In a hard fought election campaign, voters in the city of Tigard appear to have narrowly enacted another barrier to light rail expansion in suburban Portland. The Washington County Elections Division reported that with 100 percent of precincts counted, Charter Amendment 34-210 had obtained 51 percent of the vote, compared to 49 percent opposed. read more »
The Census Bureau's American Community Survey released its annual one-year snapshot of demographic data in the United States. As usual, this included journey to work (commuting data), which is summarized in the table below. read more »
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 »
The New South Wales Department of Transport Housing and Transportation Survey reports that the average one way work trip in the Sydney metropolitan area (statistical division) reached 34.3 minutes in 2010. As a result, Sydney now has the longest reported commute time in the New World (United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), except for the New York City metropolitan area (34.6 minutes). read more »
Catherine Rampell of The New York Times describes a new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report concluding that Americans have among the shortest work trip travel times in the developed world (Link to chart in The New York Times). read more »
Results and not ideology should guide transportation policy.
Large city officials have been lobbying for a major program of federal transit subsidies for years. The push will likely intensify after the federal election.
A principal resource in this campaign will likely be the Toronto Board of Trade’s third annual Scorecard on Prosperity, which finds Toronto’s transportation system to be among the worst in the world, ranking 19th out of 23 metropolitan areas. Other metropolitan areas also ranked poorly, such as Montreal at 12th, Calgary at 13th and Vancouver at 21st. read more »
Commuter rail is often sold to the public as a faster means of travel than buses. This can be true if the drive to the park and ride lot is short and your destination is within walking distance of a station. However, it is apparently not true in Austin. read more »
As noted by Wendell Cox, commuting and congestion have a large economic cost. Time spent behind the wheel, slowed by traffic, is time that could otherwise be put to more productive economic pursuits. Commuting and congestion also have social costs. Every minute lost trapped in snarled traffic is time that might have been spent with family, friends, relaxing, or getting involved in community building activities. read more »
Much has been written in recent years about the costs of congestion, with ground breaking research by academics such as Prud'homme & Chang-Wong and Hartgen & Fields showing that the more jobs that can be accessed in a particular period of time, the greater the economic output of a metropolitan area. read more »
Apple's much anticipated iPad tablet computer was announced today, albeit to some mixed reviews. While the iPad itself may or may not succeed, the overall technology trend line is clear: increasingly rich mobile access to the Internet and email. read more »