Durable Growth, Transportation

Affording a $400 sidewalk repair

(Note: If the message below seems familiar, it may be because I wrote on the same subject a couple of months back. But new and better targeted quotes have come across my desk that allow me to make the point more effectively. Perhaps it’s intellectually lazy, but some days are like that.)

Today begins with […]

Durable Growth, Government

The downfall of suburbia as seen in sidewalk cracks

A London sidewalk

This has been a tough week for blog post topics. First, I promised to begin an urbanist look at affordable housing, only to be sidetracked by an unexpectedly consuming advocacy task. It was a satisfying effort in which to participate, but left me short of time to get my thoughts organized […]


Narrowing the spectrum of street users


I’ve written several times about “Twenty is Plenty”, an initiative in many towns, mostly European but spreading toward U.S., to reduce speed limits on most streets to 20 miles per hour. A recent sidewalk encounter gave me another reason to think that Twenty is Plenty is an enlightened concept.

One of my first […]

Durable Growth

Working toward more walkable communities, one walkable amenity at a time

Site of proposed plaza, looking toward Highway 12

A couple of folks have recently contacted me about the challenges of living a more car-free life in places still oriented around cars. They noted that it is often easier to hop into an automobile rather than to walk home in the rain from a library […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

Too few good fellows to muster a charge

Future brewpub parking lot site

I recently put forth an idea (in two parts, here and here) about where the second SMART station in Petaluma could be located.

For new readers, it was long expected that the second station, which is to be the station serving the drivable suburban neighborhoods of town, would be […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

Sometimes the best path between two points is a straight line

Arch near Trafalgar Square, London

There can be wonderful uses of curved lines in land use. The curve of a gently bending street that provides constantly changing vistas to draw pedestrians onward. The welcoming curve of a ceremonial arch. Even the curve of an outfield fence.

And there can be curves that are horribly […]

Durable Growth, Government

Increasing city fees as a symptom of a flawed land-use model

Downtown Petaluma

A few weeks back, I wrote about how walkability for all of us, but especially for seniors who may be less secure on their feet, relies on all homeowners maintaining their own lengths of sidewalk.

A regular reader responded to me, agreeing with the post, but noting that she’s delaying needed repairs […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

Urbanism and senior living: Getting around on foot

Napa sidewalk, luckily still in good repair

A theme of this election season has been strategic decision-making around the varying approval thresholds for different forms of tax measures. Is it better to seek a general tax measure, which requires only 50 percent plus one for approval, even if it means battling skepticism about how […]

Durable Growth

Allocating sidewalk width

Poorly allocated sidewalk

For the past few months, Petaluma Urban Chat has been reading “The Smart Growth Manual” by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon. Unfortunately, our discussions were disjointed because we had several speakers scheduled over the same period.

It was a shame that we couldn’t focus more effectively because the book […]