Transportation

The Evolving Urban Form: Madrid

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Madrid is the capital of Spain, as well as its largest built-up urban area, with an estimated 6.4 million population in 2018. Madrid’s urban area plus economically connected rural and small town areas make up the metropolitan area, which has nearly 7,000,000 residents. The area has an urban population density of 4,700 per square kilometer (12,200 per square mile), ranking it third among the European Union’s built-up urban areas over 1,000,000 population.  read more »

Ten Infrastructure Projects We Should Actually Build

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I have argued that the primary infrastructure need in the US is for maintenance, not new builds or expansion. But clearly building nothing new isn’t realistic, so what projects should we build and why?

I just released a new Manhattan Institute issue brief highlighting some criteria for when new infrastructure can be justified, along with a list of 10 specific projects that make sense. I include transit, freight rail, highways, airports, and energy on the list.  read more »

Subjects:

Neat, Plausible, and Wrong

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The Antiplanner is frequently reminded of H.L. Mencken’s statement that “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem: neat, plausible, and wrong.” Millennials, for example, blame baby boomers for ruining the world. Most of the mistakes that baby boomers made were in adopting simple and plausible but wrong solutions to complex problems.  read more »

Nashville’s Hopeless Rail Transit Proposal

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Nashville is the 36th largest metropolitan area in the nation, having long since passed historic Tennessee leader Memphis. Nashville was the 10th fastest growing major metropolitan area in 2017. At the current growth rate Nashville will reach 2 million residents by the 2020 census and seems likely to pass slower growing San Jose soon after.  read more »

The High Speed Rail 2018 Business Plan – A Classic Model Of Deception

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The California High Speed Rail Authority has released its 2018 Business Plan. It portends to finally reveal the true cost for construction of Phase I of the project. The new cost estimate is at a base of $77.3 billion to a possible $98.1 billion dollars. Completion of Phase I is now projected for year 2032. Please remember the old promise to the voters was the project would be running by 2020 and the cost to California voters would be $10 billion (the rest of the $32 billions needed to build Phase I would come from Federal and private sources).  read more »

What Can We Do to Reduce the Spike in Pedestrian Deaths?

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The recent pedestrian death by a self-driving Uber car brought renewed attention to a major problem in this nation, pedestrian deaths, which have risen from 4,000 to 6,000 annually in just 2 years!

An increasing number of people are walking and biking, resulting from a renewed awareness in the health benefits of a stroll over a drive. Today’s driver is distracted not only by their smart phone but a multitude of screens with cumbersome touch controls distracting the driver.  read more »

Why We Should Fix It First with Infrastructure

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My latest column is now online in the March issue of Governing. It’s called “A Tip for Infrastructure Builders: Fix It First.” Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Connecting the Dots by Transit in Los Angeles?

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Over the past three years, the nation’s largest transit systems have endured a broad and unprecedented ridership decline. By far the largest drop has been in Los Angeles and this has resulted in justifiable consternation.  read more »

Autonomous Cars Are About To Transform The Suburbs

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Suburbs have largely been dismissed by environmentalists and urban planners as bad for the planet, a form that needed to be eliminated to make way for a bright urban future. Yet, after a few years of demographic stultification amid the Great Recession, Americans are again heading to the suburbs in large numbers, particularly millennials.  read more »

Olympics Transportation: The L. A. Times Needn’t Worry

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The Trump Infrastructure plan has finally been released. The critics are out in force, especially those with particular interest in rapid transit. The plan would reduce funding to the federal “new starts” program, which provides funding for new urban rail and busway systems. The Los Angeles Times editorial board expressed angst at this proposal. According to The Times, the "…public transit building boom in L.A.  read more »