In recent blogs I have written about places and plans in many different locales and through time. Students often ask, “do I need to visit places to know about them”?
As a lifelong urbanite, I’ve always felt comfortable learning cities “by Braille.” I put on my walking shoes and wander, making mental maps as I go. I experience serendipity, yet can generally intuit where things are likely to be – the CBD, the government center, nightlife.
This summer our family spent time in Berlin, Venice, Florence, and Paris. Of the four, Paris was the only one I’d been to before. By the time we got there, it was like greeting an old friend.
Transportation and its relationship to the economy have been headline media topics for most of 2008 as we have seen unprecedented swings in fuel prices and travelers responding with declines in vehicle miles of travel (VMT) and unprecedented slowing in new vehicle sales. Transit and Amtrak have seen noticeable ridership growth and there have been cutbacks in demand for and supply of airline capacity. What is increasingly looking like an historic recession combined with a plummeting of gas prices late in 2008 has confounded the diagnosis of energy price impacts on travel.