Blogs

Former Hawaii Democratic Governor Urges Trump to Stop Funds for Honolulu Rail

A full page ad in today’s Washington Post (April 21, 2017) featured former Democratic Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano asking President Trump to stop further funding for the Honolulu rail project. The project has ballooned in cost from $5 billion to $10 billion, with most of the funding coming from local sources. There are serious concerns about the ability of Honolulu or Hawaii to afford completion of the project. Cayetano says that the line will be the most costly in the world. A proof of the ad is below and a pdf is available here.  read more »

Transportation Game-changers

Here is the L.A. Times noting that LA Metro ridership is still falling -- even though billions have been (mis)spent on extra capacity over the last 30+ years. By my count that's the second time this year that the Times has broached this tender topic.  read more »

Visualizing Houston’s Population Density

Population density may sound like the most mundane of metrics, a column heading in a city planner’s spreadsheet, but in cities across the U.S. it’s been a source of cultural controversy, guiding where people move and why.  read more »

Uber! Regulations Mean San Francisco Loses While Phoenix and Pittsburgh Win

Any business person who has dealt with California's frustrating laws, regulations and bureaucrats was nonetheless surprised to see the story headlined, "Uber Ships Self-Driving Cars to Arizona After California Ban."

Really? A state ban on Uber? The poster child of the billion-dollar-plus startup, tech-guru, market-disruptor club? Why would Sacramento give Uber, of all people, a bad time?  read more »

An Open Letter To The Democratic National Committee From A Rural Democrat

Dear Democratic National Committee,

I’m writing you as a recently defeated Democratic State Senator in the “Red State” of North Dakota to talk about rural America. I’ve heard you may be interested in learning about us after the results of the 2016 election. Some of you have taken to the national airwaves to talk about reconnecting with our life styles here in the heartland. I’m glad it seems we finally have your attention.  read more »

The ABC of Making Housing Unaffordable

On 12 December, ABC Radio National’s Breakfast Program aired another group discussion on “Australia’s housing market”. Presenter Hamish Macdonald was joined by an “expert panel” made up of Ken Morrison, CEO of the Property Council, John Daley, CEO of progressive think tank the Grattan Institute, and Tom Whitty, managing editor of The Project, a television show pitched to the youth demographic.  read more »

Caltrain and Blended High Speed Rail Promise Peninsula Traffic Paralysis

The following notice was issued by the Community Coalition on High Speed Rail in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A TRANSPORTATION EXPERT CONFIRMS OUR WARNINGS:
THE SO-CALLED "BLENDED" PROJECT WILL
PARALYZE TRAFFIC ON THE PENINSULA  read more »

Toronto Area Housing Market Rigged Against Millennials

In a Globe and Mail column, Margaret Wente accurately describes Toronto’s housing affordability crisis and its principal cause. The Toronto area’s house prices have escalated strongly relative to incomes since the province enacted its “Places to Grow” urban planning regime.  read more »

Zoning and Urban Containment: The Need for Clarity

It is a terrible mistake to be confusing ALL zoning rules with the single true determinant of inequity in housing and economic mobility.

That is, can rural land at rural land prices, be converted to urban use?

This suppresses the price of all urban land to the extent that it is such a small input into “housing costs” relative to the cost of structures, it is very hard to push “house prices” up into unaffordable territory.  read more »

Subjects:

California’s Attack on Rule of Law

Morris Brown, founder of Derail (a citizen group opposed to California’s high speed rail project) writes over at Fox and Hounds Daily that newly enacted California Assembly Bill 1889 is unconstitutional.  read more »