a robust conversation for 3.5 hours, and we still managed to omit large topics, like transit. But it gave me another opportunity to look at circulation issues in

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Main Street Crossing Improvements via a New Protected Bike Lane

While this post started as a way to look at how to cross Main Street safely it has evolved into a way to incorporate protected bike lanes which can help with street crossings as discussed below. Often solutions to our urban design problems have multiple benefits. As someone who moves

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Traffic Lane Width Reduction Improves Safety

I came across this article today by Jeff Speck where he discusses reducing drive lane widths on urban streets from 12′ to 10′. Reading down through the comments there are obviously strong opinions on both sides, but it seems like an obvious safety improvement to me and I think would

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Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day

The blog today comes from a parklet constructed by the CORE Project for PARK(ing) Day. The original PARK(ing) Day was started by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio and has now spread around the world, always occurring on the third Friday in September. The idea is to concert a

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The Sebastopol Ped Line and Placemaking

Cittaslow Sebastopol is exploring a method of encouraging people to walk to various destinations around town in order to ‘reduce traffic and help make Sebastopol a more walk-friendly community.’ Dubbed ‘The Sebastopol Ped Line‘ they have designed 3 different walks that begin and end at the downtown plaza and loop

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Parking Opportunities

On my walk to the cafe this morning I walked by my inspiration for today’s post. As much as I’d love to get rid of all cars downtown, I have to acknowledge that many visitors to downtown Sebastopol arrive by car and will continue to do so for the foreseeable

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CVS Agrees to Remove Drive-Through

The proposed CVS/Chase bank project that I have written about before has a new twist. The project is proposed on a prominent intersection at what is essentially the gateway to downtown Sebastopol. The project went through a long drawn out entitlement process that included the Planning Commission denying a use

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Property tax impacts of sprawl

There is a growing body of evidence that shows how sprawl is bankrupting communities that cannot keep up with the maintenance of all the infrastructure required to serve the sprawl. New infrastructure (streets, water, sewer, electric, gas) is often conditioned on the developer to install, but they have no obligation

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Sharing the Streets

I came across this interesting video that demonstrates the concept of ‘Shared Streets’ which is the inspiration for this post. Prior to the widespread use of the automobile, streets were shared by all users. We didn’t have the segregation we see today in which priority is given to the movement

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The D-word

The word density tends to elicit a strong, generally negative, response from many people. The mere mention of the word brings out opponents to a proposed development project, en masse.  Particularly in a small town like Sebastopol, density seems to conjure images of overcrowded tenement-like living conditions, faceless apartment tower blocks,

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