1. With 133 miles of ciclovías, Santiago surpasses many peers but lags well behind Bogotá (233 miles), a similarly sized city. Its network also suffers numerous deficiencies, say bikers: lanes end abruptly, swerve around lamp posts, and cross ungraded sidewalks. The 45 mph speed limits on urban arteries increase the risk of cyclist death in a collision.

    Facing such challenges, many cyclists have taken to Santiago’s sidewalks.

    -When Does a Cycling Boom Go Wrong? When Everyone Rides on the Sidewalk

     
  2. "Let’s Remember, Let’s Run": Can we really do both when it comes to Boston?

    [Image: Brian Snyder/Reuters]

     
  3. This Sunday marks the four-year anniversary of the BP oil spill. Daniel Beltrá, one of the first photographers on the scene, has given his blessing to run some of his Gulf photos.

     
  4. According to UNICEF, more than 620 million people in India still defecate in the open everyday. That’s 143 million pounds of feces dumped in public daily, stinking up the place and contaminating the water supply, which in turn makes children more vulnerable to infections, diseases, and malnutrition.

    "Enough of this sh!t", proclaims the website for Poo2Loo, UNICEF’s latest campaign to combat public pooping in India. The organization wants people to stop tolerating public defecation and pledge their concern to the president of India.

    To get the word out, UNICEF has enlisted the help of Mr. Poo, a personified pile of feces. And In this groovy PSA, Mr.Poo and friends sing and dance to drill in the message: take poo to the loo. 

    -This Catchy Anti-Public Defecation PSA Stars a Dancing Pile of Poo

     
     

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  7. "It’s a frustrating beverage designed for frustrated people."
     
  8. Walking around in a woman’s body, as anyone who’s done it knows, means that you are subject to an ever-shifting set of societal expectations, restrictions, and judgments about how to dress and behave. Put that woman’s body on a bicycle, and things get even more complicated. (Men have to deal with their own set of norms, but that’s another conversation.)

    A couple of months ago, the writer and bike advocate Elly Blue started a conversation on Twitter with this seemingly simple question: “What does “feminine” mean? I’m serious. It keeps coming up in the context of things women can do to feel that way on a bike, + I’m confused.”

    That tweet set off a wave of comments about the way bikes and bike clothing are marketed to women, the ever-contentious concept of “Cycle Chic,” and a whole lot more. It’s not a new conversation, but it is a remarkably persistent one.

    Among people who bike in the United States, women remain a distinct minority, accounting for only 24 percent of total trips. Advocates have been trying to figure out what keeps women off the road (concern about safety is one leading answer). Bike marketers looking to increase the bottom line have tried to crack the code of how to sell more to women, with the crude pink-and-flowers motif recently giving way to images of urban sophistication and chic. You can find countless blogs by women who ride bikes in all kinds of ways: racers, adventurers, fixie aficionados, moms steering kid-packed cargo bikes, explicitly fashion-conscious arbiters of style.

    But to judge from the responses unleashed by Blue’s tweet, the question of what exactly it means to be a woman riding a bicycle remains complex. 

    -Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Feminine’ Way to Ride a Bike?

    [Image: AP]

     
  9. How Disney imagined the American highway of the future, 50 years ago.

     
     
  10. Made from old doors salvaged from destroyed properties, the shelters are colorfully painted to put a smile on the faces of folks in the vicinity. (Not that you could tell it from the above photo – maybe the bus is running late?) The first of the stops went out into the city late last year; today, the A’ Design Award & Competition announced that it is gifting the effort with a silver medal in “Social Design.”

    The lightweight structures are meant to go into places where people could use a good sit-down, such as a bus stop with no bench. Their locations are not meant to be permanent. When the need arises – such as an alteration in transit service – commuters and other city residents can talk among themselves to deploy them elsewhere. 

    -These Detroit Bus Stop Benches Are Made From Demolished Homes

    [Image: Craig L. Wilkins]

     
  11. In 2012, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde and civil engineering firm Heijmans promised to install the first glow-in-the-dark road in the Netherlands by mid-2013. Now, well into 2014, the concept has finally come to life in Oss, a city about 60 miles southeast of Amsterdam.

    The photo-luminizing markings, which absorb daylight then release a green glow for up to eight hours in the dark, were recently unveiled on a 500-meter stretch of highway.

    -Glow-in-the-Dark Roads Are Finally Here

     
     
  12. Why it’s a big deal that half of the Great Lakes are still covered in ice.

     
  13. Over the weekend in San Francisco, lines stretched around the block for a Nicolas Cage-themed art show.

     
  14. The Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t always destined to be the majestic, International Orange-colored span it is today. Back in the bridge’s planning stage, the U.S. Navy was so concerned about its visibility that it lobbied hard to paint it black with yellow stripes. But that bold proposal looks absolutely mundane when you consider this one from 1932, which would’ve had the center of the structure submerged in the San Francisco Bay so ships could pass above.

    The idea for a “boat tunnel” chopping right through the center of one of the world’s now-most-recognizable bridges came from local inventor Cleve F. Shaffer, whose obituary claims he also “foresaw the tank, the bazooka, and the moving sidewalk, though he failed to win fame from any of them.” The big attraction of Shaffer’s plan was monetary: It was thought this bizarre structure would cost a mere third of the bridge’s $35 million price tag. The authorities liked that perk enough that they were led to “consider seriously the erection of the boat tunnel bridge,” reported the magazine Modern Mechanix, ”which would be the only one of its kind in the world.” 

    How would this Frankenbridge be constructed? The schematics call for regular truss spans at either end leading inward into sections floating on pontoons with interior ramps of the cork-screw-shaped variety you find at multilevel parking garages. Cars twisting down one ramp would wind up 45 feet below the waves in a 1,200-foot-long tube leading to the other ramp, where they would ascend into daylight and (presumably) make a fervent sign of the cross.

    -The Golden Gate Bridge Could’ve Had a Submerged ‘Boat Tunnel’

    [Image via Modern Mechanix]

     
  15. Who knew the sight of women eating could cause so much controversy? This week the London-based media has been debating a Facebook group showing just that. With over 21,000 members, the Women Who Eat on Tubes group features candid shots of women using a trip on London’s subway system to catch up with a meal. As the group grew, comments on its pages became more overt in their latent misogyny, as if there was something inherently grotesque in a woman having an appetite and being in need of some food. To make the intrusions greater, the photos’ captions also identified when and on which tube line they were taken, and what the woman was eating, as this journalist who featured on the site learned.

    Of course, the group is just one of various candid photo sites currently doing the rounds. It’s not entirely dissimilar to the romanticized images of young women of Buenos Aires Chicas Bondi or its male London equivalent, the tumblr and Twitter account Tubecrush. It also has some kinship with public behavior shaming sites like Singapore’s STOMP – though that wouldn’t exonerate it from charges of creepy intrusion – even though eating on London’s Tube is neither uncommon nor against any particular rule. 

    -These Women Wish You’d Stop Taking Pictures of Them Eating on the Tube

    [Images: Women Who Eat on Tubes]