Humor

October 15, 2009, 9am PDT
Some excellent video illustrations of how including an element of fun can change people's behavior, including the 'World's Deepest' Trashcan.
thefuntheory.com
September 11, 2009, 2pm PDT
With names like Aspen Grove and Sunrise Park, you might mistake these suburb designs for the real thing. But something's not quite right in artist Ross Racine's birds-eye views of imaginary suburbs.
The Infrastructurist
September 4, 2009, 2pm PDT
The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill that will make it illegal to bring "odors that unreasonably disturb others" onto the bus.
Honolulu Advertiser
August 21, 2009, 2pm PDT
The Department of Transportation has released a new report urging drivers to combat traffic congestion by honking -- a method estimated to relieve 90% of traffic.
The Onion
August 14, 2009, 1pm PDT
A sign pointing southbound travelers onto Business Highway 51 in Rothschild and Schofield bears an incorrect spelling for every word except "exit."
Wausau Daily Herald
Blog post
August 12, 2009, 5pm PDT

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.   

Steven Polzin
August 7, 2009, 2pm PDT
A 20-year old Chicago man has been arrested by federal agents for imitating transit officials and repeatedly interfering with Chicago Transit Authority communications.
Chicago Breaking News Center
July 31, 2009, 2pm PDT
A sample of public comments from meetings in the eccentrically out-there city of Santa Cruz, California.
SoWat TV
Blog post
July 24, 2009, 12pm PDT

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.

Ian Sacs
July 23, 2009, 12pm PDT
While the Comedy Show's Jon Stewart can't get too excited about "Cap & Trade", Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, does his best to explain the importance of the Waxman-Markey climate legislation to him.
The Daily Show
Blog post
July 8, 2009, 7pm PDT

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

Ian Sacs
June 18, 2009, 10am PDT
In this 'anything-goes' Q & A between the NYT Magazine with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, we learn about the derivation of his name, the car he drives, and more appropriate topics liks HSR, infrastructure, and George Will.
The New York Times - Magazine
May 15, 2009, 2pm PDT
The Onion reports on the "window-shattering ceremony" officially opening Detroit's newest slum, a neighborhood designed with the "latest in high-risk, hopelessly impoverished housing options."
The Onion
Blog post
May 8, 2009, 10am PDT

Mike Lydon
May 6, 2009, 11am PDT
This slide show includes pictures of unorthodox bus stops all over the world, including Yellowstone National Park, Estonia, Japan and Brazil.
Toxel.com
Blog post
April 13, 2009, 11am PDT

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

Ian Sacs
April 10, 2009, 2pm PDT
Dogs in Moscow have learned to ride the subway to and from "work".
English Russia
Blog post
April 10, 2009, 12pm PDT

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. 

Eric Damian Kelly
April 3, 2009, 2pm PDT
This piece from <em>The Onion</em> presents the incredibly simple solution to the nation's economic troubles: build more houses.
The Onion
April 1, 2009, 2pm PDT
It has been revealed that the White House's Urban Affairs Agenda is entirely based on a late-night round of the computer game "Sim City", played by President Barack Obama and Urban Affairs Secretary Adolfo Carrion.
Planetizen April 1st Edition