TagArizona

Olgivanna Lloyd Wright had the right idea

According to my tour guide at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, it was Frank Lloyd Wright’s third wife, Olgivanna, who suggested that he open a studio in a warmer state as a place to spend winter. (His winter studio is in Spring Green, Wisconsin.)

Looking north at the studio (left) and dorms (above).

Our wonderful tour guide. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

See more photos of my Thanksgiving trip to Arizona, including to the Grand Canyon National Park.

Bike parking distance being put to test in Tucson

Work is underway to implement strict (but appropriate) rules about where Tucson, Arizona, businesses must install bike racks. This news comes from Tucson Vélo. It first came to my attention in May when I was creating and expanding my definition of Bike Parking Phenomenon A, which I now call the “50 feet rule.”

3 of4 bikes are parked on hand rails within 20 feet of this Seattle Whole Foods entrance while one bike is parked more than 50 feet away at the City-owned bike rack.

I left this comment on yesterday’s article from Tucson Vélo:

“Distance is more key to bike parking usage than the quality of bike parking fixture. Bicyclists prefer to use an easily removable sign pole that is closer to final destination than lock to a permanent bike rack further away.”

Some businesses there are complaining that devoting room in front of their business to bike parking removes space available for selling goods. I encourage everyone to support rules requiring bike parking within 50 feet. If installed further away, it simply will go unused.

I’ve written about distance parking many times:

After new bike racks were installed within 10 feet of the Logan Square Chicago Transit Authority entrance, no one parks at the original spots. See how the foot makes a difference?

Tucson has every kind of bikeway

A bicyclist rides north on the “Highland Avenue” separated bike path on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona.

(This is the second post about Tucson, and the fifth about my December 2009 trip to Arizona.)

I had heard that Tucson was a bicycle friendly town. I didn’t know just how friendly until my dad and I rode our bikes around town and  happened onto one of the many bike-only separated paths. You can see the campus bike map (PDF).

There are probably 10 different names for this kind of path. It’s not a separated path because there’s no adjacent roadway accessible to automobiles. You could call it a multi-use trail, but it’s not really a trail. The path is part of the city’s street grid; some streets “dead end” into the entrance so bicyclists don’t have to turn onto another street to go straight, they simply enter this bicycle only path. In some places, the path is grade separated and travels under a shared street.

I like this kind of bikeway a lot. I know they are standard fare in the Netherlands, and it’s nice to know they are standard fare somewhere in North America.

See the full photoset of bikeways in Tucson.

Riding under Speedway Boulevard on the “Warren Avenue” bike path.

Rialto Theater in downtown Tucson, Arizona

The Rialto Theater was built in 1919 and now sits on the National Register of Historic Places. As you can see from the photos and mural, some big bands play at what was originally a movie and Vaudeville theater. Read more at Wikipedia.

Upcoming shows at the Rialto Theater at the time I took this photo (December 26, 2009) included Clusterfck Dance Party and Sonic Youth. Clusterfck Dance Party is a dance party and “a post-modern mish mash of rock-n-roll subculture” (more information about that event).

Artist Joe Pagac (University of Arizona graduate) painted this mural to advertise the upcoming Sonic Youth show on January 4, 2010. The mural faces the theater parking lot, and busy Toole Avenue. According to Joe’s website, other clients include Trader Joe’s and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. He also traveled through India and Southeast Asia teaching art and English to children.

Tucson is a great city for bicycling. The City of Tucson provides on-street bike parking at several locations around town, including downtown in front of the Rialto Theater. There are even four parking spaces for motorcycles.

I’m still uploading photos from my day trip to Tucson, but the rest are on my Flickr. Check out the bike boulevard on University Boulevard at Stone Avenue.

Boeing plane spotting in Marana, Arizona

A lot of people got really excited when the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft took off from their testing airfield outside Seattle, Washington, on December 15, 2009.

I found the videos mildly interesting (it shows the “Delay Liner” lifting off and landing). It seemed like the top topic on Twitter that day.

But traveling to Tucson, Arizona, 11 days later (December 26), I spotted the Dreamlifter, or Boeing’s modified 747-400 large cargo lifter. It looks like a 747 (the largest passenger plane until the Airbus A380 came along) with a hunchback (or broad shoulders). I didn’t see it flying, but I saw it a couple miles away from a highway while it sat and waited for something at the Pinal Airpark. Pinal Airpark hosts a boneyard for unneeded airplanes; Northwest Airlines keeps many planes there (see photo at end).

The plane is unmistakable, even from a distance. Measuring perpendicularly from I-10 (going southeast), the runway is 2.6 miles from the road. I believe this plane sat about .2 miles closer, on the maintenance tarmac.

However, it’s more likely the Dreamlifter is waiting for a fixup at the on-site Evergreen Aircraft Maintenance Center. Evergreen International Airlines (unrelated to the Evergreen Group of shipping companies in China) operates the Large Cargo Lifters for Boeing. The Dreamlifter is named such because it typically carries parts from suppliers around the world to the Boeing assembly plant in Everett, Washington.

And not to be outdone, Airbus has a funnier looking plane called the Beluga.

A satellite photo from July 2, 2005, shows the many Northwest Airlines planes parked at the Pinal Airpark boneyard. Their red livery gives them away.

Frat houses on ASU campus

Frat houses on ASU campus take the space of former motels.

Much has been written about repurposing dead malls into community centers or student services buildings, or Wal-Marts and other big box stores into churches or indoor go-kart tracks.

But what about turning motels into fraternity houses near college campuses?

Your New Year’s resolution: Share more photos

I hope you got a camera for Christmas, and if you didn’t I hope you buy yourself one. Let 2010 be the year you share more photos. Write detailed descriptions so others can learn. Photos are how we travel to places around the world we can’t afford or can’t work into our schedules. Be your own National Geographic and we’ll subscribe to your photostream or blog.

In downtown Tempe, Arizona, you’ll find the Islamic Community Center mosque (or masjid).

Photograph as much as you can and know as much as you can. By knowing we can know to change, and change, we can share.

I carry my pocketable digital camera with me every time I leave my house, because I never know what I can capture and I don’t want to miss the chance. I share nearly all of it online and sometimes in this blog.

So many photos from Tempe

I started uploading photos yesterday from my recent trip to Arizona. I’m glad I was able to visit downtown Phoenix, wonderful Tucson, and downtown Tempe, including the ASU campus. I made sure to visit places I missed last year.

The City of Tempe built Tempe Town Lake in the 1990s. The lake, along with the city’s good efforts, has attracted a lot of good development, and gives residents a great recreational asset. The Arizona State University rowing team train on the lake. The Hayden Ferry Lakeside condos and Class A offices (above) overlook the lake.

I’ve got a new and faster photo process. I’ve got a GPS device that automatically geotags all my photos (with the help of HoudahGeo software).

The Valley Metro light rail system shares a parking lot with the apartment complex. Valley Metro provides free parking in its Park & Ride lots. I believe this is to attract people to use the train. I hope someday the train becomes so popular that they can charge for parking.

Video: Bicycling next to Phoenix Valley light rail train

UPDATE: View overhead photos of all of the bicycling treatments on Jefferson and Washington streets (the one-way couplet) between 7th and 24th Streets in Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists.

My dad and I rode our bikes in the inside left-hand bike lane on eastbound, one-way, Washington Street in Phoenix, Arizona (purely to take this video).

The left-hand travel lane is for home and business access while the one-way light rail track (and its stations) run in the middle of the street. The lane is here so that there aren’t gobs of driveways and track crossings – it’s a safety feature. I think the bike lane is here instead of on the right side of the street (and next to the curb) because less traffic drives here. Also, there are few opportunities for right turns in front of the bicyclists.

Eventually, though, going east, the bike lane moves over to the right side through the use of a “perpendicular bike lane” adjacent to a crosswalk in a signalized intersection. The perpendicular bike lane looks like a bike box. This happens at 24th Street because the left-hand access lane disappears and Jefferson Street merges into Washington Street, between 25th and 27th Streets, which becomes a two-way street with the light rail tracks dividing the travel directions. (I would add links to Google Maps, but the imagery is outdated and doesn’t show the 1-year old train line; it does show some construction.)

I would call all of these features innovative designs and good solutions. I think tomorrow I will ride the area again (probably alone) to get a better feel for how it works and how safe bicyclists would perceive the design.

The video is sped up by 20% to be less droll. The audio drops out a few times because I was talking (giving my dad directions like a movie producer), but you can still hear the electronic sounds of the train as it approaches and departs the station. I didn’t have my camera’s bike mount so I held it in my hand. I want to come back to take photos instead of video. It was fun to make this video!

© 2019 Steven Can Plan

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑