Over-wide streets

I’ve discussed the issue of lane width several times on this blog (here and here). Main Street in Sebastopol has absurdly wide travel lanes. This is largely a legacy of the days when a train rumbled down the center of the street. But the train is long gone and yet

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Parking Requirement Impacts on Small Town Urbanism

Sebastopol, like many other small towns, needs to get a handle on its parking requirements. Current zoning code parking requirements is often at odds with good urbanism. Without a mechanism such as a parking assessment district, or simply reducing on-site parking requirements, our attempts at creating good pedestrian-friendly urban environments

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Community Character, State Highways and Walkability

One of the topics at our General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) meeting this week was ‘Community Character.’ It was an interesting conversation and it made me think about the form of the public spaces in Sebastopol and how they may be improved. People often describe Sebastopol as ‘quirky.’ I don’t

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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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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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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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Parking

I’ve recently read ‘Walkable City’ by Jeff Speck. It’s a great book with a lot of information and inspiration about how to create more walkable places. There is chapter in the book entitled ‘Getting the Parking Right’. When creating a walkable urban environment, it is extremely important to ‘get the

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More Traffic Thoughts

Probably the number one complaint of residents of Sebastopol and West County, as mentioned in an earlier post, is traffic. This is a common lament of people in communities across the country from large urban areas to small towns like Sebastopol. People just hate traffic. And who could blame them.

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