Transportation

WSDOT Wants Lawmakers to Remove Congestion Relief as a Transportation Policy Goal

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This week, WSDOT leadership testified before the House Committee on Transportation in support of House Bill 2688, which removes the goal of congestion relief from the state’s transportation policy goals and replaces the rest. The agency said the bill supports its strategic plan, pictured in the diagram.  read more »

The Limits of Being “Near Transit”

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In a recent paper, David King of Arizona State University, Michael Smart of Rutgers University and Michael Manville of UCLA cited the legendary urbanist Mel Weber on the importance of facilitating sufficient mobility for low-income citizens: “Our central mission is to redress the social inequities thrown up by widespread auto use, and our central task is to invent ways of extending the benefits of auto-like transportation to those who are presently carless.”  read more »

The City as a Self-Organizing, Adaptive System - Part 2

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Vienna's Ringstrasse has transformed multiple times on its way to becoming a multi-modal arterial.

In a preceding article, I argued that a "city-as-an-artifact" approach to planning misses the organic nature of cities, and, when used in action, this approach could result in disappointing, if well-intended, outcomes. Similarly, biomorphic models for cities fail to construct a unified, actionable theory of planning.  read more »

2019 Ridership Numbers Reveal Transit's Dim Future

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Thanks to a late-year surge in New York subway ridership, nationwide transit ridership in December 2019 was 3.0 percent greater than December 2018, and ridership for 2019 as a whole was 0.1 percent greater than in 2018, according to data released last week by the Federal Transit Administration. Take away the New York City subways and nationwide ridership fell by 1.5 percent in December and 1.2 percent for the 2019 as a whole.  read more »

Subjects:

Sydney High-Density Planning

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High-density planning policies have become fashionable and Sydney planners are among the most enthusiastic adopters. New South Wales Government authorities claim that high density policies result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (gge), provide improved housing affordability and result in reduced traffic congestion. No evidence has been provided to justify these assertions. Such claims need to be investigated as well as density’s detrimental effect on amenity and quality of life should also be investigated.  read more »

Population Growth Concentrated in Auto Oriented Suburbs and Metropolitan Areas

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The suburbs and exurbs continue to dominate population growth in the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas, according to a City Sector Model (Note 1 and Figure 9) analysis. We traced growth between the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey 5-year data, from samples taken over the period of 2014 to 2018. The middle-year was 2016 (Note 2).

Population Growth by City Sector  read more »

Urban Transit Is an Energy Hog

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Transit is often touted as a way to save energy. But since 2009 transit has used more energy, per passenger mile, than the average car. Since 2016, transit has used more than the average of cars and light trucks together.  read more »

A Walk Around Jersey City’s Exchange Place

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More than a quarter century ago, Joel Garreau’s classic Edge City; Life on the New Frontier described the rise of commercial centers outside the historic downtowns (central business districts or CBDs).  read more »

Revealed Preferences: The 30-Minute Commute

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The principal reason that large cities have developed is that they provide large labor (and housing) markets. A labor market is also a housing market, since virtually all who work in the metropolitan area also live there. The metropolitan area is the one location where there is one-to-one balance between jobs and resident workers (see: Alain Bertaud, Order Without Design: How Markets Shape Cities).  read more »

Costs Up, Ridership Down: 2018 National Transit Database

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Taxpayers spent nearly $3.75 billion more subsidizing transit in 2018 than the year before, yet transit carried 215 million fewer riders, according to the latest data released by the Federal Transit Administration. The increase in spending didn't even translate to an increase in service, as transit agencies provided 44 million fewer vehicle miles of service in 2018.  read more »