Take a Look at Twitter’s New Buildings in Santa Monica

Lee Davidson | Santa Monica Daily Press

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.Twitter, the short-form social networking service, is opening an office on Pico Boulevard at Main Street.

City Hall issued the company a business license for 150 Pico Blvd. back in June. It lists the company’s start date as Aug. 1. The business type is listed as “Sales Marketing And Engineering.”

“Not sharing anything else at this time,” Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser told the Daily Press in an e-mail.

Brown paper covers the large glass windows at the single-story building on Pico. Twitter appears to be taking over an adjacent property at 1916 Main St. as well; a Notice of Non-Responsibility from the investment company that owns the building – posted on a door – acknowledges that improvements to the space began back in March and that Twitter Inc. is the tenant.

City Hall’s Economic Development Administrator Jennifer Taylor said that she’s excited for Twitter, and its employees, to move into the space.

“They picked a fabulous location, just two blocks from the beach,” she said in an e-mail. “We know that Pico Blvd and Main Street merchants are eager for the SM Twitter office to open, with the prospect of attracting some new loyal customers who will eat, shop and play local.” As Santa Monica – arguably the center of the Southern California tech boom- fills up and as fledgling startup companies turn into international players, exodus has become a common theme. Read more

Future Utah transportation revolution: biking, walking?

Summit » Officials envision walkable, rideable solutions to congestion woes.
Lee Davidson | The Salt Lake Tribune

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.As they looked out picture windows at the Salt Lake Valley below to imagine how growth may change it, officials held a summit Tuesday to discuss a possible revolution in transportation to reduce congestion and improve health.

What is that novel change? Encouraging more walking and bicycle riding, what officials like to call “active transportation.”

“Active transportation can really yield significant economic, environmental and health benefits,” Michael Allegra, president and CEO of the Utah Transit Authority, told the Active Transportation and Health Summit.

It was sponsored by such groups as UTA, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Department of Health. They spent the day talking about efforts from expanding bike-share programs to adding more bike lanes or “bike boulevards” and incorporating active transportation into new road projects.

The summit met atop the Rice-Eccles Stadium tower at the University of Utah. As he opened the meeting, Allegra said many plans for the 2002 Winter Olympics and UTA’s TRAX light rail were worked out there amid its stunning valley view, and he hopes the move toward more active transportation will also have roots there. Read more

Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars

Brian Libby | The Atlantic CityLab

A rendering of the Tilikum Crossing, designed by San Francisco's Donald McDonald. (HNTB)

A rendering of the Tilikum Crossing, designed by San Francisco’s Donald McDonald. (HNTB)

 

It’s an early-summer morning at the construction site for Portland’s first new bridge in a generation, the Tilikum Crossing, and Dan Blocher is feeling good about its progress. Completion is still a year away, but since the two ends of the bridge were connected in the middle several weeks ago, public response in self-described Bridgetown (when it’s not, say, the Rose City, Stumptown or Rip City) has been positive.

“Most people can sort of viscerally recognize an inherent beauty when the bridge is properly designed for its need,” says Blocher, executive director of capitol projects for TriMet, the city’s transit agency. “I think you know when you’ve got it right when the completed product just seems to fit, just like it belongs there. And we feel very good about the feedback we’re getting on this bridge now that you can see what it’s going to look like.”

As we stand along the banks of the Willamette River, where workers are toiling both above us on the recently completed deck and below in small boats where the footings meet the water, Blocher points to a number of the bridge’s unique design features. The H-shaped towers are smaller than those of most cable-stay bridges, for example. That’s because Tilikum threads single cables up through the towers and down again to the deck, rather than using two sets of cables connected separately to the tower. The bike and pedestrian paths on either side also jut out in the middle, he says, to reduce wind drag. The angle of the white cables is meant to recall the triangular form of Mount Hood, standing tall in the distance and visible from the bridge. Read more

$11 Billion Later, High-Speed Rail Is Inching Along

Ron Nixon | The New York Times

Amtrak’s Acela near Baltimore. The 150-mile-per-hour Acela averages only 80 m.p.h. on the New York to Washington corridor. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York TimesHigh-speed rail was supposed to be President Obama’s signature transportation project, but despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere and the United States still lags far behind Europe and China.

While Republican opposition and community protests have slowed the projects here, transportation policy experts and members of both parties also place blame for the failures on missteps by the Obama administration — which in July asked Congress for nearly $10 billion more for high-speed initiatives.

Instead of putting the $11 billion directly into those projects, critics say, the administration made the mistake of parceling out the money to upgrade existing Amtrak service, which will allow trains to go no faster than 110 miles per hour. None of the money originally went to service in the Northeast Corridor, the most likely place for high-speed rail. Read more

Braving the New World of Performance-Based Zoning

Anthony Flint | Atlantic CityLab

A small park just off of Main St. in Farmingdale features a gazebo where events are held is seen on August 7, 2014. (Credit: Johnny Milano)Today’s topic is zoning. But before you reach for that double espresso, consider that there is really some exciting stuff going on in the field, fueled by Silicon Valley-level innovative thinking.

Most people might think of zoning as the province of white-haired volunteer boards, but in an increasingly developed world, it has a larger importance. Codes that guide development are the DNA of human settlement.

The problem is that most zoning hasn’t changed with the times, for nearly a century now. It’s like having traffic rules and manufacturer regulations based on the Model T.

A short history: The landmark 1926 Supreme Court case Euclid v. Ambler Realty confirmed the authority of local governments to lay down the law on building—literally. Zoning, in legal terms, is considered part of police powers, enforcing health and safety. A hundred years ago, cities were increasingly congested and dirty places, and planners sought to spread things out and separate noxious uses; a tannery shouldn’t be next to a townhouse, and so on. Read more

Farmingdale Village plans to be Long Island’s new downtown destination

Lisa Doll Bruno | Newsday

A small park just off of Main St. in Farmingdale features a gazebo where events are held is seen on August 7, 2014. (Credit: Johnny Milano)With a master plan in place, Farmingdale Village is positioning itself as Long Island’s next destination downtown, says Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.

“We have a lot of stuff going on,” says Ekstrand, citing revitalization projects and events such as an upcoming two-day music festival on the Village Green.

The mixed-use, “transit-oriented” development near the train station will comprise two buildings with a combined total of 154 apartments, amenities and 20,000 square feet of retail space. “We have commitments on retail,” says developer Anthony Bartone of Bartone Properties. One building is to open in November, the other with an underground garage next spring.

Other projects include the reconstruction of 231 Main St., where Staller Associates is building 26 luxury apartments and 3,000 square feet of retail space. “What’s really cool,” says Ekstrand, is the building “will have balconies overlooking Main Street.” Read more

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