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John Lam
I help people and companies understand and use enterprise computing, opensource, informatics, and social computing for collaborative work.
I help people and companies understand and use enterprise computing, opensource, informatics, and social computing for collaborative work.
John's posts

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A feature documentary about the movement for safer streets and better cycling, Bikes vs Cars premiers in Rochester and kicks-off the Rochester Bicycle Film Festival and leads into Rochester Bike Week!

This much anticipated film, started via @Kickstarter, informs us about ourselves and our compatriots working for better cycling in #cities across the world:

Included for the evening are two #documentary shorts and after the #movie, stay for a panel discussion with planners, engineers, and members of our #cycling community.

Make a tax-deductible donation from $5 to $25 and up to 501(c)3 Reconnect Rochester. Seats are limited, so donate via “Tickets” below to reserve yours today.

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Yuletide cheer, big city atmosphere, here? Here!

New York, New York, Rochester is not, but for a brief Thursday eve, thousands, maybe more, greet old friends, find good food, shop for gifts, stroll and sing along Park Avenue.

Pedestrians everywhere, so desperately missing here but for only a moment, wishfully conjure big city, bright lights.

#yuletide   #placemaking  

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ArtPlace America seeks Letters of Inquiry due December 13 (and completed applications due 2014 February) for grants awarding $50 000 to $500 000 to creative #placemaking projects that can transform communities. Since inception, over three rounds this program has awarded $42 million in 134 grants to 142 organizations—but none here in Rochester.

As in all placemaking, the arts awards aim not only to transform places and make them more vibrant and distinctive, but also to integrate into broader strategies. The (8) criteria also seek innovation worth spreading and adopting.

For more and to apply, see and

#venturephilanthropy   #placemaking   #arts  

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This clear and seminal paper broke conventional thinking about injury exposure: that collision rates between motorists and cyclists or pedestrians varied linearly with the rate of cycling and walking. Instead, more cycling and walking dramatically reduce the collision rate.

“Across Europe and North America, the amount of walking and bicycling varies tremendously—from 6% of all trips (US) to 46% (Netherlands). Yet the per capita fatal injury rate to people walking and bicycling is more or less the same in the two countries: 1.9/100 000 in the Netherlands and 2.1/100 000 in the US.”

Not only do collision rates go down as more choose cycling, for typical US cities the absolute number of collisions even goes down. Evidence in the chart below shows, for a city like Rochester, tripling cycling trips from 1.1% to 3.3% would cut personal exposure to collisions about fivefold. Collisions in aggregate could still drop 40%, even with three times as many cyclists.

Figure 1 (below): Walking and bicycling in 68 California cities in 2000

Notice the tight R-squared correlation coefficient. Yes, correlation isn't causation, but the paper itself offers mechanisms (causes) and logic to support causation. In the ten years since this paper, subsequent research shows more cyclists do cause drivers to pay better attention, and evidence from cities building cycling infrastructure such as New York and growing ridership show the results are repeatable.

#bicycling   #safety   #eureka  

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The data for injuries in #cycling from police and insurance reports neglects crashes without an insured vehicle. Of the 2504 bicyclists treated in one San Francisco emergency ward, nearly half involved other cyclists, pedestrians, or nobody else, and never got counted in official reports. Further, cyclists in non-automobile related crashes were also four-times more likely to be severe enough to require hospital admission.

To solve this issue with data quality, rather than have doctors spot-check and analyze data for quality, hospitals ought collect important health data and run metrics like other well-run and Lean businesses. If healthcare is so expensive anyway because of all the overhead, what exactly does this activity produce anyway?

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“The small communities of rural America face a range of critical challenges, including among these, loss of jobs and population, erosion of our agricultural lands and village centers to sprawl development, consequences of increased automobile dependency, unsustainable and costly development practices, to name a few. These problems affect the vitality of our communities, their physical design, and sense of place.

“Learn from and discuss with nationally recognized, experienced professional planning experts as they outline for the Village of Lima (as well as the region’s surrounding towns, villages, hamlets) land planning and financial techniques and strategies for the implementation of their comprehensive Vision Plans.”

#architecture   #landuse   #village   #presentation   #lecture   #free  

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This sounds incredible. In the heart of the Rust Belt with steel mills gone for 30 years, a small group of citizens in Hamburg NY, inspired by one woman, opposed the State Transportation Department's plan to widen Main Street 12 years ago, so more cars could flow with less wait. They succeeded, and 4 years ago, the renovated and narrowed Street began a turn-around. Crashes were down 66% the next two years. At the peak of the credit crisis, the renovations inspired a burst of civic and business investment, and then new residents.

This kind of planning is what the Rochester Regional Community Design Center does, and why i've helped them facilitate charrettes for the past 11 years.

#Buffalo   #landuse   #architecture  

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Had only Rochester the economy of the Bay Area, maybe we too could win leading-edge projects like this. Or maybe they're a curse in disguise. Anyway, the galleries hint at the scale of construction.

warning: gratuitous infrastructure pr0n (nsfw :-) #photography   #architecture   #construction   #transportation   #SanFrancisco  

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Common wisdom says cities are crime-ridden and dangerous. As usual common wisdom is wrong. Your chances of dying in a car crash overwhelm your chances of dying or even suffering violent crime. Living in suburban and rural America greatly increase your risks of death and injury.

#safety   #transportation   #crime  

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Take a closer look at Google Now. Aware of context, where you are, what you're doing, it presents relevant information you might have queried anyway. For example a transit widget displays a departure countdown to your next appointment right on front!
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