The California Department of Transportation is planning to build tolled express lanes along Highway 101 in San Mateo County, but Foster City officials voiced some reservations about the project at a meeting last week. They said the toll lanes would not lessen traffic congestion and favor drivers who are "well-to-do economically."
The Urban Wildlife Institute, a part of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, is helping other cities deploy motion-triggered cameras and gain insights from citizen reporting. The program aims to gather data on how animals live in urban areas.
Children can provide insight into park design and engagement but need to be reached outside of the typical public meeting, writes Clement Lau of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Lau's suggestions include meeting with children at their schools, encouraging them to draw dream parks and polling them via smartphone.
The Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department has created a multimedia website highlighting its 182 parks that's technologically powerful and visitor friendly. "We wanted to make this website a tool for our communities to quickly find parks and programs based on hundreds of filters such as amenities and program types," says Mohammed Al Rawi, chief information officer for the department.
With a $60 million park bond on the November ballot, Cape Coral, Fla., is asking residents what amenities they would like in parks should the bond pass. The city is developing a parks master plan.
Urban public spaces are installing giant-sized games to lure visitors to parks and plazas. Games such as Connect Four, chess, checkers and Scrabble are part of a trend to engage visitors and get them to shop or dine at nearby businesses.
Officials in Springfield, Mo., terminated a practice that allowed city workers to increase their pension payouts by selling their accumulated vacation time back to the city after retirement. This move has saved the town around $1.5 million in a single year, according to Bill McCarty, the city's budget director.
Arkansas county lawmakers are pressing the state for permission to at least double the 911 cellphone fee and combine some dispatch centers. Local officials say the current system was developed to handle landline calls and the 911 centers are overwhelmed by the number of cellphone calls they receive.
The La Crosse Common Council in Wisconsin has approved the design for the Veterans Memorial Pool and will work on funding. The $3.15 million aquatic center would replace a pool that closed two years ago, with features such as an eight-lane lap pool and an open swim area.
Fog sculptures by Fujiko Nakaya will mist five Boston parks through the end of October. The exhibit, called Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace, is created using a series of fog-making nozzles and pays tribute to the creator of the Emerald Necklace parks network, Frederick Law Olmsted.
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