For serious transportation policy wonks lately every day is like Christmas. Climate change, bailout, deteriorating infrastructure, reauthorization, aging baby boomers, bailout, stimulus, new administration, economic development, global competition, urban redevelopment, bailout, etc. One has all they can do to just keep up with all the relevant news and positioning say nothing of understanding it. In fact, I don’t understand it.
Move over XBox; step aside Playstation. The height of game-playing action is free and it's online. The new game in town is University of Minnesota, Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute's "Gridlock Buster". Test your mettle on the increasing levels of difficulty in processing vehicular traffic through a network of intersections.
Everybody knows that most, if not all, of downtown businesses' customers arrive by car. So it's intuitive to try to come up with a way to encourage drivers - who normally wouldn't venture downtown - to hop into their rides and cruise on down to Main Street to shop for wares. If we could do this, just think of all the new business we'd be stimulating! In continuing with this logic, it's also a given that it's impossible for would-be customers to actually get to downtown without the essential attaché to driving, gasoline. So, isn't it therefore intuitive to suggest that if cities were to give away a little bit of gas to each customer – you know, to kind-of thank them for their generosity - then customers would find an overwhelming incentiv
Once upon a time public rights-of-way were simpler; they made sense. The mobile laws of society were black and white. Streets were for cars and sidewalks were for, well, walking on the side of the street. You know, out of the way? At some point recently though things have started to blur, and it's starting to get just a little bit out of control. It's hard to put one's finger on it, but lately there's been this funny notion that the street itself, long the gift to man-and-machine, is supposed to be shared with people who just can't seem to keep themselves on their side of the curb. Woe is me, in some instances there isn't even a curb anymore! What's worse, it seems apparent that our public officials, the very people we elect to represent us an
DISCLAIMER: This is a true story, but I do not pretend that it has great social significance. Just one of those many "lighter moments" in a planning career.
I was in my home state of Colorado, at a zoning board meeting. I do not recall why I was there (it must have worked out satisfactorily, or I would remember). I do remember one case that the board heard, however.