Lately I’ve been thinking about “health, safety, and general welfare” — the basis by which zoning is typically legitimized and measured — and wondering just how great a disconnect needs to form between our purported values and our land use regulations before we admit that something’s not working.
"The dream of bringing Manhattan traffic flow to a total standstill draws nearer every day," writes Bruce McCall in an op-ed piece in Wednesday's New York Times. McCall is a humorist as well as artist. Even so, his 13 "new regulations" suggest that the City's recent traffic interventions are making some folks resentful. No. 1 on his list: "No-drive zones denoted by special painted lanes are reserved exclusively in the new Citi Bike bike-sharing system. Those riders are required to pound, whack, kick, spit on or key any vehicle entering or crossing a lane." Left unanswered: Why does a Manhattanite like McCall insist on driving everywhere?
Lots of cities are starting bike-sharing programs or thinking of doing so. But in Vancouver, British Columbia, a decision to subsidize a new bike-share system has sparked debate over whether the program can thrive if the province retains its 1996 law requiring cyclists to wear a helmet when riding on a road or bikeway. Daniel Fontaine, a columnist for Vancouver 24 Hours, says debate has been intense. Bike advocates have suggested that if cyclists are forced to wear helmets, so too should car and truck drivers. Fontaine will host a live discussion about it on Twitter next week.