Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is 3rd Avenue a barrier to Redmond Park?


One thing I wonder about the proposed Cedar Rapids Greenway is how well the new parks will connect with the neighborhoods they border. The Time-Check portion will extend to Ellis Boulevard NE, the Czech Village portion to C Street SW. Both Ellis Boulevard and C Street are important trafficways, and could be theoretical or at least psychological barriers to those living on the other side. Of course, anyone from anywhere can drive to the park, but I think based on my reading of Jane Jacobs that the neighborhood would be a vital contributor to the life of the park.

There are existing opportunities in Cedar Rapids to investigate the impact of border streets on park use. Near my house, Redmond Park borders 3rd Avenue SE, which is a three-lane, one-way street slicing through the Wellington Heights neighborhood. There are no traffic signals between 10th and 19th Streets. The posted speed limit on 3rd is 30 mph, which I'd estimate nearly all vehicles were exceeding. The park itself is smaller (1.22 acres) and less decked out than the Greenway parks will be: it contains some picnic tables, a swingset and climbing playground...

...and a splash pad...

 ...which anyone can activate by rubbing the black thingy at the top of the red post. It runs for five minutes, whether you rub it once or continuously.

The park is triangle-shaped, with two side streets, Park Avenue and 16th Street, serving as the southern and eastern boundaries. There is a bigger playground at Johnson Elementary School, a block to the east at Park and 17th (no splash pad, though), but no playgrounds at all between 3rd Avenue and 1st Avenue between the river and Brucemore.

According to the most recent traffic survey (2008), 3rd Avenue's daily count near the park was 3874 vehicles. That is considerably less than C Street, which at 20th Avenue SW had nearly as many in both directions for a total of 7386; and less than Ellis Road, which at M Avenue NW scored 4423 and may pick up additional traffic from 1st Street NW once the park is developed.

There's a pedestrian crosswalk approximately at the midpoint of the park, at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Park Court. Pedestrians crossing in either direction can push a button to activate a flashing light to alert vehicle traffic as they cross.
(3rd Av SE approaching Park Ct; crossing light button is at far right,
next to the sign)

I observed park use on two consecutive early afternoons, Monday 6/23 from 1:00-2:25, and Tuesday 6/24 from 12:45-2:40. I noted who was using the park, and from where they entered. The characters of the two days were different: Monday was cloudy and in the 70s, Tuesday sunny and in the 80s. Monday saw maybe a dozen children coming from the houses across Park Avenue, sometimes with teenage supervision; one boy and his father came from farther down 3rd Avenue, and none came across 3rd. No one used the splash pad. Tuesday there were only two children from Park Avenue, while eight children came at various times from the park side of 3rd and four across 3rd. Nearly every one of them, and even some young adults, used the splash pad.

Both days small groups of adults used the park as a picnic ground or meeting place. There was also continuous traffic both days through the park and across 3rd Ave to use Hy-Vee Food Store or McDonald's on the other side of 1st Avenue.
Hy-Vee at 1554 1st Av NE is a big draw for people in Wellington Heights

Some tentative conclusions, then:
  • 3rd Avenue posed no barrier to adults using the park. It may have affected children's use of the park, but those that were there Tuesday seemed to cross it without much hesitation.
  • Hy-Vee, and to a lesser extent McDonald's, served as impelling places, drawing people of all ages from the neighborhood across not only across 3rd Avenue but (aided by a stop light) across the much busier 1st Avenue (23,835 cars in the 2008 study). Bottom line: I saw more adults taking children from the park side across 3rd to go to the grocery store than I saw taking children from the other side across 3rd to go to the park.
  • The crossing signal worked, to a degree. Most people, adult and child, preferred to wait until a break in traffic to cross. When they did use the signal, cars usually though not always stopped for it. (One guy on Monday had two vehicles go directly in front of him as he was crossing. He was wearing a "USA" t-shirt to boot.
So, what lessons does this have for development of the Greenway? Whatever they are, they should be tentative: Not only was my study very limited in time and extent, but the parks in Time-Check and Czech Village will be much larger and have many more features than Redmond Park. On the other hand, the streets we're asking the neighbors to cross are busier. (Bever Park, a larger park [91.84 acres] with numerous features located on busy [2008 traffic count=4954] Bever Avenue SE, might have been a better study location.) For now I'd say:
  • There should be several clear paths from the neighborhood to the park, with traffic lights (not crossing signals) at the street crossing that have generous walk times. There's a light at Ellis and O, but I don't think any others around either park.
  • The features at the edge of the park may, according to Jacobs, matter more than those of the park itself. There's a plan to develop the commercial district along Ellis, but I don't think there's anything anticipated for Czech Village besides the existing district along 16th Avenue. It's worth thinking about encouraging business siting along C Street, even it means giving up some of the park land.
EARLIER POST: "Proposed Cedar Rapids Greenway," June 13, 2014

(At one corner of Redmond Park is this memorial fountain,
which used to be downtown, then got rescued from storage a few years ago)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Issues of privilege in walkable cities

A couple reports out this week share a theme of how and to whom the benefits of urbanism are flowing. Smart Growth America's study of America's largest metropolitan areas describes how some are moving faster than others in providing walkable downtown areas, but also notes that housing and office rental prices have increased there and may be pricing some people out. FiveThirtyEight cites data, particularly from a new study on BuzzFeed, that bicycle use varies widely by sex and class, with men and middle class people biking far more often.

Smart Growth America puts six cities at the top of the walkable urbanism charts: Washington, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle. Together these six cities account for 48 percent of the walkable urban places in the 30 metro areas studied (pp. 11-13). They predict, however, based on a number of factors, that Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Denver have the potential of reaching the top, with Chicago in particular likely to drop in the rankings (pp. 14-17). Impressively, walkable urbanism is positively correlated with educational attainment and metropolitan per capita income (p. 20). The authors note, however, "The vast majority of growth in regionally significant development in the late 20th century occurred in a metropolitan's 'favored quarter' areas of concentrated upper-middle-class housing separated from concentrated minority housing." And "Further research is needed to determine how walkable urbanism influences housing in terms of prices, rents, affordability, and the propensity to rent versus own" (p. 32). Much of the discussion on the webcast release of the report focused on the need to stimulate affordable housing construction. Richard Bradley, executive director of Washington, D.C.'s Business Improvement District and a panelist at the rollout, called the traditional approach to housing costs "Drive 'til you qualify," i.e. commute from a distant suburb whose real estate prices you can afford, but noted that is not viable in the long term either for regions or families ("Foot Traffic Ahead"; see also Samuels).

There's construction in the city center, such as the soon-to-be Coventry Lofts apts...
...but a lot of affordable housing, like this complex on Johnson Av SW, is remote from places of value
Speaking of commuting, this isn't a new report (though I'm pretty sure I've seen newer data than these), but significantly more jobs in high-skill industries are accessible by public transit than in low- and middle-skill industries (Tomer et al.).

On BuzzFeed, Jeremy Singer-Vine tracked usage of bike sharing programs in Boston, Chicago and New York. While there is some variation across bike share stations, all three cities show women accounting for between 21 and 25 percent of users. The rate goes up on weekends in all three cities, but only to about 1/3. These numbers are consistent with an earlier U.S. government study that found women took 24 percent of bicycle rides. Hypotheses for the gender difference abound, including fear of distracted drivers and physical assaults, additional responsibility for transporting children, and the intervening factor of pay differential. Far more middle class households even own bicycles than poor or working class households do (Chalabi). That doesn't surprise me: at Coe, I work on a park-like campus with plenty of bike racks, and when I'm not teaching I can come to work in t-shirt and shorts. If I worked in the Geonetric building, I'd soon be able to shower after arriving by bicycle at their new 12th Avenue facility. But for workers at Wal-Mart or Target or Hy-Vee, routes to the stores are often not bike-friendly and  then you have to navigate across an enormous parking lot.

I'm for prosperity, and this blog is pretty much an ongoing plug for walkability, but there are also any number of reasons we need to be intentional about inclusiveness on the way. In a nutshell, inclusive communities are fairer and more sustainable. So we need to acknowledge that the path to urbanism is affecting people differently by sex and income. If we probed further, we might well find that it's affecting people differently by race and age as well [though Streetsblog USA notes bicycling is rising fastest among people aged 60-79]. Some of the contributing factors can be addressed through public policy: rental price controls in some cities may be distorting the housing markets (though I suspect it's just the market itself providing higher returns on investment at the upper end), zoning laws that prevent walkable development need to be changed, and the federal government should certainly stop subsidizing highway and McMansion development. There are some possibilities for positive government action as well: Better biking infrastructure may help with the fear factor, and creative support for transit, transit-oriented development and housing diversity would be most welcome. Anything beyond that?

EARLIER POSTS ON "HOLY MOUNTAIN"
"Downtown, Where All the Lights are Bright?" November 10, 2013
"Gentrification in the Mission District," December 4, 2013
"The Gentrification Conundrum (II)," March 21, 2014

REFERENCES
  Michael Andersen, "Surprise! People Aged 60-79 Are Behind More Than a Third of the Biking Boom," Streetsblog USA, 20 June 2014, http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/06/20/surprise-people-aged-60-79-are-behind-more-than-a-third-of-the-biking-boom/
  Mona Chalabi, "Why Women Don't Cycle," FiveThirtyEight, 16 June 2013, http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/why-women-dont-cycle/
  Coventry Lofts property website: http://highpropertymanagement.com/property/coventry-lofts/
  "Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America's Largest Metros," Smart Growth America, 17 June 2014, http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/locus/foot-traffic-ahead/
  Robert Samuels, "Millennials Consider Leaving Washington as the City Becomes More Costly," Washington Post, 16 June 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/millennials-consider-leaving-washington-as-the-city-becomes-more-costly/2014/06/16/825e4308-eb67-11e3-9f5c-9075d5508f0a_story.html?hpid=z5 [as we say on Facebook, HT Ted Carroll for this article]
  Jeremy Singer-Vine, "These Maps Show A Massive Gender Gap in Bicycle-Riding," BuzzFeed, 16 June 2014, http://www.buzzfeed.com/jsvine/these-maps-show-a-massive-gender-gap-in-bicycle-riding
  Adie Tomer, Elizabeth Kneebone, Robert Puentes and Alan Berube, "Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America," Brookings, 12 May 2011, http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2011/05/12-jobs-and-transit

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Theater review: "Respect"

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Cedar Rapids's marvelous arts venue, CSPS, hosted the premiere Saturday night of the University of Iowa's Summer Rep production of "Respect: A Musical Journey of Women". It was written by Dorothy Marcic of Vanderbilt University, based on her book Respect: Women and Popular Music (Texere, 2002). It contains 63 songs, nearly all of which were 20th century top 40 hits by female artists. A tour is planned, with other ensembles performing around the country, and I heartily encourage anyone within range to see it.

The cast is four female characters, one of whom plays the author and provides commentary and narration. (At first I thought she was the author, then realized there was no way she was old enough to have attended high school in the 1960s.) The other three sing and dance throughout the roughly 100-minute show. Some songs are sung on their own, some in simple medleys, and some in medleys that weave back and forth between the different songs. The harmonies and choreography were impressive, as was their energy level. I ran into a couple of the actresses after the show and asked them how they were even walking after all that dancing about. "Adrenaline is a wonderful thing," they said.

The music is presented more or less linearly from 1901 into the 1980s. (The most recent song performed is "Hero," a hit for Mariah Carey in 1993.) The overall gist is that women sang popular songs with more powerful and independent voices as the century wore on. As the author asks early in the play, "Why didn't Fanny Brice [1891-1951] sing 'I am woman, hear me roar?'"

I'll buy that thesis, up to a point: The "I am strong, I am invincible" of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" (1972) was preceded by the "I'm tough" of "Piece of My Heart," sung by Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1968. Before that you weren't hearing anything in that vein, from white female singers anyway.

However, well after that time frame, the older themes continue prominently in pop. Vulnerability and yearning have always been staples of popular music, sung by singers of either sex. At least one of the songs featured in the show intended to illustrate pathetic dependence was actually sung on the charts by a male group: "Bend Me Shape Me" (American Breed, 1968). This is more than a picky detail, because if men were and are also waxing needily in song ("The Worst That Could Happen," anyone? Or "All By Myself"? Or "Living Next Door to Alice"?)  it weakens the gender argument.

With regard to female neediness, is there a substantive difference between the lyrical messages of Betty Boop in the 1930s and "Love to Love You Baby" (Donna Summer, 1976) or "Teenage Dream" (Katy Perry, 2010), neither of which the show referenced? "Bobby's Girl" by Marci Blane (1962) is one of the most awful combinations of words in the English language, and Joanie Summers's "Johnny Get Angry" from the same year is just about as bad, but you can also get world class cringes listening to the lyrics of "Jesse" by Carly Simon or "Upside Down" by Diana Ross, both of which were released in 1980. The gender evolution of pop is much less linear than the show implies: Lesley Gore sang "You Don't Own Me" two years before the Chiffons sang "Sweet-Talkin' Guy;" a year earlier she'd sung the cringe-worthy "Judy's Turn to Cry." I wonder if the later songs might seem less needy/dependent, if only because the social context in which the words are sung had changed?

Bottom line: the top 40 is not a church, nor is it a legal or ethical system. It's a commercial marketplace, and as such will always be attentive to the neediness of the vulnerable and yearning. If dependence can be sold, it will be sold. If "I Am Woman" or "Hero" can be sold, they will be sold.

All the above text shows is that I did really attend the show, and that I remember way too many details of 1960s-80s pop charts (verified along the way with The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn [Billboard Books, 7th ed, 2000]). But it's not what I really wanted to blog about.

After the show two or three women in the audience thought it remarkable that I had stuck it out through all of what one called "the musical version of a chick flick." One said her husband had pointedly refused to attend. I had not been thinking of the show that way, and still don't, although it's true that when men are mentioned at all in Respect it's almost never positively. I think I still felt at the end like I was on the winning side, i.e. the liberation of women did not come at the expense of men, but was a victory for all humanity. We can only get to true community when all members are free and equal.

Surely whites will affirm that we are better off for the civil rights movement having happened. Even though I am middle class, the diminishment of the working class has left me poorer because society's fabric is torn. We are getting close to the day when straight people will recognize they are in a better place and the institution of marriage is strengthened because the rights of gays and lesbians are recognized. Maybe, someday, Christians will acknowledge that "religious freedom" consists, not in dominating the dialogue in a nostalgic Christian America, but in a community-wide conversation in which people of all faiths, and no faith, are full partners.

That is what I wanted to say, but now I've strayed from the show. Because the author didn't take us to a community of gender equality, but stopped with women having achieved independence.  It's her play, and bad form to demand a different play than the one the author intended, so I won't. Her story ends with her following her grandmother and mother into single parenthood, albeit her status is due to her husband's death rather than the perfidy of her father and grandfather. She ends the play with two capstone songs, pairing the title song with Gloria Gaynor's 1978 hit "I Will Survive." Gaynor sings about refusing to return to a terrible relationship, and that sounds like a good call. But once women (or men) have survived, have attained equality and independence, there needs to be a next step. Survival for what? Independence for what? Freedom for what? I think the answer to the question Dorothy Mancic doesn't ask is the same as the reason men can and should enjoy this production as much as women: community. "No man is an island," wrote John Donne, and no woman can be, either.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Proposed Cedar Rapids Greenway



The Cedar Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation, along with consultants from the Iowa City design firm Confluence, met with members of the public last night to roll out the almost-final draft of plans for park development along the west side of the Cedar River known collectively as the Greenway. The ideas are elaborate and ambitious, and would take about 10-15 years to come to fruition. Any implementation will need to take into account developing plans for flood protection, which are happening along a parallel track.


The Greenway consists of three chunks, including two large swaths of residential neighborhoods (Time-Check and Czech Village) that were heavily damaged in the 2008 flood. These two portions are connected by a narrow stretch of riverfront across from downtown that already houses the McGrath Amphitheatre.


The meeting was held at the Flamingo Events Center, which has evolved from a long-established restaurant on Ellis Boulevard, and which itself was hard-hit by that flood.
Jane and the flamingo pose by the sign marking the crest of the flood)
The first step of the Greenway projects will be to remove the infrastructure that's there now, particularly streets and sewer lines. The few houses in the area that have been rebuilt will be accommodated, mostly by turning their current through streets into cul-de-sacs, but some streets will be maintained in order to provide multiple access points to the parks.
The immediate result will be a large green space.

As I mentioned, there are big plans for what happens next. A large part of the Time-Check neighborhood may see widening of the current bike trail, a boat launch, basketball courts, and a disc golf "putting green" (which seems to be less than the full course now offered at Shaver Park as well as Thomas Park in Marion). Beaches had been previously discussed, but were scrapped because of their vulnerability to the river.

The Czech Village chunk would extend for several square blocks south of the business district along 16th Avenue, which unlike the residential area has in large part been rebuilt post-flood. This map of the area shows what the city has purchased, what remains in private ownership, and what would need to be done...
...to turn it into a lot of park...
...which could accommodate a boat launch, ice rink and ropes course, among other possibilities.

The most ambitious idea proposed for the downtown area is a kayak run utilizing some things that are already in the river north of downtown across from Quaker Oats.

I like the ambitious nature of the plans, and the intention to make better public use of the river than Cedar Rapids historically has done. In a city that has few true neighborhoods, it's sad to close the book on two with extra character, though connection to the parks may help surrounding areas emerge (or re-emerge, as the case may be).

One woman at last night's meeting expressed concern about the Time-Check section's impact on traffic patterns. She argued that 1st Street west is a convenient bypass, with better traffic flow than Ellis Boulevard currently has. It looks from the map like 1st Street has become a park road, which would indeed divert traffic to Ellis. This is probably good for park development, though Chicago has developed its lakefront parks with frequent underpasses under high-speed Lake Shore Drive. Still her point is well-taken. Park development will need to coordinate with planned development along Ellis Boulevard to allow for the flow of through traffic. (This is not a problem with the Czech Village park, where 12th Avenue and C Street serve as thoroughfares outside of the proposed park.)

Bicyclists at the meeting were pleased by the wider trail in Time-Check, but connections across the river are an open question. There are currently two ways to get from downtown to the trail--A Avenue East (which becomes E Avenue West) or 1st Street West--neither of which is really comfortable, but I've done 2nd Avenue to 1st Street and it's not too bad as long as it's not rush hour. The trail connection to the Czech Village, by contrast, goes across the Bridge of Lions and is pretty smooth at any hour of the day.

More generally, Jane Jacobs's pathbreaking chapter on neighborhood parks cites many ways park projects have gone wrong or right, making the success of any given project seem uncertain and random. A key factor for her clearly is connection to vibrant surrounding. Here's how she describes the neighborhood of a successful Philadelphia park (which I won't name because I don't know Philadelphia well, and a lot can happen in 53 years):

Immediately on its edges it has in sequence, as this is written, an art club with restaurant and galleries, a music school, an Army office building, an apartment house, a club, an old apothecary shop, a Navy office building which used to be a hotel, apartments, a church, a parochial school, apartments, a public-library branch, apartments, a vacant site where town houses have been torn down for prospective apartments, a cultural society, apartments, a vacant site where a town house is planned, another town house, apartments. Immediately beyond the rim, in the streets leading off at right angles and in the next streets parallel to the park sides, is an abundance of shops and services of all sorts with old houses or newer apartments above, mingled with a variety of offices [p. 96]
In short [it] is busy fairly continuously for the same basic reasons that a lively sidewalk is used continuously: because of functional physical diversity among adjacent uses, and hence diversity among users and their schedules. [p. 97]
Neighborhood parks fail to substitute in any way for plentiful city diversity. Those that are successful never serve as barriers or as interruptions to the intricate functioning of the city around them. Rather, they help to knit together diverse surrounding functions by giving them a pleasant joint facility; in the process they add another appreciated element to the diversity and give something back to their surroundings... [p. 101]
The special elements of each park I listed earlier will serve as "demand goods" [pp. 107-110], drawing people from all parts of the city and beyond. But the ongoing success of these projects depend on the ability of planners to coordinate effectively with neighborhood and commercial development.

[Jacobs's repeated reference to apartments in the first paragraph I quoted reminds me that a fellow last night told one of the consultants he doesn't like apartments. That may be because a lot of apartment buildings in Cedar Rapids are miniature slums. Or it may be a reminder that however this develops is not going to leave everyone happy.]

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Greenway plans: see comment below

Forrest Saunders, "Cedar Rapids Reveals Greenway Concepts," KCRG, 7 May 2014, http://www.kcrg.com/city-reveals-greenway-concepts-20140507 [coverage of a previous open house]

"Flood Protection: Both Sides of the River," City of Cedar Rapids, http://cedar-rapids.org/city-news/flood-recovery-progress/floodmanagementsystem/pages/default.aspx

Ellis Boulevard Area Plan site... More elaboration is in these slides from last fall's presentation

Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association site

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, [1961] 1992), ch. 5. See also ch. 14 for cautionary tales of parks creating boundaries to neighborhoods rather than connections with them.

Rachel Kaplan, Stephen Kaplan and Robert L. Ryan, With People in Mind: Design and Management of Everyday Nature (Island, 1998).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cities and economic opportunity

Last month Meeting of the Minds and Living Cities organized a one-day blogfest on the question "How Could Cities Better Connect All Their Residents to Economic Opportunity?" They drew a lot of responses, featuring a variety of ways of thinking about the issue.

I've come to think of economic opportunity as the corest of core issues related to how all of us are going to live together in the 21st century. If we are going to live sustainably, instead of poisoning the water and destroying the climate, we have to have confidence that we can constrain our behavior without suffering. If we are going to accommodate diversity in all its wondrous dimensions, we need to see other people as part of a supportive community instead of threats to our well-being and/or safety.

So, economic opportunity, rah. But easier stated than achieved: our global economy seems to need fewer workers, new jobs either require skills a lot of people don't have or pay badly, many poor people are physically isolated in urban ghettos and rural backwaters. The economy grows but opportunity doesn't (Irwin):
  • 1959-1973: GDP per capita up 82 percent, poverty rate dropped from 22% to 11%
  • 1973-2007: GDP per capita up 147 percent, poverty rate rose from 11% to 12.5%
  • 2007-now: GDP per capital up 6 percent, poverty rate rose from 12.5% to 15%
Some themes that emerge among the numerous posts in response to the group blogging event:
  1. What is 'opportunity,' anyway? Several bloggers pointed out the lack of common definition, much less reliable metrics. We usually measure things like income inequality, mobility and unemployment, but those are outcomes, of course. It's easier to sense the absence of opportunity than to measure it, which limits our ability to address it with confidence. Ben Hecht, following Stephanie Pollock, identifies the components of opportunity as physical proximity to jobs, mobility within the city, and virtual connectivity. That works for me, at least for starters.
  2. Transit. If the verb is 'connect,' or the noun is 'mobility,' you're going to get transit-related answers. Clearly, though, just having buses and trains is not enough. Chicago's Metropolitan Planning Council notes that transit ridership in that city has dropped by 40 percent in three decades, and that only 21 percent of jobs and 8 percent of metro residents are within a quarter-mile of a bus or train stop (Barrett). That means encouraging development around transit, but also innovations in getting transit to the people who can benefit from it.
  3. Education. Beyond the usual appeals for better schools and teachers (what does that mean, anyway?), there are specific recommendations for (a) workforce training that is better coordinated with market demand, (b) better support systems for low-income and other first-generation college students, and (c) teaching people to recognize existing opportunities. Sounds like long-term concentrated missionary work.
  4. Businesses. Job creation comes from local businesses of a certain size, who might benefit from assistance with, for example, finding investment opportunities. This might best come from a public-private partnership. Business-government collaboration can also help governments better target their scarce resources.
  5. Virtual Connectivity. The 'digital divide' that persists is about more than who does or doesn't have access to the Internet at home. It's about digital literacy, and how you spend your time online.
Cedar Rapids is smaller than a lot of the cities discussed in these numerous posts, but we're not exempt from problems of job creation, concentrated poverty, connection to opportunities, and such. Our development post-2008 is going gangbusters, but as a work in progress it's too early to tell whether it will connect or further isolate the least-advantaged (probably some of each). Transit is a mix of flexible (365Ride) and rigid (bus routes and schedules seem more oriented to the clock than to potential riders). I don't know enough to address the local angle on topics 3, 4 and 5.

SOURCES

Mary Sue Barrett, "The Long and Short of Economic Opportunity for All," The Connector, Metropolitan Planning Council, 12 May 2014, http://www.metroplanning.org/news/blog-post/6929



Kim Davis, “Cities and Poverty: Connecting the Dots,” UBM's Future Cities, 12 May 2014,
http://www.ubmfuturecities.com/author.asp?section_id=391&doc_id=526709

Ben Hecht, "From Transit to Access: Three Essentials for Rethinking How Cities Connect Their Residents to Opportunity," Living Cities, 12 May 2014, http://www.livingcities.org/blog/?id=292

"How Could Cities Better Connect All Their Residents to Economic Opportunity?" Meeting of the Minds, 12 May 2014, http://cityminded.org/cal/group-blogging-event

Neil Irwin, "Solid Growth for Decades. Why Hasn't Poverty Fallen?" New York Times, 5 June 2014, A3, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/05/upshot/growth-has-been-good-for-decades-so-why-hasnt-poverty-declined.html?rref=upshot


John Wihbey, “Computer Usage and Access in Low-Income Urban Communities,” Journalist’s Resource, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 19 August 2013, http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/internet/computer-usage-access-low-income-urban-communities#

My own post on the subject, from last November: "The 'New Normal' Economy and Place"

Re-Zoning Cedar Rapids

Community residents at ReZone Open House, New Bo City Market, October 2017 Cedar Rapids's adoption of form-based zoning will be tar...