urban planning nerd. yup, that’s me.

Pedestrian Countdown Signal

pedestrian countdown signal

Pedestrian Activated Traffic Signal

pedestrian activated traffic signal

I freely admit that I’m an urban planning nerd. So, what does that mean? Well, my training focused on urban transportation. In my work, I use words like,” pedestrian-actuated traffic signal”. Or perhaps worse, “ped-actuated signal”. Huh? you say. It’s a signal where the crossing sign changes to “walk” after a pedestrian pushes a button. Like this one here, on the left. If you’re lucky, there might even be a “ped countdown signal” attached to it (on the right) so that you know how much time you have to make it across the street before cross-traffic resumes. See now, your eyes just glazed over a bit. Or maybe a lot.

But come on back! There’s no reason you would need to know these things unless you’re a nerd like me. Or perhaps while trying to get something done or changed in your community you were forced to talk to a nerd like me who doesn’t know how to communicate in plain English. Big apologies on behalf of me and my silly, nerdy colleagues. Every field has it’s terms of art, but engineer-types are notorious. We’re working on it. Really. To help things along, I’ll do two things:

  1. I’ll do my best to talk through some of this geeky transportation stuff. If you’ve you been struggling to understand a transportation or urban planning issue in your neighborhood, feel free to ask me about it. I’m probably not going to fix it, mind you, just help you understand it better. And I’ll do my best to write in plain English with only a small amount of nerd-speak.
  2. I’ll post some urban design photos. We all love taking pics of fun things we see around town. I’m a nerd, so in addition to gorgeous vistas and quirky activities I also take pics of urban design features (or facilities for the transpo-nerds and elements for the design nerds). I’ve already started a photo album where I’ll park these pics.
Pedestrian Bridge, Sydney, Australia

pedestrian bridge in Melbourne, Australia

Occasionally, I’ll post the most interesting pictures that I take on this blog and even talk about the (sometimes crazy) stories behind them. I promise not to post only boring crossing signals like you see above. In fact, with all my travels and wanderings, I’ve come across some pretty interesting examples of design. Like this pedestrian bridge in Melbourne, Australia. That’s a lot of effort to allow people to cross a river. It’s also gorgeous. And it may even inspire a new piece or two to add to my jewelry-making endeavor.

Looking forward to exploring nerd-speak with you. If you’ve got a burning question you’d like me to tackle, go ahead and post it here.

In the meantime, enjoy!



  1. I actually think urban planning and design is pretty fascinating. I love hearing how cities have found creative (and beautiful) solutions to problems.

    1. Me too, Jennifer! I’m looking forward to sharing some cool images and stories.

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