Tom was always there outside the bodega, until he wasn't. And we realized what we had lost.
We've been doing transportation planning wrong for generations. And our economy is paying for it.
"We can take a ... street that's usually filled with cars and congestion, blowing out pollution all around, and clear every car from that street, and create a canvas of what a community can look like when we get the cars off the streets and let people enjoy them in the way we are today." That's the mayor of Los Angeles talking.
New York is the latest municipality to try car-sharing for city employees as a strategy for reducing costs and the number of automobiles on the street.
The last three years have seen an incredible transformation of New York's streetscape. More than 200 miles of bike lanes have been added, while Times Square and many other formerly car-clogged spaces have been turned into havens for pedestrians.
Today, some people look at the decision to halt the Cincinnati subway in 1925 as fatally short-sighted. "If they had finished this system, we may have actually held on to some of our businesses that have left. Cincinnati downtown may have been a viable institution."
Gov. Chris Christie's refusal to invest in a piece of major public transit infrastructure is another blow against a modernized transportation system.
The creation of a modern rail network in the United States is becoming just another political football.
Whether you do it with a Mosquito or with old-fashioned security guards, the routine dispersal of teenagers does raise issues about the nature of public space -- the vital essence of a dynamic and productive city.