TagRussia

Livable cities in Russia

When you blog, you “meet” a lot of interesting people around the world. Russian blogger Vladimir Zlokazov writes LiveStreets in both Russian and English. Although he doesn’t translate everything into English, what he does is high quality and methodically written.

His latest English article is a critique of a developer’s plan for a neighborhood in Yekaterinburg, population 1,293,537.

Academichesky – is promoted by the developer (Renova Stroygroup) as a project that utilizes the most innovative practices in architecture and urban planning. However the first built blocks clearly show that advertisment promises are not always consistent with the reality.

He offers suggestions for curb radius, intersection design, bicycle paths through intersections, appropriate locations for parking spaces (stay off the sidewalk!) and curb cuts. The draw for his particular critique are the beautiful 3D architectural renderings to show the suggested solutions in place.

“In places where pedestrian and bicycle crossings are located afar from the intersections additional measures should be taken to make them clearly visible for motorists. Such as using coloured asphalt for instance.”

The Joseph Stalin locomotive

Last night in my final class of Transportation Management my teacher pointed out the wallpaper photo on the computer we used to give slideshow presentations. The train is notable because of its nickname, “Little Joe.”

The amazing Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, has a Little Joe the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend converted to Standard Gauge (4 feet, 8.5 inches). The unit is operational.

Long story short: General Electric (GE) built twenty electric locomotives to fulfill an order the Soviet Union made in 1946. The Cold War “happened” and GE couldn’t ship them out. The engines were built for a 5-foot gauge track. Two American railroads (Milwaukee Road and South Shore) and a Brasilian railroad bought up the stock.

Little Joe is named after Joseph Stalin, Generalissimo of the Soviet Union at the time.

The Wikipedia entry on the Little Joe locomotive doesn’t mention the relationship, but High Iron Illustrations, an aviation and railfan art store, confirms my teacher’s story. The Illinois Railway Museum has more on its history, after the jump. Continue reading

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