Tag: photos

Keep Portland weird!

Co-opting Austin’s marketing strategy, Portland also wants you to keep it weird (read the history of this slogan). If you haven’t yet, please peruse my 54 (so far!) photos I’ve uploaded from my trip to Portland, Oregon, in April this year.

A wall in Chinatown (yeah, Portland has a Chinatown) invites citizens and visitors alike.

Bicycling in Portland is so prevalent, you’ll see entire families on the streets riding their bikes to the park, to school, or shopping.

Check out Portland’s unique transportation facilities and improvements in my photoset, “Transportation in Portland.”

Passenger is the new cargo

Did you know that people carry their kids, friends, spouses, and parents on bikes?

I carried my first passenger in April 2010 on my trip to Portland. I test rode a Yuba Mundo from Joe Bike in the SE Hawthorne neighborhood. But this photo shows a friend carrying ME on the bike.

I really want to carry someone. I told my sister that when I get a new cargo bike this year (either the Yuba Mundo or the WorkCycles Fr8) I will pick her up from her apartment and take her to school. It will be the most joyous occasion of 2010. Mikael at Copenhagenize talks about throwing his son’s bike on the front rack of his Velorbis when he goes to pick him up, so his son can ride home on his own.

This photo is so much fun, I printed it out and posted it on my refrigerator.

Passengers: the ultimate bike accessory. Want to see more photos? Marc at Amsterdamize has 260+ photos and videos in his Side Saddle set. Check the blog post about riding side saddle to get some tips.

That Lakefront Trail

It’s not the “Chicago Bike Path.” It’s not the “Lakefront Path.” It’s not the “Chicago Riverwalk.”

Those are all names that have appeared on Google Maps at some point to describe the 18-mile multi-use path along Lake Michigan in the city limits.

It’s the Lakefront Trail. And it’s pretty great. Most of the time. South of Solidarity Drive.*

It looks like this:

Burnham Harbor. My point and shoot camera, a Fuji F50fd, was recently damaged and the lens cover will not fully retract. It casts a shadow over wide angle shots. When zoomed, like in the photo below, the shadow disappears.

And this:

Can you name all the buildings?

*The Lakefront Trail is extremely congested starting near Museum Campus (especially when there are a lot of walkers and tourists that day), and has pinch points at Monroe, Grand and Illinois, Oak Street Beach, North Avenue Beach, and Belmont (those are the ones I remember, I rarely ride on the Lakefront Trail because of the insanity). No matter how many drawbacks I list, you can’t beat an open and unobstructed view of the city or the lake. Open this photo to see how many people are using it.

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.

How GIS helps earthquake relief efforts for Haiti

While Geographic Information systems software can definitely produce pretty maps, its power lies in analyzing data and plotting or comparing sensory or observed data to spatial data (like roads or terrain). The earthquake in Haiti rocked the capital city, Port-au-Prince with a shock of magnitude 7.0 on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

A photo from a United States military flyover shows damage in the Port of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo taken by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen and uploaded by Chuck Simmins.

There are several applications for GIS to help with earthquake response, and two blog posts that appeared this morning shed light on how.

The first article came from ESRI, the California-based makers of ArcGIS, the most used GIS application. The article linked to a user-built map on their ArcGIS Online service showing on Bing maps where the earthquake and its aftershocks struck (the map sits behind a registration wall). ESRI even has a disaster response team that helps organizations get their response projects off the ground quickly.

Infrastructurist posted the second article, showing some before and after satellite imagery of Haiti, provided by Google and GeoEye.

So what can GIS do? From ESRI’s list, “GIS for Disaster Response“:

  • Rapid identification of potential shelter/housing locations (schools, libraries, churches, public buildings) appropriate for supporting affected populations.
  • Determine how many tents will be needed based on the location of populations affected by the disaster.
  • Analyze areas where large numbers of refugees can establish camps out of harm’s way that are accessible for supply delivery and have access to water and other resources necessary to support large numbers of people.
  • Many more examples.

Want more information? Here’s where to get it:

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.

Street safety is also a user issue

Street safety is based in part on the right infrastructure design, but also user behavior.

Keep off the tracks. Sometimes a train seems to appear out of nowhere (this seems to be especially true for motorists). I hope Operation Lifesaver is still being taught in schools. I remember someone coming to my school to talk about train safety.

I think trains to many Americans are still a new concept. To best understand what I mean, read the newspaper articles in the two months following any new light rail opening in the United States. There’s a collision every week. Unlike Europe, we ripped out all of our streetcars, light rail, and trams, and we’re still in the beginning stages of returning to rail.

Bicycling and buses: Their large size and unwieldy maneuvering can make it harder to predict movements. Don’t play leapfrog and wait for the bus operator to make the first move (video) – the second move is now yours and safer.

Recognize stop bars, crosswalks, signals. The stop bar isn’t at the bicyclist’s position for a very good reason.

Streetrunning in Jack London Square



jack london inn
Originally uploaded by akagoldfish

Amtrak California trains run in the street through Jack London Square in Oakland, California.

Street running is a common sight around the world. This particular spot has Amtrak, commuter and freight trains sharing the street with all other “normal” users. RailPictures contributors have over 2,000 photos uploaded (search by category). See more photos from this area from El Cobrador and pbo31.