Archive of ‘Grade 11’ category

Roads IDS: An Introduction

This year my IDS was to re-design intersections (and places in general) in the Coquitlam area. Generally, these are already-congested intersections where I can easily see a better solution.

Before I post specific ideas, I figured I’d share the lens I’m redesigning these things through.

My Planning Philosophy

Generally, when I redesign an area, going for several objectives:

  • Promotion of walking, cycling, and transit as viable modes of transportation
    • Reducing dependence on cars
      • Minimizing square-footage dedicated to cars (road space, parking lots, driveways, etc.)
      • Reducing both speed limits (in some cases), and actual driven speeds
    • Making the walk and cycle more pleasant & safe
      • Aesthetic improvements (street trees, etc.)
      • Creating & emphasizing visible crosswalks, reducing crossing distance
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of the users and residents of the area
    • Reducing stopping & idle times at intersections (cars are most inefficient when they are decelerating to/accelerating from a stop)
    • Creation & maintenance of green spaces & parks
  • Place-making, making a neighborhood feel like a safe & unique place

As an added challenge for myself, I always try to design solutions that would require no additional right-of-way, although if necessary biting a chunk out of a parking lot would satisfy other objectives so I don’t mind too much.

I’ll be posting my ideas and drawings on this blog in the next few weeks, stay tuned!

Disclaimer: I am not a traffic engineer, an urban planner, or even remotely educated on this topic. I have no way of testing my theories (traffic simulation programs are expensive!), I’m just making guesses based on what’s worked elsewhere. I’m just a high schooler doing my project.

Follow: A First Look

On Friday, we played a tabletop RPG called Follow using the Colony scenario.

Being my first RPG in general, I was quite nervous and hesitant about it, and especially given the collaborative nature of Follow.

We began a campaign to establish a colony called New Lesbos, after the Greek island of Lesbos. This was set around the turn of the 31st century, when the scars of age-old divisions in society were still clearly visible.

In this game, each character needs a role and 2 motivations: what they want from the mission and what they want from a specific character (in my case Patrick’s character Neev). My character was Charity, a family homesteader who joined the mission along with her children to protect her Family Values, while seeking something more from her friendship with Neev.

In the first challenge of the game, our ship had just landed on this desolate wasteland where the closest thing to a spectacle was the occasional rough stone in the sand. Everyone on board was just beginning to realize how big of a task they had taken on, so I, together with one of Olivia’s characters (a counsellor named Patience), set about helping everyone, trying to raise the general morale.

After the long journey in the ship with nothing much more than porridge to eat at most meals, I provided some more substantial food, some fresh pastries and coffee, just like old times on Earth.

We didn’t get much further than that, although we had planned to have a ship of supplies go missing, and maybe some other challenges.

It was an interesting game, but it was very hard to get going. And besides that, it wasn’t my genre and I’d never played an RPG, much less one without a GM.