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A flowerpot at Lotusland

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Sometimes it is the most plain of things that you notice.  The lotus’s (sp?) are in bloom at Lotusland in Santa Barbara… so I spent the morning there with friends yesterday.  This little pot caught my eye because it is made from cheap talavera tiles from Mexico.  Anyone could make this with a little cement and tile and a handmade form.  There is a quality about it that is almost indescribable.  Maybe if we were speaking french I could describe it better… over a glass of wine and with bread torn from the bagette.  Yet that indescribable quality makes it.  It is not perfect… it shows the fact that it was handmade… It is beautiful but it is not fancy… and it has patina.  I want my entire life to be like this flowerpot.

 

oh… and did I mention the lotus’s are in bloom….

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I think Dr. Suess has been here:

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UPDATE>>> 6-12-2013  The City Council has quadrupled their budget for bike infrastructure… just last night.  So this will raise the numbers in this post  from 50k to 200k.  Awesome stuff.       THANK YOU CITY COUNCIL!  Send them a thank you by clicking at the link at the bottom of this post!

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After a long and vocal public discussion San Luis Obispo’s 7 major city goals were finalized a few months ago.  Amongst these 7 major goals was one titled “Bikes and Pedestrian Paths” .

Having decided these major city goals the City is next supposed to build it’s two year budget in order to implement those goals.   SLO is discussing this two year budget this week… so here is something to be aware of:

SLO City Council’s General Fund Budget for:  SEE UPDATE AT TOP OF THIS POST

building new bicycle infrastructure for the public: $50,000 (25k per year)  see update at top of this post

purchasing new automobiles for staff:                     $4,000,000

In a nutshell…. Your City Council has decided to spend just 1 penny on new public bike infrastructure… for every dollar they spend on buying new cars for city staff.

Nowhere in the public meetings was “new cars for everyone” brought up.  Yet somehow new cars as a budget expense is almost 100 times larger than any funds directed toward bicycle infrastructure.  (this same budget allocates the same money for lawnmowers as it does new bicycle improvements… it also allocates the same amount just to hire a company to count traffic… SLO spends more of it’s general fund dollars on firehoses than it does on bicycle infrastructure… SLO spends more on drain repairs at City Hall than it does on bike paths)

When you look at it… the budget does include a few large ticket bicycle expenditures that make it look like the city is spending lots on bikes… but in reality, when you dig into the details… 100% of the funds for these larger improvements come from entities other than our city.  For instance:

Railroad Safety bicycle trail -Taft to Pepper      

0 dollars from our General Fund,

$1,759,000 TIF  funds (state transportation improvement funds) and “future” grants as yet undetermined

Bob Jones Trail Connection at LOVR

0 dollars from General Fund

600,000 from a State Highway Grant

Bob Jones Trail Octagon Barn Connection

0 dollars from General fund

165k from federal and state grants SLO is just now applying for

The only actual general fund dollars for bike infrastructure is a “misc bicycle improvements fund”  of 25k per year (see update at top of post)… which mostly goes to painting “sharrows” onto streets.  SLO will never realize it’s bike plan if our council continues to push bikes to the bottom of the list.

Here’s a link to the city council’s email addresses

Huell Howser passed away earlier this month.  His entire library of “California’s Gold” episodes are now online because he donated his complete film catalog to Chapman University.

This episode talks about the first bikes in CA… long before cars. from 2004

Huell Howser on Bikes

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thanks to Copenhagenize for sending the link!

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted on it’s new Major City Goals today at the budget meeting today.  The following two photos show the outcome.  Items with an average score of 3 or more are major City Goals.  The balance are still important… just not the major goals.

See for yourself in the photos below how each  council person prioritized their constituencies feelings.  Good job Council.  It’s a big list though!

It’s nice to see that expanding bike infrastructure is on the list. (and I am quite stoked that the skatepark finally will get funding)

sorry about the  focus… only had a second to get the shot.  click the photo for a large version.

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A designer friend James Sowins just introduced me to a cool little book of black and white illustrations of bikes by Cody Peterson called “Bikes for no reason.  So you can design the color scheme of a bike… or just doodle ideas… whatever really.  Cody built it as an additional outlet for his bike obsessions… in an effort to stem the flow of bikes into his house!  I also have a problem with too many bikes… but have yet to figure out how to cut back.  The books are 25 bucks and available on his website  www.bikesfornoreason.com .  All different types of bikes are featured in his drawings.  Fun gift for bike people.

 

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walkablecity

“Walkable City” is a fantastic new book by Jeff Speck on creating great cities and overcoming dated planning ideas.  For anyone interested in making more pedestrian, bicycle and transit oriented spaces it is a must read.  It is also a must read for anyone interested in what it takes to make your city “feel” better… or making places a better place to live.  Jeff Speck was a co-author of “suburban Nation” a few years back… also a great book.  I recommend this book to city council’s, bike/ped advocates, and city planners.

For more info:  http://jeffspeck.com

Click the YouTube link (see link just below) for a great TEDx talk on designing streets for all users.  By Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize

http://youtu.be/pX8zZdLw7cs

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