Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creating walkable passageways to a better Pasadena: Larry Wilson

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20131210/creating-walkable-passageways-to-a-better-pasadena-larry-wilson

By Larry Wilson, December 10, 2013

Preservationists’ and urban planners’ favorite awful example of what went wrong in Pasadena’s terrifyingly wrongheaded demolition and redevelopment boom from the ’60s to the early ’80s is that black-mirrored office building on the south side of Colorado Boulevard between Marengo and Arroyo Parkway, dubbed “Darth Vader,” along with the Pacific Telephone building across the street.

Second favorite, almost a tie, was the razing of the extraordinary, Marston-designed Pasadena Athletic Club at Los Robles and Green in the early ’70s with the added injury of the godawful Plaza Pasadena going up to replace it. The injury continues: When the better Paseo Colorado replaced the PP, the one tenant that refused the remodel was the now-closed Macy’s store at that corner.

Pasadena native David Wolf touched on both abominations last month in a presentation to the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association — the urban pioneers who are now living where few had for decades. But unlike the mere lamenters of the havoc wreaked on one of the best urban centers in California, Wolf has a plan that would go a long way toward healing the damage done.

His Passageways proposal is an attempt to relink the Paseo and Playhouse District to Old Pasadena through pedestrian corridors weaving through and behind both the bad and the good stuff on our main drags. I’ve had planners tell me — and you can see it in action — that the Vader building is so uninviting in its terrifying sheen, into which you can’t peer, that no one wants to walk in front of it. So they don’t. Wolf therefore proposes connecting the Paseo to Old Pas by creating a walkable Morgan Alley south of Vader, coming off the existing elevated pedestrian bridge from the mall to its parking structure across Marengo, continuing west in a mid-block crosswalk all the way through Mercantile Alley to Fair Oaks.

He also advocates recapturing as a public plaza the Old Pas areas above where the Gold Line goes underground, including a walkway that would link Memorial Park to Central Park. In the Playhouse District, with a potential for getting all the way to Lake, he would take advantage of the Arcade across from Vroman’s, linking it to the existing Converse Alley above the Pasadena Playhouse.

And it’s not just the walkways themselves. Wolf dreams of parklets and micro-businesses lining them, decrying the “oligarchy of just a few businesses” that can afford the high rents of downtown, and of creating pedestrian bridges modeled on the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno in Florence, with its dozens of tiny shops along the span, taking design cues from the Greene and Greene bridge in South Pas, and the former bridge across Raymond from the Castle Green.

Wolf began these dreams as a teen hanging out in the late, lamented Espresso Bar in the alley behind Raymond, sitting on a wall and watching the freight trains go through where the light rail now goes below. He wants to reclaim city planning for the ordinary person, saying it’s been taken over by a “middle-management” mindset that seeks to step on no toes.

“We are the anchor tenant!” of our urban places, Wolf says. And he wants your input about how to make the city better before finalizing his proposal. Check it all out at archtool.com/pasadena.pdf, where you’ll find the routes and his email address for comments. “It’s about common sense and the common person,” he says, “when what we have is a government that hires public relations people to handle us.





Mysterious object blocks Seattle tunnel drilling

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Mysterious-object-blocks-Seattle-tunnel-drilling-5054612.php

December 11, 2013

SEATTLE (AP) — Diagnosing what has blocked a boring machine working on a highway tunnel under downtown Seattle, and figuring out what to do, could take about two weeks, the project director for Seattle Tunnel Partners said Wednesday.

Chris Dixon said specially trained workers could be sent to the site next week, The Seattle Times reported (http://is.gd/aLaJol ). They would peek outside the tunnel machine's cutter head to see what's in the way.

The machine can retreat about 18 inches and compressed air would be forced into the small space in front of the cutter head to allow workers to get a look at the problem.

Since the top of the tunneling machine is about 60 feet below ground, professional divers used to working below the surface would be needed.

 The leading theory is that the machine called Bertha hit a boulder last Friday and that the soil around it is too soft to hold it firmly and allow the cutter head to crack it apart. The machine was shut down Saturday about 1,000 feet into the 1.7 mile project.

The quickest way to remove whatever it is would seem to involve divers breaking it up with power drills and hammers, along with Bertha's drills, Dixon said.

Alternatively, contractors could drill down from above and break up the object or lift it out. That probably would require building a protective wall or pit to hold back sand and groundwater.
"It would take several weeks to build that," Dixon told a news conference.

The 58-foot diameter tunnel is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, creating a four-lane route for Highway 99 traffic between South Lake Union and the area south of downtown.
The $1.4 billion tunnel contract is part of the $3.1 billion project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct along the downtown Seattle waterfront.

Los Angeles Is Looking Into Duck Boat Tours For The LA River

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/los_angeles_is_looking_into_duck_boat_tours_for_the_la_river.php

By Adrian Glick Kudler, December 10, 2013

 

 2013.12_duckboat.jpg

 The Los Angeles City Council is capping off the Year of the LA River with a big idea: duck boat tours. Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Mitch O'Farrell have proposed a motion (pdf) asking that the relevant groups look into "the development of a duck tour using an amphibious vehicle to conduct tours of the Los Angeles River, its beautiful historic bridges and surrounding neighborhoods." The river was just opened to guided kayak tours for the first time a couple years ago and to self-guided boaters/fishers/walkers this summer; it officially became a navigable waterway (rather than a flood channel) on January 1, and the US Army Corps of Engineers is right now working on a massive restoration plan. There's also talk that it'll be the centerpiece of LA's 2024 Olympics bid. The duck boat proposal will involve the LA Department of Transportation, the Friends of the Los Angeles River, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, and it's still only in the very early stages--the motion just asks that those groups report on the matter to the relevant City Council committees (the Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee signed off on that request today; it's also been referred to Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River, which is only one committee). The motion notes that Long Beach has duck boat tours, but the company's website says they've gone out of business.

Feds award Metrolink $75M for extension

http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/story/2013/12/feds-award-metrolink-75m-for-extension.aspx?ref=rail-transit-20131211&utm_campaign=rail-transit-20131211

December 10, 2013


 The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $75 million in federal grant funds to extend the Metrolink 91 commuter rail line from Riverside to Perris, Calif.

The Metrolink 91 extension to Perris is expected to draw 4,300 riders daily, reducing traffic on I-215 and helping area commuters who have some of the longest commutes in Southern California. Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan participated in a signing ceremony to commit the funds with U.S. Representatives Mark Takano and Ken Calvert, Perris City Mayor Daryl Busch, and other state and local officials.

The 24-mile Perris Valley Line will serve the communities of Alessandro, Moreno Valley and Perris and improve transit options for commuters east and south of downtown Riverside. It includes the construction of four new stations along the route with parking at Riverside Hunter Park, Moreno Valley/March Field, Perris and South Perris. Metrolink serves more than 44,000 riders on weekdays, over three-quarters of whom commuted by car before adopting transit, according to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.

“The Federal Transit Administration is proud to invest in the Metrolink extension to Perris Valley, which is an important part of the region’s commitment to expand and modernize public transportation for hard-working families,” said McMillan. “We are committed to investing in more good projects like this one, which help regional economies to grow and compete in the 21st century.”

FTA is committing $75 million in funding to the Riverside County Transportation Commission through FTA’s Small Starts Capital Investment grant program. FTA’s Small Starts grant comprises approximately 30 percent of the project’s total cost of $248 million.

The project also received approximately $63 million in other funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The remaining cost is provided by state and local sources.
The extension is expected to be completed by December 2015.

Air-purifying bicycle concept eats pollution, generates oxygen

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/air-purifylng-bicycle-concept-eats-pollution-generates-oxygen.html

By Derek Markham, December 10, 2013

Air purifying bike concept

Bicycles are currently a big part of the clean transportation revolution, and the interest in biking, whether for transportation or health or just for fun, is growing every day (well, maybe less in the winter...).

So we already know they're awesome just as they are, from the old-school to the e-bike, but a new bike concept takes that awesomeness one big step further, by turning a two-wheeler into an air purifier.

The pollution-eating bike, from Bangkok's Lightfog creative studio, is an electric bicycle concept that is said to include not only a handlebar-mounted air filter, but also a "photosynthesis system” that can generate oxygen from a reaction with water and electricity from the lithium-ion battery that powers the bike.

From the mockup, it appears that the air filter is rather small in size, so it's unclear what volume of air could be processed during a single ride, and it's equally unclear just how much oxygen could be produced by one of these bikes. But who knows, perhaps the overall impact of lots of people leaving their cars at home and riding air-purifying bikes could be significant, assuming there were fleets of these bicycles on the streets.

Before you go and rip this bike up in the comments, remember that this is a design concept (though a prototype is said to be in the works), not a sales pitch or endorsement. However, also remember that occasionally it's off-the-wall ideas like this that can end up making an impact in surprising or unexpected ways, sometime down the road.

How the Big One would destroy Southern California’s infrastructure: Editorial

http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20131210/how-the-big-one-would-destroy-southern-californias-infrastructure-editorial

December 10, 2013

The annual get-together of American Geophysical Union was held this year in San Francisco. The irony of the venue for seismologist Lucy Jones’ talk Sunday to the American Geophysical Union — “Imagine America Without Los Angeles” — was doubtless not lost on its audience.

Jones is known to Southern Californians as “the earthquake lady” for her TV appearances. “I mean, she has fans! Who has fans?” said the moderator. Jones said she chose her title “thinking it would appeal to a San Francisco audience.”

Many San Franciscans have no problem luxuriating in such a scenario, believing the world would be a better place sans their southern rival.

But theatrics aside, Jones’ point was very serious, and something Southern California leaders ought to add to a seismic preparedness agenda right away.

Jones’ current research centers not so much on earthquake survival, but on the ways Californians might fare in the aftermath. And her prognosis is grim: After the imminent Big One, urban society is at risk.

“Your chance of dying in an earthquake is really less than of dying in a lightning strike,” she said. “That at this point is not really the issue. ... As our cities grow, and as we evolve new technology, we are increasing our risk in a big earthquake.”

The last time there was a large seismic event on the fault that can do us the most harm, the San Andreas, in 1857, Los Angeles had about 4,000 residents. “We really weren’t worried about keeping a complex social structure in place,” Jones said. But as we get bigger and more complex, we increase our vulnerability.


Jones said that at this point, with our new reliance on technology to sustain us in the medium and long run after an earthquake, we simply can’t point to the stash of water and food in our garages and say, “OK, I’m done.”

Perhaps 1 in 100 buildings in this region would collapse after the Big One. Far more vulnerable is our underground infrastructure of utilities. Municipal water lines were installed as much as a century ago. They are decaying and would break in a quake. We increasingly rely on the Internet and cellular telephone technology for communication, and there is no guarantee those would be up after a big earthquake — especially, Jones said, because there’s no legal requirement that cell towers be seismically strong. It’s not just personal communication; grocery stores and others use the Internet for their stocking and ordering. Plus the warehouses that store food in the Inland Empire are far from the urban core, and roadways are at risk.

Old water pipes are already breaking down, as we know from the many big leaks in recent years. We need to invest in shoring up all that infrastructure.

Panic is not the answer. Hard work is. And there are some obvious vulnerabilities. Jones notes in particular that two-thirds of the fiber-optic cables connecting Southern California cross the San Andreas, as do all the natural gas lines. The first fix she suggests, and one that is financially doable right now: the gas lines. Next, everything else.

“We’re all in this together,” Jones concluded. And together we ought to heed her words.

Rededication of Fire Station 39

From an email from Pasadena City Councilperson Steve Madison:

We hope that you will be able to join the Mayor, the Fire Chief and me at the rededication of  Fire Station 39.

The seismic retrofit of the building has been completed and  ADA compliance has been met  while respecting the historic preservation requirements.  

The station will be operational on December 16th.

We want to thank the Glensummer Road residents for their support in having the temporary station on their block.


cid:image001.jpg@01CEF103.14D9FF70
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2013 #103-13
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:
Yesenia Alvarado, Pasadena Public Information Coordinator, Department of Public Works, (626) 744-7033, yalvarado@cityofpasadena.net
William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager’s Office, (626) 744-4755, wboyer@cityofpasadena.net

PUBLIC INVITED TO Fire Station 39 REDedication Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013

PASADENA, Calif.—The public is invited to join Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilmember Steve Madison, Fire Chief Calvin E. Wells and other Pasadena officials on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, to celebrate the rededication of Fire Station 39 following its $2.9 million seismic retrofit and renovation.

Light refreshments and tours of Fire Station 39 at 50 Avenue 64 will be available after the program, which begins promptly at 11:30 a.m.

Fire Station 39 is one of the oldest of the City Fire Department’s eight stations and was originally constructed in 1949.  The seismic retrofit and extensive interior remodel work was completed to comply with California earthquake and ADA (Disability Act) standards.

Improvement work retained the brick exterior of the two-story, 4,400-square-foot building to maintain the building’s historical significance.  Other work increased the building’s energy efficiency; installed new fire sprinklers and alarm systems; new interior living, office and kitchen spaces and a new emergency generator room.

The facility will be operational beginning Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 with Engine 39 and four firefighters.  The temporary station on Glen Summer Road with Rescue Ambulance 39 will be taken out of service.

The City worked with Pasadena Heritage, www.pasadenaheritage.org, to develop a sensible project that retains the building’s historic brick exterior using state historic preservation guidelines. 

Project funding came from the city’s Capital Improvement Project Fund.  The construction project was managed by Pasadena’s Department of Public Works and work was completed by local general contractor Mallcraft, Inc. 

For information about the dedication ceremony, contact Yesenia Alvarado at (626) 744-7033 or by email to yalvarado@cityofpasadena.net.

For information on the Department of Public Works, visit www.cityofpasdena.net/publicworks.  For information about the City of Pasadena, visit www.cityofpasadena.net or follow us on Twitter @PasadenaGov.

Air pollution battle pits administration against GOP-led states

The Supreme Court seems receptive to the call for tougher environmental rules to reduce cross-border air pollution from Midwestern and Southern states.


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-court-air-pollution-20131211,0,709478.story#axzz2nBaM8ixr
 
By David G. Savage, December 10, 2013

WASHINGTON — In a regional air pollution battle with partisan overtones, the Obama administration appeared to make headway Tuesday in persuading the Supreme Court to allow tougher federal environmental standards to prevent ozone and other emissions from coal-producing Midwestern and Southern states from wafting over Northeastern states.

The politically charged dispute pits the Obama administration and environmentalists against mostly Republican-led states with less stringent industrial pollution controls, as well as the electric power industry.

In something of a surprise, most justices sounded as if they were leaning toward restoring the Environmental Protection Agency's so-called good neighbor rule to reduce cross-border air pollution. Called for under the Clean Air Act to prevent one state's pollution from harming another, the proposed EPA rule seeks to impose federal pollution limits on states.

But the rule has proved difficult to implement. In 2008, an earlier version proposed by the George W. Bush administration was rejected by the courts because it did not go far enough to protect the East Coast states. Last year, two Bush-appointed judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit blocked the latest version, crafted by the Obama administration. The judges said the rule went too far in imposing federal limits on the states.

In urging the high court to reverse that decision, Deputy Solicitor Gen. Malcolm Stewart said the EPA rules were needed "because of widespread noncompliance" by states whose power plants were sending pollution toward the East.

Northeastern states have long complained that despite tough anti-pollution standards imposed on their businesses and drivers, poor air quality continues to be a costly and dangerous problem, largely because of coal-fired power plants in states such as Kentucky and Ohio. Those emissions are carried to the Eastern Seaboard by prevailing winds.

The EPA said its proposed stricter limits on ozone and other air pollutants would save up to 34,000 lives a year, spare hundreds of thousands of people from asthma and other respiratory problems, and save the nation at least $120 billion a year. The upgrades to power plants and other costs could total more than $2 billion a year, the EPA said.

Stewart insisted the smokestack limits would "protect the public health and strike a fair balance between the competing interests of upwind and downwind states."

Opponents of the EPA rules said the agency exceeded its authority and should have given states an opportunity to reduce emissions on their own.

Fourteen states, led by Texas, urged the court to throw out the Obama administration rule. The EPA "has written the states out of the Clean Air Act" by imposing a federal rule, said Jonathan Mitchell, the Texas state attorney. He was supported by lawyers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The EPA had the support of nine states — New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont — as well as the cities of New York, Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia. In a friend-of-the-court brief, their lawyers argued that the stricter limits on smokestack pollution were needed and long overdue.

Only Justice Antonin Scalia sharply challenged the government's position during the 90-minute oral argument.

The court's four liberals appeared to agree with the administration's argument that the EPA was simply trying to enforce the Clean Air Act. The agency is due "substantial deference," Justice Elena Kagan said.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy also said the law appeared to give the EPA flexibility.

Although the state versus state battle is largely rooted in geography, partisan elements are hard to ignore. Most of the complaining East Coast states are led by Democrats, while the Midwestern and Southern states are Republican-dominated.

Illinois, President Obama's home state, split with its Midwest neighbors to support the EPA rule. New Jersey, meanwhile, led by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, declined to sign a separate but related EPA petition this week in which his fellow East Coast states called for even tougher rules to be imposed on their Midwestern counterparts.

Environmental advocates said they were encouraged by what they heard.

"A majority of the justices seemed to think the design of the cross-state air pollution rule was reasonable," said Vickie Patton, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund. "The millions of Americans who are suffering from smog pollution should not have to wait because of more years of delay."

It's Time for California to Fund High-Speed Rail Itself

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/12/its-time-california-fund-high-speed-rail-itself/7842/

By Eric Jaffe, December 11, 2013



It's Time for California to Fund High-Speed Rail Itself 
If the past couple weeks are any indication, it's going to be a long winter for California high-speed rail. In late November, a judge issued two rulings against the project: one denying its request for a blanket validation to sell state-backed bonds, another ordering the rail agency to produce a new funding plan. Earlier this month, federal regulators denied a request by the agency to exempt part of the line from an environmental review.

To be sure, none of these decisions ends the project. The agency began hiring workers this fall in preparation for construction of the first segment of the line, and officials have told news outlets they expect to proceed as planned. But the setbacks do threaten to delay the project down the road — no small complication, since $3.3 billion in federal stimulus funds granted to the line must be spent by late 2017.

Of the rulings, the one about funding will prove most troublesome. The Sacramento County Superior Court ruled that the rail authority's 2011 funding plan failed to identify a clear, practical way of paying for the initial segment of the line — from Merced toward Los Angeles — violating the original 2008 referendum approved by voters. That segment is expected to cost about $30 billion; the authority has about $6 billion on hand.

When the project first began, there was great reason to hope that the federal government would supplement its initial investment with billions more later on. But Congressional optimism toward high-speed rail has shifted tremendously since the midterm elections of 2010. As transport scholar Lisa Schweitzer pointed out in a recent Los Angeles Times editorial, "there is no reason to believe that a deeply polarized Washington is in the mood to add to it."

The best way forward — perhaps the only way — is for California to use the recent ruling as motivation to figure out how to pay for the line itself. The planning advocacy group SPUR outlined such a proposal in 2012 (via the California High Speed Rail blog): it replaces any expected federal contributions with a $43 billion combination of gas taxes, road tolls, vehicle fees, regional bonds, cap-and-trade revenues, and value capture. The idea is raw, but it's also promising.

There is a parallel to be drawn here in rail history. In 1835, Boston became the first U.S. rail hub, sparking an interest in the new mode that swept across the young nation. That feat was achieved because a few local visionaries, recognizing they could not rely on money from higher levels of government, went out and raised enough to pay for some pilot lines themselves — certain that in time the railroads would prove their worth. It may be time for California to do the same.

Across the 50 States, a Big Disparity in Road Safety

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/12/across-50-states-big-disparity-road-safety/7819/

By Sarah Goodyear, December 11, 2013


 Across the 50 States, a Big Disparity in Road Safety
 Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn points to a chart showing a large increase in traffic fatalities at the end of 2012 in Burlington, Vermont.

Traffic deaths in the United States have fallen nearly 35 percent over the past 30 years. That’s great news. But the nation’s roads still claim a terrible number of lives – 34,000 people in 2012 alone. And a new study finds that many of those deaths could have been prevented if more states had laws aimed at making driving safer, including those targeting drunk driving.

According to a new paper published in the journal Public Health, the states with the toughest driving laws saw an average 14.5 percent decrease in traffic fatalities compared to those with the most relaxed regulations.

The senior author of the paper was Diana Silver of the NYU Steinhardt School. Along with her colleagues, Silver looked at the effects of 27 different traffic laws intended to change individual motorists’ behavior. Those laws included: a wide variety of alcohol restrictions and penalties; bans on texting and cell phone use when driving; graduated licenses for younger drivers; and seatbelt and child restraint requirements.
 
Silver says that she and her colleagues were interested in delving into the effects of a system where certain types of dangerous motorist behaviors are illegal in one state, but perfectly legal in the next state over.

The period the researchers studied, 1980 to 2010, was one of dramatic change, in which some states adopted a wide range of traffic laws while others resisted, leading to a significant disparity between the most regulated driving environments and the least. In 1980, on average, states had adopted 7.7 percent of the 27 laws in question. By 2010, that average number had soared to 59 percent.

But the gap between the top quartile of states and the bottom quartile has also widened, from a difference of 8 percent to a difference of 30 percent. (States in the top quartile in 2010 were Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin. In the bottom quartile are Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming.)

That disparity in legislation manifests in the real world, Silver's research suggests, in preventable deaths. States that implemented a greater number of  “evidence-based policies” have seen “significantly lower than expected fatality rates for all age groups.” The corollary of that finding, of course, is that states that don’t restrict dangerous driving behavior to the same extent see more traffic fatalities.

Strict regulations on texting, or blood alcohol content, or graduated licenses, are sometimes opposed as intrusions on personal freedom. But Silver says that “nanny state” arguments commonly leveled against some other public health regulations don’t really make sense when applied to driving laws.
“People driving hit other people,” she says. “They are, in turn, hit by others. They have other people in those cars who don’t always have a choice to be there. That seems slightly different than arguing over the size of soda cups. Getting it wrong means that there are such egregious consequences. There are fatalities.” This public health problem, Silver says, “doesn’t have a long period of morbidity,” like elevated blood sugar. “This goes right to mortality.”

Silver's research suggests that regulations against risky driving behavior aren’t just government meddling—they save real people’s lives, and prevent immeasurable pain and suffering. States that refuse to pass them are missing a chance to improve the public health outcomes of their citizens in a measurable, dramatic way.

“Not every single death may be 100 percent preventable,” says Silver. “But many of them are.” Which leaves the question: why would any state fail to try?

Australia's First Filmed Traffic Accident, Circa 1905

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/12/australias-first-filmed-traffic-accident-circa-1905/7840/

By John Metcalfe, December 11, 2013


Australia's First Filmed Traffic Accident, Circa 1905


Few lessons are more eternal than look both ways before crossing the street. It doesn't matter if you're an earbud-wearing Millennial stepping into a stream of hybrid cars, or a Clovis hunter walking into a stomping trail for mastodons, it never hurts to double-check you're not about to get smashed by something big and fast.

The value of pedestrian situational awareness is underscored in this singular film from the 1920s, of a roadway accident that was actually shot in March 1905 in a suburb of Melbourne. The originally silent documentary, kept in the storerooms of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, was meant as a pleasant promo for sea-biscuit manufacturer Swallow & Ariell's. The company sold hard, doughy nuggets to sailing crews and later the general world; three decades after it was established in the 1850s, the biscuitry was reportedly the fifth-biggest factory on the planet.

Allow the contemporary narrator of the video, a YouTuber who grew up in Melbourne in the 70s and 80s, to set the stage for this unfortunate incident. (And kudos to his eagle-eye for spotting tween workers in bare feet, cause for multiple violations in most modern factories.) Here's the short of it: The employees pour forth from the bakery, some in a rather clownish manner. But one guy didn't look both ways – either because he was in a biscuit coma or, as the film archive's subtitles suggest, he was "transfixed by the camera's presence."

A horse then barreled into him with the power of a rolling boulder. The pedestrian "sustained a severe head injury," the film archive notes. It marked Australia's "earliest filmed road-traffic accident known to survive." For a brief moment, the trampled victim was both a piece of the horse, and of history.
To add insult to hoof-maul, the footage indicates he was next run over by a smaller animal. Comments one viewer: "If the horse didn't send him flying, the dog would have. ;)"

Have a look; the action starts right away and the rest is a more peaceful second take:

Keep Your B.O. to Yourself, and Other Friendly Tips for Paris Metro Riders

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/12/belle-epoque-style-psas-rude-parisian-subway-rider/7831/

By Stephanie Garlock, December 10, 2013


 Keep Your B.O. to Yourself, and Other Friendly Tips for Paris Metro Riders




Being stuck in a grimy, crowded metal box deep underground doesn't bring out the best in the average subway commuter. And Parisians aren't exactly known for their willingness to keep their complaints to themselves.

Last year, the regional transit authority Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens launched an ad campaign to discourage rude behavior on the Paris subway. They used images of hens, warthogs, and sloths to scold riders for holding loud phone conversations, eating gross foods, and taking up too much space.

When public shaming failed, RATP turned to an equally Parisian solution: charming PSAs that look straight out of the Belle Époque. The newly released ebook Manuel de Savoir-Vivre a l’usage du Voyageur Moderne names 12 essential, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, rules for getting by on the subway. Local graphic designer Marion Thomas-Mauro created some very French illustrations to accompany the rules, offering a slightly wacky take on the recommendations:

Don't smoke:



C'est comprendre que l'énorme cigarette barrée sur le quai n'est pas une œuvre d'art contemporain, mais une interdiction de fumer. (It is understood that the enormous cigarette with the bar through it on the platform is not a work of contemporary art, but a ban on smoking.)

Keep those phone conversations down:



C'est ne pas faire de son portable un insupportable. (Don't make your cell phone unbearable.)

Don't stare:


C'est ne pas fixer une passagère avec insistance, quand bien même elle aurait les yeux revolver. (Don't stare at a female passenger, even if she has eyes like a revolver).

And, a special message for the smelly French, keep your body odor to yourself:


C'est les jours de grosse chaleur, tel le manchot empereur, bien gardes les bras le long du corps et prendre sa meilleure prise en bas du poteau, pas tout en haut. (On very hot days, be like the emperor penguin -- keep your arms along the sides of your body and grip the lower handholds, not the ones on top.)

Check out the full guide.