Monday Salmagundi

18 Jul
Contrary to the look of things lately, the OO has, in fact, not fallen off the face of the Earth.
Here:
  •  Mayor Reed has endorsed rescheduling next year’s vote on the regional transportation tax from the June Republican primary to the general election in November. Some of the tax’s proponents believe it could be a make-or-break change.

“We really have one opportunity to pass this referendum. If you check the data, higher voter turnout improves the chances of success,” Reed told the AJC. “In a referendum where your best election model gives you a 2 to 3 percent win, I believe that everything that you can do to add to that possibility you need to do.”

The State Legislature would have to approve the change, and Reed is expected to lobby for the change next month when lawmakers meet next month for negotiations on redistricting.

  • Finally, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that a building permit has been filed for a medical office development at 206 Edgewood Ave., right across from the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.

Elsewhere:

  • In The Geography of How We Get to Work, Richard Florida, writing for The Atlantic, examines the ways in which some less-than-obvious factors influence commuting choices.Using the results of statistical analyses of transit use, Florida found that old standbys like density and the number of available options are just part of the picture. A couple of points were especially relevant to Atlanta’s commuting patterns:

First, weather matters, but not in the way you might think. “People are more likely to drive to work where the weather is warm and/or wet,” Florida wrote. “Public transit use as well as walking and biking are more common in drier climes but also in places with colder January temperatures.”

Second, “The share of housing units built between 2000 and 2006 is negatively associated with the percentage of people who bike, walk or take public transit to work. Rapidly growing cities of sprawl – those which built the most houses during the height of the bubble – remain much more car-dependent than other places.”

  • From The Brookings Institution, City and Suburban Crime Trends in Metropolitan America – a report on how decreases in property and violent crime from 1990 to 2008 played out in the primary cities and suburbs of the country’s 100 largest metro areas. The analysis of FBI crime data and Census Bureau statistics found that, while about half of the metro areas saw declines in violent crime during the 12-year period, “cities were more likely to see violent crime fall than
    suburbs; more than half of the metro areas studied (56) experienced drops in city violent crime rates, while only 39 saw suburban violent crime decline.”

That difference, in turn, narrowed the gap between violent crime rates in cities and their suburbs: “Specifically, between 1990 and 2008, the violent crime rate in primary cities dropped from 2.8 times the comparable rate for the suburbs to double the
suburban rate, and the disparity in the average property crime rate dropped from twice the suburban rate to 1.7.”

  • Speaking of crime and going to work, Trulia Insights created a set of interactive charts depicting what times of day certain crimes are most likely to happen in 25 cities, based on crime stats from January 2011. Unlike in movies, criminals, like the rest of us, tend to do their jobs during the day. According to Trulia’s data, prime time for thefts is between 9 a.m and 7 p.m., when most people are away from home during the week. H/T to The Infrastructurist.
  • If you’ve never seen Vivian Maier’s urban photography, it’s probably because it spent most of the last 50 years as a welter of film canisters boxed up in storage. Maier, who died in 2009 at the age of 83, spent much of her working life as a nanny. But for decades she was also documenting city life on the streets of Chicago and New York. During that time she amassed a collection of about 100,000 photographs and negatives that almost no one ever saw.

In 2007 John Maloof purchased 30,000 of Maier’s negatives at a Chicago auction house, where the contents of her storage lockers were being sold after she fell behind on the payments.  Now, after reassembling about 90 percent of Maier’s collection of negatives, the rest of which had been sold to others at the same auction, Maloof  is cataloging and archiving Maier’s work and producing a documentary about her life and photography. (Originally posted at Polis back in February, but what’s a few months after five decades?)

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