The Urban Phoenix Podcast

Five Years Of The Urban Phoenix

An episode of The Urban Phoenix Podcast

By The Urban Phoenix
Conversations around our urban environments and a better tomorrow for our cities
Conversations around our urban environments and a better tomorrow for our cities

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Cities Must Keep Moving
Cities don’t do well when they stand still. Investment, movement and development must be constant. Unlike their suburban counterparts, cities thrive on fluidity and change
December 11, 2019
When Transit Works
I had an amazing transit experience couple weekends ago on a short trip to Buffalo. It made me think about what it would be like if transit worked conveniently and efficiently in this country!
December 11, 2019
Stop Telling Is Beg Buttons Don’t Work!
In the last few years, major publications have been telling us that those buttons you push to activate the “walk” sign at an intersection don’t work. This might be true in major metros, but for the rest of America, the are very much alive and well, unfortunately.
December 7, 2019
Three Weeks On An Electric Bike
I’ve owned my Sondors E-Bike for 3 weeks. Here’s my take...
November 24, 2019
Thoughts On Schenectady, NY
Recently, I revisited Schenectady, New York. Here’s my take on this emerging center of Micro Urbanity
November 22, 2019
Talking Schenectady With Haley Viccaro
Haley Viccaro is the communications director for New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, former writer for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY, and current Schenectady resident
November 19, 2019
Talking Geneva, NY and Small City Development With Matt Horn
Former Geneva City Manager Matt Horn talks about the intricacies of small city revitalization.
November 15, 2019
Why Is It So Important For Amtrak To Make A Profit?
Recent reports show that Amtrak is poised to do something it’s never done... Make a profit. So why, when every form of transportation is government subsidized, is this key for rail in the U.S.?
November 14, 2019
Talking Utica NY, State Grants and Urban Revitalization With Joseph Wicks
Joseph Wicks is a special project manager at the Community Foundation of Herkimer/Oneida Counties.  Today I asked him about the $10 million state grant in Utica, huge economic projects on the horizon and how our cities can collaborate to create a strong roadmap for the future.  NOTE: This is a remote podcast (with me in Rochester and Mr. Wicks in Central NY)... the sound is not outstanding, but I hope the content trumps the quality!
November 14, 2019
Five Years Of The Urban Phoenix
A look back at what started this journey 5 years ago!
November 10, 2019
Interview With Transit Apparel’s Matt Rogers
Matt Rogers doesn’t just make t-shirts, he tells a story of a city or neighborhood with every design he creates. Check out to see his work
November 10, 2019
Don’t Disparage Our City
A recent New York Post article calling Rochester “Grim and Depressing” has me fired up
November 7, 2019
Small Moves
We don’t need everyone to sell their car and move from their suburban homes into city apartments... we just need to help everyone take small steps
November 6, 2019
Interview With Rochester Cycling Advocate Jesse Peers
Jesse and I talk about bike infrastructure, advocacy, attitude and more
November 6, 2019
Redefining Freedom
What used to be symbols of American freedom, like attaining a license, are quickly becoming a burden
November 4, 2019
Three Reasons I Bike In The Rain
People often ask me why I ride to work in the rain when I had a perfectly good car. Here’s my answer.
November 2, 2019
Interview With Rochester Community Cyclist Laura Mack
Laura and I talk about cycling in our communities, bike infrastructure, the challenges women face with cycling today and the fun of group riding opportunities
October 31, 2019
Interview With Civil Engineer Nicholas Russo
Nicholas Russo is a civil engineer from Pittsfield Massachusetts, and the creator of, an online publication that talks about smart urban design in his home city
October 30, 2019
Challenge Yourself To Bike Through The Winter
Are you a “warm weather” cyclist? Grab some gear and challenge yourself to bike year round!
October 28, 2019
New Tech Is Enabling Distracter Drivers
The newest safety features in cars accommodate careless driving... but we still put the onus on pedestrians to look out for themselves
October 27, 2019
The Big Reason Drivers Disrespect Crosswalks
Drivers have been given ultimate priority in our country. But that doesn’t stop them from disrespecting the little space pedestrians have left
October 27, 2019
Some Thoughts On Rome, New York
Why a downtown that draws is a must for this sprawling city
October 25, 2019
Rochester’s Decreased Vehicle Emissions Are Likely The Result Of A Later Decline
A recent NYT article implied that automobile emissions have decreased in Rochester since 1990, where our neighbors in Buffalo and Syracuse saw an increase. Here’s the likely reason why...
October 19, 2019
Uber, Postmates, Grubhub and Instacart Are All Bleeding Money... Until The Robots Come
A recent article in The Atlantic was the latest to reference the eye-popping financial losses from nearly every venture-capital-funded, app based ventures. But these companies aren’t losing money... they are changing the culture and banking on the fact that 10 years from now, automated tech will alleviate their financial responsibility to human workers
October 18, 2019
Buffalo’s Skyway, Transit Infrastructure and a Reprioritization of Urban Mobility
A recent opinion piece in the Buffalo News got me thinking about adding transit infrastructure versus reprioritization of transportation priorities
October 14, 2019
Interview With Carly Reynolds, Owner Of Vine & Fig in Rome, NY
Carly Reynolds brings an “elevated” but approachable vibe to Rome with a new bistro. We talk about her business, her vision and how it ties in with Rome’s future
October 14, 2019
Interview with Rome New York’s Jake DiBari and Danny Frieden
Recorded at Copper City Brewing, this interview features two “game changing” influencers in the small Central New York city of Rome
October 14, 2019
UP Interview: Michael John Heagerty From Syracuse New York
Michael is not only one of Syracuse’s greatest cheerleaders... he’s an instrumental part of that city’s re-emerging fabric. In this remote interview, we talk about the arts, architecture, urban revitalization and his vision for Syracuse’s future!
October 10, 2019
Following Up On Scotland Vs. U.S. Rail Battle Post
Yesterday I launched a UP post that compared Scotland’s rail network with that of the U.S. Here’s a short 6-minute follow up!
October 8, 2019
Interview With Rochester City Planner Kevin Kelley
In this episode, I talk to Kevin about the Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan, Roc The Riverway, family life in the city and a host of other fantastic city-centered topics.
October 7, 2019
Why I’m Obsessed With Micro-Mobility
Someone asked me recently why bike riding, skateboarding and scootering was so important to me. I thought I might answer “on air.”
September 13, 2019
Where Our Cities Are Safer
People move out of cities for safety from crime. But cities provide a safety net when we make bad choices or just get dealt a bad day...
September 4, 2019
What Uber And Lyft Are Really Trying To Do
Uber has lost an incredible amount of money... or have they? Investors are changing people’s minds about how we move about, and that could pay huge dividends down the line.
August 11, 2019
The Range of Micro Mobility
In a follow up to a recent blog post, I talk about the importance of micro mobility range
August 11, 2019
Wide Roads and Tons of Trails: Iceland’s Unique Transportation Build
Recently I spent a day in Iceland... while a new rush of tourism has led to the construction of wide roads, trails, pedestrian and bikes access still cover the landscape
August 3, 2019
Electric Cars Aren’t The Answer
Most of our electric power is still generated from fossil fuels. The answer to our energy and environmental crisis isn’t electric cars, it’s smaller vehicles and living closer to everything
July 21, 2019
E-Scooters In Nashville: A Tragic Death and Misplaced Blame
A 26 year old man was killed when his e-scooter was struck by an SUV in Nashville. Now scooters are banned from the streets. Why not cars?
July 5, 2019
An Interview with Brooke Fossey from Bagel Bike in Pittsford, NY
Brooke Fossey found a beautiful way to blend her love of biking with a small business venture that adds character to her community
July 1, 2019
UP Commute: Chicago’s Amazing Public Spaces
I was in Chicago last weekend. Chicago’s dedication to public space is simply incredible! Here are some thoughts on this, and on how other cities can apply these ideas.
June 26, 2019
What Is Walkability?
There are many different definitions of a walkable environment. Here’s mine.
June 17, 2019
Sprawling Within: Bigger Homes, Smaller Families
Sprawl isn’t just happening with regard to our metro areas, it’s happening within our own homes. Clearly, we are a nation moving farther apart in every way.
June 15, 2019
Backseats and College Campuses: Why Millennials Are The Way They Are
We spent more time in the backseats of cars at a time when traffic congestion was the highest... it’s not wonder we want our cities to look more like the college campuses
June 6, 2019
It’s Time To Stop Right On Red
Legal right-on-reds on our American roads become a federal allowance in the 1970s as a result of the oil shortage. It’s time to make this unsafe practice illegal once again
June 3, 2019
Bikes and Scooters on Sidewalks Just Want to Be Safe Too
I’m learning how to ride a skateboard. It’s given me a new perspective on why we should be patient with bikes and scooters on the sidewalk!
May 25, 2019
Looking Up
Our cities have work to do... but there’s nothing wrong with looking at the powerfully positive things we have accomplished
May 25, 2019
Bike Advocacy: Safety or Legitimacy?
Bike organizations and active cyclists try to educate drivers on how to share the road with cyclists. But are they educating drivers on WHY people bike in the first place?
May 20, 2019
Scooter Share in Rochester
Scooter share is coming to Rochester as soon as this summer. What should we expect?
May 17, 2019
A Different Direction
Summer 2019 will lead the UP down the path of multi-media as I attempt to show you why I love city living
May 5, 2019
Who’s Responsibility Is It When A Local Business Fails?
When a business closes due to lack of patronage, who deserves the blame? When people want transit but no one uses it, who should be on the hook!?
April 17, 2019
City Streets or Highways: Which Would You Remove?
City Streets Or Highways: Which Would You Remove?
April 8, 2019
Cars: A Tax On The American Dream
Urbanists aren’t against cars. We are against an America in which the most expensive form of transportation is actively subsidized about all else
April 2, 2019
The Difference Between A Suburban Village & A City Neighborhood
Small town Main Streets are great, but here’s where they differ from Urban Neighborhoods
March 29, 2019
The Urban Phoenix Podcast #3: Stop Blaming and Get Involved
Blaming political movements does nothing for our cities. Get involved and activate something positive
March 13, 2019
The Urban Phoenix Podcast #2: Rochester Bike Share & A Year In Limbo
In 2018, two-thirds of Rochester’s bike share fleet was stolen. What does that say about our city and our city’s ability to move forward?
March 7, 2019
The Urban Phoenix Podcast #1: A New Direction
The Urban Phoenix has morphed and adapted in its 4 years of existence. In 2019, we will talk a great deal about the relationships we have with our cities. We will talk more about social capital, and the ups and downs of our own connections with our urban environments
March 1, 2019
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