Today’s Headlines

  • Governor Brown signs bills extending climate change targets (Capitol Radio)  (Sacramento Bee)
  • Senator Fran Pavely’s legacy: Greenhouse gas warrior (Capitol Weekly)
  • Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley is the perfect place for a woonerf (Berkeleyside)
  • New Richmond Bridge lanes—for cars and bikes—are set to open in a year’s time (Marin Independent Journal)
  • A “new generation” of bikeways is coming to San Francisco (SFMTA)
  • The Expo Line’s effect on exercise (CityLab)
  • The air quality probably isn’t so good, but you can’t beat the excitement: coworking on a freeway overpass (LAist)
  • One way the rich benefit from global warming: luxury cruises that further eff up the environment (Slate)
  • OMG: LAX employees live in the long-term parking lot: video (NY Times)
  • No escape: this house has been hit by six cars (FastCoExist)
  • How to use a roundabout (Pony Parts)

More California headlines at Streetsblog LA and Streetsblog SF

  • Well, CityLab has made the same error (as have others), so a lot of people now misunderstand what a woonerf is or should be and conflate it with a “shared space”. There is a difference, but as people travel to The NLs and see woonerven and “shared spaces” (or worse yet, other places that call a shared space a woonerf), the fact that they’re both not as blatantly car-centric as the status quo here is apparently leading many of them to miss the differences. But there is a real difference: one is a place for people where a low number of cars are only tacitly tolerated, the other is a place where cars are still allowed to dominate, just in a slightly different manner as compared to before and a bit more tolerable by people. Certainly, the latter is in many instances, probably an improvement over the status quo, but still isn’t actually an example of the former and sticking the Dutch word of the former on it won’t change that.

  • Melanie Curry

    oh shoot. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic about the concept. My understanding is that car traffic is allowed on a woonerf (thanks for the correction), it just has to be super slow. I’m trying to imagine traffic slowed down enough on Telegraph to make it safe to hang out on it as a pedestrian. Having trouble with that mental picture.

  • FYI, the word woonerven is plural of the word woonerf. But in either case, the project that is described sounds like a (potentially mediocre without further modification) stab at “shared space”, not a woonerf. Woonerven [Dutch] are meant to be a yard-like place that people can treat as an extension of their living room and are usually only in strictly residential areas. As such, the ideal is to have no through traffic at all, especially of motor vehicles. Berkeley looks like it will both allow through traffic and not be an exclusively residential zone, so it probably isn’t appropriate to call it a woonerf at all. Instead, it will be a “shared street”. How successful it is depends on if the City is serious about dealing with the real issue or just making a place that looks good.