A school in Beverly Hills has gotten into hot water for using students to protest a subway project. All those bankrupt Sears buildings leave a lot of empty space in malls across the US. While most of the town of Mexico Beach was wiped away, this one house was left standing mostly unscathed.
Beverly Hills also has Purple Line problems: The Beverly Hills Unified School District has pulled out all the stops to try to block the construction of a new subway under a local high school. They've been trying for years with no luck, so they decided to bus children to a rally to ask the Trump Administration to block funding for the new Purple Line. The LA Times editorial board wasn't having any of it, and asked everyone involved to cut it out with the hysteria. I'm not sure I've ever seen a paper stand up so strongly to antics. (Jenna Chandler | Curbed LA)
Bankrupt Sears leaves a lot of empty space: Department store giant Sears filed for bankruptcy and will be closing its remaining 142 stores. As recently as 2005 following a merger between Sears and KMart there were 3,800 stores, but the retail giant has dwindled ever since. The announcement opens up challenges and opportunities for many economic development directors and mall operators who will have to figure out what to do with so much empty space in malls that are already struggling. (Liz Wolf | National Real Estate Investor)
The beach house that stayed up: Hurricane Michael barreled through the Florida panhandle last week with winds over 150 mph. Most of the town of Mexico Beach was completely wiped away, but one house was still standing — with only slight damage. The house was designed specifically to withstand "the big one," though building codes put in place in 2007 only require 120-150 mph ratings, much less than 175 mph ratings in the southern part of the state. (Patricia Mazzei | New York Times)
Every building in America: Last week the New York Times sent out print versions of maps with every building in America, and they also have an online portal for looking at them. What is interesting is that they published this data and didn't do much analysis, but instead just asked readers to look. Personally, I hope in the future that just sharing data isn't journalism, but I'm curious what folks here think about this data drop. (Wallace, Watkins, Schwartz | New York Times)
New traffic in San Francisco: A new report from the SFCTA shows that 50% of the rise in traffic from 2010 to now is from ride hailing companies, though the report also notes that large population and employment increases also contributed to congestion. In some places such as downtown, ride hailing companies were responsible for 73% of increased delay. (Megan Rose Dickey | Tech Crunch)
Quote of the Week
"The idea was to pitch [Pittsburgh's stairs] as small vertical parks that could help address some of the city's equitable connectivity, open space, and green infrastructure challenges. Chase and Merritt started sketching and developed a concept of reconfiguring the basic physical building blocks of the stairs-precast concrete and metal piping-into a range of community-centric enhancements such as picnic tables, fitness courses, bird blinds, and performance stages."
Lesley Perez discussing Pittsburgh's steps in Landscape Architecture Magazine.
This week on the podcast, Dr. Melody Hoffman joins me at APA Midwest to talk about her book Bike Lanes are White Lanes.