Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Bike Plan Update Documents Posted

The Bike Commute Challenge starts tomorrow! If you haven't registered, sign up today!

The BCC is a statewide event, but in some ways more interesting locally is the process to update the bicycle chapter in the Transportation System Plan and to develop a district-wide Safe Routes to School plan. In a happy and synergistic coincidence the two are going on at the same time and with the same staff!

The memos from last week's kick-off are posted, and one of the more interesting pieces is the draft criteria for rating projects:
System Connectivity
To what degree would the concept or project fill a missing gap in the bicycle and/or pedestrian system? Higher ratings will be assigned to projects that would fill major network gaps.

Multi-Modal Connections
How well would the concept or project link bicyclists and pedestrians with transit and other non-single occupancy vehicle opportunities? Concepts or projects that substantially improve multi-modal connections will receive higher ratings.

User Safety and Comfort
Could the concept or project potentially improve bicyclist/pedestrian safety and comfort at locations with perceived or documented safety issues, without creating additional operational hazards? This criterion will take into account available crash data as well as feedback from Salem residents. Higher ratings will be assigned to projects with greater potential to improve user safety and comfort, and those projects that move towards meeting design standards and industry best practices.

Community Support
To what degree do Salem residents desire the proposed concept or project? This criterion will take into account oral and written feedback received at the various community outreach forums associated with this project including public workshops, listening station events, small group discussions and web-based surveys. Concepts or projects addressing documented community concerns will receive higher ratings.

What financial resources would be needed to implement the concept or project? Is the project cost prohibitive, or could it be potentially implemented through grant funding or other opportunities? Do the relative benefits outweigh the costs of the project, and are cost effective over the life cycle of the improvement? Higher ratings will be assigned to concepts or projects with lower anticipated costs, greater benefits, and as well for concepts/projects that could reasonably obtain funding through grants or other opportunities regardless of anticipated cost.

Accommodating a Broad Range of Users
How well would the concept or project address the needs of a variety of users, including families, children, mobility-impaired, seniors, or infrequent or less-confident users? Concepts or projects serving a wider variety of users will receive higher evaluative ratings.

Environmental Justice
Would the concept or project benefit minority or lower-income residents (many of whom tend to bike, walk, and use transit more than the community generally)? Higher ratings will be assigned to projects located in areas with higher concentrations of minority or lower-income residents (e.g., Title VI populations).

Land Use Connections
To what degree would the concept or project connect users with major bicyclist and pedestrian destinations such as employment centers, schools, parks, libraries, etc.? To what degree would the project support land use and development plans and would it be consistent with the community’s vision for the future? Projects within close proximity of major non-motorized destinations will receive higher evaluative ratings. Projects that would be consistent or would reinforce land use and development plans would receive a higher evaluation rating.
Each category will be rated under the tripartite scheme: "The concept or project would fully/partially/minimally (or n/a) address the criterion..."

What do you think of them? Are these the right categories? Should there be others? What's the best way to prioritize a list?

And if you want to dig in, there are four other memos!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hallie Ford, B on B make for Excellent Last Friday

Bookended by Breakfast on Bikes and the Hallie Ford opening, Friday was a great day!

The bike racks were full at the Ford and a significant proportion of the visitors opening night had got there by leaving the car at home.

And, well, the show is fabulous.

Rick Bartow's Salmon Chant is haunting and gorgeous. And it's not the only haunting and gorgeous work in the show! Here's a slide show of some of the other pieces, and thoughts on the specific transportation issues some of the other artists raise.

Just go see it!

The day started off with Breakfast on Bikes at Mission & Winter, and here Rich, Gary, and Tim talk about the MyPeace project and sustainable transportation.

The mornings are turning crisp, the crickets are chirping, and the leaves just beginning to fall.

Encourage your friends and family to make another change! The Bike Commute Challenge starts next week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sharrows Arrived Monday Night to Greet Bike Plan Update Kick-Off

The first sharrow markings were applied to Chemeketa Street NE on Monday. This is at the intersection of Cottage and Chemeketa, looking east.

Here you can see how the sharrow aids visibility. Normally a person would be riding along the right hand margin, along the asphalt seam of the end of the parking striping. The red pickup is starting to back up, and you can see that a person on bike positioned at the center point of the chevron will be out away from the rear end of the pickup - able to see the reverse lights, and the driver of the pickup better able to see the person on the bike.

If you've biked on Chemeketa, tell us what you think!

And look for more later...here's a bad picture of the crew last night putting more down. You can see the blowtorches and reflective tape!

The steering committee for the Bike Plan Update met last night. It was great to see old and new faces together. Lots of interest and enthusiasm and knowledge!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Go Green and Breathe! Bike Commute Challenge Kicks off

The Bike Commute Challenge is a friendly competition to encourage people to try bike commuting. It starts September first. Register today! From BTA-HQ:
As a special for BCC participants this year, we’re offering a discounted BTA Membership for only $25! Join the BTA as an individual or business and share in our mission to create healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, convenient and accessible. Your supports helps us to continue offering this great program for free, and as a BTA member, you’ll receive year-round discounts at your favorite bike shops!

Finally, while there are no major changes in how the website works this year, we do want to point out a few things:

1. Individuals that participated last year are still in the system; when they log in for the first time this August or September, they will be prompted to update their personal information including their email address, mileage, default work week, and team.

2. If anyone has forgotten their username or password, they can receive an email with both pieces of information by clicking, "I rode last year," and then clicking, "I forgot my password or username."

Stretching and Self-Massage Techniques for Athletes

One of the perks for Salem area BCC participants is a sweet deal on a massage class! Debbie Boe, LMT and Yoga instructor will keep you limber!

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Wednesday September 1, 2010
First United Methodist Church 600 St Street
Corner of State and Church (in the dining hall)
Cost: $20.00
Special Discount for Bike Commute Challenge Participants, 1/2 Price!
Class size limited, pre-registration required
email boemassage [at] hotmail.com

New to Cycling and Bike Commuting?

Do you like to ride your bike at Minto, but wonder about taking it to the grocery store and navigating among cars?

On Saturday, September 4th, the Salem Bicycle Club and League Cycling Instructor Gary Obery will offer the third "Introduction to Smart Cycling" clinic. It's free!

Using the League of American Bicyclists curriculum, the ride will feature a 20 minute pre-ride presentation focusing on tips for riding safely on neighborhood and busy streets. You'll practice a few bicycle handling drills in the square before the ride.

Then out on the road! The ride course will take you through a variety of types of city streets and intersections. We'll stop periodically to talk about strategies to share the road, especially techniques to address auto drivers core concerns about bicyclists' predictability and visibility. You'll also learn techniques that address bicyclists concerns about auto drivers.

Together we can share the road!

Class meets on Saturday, September 4th from 10 am to 12 pm at the Wall of Water fountain on the south end of the Capitol Mall. The cherry tress provide pleasant shade for the outdoor class!

So come learn the tips and skills that can sometimes take time to acquire. Minimum age 12. Minors must be accompanied by a parent. Helmets required. Bright clothing or safety vests encouraged.

Contact Gary at oberyfamily [at] comcast.net if you have further questions.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Breakfast on Bikes - Friday, August 27th

This Friday, August 27th, between 7 and 9am, we'll be at Mission & Winter. Free coffee, fruit, and pastries for bike commuters.

We'll also look across the street to the blind school parcel. It's a good time to think about whether Salem Health's plan for a parking lot there is the best and healthiest use of the property.

Please join us!

Remember our sponsors!
Cascade Baking Company
Coffee House Cafe
LifeSource Natural Foods
Salem Bicycle Club
Willamette University Sustainability Council

View Larger Map

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Environmental Art at Willamette's Hallie Ford Museum

There might be no more quintessentially northwest record than Sleater-Kinney's The Woods.

The main element of its cover is a painting by Michael Brophy. Its kinship to another painting is clear.

The Tree Curtain, and many of Brophy's other paintings ask questions about our relation to our environments, built and natural, and the difficult and complicated borderlands between the two.

Literally, the clearcut is on a road to nowhere. At the same time, in our parks we stage vistas and views for recreation, creating "natural" scenes that depend on cars and roads and everything else from civilization. There's little that's all natural or all artificial. Salmon, river, tree and forest are seemingly wired in our bodies here as Salemites and northwesterners. No matter how urban we get, we always talk about the ways we are equidistant between ocean and mountain. Insistently we locate ourselves in relation to them.

Starting this Friday at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art is Critical Messages: Contemporary Northwest Artists on the Environment.
Co-organized with the Western Gallery at Western Washington University in Bellingham, the exhibition explores how 26 contemporary artists respond to a host of environmental issues confronting the Pacific Northwest: growth management; waste management; land and sea; mass production and consumption; transportation; preservation of wilderness and wetlands; biodiversity; climate change; and energy. Included in the exhibition are works by artists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, and British Columbia.

Two of the works in the show touch directly on transportation.

Roll Hardy, Uphill Battle, 2008
Oil on canvas, 10 x 23”
Collection of Ron Kloepfer, Portland, Oregon

If you've spent much time at all in Portland, this should seem familiar. It is painted from below the on-ramp system of the Fremont Bridge. You are looking north, up Mississippi Avenue from a point a block or so north of the Widmer Gasthaus on North Russell.

The City of Portland maintenance has a truck fleet there, and accommodating bicycle and truck traffic has been sometimes difficult. Recently a new bike lane was striped, and in this story you can see some of the signs visible in the painting!

This is a reductive reading of the painting, of course. The painting also suggests the disruptions created by urban renewal and highways. Tom Robinson gave a lecture and slide show of north Portland and a century of highway development and urban renewal. Over at the Mercury, Sarah Mirk has a piece on the "Dead Freeway Society," the Robert Moses plan and the efforts to remove Harbor Drive (for Waterfront Park) and halt the Mt. Hood Freeway.

Why should this matter to Salemites?

Because right here there's an effort to land an equally disruptive set of on-ramps in our neighborhoods. The Salem Rivercrossing is a project to land a highway bridge across the river and to cut up our neighborhoods.

There are several different bridge alignments being proposed, and it is difficult to understand how this one wouldn't ruin the Union St. Railroad Bridge. The other alignments disrupt other neighborhoods and parks.

While the movement of freight and goods is crucial, there are other ways to solve our capacity problems. As the outgoing President of Metro, David Bragdon, said in May about another over-sized bridge project
highway divisions unilaterally define the problem (auto congestion at certain times of day) and then define the solution (more physical capacity) using a very limited range of tools from a small toolbox, without regard to economic cost or environmental externalities or impacts outside the narrowly defined problem area.
The same is true with the Salem Rivercrossing.

A second work is a sardonic comment on our love for the SUV.

Chris Jordan, Denali Denial
from Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait series, 2006
Pigmented inkjet print, 60 x 99”
Courtesy of the artist, Seattle and Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

From the exhibit text:
There are more vehicles in the United States, some 250 million, than there are licensed drivers. The Earth Policy Institute estimates each car requires a fifth of an acre in roads or parking space – bigger than many modern building lots – and that the nation’s 61,000 square miles of paving consumes almost as much land as the planting of wheat. With fuel costs rising, road taxes onerous and paradise paved, our love affair with the automobile is cooling as we flirt with shoe leather, the bicycle, and mass transit. Light rail is supplementing buses in Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma and Portland. California voters have approved a 200 mph train. Here, artists capture this onslaught of concrete, asphalt and even – in a view of Denali – the 24,000 SUV logos that equal six weeks of global sales of the GMC Yukon Denali.

(Detail from Running the Numbers)

So what's the point of the art? If it merely refreshes the spirit, or entertains with its painterly qualities, its purpose is completed only half-way. At the same time, the art cannot only preach to the choir. The art, if it is to be successful, should also have a persuasive quality. Do these works persuade? Will they persuade someone to bike or walk instead of drive to the show or to a future destination?

Go see the show and weigh in! Hallie Ford is a gem, and it's not surprising it regularly gets more ink in the Oregonian than the Statesman. It is one of the really fine things in Salem!

Update: The show is rich and complete. It is inspiring, beautiful, ugly, repellent, angering - it runs a complete set of human feeling. Just go!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sharrows, First Bike/Ped Update Meeting Announced

Next week two big bike events roll into town. They aren't flashy, like a race or tour or show, but they offer the chance to make real change to bicycling in Salem.

The City sent out a news release yesterday to announce that sharrows will be begin appearing on city streets. They also announced the public kick-off for the bike plan update.


According to the sharrows release,
Public Works Department crews will begin to install new pavement markings called sharrows next week. Sharrow is shorthand for "shared lane pavement marking" (see attached photo). Sharrows indicate that motorists and bicyclists are to share the travel lane.
Crews will install the City's first sharrows on Chemeketa Street NE between Front Street NE and 13th Street NE, and in West Salem on Rosemont Avenue NW between Edgewater Street NW and 8th Avenue NW.
The City also set up a brief website with information on sharrows. The National Association of City Transportation Officials has more.

Bike Plan Update

The City has also released a site for the Bike and Ped Update website. This will have information about the process and its events.

First up is the public kick-off. It will be Tuesday, August 24, 2010, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at Pringle Hall, 606 Church Street SE. That's tucked in behind the hospital, just north of the Blind School parcel. The steering committee ("stakeholder advisory committee" or SAC) will meet and the public is invited.

Eugene is also undertaking an update, and it will be interesting to follow the two processes in parallel.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MWVBTA Meeting Today

The August meeting of the Mid-Willamette Valley chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is today...sorry for the delay!

The big news from last night is that City Council postponed the transit mall decision for 30 days.

Interestingly, the mall seems at risk of becoming a NIMBY issue. Chemeketa Community College President Cheryl Roberts is quoted saying, "The business center is a front door to economic development in Salem" and that the business center is inconsistent with proximity to a transit mall. At the same time, there may very well be legitimate questions about bathrooms, customer service levels, and other structural impacts the center will have on surrounding businesses.

But lost in this is that the buses deliver people. People can arrive by car, bike, bus, or foot, and it shouldn't matter so much how they arrive.

Needless to say, we'll be talking about the transit mall siting issues!

We'll be gathering today at the Sassy Onion, from noon to 2:00 p.m. Please join us for the following agenda items, and any additional topics that you would like to bring to the table:

Union St. Transit Mall solutions
Selecting Bike/Ped TSP update Representative
Bike Commute Challenge activities
Blind School Parcel - SCAN Meeting - Sept 8th
B on B - at Mission & Winter this month
Salem Saturday Market - Zero Waste Initiative and Cargo Bike
Winter St. Signage Ride

Other upcoming events and possibilities...
Final Kidical Mass Ride - Aug 29th
Intro to Smart Cycling - Sept 4
Park(ing) Day Sept 17
Walk + Bike to School Day - October 6
MyPeace Project - October 16th

If you are a member of the BTA, are interested in the BTA, or would just like to make Salem a better place to bike, please join us!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

City Council, August 16th - Union St. Transit Mall

Chickens will be the headliner for Council on Monday, but the temporary Union Street Transit Mall will also be discussed.

The fiasco is unfortunate and unwanted all the way around.* It imposes a range of bad and badder alternatives. Maybe something new and creative will result from the crisis, but for the moment, it's a bunch of unwelcome expense, improvisation, and compromise. This is something no one wanted.

Preferred Design

Here's the preferred design for the transit mall.

It would close Union Street to people on bikes and require them
to dismount and walk their bikes on the sidewalks to traverse the block or take a one-block detour to the north or south.
Here's a map of required "one block" detour. Marion and Division are both one way west-bound, and Division doesn't connect to anything. This detour is more theoretical than practical, and for most people on bikes it will not be functional or effective!

Why Updating the TSP Matters

Somewhat helpfully, the staff report notes that
while there has been interest expressed through the Vision 2020 process in making Union Street NE a bicycle route, it is not currently an adopted bicycle route in the Salem TSP. As the proposed transit mall is considered an interim use at this time, it would not stop Union Street NE from being considered as a bicycle route in the long term.
While it is good to see some recognition of Union Street's importance, the note also underscores the importance of getting routes into the TSP. The city is free to ignore what is not in the TSP. Notice, too, that the Union St. RR Bridge is entirely absent from the analysis!

In the absence of specific, named projects, more general policies do not seem helpful. Although Union Street itself is not in the TSP as a bike route, Policy 1.4 is. And it says
new developments or major transportation projects will neither create new, nor maintain existing, barriers to bicycle travel.

The City does not believe Policy 1.4 is significant here. Transportation Planning Manager Julie Warncke said that she does
not think that this policy would apply in this situation because we are talking about an interim use and because Union Street is not identified in the Salem TSP as a bike route.
Barriers to bike travel on ordinary streets apparently are not relevant. It is disappointing to see the policy construed in this way.

(For more on why Union Street connectivity matters, see the previous discussion.)

A Second Design

Here is a second alternative. It permits bikes in the travel lanes and also uses normal traffic directional flow (on the right).

It would require some tree removal, storm drainage work, new hard surface, and appears on the surface to be significantly more expensive than the first concept. Since crossing Commercial at Union is problematic, until that problem is solved it is not clear that the costs of this design outweigh the benefits to bicycle travel.

Prospects for the Future

Union Street is a system, and several improvements need to be staged in order for it to function effectively as a whole thoroughfare for people on bikes. It may be that we will need to accept short-term barriers for a system solution in the medium-term.

The intergovernmental agreement would be for five years.
As that time [its expiration in five years] approaches, the City and the District would need to determine if additional time is required for the street to continue serving as a transit mall or if its use can be discontinued. The agreement calls for the City and District to work together to determine the appropriate design to restore Union Street NE back to its previous condition or if another design and use of the street is desired.
It seems that it is a realistic possibility the mall could be in use for longer than a couple of years.

During the blockages, wouldn't it be nice to redesign Union Street to full bicycle boulevard standards? Warncke remarks that the temporary mall design does not prevent
us from planning for a future where Union Street is designated as part of the bike network. We still have the barrier presented by the crossing of Commercial Street at Union to address. Assuming we can identify a workable solution, it could easily take 2 to 4+ years to fund and construct (depending on what the solution is).

*Interestingly, as part of the staff report is a letter from Senate President Courtney. Senator Courtney characterized the temporary transit malls as posing many "dangerous obstacles," both the first one on Court and the second on Cottage.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Biking instead of Driving Extends Expected Lifespan - Biking is Safer!

Many people feel safer inside a car than outside on a bike. The sheet metal carapace confers a frame of safety for many people.

However, about 40,000 people a year die in auto crashes.

(Photo: Intro to Smart Cycling on Saturday - Jeff Leach)

Recently, academics at the University of Utrecht assessed life expectancy for bicycling, balancing improvements in fitness against air quality and crash rates.
We quantified the impact on all-cause mortality when 500,000 people would make a transition from car to bicycle for short trips on a daily basis in the Netherlands. We have expressed mortality impacts in life-years gained or lost, using life table calculations. For individuals who shift from car to bicycle, we estimated that beneficial effects of increased physical activity are substantially larger (3–14 months gained) than the potential mortality effect of increased inhaled air pollution doses (0.8–40 days lost) and the increase in traffic accidents (5–9 days lost). Societal benefits are even larger because of a modest reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and traffic accidents.

Conclusions: On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transport.

Monday, August 9, 2010

City Council, August 9th (or, consider Short Track Racing!)

From a strictly bicycling standpoint, Council tonight doesn't offer anything very significant.

[Update - Walker caught the matter of the Subway on the corner of Columbia and Fairgrounds. See comment below.]

So we'll get to that in a minute.

Instead, head on out to the fairgrounds for the Salem Mountain Bike Short Track Series! Usually it's the racers and not the organizers who get all the love. Here Jeff & Jesse tally results from the first race. Thanks for putting this on, guys!

Here's a shot from the Salem, Oregon Daily Photo Diary (check out the high-res images over there!). There's a full gallery here of individual racers.

So, back to Council...On the Urban Renewal Agency agenda is an update from the Downtown Advisory Board regarding the Downtown Strategic Action Plan.

It's not very long, but it is notable that "access to downtown...especially for bikes and pedestrians" is one item. Also interesting is that while "parking can be a challenge, it is unclear whether there is a true parking problem." There are several other good and encouraging things in it, and it's worth a brief look.

There's also an item on the Salem Renewable Energy and Technology Center. It would be the
the first amendment to [the Center's] Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions, applying certain restrictions to wetlands and riparian areas in Tracts A, B, and a portion of Parcel 2
It appears it might be related to Councilor Tesler's concerns about oak savanna preservation. It's not strictly transportation related, but it does touch on our city government's commitment to sustainability.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

From Rail to Bail: Transit, Courthouse Square, and Disappearing Choice

Cherriots has been in the news a lot lately. From having to discontinue Saturday service to needing to relocate the transit mall, public transportation in Salem isn't exactly enjoying a banner year.

100 years ago Salem enjoyed a pretty good public transportation system. Streetcar lines covered much of the city, and several railroad lines filled in the gaps.

More than this, no single transportation choice dominated minds or streets the way the drive-alone trip dominates today. Back then, horses, bicycles, streetcars, and a small number of autos filled the roads. If the past has a lesson, it is not the specific technologies behind the choices, but rather the robustness of possibility and diversity of choice. Today, every time we seem to make a move towards diversity, something arises to hinder true choice.

Here you can see the streetcar network in black circa 1920, at the peak of service. Lines went out south Commercial, 12th street, State street, Chemeketa and Center Street, 17th street, Summer street, and Fairgrounds road. The Southern Pacific; Oregon Electric; Geer; and Salem, Falls City and Western railroads are in blue. In red is marked the intersection of the Falls City line on Union Street and an Oregon Electric branch on High street.

High and Union happens to be at one end of the proposed relocated transit center.

With the north Broadway development - NoBro, or The Mission District, its name hasn't quite settled yet - nearby, with the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, and with the Marion Parkade as a possible park-n-ride, the location is not bad.

The Courthouse Square fiasco presents all with a range of choices from bad to badder, and all things considered the responses have been creative and helpful. The initial transit mall on Court street by the Capitol Fountain was an inspired back-up plan! Unfortunately, the State of Oregon was not a fan of it, and some of the grassy area also appeared to pose ADA issues in the Fall and Winter. The transit mall moved to Cottage street, and now is planning to move a third time.

It's important to note that there are significant constraints from budget, location and logistics. Even so, sne aspect of this third plan for the transit mall is bad.

According to Julie Warncke, Transportation Planning Manager with the City, it is not likely there is room for bikes:
Staff is looking for ways to safely accommodate bicycle traffic, but it may not be possible. The buses will travel contra-flow, with just enough room to pull into a center island and have one bus pass behind it. The boarding and alighting will take place in the center island. With the combination of bus traffic and contraflow, we have not yet been able to identify a safe way to accommodate bicycle (or automobile) traffic. There is not enough room to stripe in a bikeway as was done at the Rose Quarter Transit Mall.

Why does bike flow matter? Here's a view from the Union St. Railroad Bridge looking east down Union. The first traffic light is at Front, the second is at High, on the east end of the proposed transit mall.

(Transit mall map and photo: Statesman Journal)

For people walking and biking, the most natural movement on or off the bridge is straight down Union. There used to be a rail line there, after all!

The City's current preferred route, however, uses the Court Street crossing into Riverfront Park. This forces bicyclists into the crosswalk, and into a two-cycle traffic light (one phase for each direction of front).

Whether by design or by accident, the City of Salem is undertaking planning choices that reduce access to the Union Street Railroad Bridge. By making it more difficult to reach on foot or by bike, they make it less useful as a transportation alternative to the two auto bridges. Between the decision to close State Street at the Carousel, to widen Wallace at Glen Creek, and now to close off Union to bicycle traffic, we are slowly strangling the bridge to all activity except drive-and-bike recreation. Instead of eliminating choices, we should be creating and promoting choices. Surely we can do better!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

National Night Out - A Vitamin for our Neighborhoods

There might be no better proof of Jane Jacobs' thesis in The Death and Life of Great American Cities than National Night Out.

Tonight is National Night Out, and neighborhoods all over will have block parties and neighborhood watch meetings. It is a nationwide, organized event that attempts to introduce and then reproduce the street and neighborhood conditions that lead to public safety and to thriving city life. What had occurred naturally in good cities must now be organized voluntarily and deliberately - in large part because we have systematically eliminated the four generators diversity.

National Night Out is a giant nutritional supplement for our city life whose diet is missing something!

Let's return to what Jacobs said about sidewalks and public safety:
The first thing to understand is that the public peace - the sidewalk and street peace - of cities is not kept primarily by the police, necessary as police are. It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves.

A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted street is apt to be unsafe....there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space....Second, there must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street....And third, the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers.
So get out, meet your neighbors, bike around to the next neighborhood over! Make the streets a vital meeting place!