Budapest Manhole Cover

Posted: October 14, 2017 in manhole covers
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Budapest Drain Cover2

Thanks to Zita for snapping this photo while in Hungary. I like the ornate pattern in the center; it gives the utilitarian manhole cover a certain level of refinement.

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crossing

Nine lanes of traffic. On one side, the neighborhood. On the other, the local supermarket and other shops that serve the neighborhood. 20 seconds for pedestrians to cross. There is no ADA accessible pedestrian island if you only make it half way. And cars are turning left while you are trying to get to the other side. If you are blind, there is no audible signal to tell you when it’s time to start crossing.

Will you make it safely across? I almost got run over as I was doing a walk audit of this intersection, where Connecticut Avenue meets Aspen Hill Road.

The county and the state transportation departments have known about these (and other) dangers to pedestrian safety on this corridor since at least 2011, when they co-authored a pedestrian road safety audit. Since then, virtually none of the recommendations of the report have been implemented.

As part of my Walking Action Plan for Aspen Hill, I plan to invite my county, state, and federal elected officials to join me on the Connecticut Avenue Crossing Challenge, so they can see for themselves how streets are failing to meet the needs of pedestrians. I will need their help to bring about the long-needed safety improvements to this corridor.

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Manhole Covers of Saint Paul

Posted: September 25, 2017 in manhole covers
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For me, one of the most exciting aspects of visiting a new city is discovering its manhole covers. It feels a little bit like treasure hunting, except in this case what I’m looking for is hidden in plain sight. Here’s what I found on my trip to Saint Paul.

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This stormwater drain in Portland, Maine reminds passerby of the local aquatic life that depends on clean water.

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Photo courtesy of Kristine.

Minneapolis at Dusk

Posted: September 15, 2017 in architecture, art, crosswalk, sidewalks
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On a recent trip to Minnesota, I had the chance to go on a short side trip to Minneapolis. During my stroll nearing twilight, I came across jaw-dropping architecture and inviting sidewalks and streetscapes.

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In Silver Spring, Maryland, I came across this colorful crosswalk:

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Although the hues are different, the pattern of alternating colors  reminded me of the rainbow mountains of Gansu, China.