Transportation

Blog post
November 17, 2008, 10am PST
The election is behind us. A Democratic administration headed by President-elect Barack Obama and a heavily Democratic Congress will assume power next January. How will this influence the direction of federal surface transportation policy and programs? To gain some insight, we have solicited the views of a number of people, including some who are familiar with the thinking of President-elect Obama’s transition team. While the views expressed below are our own, they have been influenced by the observations and speculations expressed in these interviews. By common agreement, all conversations were held off the record and not for attribution in order to allow for the freest possible expression of views.

Kenneth Orski
November 4, 2008, 5am PST
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors recently approved a package of green building ordinances that may be the most comprehensive and far reaching green building legislation at the local level in the country.
The Planning Report
November 3, 2008, 10am PST
A federal judge has put the kibosh on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to require taxi companies to use mostly hybrid vehicles by 2012.
New York Times
Blog post
October 24, 2008, 8am PDT
 Technology innovation – that’s all we need to solve the energy crisis!  Unleash American ingenuity and we’ll be able to cope with higher energy costs.  The Windmillmobile, should go a long way toward reducing petroleum consumption.  It seems to work fine unless there is a strong tailwind.  The engineers are still working on the sensor to fold down the windmill for garages and overpasses.  

 

Steven Polzin
Blog post
August 12, 2008, 9am PDT

When it comes to urban policy issues such as public transit andsmart growth, self-identified "Conservatives" and Libertarians have turned"straw man" argumentation into an art form. Many of their positions are sotransparently fallacious that I feel compelled to take them down, (asI've done in previous Planetizen op-eds [here and here])by systematically identifying their fallacies and documenting their misleading use of data sources.

It's easy and it's fun!

Michael Dudley
August 12, 2008, 8am PDT
The cost of commuting is beginning to trump federal policies favoring exurban development, and transit ridership is at a fifty year high.
The Washington Post
August 11, 2008, 12pm PDT
Former Congressman Ernest Istook discusses why the automobile is the ultimate manifestation of freedom, mobility, and personal choice, and argues for a re-allocation of public spending away from mass transit and other alternatives.
WorldNetDaily
August 2, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>Robert Poole, director of transportation at the Reason Institute, delivers an open letter to Los Angeles-area elected officials in the hopes of persuading them to adopt a federally-supported pricing system for the region's freeway network.</p>
The Planning Report
July 24, 2008, 2pm PDT
<p>Rolling Stone pundit Matt Taibbi writes that the media are missing the real story: that millions of Americans are financially drowning under home heating costs, gas prices and debt, and the middle class is disappearing.</p>
AlterNet
July 9, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>The Guardian U.K. observes that the end of cheap oil is changing driving habits, boosting public transit use and encouraging localization. In short, they are making America a bigger place.</p>
The Guardian
July 9, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>The Minneapolis area is already 2nd in the nation for the percentage of commuters who bike to work. With gas prices soaring, the number of bicyclists has soared. One route over the Mississippi River has seen a doubling of bikes from last year.</p>
Star Tribune
July 3, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>In an effort to reduce shipping costs, Wal-Mart is cutting its food miles and passing the savings on to customer by selling locally grown produce.</p>
The Philadelphia Inquirer
July 1, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>In what may be the silver lining of the current economic climate, high fuel costs and carbon restrained economies may spell the end for unsustainable planning and development patterns in California, according to Rick Cole, City Manager of Ventura.</p>
The Planning Report
June 11, 2008, 10am PDT
<p>Gas prices have just surpassed the $4 mark, but the impact is far from uniform throughout the nation- poor, rural counties, particularly in the south and west, suffer disproportionately.</p>
The New York Times
June 6, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Council Member David Yassky was one of congestion pricing's earliest and most vocal proponents, and he hasn't yet given up on the prospect of charging tolls to drive in Manhattan.</p>
The Planning Report
May 30, 2008, 12pm PDT
<p>Railroads are overcoming decades of resistance from environmentalists by touting their greener aspects.</p>
Wall St. Journal
Blog post
May 27, 2008, 10am PDT

A recent report by the libertarian Cato Institute, Does Rail Transit Save Energy or Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?, claims that public transit service improvements are ineffective at conserving energy and reducing pollution emissions. But this conclusion is based on faulty analysis.

Todd Litman
May 24, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>The New York Times looks across the nation and finds consumers reluctantly changing their habits to deal with rising gas prices.</p>
The New York Times
May 22, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority used to slap motorists with heavy fines for ridesharing. Faced with exploding population growth and 8 million tourists a year, officials have changed their tune.</p>
The National, Abu Dhabi
May 22, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>Game-day transit options are popular amenities in big cities, but new FTA regulations could force them to the curb. Cincinnati's Metro feels the heat from the Feds.</p>
Business Courier of Cincinnati