26 November 2012

Chicago Forward ~ Gabe Klein on Friendly Cities

I'm now sitting at Media Lab listening to DUSP guest speaker Gabe Klein, the Chicago DOT Commissioner speak on Chicago Forward: Building a User-Friendly City. The soft-start to the talk is this lovely Cities for Cycling Streetfilm... Chicago's an amazing transit hub with four Class One railroads, a dual-hub airport, bike net -- but it's also "bottleneck city" with congestion, safety issues, and lots of fat people and kids. Klein was previously a bike business manager, then with Zipcar, then food truck business, and then DC's transport guy (including helping roll out Capital Bikeshare). Very interesting transitions!  In DC, he helped steer bikelanes down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue!
Among the compelling trends he spotlights are the share economy, digital public ways, robust multimodal hubs, far more public/private combinations, and more. Chicago Forward is his city's action agenda embracing Safe Transit (including the issue of automatic traffic enforcement, safety zones, and the unbelievable "freedom-to-kill" drivers currently have today over pedestrians and bicyclists), Rebuilding & Renewing, Layers of Options, Complete Streets, and more.

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