Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Wave


What is The Wave? The Wave is a light rail streetcar project taking shape in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. It seeks to give visitors an alternative to driving their cars. We have only one other rail streetcar in all of Florida and it's in downtown Tampa.

Other cities have trolley "buses" though! And don't need special infrastructure! Yes but rail streetcars give a sense of permanency because of the extensive special infrastructure needed to put it in place. People and businesses know with that kind of capital investment, it's here to stay and won't be put in time out for any myriad of economic reasons. 

The Wave streetcar (click link here to public info page) will:
  • Create 1,200 construction and related jobs, as well as 50 full-time permanent positions
  • Encourage private investment to bring new housing, shops, restaurants, and retail opportunities (which equals more jobs)
  • Connect Downtown's many points of interest and link to the regional transit network
  • Increase foot traffic due to improved pedestrian amenities
  • Direct growth to the urban core and away from our surrounding neighborhoods
  • Serve as a catalyst to advance the planned, regional rail systems
Take note of that. Planned regional rail systems. This is a city that understands the needs of the future and is seeking ways to invest in it. I don't care how much this thing costs to ride. It is just plain awesome. I hope the next step is dedicated cycle infrastructure. Fort Lauderdale also launched a website seeking BIG IDEAS for improving the city for the future from ordinary people. They are actively asking for public participation to find out the greatest needs by citizens to advance its global position in living standards and economics. Take note WPB DDA. That's you Raphael. Shake up the stakeholders. Look at this rendering below. It looks like those trees might actually provide shade! And not just decor.
 

The Wave Streetcar
The Wave Streetcar

Here's some awesome maps of the future connectivity in Fort Lauderdale. The day they have a train that runs to IKEA/Sawgrass Mall is the day pigs fly though with the crappy 595 always under construction. A girl can dream right??

The Wave Streetcar
The Wave Streetcar

Awesomeness. Coming in 2015!

Monday, October 8, 2012

STORMY DAY

Sunday was a really rainy day here. It's been storming all summer long. I got caught in the rain as well and had to take cover under one of the umbrellas on the docks. It was a nice misty morning shower. I took the opportunity to check out the new South Cove Park just recently opened near my apartment. I'm really glad they pushed forward with it instead of giving in to the whining of those in the tall twin towers, the Trump Towers that face the waterway and were going to have their pretty waterway blocked off by a park. Or those complaining that homeless people would hide in the mangroves when they get bigger and scare visitors. Yeah OK. For now the mangrove sprouts are ttiiiiinnnyyyy and all that exists is a couple benches and a table with 2 chairs. Guys, I think you're missing the trash can. I'm glad they're trying to restore the ecosystem and incorporate it into the tourism here downtown. It's a step in the right direction and it's a nice spot to relax.


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Eco Island Opening
Eco Island Opening
Eco Island Opening
Eco Island Opening
Eco Island Opening
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Intracoastal

After my bike ride we went out of our way to go to a latin supermarket and had to take the car. Plus it was thundering and threatening rain, though never came through. Had the pleasure of seeing this bit of ingenuity though (note his horn). We wanted to signal to him to honk it but I don't think he'd get the trucker hand pulling down thing. Prolly would think we were nuts waving at him.

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Splat happens all too often on streets where a car is always going to win.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DecoBike comes to WPB


This is a bit old but a few months ago, the City of West Palm Beach had the opportunity to demo the bike sharing program "DecoBike" which has seen a lot of success in Miami. It was installed for the Congress for New Urbanism CNU 20's event at the Convention Center here in downtown promoting "green alternatives" in transportation. Solar-powered stations were put up throughout the downtown and patrons tested it out. Usage is by membership card via payment at the kiosk, very similar to Paris's VelĂ­b share system. It was a big success and we can expect permanent installation in the coming year. Yay! Maybe it will get the City to think again about cycle track infrastructure for bicyclists in their Phase II of the waterfront revisioning. Images courtesy of DecoBike