At a recent Sustainability Council meeting, DU student group The Social Brink asked if we’d like to participate in a community art project. The group organizes students around social entrepreneurship and innovation, and their aim was to transform several old doors into colorful representations of social change. We volunteered to create a transportation-themed door, and decided to focus on bicycle transit in honor of Bike to Work Day/Month. Scroll down for images of the painting process and the final result!
This spring, Transportation Solutions published a Bicycle Friendly Universities report for the University of Denver. The report details a number of issues related to the bicycle-friendliness of the campus area, and recommends how the University can work to improve the safety and effectiveness of bicycling infrastructure for the DU community.
In response, the DU Transportation Subcommittee drafted a resolution to adopt the recommendations of the report, and presented it to the University Sustainability Council on May 10, 2012. After a great discussion (see the meeting minutes), the council voted unanimously to support the resolution. We hope that the resolution will help to ensure that the DU community actively supports a safe and effective Bicycle and Pedestrian infrastructure in the DU area. If you wish to join this effort, please contact us! The text of the resolution can also be accessed here.
DU Students: Please take the DU Transportation Sustainability survey!
This is part of DU’s Sustainability and Transportation course, in which students studying the social and environmental elements of transportation and learning to promote healthier ways of meeting individual and community needs while reducing the social and environmental impacts of mobility practices. The survey will investigate the transportation behavior of DU students, both on and off-campus. The data is collected anonymously and will be used to complete the student research project, and to inform the University Sustainability Council in its ongoing work to eliminate DU’s carbon footprint.
It will take 5 minutes of your time – please complete the survey now.
Good news for Bicyclists and Pedestrians in the DU Area – the University of Denver Sustainability Council supports your transportation habits.
This morning, during the University Sustainability Council’s May 2012 meeting, the DU Transit Committee presented a Bicycle Friendliness Resolution. The resolution states the following:
The University of Denver is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 24% before the year 2020, with the ultimate goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.1 A recent assessment concluded that approximately 12% of the university’s carbon footprint resulted from vehicular emissions of students, faculty, and staff members commuting to and from campus. In the same time period, DU bicycle and pedestrian commuters contributed to 0% of the university’s carbon footprint.2 In the effort to further reduce DU’s carbon footprint, the University Sustainability Council wishes to engage the campus community and the general public in an effort to support a safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure surrounding campus. To this end, the University accepts the recommendations of the Bicycle Friendly Universities report3 published in the Spring of 2012 by Transportation Solutions,4 and will actively work toward achieving the goals stated therein, with specific emphasis on the following points:
● Ensure community access to safe bicycle and pedestrian paths to and from campus, and supply sufficient bicycle parking for campus commuters.
● Aim to satisfy the Bicycle Friendly University standards, as described by the League of American Bicyclists.5
● Promote community awareness of bicycle and pedestrian traffic laws, campus security protocol, bicycle policy enforcement, and general commuter safety.
● Utilize local publications, campus events, student orientation week, social media, and other venues to implement innovative outreach campaigns.
● Maintain working relationships with the City of Denver, local organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to accelerate the city’s existing bicycle and pedestrian network improvement plans6 in the DU Vicinity.
● Work with DU faculty, staff, and students to promote teaching and learning of transportation sustainability, both in the university’s curriculum and in extracurricular campus activities.
The resolution aims to officially express DU’s support for the recommendations outlined in the recent report, Comparative Analysis of Bicycling Around Campus: Comparing Bicycle Friendly University Standards to the University of Denver.
After a lively discussion on transportation infrastructure in the DU area, the University Sustainability council unanimously passed the resolution. You can read the resolution in full here.
This is the first of several posts related to the DS106 course I’m taking as an open-internet participant.
Here is a short description of DS106, taken as excerpts from the about DS106 page:
Digital Storytelling (also affectionately known as ds106) is an open, online course … you can join in whenever you like and leave whenever you need. This course is free to anyone who wants to take it, and the only requirements are a real computer (none of those wimpy ass iPads), a hardy internet connection, a domain of your own, some commodity web hosting, and all the creativity you can muster (and we’ll spend time helping you get up and running with at least two of the last three requirements).
As an emerging area of creative work, the definition of digital storytelling is still the subject of much debate.
In many ways this course will be part storytelling workshop, part technology training, and, most importantly, part critical interrogation of the digital landscape that is ever increasingly mediating how we communicate with one another.
The course objectives are rather straightforward:
- Develop skills in using technology as a tool for networking, sharing, narrating, and creative self-expression
- Frame a digital identity wherein you become both a practitioner in and interrogator of various new modes of networking
- Critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres
I look forward to engaging in this interesting and important field of study. I hope to take the lessons learned and share them with my learning communities, here in Colorado and around the world. Feel free to join me in this critical discussion, you can register yourself at http://ds106.us/register/ and contribute to the discussion on your own blog, and stay in touch via the ds106 twitter feed.
It’s September 22, 2011 – the last day of Summer this year.
I can’t help but reflect on all those summery things that we leave behind: bright mornings, sweet iced coffees, balmy bike rides, popsicles, raging outdoor chicken parties, beer-in-hand kickball, zip-lining into mountain lakes, warm nights of cricket & locust chorus, and other stuff. Sayonara, summer – we will miss you.
Still, Fall is a beautiful time of year. The colors, the smells, the birthdays (ahem). Last week I bought a case of wine and churned about 20 homegrown tomatoes into a fresh, hot, steamy pot of tomato soup. Soup season is upon us! You may be lucky enough to have a taste. It’s a delicious time of year.
There is another reason to celebrate September 22nd. Today is World Car-Free Day. This is when we come together by bike, by foot, by hovercraft, to celebrate the potential of a car-free world. Whattaya say?
Here’s are some of my favorite bicycle videos to get us celebrating a car-free world:
Thumbs up for Rock and Roll!
Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania Fights Illegally Parked Cars with Tank
Bike Lane Activism in NYC
I Am Not a P#$$Y
Case Study of a 3-way Street in NYC
Women’s Liberation and the Bicyle
Early Bicycle History in Denver
Ooh, La La! Horse Joins Tour de France
For the past several years I’ve been wishing for the return of old-school colorado summers, when the monsoons would sweep through each afternoon, cooling & cleansing the city and offering a sweet drink for my gardens. Yet Each year Denver seems to get more and more dry, with less snow in the winters and less rain in the summers.
But this July has been different, bringing epic rains and breaking a few records. Thus it appears that my longtime wish was granted, at least temporarily. Our dry state is currently getting pounded with daily thunderstorms, bringing rain in amounts up to 3.5 inches of rain in as little as 90 minutes.
And two days ago, as I was celebrating my kickball team’s season finale with a sangria, I became stranded at Pasquini’s Uptown as a rainstorm brought walls of water into the area. Unfortunately I drove that night (I never drive, my bike is my transport here). But this time my car was parked directly out front, and as you’ll see from the video below, 17th Avenue was no place for a little car that night (even one with a big attitude). The video hardly shows the reality – as it’s too dark, and too early in the storm to show exactly how high waters rose on July 12th. There were trucks driving down the street, creating wakes like I’ve seen coming from double 200HP outboard boat engines. My poor little subaru was flooded inside and out, and my insurance company tells me it’s probably beyond repair.
So, moral of the story: be careful what you wish for. Epic rainstorms bring flooded engines and glove compartments.
Still, I say “bring it!” Colorado, I’m not backing down from this fight. I will take any rainstorm you can deliver.
Ignite Denver 9 – June 21st, 2011
Oriental Theater, Denver, Colorado
Videography & Broadcasting by Ethan Crawford
The following excerpt came from the final comments I offered in a discussion board for an online course I took in Fall 2010, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. (It was an entirely online course, which was an good experience that I’ll discuss in another post someday. For now, I’ll just mention that I was pleased with online education and I plan to do more of it. I also posted links to our textbooks.)
This course has been a great introduction to the vast universe of GIS. I say ‘universe’ because there’s a lot of space to map out there, and even here on my city block there are countless attributes that could be collected and imported to a GIS for further study, or for mass consumption. For me, playing with GIS is like having a second brain, and one that is far more mathematically inclined than my first brain. So GIS has been an extension of my skill set that I never knew was accessible.
I learned that ArcGIS is an incredibly feature-rich environment. It amazed me to witness how much this software is capable of, and I know that we’ve barely scratched the surface! Yet I also found the software to be very clunky and somewhat old fashioned, if that makes any sense. I also experienced a very tedious and painful process just getting the software installed and licensed properly (using the 180-day trial that accompanies our textbook). And using this software, I was regularly reminded about how restrictive software licensing can be, and how inaccessible this amazing resource is – unless you fork over large sums of money. For that and other reasons, I look forward to using other GIS software tools in the future. I hope to learn more about mapping with Google Earth, and also exploring the open source alternatives to ArcGIS, such as PostGIS, GRASS GIS, Quantum GIS, and uDig. Yet as I understand it, ArcGIS is the industry standard, and any alternatives have a ways to go to match the functionality (am I wrong?).
Finally, the more I learn about GIS, the more questions I have. But this course has certainly affirmed to me that I’m capable of understanding the basic concepts of geography and cartography, and of navigating the GIS environment. I eagerly look forward to learning more about this universal field.
PS: It was great studying with you all!
Videography & Broadcasting by Ethan Crawford
Ignite Denver 6 – March 2, 2010
Rackhouse Pub, Denver, Colorado
Videography and Broadcasting by Ethan Crawford
Greetings to you all. I’m Ethan Crawford, a khaki-wearing, half-introverted hominid by weekday, and a simple (albeit curious and social) gentleman by evening/weekend. I have a variety of documentarian persuasions, ranging from playful experiments in the the arts (such as photography, videography, sketching, and singing), to more formal attempts at research and truth-seeking (mostly focused on global informational cultures). I figure it’s better in the long run if all of my ramblings and results live freely out there in the information-ether, rather than staying stacked up and locked away in piles of paper, hard drives, and neurons within the boundaries of my little city plot. This website is an attempt to put all my stuff out into the open web. I hope that you can find something useful here, because frankly most of it is somewhat foreign and peculiar to me. Enjoy!