Transportation

Reinventing the Rust Belt in Kokomo

kokomo-fairytale-cstore-300x225.jpg

I’ve written about Kokomo, Indiana before and also posted a podcast with its mayor. It’s a small manufacturing city in Indiana, far from glamorous and with its own set of challenges, that has been seeking to reinvent itself for the 21st century. My latest City Journal article is a look at Kokomo and what it’s been up to.  read more »

By Law, California High Speed Rail May Be Doomed To Fail

by-law-california-high-speed-rail-may-be-doomed-to-fail.jpg

It has been 10 years since passage of California Proposition 1A the High-Speed Rail Act that approved the $9.95 billion bond, a down payment on a high-speed rail project that was optimistically estimated by proponents at that time to cost $40 billion. Today, the California high-speed rail cost may approach $100 billion. Public enthusiasm is obviously dwindling.  read more »

Louisville Bridges Project Is the Biggest Transportation Boondoggle of the 21st Century

louisville-bridges-traffic-photo-300x183.png

I have been a steadfast critic of the project to build two new bridges across the Ohio River in Louisville for over a decade. In fact, my first critical post on the bridges proposal was put up in 2007 less than six months after starting my original Urbanophile blog.

The end result was even worse than I anticipated. The project has proven to be a money waster of the highest order, and in fact by far the biggest American transportation boondoggle I can identify in the 21st century so far.  read more »

Subjects:

Employment Access in US Metropolitan Areas (2017)

DSC00934A.JPG

Much of the US population of the United States is located in its major metropolitan areas, those with more than one million population. In 2017, the 53 major metropolitan areas had 56% of the population, and they attracted two-thirds of the population growth from 2000 (present geographical delineation). Economic research, such as by Remy Prud'homme and Chang-Woon Lee at the University of Paris as well as David Hartgen and M.  read more »

Cars and Urban Mobility

ford-fiesta-production-e1495105682810.jpg

Schlomo ‘Solly’ Angel is a world renowned urbanist and author of countless books including “Atlas of Urban Expansion”, “Planet of Cities” and “Tale of Scale.” He is adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) and senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, where he leads the Urban Expansion initiative. He has advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).  read more »

Driverless Cars Threaten Guru’s Vision

800px-Waymo_Chrysler_Pacifica_in_Los_Altos,_2017.jpg

Urban planning guru says driverless cars won’t fix congestion,” says the New York Times. Naturally, the Times is referring to Peter Calthorpe, one of the few people who might be considered an urban planning guru and the one who has the most to lose if driverless cars are successful.  read more »

Inputs vs. Outputs

800px-Ligne-1-Gare-de-Lyon-1.jpg

An article in CityLab purports to show “why public transit works better outside the U.S.” However, it never actually demonstrates that public transit does work better in other countries; it merely shows that governments have attempted to make it work better.  read more »

How Many Really Commute by Transit?

transit.jpg

According to the 2017 American Community Survey, about 7.6 million Americans, or 5.3 percent of commuters, take transit to work. However, the actual question on the survey asks, how do you “usually get to work last week.” If someone took transit three days and drove two, then transit gets checked. So how many really use transit on any given day?  read more »

Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

16294467119_bf089b5136_z.jpg

Long a hotbed of new technologies, California insists on seeing its transit future in the rear mirror. Rather than use innovative approaches to getting people around and to work, our state insists on spending billions on early 20th century technology such as streetcars and light rail that have diminishing relevance to our actual lives.  read more »

Reconciling a Love for Trains with an Opposition to Subsidies

unnamed.jpg

As a life-long railfan, I love passenger trains. But as a transportation economist, I hate subsidies for the way they dilute productivity and transfer wealth from the many to the few. Thus, I am a reluctant opponent of subsidies to Amtrak and urban rail transit.

Romance of the Rails, a new book that the Cato Institute will publish in October, is my attempt to reconcile these views by looking deep into the history of passenger rail transportation.  read more »