Daily Archives: August 30, 2009

A downtown Phoenix photo quilt


[Source: The Daily Render] — Nikolas Schiller is a 28-year-old cartographer, consultant, digital artist, researcher, photographer, civil rights activist, and blogger living in Washington, D.C.  Nikolas created this derivative map of downtown Phoenix.  He liked the way the rooftop of the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. District Court creates a nice design around the center.  To view additional map quilts of Phoenix, click here.

Idea of the Day: So where should a downtown Phoenix biking center go?

fujiton_ebike[Source: State’s first biking center finishes first week, Dianna M. Náñez, Arizona Republic] — Note operative phrase in the following article: “Romero and Perez have already scoped out locations for expanding.   ‘To start with… one in downtown Phoenix… and at the end of the line in Mesa… would be perfect,’ Perez said.” Any ideas?  If so, send Joe and John an e-mail.

On Wednesday, Karleen Dirmantas left her central Phoenix home at 6:45 a.m. and rode her bicycle 15 miles to the state’s first full-service biking center, in Tempe.  She showered, changed into her work uniform and arrived at work by 8 a.m.  The center, which opened Monday, has made it possible for Dirmantas to stop driving her car to work, save money on gasoline and help preserve the environment.  Other bicyclists say their benefits include saving money on parking at Arizona State University and enjoying easier access to light rail.

The Bicycle Cellar, owned by two Valley bicycle enthusiasts, is near ASU in downtown Tempe.  After hearing that the center would offer paid members secured indoor-bike parking, lockers, showers and other services, Dirmantas signed up for a one-year membership.  The facility is at Tempe’s Transportation Center, a hub for light-rail, Valley Metro and Tempe commuter Orbit buses.

The Bicycle Cellar has conveniences for people who ride public transportation to work in Tempe or for ASU faculty members or students who want a safe place to park their bikes overnight.  Storage lockers are available, as are tools for minor bike repairs and air for tires.  During the day, help is available to work on more complicated repairs.

Mariam Cohen, who teaches at ASU, will use the center to avoid commuting by car from Paradise Valley to ASU.  “This is wonderful for everyone.  Even an old lady on a bike like me.  I can leave my bike here at night… know it’s safe… (and) pick it up when I get off the light rail,” she said Wednesday, hopping onto her vine-green Schwinn and off to class.  Students also appreciate saving on the hundreds of dollars it costs to park at ASU.

Dawn Stapley, an ASU junior, was at the shop early Monday and became the cellar’s first member.  “Parking is so expensive at ASU,” she said.  “I work at Priest (Drive) and Washington (Street) so I’m leaving my car at work, taking the light rail… picking my bike up and riding it to class next to (ASU) Gammage.”  Bicycle Cellar co-owner and bike-riding enthusiast John Romero said his facility is moving the Valley closer to having full-fledged urban amenities.  “Phoenix is maturing as a metropolis,” he said.  “We’re finally bringing to the table what other cities have had for years.”

The shop’s diverse clientele and rush of customers wanting to secure one of the shop’s 300 memberships has Romero and co-owner Joseph Perez thinking about launching similar bike stores at busy spots along the rail line.  “We’re up to 20 members-that’s just in four days,” he said.  Romero and Perez have already scoped out locations for expanding.  “To start with… one in downtown Phoenix… and at the end of the line in Mesa… would be perfect,” Perez said.  [Note: Read the full article at State’s first biking center finishes first week.]

Care to adopt a Phoenix light rail station?

Admittedly puppies are cuter than light rail trains. We'll do anything to get you to read this stuff!

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — METRO has enacted an Adopt-A-Station initiative along the light rail line.  During the press conference, which took place at the Roosevelt/Central station (aka “Arts District” station), Mesa Vice Mayor and METRO Board Vice Chairman Kyle Jones boasted that Mesa’s lone stop at Main and Sycamore is the busiest of any of the rail stations, much to the chagrin of Phoenix Vice Mayor and METRO Board Chairman Tom Simplot.  (Simplot argued that 19th and Montebello, the line’s “first” station, is by far the busiest.)  Though fisticuffs didn’t ensue, a staged challenge between the Mesan and the Phoenician was presented: During September, if Mesa’s line proves to indeed be the busiest, Simplot will personally maintain the station’s appearance.  The same goes for Jones and the Montebello station.  Game on!

While these shenanigans play out, there’s business to attend to.  Specifically, local business.  Downtown has stations that need neighborhood sponsors.  Here are my suggestions.  Let me know what you want.

  • Camelback/Central station: There’s a cluster of great, quirky business on the northwest corner of this intersection. Stinkweeds, Frances, Smeeks, Red Hot Robot: I’m looking at you guys.
  • Campbell/Central station: It’s not like Lux or Pane Bianco need the press, but you can’t deny that these two spots bring vibrancy to this intersection.  I’d be fine with Lux baristas pouring cappuccinos, then running outside to sweep up debris from last night’s storm.
  • Indian School/Central station: I guess the fight club/storage facility got demolished.  So, that’s out.  How about Steele Indian School Park?  It’s one of the city’s biggest parks, yet one of its hidden gems.
  • Osborn/Central station: Tossup between Phoenix Country Club and Encanto Park.  Golfing downtown, anyone?
  • Thomas/Central station: The hospital will probably win out here.  Either that or Phillips and Associates.  They’re everywhere.
  • Encanto/Central station: We need the Heard to take this, right?
  • McDowell/Central station: I’d prefer Thai Hut take this.  Can we somehow make this happen?
  • Roosevelt/Central station: The obvious answers here would be NBC 12, Fair Trade Café or Portland’s.  But, how about Portland Place lofts, with several units in escrow and a bankrupt developer, getting its name out there?  Any advertising would help!
  • Van Buren/Central and Van Buren/1st Avenue stations: I’m sure Michael Crow already put in his bid.
  • Washington/Central and Jefferson/Central: Hello, CityScape.
  • Washington/3rd Street and Jefferson/3rd Street: The Phoenix Suns are going to need as much money coming in as possible this season with the way things are looking.  Take that into consideration, Robert Sarver.

Anyone have any other thoughts?