Michael Lewyn is an assistant professor at Touro Law Center in Long Island.
(NOTE TO READERS: An expanded, footnote-filled version of this article is online at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1632935 )
(or benefits) imposed on third parties by another individual’s voluntary
action. Government regulations exist at least partially to protect us from externalities created by others.
Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 11:59am PDT
I began to type this, I was on a Greyhound bus somewhere in southern Ontario,
on the first leg of my return from Toronto (where I have spent the past
year getting an extra
degree) to the United States.
As I type, it occurs to me to ask
myself: what are the interests of the long-distance bus rider? Are
they the same as users of other forms of
public transit, or closer to those of drivers and truckers? My short
answer to these questions is: a little of both.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 8:01pm PDT
In a recent blog post (at http://www.planetizen.com/node/44518) Steven Polzin argues that drivers are more productive because they get places faster. His post, in turn, generated an avalanche of critiques noting the negative externalities of auto travel (e.g. pollution, death and injury from traffic accidents, health costs of obesity, etc.).
But what I'd like to address is something else: the positive productivity benefits of transit use. Let's suppose that it takes me 30 minutes to reach destination X on the bus, and 15 minutes by car. Obviously, the car is more productive. Right?
Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 9:34pm PDT
How can one measure the housing affordability of a city or region? One common option is to focus on a
region’s median home price (or the median home price divided by median
income). I’ve used this method myself, and
regional medians will often be the best tool available.
But sometimes, this method leads to absurd
results. For example, the median home price for
metropolitan Atlanta is $150,000, which makes Atlanta seem like a
remarkably affordable housing market.(1)
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 9:51pm PDT
I was reading Wendell Cox's recent attack on the Center for Neighborhood Technology's affordability calculations, and was struck by one thing he wrote:“transportation costs will be reduced in the future by the
far more fuel efficient vehicles being required by Washington.”*
In other words, don't worry about Americans being impoverished by the cost of a car for every man, woman, and 16-year old in the House: the technological miracle of fuel efficiency will save us.
Monday, April 26, 2010 - 2:03pm PDT
A few weeks ago, Randall O’Toole (a leading anti-anti-sprawl commentator) and Matthew
Yglesias (a Washington-based pundit who primarily writes about politics, but occasionally veers off into planning issues) had an
interesting discussion about the extent to which sprawl is a result of
Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 5:17pm PDT
When Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s
bicyclists’ needs should be accommodated in federally-funded road
road lobby responded with something approaching hysteria.
Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 1:55pm PDT
I am spending this spring at the University of Toronto working on an advanced law degree (called an L.L.M.), and am writing a thesis comparing sprawl in Canada and the United States. Here are a few preliminary findings:
Monday, March 8, 2010 - 11:43am PST
A decade or so ago, after reading some of Jane
I became aware of the distinction between mixed-use and single-use
neighborhoods. In those days, I imagined
that in a well-functioning urban neighborhood, every non-polluting use
mixed together, and the lion of housing would lay down with the lamb of
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 11:54am PST
Most attempts to regulate suburban development have focused on containing the growth of suburban housing. But such regulation, by restricting the supply of buildable land, risks incresing housing prices. And from a more libertarian perspective, an individual's interest in choosing to "drive to qualify" may seem quite appealing. Attempts to regulate commercial suburban development do not involve the same sentimental considerations as limits on residential development, but do risk increasing prices for commercial land, thus increasing prices for everything else.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 8:01am PST