Transportation

Blog post
May 18, 2008, 9pm PDT
A few weeks ago, I was reading yet another think-tank paper arguing against new rail projects. Amidst the sea of technical detail, one assertion bothered me: the common claim that bus service is more “flexible” than rail.
Michael Lewyn
Blog post
May 18, 2008, 12pm PDT

The common wisdom about walkable neighborhoods holds that density – proximity to destinations – determines the number of walking trips. An ideal walking distance of a quarter mile is usually prescribed between residences and the nearest transit stop or retail center.

I don’t dispute that walking distance is important, especially when I’m lugging an armload of groceries. However, some trendy high-density development favors compactness at the expense of comfort and safety.

Diana DeRubertis
May 18, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>The top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is leading a bill to fund new high-speed rail, stating he's ready to fight the air travel lobby that has traditionally opposed plans for high-speed rail.</p>
CNN
May 17, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>The city is already struggling to fund its planned $5 billion subway extension. But planners think adding a spur through West Hollywood could convince federal officials to chip in more funding for the project.</p>
WeHo News
May 17, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>Instead of asking residents to consider a timid plan this November, the region's transit agency should wait until its first light rail line opens, and gas prices rise even higher. Voters will then be ready for a grander plan, argues a recent column.</p>
The Seattle Times
May 17, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>Production of bicycles is more than double the production of cars worldwide -- and the gap between the two vehicles is widening. Many see this as an indicator of the global shift towards encouraging bicycle use as a viable transportation option.</p>
Earth Policy Institute
May 16, 2008, 12pm PDT
<p>Chicago shouldn't be surprised if drivers don't take to transit once its new pricing scheme is enacted. No matter the cost, most motorists won't make the switch until the city's transit system is more reliable, argues a recent column.</p>
The Chicago Tribune
May 16, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>With the Tampa region one of only two top 25 metro areas without rails in the ground or on the drawing board, local leaders want to kick start the planning process. But is the region ready for light rail when only 1 percent of locals ride the bus?</p>
The St. Petersburg Times
Blog post
May 15, 2008, 4pm PDT

I believe it's very likely that within a few years, planning departments will be using blogs, and perhaps other social networking site options, as approaches to public input on planning policy or development applications.

Perhaps some are doing it already?

Brent Toderian
May 15, 2008, 12pm PDT
<p>To make North American cities more bicycle friendly, planners should look to Stockholm, Sweden and Freiburg, Germany -- two European cities were bikes and cars happily co-exist on the street.</p>
The Ottawa Citizen
May 15, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Typically considered a poster child for sprawl, Atlanta's leaders and residents are now trying to steer the city's growth and development down a greener path.</p>
Grist.org
May 15, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>Flashing lights on the walls on train tunnels that display a 15-second video to passengers have been introduced in L.A., bringing new revenue to the area's transit agency, but bothering some riders. Some say the ads intrude on public space.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
May 15, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>Cyclist wins a "race" across Philadelphia, beating a car and city transit in fight through morning traffic.</p>
The Philadelphia Inquirer
May 14, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>Rising gas prices are pushing more and more Oregon drivers out of their cars. High public transit ridership figures and a reduction in vehicle-miles traveled suggest former drivers are now using transit instead of driving.</p>
The Oregonian
May 14, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>The city of Omaha, Nebraska, has announced plans to build a network of bike lanes throughout the city, boosted by private contributions of more than $600,000.</p>
KETV
May 13, 2008, 2pm PDT
<p>The automaker has announced plans for a fully-electric vehicle by 2010, and says it wants to lead the industry towards zero-emission vehicles.</p>
The New York Times
May 13, 2008, 10am PDT
<p>After personally taking up cycling and seeing the city's poor reputation among cyclists firsthand, Mayor Thomas Menino is leading a campaign to make Boston a more bicycle-friendly city.</p>
The Boston Globe
Blog post
May 13, 2008, 9am PDT

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Amtrak Train 715. We're expecting a smooth ride today and should be moving along right on time," said the voice of the train conductor over the loudspeaker. He then continued, "And thanks for joining us for National Train Day". The loudspeaker then turned off, and was followed instantly by the voice of an incredulous woman a few rows behind who said "What?"

Nate Berg
Blog post
May 13, 2008, 7am PDT

Some commentators argue that sprawl is an inevitable result of affluence, based on European development patterns. These pundits tell a simple story: European urban cores are losing population and becoming more automobile-dependent - just like American cities. So if Europe can’t beat sprawl, neither can America.

Michael Lewyn
May 13, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>Chicago's federally funded pilot program will target some of the city's most congested arteries with new bus-rapid transit lines that will feature dedicated lanes, pre-paid boarding, "next bus" signs, and potentially bicycle sharing.</p>
The Chicago Tribune