Transportation

June 9, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>Driving is down, transit ridership is up, but few are serisouly talking about how to improve America's transit system, according to this article from <em>Grist</em>, which wonders why.</p>
Grist
Blog post
June 8, 2008, 1pm PDT

There are three types of bicyclists: Advanced Bicyclists, Intermediate Bicyclists and Beginner Bicyclists. We need to plan and build facilities to accommodate all of them. Those cities that do are experiencing ridership numbers far above the national average.

Mike Lydon
June 8, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>A suburb of Dallas ponders charging a toll on a surface road, perhaps the first such plan for a surface road in the United States.</p>
WFAA
June 8, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Even as SUV sales have dropped 33% this year, some drivers hang on to their gas-guzzlers. "You've got to have that room when you're moving around," says a Georgia man. The cost of switching is another major factor for families.</p>
CNN.com
June 8, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>Chicago has come in second-to-last place in the selection of finalists seeking to host the 2016 Olympics. The city's bid was criticized for not having a strong transportation plan.</p>
The Chicago Tribune
June 7, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>The cartoon strip 'This Modern World' looks at how gas prices have influenced motorists' selection of motor vehicles in the United States - from the 1970's to 'five minutes from now'.</p>
Salon.com
June 7, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich gives his two cents about the need to expand public transit.</p>
Robert Reich's Blog
June 7, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>This slideshow from <em>Wired</em> takes a tour of some of the best subway systems in the world, boasting some of the world's most extravagant stations and efficient commutes.</p>
Wired
June 6, 2008, 2pm PDT
<p>London's underground subway system recently banned the consumption of alcoholic beverages, and to celebrate the last night of drunken train commuting, Londoners converged on trains to get hammered. They also got rowdy, assaulted and arrested.</p>
BBC
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
June 6, 2008, 10am PDT
<p>With fill-ups costing close to $70,000 for a transatlantic flight, airlines are facing a grim future.</p>
The Globe & Mail
Blog post
June 6, 2008, 8am PDT

Bank, Commission, Capital Budget or Business as Usual?

There's a growing consensus the U.S. needs to invest more in our infrastructure, especially our transportation infrastructure. Too many roads and bridges are in poor repair, and congestion is slowing the economy of many cities. High gas prices has only added to intense interest nationwide for new and enhanced public transportation. With the expiration of the SAFETEA-LU legislation, next year Congress has the opportunity to revise the policies guiding investment in this critical infrastructure.

Unfortunately, after the interstate highway system, the federal role in transportation infrastructure is mostly known for its excessive pork barrel spending (bridges to nowhere) and limited funds and Byzantine policies restricting mass transit investment.

How should we evaluate the various proposals to reform federal policy? The Urban Land Institute (where I am working this summer) proposed an 8-point "action agenda" for infrastructure in their second-annual infrastructure report. The agenda is a statement of principles that should guide investments. It includes: build a vision for the community, invest strategically in coordination with land use, fix and maintain first, reduce driving, couple land use decisions with water availability, break down government "silos," cut pork barrel spending and support smart growth, keep score and keep governments accountable.

Taking those principles as advice, let's take a look at what has been proposed.

Robert Goodspeed
June 6, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>Vancouver has plans to spend nearly $3 billion on a 12-km stretch of subway. But a recent study shows that same amount of money could be used to create a tram system covering more than 175 km in the city.</p>
The Tyee
June 5, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>A peaceful suburb wanting to preserve its tranquility is pitted against a large rail company attempting to lessen freight congestion around Chicago by running its trains through it and other suburbs on an existing rail line it hopes to purchase.</p>
Associated Press via Miami Herald
June 5, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Charlotte's light rail system has proven to be a major success in the city, spurring development and igniting the local economy. But as it expands, will the other communities it benefits join in the funding party?</p>
Governing
June 5, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>With gas prices as they are, does it make sense to ditch your SUV and buy a hybrid? Count on the Wall St. Journal to break it down a discussion of your return on investment.</p>
Wall St. Journal
June 4, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>What can leaders of a particularly hilly city do to encourage cycling? Well, they can try making it easier to ride a bike.</p>
Citymayors.com
June 4, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>This article from <em>Reason</em> argues that a double-decker traffic tunnel can effectively reduce congestion in Atlanta -- one of the most congested cities in America.</p>
Reason
June 4, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>As drivers complain about higher gas prices, one California lawmaker is promoting a new 9 cent fee on gasoline to fund public transportation and congestion relief in Los Angeles County.</p>
NPR
June 4, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>Bicycle commuting is on the rise in metropolitan Phoenix, where bike shops are reporting increasing sales of commuter bikes.</p>
The Arizona Republic