A little light reading: Lots on transit & transportation, a bit on cities, and a side of grammar

I like this idea so much I’m stealing it shamelessly (highest form of praise, right?) from Human Transit blogger Jarrett Walker. He runs a “weekend reading” post with links to other blog posts he finds interesting or insightful. Since I do most of my blog reading on weekends it works better for me to make this your Monday reading assignment for the week.

Why transit and transportation when this is BiketoWork Barb’s hangout? I read a fair amount on transportation and urban planning because:
  • It informs my work representing my campus as we engage in development of Spokane’s University District.
  • It interests me as someone who loves our downtown, neighborhoods, open green spaces and nearby farms and wants to see all of them thrive and maintain their distinctive qualities.
  • It fascinates me as a student of public policy that we so often fail to recognize the ways that policy has shaped our current landscape and yet people fight the idea of using policy to shape it further. (Think that trying to plan and encourage shifts in people’s transportation choices involves “social engineering"? Well, what formed the habits they have right now? That’s right—social engineering.)
  • My mental shift to full-time bike commuter took me out of full-time driver mode. When it’s too icy or seriously windy and I don’t bike, my first instinct is not to reach for the car keys—it’s to head for the bus stop four blocks from my house. When I compare the three modes, bike or bus beat car for me most of the time.
  • More recently, as a result of my interest and engagement in active transportation in our community I was appointed to the Transportation Advisory Committee of the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, then appointed by the SRTC Board to serve as chair of the committee. My responsibility there is not to be BiketoWork Barb—it’s to bring an understanding shaped by bike and transit commuting as well as years of driving (and years of buying and using stuff brought here by rail and truck freight—ever stop to think of that as part of your personal transportation system?) to think about all modes of transportation.
With that really extended intro, here’s some of what I read (and commented on) recently:
Cities and Economic Development
English Grammar

I majored in English and Linguistics and love word play and thinking about words. My future-English-teacher Second Daughter asked about the use of the conditional tense (“If I weren’t so cute, I would never get anywhere in life”).
That should keep you busy for a while.

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