You Can't Have Good TOD Without the T

Philip Langdon argues that if the U.S. is going to shift toward compact, less resource-consuming patterns of development, Americans will have to rely increasingly on mass transit - so it better work.

Langdon talks with Ken Archer, who writes for Greater Greater Washington and is an outspoken critic of Washington, D.C.'s deteriorating transit system. Archer says the way MetroRail decides when to replace a part is to wait until the end of its "useful life."

"Is 'useful life'-based replacement really the solution?" Archer asks. Maintenance based on the "useful life" of infrastructure typically relies on scheduled maintenance, which seems at first glance to be a good thing but which has, in Archer's view, "one fundamental weakness." It boils down to this: "because maintenance is based on a calendar and not the objective condition of an asset, it is almost always either too late and a breakdown has already occurred, or it is way too early and thus wasteful."

Thanks to Renee Brutvan

Full Story: Needed: a better way of keeping infrastructure working well

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