Friday, December 21, 2018

I have always had a thing for two-tone blonds. You know, brunettes with blond highlights. Especially when they are holding five pounds of genitals between their legs.

Oh that face, those eyes, that mouth...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

If I've been remiss in posting, it's because me and my new dog are getting acquainted. Her name is Ellie. She's a foxhound-greyhound mix, and a rescue dog. Even-tempered and sweet-natured and a loving friend!

Ellie on a walk


Friday, December 7, 2018

I just don't understand what drives image views on Flickr. One day, just 5,000 views... the next, almost 28,000. Wha...?
Christian fundamentalists know next to nothing about Christianity.

Every other person could repeat the Apostle's Creed, but not Trump. I wonder why...

Monday, December 3, 2018

Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!!

I think the children's reading room at the Noble Branch of the Cleveland Heights Public Library has been taken over by Arrow fans!

You know, we've been here before...

I love any humor that's gently grotesque.

Rudy Giuliani made a tweet that contained a typo. The typo created a link.

This is what the link leads to.

December 3, 1910 – Modern neon lighting is first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Section 2 of the Opportunity Corridor opened Friday. The section includes a new bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks to relink E. 105th Street with Quincy Avenue, a major new road linking Quincy Avenue to E. 93rd Street, and an expansion of the Quincy/105 Rapid stop.

The project is just over a year behind schedule, thanks to the state's attempt to strip away Cleveland's minority-contracting rules. Those rules require that a certain percentge of city work be awarded to companies owned by minorities.

Work will begin in the spring on the third and final segment of the Opportunity Corridor. This $178 million leg will largely parallel the NS railroad tracks and connect I-490 to E. 93rd.

* * * * * * * * * *

The goal of the Opportunity Corridor isn't just to open up new land long-unused in Cleveland.

Back in the late 1930s, the federal government was on a road-building kick. Automobile use had gone from zero to millions between 1900 and 1930, and yet most of the nation's roads were still nothing more than dirt tracks in 1920. The first Federal Aid Road Act was encted by Congress in 1916 to make major improvements to certain roads important to national defense during World War I. This was followed by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921, which built 7 percent of the nation's highways. Funding was reauthorized in 1925, and another 7 percent of the nation's highways built. But while a few regional highways (not very well designed) and county roads were paved, most roads outside cities and towns were gravel or dirt. The highway acts mandated that the federal government lead the way in research, development, and testing of good road design. In the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt put millions of men to work building and paving state and county roads (and bridges). FDR got the federal gasoline tax passed with the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1938, which helped fund road construction in a really major way for the first time.

A lot of highways got built during World War II to eliminate economic bottlenecks and improve defense manufacturing. As the war began to wind down, FDR proposed an "interstate highway system" to radically improve the nation's transportation system. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1944 provided the broad outlines for this road network, and required states to begin planning.

In Cuyahoga County, Arnold Porter was the county engineer. Porter believed that nothing could be (or should be) done to stop urban sprawl, and he thrilled to the construction of new suburbs further and further from Cleveland. Roads were the idol Porter worshipped. Porter wanted heavy industry to move out of Cleveland and into the ever-more-distant 'burbs. Roads were intended to bring residents from Cleveland out to these manufacturing centers, and back to Cleveland to live. Roads also allowed those who lived in the 'burbs to come to Cleveland to shop, eat, and be entertained.

It was the goddamned DUMBEST thinking in the world.

Nevertheless, Porter began planning for a vast network of roads across the region. His plan, insofar as it met the biases and assumptions Porter made, was excellent. Porter clearly identified all new traffic patterns which had emerged since 1930, all the bottlenecks in the transportation system, and even accurately predicted where future residential and manufacturing construction would be.

On Cleveland's east side, Porter envisioned four major new interestate or interstate-like (e.g., six lane) freeways slicing east from the Cuyahoga River to the under-construction I-271. Porter saw these freeways "serving" Beachwood, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Shaker Heights, and South Euclid. That they would also destroy these suburbs by slicing them up never occurred to him.

I-490 (the "Clark Freeway", originally numbered I-290) and the "Central Freeway" were the two middle freeways. I-490 would continue east to I-271, while the Central would terminate at a new north-south freeway running on top of what used to be Lee Road.

Residents of the affected cities howled bloody murder. From 1955 to about 1970, they fought ferociously against Porter and his freeways. And, in due time, federal funding ran out and Porter's dream died.

The western part of I-490, between I-90 and I-77, was already under construction when the system got canceled. A stub-end of I-490 crossed I-77 and penetrated into the North Broadway neighborhood. But there it stopped, dead, at E. 55th Street.

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County planners continued to eroticize about a cross-county highway from I-77 east to I-271. After all, Fairmount Blvd., Shaker Blvd., and Woodland Road were essentially major east-west commuter routes, and clogged a-plenty during rush hour. Commuters wanted them enlarged, but residents (living in their half-millio-dollar mansions along the roads) successfully opposed this.

By 2000, the Cleveland Clinic was expanding rapidly between Chester and Cedar Avenues. It had consumed 20 square city blocks, and was Cleveland's largest employer.

Getting Clinic workers to their jobs was a bitch. There was no mass transit line nearby, and few people used the bus system. Cleveland invested a huge amount of money in the "Health Line" -- the dedicated bus lane on Euclid Avenue between downtown and the Clinic's western border. It helped, but not enough. The Clinic was building vast numbers of five-story parking garages, and walling itself off from the rest of the community.

Cleveland threw up its hands in defeat. Unable to secure federal or state funding for a major expansion of the rail system, the city did what had to be done: It finished I-490.

Oh, sure, we call it the "Opportunity Corridor". It's a six-lane freeway cutting through the North Broadway, Kinsman, Buckeye-Woodhill, Fairfax, University Circle, and Glenville neighborhoods. The city keeps pushing the line that it's going to open up "unused land for development" -- as if, somehow, Cleveland weren't two-thirds empty already and needed the land. The city keeps saying it's designed to bring people to the University Circle area with all its museums -- as if, somehow, those museums hadn't been there for 100 years already without the need for an "Opportunity Corridor".

The new road, in fact, is designed to bring west-side residents (you know, the educated ones) to the Clinic where they work.

It's not quite the dream of connecting I-490 with I-271. But it meets the city of Cleveland's purposes, and that's all that counts right now.
Rhino besties!!!

10-month-old Lulu and 3-month-old Nia have been having daily play sessions together for the last several weeks!

The Eastern Black Rhinos are critically endangered, and Cleveland has TWO babies.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A really excellent article in Governing magazine talks about why cities on the grow think parking is stupid.

The whole idea behind walkable neighborhoods is to create ultra-local economies, ones where people within a 10 minute walk are so willing to patronize their neighborhood establishments that the establishments don't need to rely on people driving to them. This requires population density, lots of mixed-use buildings, and strong zoning laws.

It's something Cleveland has not understood. Ever.

Indeed, Cleveland is still wedded to the idea that if we just had enough roads, freeways, and surface parking, people would drive 40 minutes to shop at a small, unknown, locally-owned clothing store or cafe downtown.

It's a stupid, stupid idea.

Cleveland Heights is wedded to the same concept. "Why, we're a bedroom community! That's why people live here! They don't want stores, shops, entertainment, and all that within walking distance! They want to drive into Cleveland or Beachwood or Mayfield Heights or North Olmsted for that!"

Harry Potter-inspired signage and graffiti.

Men's toilet, Elephant House pub
Edinburgh, Scotland