Blogs

Revisiting Toronto’s G20 Costs

In the lead up to the G20 conference, the security costs were projected to approach a billion dollars. As high as this number sounds, sources are now speculating that the total bill could be closer to $2 billion. Shocking as that number is, the costs incurred by local businesses may have exceeded that total.  read more »

U-Haul to Ohio?

If one measures a state’s popularity on the cost of U-Haul rentals, then Ohio is losing out to the sunny Florida beaches big time. The one-way rental fees for a 26-foot U-Haul truck show a significant disparity in the cost to go from Florida to Ohio and the cost to go from Ohio to Florida. The rate for going from Miami to Cleveland is $1,000 compared to $1,457 if the destination was swapped, resulting in a 45.7% premium to leave Ohio.  read more »

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60% of GDP Too Much for High Speed Rail: Vietnam National Assembly

In a surprise move, the Vietnam National Assembly rejected plans proposed by the government to built a high speed rail line from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Hanoi.  read more »

San Francisco Considers the Country's First Ban on Pet Sales

Bay Area businesses beware, San Francisco is once again considering banning a common city commodity. This time it is not environmentalists, but city lawmakers who are howling for change. If San Francisco’s Commission of Animal Control and Welfare approves the proposed ordinance, it will be illegal to sell any pets in the city except for fish.  read more »

Beijing on Track to Be World’s Busiest Airport

For years, the world's busiest airports in passenger volume have been Atlanta's Hartfield-Jackson International and Chicago's O'Hare. However, there are indications that this long dominance may be about to end. According to Airport Council International data for 2009, Chicago O'Hare had fallen to 4th position, following Atlanta, London-Heathrow and Beijing Capital International Airport.  read more »

Phantom Exodus Driven by Phony Cost Comparisons

If Tara Siegel Bernard of The New York Times is right, (city of) New Yorkers must be among the most irrational people in the world. In "High-Rise or House with Yard," she describes the purported financial advantages of living in a co-op apartment in Brooklyn versus suburban South Orange, New Jersey.  read more »

Chicago Stimulus Program: A Family Affair

Even though cities all over the United States are running large deficits, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley feels that an investment in one particular charity is an investment for the future. After School Matters, founded by Mayor Daley’s wife Maggie Daley, funds l youth programs and helps low-income youth obtain job skills. It has received more than $46 million from the city since 2005, with nearly one-third of that total coming in 2009 alone ($15 million).  read more »

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Kudos to Houston Traffic from IBM

IBM has released its annual "Commuter Pain Index," which ranks traffic congestion in 20 metropolitan areas around the world. According to IBM, the Commuter Pain Index includes 10 issues: "1) commuting time, 2) time stuck in traffic, agreement that: 3) price of gas is already too high, 4) traffic has gotten worse, 5) start-stop traffic is a problem, 6) driving causes stress, 7) driving causes anger, 8) traffic affects work, 9) traffic so bad driving stopped, and 10) decided not to make trip due to traffic."  read more »

University of California Report Calls Cambridge Systematics High-Speed Rail Ridership Forecast Unreliable

A just-released report by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Berkeley finds that the ridership projections prepared by Cambridge Systematics (CS) for the California high speed rail system are "not reliable."  read more »

Surprise, Frisco and Beaumont Among Fastest Growing

The Bureau of the Census has updated its city (municipality or local government area) population estimates for 2009. Predictably, anti-suburban interests saw more indication of the elusive (read non-existent) exodus from the suburbs to the central cities. One analyst even suggested that a "high quality" of life in one central city (Washington, DC) might have kept people from moving to the suburbs.  read more »