Does anyone describe the philosophy of our roads in one word? Is it efficiency? Is it cost or cars and convenience? It appears to me there is no guiding principal. So why not build stuff optimized for what it means to be a happy, heal human? Not only is this street retrofit design optimized for health and happiness, but it also 2–4 times as safe and energy efficient. These ideas have been rattling around in my head for years, and I’ve finally decided to give them life in this quick sketch.
Here are the highlights:
4x more efficient: Have you ever wondered why the postman and garbageman have to stop at every house, then turn around and go back along the other side? In this design we have all the post, garbage and recycle on one side of the road. Neighbors can also share a spot between properties. This makes everything 4x easier and faster. This is one of my favorite features.
Safer easier roads: As a driver or pedestrian this design with one-traffic flow and one-sided parking eliminates about half the hazards. Drivers and pedestrians only have to look one way before crossing the road. And they no longer have to worry about colliding with oncoming traffic, while avoiding bicyclists, car doors, or illegally parked vehicles.
Bike and pedestrian lanes: This features a protected bike lane separated by traffic calming devices and a dedicated sidewalk for pedestrians even further removed from harm’s way. This creates 3 lanes of traffic: one for car, bike and pedestrian, rather than than 2 for cars, and 2 for pedestrians.
Buffer zones: On both sides, marked in orange brackets, you can see that the habitable living area is set apart from the road traffic and idling vehicles. This gives both the customers in the cafe on one side and the plants in the garden on the other side some room to breathe fresh air.
Parkway: Or the green area between sidewalk and street can be planted with low-maintenance perennials that don’t require to be mowed. And the trees can be high-quality hardwood that can be harvested for lumber.
Parking: No parallel parking required. And delivery vehicles can pull right into the bicycle lane for quick deliveries. This constitutes a small risk to the bicyclist to swerve into the traffic lane to pass, but I think is much smaller risk than currently, especially since this lane should be empty almost all the time.
Business and community: What better way to foster community than to walk across the street for coffee, groceries or other local business that provide services to residents, rather than drive 5–15 miles?
Here is a fun new graphic that I created. It has been simmering in my brain for years. I think it really captures the essence how doubt and fear are essential to any adventure. The trick is harnessing that emotional fuel and turning disadvantages into advantages. Available as a free classroom poster. Contact Scott.
Chapter books by Scott and illustrated by elementary students
Update: The new book about living your dream is here. "The Cupcake Boy". Illustrated by Amy Belle Elementary School.
Update: My trip to Argentina as the Cultural Ambassador with the U.S. Department of State was a smashing success. The U.S. Embassy gave away 2000 free copies to the teachers and students of the 13 schools that participated. Most of these kids have never owned a book, much less had an opportunity to talk about what they dream in life.
Welcome to The Argonauts featuring Scott Stoll's: Bicycle Ride Around the World
I asked myself, "If I could do anything, what would I do?" My answer was to ride a bicycle around the world until I discovered happiness and the meaning of life. Discover what happened during the 4-year journey. Read all about it.
Above: The map of Scott's adventure. Below: Re-imagine the journey in the best-selling independent book "Falling Uphill".
One man's quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle.
In one week, Scott Stoll lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence. Disillusioned with society, full of angst, a lost and wandering soul with nothing left to lose, Stoll asked himself a question: “If I only have one life, one chance, if I could do anything, what would I do?”
His answer resulted in a 4 year and 25,742 mile odyssey around the world by bicycle, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life, vowing to find happiness or die trying. The quest wasn’t easy. He was imprisoned, held hostage, mugged, run over, suspected of terrorism, accused of espionage, trampled, diseased, heartbroken—he nearly died a dozen times. But more importantly, in the most unlikely places, he also discovered the wonders of the world, kindness among strangers, the meaning of life, peace, love and — Yes!— happiness — in the last place to look — and much more than he imagined possible.
Re-live and re-imagine a journey around the world on a bicycle as a man stumbles through moments of pure survival and moments of pure enlightenment. More info. or Buy now.
Falling Uphill The short film: A montage of photos and videos from Scott's 4 year, 26,000 mile bicycle tour around the world. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival. "I nearly cried watching this video. Just a normal guy and look what he has achieved." ~ Ingrid K.
Jason and the Argonauts The Archetypal Adventure
I recommend you read about the original Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, including the history, culture and the actual story. I've been collecting this info for years; and I find it fascinating how this myth has embedded itself in our culture. More info.