December 10, 2007

Mobility etceteras

Several months ago I read about Walk Score via Jen at Walking Berkeley. Today, via Best Green Blogs, I discovered another way to score my neighborhood. I mapped my 2 mile bike-shed on the 2 Mile Challenge web site. The challenge, sponsored by Clif Bar, a former Berkeley company (read more about businesses leaving Berkeley), encourages you to bike for most of your trips within a - yes - 2 mile radius of home (or work for that matter). My workplace is at the southern edge of my bike-shed and I do bike to my office. Berkeley Aquatic Park is within my bike-shed and I've ridden to the park. The Tilden Golf Course is at the northeasterly most edge of my bike-shed, but I cannot imagine biking up those steep roads! There are a lot of parks within my bike-shed compared to the 1/4-mile (or neighborhood) radius from my home. The challenge web site located 3 parks within my map, one of which is a car parking company. Where are Tilden, Claremont Canyon, Aquatic and Willard Parks? It only located 4 coffee shops (it missed local coffee houses like Mokka and A Cup Above). It also lists the 7-11 as a grocery store. Clearly there is room for improvement, but the concept is inspiring nonetheless. Walking 1/4 mile and biking 2 miles covers a lot of ground. By the way, the walkability of my address in Berkeley's Le Conte neighborhood is a "very walkable" meaning most of my trips can be done without a car. The City of San Francisco is the third most walkable city in the U.S. according to the Brookings Institution report, Footloose and Fancy Free, discussed on the CBS web site [via Spacing Toronto]. Have you been to Bordertown Skate Park in Oakland? I have not, but it has an interesting history: here (Caltrans) and here (skate park nonprofit). I learned of the skate park around the same time I read a New York Times article about urban youth - mostly black - skaters. I thought about the park and the article when I saw a group of young skaters - black, white, and mixed - along MLK at the Saturday's downtown farmers' market. Finally, for an interesting car commute, read about a Beijing commuter in The Star's series of about commuting [via Spacing Toronto].

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