San Francisco’s Castro District Getting Rainbow Crosswalks

San Francisco’s Castro district will soon be home to an intersection with rainbow-colored crosswalks. The design for the historically gay neighborhood’s crosswalks was chosen by vote from amongst a number of other options — with the plan being to complete it in time for the Gay Pride march in June.

The move is part of a larger renewal initiative, one which includes: increasing the width of sidewalks, installing bike racks, improving outdoor lighting, repaving roads, and planting trees. A “Rainbow Honor Walk” will also be installed, featuring inlaid plaques with the names of LGBT civil rights activists.

Image Credit: Sean Neild via Flickr CCImage Credit: Sean Neild via Flickr CC

All of this beautification is of course intended to improve the presentation and walkability of the district (as well as bike-ability) — something which should lead to lower levels of automobile use, and improved public health.

Speaking from personal experience, I have to say that the main thing that determines how much I walk is how nice the area and walking experience is — things that this renewal initiative are addressing. :)

Something else to note about rainbow crosswalks (which are also installed in West Hollywood in LA) — many people have reported that they offer improved pedestrian visibility as compared to conventional crosswalks, perhaps helping to reduce car accidents? Hard to say, but something to keep in mind.

Do any of our readers have experience with these? What do you think?

The rainbow crosswalks will be installed at the intersection of 18th and Castro, for a cost of $37,400. So if you’re interested in seeing the crosswalks in person after they are installed, this is where they’ll be. Enjoy. :)

Source: Grist

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Boston Bike-Sharing Program is Rockin’ It

D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare bike-sharing program has been a great success (despite its rather small size). Paris’ Velib bike-sharing program rocked the world with its tremendous, unprecedented success. Barcelona’s Bicing program was much more successful than originally anticipated. And so on and so on. Now, it’s being reported that Boston’s new bike-sharing program is a great success, even much more successful than originally anticipated.

Bike-Sharing Program in Wrocław, Poland — 1st Ride

I wrote a pretty extensive introduction to Wrocław’s new bike-sharing program about a month and a half ago, with 18 photos and 2 videos included. Now, I said that I would write an update once I tried it out and I finally have. Marika (my partner) and I were walking to the store today and decided on the way to try it out if there were any bikes available (every other time we went to try it out there weren’t bikes available or, once, the system was down). It was quite simple to use, the process being…

The Bike Store Guys (& Gals)

Who doesn’t love small, independent bike shops (other than big, corporate bike shop chains, that is…)? But for those of us who travel or move around a lot (and I think that’s most people these days), it can be hard to find such bike shops in new cities (ok, not that hard, but not always that easy either). Additionally, in some places, there’s no independent, local bike shop at all. The Bike Store Guys is a website that links up many of these shops, though, and helps create a broader community of such bike shop owners and lovers, for people across the U.S. Here’s more from their website

New Bike-Sharing Program in Wrocław, Poland! {Videos & Pictures}

New Bike-Sharing Program in Wrocław, Poland! {Videos & Pictures}

I’m a bicycle lover. In particular, I’m a huge proponent of bicycling for transportation purposes. Bicycles are super efficient (perhaps the most efficient transportation option out there), meaning they are very environmentally friendly and also save you and the city a ton of money. They are also a ton of fun to ride, good for your health, good for your mind, and highly accessible. But, in some cases, using your own bike for transportation purposes is impractical. For, this reason, from the first time I heard about bicycle sharing programs (like the huge one in Paris, Velib), I fell in love with them.