Street Smart—Capital New York's Dana Rubinstein broke the news yesterday afternoon that New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has picked up the endorsement of StreetsPAC, a political action committee that champions candidates who support policies to make streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians. "Mr. de Blasio’s pledge to change leadership in the NYPD and crack down on dangerous driving, his embrace of the 'Vision Zero' program to eliminate preventable traffic deaths, and his commitment to expand the city’s bike-lane network and bike-share system were among the key factors in our decision," reads a statement posted to the StreetsPAC website. Rubinstein explains that Vision Zero is a Swedish policy that aims to totally eliminate pedestrian and traffic deaths. New York City recorded 270 traffic deaths in 2012.
As @felixsalmon notes on Twitter, StreetsPAC's nod to de Blasio is the organization's first-ever mayoral endorsement—a big deal for New York City. But it's also a big deal for urbanists, transit enthusiasts, bikers and pedestrians everywhere who count themselves among StreetsPAC's constituency, whether or not they have the opportunity to vote for a StreetsPAC-endorsed candidate.
Building Burn—The glare off the building known by all as the Walkie-Talkie, currently under construction in London at 202 Fenchurch Street, singed a parked Jaguar last week, as the BBC (and everybody else) reported yesterday. The Associated Press compared the incident to the damage done by glare off the Frank Gehry–designed Walt Disney Concert Hall back when that building first opened. But the perhaps more relevant example—at least, a much more current and destructive parallel—is the ongoing saga in Dallas. The Dallas Morning News, which has reported extensively on one tower's inadvertent melting effect on a nearby cultural landmark, certainly took notice of the London news. This is not the first "fryscraper" designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, notes Business Insider.
Save LACMA—A petition to save the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as conceived by original campus architect William L. Pereira earned some snark from Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne. "No mention of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer wing in this petition to save and restore the LACMA campus," tweeted @HawthorneLAT. Read more about the designer behind the (non–Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer–designed) original LACMA campus that some might like to save—and then read a note from LACMA director Michael Govan on why he believes that the case for preservation doesn't stack up alongside Peter Zumthor's big black pancake.
Save Domino—Another petition seeks to save the former Domino Sugar Factory site from development. Supporters say that the infrastructure isn't up to the task of supporting all the new people that the new development, designed by SHoP Architects with James Corner Field Operations, would draw to Brooklyn, N.Y. But presuming these petition-signers already live in Brooklyn, then they are also the incumbents who benefit most from keeping Brooklyn as it is and not adding homes for new potential residents.
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Photo of 20 Fenchurch Street courtesy a Creative Commons license with Flickr user MyParadiseLost.