Blogs

Texas High Speed Rail: On the Right Track?

The Central Japan Railway (Note 1), which operates one of only two high-speed rail segments (Tokyo Station to Osaka Station) in the world that has been fully profitable (including the cost of building), proposes to build a line from Dallas to Houston, with top speeds of 205 miles per hour. This is slightly faster than the fastest speeds now operated. This line is radically different from others proposed around the nation and most that have been proposed around the world.  read more »

Congratulations to America: Huge Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

Congratulations to America. According to the US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were reduced 526 million tons from 2005 to 2011. This is no small amount. It is about the same as all the CO2 emissions in either Canada or the United Kingdom. Only five other nations emit more than that.  read more »

Infographics: The Decongestion of Manhattan, New York Walking Commutes

Jim Russell pointed me at an interesting article about densification vs. de-densification over at the Urbanization Project at NYU Stern. It contains this very interesting map of the change in census tract densities in Manhattan over the century between 1910 and 2010:  read more »

German Renewable Power: Making Sustainability Unsustainable?

Der Speigel reports that Germany's rushed program to convert to renewable energy is already imposing an economic burden. Part of the problem is the inherent instability of power produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar:  read more »

Toronto's Greenbelt: Pushing up Congestion, Local Air Pollution and House Prices

I had the pleasure of participating on Jerry Agar's program on Newstalk 1010 in Toronto, with host Tasha Kheiriddin on August 15. The subject was a new report by the David Suzuki Foundation lauding the benefits of Toronto's greenbelt greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction role as a carbon sink.  read more »

Subjects:

Could a Las Vegas Train Produce Losses 10 Times More Than Solyndra? (Report Announcement)

The Reason Foundation has released our "Xpress West" (formerly "DesertXpress") analysis. This high speed rail train would run from Victorville (90 miles from downtown Los Angeles) to Las Vegas. Promoters predict high ridership and profits. They are seeking a subsidized federal loan of more than $5.5 billion, which is within the discretionary authority of the US Department of Transportation to fund.

Our analysis concludes the following:  read more »

New Chicago Machine Scam In the Works: Eminent Domain Seizure of ‘Underwater’ Mortgages

With property values down 40% since 2006 in Chicago, the Chicago Democrat Machine has a new scam brewing. The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Should Chicago use its sweeping condemnation powers to help stem the foreclosure epidemic — paving the way for underwater mortgages to be written down and repackaged under terms more affordable to struggling homeowners?  read more »

A New Brand for Houston

"We've probably spent in excess of $75 million in the past 30 years on image campaigns, and we keep coming back and saying, 'Well, that didn't work.'"

 - Former GHCVB CEO Jordy Tollett in the Houston Business Journal  read more »

Subjects:

Avoiding Expensive Municipal Mergers

An article in The Wall Street Journal discussed attempts to merge local governments in Michigan. While efforts such as these gain wide support because of the belief that they will save money, there evidence shows the opposite.  read more »

Atlanta Resoundingly Rejects Transit Tax

Atlanta area voters said "no" to a proposed $7 billion transportation tax that was promoted as a solution to the metropolitan area's legendary traffic congestion, despite a campaign in which supporters outspent opponents by more than 500 to one.  read more »